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Settler's Description

Settler's Description of American Bottoms


Former Governor of Illinois, John Reynolds, first came to Illinois in the spring of 1807, when his father, Robert Reynolds, bought a farm at the foot of a bluff southwest of Edwardsville. John Reynolds, then nineteen years old, made his home there until he began the practice of law at Cahokia in 1814. The following is an excerpt from his writing:

". . . it was the most beautiful country I ever saw. It had been settled only a few years, and the freshness and beauty of nature reigned over it to give it the sweetest charms. I have spent hours on the bluff ranging my view up and down the American Bottom, as far as the eye could extend. The ledge of rocks at the present city of Alton and the rocks near Cahokia, limited our view north and south, and all the intermediate country extended before us. The prairie and timber were distinctly marked, and the Mississippi seen in places . . ."

Reprinted from Bluff City Profiles Alton, Illinois 1837-1987 Sesquicentenial Commemorative Book

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