Become a member

Becoming a member not only supports the Illinois State Historical Society, but also delivers excellent benefits to you giving you an excellent source of historical literature and resources. We offer multiple membership options for all stages and income levels. Look at our Membership area to find a plan that will work for you and join TODAY.

Become a member   Donate

Today in history


Hull House founder Jane Addams is the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

View all days in history...

"The Conversation"

Care about Illinois history enough to make a solid (bronze) commitment to the Illinois State Historical Society? Donors of $2500 or more will receive "The Conversation," a limited (25 total made) edition casting of a new statuette by renowned Lincoln sculptor John McClarey on the theme of the first conversation at the White House between Frederick Douglass and President Lincoln, which took place on August 10, 1863. This is truly a wonderful keepsake and a statement about the power of listening in a world drowning in noise. Call or email today to donate and own a piece of history.




Latest News

The Country and the City: Screening and Discussion of “Kaskaskia and the Pursuit of a More Perfect Union, Part 2”

Watch a video program on our YouTube channel, or attend a screening and community discussion around the state

  • 29 October 2022
  • Author: Jenni Dahl
  • Number of views: 256

Event date: 11/22/2022 6:30 PM Export event

November 22, 6:30 p.m. CT
Chester Public Library, 733 S State St, Chester, IL 62233 

Kaskaskia and the Pursuit of a More Perfect Union examines what the complex history of Illinois’ first capital, Kaskaskia, can teach us about present day pursuits of a unified public. Through screenings and community discussions, the series will provide an in-depth look at the many demographic, cultural, and political shifts that have shaped Kaskaskia locally and impacted the democratic vision of the region and country.


The series will feature an overview of Kaskaskia’s history beginning with its founding by Kaskaskia Indians and French Jesuits near the confluence of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi rivers in 1703 through its integration into the newly independent United States in 1778 and designation as Illinois’s territorial capital and first state capital. We’ll also look at present-day Kaskaskia—a small island in the Mississippi accessible only by way of Missouri. Kaskaskia persists as one of Illinois’s smallest, yet most historic, municipalities, thanks to its residents’ dedication.

This history involves many groups of people – Indigenous and Black people, both enslaved and free, French and British people, Anglo-Americans from the South and the North, and subsequent immigrants – and many dramatic social, governmental, and economic changes that reflect the landscape of the state and country throughout time. The series will discuss the experiences of the Kaskaskia Tribe who remain integral to the community’s social fabric as well as contemporary African American life and the preservation and promotion of French American heritage in Randolph County.

By considering what ‘a more perfect Union’ might have meant at various times to various people – from those who lived in the place where the Liberty Bell of the West rang, to those in the present keeping the town’s legacy alive – we hope to stimulate thought and discussion about our own aspirations for a more perfect Union.

Kaskaskia and the Pursuit of a More Perfect Union is made possible in part by a grant from National Endowment for the Humanities A More Perfect Union initiative.

Learn More

Categories: Events
Rate this article:
No rating

View article archives

Upcoming events Events RSSiCalendar export

View the calendar of events

Submit your local history event

Do you have an exciting local history news story or an event that you would like to share? Use this form to submit it and after a quick review it will be added to our news roll or events calendar. The goal is to add news and events from all over the state to celebrate Illinois’ rich history. Get involved and get the word out about news and events in your area.



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

Terms Of UsePrivacy StatementCopyright 2022 by Illinois State Historical Society
Back To Top