Kaskaskia River

State: Illinois

Lat/Long: 39.9833, -88.3500

The Kaskaskia River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, is a navigable stream that during the nineteenth century ran for some 400 miles from Champaign County in east central Illinois to its confluence with the Mississippi River at Chester, Illinois south of St. Louis. The mouth of the Kaskaskia River was an important settlement location, featuring the establishment of Kaskaskia and Cahokia, during the French colonial period, in the Illinois territorial period, and in the early years after Illinois Statehood. The Kaskaskia River valley was broad and fertile, and the river's value as a navigable stream were important in the development of Illinois during the first half of the nineteenth century.

John M. Peck, A Gazetteer of Illinois in Three Parts (Jacksonville, IL: R. Goudy, 1834), 16, 268-69; Illinois: A Descriptive and Historical Guide (Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1939), 23-24, 448-49, 496-97, 607.