Jacksonville is a city in Morgan County, Illinois, United States. The population was 19,446 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Morgan County. It is home to Illinois College, Illinois School for the Deaf, and the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. Jacksonville is the principal city of the Jacksonville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Morgan and Scott counties. Jacksonville was established by European Americans on a 160-acre tract of land in the center of Morgan County in 1825, two years after the county was founded. The founders of Jacksonville, Illinois were settlers from New England. These people were “Yankee” settlers, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s.
They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal and the end of the Black Hawk War. The Yankee migration to Illinois was a result of several factors, one of which was the overpopulation of New England. The old stock Yankee population had large families, often bearing up to ten children in one household. Most people were expected to have their own piece of land to farm, and due to the massive and nonstop population boom, land in New England became scarce as every son claimed his own farmstead.
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