Macon County History Museum
Join us on April 21 as we welcome guest speaker Bob Sampson who will present his program "Base Ball Comes to Decatur." Imagine a baseball field with a stream running through the outfield, a literal water hazard for ballplayers or a large crowd watching a game near the junction of Decatur’s two busiest railroads. If you can’t, Millikin University’s Dr. Bob Sampson of the Department of History and Political Science will explain this and more, including why the game was spelled as two words.
VOLUME 110 NOS 3-4 OF THE JOURNAL features a collection of seven essays in honor of the Illinois statehood bicentennial in 2018 written by both emerging and seasoned scholars. Christopher Schnell looks at very early Illinois legal history and the conflict of opinions on the nature of property law between lawyers and squatters in "Lawyers, Squatters, and the Transformation of the Public Domain in Early-Statehood Illinois." In ""You have been the soldiers friend or we dare not appeal to you": The Papers of Illinois Governor Richard Yates as a Window on Civil War Medicine," Glena Schroeder-Lein examines the medical concerns of Illinois soldiers and their loved ones as representative of civil war care generally. In "Fields of Battle: The Problem of Base Ball Playing Space in Post-Civil War Illinois," Robert Sampson studies comparative urban dynamics in the 1860's as the leaders of Springfield and Bloomington determined, in contrasting ways, where the sport could be played in their cities. David Joens's study of Illinois' colored conventions in the 1880's titled "Illinois Colored Conventions of 1880s," determines them to have been more successful than previous African American conventions in the state. Moving into the twentieth century, Denise Johnson in, "Central Illinois Women Who Served in the Military During World War II," uses interviews with eight central Illinois women to recount not only their experiences in the World War II military experiences, but also the life-long importance to them of work. Mark DePue traces the development of sentiment for the 1980s constitutional amendment to reduce the size of the Illinois legislature through the abolition of cumulative voting in, "The Cutback Amendment of 1980: Unintended Consequences of Pat Quinn's Reforming Zeal". Lastly, Robert Hartley in, "Alan Dixon and Paul Simon: Like Brothers, They Did Not Always Agree or Win," examines the friendship of two very different Illinois politicians.