Southern Illinois is the place to be this August as we anticipate a total solar eclipse, with center stage located over the state's first capital, Kaskaskia. Will two minutes and forty seconds of darkened skies start crickets chirping and bring out the fireflies? We'll just have to wait and see and hope for a cloudless day for the people planning to check out the path of totality. And we'll also have to wait and see whether our great state can come to terms with its budgetary woes and see brighter days ahead.
Welcome to Kristan McKinsey, Director of the Illinois Women Artists Project, as she picks up the excellent editorial work of the late Channy Lyons. Our friends at Illinois Humanities are forging ahead with plans for the upcoming state bicentennial and we can travel with Stephen Leonard and Keith Sculle on their road trip of discovery along the east-west Route 36 across Illinois.
Despite the quagmires of government, the quicksand of politics, and the mosquitoes of summer, Illinois is a glorious place to call home.
Photo was taken in Springfield, June 3, 1860, after Lincoln won the Republican nomination for president
The Illinois State Historical Society is trying to place a large canvas photograph of Abraham Lincoln in every courthouse in Illinois. These 30" x 40" inch framed canvases (shown below) are the best photographic reproduction images of Lincoln as he looked in Illinois (without a beard) shortly after he received the national Republican Party nomination for president. The photo was taken by famed photographer Alexander Hesler in Springfield at the Old State Capitol on June 3, 1860, and was deemed by Lincoln to be his favorite likeness.
The framed canvas portraits are available ONLY from the Illinois State Historical Society, and it is our intention to place one in every Illinois courthouse in time for the bicentennial next December. Can you help us? The cost of a portrait of A. Lincoln is $500, plus tax (no tax is you're a member of the ISHS). For $25 we will deliver the canvas to the county courthouse of your choice.
Please allow two weeks for delivery, but order your Lincoln Hesler canvas today. Let's put Honest Abe in every Illinois courthouse for Illinois's 200th anniversary. For details or more information, call 217-525-2781 and ask for Gwen.
With this issue of the Heritage, we welcome our new President Leah Axelrod to the helm. Leah has been a member for 20+ years and she is the fifth woman to serve as ISHS President since 1899. Thanks are due to Randall Saxon as he steps down to take life a little easier, if that is possible for a gardener.
Readers of this issue will enjoy a little bit of everything, from John Hallwas's look at the life of naturalist Donald Culross Peattie to Michael Sublett's look at a proposed 103rd Illinois county, named for wildlife painter John James Audubon. We are also pleased to share Verna Ross Orndorff scholarship winner Anna Sielaff's essay on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Thanks to our Society members for keeping the lantern burning and the rivers gently flowing! Share your Heritage!