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.
Purposefully excluded from this issue are essays on Abraham Lincoln. The shadow of Lincoln often dominates the history of his adopted state. For that reason, we wanted to give a taste of other topics that have been studied less often.
"Lawyers, Squatters, and the Transformation of the Public Domain in Early-Statehood Illinois"
""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"
"Fields of Battle: The Problem of Base Ball Playing Space in Post-Civil War Illinois"
"Illinois Colored Conventions of 1880s"
"Central Illinois Women Who Served in the Military During World War II"
Denise R. Johnson
"The Cutback Amendment of 1980: Unintended Consequences of Pat Quinn's Reforming Zeal"
Mark R. DePue
"Alan Dixon and Paul Simon: Like Brothers, They Did Not Always Agree or Win"
Robert E. Hartley
The Borderland of Fear: Vincennes, Prophetstown, and the Invasion of the Miami Homeland. By Patrick Bottiger
Reviewed by Robert McColley
Home Rule: Households, Manhood, and National Expansion on the Eighteenth-Century Kentucky Frontier. By Honor Sachs
Reviewed by Michael C. Batinski
Bison and People on the North American Great Plains: A Deep Enviromental History. Ed. by Geoff Cunfer and Bill Waiser
Reviewed By Alexander Finkelstein
Women, Work, and Worship in Lincoln's Country: The Dunville Family Letters. Ed. by Anne M. Heinz and John P. Heinz
Reviewed by Debra A. Reid
Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in the Antebellum and Civil War Years. By Kirsten Epps
Reviewed by Jeanne McDonald
Bloomer Girls: Women Baseball Pioneers. By Debra A. Shattuck
Reviewed by Cate Liabraaten
Reverend Addie Wyatt: Faith and the Fight for Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality. By Marcia Walker-McWilliams
Reviewed by Amy Helene Forss
Waiting for Buddy Guy: Chicago Blues at the Crossroads. By Alan Harper
Reviewed by Steve Shanley
Painting the Gospel: Black Public Art and Religion in Chicago. By Kymberly N. Pinder
Reviewed by Jennifer Rose Hasso
Fit for the Presidency? Winners, Losers, What-Ifs, and Also-Rans. By Seymour Morris, Jr.
Reviewed by John Morello
"Map of Illinois Rail-roads, 1854." Located in Railroad Maps of Illinois Collection, Illinois State Library, Springfield, available also in the Illinois Digital Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Hon. Jesse White.