“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Hamilton in Hancock County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Thy Wondrous Story, Illinois

Thy Wondrous Story, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 19, 2012
1. Thy Wondrous Story, Illinois Marker
Inscription.  The fertile prairies of Illinois attracted the attention of French trader Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette as they explored the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in 1673. France claimed this region until 1763 when he surrendered it to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris.

During the American Revolution, George Rogers Clark scored a bloodless victory when he captured Kaskaskia for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Illinois became a county of Virginia. This area was ceded to the United States in 1784, and became in turn a part of the Northwest Territory and the Indiana and Illinois Territories. On December 3, 1818, Illinois entered the Union as the 21st state.

A short distance above Hamilton the lower rapids of the Mississippi River obstructed steamboat navigation. In 1820 the steamboat Western Engineer ascended to the foot of the rapids and three years later, the Virginia churned through the swift, shallow water.

In the late 1830's, Lieutenant Robert E. Lee supervised drilling and blasting to widen and deepen the river channel. When this project proved too costly and ineffective, an independent
Thy Wondrous Story, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, April 19, 2012
2. Thy Wondrous Story, Illinois Marker
canal around the western side of the rapids was started in 1866.

Between the Mississippi and the Illinois Rivers, Highway 136 cuts through the military tract, an area used as “Bounty Land” for veterans of the War of 1812; north of Warsaw, site of Fort Edwards (1814), south of Nauvoo, Mormon City of the 1840's and south of Dickson Mounds, ancient Indian burial site near the Illinois River.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 40° 26.978′ N, 91° 22.203′ W. Marker is near Hamilton, Illinois, in Hancock County. Marker is on Illinois Route 96 at milepost 20, 0.1 miles south of County Road 1720, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located at roadside pull out along the Mississippi River. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hamilton IL 62341, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. National Association for Music Education (approx. 3.6 miles away in Iowa); First Permanent Jewish House of Worship in Iowa (approx. 3.6 miles away in Iowa); Welcome to Illinois (approx. 3.8 miles away); The Estes House (approx. 3.8 miles away in Iowa); The First Fort Des Moines (approx. 6.2
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miles away in Iowa); Here Began the Dragoon Trail (approx. 6.2 miles away in Iowa); Nauvoo, Illinois (approx. 6.3 miles away); Nauvoo House (approx. 6.4 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 16, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 416 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 16, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 5, 2020