The Illinois Herald
The Illinois Herald is the oldest newspaper in the state of Illinois. The first edition was published in 1814, before Illinois joined the United States. It was printed by Matthew Duncan in the frontier Indian town of Kaskaskia along the Mississippi River.
The town of Kaskaskia isn’t without its own historical relevance. As of the 2010 census, Kaskaskia, Illinois has a population of 14. People first populated this southern Illinois border town as early as 12,000 BC according to archeological studies. Around 1500 AD, the Illini Indian tribes vanquished the original inhabitants and set up a vast nation along the Mississippi River. By 1700, the French had moved in and declared Kaskaskia the regional outpost of their Quebec territory and a possession of France, naming the territory ‘Illinois’ after the local Indians.
By 1776, Kaskaskia and Illinois were territories of Great Britain, who had conquered Quebec and its territories. But during the Revolutionary War, the Virginia Militia traveled hundreds of miles to take Illinois from the British. Illinois thus became a County of the state of Virginia. In 1787, Illinois was traded by Virginia to the Northwest Territory, where it was officially a settlement of that vast expansion.
Not long after, the region was incorporated into the Indiana Territory. But conflicts arose immediately. So in 1809, Illinois was declared an official Territory of its own with Kaskaskia as its first capitol. In 1818, Illinois became America’s 21st State with Kaskaskia serving as the first State Capitol of Illinois.
200 years later, with the French, British and Illini all gone, the Illinois Herald is publishing the news once again. And just as when the paper was first launched in 1814, we’re again blazing a trail into uncharted territory amid hostile surroundings.
The Illinois Herald strives to publish Chicago, Cook County and Illinois news, politics and commentary in the most honest and sincere manner. In our opinion, the news shouldn’t be left-wing or right-wing, conservative or liberal. It should be the news. It should be independent.
The Illinois Herald is an independent, grassroots news outlet and a member of the Opposition News Network family of news organizations.
*For information about Illinois Herald owner/editor Mark Wachtler, visit his history/bio page.