The marker is located in a small park at the intersection of IL 3 and IL 157 in the south part of the City of Cahokia. It is across the street from the historic Church of the Holy Family.
Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Historical Society
Cahokia, the first permanent European settlement in Illinois, was established in 1669 by priests from the French Seminary of Foreign Missions in Quebec. In 1698, a mission party -- guided here by the famous explorer Henri de Tonti -- selected a site for the Mission of the Holy Family that was adjacent to a village of Tamaroa and Cahokia Indians.
A typical French village gradually grew up around the mission. Its population, always small, was affected by the establishment of Kaskaskia and Fort de Chartres and by the cession of the land to the British in 1765 after the French and Indian War. In 1790, Cahokia became the seat of St. Clair County, a huge territory which then included the eighty northernmost counties of Illinois. Cahokia did not long retain her important position, however, because of recurring floods of the Mississippi and the growing importance of St. Louis and East St. Louis. The county seat was removed to Belleville in 1814. Both the village and the Cahokia Mounds, several miles to the northeast, were named for a subgroup of the Illinois Indian Tribe.
The famous Chief Pontiac was assassinated near the village of Cahokia in 1769. George Rogers Clark negotiated here for Indian neutrality during the American Revolution. Landmarks such as the old Church of the Holy Family, the Old Cahokia Cemetery, the Cahokia Courthouse and the Jarrot Mansion represent Cahokia's proud past.
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