“The life led by our savages is as follows”: An Examination of Jesuit-Illinois Relations in Illinois, 1673-1712

Author: Bailey Martin
Major: History
Approved: Fall 2017
Status: Completed

The purpose of this project will be to study the early history of Illinois leading up to statehood in 1818, focusing specifically on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  In history lessons, Illinois is typically taught in light of Native American affairs, but the history of this state is so much more than these interactions.  By looking at literature written during and about this time and traveling the state to visit museums and other landmarks important in the early shaping of Illinois, I hope to construct a more concrete narrative of how this area of the Midwest came to enter America and start to become the state it is today.  Roughly, research will focus on Illinois from around 1650 to no later than 1818 and will include pertinent information on Native American tribes, missionaries, and “foreign” (French, English/American) movement in the area to best paint a complete picture of important events happening in the state within this timeframe.