The Kaskaskia Manuscripts: 1708–1816

A Calendar of Civil Documents in Colonial Illinois

Lawrie Cena Dean and Margaret Kimball Brown

The Kaskaskia Manuscripts Collection is a heterogeneous group of over 6,000 original documents dating from 1708 to 1816. The collection includes marriage contracts, wills, inventories, deeds, depositions, partnerships, labor contracts, leases, and other transactions, which together form an extraordinarily vivid chronicle of life in eighteenth-century Illinois.

Despite their intrinsic interest and their undoubted importance for the history of colonial America, the Kaskaskia manuscripts have been little used. Two exceptions are the publication of some of the later records by the Illinois State Historical Society and Dr. Natalia Belting’s use of some French documents in her dissertation. This general neglect is due in part to the language barrier, but the greatest obstacle facing the researcher doubtlessly has been the lack of an adequate calendar. That obstacle has now been removed, and it is to be hoped that the Kaskaskia manuscripts will at last be given the attention of historians and other scholars.

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Manuscripts' Calendar

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About the Kaskaskia Manuscripts

History of the Project

Genesis and Composition of the Kaskaskia Manuscripts

History of the Documents

Estimates of Record Survival

Preparing the Calendar

Using the Manuscripts...

The Document Number

The Document Summary and Number of Pages

The Source/Location Number

Index to Personal Names

Index to Geographical and Tribal Names