History of Jefferson County, Illinois
The history of Jefferson County, after months of persistent toil and research, is now completed, and it is believed that no subject of universal public importance or interest has been omitted, save where protracted effort failed to secure reliable results. We are well aware of our inability to furnish a perfect history from meager public documents and numberless conflicting traditions, but claim to have prepared a work fully up to the standard of our promises. Through the courtesy and assistance generously afforded by the residents of the county, we have been enabled to trace out and put on record the greater portion of the important events that have transpired in Jefferson up to the present time. And we feel assured that all thoughtful people in the county, now and in future, will recognize and appreciate the importance of the work and its permanent value. A dry statement of events has, as far as possible, been avoided, and incidents and anecdotes have been interwoven with facts and statistics, forming a narrative at once instructive and entertaining.
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When the new year of 1750 broke in upon the Father of Waters and the Great Northwest, all was still wild save at the French posts already described. In 1749, when the English first began to think seriously about sending men into the West, the greater portion of the States of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were yet under the dominion of the red men. The English knew, however, pretty conclusively of the nature of the wealth of these wilds. As early as 1710, Governor Spotswood, of Virginia, had commenced movements to secure the country west of the Alleghanies to the English crown. In Pennsylvania, Governor Keith and James Logan, secretary of the province, from 1719 to 1731, represented to the powers of England the necessity of securing the Western lands.