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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.

Audubon

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Fall/Winter 2017

Volume 110, Numbers 3-4

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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. 

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Summer 2017

Volume 110, Number 2

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Volume 110, No. 2 of the Journal opens with three studies that about events that dramatically shaped the state’s nearly two hundred year history. In "Pocahontas, Uleleh, and Hononegah: The Archetype of the American Indian Princess," Dan Blumlo explores the trope of the Indian Princess–who intervenes at a crucial moment to save a white man from certain death at the hands of savage Indians–evolved and became central to nineteenth and twentieth century conceptions of American nationalism.

In "Jim Crow Comes to Central Illinois: Racial Segregation in the Twentieth Century Bloomington-Normal," Mark Wyman and John W. Muirhead review the persistence of racial segregation in Illinois and the struggles of blacks and sympathetic whites to combat it.

In our final article, "The Decline of Decatur," longtime Illinois historian Roger Biles presents a timely account of what we today call globalization, and why its history matters so much to residents of countless Rustbelt cities like Decatur.

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Spring 2017

Volume 110, Number 1

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Volume 110, No. 1 of the Journal opens with three studies of post–World War II Illinois history. In “‘Names and Appearances are often Indeterminate:’ Quandaries over Identifying Jews in Chicago, 1953–1961,” Kelly King-O’Brien examines the conversations between Chicago-based Jewish agencies, President Eisenhower’s Committee on Government Contracts (PCGC), and private employers accused of discriminatory practices. 

Ann Durkin Keating treats another facet of civic life that shaped the postwar liberal order in “‘Behind the Suburban Curtain:’ The Campaign for Open Occupancy in Naperville.” In the late 1960s the Civil Rights Movement, having secured historic victories over de jure segregation in the South, set its sights on the much harder problem of de facto segregation in the North’s metropolitan areas.

In our final article, “‘The Dwindling Legacy that is Food for Mice and Flames:’ Discovery and Preservation of Illinois Historic Newspapers through the Illinois Digital Newspaper Project, 2009–2015,” Marek Sroka and Tracy Nectoux trace the history of newspaper preservation in Illinois up through our current digital age.  

 

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Winter 2016

Volume 109, Number 4

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The Winter 2016 volume features three essays that engage histories of race, gender, and the Chicago artworld respectively. In "Days of Jubilee: Emancipation Day Celebrations in Chicago, 1853-1877," Amber Bailey documents the rich history of black activism in celebration of emancipation. 

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."

And 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.

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Fall 2016

Volume 109, Number 3

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This issue offers three articles covering diverse aspects of Illinois' history. In "Illinois Germans and the Coming of the Civil War: Reshaping Ethnic Identity," Christina Bearden-White uses German-language sources to examine the complex issue of German identity in the Prairie State during the mid-nineteenth century.

Ian Rocksborough-Smith's article, "'I had gone in there thinking I was going to be a cultural worker': Richard Durham, Oscar Brown, Jr. and the United Packinghouse Workers Association in Chicago," presents a fascinating analysis of the Cold War-era careers of Oscar Brown, Jr. and Richard Durham, two prominent Chicago-based African American political activists.

Finally, Michael Sublett's "Downstate: Illinois' Peripheral Other," presents the etymology of that well-known Prairie State term. Employing the categories of core and periphery, which rose to prominence in social science and historical writing during the 1970s, Sublett traces the evolution and application of the downstate moniker.

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