Pais (sic) des Ilinois (1717)
Mississippian copper plate found at the Saddle Site in Union County, Illinois
1681 map of the New World: New France and the Great Lakes in the north, with a dark line as the Mississippi River to the west and the mouth of the river (and future New Orleans) then terra incognita. The area to the southwest of the Great Lakes is labeled, Pays des Illinois.
Illinois in 1718, approximate modern state area highlighted, from Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississipi by Guillaume de L'Isle
Pais (sic) des Ilinois (1717)
The bell donated by King Louis XV in 1741 to the mission at Kaskaskia. It was later called the "Liberty Bell of the West", after it was rung to celebrate U.S. victory in the Revolution
Map of western New France, including the Illinois Country, by Vincenzo Coronelli, 1688
In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state. The southern portion of Illinois Territory was admitted as the state of Illinois, and the rest was joined to Michigan Territory.
French Map of North America 1700 (Covens and Mortier ed. 1708) -- "PAYS DES ILINOIS", near center
[[Old State Capitol State Historic Site|
Old State Capitol]]: Abraham Lincoln and other area legislators were instrumental in moving the state capitol to centrally located Springfield in 1839.
Reconstructed curtain and gatehouse of Fort de Chartres
Embarkation of Union troops from Cairo on January 10, 1862
Thomas Hutchins map of settlements in the Illinois Country in 1778
Charles Mound, the highest natural point in Illinois at 1,235 feet above sea level, is located in the Driftless Area in the northwestern part of the state.
Fort Pimiteoui (Old Peoria) circa 1702
At 279 feet above sea level, the lowest elevation point in the state is located near Cairo and the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
French Church of the Holy Family in Cahokia
Köppen climate types of Illinois
Map of British America's Province of Quebec and the trans-Mississippi River, Illinois Country (center-left) under the Quebec Act of 1774.
Density map displaying the population of Illinois
The Baháʼí House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at the heart of Chicago's financial center
Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Ogle County
Average annual wind power distribution for Illinois, 50 m height above ground (2009)
Soldier Field, Chicago
The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield
Illinois House of Representatives
Governor J. B. Pritzker (D)
University of Illinois
University of Chicago
University of Illinois Willard Airport
Inside O'Hare International Airport
Vandalia State House State Historic Site in Vandalia
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
Magnolia Manor is a Victorian period historic house museum in Cairo.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield
The Polish Museum of America in Chicago
A Railway Post Office preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union
Standard license plate introduced in 2017
Standard license plate 2001 to 2016
Illinois license plate design used throughout the 1980s and 1990s, displaying the Land of Lincoln slogan that has been featured on the state's plates since 1954

While these names generally referred to the entire Upper Mississippi River watershed, French colonial settlement was concentrated along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in what is now the U.S. states of Illinois and Missouri, with outposts in Indiana.

- Illinois Country

The French were the first Europeans to arrive, settling near the Mississippi River in the 17th century, in the region they called Illinois Country, part of the sprawling colony of New France.

- Illinois

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Missouri

State in the Midwestern region of the United States.

State in the Midwestern region of the United States.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Fur Traders Descending the Missouri by Missouri painter George Caleb Bingham
The states and territories of the United States as a result of Missouri's admission as a state on August 10, 1821. The remainder of the former Missouri Territory became unorganized territory.
Price's Raid in the Trans-Mississippi Theater, 1864
Union Station in St. Louis was the world's largest and busiest train station when it opened in 1894.
Child shoe workers in Kirksville, Missouri, 1910
General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, was raised in Laclede, Missouri.
African American boy in a sharecropper shack, New Madrid County, 1938.
A physiographic map of Missouri
The Bell Mountain Wilderness of southern Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest
Köppen climate types of Missouri
The Lake of the Ozarks is one of several man-made lakes in Missouri, created by the damming of several rivers and tributaries. The lake has a surface area of 54,000 acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline and has become a popular tourist destination.
Missouri River near Rocheport, Missouri
Missouri population density map
The population center for the United States has been in Missouri since 1980. As of 2020, it is near Interstate 44 in Missouri as it approaches Springfield.
Missouri State quarter featuring the Lewis and Clark expedition
Meramec Caverns
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City services the western portion of Missouri, as well as all of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico.
Amtrak station in Kirkwood
Kansas City Streetcar near Union Station
The Mississippi River at Hannibal
The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City
The Governor's Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election
Jesse Hall on the University of Missouri campus
Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis
The historic Gem Theatre, located in Kansas City's renowned 18th and Vine Jazz District
Mark Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal
Missouri has four major sports teams: the Royals and Cardinals of MLB, the Chiefs of the NFL, and the Blues of the NHL.
A mural honoring the Kansas City Chiefs on the wall of the Westport Alehouse in Kansas City, MO.
The St. Louis Cardinals playing at Busch Stadium

Ranking 21st in land area, it is bordered by eight states (tied for the most with Tennessee): Iowa to the north, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee to the east, Arkansas to the south and Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska to the west.

Speakers of the dialect, who call themselves Créoles, are descendants of the French pioneers who settled the area then known as the Illinois Country beginning in the late 17th century.

Midwestern United States

One of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau .

One of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau .

Divisions of the Midwest by the U.S. Census Bureau into East North Central and West North Central, separated largely by the Mississippi River.
Scotts Bluff National Monument in western Nebraska
The Driftless Area as viewed from Wildcat Mountain State Park in Vernon County, Wisconsin
Flint Hills grasslands of Kansas
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Prairie in Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa
Monks Mound, located at the Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois, is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in America north of Mesoamerica and a World Heritage Site
Winnebago family (1852)
Young Oglala Lakota girl in front of tipi with puppy beside her, probably on or near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota
Cumulus clouds hover above a yellowish prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, native lands to the Sioux.
c. 1681 map of Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 expedition
Beaver hunting grounds, the basis of the fur trade
The state cessions that eventually allowed for the creation of the territories north and southwest of the River Ohio
Northwest Territory 1787
Louisiana Purchase 1803
Ohio River near Rome, Ohio
Lake Michigan is shared by four Midwestern states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
The Upper Mississippi River near Harpers Ferry, Iowa
An animation depicting when United States territories and states forbade or allowed slavery, 1789–1861
1855 Free-State poster
A map of various Underground Railroad routes
Minneapolis, Minnesota is on the Mississippi River
Omaha, Nebraska, is on the Missouri River
Cincinnati, Ohio is on the Ohio River
Distribution of Americans claiming German Ancestry by county in 2018
German population density in the United States, 1870 census
A pastoral farm scene near Traverse City, Michigan, with a classic American red barn
Central Iowa cornfield in June
Standing wheat in Kansas, part of America's Breadbasket
Soybean fields at Applethorpe Farm, north of Hallsville in Ross County, Ohio
The Chicago Board of Trade Building a National Historic Landmark
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland
Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is located on Lake Michigan.
The first local meeting of the new Republican Party took place here in Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20, 1854.
Midwestern Governors by party
Midwestern U.S. Senators by party for the 117th Congress
Midwestern U.S. Representatives by party for the 117th Congress

The Census Bureau's definition consists of 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

During the colonial period, the upper-Mississippi watershed including the Missouri and Illinois River valleys was the setting for the 17th and 18th century French settlements of the Illinois Country.

Louisiana (New France)

Administrative district of New France.

Administrative district of New France.

New France before the Treaty of Utrecht
The Mississippi River basin and tributaries
New France before the Treaty of Utrecht
Lower Louisiana in the white area – the pink represents Canada – part of Canada below the great lakes was ceded to Louisiana in 1717. Brown represents British colonies (map before 1736)
A new map of the north parts of America claimed by France under the names of Louisiana in 1720 by Herman Moll
A map of Louisiana by Christoph Weigel, published in 1734
Jacques Marquette
Map of New France (blue color) in 1750, before the French and Indian War (1754 to 1763), that was part of the Seven Years' War
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Map of North America during the 17th century
Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans
The Code Noir, which was applied in Louisiana during the 18th century and, later, with some modifications, in the West Indies
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, governor of Louisiana in the early 17th century
French unmarried women transported to Louisiana as brides for the colonists
A coureur des bois
Eugène Delacroix, Les Natchez, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1832–1835. The Natchez tribe were the fiercest opponents of the French in Louisiana.
Profile of an American trapper (Missouri)
frameless
The Louisiana Purchase territory
Map of current U.S. states that were completely or mostly inside the borders of post-1764 colonial Louisiana at the time of Louisiana Purchase

Louisiana included two regions, now known as Upper Louisiana (la Haute-Louisiane), which began north of the Arkansas River, and Lower Louisiana (la Basse-Louisiane).

Within this vast territory, only two areas saw substantial French settlement: Upper Louisiana (Haute-Louisiane), also known as the Illinois Country (Pays des Illinois), which consisted of settlements in what are now the states of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana; and Lower Louisiana, which comprised parts of the modern states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Old Kaskaskia Village site, seen from the west. Now an archeology site, the village thrived in the late 1600s. In the background left of center is the 1849 Sulphur Springs Hotel. The Illinois River is about 1000 ft south (right) of the road at left.

Grand Village of the Illinois

Site significant for being the best documented historic Native American village in the Illinois River valley.

Site significant for being the best documented historic Native American village in the Illinois River valley.

Old Kaskaskia Village site, seen from the west. Now an archeology site, the village thrived in the late 1600s. In the background left of center is the 1849 Sulphur Springs Hotel. The Illinois River is about 1000 ft south (right) of the road at left.
Map of the Zimmerman site
Floor plan of House C-3
Floor plan of Houses C-8 and C-13
Profile of Feature 33, "macopin" roasting pit
Langford Trailed vessel
Designs on Langford Trailed decorated pottery sherds
Designs on Langford Trailed decorated pottery sherds
Heally Trailed vessel
Swanson Series pottery sherds
Danner Cordmarked vessel
Danner Grooved Paddle vessel
Keating Cordmarked vessels

It grew rapidly after a French mission and fur trading post (see, Illinois Country) were established there in 1675, to a population of about 6,000 people in about 460 houses.

The historic site is now owned by the U.S. state of Illinois.

Illinois River

Principal tributary of the Mississippi River and is approximately 273 mi long.

Principal tributary of the Mississippi River and is approximately 273 mi long.

Peoria, Illinois is the largest city on the river
The Illinois River as mapped in 1718, modern Illinois state highlighted.
River tow leaving the Starved Rock Lock headed down river.
The Illinois River, as seen from Starved Rock State Park. The dam (upper-left center) is part of the infrastructure of the Illinois Waterway
Aerial view looking west along the Illinois River, with Marseilles (bottom) and Ottawa (center frame).
Late October 2009 (before the flood)
Early November 2009 (during the flood)

Located in the U.S. state of Illinois, the river drains a large section of central Illinois, with a drainage basin of 28756.6 sqmi.

The French colonial settlements along these rivers formed the heart of the area known as the Illinois Country in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

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Nearby communities
Pierre Gibault
Henry Dodge
Nathaniel Pope (1784–1850),
John James Audubon
Lewis Fields Linn
Firmin René Desloge,
Lewis Vital Bogy
William Pope McArthur
Felix Rozier
Flag of New France
Flag of New Spain
15 star-15 stripe US flag
Flag of Missouri
Louis Bolduc House Museum, c. 1785
Felix Vallé State Historic Site, c. 1818
John Price "Old Brick" Building, c. 1804
Joseph Bogy House, c. 1870
Dr. Fenwick House, c. 1805
Southern Hotel, c. 1820
Jesse Robbins house, c. 1867
A German style building
A Victorian house
A small shop
The Lasource-Durand Cabin
An interesting house
A house near Gabouri Creek
An old house
A 19th-century house
Memorial Cemetery, established 1787 and Missouri's oldest
The tug Holly J
Indian trading post
Cabin c. 1936
Circa 1937
Sleeping quarters
French style barn
City's first post office

This area was known as New France, Illinois Country, or the Upper Louisiana territory.

Genevieve is located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near the Illinois state line along Interstate 55, U.S. Route 61, and Missouri Route 32, approximately 46 mi south-southeast of St. Louis and 196 mi north-northwest of Memphis, Tennessee.

Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall by Frances Anne Hopkins

French Canadians

Ethnic group who trace their ancestry to French colonists who settled in Canada beginning in the 17th century.

Ethnic group who trace their ancestry to French colonists who settled in Canada beginning in the 17th century.

Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall by Frances Anne Hopkins
Habitants by Cornelius Krieghoff (1852)
Languages in Quebec
Université de Saint-Boniface in Manitoba
Major ethnicities in Canada
Distribution of French Americans in the United States
Distribution of the proportion of French Canadian across Canada.
Distribution of French in the United States
The fleur-de-lis, symbol of French Canada
Quebec stop sign
Québécois
Acadians
Franco-Albertans
Fransaskois
Franco-Columbians
Franco-Manitobans
Franco-Ontarians
Franco-Yukonnais
Franco-Nunavois
Franco-Ténois
Franco-Terreneuviens

During the mid-18th century, French explorers and Canadiens born in French Canada colonized other parts of North America in what are today the states of Louisiana (called Louisianais), Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Vincennes, Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, the Windsor-Detroit region and the Canadian prairies (primarily Southern Manitoba).

Missouri French (and other people of French ancestry in the former Illinois Country)

Northwest Territory

Formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the American Revolutionary War.

Formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the American Revolutionary War.

The state cessions that eventually allowed for the creation of the territories north and southwest of the River Ohio
Check signed by Arthur St. Clair while governor of the Northwest Territory (1796)
Map showing the general distribution of Native American tribes in the Northwest Territory in the early 1790s.
Rufus Putnam. This portrait by James Sharples, Jr. is in the collection of Independence National Historical Park, and hangs in the Second Bank of the United States building in Philadelphia.
Campus Martius ("Field of Mars" in Latin) was named after the part of Rome of the same name. This site, including the Rufus Putnam House, is now part of the Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio.
Map of the states and territories of the United States as it was on August 7, 1789, when the Northwest Territory was first organized, to April 2, 1790, when the future Southwest Territory was ceded by North Carolina
Abraham Bradley's 1796 map of the United States includes many forts and settlements within the Northwest Territory.
Seal of the Northwest Territory over a time capsule outside the Campus Martius Museum. The Latin phrase, "He has planted one better than the one fallen," signifies the replacement of wilderness by civilization.
Territorial county of Wayne
Ohio counties in 1802

It spanned all or large parts of six eventual U.S. states (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the northeastern part of Minnesota).

It incorporated most of the former Ohio Country except a portion in western Pennsylvania, and eastern Illinois Country.

Engraving from drawing by General Georges-Henri-Victor Collot (1796)

Illinois Confederation

The Illinois Confederation, also referred to as the Illiniwek or Illini, were made up of 12 to 13 tribes who lived in the Mississippi River Valley.

The Illinois Confederation, also referred to as the Illiniwek or Illini, were made up of 12 to 13 tribes who lived in the Mississippi River Valley.

Engraving from drawing by General Georges-Henri-Victor Collot (1796)
Painted hide with geometric motifs, attributed to the Illinois Confederacy by the French, pre-1800. Collections of the Musée du quai Branly.
Painted Skin representing the Thunderbird. Pre-1800, location not given, but the style strongly suggests this hide was painted at the same time, and perhaps by the same artist, as the lede art.

Eventually member tribes occupied an area reaching from Lake Michicigao (Michigan) to Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.

The French named the area Pays de Illinois, or "Illinois country", which came to be a common name in referring to the homeland of the Illinois.

Illinois Territory

Between 1818 and 1833, after Illinois became a state, the unincorporated land from the territory, plus a handful of other townships, was made part of the Michigan Territory.

The Territory of Illinois was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 1, 1809, until December 3, 1818, when the southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Illinois.

The area was earlier known as "Illinois Country" while under French control, first as part of French Canada and then in its southern region as part of French Louisiana.