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The Sangamo FrontierHistory and Archaeology in the Shadow of Lincoln$
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Robert Mazrim

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226514246

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226514239.001.0001

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Before the Americans

Before the Americans

(p.47) Chapter Three Before the Americans
The Sangamo Frontier
University of Chicago Press

The first European settlers of what would become Illinois were French. Most Illinoisans today do not fully realize that this region was once a French colony that was part of France: French language, French government, French customs, French recipes bubbling in French pots. About fifty years officially, closer to a century unofficially. The French frontier began with a handful of mission chapels and small forts for the fur trade, built alongside several Indian villages during the last decades of the seventeenth century. Towns and farm fields came next. By the 1740s, French Illinois was feeding New Orleans, and second-generation residents of European descent were living in houses that needed repair. During the 1750s a distant war was fought against the British, and in 1763, the end of the Seven Years' War marked the end of so many plans in Illinois.

Keywords:   French colony, French frontier, Illinois, mission chapels, fur trade, European settlers, Seven Years' War

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