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The speaker is a 60-year-old White man with a college education from Bourbonnais, Illinois; he was recorded in 1969.
0:42-2:10


County: Kankakee
State: IL

Commentary:
The early history of Bourbonnais is related in this excerpt. The town, roughly fifty miles south of Chicago, was the earliest settlement on the Kankakee River, but it did not allow the railroad to come through town, so neighboring towns surpassed it in population. Today, with a population of around 15,000, it functions as a suburb of Kankakee, which has a population of over 27,000. Note the differing pronunciations of "Bourbonnais."
Inf: The village of Bourbonnais is one of the oldest settlements, villages, in the state of Illinois, located in the northeast corner of the state in Kankakee County. Bourbonnais was named after Fran??ois Bourbonnais and uh was, the word was Anglicized, Anglicized, to Bourbonnais in later years. And Fran??ois Bourbonnais was a fur-trader who came here with one Noel LeVasseur back in uh, approximately 1820. Both came from Quebec Province, and uh, settled here as representatives of the Hudson Bay Fur Company, uh, expecting to buy furs from the Indians. Their uh, mutual enterprise, however, blossomed out much faster than they expected, after they saw the beautiful land, the beautiful valley along the now-named Kankakee River. It was also very fertile land, but completely inhabited by tribes of Indians, predominantly the uh, Mesheketeno tribe. Mr. uh LeVasseur made several deals with the Indians, buying land, uh as fast as the Indians would sell it. And uh, in a year or two, went back home to Quebec Province, to induce the French Canadians there to uh, uh, come and settle in this beautiful land.

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