The state of Virginia created the county of Illinois on 9 December 1778, with vast indefinite boundaries extending from the Ohio to the Mississippi River and upward to Canada. The legal basis for this claim existed in the original royal charter which gave Virginia the right to extend from sea to sea. The total population of 3000 was one third African at the time.


An ideally situated port and trading post, Eschikagou, as it was called by the Native Americans of the region, was established as a permanent settlement by Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable. From 1700, when Father Francois Pinet arrived in neighboring Cahokia and Du Sable’s arrival in 1779, there is no record of white settlers living in the area. Native Americans of the region stated that “the first white man in the area was a black man.”

Du Sable, who married a Native American woman of the Potawatomi Nation, was born in Saint -Mare, Haiti about 1745. He was the son of a “free” African woman and a French sea captain who sent Du Sable to France to study.

The Du Sables spent twenty prosperous years in Chicago and when they left the area in 1800, they sold a forty by twenty foot house, a horse powered mill, outbuildings, thirty head of cattle, hogs, hens, and farm machinery. As with most frontier people, Du Sable was a multitalented individual who operated a fur business, was a farmer, a carpenter, a cooper, a miller and, it is rumored, a distiller.

Brooklyn / Lovejoy

The Home of the Illinois Underground Railroad Museum, located in the Oldest Black town in the country, Listing of Black Cemeteries in Illinois, The Community Learning Center and other Underground Railroad towns in Illinois. The educational process of obtaining lost Black traditions and values. Coming soon to Sylla’s web site will be other Underground railroad sites in Illinois, Black Cemeteries that are located in Illinois.

Sylla invites all Brooklyn/Lovejoy residents to come and help celebrate the launch, and to check out the great Home of The Illinois Underground Railroad Museum and Community Learning Center, Black Cemeteries, the Oldest Black town in the country


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