Early Western Travels, 1748-1846 (Volume XXVI) Part 21

[203] Grand Prairie, as described by Peck in his _Gazetteer of Illinois_, was a general term applied to the prairie country between the rivers which flow into the Mississippi and those which empty into the Wabash. "It is made up of continuous tracts, with long arms of prairie extending between the creeks and smaller streams. The southern points of the Grand prairie are formed in the northeastern parts of Jackson county and extend in a northeastern course between the streams of various widths, from one to ten or twelve miles, through Perry, Washington, Jefferson, Marion, the eastern part of Fayette, Effingham, through the western portion of Coles, into Champaign and Iroquois counties, where it becomes connected with the prairies that project eastward from the Illinois River and its tributaries. Much of the longest part of the Grand prairie is gently undulatory, but of the southern portion considerable tracts are flat and of rather inferior soil."--ED.

[204] Illinoisians.--FLAGG.

[205] Shelbyville, selected as the seat of Shelby County (1827), was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, early governor of Kentucky. It is located about thirty-two miles southeast of Decatur, and was incorporated in May, 1839.--ED.

[206] 1835.--FLAGG.

[207] Eight families from St. Clair County settled (1818) in the vicinity of certain noted perennial springs in the southwestern corner of what was later organized into Shelby County. For some time the colony was known as Wakefield's Settlement, for Charles Wakefield, who had made the first land entry in the county in 1821. John O. Prentis erected the first store there in 1828, and shortly afterwards secured a post-office under the name of Cold Springs.--ED.

[208] Philosophy, vol. i.--FLAGG.

[209] Sidney Rigdon (1793-1876), after having been a Baptist pastor at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and later a.s.sociated with the Disciples in Ohio, established a branch of the Mormon church with one hundred members at Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith, who had founded the last-named church at Fayette, New York (April 6, 1830), went to Kirtland in February of the following year. Aided by Rigdon, Smith attempted to establish a mixed communistic and hierarchical organized community. Mormon tanneries, stores, and other enterprises were built, and the corner-stone of a $40,000 temple laid July 23, 1833. Through improvident financial management, the leaders soon plunged the community deeply in debt. The Kirtland Society Bank, reorganized as the Kirtland Anti-Bankers Company, after issuing notes to the amount of $200,000, failed, and Smith and Rigdon further embarra.s.sed by an acc.u.mulation of troubles fled to Jackson County, Missouri, where Oliver Cowdery by the former's order had established the Far West settlement. Joseph Smith was a.s.sa.s.sinated by a mob (June 27, 1844) at Carthage, Illinois, and Brigham Young succeeded him. Sidney Rigdon, long one of Smith's chief advisers, and one of the three presidents of the Mormon church at Nauvoo, combated the doctrine of plurality of wives. He refused to recognize the authority of Young as Smith's successor, and returned to Pennsylvania, but held to the Mormon faith until his death in 1876. In 1848 the charter granted to the city of Nauvoo by the Illinois state legislature, was repealed. The Mormons thereupon selected Utah as the field of their future activity, save that a few members were left in Missouri for proselyting purposes.

Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), educated at the University of Glasgow, came to the United States (1809) and joined the Presbyterian church.

Refusing to recognize any teachings save those of the Bible, as he understood them, he and his father, Thomas Campbell, were dismissed (1812) and with a few followers formed a temporary union with the Baptist church. Disfellowshiped in 1827, they organized the Disciples of Christ, popularly known as the Campbellites. The son published the _Christian Baptist_, a monthly magazine, its name being changed (1830) to the _Millennial Harbinger_. He held several public offices in the state of Virginia, and in 1840 founded Bethany (Virginia) College.--ED.

[210] Kirtland is now deserted, and the church is occupied for a school.--FLAGG.

[211] See Woods's _English Prairie_, in our volume x, p. 327, note 76.--ED.

[212] Or "_beef_."--FLAGG.

[213] Salem, the seat of Marion County, was settled about 1823, when the county was organized.--ED.

[214] Philosophy, b. i., chap. 1.--FLAGG.

[215] Mount Vernon, a village seventy-seven miles southeast of St.

Louis, was chosen as the seat of justice for Jefferson County, when the latter was organized in 1818.--ED.

[216] Mud Creek rises in the northwestern part of Perry County, flows through the southwestern part of Washington and the southeastern part of St. Clair counties, and enters the Kaskaskia two miles below Fayetteville.

In January, 1827, the state legislature in organizing Perry County appointed a commission to select a seat of justice to be known as Pinckneyville (Pinkneyville), its town site being located and platted in January, 1828.--ED.

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