Time Line:


1608 Quebec founded.
1643-1715 Reign of King Louis XIV of France.
1637 Father Jacques Marquette born, Laon, France. Entered the Order of Jesus (Jesuit)1654, was sent to Canada 1666.
1671 Built the Mission of St. Ignace at Mackinac.
1645 Louis Jolliet born in Quebec. Attended Jesuit school.
1660s Coureurs de Bois became active in Great Lakes regions.
1671 Simon Francois Daumont, sieur de St. Lusson, at a ceremony in Sault Ste. Marie, declared to representatives of fourteen Indian tribes that the surrounding country and all adjacent regions were the possessions of King Louis XIV.
1673 Marquette and Jolliet explore the lower Mississippi as far as the Arkansas River. They departed from Mackinac May 17, 1673, with two canoes and five men. June 17, 1673, entered the Mississippi, "with a joy I cannot express," wrote Father Marquette. On July 17, they began their trip homeward, returning by the Illinois River. They stopped at the Grand Village of the Illinois, a settlement of nearly nine thousand Kaskaskia Indians, located on the Illinois River across from Starved Rock. Pere Marquette ended his trip at Green Bay, as he was ill. Jolliet continued to Montreal.
1674 Father Marquette attempts to fulfill his promise to the Kaskaskia Indians to return, but illness and bad weather force him to winter near present Chicago.
1675 Marquette establishes the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin mission for the Kaskaskia Indians. He died, May 18, on his return trip. His companions carried him to the mouth of the Marquette River in the present state of Michigan, where he was buried.
1680 Robert Cavelier, sieur de la Salle established Fort Crevecoeur on Lake Pimitoui (Peoria).
1682 La Salle and Henri de Tonti reached the mouth of the Mississippi and took possession of the Mississippi River and all of its tributaries for King Louis XIV.
1682 La Salle began building of Fort St. Louis at Starved Rock.
1687 La Salle's attempts to found a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River failed when he was killed by one of his own men.
1691-1692 Henri de Tonti moves Ft. St. Louis at Starved Rock to Lake Peoria. French settlers form the first village in Illinois around the fort.
1693 Father Gravier builds a chapel near Fort St. Louis for the relocated mission of the Immaculate Conception.
1696 Father Pinet founds mission of the Guardian Angel at Chicago. Mission was later closed.
1696 King Louis XIV decrees that all traders are to be recalled and prohibited from going into the wilderness.
1698 Bishop of Quebec grants rights to the Seminary of Foreign Missions to establish missions along the banks of the Mississippi. The seat is established at Tamoroa (Cahokia)
1699 Seminarians establish the mission of the Holy Family at Cahokia, the first permanent white settlement in Illinois.
1699 French establish a fort at Biloxi.
1700 Kaskaskia Indians move from Peoria to a place in the American Bottom near the Kaskaskia River. Father Gabriel Marest reestablished the mission of the Immaculate Conception.
1701 Treaty with Iroquois Indians.
1703 Village of Kaskaskia established.
1717 Illinois Country becomes a part of French Louisiana.
1718 New Orleans founded.
1720 First wooden Fort de Chartres completed eighteen miles north of Kaskaskia.
1720s Philippe Renault begins mining lead west of the Mississippi.
1720s African slaves introduced into the Illinois Country. Perform labor in lead mines, salt mines, and farming.
1727 Fort de Chartres rebuilt, again in wood.
1732 Fort de Chartres rebuilt farther from the river, again in wood.
1740s First land grants in the Ste. Genevieve area.
1750 Village of Ste. Genevieve founded.
1753 French and Indian War begins.
1756 New Fort de Chartres built near Prairie du Rocher of limestone.
1763 Treaty of Paris cedes lands in the Illinois Country east of Mississippi to England and lands west of the Mississippi to Spain. Indian uprising led by Pontiac delays British occupation.
1763 Jesuits banished from the Illinois Country.
1764 St. Louis founded by Pierre Laclede Liguest and Auguste Chouteau as a fur trading center.
1765 British forces arrive in the Illinois Country.
1769 Indian leader Pontiac killed in Cahokia.
1770 Spanish garrison established at Ste. Genevieve.
1776 American Revolution begins.
1778 George Rogers Clark takes possession of Kaskaskia for the American forces, followed by Prairie du Rocher, Cahokia, and the other small villages in the American Bottom, without firing a shot. Illinois becomes part of Virginia.
1779 In February, George Rogers Clark marches overland from Kaskaskia and takes Vincennes.
1783 American Revolution ends. Illinois east of the Mississippi is conveyed from England to the United States.
1785 Flood ravages Ste. Genevieve. Relocation of homes to Nouvelle Ste. Genevieve begins.
1795 Treaty of Greenville signed between the United States and several Indian tribes, including the Kickapoo.
1803 Napoleon sells Louisiana to the United States.
1809 Illinois Territory, which includes Wisconsin, is created. Kaskaskia made capital.
1818 Illinois becomes a state.
1820 State capital moves to Vandalia.
1881 Mississippi River changes course and floods Kaskaskia, creating an island cut off from the east bank.

Alvord, Clarence Walworth. The Centennial History of Illinois. Vol. One. The Illinois Country: 1673- 1818. Springfield, Ill.: Illinois Centennial Commission, 1920;
Ekberg, Carl J. Colonial Ste. Genevieve: An Adventure on the Mississippi Frontier. Gerald, Missouri Patrice Press, 1985;
Ekberg, Carl J. French Root in The Illinois Country: The Mississippi Frontier In Colonial Times. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998;
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Illinois History Teacher: Frontier In Illinois History, Vol. 6, no. 1, 1999. Springfield, Ill.: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.