Some Destinations of Pilon Voyageurs
The Illinois Country

1755 1787

The Illinois Country was essentially at the centre of the North American continent, as it was at the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers. Today, we find there the city of St-Louis, gateway to the American West.

A few kilometres from St-Louis, on the east side of the Mississippi is the archaeological site of Cahokia. In the XVIIIth century there was a French fur trade post there. It is also there, in 1769, that the Odawa war chief Pontiac was murdered. The post was located on a flattened hill, something that is rare in this river floodplain. Today we know that this hill is a completely artificial human-made construction on top of which there once stood a temple of some kind used by the population of an urban centre that included more than 20,000 inhabitants sometime around A.D. 1400. In its heyday, Cahokia was the largest urban centre in North America.

Have a look at the 1755 map section. Note the places marked as "Pots à fleurs" (flower pots) and "Chateaux ruinés" (ruined castles). These were the visible remains of Cahokia; an area that was more than likely visited by Pilon voyageurs during the XVIIIth century (Thomas en 1743, Antoine en 1751 and Pierre en 1778).