George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark was an American surveyor and militia officer from Virginia who became the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the militia in Kentucky throughout much of the war, he is best known for his celebrated captures of Kaskaskia and Vincennes during the Illinois Campaign, which weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory. The British ceded the entire Northwest Territory to the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, Clark has been hailed as the "Conqueror of the Old Northwest". Clark's major military achievements occurred before his thirtieth birthday. Afterwards, he led militia in the opening engagements of the Northwest Indian War but was accused of being drunk on duty, he was disgraced and forced to resign, despite his demand for a formal investigation into the accusations. He left Kentucky to live on the Indiana frontier but was never reimbursed by Virginia for his wartime expenditures.
He spent the final decades of his life evading creditors and living in increasing poverty and obscurity. He was involved in two failed attempts to open the Spanish-controlled Mississippi River to American traffic, he became an invalid after suffering the amputation of his right leg. He was aided in his final years by family members, including his younger brother William, one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, he died of a stroke on February 13, 1818. George Rogers Clark was born on November 19, 1752 in Albemarle County, near Charlottesville, the hometown of Thomas Jefferson, he was the second of 10 children of John and Ann Rogers Clark, who were Anglicans of English and Scottish ancestry. Five of their six sons became officers during the American Revolutionary War, their youngest son William was too young to fight in the war, but he became famous as a leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The family moved from the Virginia frontier to Caroline County, Virginia around 1756, after the outbreak of the French and Indian War, lived on a 400-acre plantation that grew to include more than 2,000 acres.
Clark had little formal education. He lived with his grandfather so that he could receive a common education at Donald Robertson's school with James Madison and John Taylor of Caroline, he was tutored at home, as was usual for Virginian planters' children of the period. His grandfather trained him to be a surveyor. In 1771 at age 19, Clark left his home on his first surveying trip into western Virginia. In 1772, he made his first trip into Kentucky via the Ohio River at Pittsburgh and spent the next two years surveying the Kanawha River region, as well as learning about the area's natural history and customs of the Indians who lived there. In the meantime, thousands of settlers were entering the area as a result of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix of 1768. Clark's military career began in 1774, he was preparing to lead an expedition of 90 men down the Ohio River when hostilities broke out between the Shawnee and settlers on the Kanawha frontier that culminated in Lord Dunmore's War. Most of Kentucky was not inhabited by Indians.
Tribes were angry in the Ohio country who had not been party to the treaty signed with the Cherokee, because the Kentucky hunting grounds had been ceded to Great Britain without their approval. As a result, they were unsuccessful. Clark spent a few months surveying in Kentucky, as well as assisting in organizing Kentucky as a county for Virginia prior to the American Revolutionary War; as the American Revolutionary War began in the East, Kentucky's settlers became involved in a dispute about the region's sovereignty. Richard Henderson, a judge and land speculator from North Carolina, had purchased much of Kentucky from the Cherokee in an illegal treaty. Henderson intended to create a proprietary colony known as Transylvania, but many Kentucky settlers did not recognize Transylvania's authority over them. In June 1776, these settlers selected Clark and John Gabriel Jones to deliver a petition to the Virginia General Assembly, asking Virginia to formally extend its boundaries to include Kentucky.
Clark and Jones traveled the Wilderness Road to Williamsburg where they convinced Governor Patrick Henry to create Kentucky County, Virginia. Clark was given 500 lb of gunpowder to help defend the settlements and was appointed a major in the Kentucky County militia, he was just 24 years old, but older settlers looked to him as a leader, such as Daniel Boone, Benjamin Logan, Leonard Helm. In 1777, the Revolutionary War intensified in Kentucky. British lieutenant governor Henry Hamilton armed his Indian allies from his headquarters at Fort Detroit, encouraging them to wage war on the Kentucky settlers in hopes of reclaiming the region as their hunting ground; the Continental Army could spare no men for an invasion in the northwest or for the defense of Kentucky, left to the local population. Clark spent several months defending settlements against the Indian raiders as a leader in the Kentucky County militia, while developing his plan for a long-distance strike against the British, his strategy involved seizing British outposts north of the Ohio River to destroy British influence among their Indian allies.
In December 1777, Clark presented his plan to Virginia's Governor Patrick Henry, he asked for permission to lead a secret expedition to capture the British-held villages at Kaskaskia and Vincennes in the Illinois country. Governor Henry commissioned him as a lieutenant colonel in the
Governor of Illinois
The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois, the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state; the governor is responsible for enacting laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois is one of 14 states; the governor is commander-in-chief of the state's land and sea forces, when they are in state service. The current governor is Democrat J. B. Pritzker, who took office on January 14, 2019; the term of office of Governor of Illinois is four years, there is no limit on the number of terms a governor may serve. Inauguration takes place on the second Monday in January following a gubernatorial election. A single term ends four years later. A governor is required to be: at least twenty-five years old a United States citizen a resident of Illinois for three years prior to election If the incumbent governor is no longer able or permitted to fulfill the duties of the office of governor, the line of succession is as follows: The governor is allowed the occupancy of the Illinois Governor's Mansion in Springfield, the state capital.
Its first occupant was Governor Joel Aldrich Matteson, who took residence at the mansion in 1855. It is one of three oldest governor's residences in continuous use in the United States; the governor is given the use of an official residence on the state fair grounds located in Springfield. Governors have traditionally used this residence part of the year. However, some governors, such as Rod Blagojevich, have chosen to not use the governor's homes as their primary residence, instead commuting either by car or plane to Springfield from their home cities. Many Chicago-based governors have done much of their business out of the governor's office in Chicago's James R. Thompson Center, an office building owned by the state named for former governor James R. Thompson Illinois' longest-serving governor. Six Illinois governors have been charged with crimes after their governorships. Len Small, governor from 1921 to 1929, was indicted in office for corruption, he was acquitted. Among his defense lawyers was a former governor, Joseph W. Fifer, who asserted in pre-trial hearings, that the governorship has the divine right of kings.
William G. Stratton, governor from 1953 to 1961, was acquitted of tax evasion in 1965. Otto Kerner, Jr. governor from 1961 to 1968. He was prosecuted by future Illinois governor Jim Thompson. Daniel Walker, governor from 1973 to 1977, was involved in the savings and loan scandals and convicted of federal crimes related to fraudulent loans to himself from his own First American Savings & Loan Association of Oak Brook, he was sentenced to seven years in prison with five years of probation following his release. George Ryan, governor from 1999 to 2003, was convicted in 2006 of corruption related to his time as Illinois Secretary of State in the 1990s, when commercial driver's licenses were issued to unqualified truckers in exchange for bribes, one of the truckers was involved in a crash that killed six children. Former governor Jim Thompson, whom Ryan had served under as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 1980s, was manager of the law firm that defended Ryan. Ryan was released in 2013. Rod Blagojevich, governor from 2003 to 2009, Ryan's successor, was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois General Assembly in a unanimous vote in January 2009 after being tied to multiple "pay to play" schemes, including attempting to sell the former Senate seat of then-President-elect Barack Obama.
In August 2010, he was convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the investigation, but the jury deadlocked on 23 other charges. Blagojevich was retried on 20 counts from his 2010 trial and on June 27, 2011, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of fraud, acquitted on one count and the jury was hung on two. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison. List of Governors of Illinois 1.α Current governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner, independently wealthy, has stated that he would only accept $1 in salary. In 2015, the Council of State Governments reported that Rauner had returned all but $1 of his salary to the State of Illinois. However, the pay rate for the title of governor in Illinois remains at $177,412. Illinois Office of the Governor Illinois Executive Mansion Burial places of Illinois Governors Article V in the Illinois Constitution list of government help in Illinois
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
Louisiana (New France)
Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control 1682 to 1762 and 1801 to 1803, the area was named in honor of King Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, it covered an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rocky Mountains. Louisiana included two regions, now known as Upper Louisiana, which began north of the Arkansas River, Lower Louisiana; the U. S. state of Louisiana is named for the historical region, although it is only a small part of the vast lands claimed by France. French exploration of the area began during the reign of Louis XIV, but French Louisiana was not developed, due to a lack of human and financial resources; as a result of its defeat in the Seven Years' War, France was forced to cede the east part of the territory in 1763 to the victorious British, the west part to Spain as compensation for Spain losing Florida.
France regained sovereignty of the western territory in the secret Third Treaty of San Ildefonso of 1800. But strained by obligations in Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte sold the territory to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, ending France's presence in Louisiana; the United States ceded part of the Louisiana Purchase to the United Kingdom in the Treaty of 1818. This section lies above the 49th parallel north in a part of present-day Saskatchewan. In the 18th century, Louisiana included most of the Mississippi River basin from what is now the Midwestern United States south to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Within this vast territory, only two areas saw substantial French settlement: Upper Louisiana known as the Illinois Country, which consisted of settlements in what are now the states of Missouri and Indiana. Both areas were dominated numerically by Native American tribes. At times, fewer than two hundred soldiers were assigned to all of the colony, on both sides of the Mississippi.
In the mid-1720s, Louisiana Indians numbered well over 35,000, forming a clear majority of the colony's population."Generally speaking, the French colony of Louisiana bordered the Great Lakes Lake Michigan and Lake Erie towards the north. To the east was territory disputed with the British colonies on the Atlantic seaboard; the Rocky Mountains marked the western extent of the French claim, while Louisiana's southern border was the Gulf of Mexico. The general flatness of the land aided movement through the territory; the topography becomes more mountainous towards the west, with the notable exception of the Ozark Mountains, which are located in the mid-south. Lower Louisiana consisted of lands in the Lower Mississippi River watershed, including settlements in what are now the U. S. states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama. The French first explored it in the 1660s, a few trading posts were established in the following years. A colonial government soon emerged, with its capital at Mobile at Biloxi and at New Orleans.
The government was led by a governor-general, Louisiana became an important colony in the early 18th century. The earliest settlers of Upper Louisiana came from French Canada, but Lower Louisiana was colonized by people from all over the French colonial empire, with various waves coming from Canada and the French West Indies. Upper Louisiana known as the Illinois Country, was the French territory in the upper Mississippi River Valley, including settlements and fortifications in what are now the states of Missouri and Indiana. French exploration of the area began with the 1673 expedition of Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette, which charted the upper Mississippi; as noted above, Upper Louisiana was settled by colonists from French Canada. There was further substantial integration with the local Illinois peoples. French settlers were attracted by the availability of arable farmland as well as by the forests, abundant with animals suitable for hunting and trapping. Between 1699 and 1760, six major settlements were established in Upper Louisiana: Cahokia, Fort de Chartres, Saint Philippe, Prairie du Rocher, all on the east side of the Mississippi River in present-day Illinois.
Genevieve across the river in today's Missouri. The region was governed as part of Canada, but was declared to be part of Louisiana in 1712, with the grant of the Louisiana country to Antoine Crozat. By the 1720s a formal government infrastructure had formed; the geographical limits of Upper Louisiana were never defined, but the term came to describe the country southwest of the Great Lakes. A royal ordinance of 1722 may have featured the broadest definition: all land claimed by France south of the Great Lakes and north of the mouth of the Ohio River, which would include the Missouri Valley as well as both banks of the Mississipp
The Territory of Michigan was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 30, 1805, until January 26, 1837, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Michigan. Detroit was the territorial capital; the earliest European explorers of Michigan saw it as a place to control the fur trade. Small military forces, Jesuit missions to Native American tribes, isolated settlements of trappers and traders accounted for most of the inhabitants of what would become Michigan. After the arrival of Europeans, the area that became the Michigan Territory was first under French and British control; the first Jesuit mission, in 1668 at Sault Saint Marie, led to the establishment of further outposts at St. Ignace and Detroit, first occupied in 1701 by the garrison of the former Fort de Buade under the leadership of Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac. Soon after their arrival, his troops erected Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit and a church dedicated to Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary.
As part of New France, the upper Great Lakes had first been governed from Michilimackinac Detroit. Its role was to supply the needs of the fur traders and discourage any settlements not directly supportive of that effort. After the surrender of Montreal in 1760, British troops under Robert Rogers occupied Detroit and its dependent posts. In 1763, Pontiac's Rebellion saw the fall of Fort Michilimackinac to the northern tribes, a lengthy siege of Fort Detroit; the siege was lifted in 1764, rule under a British lieutenant-governor at Detroit followed soon thereafter. Due to the Quebec Act of 1774, Michigan was governed during the Revolution as part of the Province of Quebec. Although the 1783 Treaty of Paris gave the fledgling United States a claim to what is now Michigan, British policy was to hold on to Detroit and its dependencies at all costs. In 1784, Baron von Steuben would be sent to Canada by the Congress of the Confederation in a diplomatic capacity to address the question of Detroit and the Great Lakes, but Frederick Haldimand, the Governor of Quebec, refused to provide a passport, negotiations collapsed before they had begun.
Starting in 1784, the British administered their Michigan holdings as part of the District of Hesse along with what is now Western Ontario. In addition to the British remaining in the region, several states held competing claims on the future state of Michigan. In 1779, Virginia established Illinois County with boundaries that encompassed all of the land east of the Mississippi River, north of the Ohio River and west of the Appalachian Mountains. For all practical purposes, the county government never exercised actual control beyond an area limited to a few old French settlements along the major rivers; the overwhelming majority of the northwestern lands were controlled by the native tribes. New York and Massachusetts claimed portions of what was to become Michigan, but were less able to enforce their pretensions, given Britain's control of the Great Lakes and the hostility of the tribes. Virginia surrendered its claim to lands north and west of the Ohio River effective March 1, 1784. Coincidentally, this was the same day that the findings of a Congressional committee on the western lands, chaired by Thomas Jefferson since the previous October, were reported.
Jefferson's recommendations became the basis for the Land Ordinance of 1784, which established that new states equal in all respects to the founding thirteen would be erected in the territory, that they would forever be a part of the United States, that their governments would be republican in form. The Land Ordinance of 1785 would go further by establishing a procedure for land sales in the new territory. However, the Ohio River remained an effective boundary between the United States and the Northwest tribes for a few more years; the other states with claims in the Northwest followed Virginia's example, in 1787, the Continental Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance, which created the Northwest Territory. The first settlement under the Northwest Ordinance was at Marietta in 1788; the region that became Michigan was unorganized territory and remained under British control. Knox County was established on June 20, 1790 with boundaries that included the western half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the middle third of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
In 1792, the boundaries of Hamilton County were expanded to include the eastern portions of Michigan not included in Knox County. American claims to Michigan were frustrated by Britain's refusal to evacuate the forts at Detroit and elsewhere. Britain's tacit support for the Northwest tribes during the Northwest Indian War was dependent on Detroit remaining out of American hands, but the position of the British and their allies in the Northwest deteriorated after the signing of Jay's Treaty and the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, after negotiations, the British evacuated Detroit on July 11, 1796. The United States had established a presence in Michigan. Fort Mackinac was turned over soon after but Drummond Island remained as part of Canada until 1828. By proclamation of acting governor and territorial secretary Winthrop Sargent, the "first" Wayne Co
Military Tract of 1812
On May 6, 1812, an act of Congress was passed 2 Stat. 729 which set aside bounty lands as payment to volunteer soldiers for the War against the British. The land was set aside in western territories that became part of the present states of Arkansas and Illinois. However, lands in Missouri were substituted for those in Michigan, due to a report by the surveyor-general of the United States, Edward Tiffin, which quite misleadingly described the land in Michigan, set aside for this purpose as undesirable. Other acts of Congress, until 1855, continued to address the needs of soldiers wishing to redeem their bounty land warrants and efforts continued to try to provide suitable land area for these soldiers; the term bounty land is somewhat self-explanatory. Tracts of land were given outright by the states, by the federal government as partial compensation for service in times of military conflict; such bounty was occasionally used by the government to incite men to serve in war or conflicts. Bounty land warrants were issued from the colonial period until 1858, when the program was discontinued, five years in 1863, the rights to locate and take possession of bounty lands ceased.
Military land bounties were offered by the United States Government in the early national period to attract men into the Army or to reward soldiers for their services. Warrants were issued to the men for these bounties; the great bulk of early bounty land at the time of the Revolution was in Virginia, as it existed in colonial times. Since Virginia provided the great bulk of fighting men in the Revolution, the first bounty lands were to be located between the Mississippi and Green Rivers in what is now Kentucky. However, this area did not provide enough land, the Virginia Military Tract was established, in what is now the state of Ohio. Continental Army soldiers from Virginia were the only group allowed to settle in the Ohio area, while state soldiers were to use the lands in Kentucky; the United States Military District was a 2,500,000-acre tract in eastern Ohio established by the Federal Government in 1796 for bounties to soldiers from other states. One of the three districts created to meet the warrants given in the War of 1812, "The Tract" was within a triangle of the Illinois Territory between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
This area was included with Illinois' territory upon the achievement of statehood in 1818. The Southern Boundary is the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, near Grafton 25 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis, MO and about 20 miles upstream from the confluence of the Missouri River and the Mississippi at Hartford; the Northern Boundary, is a line 90 miles north of the Base Line, established with the Fourth Principal Meridian in 1815. This northern boundary line begins 6 miles south of downtown Muscatine, IA at the Mississippi River and extends for 90 miles East to the Illinois River near Hennepin in Putnam County; the Tract’s northern boundary line forms the southern border line of Rock Island County. The Illinois tract, surveyed in 1815-1816, contained more than 5,000,000 acres, of which 3,500,000 acres were deemed fit for cultivation and set aside for military bounties. Comprising 207 entire townships, each six miles square, 61 fractional townships, the tract included present Illinois counties of Adams, Calhoun, Hancock, Knox, McDonough, Peoria, Schuyler and Warren Counties.
It includes part of Henry and Bureau Counties, those parts of Marshall and Putnam which are on the west side of the Illinois River. Soldiers of the War of 1812, who received 160 acres each, were required to locate their warrants by lottery. Most soldiers or their heirs decided, against moving great distances to take up their claims. Instead, they sold their warrants to speculators. One company alone acquired 900,000 acres; such large-scale land holdings aroused frontier hostility against absentee speculators. Squatters settled upon the lands, ignoring rights. Many speculators were unable to realize a quick profit and, faced with ever-increasing taxation, lost their titles or sold their lands at a loss of money; the tract was opened to settlement. Warrants for land were issued by the government. Many of these land grants can be found by searching Illinois Public Land Sales. For an explanation of the way the land in these grants are surveyed, see Public Land Survey System; the General Land Office issued over 17,000 patents in the Illinois Military Tract between October 1817 and January 1819.
No one has determined the number of War of 1812 veterans who moved to their free land in the Illinois, Arkansas or Missouri military tracts. Over 60% of these patents were issued in the Illinois Military Tract. After the organization of the Illinois state government in 1818, the state began to sell these lands for taxes, for a considerable period the principal revenue of the state was derived from this source; the greater portion of these lands thus went into possession of parties who held them under these tax titles. The grantees of the soldiers, who were the original patentees, brought suit for ejectment and much of the court business of pioneer days was given over to tax titles. Final adjustment of the claims was made only after years of litigation, a supreme court decision and much legislation; the white population of Illinois exploded after the War of 1812, exceeding 50,000 in 1820 and 150,000 in 1830. In 1828, the U. S. government liaison, Thomas Forsyth, informed the native Indi
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an