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Illinois Heritage

cover photos of Illinois Heritage magazine

Illinois Heritage Magazine

Illinois Heritage, the popular history magazine of the Illinois State Historical Society, was established in 1997 to encourage professional and amateur historians, museum professionals, teachers, genealogists, journalists, and other researchers to explore and write about Prairie State history for a broad audience.

Illinois Heritage is published six times per year and is available as a benefit of membership in the Illinois State Historical Society. Individual editions can also be purchased by contacting our office directly. Visit our Membership section for membership options and information.

Visit our Illinois Heritage Magazine section to see issue summaries and sample articles from recent releases.

Illinois State Historical Society   |   Strawbridge-Shepherd House   |   PO Box 1800   |   Springfield, IL 62705-1800

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

Volume 23, Number. 4

We are well into the COVID-19 summer and still waiting for the first pitch of the 2020 MLB season. People are marching in the streets, statues of oppressors are coming down, and otherwise reasonable adults are forsaking their PPE for an illusory moment of freedom, despite the risks of sickness and death. The news isn’t encouraging.

But we’ve been in pickles before. Pestilence, war, civil strife––even a canceled baseball season––are in our recent memory. Time to buckle down and…read your Illinois Heritage. The July-August issue is crammed with stories about Illinoisans who scraped through life and rose to challenges the likes we can only imagine. R. O. White, the farm-boy who fought in Mexico; lawyer Elisha Bentley Hamilton, who dodged bullets in the Civil War and politics afterwards; John Francis Snyder, one of the founders of the ISHS, who was a medical doctor, an archaeologist, and a Confederate soldier; and photographer Helen Balfour Morrison, whose photos challenged attitudes of white supremacy in the early 20th century. We also say goodbye to beloved friends and teachers John D. Buenker and Patricia Burnette, who shared their passion for history and inspired us.

Thanks to all of you for your support of the Society during the pandemic, which has challenged us to find new ways to sustain our mission. Your gifts help us keep the lights on, reach out to new audiences, and build on our successes.

Thanks for all you do for the ISHS. Share your Heritage, and keep your mask on.

Table of Contents


  • To our readers
  • President’s message
  • Letters
  • ISHS News
  • Poetry corner
  • Obituaries: John D. Buenker, Patricia B. Burnette


  • Forgotten Voices from Illinois History: John Francis Snyder (Sample Article)
  • Illinois Women Artists series, Part #40: Helen Balfour Morrison
  • R. O. White, Illinois farm boy who witnessed the conquering of Mexico
  • 2020 Best of Illinois History Awards (Sample Article)
  • Verna Ross Orndorff Scholarship Essay
  • “Esteemed by All”: The life, dreams, and achievements of Quincy’s Elisha Bentley Hamilton, Jr.
  • A case of mistaken identity: The parallel lives of John Tanner in Nauvoo
  • Coinmetromania: Exploring cemeteries in rural Illinois


  • The Broken Heart of American: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States

On the cover:

Annie Merner Chapel at MacMurray College in Jacksonville. The 174-year-old school, founded as the Illinois Women’s College in 1846, closed its doors in May.
--Photo by William Furry

Issue Price$10.00
Previous Issue Illinois Heritage, May-June 2020
Next Issue Illinois Heritage, September–October 2020

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