Illinois Country

Upper LouisianaPays des IllinoisIllinoisIllinois DistrictAlta LouisianaareaColonial Frenchcolonial IllinoisFranceFrench Colonial
The Illinois Country (Pays des Illinois ;, i.e. the Illinois people) — sometimes referred to as Upper Louisiana (la Haute-Louisiane ; Alta Luisiana) — was a vast region of New France in what is now the Midwestern United States.wikipedia
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Midwestern United States

MidwestMidwesternAmerican Midwest
The Illinois Country (Pays des Illinois ;, i.e. the Illinois people) — sometimes referred to as Upper Louisiana (la Haute-Louisiane ; Alta Luisiana) — was a vast region of New France in what is now the Midwestern United States.
The upper-Mississippi watershed including the Missouri and Illinois Rivers was the setting for the earlier French settlements of the Illinois Country and the Ohio Country.

Illinois

ILState of IllinoisIll.
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.
Although today Illinois's largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled lands near the Mississippi River, when the region was known as Illinois Country and was part of New France.

Illinois River

IllinoisIllinois River ValleyIllinois Valley
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. Up until 1717, the Illinois Country was governed by the French province of Canada, but by order of King Louis XV, the Illinois Country was annexed to the French province of Louisiana, with the northeastern administrative border being somewhat vaguely on or near the upper Illinois River.
The French colonial settlements along the rivers formed the heart of the area known as the Illinois Country.

Louisiana (New France)

LouisianaFrench LouisianaLa Louisiane
Up until 1717, the Illinois Country was governed by the French province of Canada, but by order of King Louis XV, the Illinois Country was annexed to the French province of Louisiana, with the northeastern administrative border being somewhat vaguely on or near the upper Illinois River. French troops commanded by Pierre De Liette occupied Fort St. Louis from 1714 to 1718; De Liette's jurisdiction over the region ended when the territory was transferred from Canada to Louisiana.
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).

Kaskaskia, Illinois

KaskaskiaFort KaskaskiaKaskaskia Island
By the mid-18th century, the major settlements included Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Chartres, Saint Philippe, and Prairie du Rocher, all on the east side of the Mississippi in present-day Illinois; and Ste. Genevieve across the river in Missouri, as well as Fort Vincennes in what is now Indiana.
13). As a major French colonial town of the Illinois Country, in the 18th century its peak population was about 7,000, when it was a regional center.

New France

FrenchCanadaNouvelle-France
The Illinois Country (Pays des Illinois ;, i.e. the Illinois people) — sometimes referred to as Upper Louisiana (la Haute-Louisiane ; Alta Luisiana) — was a vast region of New France in what is now the Midwestern United States.
Other parts of Louisiana were settled and developed with success, such as New Orleans and southern Illinois, leaving a strong French influence in these areas long after the Louisiana Purchase.

Prairie du Rocher, Illinois

Prairie du RocherPrairie du Rocher (Illinois)
By the mid-18th century, the major settlements included Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Chartres, Saint Philippe, and Prairie du Rocher, all on the east side of the Mississippi in present-day Illinois; and Ste. Genevieve across the river in Missouri, as well as Fort Vincennes in what is now Indiana.
The fort and town were a center of government and commerce at the time when France claimed a vast territory in North America, New France or La Louisiane, which stretched from present-day Louisiana and the Illinois Country to Canada.

Missouri

MOState of MissouriMissouri, USA
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.
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.

Louisiana (New Spain)

Spanish LouisianaLouisianaSpanish
Although the lands west of the Mississippi were sold in 1803 to the United States by France—which had reclaimed possession of Luisiana from the Spanish in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso—French language and culture continued to exist in the area, with the Missouri French dialect still being spoken into the 20th century.
Spain also took possession of the trading post of St. Louis and all of Upper Louisiana in the late 1760s, though there was little Spanish presence in the wide expanses of the "Illinois Country".

Cahokia, Illinois

CahokiaCahokia, ILCahokia Village
By the mid-18th century, the major settlements included Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Chartres, Saint Philippe, and Prairie du Rocher, all on the east side of the Mississippi in present-day Illinois; and Ste. Genevieve across the river in Missouri, as well as Fort Vincennes in what is now Indiana. On April 20, 1769, an Illinois Confederation warrior assassinated Chief Pontiac while he was on a diplomatic mission in Cahokia.
During the next 100 years, Cahokia became one of the largest French colonial towns in the Illinois Country.

Louisiana Purchase

LouisianaLouisiana TerritorySale of Louisiana
Although the lands west of the Mississippi were sold in 1803 to the United States by France—which had reclaimed possession of Luisiana from the Spanish in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso—French language and culture continued to exist in the area, with the Missouri French dialect still being spoken into the 20th century.
A further ceremony was held in St. Louis, Upper Louisiana regarding the New Orleans formalities.

American Bottom

American BottomsAmerican
The boundaries of the Illinois Country were defined in a variety of ways, but the region now known as the American Bottom was nearly at the center of all descriptions.
This plain served as the center for the pre-Columbian Cahokia Mounds civilization, and later the French settlement of Illinois Country.

Vincennes, Indiana

VincennesPost VincennesVincennes, IN
Thus, Vincennes and Peoria were the limit of Louisiana'a reach; the outposts at Ouiatenon (on the upper Wabash near present-day Lafayette, Indiana), Chicago, Fort Miamis (near present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Prairie du Chien operated as dependencies of Canada.
It then became part of the Illinois Country of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia.

St. Louis

St. Louis, MissouriSt. Louis, MOSaint Louis, Missouri
Following the British occupation of the left bank (when heading downstream) of the Mississippi in 1764, some Canadien settlers remained in the area, while others crossed the river, forming new settlements such as St. Louis.
The earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country (also known as Upper Louisiana) on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and Fort de Chartres.

American Revolutionary War

Revolutionary WarAmerican War of IndependenceAmerican Revolution
Eventually, the eastern part of the Illinois Country became part of the British Province of Quebec, while the inhabitants chose to side with the Americans during the Revolutionary War.
Later in the year, a second campaign was undertaken to seize the Illinois Country from the British.

Louis Jolliet

Louis JolietJolietJolliet
Explored in 1673 from Green Bay to the Arkansas River by the Canadien expedition of Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, the area was claimed by France.
Marquette returned to what later became the Illinois Country in late 1674.

Deforestation

deforestedland clearingforest clearing
Because of the deforestation that resulted from the cutting of much wood for fuel during the 19th-century age of steamboats, the Mississippi River became more shallow and broad, with more severe flooding and lateral changes in its channel in the stretch from St. Louis to the confluence with the Ohio River.
Several French colonial towns of the Illinois Country, such as Kaskaskia, Cahokia and St. Philippe, Illinois, were flooded and abandoned in the late 19th century, with a loss to the cultural record of their archeology.

Pays d'en Haut

Enhaultpays d’en hautUpper Country
It was settled primarily from the Pays d'en Haut in the context of the fur trade.
In 1717, southern areas nearer the Mississippi River known as the Illinois Country were transferred from Canada to Louisiana, a colony of France south at the mouth of the river.

Shawnee

Shawnee IndiansShawneesShawnee people
Accompanying the French to the region were allied members of several native tribes from eastern areas, who integrated with the Kaskaskia: the Miami, Shawnee, and Mahican.
Accounts by French explorers in the same century usually located the Shawnee along the Ohio River, where the French encountered them on forays from eastern Canada and the Illinois Country.

Pontiac (Ottawa leader)

PontiacChief PontiacPontiac (person)
On April 20, 1769, an Illinois Confederation warrior assassinated Chief Pontiac while he was on a diplomatic mission in Cahokia.
In October, he lifted the siege and withdrew to the Illinois Country.

Canada (New France)

CanadaColony of CanadaNew France
Up until 1717, the Illinois Country was governed by the French province of Canada, but by order of King Louis XV, the Illinois Country was annexed to the French province of Louisiana, with the northeastern administrative border being somewhat vaguely on or near the upper Illinois River. French troops commanded by Pierre De Liette occupied Fort St. Louis from 1714 to 1718; De Liette's jurisdiction over the region ended when the territory was transferred from Canada to Louisiana.
Before 1717, when it ceded territory to the new colony of Louisiana, it stretched as far south as the Illinois Country.

PierCarlo Di Lietto

Pierre De LiettePierre-Charles de LietteDe Liette
French troops commanded by Pierre De Liette occupied Fort St. Louis from 1714 to 1718; De Liette's jurisdiction over the region ended when the territory was transferred from Canada to Louisiana.
He was also Commander of the Illinois Country.

Fort de Chartres

Fort ChartresChartresFort Cavendish
By the mid-18th century, the major settlements included Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Chartres, Saint Philippe, and Prairie du Rocher, all on the east side of the Mississippi in present-day Illinois; and Ste. Genevieve across the river in Missouri, as well as Fort Vincennes in what is now Indiana.
Due generally to river floods, the fort was rebuilt twice, the last time in limestone in the 1750s in the era of French colonial control over Louisiana and the Illinois Country.

French and Indian War

French & Indian WarFrench and IndianSeven Years' War
The new stone fort was headquarters for the French Illinois Country for less than 20 years, as it was turned over to the British in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris at the end of the French and Indian War.
Fewer lived in New Orleans; Biloxi, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and small settlements in the Illinois Country, hugging the east side of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Pays (France)

paysCountriesLe Pays Catalan
The French name, Pays des Illinois, means "Land of the Illinois [plural]" and is a reference to the Illinois Confederation, a group of related Algonquian native peoples.