Capital of the State of Illinois, just after it was admitted to the Union in 1818, was the town of Kaskaskia, picturesquely perched on an island in the Mississippi River, which divides Illinois from Missouri. Kaskaskia had lost its chief distinction long before 1881, when the meandering Mississippi changed its channel from the west of Kaskaskia Island to the east, washing away part of the town and leaving a willowy, uninhabited slough which now stretches west between Kaskaskia's 107 inhabitants and the old Missouri shore. Kaskaskia proper still belongs to Illinois. Whether...

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