The Nuttall Encyclopedia
An American State as large as England and Wales; has the Mississippi for its western, the Ohio for its southern boundary, with Wisconsin and Lake Michigan in the N. and Indiana on the E.; fourth in population, seventeenth in area; "the Prairie State" is level, well watered, and extremely fertile; has a climate subject to extremes, but, except in the swamps, healthy. It produces enormous quantities of wheat, besides other cereals, of tobacco and temperate fruits. Flour-milling, pork-packing, and distilling are the chief industries. The most extensive coal-deposits in America are in this State; with navigable rivers on its borders, and traversing it Lake Michigan, a great canal, and the largest railway system in the Union, it is admirably situated for commercial development; originally acquired by Britain from the French, who entered it from Canada; it was ceded to the Americans in 1783, and admitted to the Union 1818; the State spends $12,000,000 annually on education, which is compulsory, and has a large and wealthy scientific and agricultural university at Urbana. Springfield is the capital; but Chicago (1,100) is the largest city.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Illinois'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/i/illinois.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.