French explorers Marquette and Joliet spent time exploring the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in 1673. As a result of this exploration, Illinois land, discovered and charted by them, became part of what was the French empire, until it was ceded to the British in 1763, and then to the newly founded United States just twenty years later, when it became part of what was called the Northwest Territory.

Because the Illinois-Wabash Company was an early owner of a great deal of Illinois, The Illinois Territory was created in 1809, and later, in 1818 Illinois became the 21st U. S. state.

Chicago Skyline

Known as the “Land of Lincoln” because it is here that President Lincoln spent his formative years, it was also the hub of Native American activity in the area and has a rich and diverse history by virtue of its own place in the Black Hawk War.
The largest city Chicago gained prominence as a lake and canal port and a rail hub, by the mid 1800’s and thereafter it became the dominant city and center of culture and trade.

A rich history awaits you in Illinois, with parts in Civil war, Native America and Trade, yet Illinois features some other wonderful places to see and things to do such as the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Oak Park, home of world renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, home to preColumbian history, or the starting point of Lewis and Clarks history making explorations.

Rockome Gardens Statue

From the Bedford limestone cathedral, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in May 1996 to the lanes of Beaverville, where in the 19th Century French Canadian farmers established residency (many of the town’s residents are descendants), to the Rockome Gardens, to the halls of the Presidential Library and the streets of Chicago, to the worlds ONLY statue of Abe Lincoln and a pig. (The sculpture commemorates Lincoln’s bemused request for a “writ of quietus” to calm noisy pigs gathered under the courthouse floor,) Illinois has much more to offer than states twice its size.

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