1. Proclamation Creating New Boundaries for St. Clair and Randolph Counties (1801)

Background: Created in 1800, the Indiana Territory encompassed all or parts of the future states of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota. Illinois was a part of the Indiana Territory until 1809, when it became its own territory. William Henry Harrison, who was elected as the ninth President of the United States in 1840, was the first governor of the Indiana Territory, serving from 1801 to 1812.

The Document: In the attached proclamation, Governor Harrison redraws the county lines of St. Clair and Randolph counties, which are the State of Illinois' two oldest counties. By the proclamation, Randolph County encompassed the southern part of the state (all or parts of the lower 18 counties of present-day Illinois), while St. Clair County stretched from just south of present-day Mt. Vernon all the way north to the Canadian border. The modified St. Clair County included all of present-day Wisconsin, plus most of present-day Illinois and parts of present-day Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota. As the population of the Illinois Territory increased, the county lines would change several more times under the territorial government.

Note: When Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818, it had 15 counties. Today, it has 102 counties. This proclamation is available at the Illinois State Archives, along with roughly 15 cubic feet of pre-statehood material.