Illinois Heritage, July–August 2022
Volume 25, Number 4
As the noon-day sun heats up our rural oasis in Sangamon County, the corn is already waist high and climbing steadily towards the cumulus clouds drifting lazily overhead.
Some rituals dominate our Prairie State landscape. For me it’s the revelation of summer floral gardens, carefully maintained by Illinois gardeners who put their souls on display every year to help feed butterflies, hummingbirds, and passerines traveling through Illinois. My hope is that you get out of doors to experience the joys of summer, and find opportunities to discover our state.
But if you find yourself just sitting around soaking up the AC, keep your Illinois Heritage close at hand. Our July-August issue is full of articles to cool you off, starting with “Mythic Mississippi,” a fascinating look at how the “Father of Waters” has made Illinois a destination for people seeking new beginnings for centuries. In this issue we also continue our commemorative look at Ulysses S. Grant on the 200th anniversary of his birth, showcasing how the general and future 18th president was perceived by Illinois Civil War soldiers in the field. We also include a portrait of Julia Dent Grant, the remarkable and steadfast woman who helped him achieve greatness. Linda Ruholl introduces us to two poets and physicians named James Newton Matthews of Effingham County, who left footprints and verses throughout southeastern Illinois. And Richard Stickann provides us with a portrait of John Locke Scripps, the newspaperman from Rushville who penned the first biography of Abraham Lincoln, a book that helped secure Lincoln’s rise to the presidency.
And there’s plenty more engaging reading material to keep you out of the heat and in the shade all summer long. Thanks to all who have renewed their membership, made a donation to the ISHS, attended a historical marker dedication, or shared the link to our website, https://www.historyillinois.org/. Your membership helps make history accessible to millions of students, senior learners, reenactors, tourists, and curious time travelers. Help us keep the stories coming. Support the Illinois State Historical Society. Share your Heritage.