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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Prairies Research Guide: Historical Information

A guide to research and resources on prairies

Books on Prairie History

These books present a sample of historical writing on Prarie-related subjects, including the history and social ecology of prairie regions. See the "Books" section of this Libguide for more information about finding book sources.

Historical Information

Historical Publications: Early Books and Manuscripts

Below are books and other sources that provide a selection of pre-twentieth century descriptions of the prairies.

"Next to Lousiansa and Delaware, Illinois is the most level state in the Union [. . .] by far the greater portion of the state is is ether distributed in vast plains, or in barrens, that are gently rolling like the waves of the sea after a storm. We may travel on the wide praries for days without encountering an elevation worthy to be called a hill."  -Agustus Mitchell, Sketches of Illinois (1838)