"The American Inhabitants of the Illinois To Governor St. Clair"

Monroe County

From:  The Territorial Papers of the United States, Volume II; The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, 1787-1803


Submitted by William Brackett


The Territorial Papers of the United States, Volume II; The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, 1787-1803 were edited by Edwin Carter and published by the U.S. government in 1934.  This volume contains the following on page 252-53: 

"The American Inhabitants of the Illinois To Governor St. Clair

                                    [Senate Files, 1 Cong., 3 sess.:C]


No7                                                                                         Great Run May 23d 1790

To his Excellency Arthur St. Clair Esqr Governor and commander in Chief of the Territory of the United States North west of the River Ohio.


We your Petitioners beg leave to represent to you Excellency the state and circumstances of a number of distressed but faithful subjects of the United States of America, wherein we wish to continue and that under your immediate Government; But unless our principal agrievance can be removed by your Excellency's encouragement, we shall despair holding a residence in the State we love.  The Indians who have not failed one year in four past to kill our people, steal our horses and at times have killed and drove off numbers of our horned Cattle, render it impossible for us to live in the Country any way but in Forts and Villages, which we find very sickly in the Missisippi bottom.  Neither can we cultivate our land but with a guard of our inhabitants equipt with arms, nor have we more Tilable land for support of seventeen families than what might be easily Tilled by four of us, and as those lands whereon we live are the property of two individuals, it is uncertain how long we may enjoy the scanty privileges we have here; Nor do we find by your Excellency's Proclamation that those of us which are the major part, who came to the Country since the year 1783 are entitled to the land we improved at the risk of our lives, with a design to live on.  Those with many other difficulties which your Excellency may be better informed of by our Reverend friend Mr. James Smith, hath very much gloomed the aspect of a number of the free & loyal subjects of the United States.  In consideration of which your petitioners humbly request, that by your Excellency's command there be a Village with inlots and outlots sufficient for families to subsist on laid out and established in or near Prairie de Moriway we know the other American settlers near the Missisippi to be in equal deplorable circumstances with ourselves, and consequently would be equally benefited by the privileges we ask, and that those of us that came to the Country and improved land since 1783 may be confirmed in a right of pre-emption to their improvements, is the humble request of your petitioners; and we as in duty bound shall ever pray


James Piggot                                                    Lenard Harnes

Wm Biggs                                                        William Piggot

Jos Ogle                                                           Peter Casterland

Machal Huff                                                     Nicholas Smith

Geo. Ware                                                       James Whitesides

James Henderson                                              John Whitesides

James Lemen.                                                   Christopher Smith

John Moore                                                      Thomas Jefeos

David Waddell                                                  James Scott

Isaac Waddell                                                   Daniel Boon

Jesse Waddell                                                   Joseph Shell

John Mooredock                                              William Whitesides senior

John Silavan                                                     William Whitesides Junior

Loton Whitte                                                     Nathaniel Hull

George Hendrex                                                William Chafan

William Murry                                                    Isaac Chafan

Ebenezer Severns                                              Samuel Worley

Benjamin Ogle                                                   John Jack

Charles Wood                                                  James Bryon

John Porter                                                        David Guise

George Atchison                                                Robert Seybold

Isaac West                                                        Shadrach Bond

Benjamin Roggers                                              James Garetson