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The Journal of American History

Exercise 2: Newcomers

In the Classroom

Use "The Power of the Ecotone" to summarize the proto-Illinois migrations beginning in the 1500s. Examine the maps and read the eyewitness descriptions of the Illinois' main settlement in the 1670s and 1680s. Summarize the Illinois movements and their changing village locations. Answer the following questions:

  1. What has happened by the 1680s, just after the Iroquois attack on the Kaskaskia village?
  2. Why do you think this happened?


"Marquette Map of 1673." Reprinted from Sara Jones Tucker, Indian Villages of the Illinois Country (Springfield, 1942). Courtesy Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, University of Illinois, Urbana. This map depicts the Kaskaskia village in the Illinois River valley, as well as several other Illinois villages to the West of the Mississippi River.

"Franquelin Map of Louisiana, 1684, Detail of the Grand Village of Kaskaskia." Courtesy Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division. Many of the groups in this massive settlement at the top of the Illinois Valley were Illinois speakers who had moved from the West, making the Grand Village and surrounding settlements North America's largest population center in the 1680s.