•November 29, 2017•
By Travis Lott
Of the County Journal
No exploration of the 200 years of Illinois history would be complete without a look at what preceded those two centuries.
While Illinois became a state in 1818, its story began nearly 150 years before that, in 1673, when Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette explored the Mississippi River in search of a route to the Pacific Ocean.
When the two explorers’ travels led them near hostile Spanish territories, they turned back and traveled along the Illinois River, finding safety among the Kaskaskia Indian tribe. Marquette founded the Mission of the Immaculate Conception, but left the mission in the hands of Father Pierre-Gabriel Marest due to Marquette’s poor health.
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