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Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

The Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, established in 1908, is the scholarly publication of the Illinois State Historical Society. The peer-reviewed Journal welcomes articles, essays, and documents about history, literature, art technology, law, and other subjects related to Illinois and the Midwest. Submission guidelines can be found here.

The Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society is published quarterly and is available to everyone for purchase, discounts are included for members of the Illinois State Historical Society. Visit our Membership section for membership options and information.

To purchase individual issues please contact our office.

Volume 109 – Number 4 – Winter 2016

Volume 109 – Number 4 – Winter 2016

Volume 109 – Number 4 – Winter 2016


In "Days of Jubilee: Emancipation Day Celebrations in Chicago, 1853-1877," Amber Bailey documents the rich history of black activism in celebration of emancipation. Bailey makes clear that Emancipation Day celebrations constituted a vibrant civic tradition that galvanized community bonds, forged a shared identity based on the history of race and slavery in America, and provided one context for asserting the prerogatives of freedom in public life.

In "Illumination or Illusion: Women Inventors at the 1893 World's Columbian Fair," Denise E. Pilato examines how the work of women inventors was "promoted, judged, and valued." Pilato finds that prevailing ideas about women and domesticity limited the cultural and professional terrain available to these women inventors.

Finally, in "From Peer to Obscurity: Julius Moessel and the Fall of an Artistic Reputation," Mark Alvey examines the career of German-born Chicago painter Julius Moessel to raise broader questions about how artistic cannons are made and who gets included in them.

Book Reviews

James F. Jaquess: Scholar, Soldier, and Private Agent for President Lincoln. By Patricia B. Burnette.
Reviewed By: T.J. Vaughan

Lens of War: Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War. Edited by Matthew Gallman and Gary Gallagher.
Reviewed By: Samuel Blackwell

A Black Gambler's World of Liquor, Vice, and Presidential Politics: William Thomas Scott of Illinois, 1839-1917. By Bruce L. Mouser.
Reviewed By: Bryan M. Jack

The Life and Death of Gus Reed: A Story of Race and Justice in Illinois during the Civil War and Reconstruction. By Thomas Bahde.
Reviewed By: John R. McKivigan

Sensing Chicago: Noisemakers, Strikebreakers, and Muckrakers. By Adam Mack.
Reviewed By: Ann Durkin Keating

South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration
. By Marcia Chatelain.
Reviewed By: Shirley J. Portwood

The University of Chicago: A History. By John W. Boyer.
Reviewed By: David W. Scott

A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music. By Robert M. Marovich.
Reviewed By: Robert Pruther

Reagan's Legacy in a World Transformed. Edited by Jeffrey L. Chidester and Paul Kengor.
Reviewed By: Anthony O. Edmonds

Obama at War: Congress and the Imperial Presidency. By Ryan C. Hendrickson.
Reviewed By: Paul R. Edleman
Previous Issue Volume 109 – Number 3 – Fall 2016
Next Issue Volume 110 - Number 1 - Spring 2017
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