Sunday, December 16, 2018


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

Welcome to Illinois

The marker is located west of Biggsville on IL 34 in the Indian Mound Rest Area.
No coordinates identified
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
In 1673 Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette explored the Illinois country for France. By the 1763 Treaty ending the French and Indian War, this area passed to England. During the American Revolution, George Rogers Clark's men captured it for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Illinois was later governed as part of the Old Northwest Territory, the Indiana Territory, and the Illinois Territory. In 1818, Illinois entered the Union as the twenty-first state. Much of the land between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers was a Federal Military Tract, where veterans of the War of 1812 could claim 160 acres in partial compensation for their services. Few veterans actually took possession of their lands, however, and 'squatters,' who had no valid land titles, were among the first white men to populate the area. From 1846 to 1861, nearly 1,000 Swedish religious dissenters lived at Bishop Hill, a communal settlement north of Galesburg. Their experience attracted other Swedish immigrants to work on farms and railroads. Among them was the family of poet and author Carl Sandburg. His birthplace in Galesburg is a State Historic Site. The Illinois segment of the Great River Road extends about 550 miles along the Mississippi from the Wisconsin border to Cairo and passes many Indian mounds, a reminder of civilization before the coming of the white men.

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