Cahokia Record Book A
(Illinois State Archives Digitized Version)
FOREWORD by Raymond Hammes
The original handwritten edition of Cahokia Record A contains the proclamation establishing St. Clair County in 1790, a list or colonial Illinois records transferred to the new county, and the first 300 entries posted by the St. Clair County recorder of deeds. The book (having survived 182 years, five different courthouses, and numerous public officials) now lies forever lost, buried in a landfill at Smithton, Illinois.
Until two years ago, when an unidentified reel of microfilm was found to contain the original manuscript, two unofficial versions of Cahokia Record A were used for research purposes: one a typed copy discovered on an erroneously labeled reel of film, the other an extensive card file developed over forty years ago by Rose Josephine Boylan, at present an uncatalogued item in the Illinois State Archives.
Because Governor St. Clair chose not to name a seat of government for the first county he erected in Illinois, entries in Cahokia Record A, made between 1790 and 1805, pertain to all the Illinois villages then in existence along the Mississippi River - Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, Fort Chartres, Prairie du Pont, and Cahokia. Only after the county was divided in 1795 did Cahokia become the county seat of St. Clair County and Kaskaskia that of Randolph County. Since the document bears the title Cahokia, the county recorder resided there, Kaskaskia researchers are often prone to overlook its contents in their study of Randolph County land records.
Except for several verbatim transcripts, the entries in this volume are abstracts of the original postings. All the essential elements of a transaction, however, were preserved. Dates, costs, type of grant, acreage, location, and the relationship of parties concerned are copied exactly as found in the manuscript.
Attention is called to the unaccountable gap that exists between 1797, the last entry posted in this volume, and 1800, the first entry appearing in Cahokia Record B.