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United States History

2013

Selected Works

Claiborne A. Skinner Jr.

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Session A-3: Across The Wide Missouri: Illinois & Early Exploration Of The Trans-Mississippi West, Claiborne A. Skinner Jr. Feb 2013

Session A-3: Across The Wide Missouri: Illinois & Early Exploration Of The Trans-Mississippi West, Claiborne A. Skinner Jr.

Claiborne A. Skinner Jr.

Illinois History is often perceived as a contradiction in terms. Until the arrival of Abraham Lincoln, most folks think that nothing of any note happened here. This presentation will address the French traders and explorers from the Illinois Country who pushed west up the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers in the century preceding Lewis and Clark's more famous jaunt. The two knew of these French travelers only too well and recruited a half dozen Illinois French at Fort Massac and Kaskaskia to show them how to get to the "unknown". The effect these men had on the Plains was profound.