A Johnny Appleseed Tree for McLean County

A Johnny Appleseed Tree for McLean...

Jeff Woodard and Bill Kemp of the McLean County Museum of History...

A Johnny Appleseed Tree for McLean County

A Johnny Appleseed Tree for McLean County

Jeff Woodard and Bill Kemp of the McLean County Museum of History plant their apple tree in Bloomington.
Frank Zajicek family farm on the west side of the Old Troy Road

Frank Zajicek family farm on the...

Members of the Zajicek family gather around the farmstead in the...

Frank Zajicek family farm on the west side of the Old Troy Road

Frank Zajicek family farm on the west side of the Old Troy Road

Members of the Zajicek family gather around the farmstead in the middle of a busy work day.
Nelson Montgomery farm

Nelson Montgomery farm

Owners Nelson and Eleanor Kindred Montgomery were among pioneer...

Nelson Montgomery farm

Nelson Montgomery farm

Owners Nelson and Eleanor Kindred Montgomery were among pioneer Madison County families and were married there in 1838.  Their home was featured in a lithograph in the 1873 Madison County Atlas and is...


Today in history


Bennie Goodman, born in Chicago in 1909, and Gene Krupa record jazz on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

View all days in history...

Gift Membership

Are you looking for a great gift for the person who has everything or who loves history? Consider a gift membership to the Illinois State Historical Society. Stay up to date on the bicentennial happenings around Illinois. Click Message us below and include the comment "Gift Membership" or call the office (217) 525-2781 #mybicentennial #giveagiftthatkeepsongiving #perfectgift #membership

Message Us...

Illinois 200 submit your events

Submit your Bicentennial event

Are you an event organizer? Got an event you want on our Bicentennial calendar? Use the form below to submit it and after a quick review it'll be added to our events calendar. The form captures much more than just Bicentennial events though so please add any of your regular events, just select accordingly. The goal is to add events from all over the state to celebrate Illinois' rich history. Get involved and help us fill our calendar and get the word out about events in your area.

View existing events

  • Submit an Article/Event

    Please use the form below to submit your article/event for consideration to be added to the Illinois State Historical Society website.  Upon review it, you will be emailed the status of the article and possibly asked for additional information.  If approved we will post your article on our news roll and/or calendar of events.

    Please do not use this form to submit or follow-up on submissions for the Illinois Heritage or Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. Instead visit the links below for the correct information.

    Thank you for taking the time to fill in the fields below accurately.

  • Submitter Information (Step 1 of 3)

  •  - 


Latest News & Upcoming Events

Volume 108 - Number 3-4 - Fall/Winter 2015

  • 13 January 2016
  • Author: Shaggy
  • Number of views: 3951
Volume 108 - Number 3-4 - Fall/Winter 2015
IN 1963, DURING THE HEIGHT of the Civil War centennial, the Illinois State Historical Society published a special issue of its journal to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The articles in the issue covered a wide range of topics related to African American history in Illinois up to the Civil War era. Although the ISHS had published articles on Illinois African American history through the years, a special issue devoted exclusively to the top was deemed appropriate.
As the sesquicentennial of both the Civil War and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment draws to a close, it is no less appropriate to devote a special issue of this journal to African American history in Illinois. In hist second inaugural address Lincoln said that all knew that slavery somehow was the cause of the Civil War. To commemorate and remember the war without discussing slavery and the broader questions of African American citizenship and participation in society would be wrong. And so, I am happy to present six outstanding articles covering a variety of topics on Illinois African American history.


In "The Early African American Settlement of Chicago, 1833-1870," Christopher Robert Reed offers an analysis on the establishment of an African American community in Chicago. In a comprehensive review Reed touches on all aspects of the growing community including its social, religious, educational, economic and political spheres and he highlights the lives of some of the individuals and institutions that shaped that community.

In "The 1847 Illinois Constitutional Convention and Persons of Color," Jerome B. Meites reviews how white delegates dealt with African Americans in Illinois while drafting the state's 1848 constitution. Although abolitionists made their presence felt, the ultimate result of the convention with regards to African Americans was the passage of the 1853 Black Law, a discriminatory piece of legislation that prohibited free blacks from immigrating to Illinois. Meites concludes by saying that Illinois, a northern state known as the "Land of Lincoln and Liberty Too," was, in fact, not a bastion of liberty and the 1848 constitution reflected this.

In "Antebellum Struggle for Citizenship," Roger D. Bridges discusses not only the reaction in the African American community to the 1847 convention and the enactment of the 1853 Black Law but also the community's effort at opposing other discriminatory black laws. Illinois African Americans, denied the right to vote and under constant threat under the black laws and the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, actively worked for their rights before the Civil War. Their struggle for citizenship took several forms including petitioning the general assembly, conducting mass meetings, investigation colonization plans and participating in nation and state colored conventions.

In "We Are Here Assembled: Illinois Colored Conventions, 1853-1873," Victoria L. Harrison goes into greater depth on Illinois colored conventions. Harrison reviews the changing nature of five state conventions held between 1853 abd 1873 and ties them in to the national convention movement and to both national and state events. In the end, however, she questions how effective the conventions were as agents for change.

In "I Earn By My Own Labor Day To Day":African American Women's Activism in the Wartime Midwest, Jennifer discusses the activism of African American women in Illinois and the Midwest by highlighting their efforts during the Civil War, Although they were constrained at the time by both their race and their sex, Harbour concludes, "black women had almost no political or socioeconomic power, so the instead used what they did have access to-their activist culture-in order to conduct emancipation".

In "To Protect the Rights of the White Race": Illinois Republican Racial Politics in the 1860 Campaign and the Twenty Second General Assembly, Sally Heinzel argues that opposition to slavery or its expansion was different than supporting full equality. She states that the majority of Illinois Republicans on the eve of the Civil War preferred not to alter the status of African Americans in Illinois.

Book Reviews

Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis. By Michael Todd Landis
Reviewed by: Stephen L. Hansen

Collaborators for Emancipation: Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy. By William F. Moore and Jane Ann Moore
Reviewed by: Robert McColley

Lincoln & Liberty: Wisdom for the Ages. Ed. by Lucas E. Morel
Reviewed by: Patricia Ann Owens

Lincoln and the War's End. By John C. Baugh
Reviewed by: Wallace Dean Draper

Lincoln's Assassination. By Edward Steers, Jr.
Reviewed by: Sean A. Scott

The True Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography. By Betty Boles Edison
Reviewed by: Matthew Toland

The Devils to Pay. John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour. By Eric J. Wittenberg
Reviewed by: Samuel Blackwell

Stonewall's Prussian Mapmaker: The Journals of Captain Oscar Hinrichs. Ed. by Richard Brady Williams
Reviewed by: Greg Bailey

Spring 1865: The Closing Campaigns of the Civil War. By Perry D. Jamieson
Reviewed by: Larry T. Balsamo

After Appomattoc: Military Occupation and the Ends of War. By Gregory P Downs
Reviewed by: Brent M.S. Campney

Music Along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldier, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia. By James A. Davis
Reviewed by: Catherine Bateson

Unione and States' Rights: A History and Interpretation of Interposition, Nullification, and Secession 150 Years After Sumter. Ed. by Neil H. Cogan
Reviewed by: John G. Grove

Terms Of UsePrivacy StatementCopyright 2018 by Illinois State Historical Society
Back To Top