Illinois is a midwestern state bordering Indiana in the east and the Mississippi River in the west. Nicknamed “the Prairie State,” it’s marked by farmland, forests, rolling hills and wetlands. Chicago, one of the largest cities in the U.S, is in the northeast on the shores of Lake Michigan. It’s famous for it’s skyscrapers, such as sleek, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower.
Illinois achieved statehood in 1818. It is the 6th most populous state and 25th largest state in terms of land area, and is noted as a microcosm of the entire country. The word “Illinois” comes from a French rendering of a native Algonquin word. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to other global ports from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway. For decades, O’Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world’s busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and politics.
Although today the state’s largest population center is around Chicago in the northern part of the state, the state’s European population grew first in the west, with French Canadian colonists who settled along the Mississippi River in the 17th and 18th century, and gave the area the name, “Pays des Illinois” or Illinois Country a region that was known as part of New France. After the American Revolutionary War established the United States, American settlers began arriving crossing the Appalachians barrier range in the 1810s via the gaps of the Allegheny to boat building centers in Pittsburgh, from Cumberland, Maryland via the Cumberland Narrows pass to outfit in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, from North Carolina and Virginia via the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and Tennessee, all on the Ohio River.
With the War of 1812 Illinois growth slowed as both Native Americans and Canadian forces often raided the American Frontier. After the war’s end, the federal government re-established forts such as Fort Dearborn (in 1816—now the site is within Chicago) and army patrols west of the Mississippi diminished the threat from Amerindian raids, so settlers were able to move into all of Illinois from the eastern and southern emigrant trails.
Mineral finds and timber stands also had spurred immigration—by the 1810s, the Eastern U.S. had exhausted most timber stands close to the established cities creating a hard felt first energy crisis by the late 1790s, and after 1818 the industrial revolution was being fueled by new canals such as the Lehigh Canal feeding the furnaces of the rapidly industrializing east coast. In the same year of 1818, Illinois achieved statehood and its growth, as yet untroubled by the speed of as yet unrefined railway technology, would be fueled by the new religion of industrialized forward thinking.To learn more about the state of Illinois click here
James & Sons
We have served generations of families as their trusted jeweler for brilliant diamonds, beautiful fine jewelry, elegant watches, treasured jewelry gifts, custom made styles and expert jewelry repair. Everyone of our James & Sons locations in Chicago, Orland Park, and Schererville, IN are committed to make every customer “feel at home” with our personalized service and our classic to cutting edge jewelry designs. Our years of experience and services have built a legacy of integrity and trust with our customers.
At James & Sons our mission has always been a tradition of trust, high ethical standards, knowledge of our jewelry products and services, fair pricing and value to our customers.
15234 South LaGrange Road,
Orland Park, IL 60462
More resource links for Illinois:
Social Security Office Locator Illinois