This chapter looks at how, for the Indian tribes, the coming struggle would be one for their very existence. Their population is hard to estimate, because contemporary estimates vary significantly and, in any case, usually account only for the number of warriors in a tribal group. Nevertheless, it may be fair to estimate that the number of Indians in the territory probably did not far exceed the number of white and black Americans. Except for the remnants of the Kaskaskia and Piankashaw in southwestern Illinois and along the Wabash, respectively, few tribes had permanent villages south of a line drawn across the state through the present Springfield and Decatur, although either war or hunting might carry parties of Indians deep into the southern part of the territory.
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