The information on the following emerging cities comes from a book held in the collection of the Illinois State Historical Library entitled Illinois in 1837 & 8. At the time of its publication, the book was designed to "give, at the least possible expense, a brief and yet satisfactory account of Illinois, its prominent natural features and productions, plans of internal improvement, prospects and advantages for emigrants, political subdivisions, cities, towns, traveling routes to and from various points, &c. . . Those who are about to remove to this state, or who, for business, pleasure, or health, intend to visit it, or who are interested in its welfare and expect to profit by its prosperity, will probably find "Illinois In 1837" occasionally useful as a work of reference." For twentieth and twenty-first century scholars, this book is extremely valuable as it provides first-hand insight into the every day activities and business of these early Illinois communities. Within the context of the story of Elijah Lovejoy, Illinois In 1837 & 8 helps us to visualize several of the towns which became very important to Lovejoy and his abolitionist cause. The city streets and buildings described by the book are the same which Lovejoy encountered in his hometown of Alton or during his many travels over the Illinois prairie to places like Quincy and Jacksonville.
As the preface to Illinois In 1837 & 8 explains, "the bulk of the information hereafter detailed is quite recent (for 1837), being derived in part from the lately published and valuable Gazetteer of Illinois, and the Emigrant's Guide, by the Rev. J. M. Peck; also, from Flint's Geography and History of the Western States, Beck's Gazetteer of Illinois and Missouri, Schoolcraft's Travels, and the works of Darby, Hall, Long & c. The work contains, likewise, extracts from different correspondents, and from various gazettes, printed in the state, some of them only a few weeks before its publication."
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