The summer 2016 issue features three stimulating essays on mid-nineteenth century Illinois politics. In "Extradition, the Mormons, and the Election of 1843," Andrew H. Hedges offers a new interpretation of the Mormons' surprising support of Joseph P. Hoge, the 1843 Democratic candidate for U.S. representative in Illinois' sixth congressional district. That decision was fraught with enormous consequence. In the wake of the Mormon vote for the Democrat Hoge, the area's Whig Party turned against the religious group, a momentous shift in local attitudes that spawned conflict and eventual expulsion of the Mormons out of western Illinois.
Brent M. Rodgers examines another dimension of Mormon politics in Illinois in his "'Armed men are coming from the state of Missouri': Federalism, Interstate Affairs, and Joseph Smith's Final Attempt to Secure Federal Intervention in Nauvoo." Rogers examines the constitutional and political theory behind Joseph Smith's letter to President John Tyler, written just seven days before his murder, pleading for federal intervention in behalf of the beleaguered religionists at Nauvoo.
In the issue's final article, "A Copperhead in Quincy Goes to Washington: Senator William A. Richardson," Shawn Hale adds to our knowledge and understanding of the Copperhead opposition that dogged Lincoln throughout the Civil War. Focusing on Richardson's many published speeches, Hale produces a refurbished and updated analysis of the Illinois Democrat's political thought. Richardson, argues Hale, is best seen as a "romantic conservative" whose commitment to the Constitution 'as it was' left him ill equipped in the face of revolutionary changes to federal authority and black freedom wrought by the Civil War.
THE SUMMER ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL OFFERS three articles that examine key aspects of the Prairie State's Political history.
In "Elijah P. Lovejoy: Anti-Catholic Abolitionist," John Duerk examines the famous abolitionist's anti-Catholicism, which constituted a vital component of Lovejoy's larger worldview.
In "A Question of Loyalty: The 1896 Election in Quincy, Illinois," John Coats analyzes the election of 1896 at the grassroots. For decades political historians have viewed the election of 1896 as a "critical" election, marking the transition from the third to the fourth party system.
Finally, Richard Allen Morton's "It Was Bryan and Sullivan Who did the Trick': How William Jennings Bryan and Illinois' Roger C. Sullivan Brought About the Nomination of Woodrow Wilson in 1912," examines the backroom negotiations and on-floor machinations that produced Woodrow Wilson's nomination at the 1912 Democratic Party convention in Baltimore.