Illinois Military Tract

State: Illinois

In 1812, Congress designated bounty lands in the territories of Illinois, Michigan, and Louisiana for payment to soldiers who fought in the War of 1812. The Illinois Military Tract consisted of land north of the Illinois River in territory that eventually became the Illinois counties of Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Peoria, Pike, Schuyler, Stark, and Warren, as well as parts of Bureau, Henry, Marshall, and Putnam counties. After surveying, 3.5 million acres of land reserved for veterans became available in Illinois in 1817, and about 60 percent of the 29,000 veterans who located land with their military warrants did so in Illinois.

"An Act to Provide for Designating, Surveying and Granting the Military Bounty Lands," 6 May 1812, Statutes at Large of the United States 2 (1845):728-29; Andrew Cayton, "Illinois Military Tract," in Richard Sisson, Christian Zacher, Andrew Cayton, eds., The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007), 169.