In the 19th Century settlements of Illinois, the initial evaluations of the landscape were important factors. Accustomed to wooded environments in the eastern United States, new settlers had varied perceptions of the prairies, which influenced the timing and patterns of settlement and uses of those prairies. This presentation reviews and commemorates Douglas McManis’ excellent research in the early 1960s on this topic. These perceptions are set in the context of mid-nineteenth century settlement history, a context which soon was to change with the invention of the plow and tile drainage. This presentation also illustrates the importance of perception in all studies of settlement history.
This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Sara Russell, 847.741.6655.