“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Freeburg in St. Clair County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Mississippi Bubble

The Mississippi Bubble Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, December 6, 2019
1. The Mississippi Bubble Marker
"They related that there are mines of gold and silver.... There is reason to believe that the French who will settle among the Illinois Indians will make all these rich discoveries when the colony becomes more thickly populated." Thus, John Law, Scot adventurer and gambler, inflated the "Mississippi Bubble" in the fall of 1717. He had convinced the Duke of Orleans, regent for Louis XV, that paper money issued by a national bank and backed by a vast trading and colonizing enterprise would bring new life to the French economy. As part of the scheme, on January 1, 1718, the Company of the West received a 25-year charter to trade, settle and govern in the Mississippi Valley. Speculation in the shares ran wild as Frenchman of all classes engaged in the fantasy before the bubble burst in 1720 and left many investers bankrupt.

Law's vision of the development of the region required more time and money than he had. Exaggerated accounts attracted some colonists; force brought others. As the operations of the Company in lower Louisiana expanded, the district of Illinois profited. Several French villages sprang up in the American Bottom south
The Mississippi Bubble Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, December 6, 2019
2. The Mississippi Bubble Marker
On a roadside pullout off of Illinois Route 15.
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of here and mining expeditions searched for the fabled minerals. The real wealth in Illinois, however, was the fur trade and the agricultural produce which sustained the other French posts. The Company struggled along until Indian warfare and inadequate financial returns forced the surrender of its charter in 1731.
Erected 2011 by Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 1, 1718.
Location. 38° 24.158′ N, 89° 51.453′ W. Marker is near Freeburg, Illinois, in St. Clair County. Marker is on Illinois Route 15, on the right when traveling west. Marker is midway between the villages of Freeburg and Fayetteville. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Freeburg IL 62243, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Memorial (approx. 3.4 miles away); Honor (approx. 5.4 miles away); To Honor Those Who Served Our Country (approx. 6.6 miles away); Jenkins Publishing Company (approx. 6.7 miles away); U.S. Center of Population 1970-1980
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(approx. 6.9 miles away); Robert E Hullium (approx. 7.1 miles away); In Memory of All American Veterans (approx. 7.3 miles away); Roll of Honor (approx. 7.3 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker replaced an older version, which was originally placed at that same spot in 1967.
Also see . . .  John Law and the Mississippi Bubble: 1718-1720. Mississippi History Now entry (Submitted on January 15, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 6, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 364 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 6, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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May. 9, 2021