Envisaging the West: Thomas Jefferson and the Roots of Lewis and Clark


Place Name

Illinois County

An act for establishing the county of Illinois, and for the more effectual protection and defense thereof. This act recognized the successful effort by George Rogers Clark and his expedition to secure the western side of the Ohio for Virginia. The commonwealth incorporated the existing inhabitants into the commonwealth through oaths of fidelity and then extended institutions of governance by establishing the county of Illinois. The act provided for election of civil officials and the raising of a five hundred man force for the defense of the county.

An act concerning officers, soldiers, sailors, and marines. This act guaranteed bounties of land and money to officers, soldiers, sailors, and marines who enlisted, or re-enlisted in some circumstances, in the forces of the commonwealth or the continental army. The bounties included $750 and "a grant of one hundred acres of any unappropriated land within" the commonwealth of Virginia for soldiers and for officers a "like quantity of lands as is allowed to officers of the same rank in the Virginia regiments on continental establishment." Other provisions of the act included tax exemption during time of service, pensions for soldiers' widows, prices for essentials through commissaries, and a grant of two hundred acres for volunteers under the command of George Rogers Clarke in defense of "the Illinois Country." Additional bounties of one hundred acres of land and $750 for special solicitations for troops to defend Illinois county and "four troops of horse" for the defense of Virginia's "eastern quarter."