Morris Birkbeck, 1764–1825, English pioneer in the United States. One of the most advanced agriculturists in England, he had a huge farm in Surrey. In 1817 he emigrated to the United States. He and another English traveler, George Flower, sought to create a settlement in Illinois. The two quarreled, but the undertaking resulted in the occupation of thousands of acres of land and the founding of Albion, Ill. Birkbeck's Notes on a Journey … to the Territory of Illinois (1818, repr. 1968) and Letters from Illinois (1818, repr. 1968) helped to bring European settlers to the fertile prairies of the Middle West and are invaluable historical sources.
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