February 20, 2016

2129, 2314 UNITED STATES (Illinois) - Illinois map

Posted on 17.12.2015, 20.02.2016
Located between Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan, Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to other global ports from the Great Lakes, to the Atlantic Ocean, and to the Mississippi River.

Though Illinois lies entirely in the Interior Plains, it does have some minor variation in its elevation. It has three major geographical divisions: Northern Illinois, dominated by ChicagolandCentral Illinois, mostly prairie, characterized by small towns and medium-small cities; Southern Illinois, the site of the ancient city of  Cahokia, as well as the site of the first state capital at  Kaskaskia. The capital city of the state is Springfield, and the largest city is Chicago, the third most populous city in the US.

American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. In the 17th century, the major power in the region was the Illinois Confederation or Illini, a political alliance. Although today the state's largest population center is around Chicago, the state's European population grew first in the west, with French Canadians who settled along the Mississippi River, and gave the area the name, Illinois. 

After the American Revolutionary War, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1810s via the Ohio River, and the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. After construction of the Erie Canal increased traffic and trade through the Great Lakes, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois' rich prairie into some of the world's most productive farmlands.

By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted many immigrants. The Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in Chicago, who created the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Three US presidents have been elected while living in Illinois (Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama), but the only president born and raised in Illinois was Ronald Reagan.

About the stamps
On the postcard 2129
About the third stamp, issued to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Snake, I wrote here. The second stamp, depicting Spicebush Swallowtail, is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here.  

On the postcard 2314
About the first stamp, featuring a portrait of George Washington, I wrote here. About the last stamp, depicting the iconic figure of "Wisdom" which is installed over the entrance to the GE Building at Rockefeller Center, I wrote here.

Illinois - Wikipedia

Sender 2129: Cecilia Northcote
Sent from Sahuarita (Arizona / United States), on 24.05.2013
Sender 2314: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 04.08.2014

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