When last La Salle passed here, all was solicitude, but now the scene was changed. The boundless waste was thronged with life. He beheld that wondrous spectacle, still to be seen at times on the plains of the remotest West, and the memory of which can quicken the pulse and stir the blood after the lapse of years. Far and near, the prairie was alive with buffalo, now like black specks dotting the distant swells, now trampling by in thunderous columns, or filing in long lines, morning, noon, and night to drink at the river, – wading, plunging, and snorting in the water; climbing the muddy shores, and staring with wild eyes at the passing canoes.
Francis Parkman (La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, 1869) describes the land of the Illinois people, 1681, at confluence of the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers.