Illinois History Minutes

March 21 Illinois History Minute


It’s March 21st, the second day of spring. And in the spring of 1814, the Illinois territory got its first newspaper. Matthew Duncan, who had a contract to print territorial statutes, founded the newspaper as a four-page weekly. After some name and ownership changes, it became known as the Illinois Intelligencer. It was published first in the territorial capital of Kaskaskia, then the new state capital of Vandalia, before folding around the time of the Blackhawk War in 1832.

On this day in 1860, Republican lieutenant governor John Wood of Quincy became governor. Wood was the state’s first lieutenant governor to become governor office after the death of a predecessor, in this case, William Henry Bissell. Wood’s ten months as governor are considered uneventful. He never sought elected office again.