Cairo, Illinois

Cairo is the southernmost city in the U. S. state of Illinois, is the county seat of Alexander County. Cairo is located at the confluence of the Mississippi rivers. Fort Defiance, a Civil War camp, was built at the confluence in 1862 by Union General Ulysses S. Grant to control strategic access to the river. Cairo has the lowest elevation of any location in Illinois and is the only Illinois city to be surrounded by levees, it is in the area of Southern Illinois known as Little Egypt. Several blocks in the town comprise the Cairo Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the Old Customs House is on the NRHP. The city is part of the Cape Girardeau -- MO -- IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. Being bypassed by transportation changes and industrial restructuring cost many jobs: the population at the 2010 census was 2,831; the city's peak population was 15,203 in 1920. The entire city was evacuated during the 2011 Mississippi River Floods, after the Ohio River rose higher than the 1937 flood levels, with the possibility of 15 feet of water inundating Cairo.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers breached levees in the Mississippi flood zone below Cairo in Missouri to prevent flooding in Cairo and other more populous areas further upstream along both the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The first municipal charter for Cairo and for the Bank of Cairo were issued in 1818, but without any settlement and without any depositors. A second and successful effort to establish a town was made by the Cairo City and Canal Company in 1836–37, with a large levee built to encircle the site. However, this effort collapsed with few settlers remaining. Charles Dickens visited Cairo in 1842, was unimpressed; the city would serve as his prototype for the nightmare City of Eden in his novel Martin Chuzzlewit. In 1846, 10,000 acres in Cairo were purchased by the trustees of the Cairo City Property Trust, a group of investors who planned to make it the terminus of the projected Illinois Central Railroad, which arrived there in 1855. Cairo had been growing as an important river port for steamboats, which traveled all the way south to New Orleans.

The city had been designated as a port of delivery by Act of Congress in 1854. A new city charter was written in 1857, Cairo flourished as trade with Chicago to the north spurred development. By 1860, the population exceeded 2,000. During the Civil War, Admiral Andrew Hull Foote made Cairo the naval station for the Mississippi River Squadron on 6 September 1861. Since Cairo had no land available for base facilities, the navy yard repair shop machinery was afloat aboard wharf-boats, old steamers, flat-boats, rafts. In January 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant occupied the city, had Fort Defiance constructed to protect the confluence. Cairo became an important Union supply training center for the remainder of the war. Military occupation caused much of the city's trade to be diverted by railroad to Chicago. Cairo failed to regain this important trade after the war, as more railroads converged on Chicago and it developed at a rapid pace, attracting stockyards, meat processing, heavy industries. Instead, agriculture and sawmills now dominated the Cairo economy.

The strategic importance of Cairo's geographic location during the Civil War sparked prosperity in the town. Several banks were founded during the war years, the growth in banking and steamboat traffic continued after the war. In 1869 construction began on the United States Custom House and Post Office, designed by Alfred B. Mullet, the Supervising Architect; the custom house was completed in 1872. It served as a custom house, post office, United States Court; the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois met at the building until 1905. From 1905 to 1942, the Custom House was used for the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois; the building housed the U. S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Illinois from 1905 to 1912. At the height of Cairo's prosperity, the post office in the building was the third busiest in the United States, it is one of only seven of Mullet's Victorian structures remaining in the nation, the building has been converted for use as a museum.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After the Civil War, the city became a hub for railroad shipping in the region, which added to its economy. By 1900 several railroad lines branched from Cairo. In addition to shipping and railroads, a major industry in Cairo was the operation of ferries. Into the late 19th century, nearly 250,000 railroad cars could be ferried across the river in as little as six months. Vehicles were ferried, as there were no automobile bridges in the area in the early 20th century; the ferry industry created numerous jobs in Cairo to handle large amounts of cargo and numerous passengers through the city. Wealthy merchants and shippers built numerous fine mansions in the 19th and early 20th century, including the Italianate Magnolia Manor, completed in 1872, the Second Empire Riverlore Mansion, built by Capt. William P. Halliday in 1865. Across the street from the customs house, the Cairo Public Library was constructed in 1883 of Queen Anne-style architecture, finished with stained glass windows and ornate woodwork.

The library was dedicated on July 19, 1884 as the A. B. Safford Memorial Library. Anna E. Safford donated it to the city; these and other significant buildings are listed on the National Register. For protection from seasonal flooding, Cairo is enclosed by a series of levees and flood walls, due to its low elevation between the rivers. Several buildings, including the old custom house, were designed to be built to a higher street level, to be at the


In Akkadian and Sumerian mythology, Alû is a vengeful spirit of the Utukku that goes down to the underworld Kur. The demon has lips or ears, it roams at night and terrifies people while they sleep, possession by Alû results in unconsciousness and coma. In Akkadian and Sumerian mythology, it is associated with other demons like Lilu. Stephen Herbert Langdon cites a translation of a cuneiform script by Major-General Sir H. C. Rawlinson. From v Pl. 50, A, line 42:. Langdon stated that Alû is androgynous and "attacks a man's breast"; the following passage quoted by Langdon shows the modus operandi of the Utukku: The wicked Utukku who slays man alive on the plain. The wicked Alû who covers like a garment; the wicked Etimmu, the wicked Gallû, who bind the body. The Lamme, the Lammea, who cause disease in the body; the Lilû who wanders in the plain. They have come nigh unto a suffering man on the outside, they have brought about a painful malady in his body. The curse of evil has come into his body. An evil goblin.

An evil bane has come into his body. Evil poison. An evil malediction has come into his parts. Evil and trouble they have placed in his body. Poison and taint have come into his body, they have produced evil. Evil being, evil face, evil mouth, evil tongue. Sorcery, slaver, wicked machinations, Which are produced in the body of the sick man. O woe for the sick man. -- Alû is Monster in My Pocket # 113 Alu-demon in Stephen Herbert. H. C. Rawlinson Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia. Vol. 4. Ed. Theophilus Pinches. London: British Museum, 1861–64, 1891

Eugène-Melchior Péligot

Eugène-Melchior Péligot known as Eugène Péligot, was a French chemist who isolated the first sample of uranium metal in 1841. Péligot proved, he succeeded in producing pure uranium metal by reducing uranium tetrachloride with potassium metal. Today better methods have been found. Péligot was a professor of analytical chemistry at the Institut National Agronomique, he collaborated with Jean-Baptiste Dumas, together they discovered the methyl radical during experiments on wood spirit. The terminology "methyl alcohol" was created by both chemists from "wood wine", they prepared the gaseous dimethyl ether, many esters. In 1838, they transformed camphor into p-cymene using phosphorus pentoxide. In 1844 he synthesized chromium acetate, much recognized to be the first chemical compound which contains a quadruple bond. List of chemists Photograph of Peligot