Ninian Edwards was the first governor of Illinois. Illinois was organized as a separate territory in the spring of 1809. Mr. Edwards was then chief justice of the Court of Appeals in Kentucky. He received the appointment to governor from President Madison with his commission bearing the date April 24, 1809. Mr. Edwards arrived at Kaskaskia, Illinois, in June and on the 11th of that month took the oath of office.
Mr. Edwards' term as governor expired by law in 1812; he was re-appointed for another term of three years and again in 1815 for a third term, serving until the organization of the state in the fall of 1818 and the inauguration of Governor Bond.
Ninian Edwards was born in Montgomery County, Maryland, in March, 1775. He married Miss Elvira Lane of Maryland in 1803.
The above information was excerpted from: Portrait and Biographical Album of Whiteside Co, IL; Chicago: M.A. Leeson & Co., 1887, pages 119-120. More information is available at http://www.illinoisancestors.org/governors/edwards.html