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.
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