(Illinois) Map of the Bounty Lands in Illinois Territory

Mapmaker: Gardiner, John

(Illinois) Map of the Bounty Lands in Illinois Territory


  • ~Catalog 61~
  • Map of the Bounty Lands in Illinois Territory by John Gardiner Chief Clerk Genl Land Office

    For those soldiers that fought in the war of 1812, compensation was offered of 160 acres in the Bounty Lands of Illinois Territory for free. It was an ideal transaction for the government as it didn't mean any payment to the soldier and bolstered settlement in these frontier areas. The Bounty Lands of Illinois was a large swath of land in between the Illinois River and the Mississippi River, capped a line just south of the Green River. While most soldiers didn't decide to journey to the frontier and settle, some did, and others sold their land to speculators. It was an important time for Illinois development as white settlement exploded from 50,000 in 1820 to 150,000 in 1830, as it gained statehood. It's still unclear the true number of veterans that were part of this new development, but 17,000 military land patents were issued for all the bounty lands (including Missouri and Arkansas).

    This specific map is for a piece of land along the Spoon River in what would be present day Knox County, east of the town of Galesburg. A manuscript notation by Gardiner himself regarding this specific parcel of land notes that it is a "Gently rolling prairie good soil - Spoon river in the SE 1/4 of this section - John Gardiner"

    A very scarce map and an interesting artifact from the early 19th century and time of settlement for the early Midwest.

    Condition is very good . Image size is approximately 18.5 x 15(inches)