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Today in history

8/14/1908

Two days of rioting in Springfield, Illinois, follow false accusations of rape by Mabel Hallam against an African American man named George Richardson. Over two days, a crowd of about 12,000 burned and looted in the African American neighborhoods, also lynching barber Scott Burton and the elderly William Donegan, who was married to a German-Irish woman. The National Guard was called in to restore order and eventually over 80 people were indicted. Only one conviction resulted, against an immigrant Abraham Raymer for stealing a guard's saber. This riot would be seminal in the establishment of the NAACP.

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Since 1934, the Illinois State Historical Society has erected more than 500 historical markers statewide. Subjects of historical significance to Illinois are co-sponsored by local organizations and supporters. The Illinois State Historical Society coordinates the placement and management of historical markers throughout the state.

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Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Spring 2019

Volume 112 Number 1

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Spring 2019

We open 2019 with three articles addressing murder, politics, and ethnoreligious identity in Illinois. In "Untouchable: Joseph Smith's Use of the Law as a Catalyst for Assassination," Alex Smith offers a fine-grained analysis of the Mormon prophet's understanding- and misunderstanding- of key legal concepts leading up to his murder at a Carthage, Illinois jail in 1844. 

Like the histroy of Joseph Smith and anti-mormonism, antislavery politics has generated a rich and variegated historiography. In "Free Soil, Free Labor, and Free Men: The Origins of the Republican Party in DuPage County, Illinois," Stephen Buck synthesizes many of the widely accepted explanations for the Republican Party's emergence in the 1850s, including the powerful ideal of free-soil in the trans-Mississippi West; opposition to the political clout of the "Slave Power" nationally; and genuine moral committments to the abolition of Slavery. 

Always a city of immigrants, Chicago has rightfully served as a key focus for a wide-ranging body of scholarship on the immigrant experience in America. Oddly, however, the French, the first Europeans to see and settle the area, have largely faded from view in histories of immigrant Chicago. Daniel Snow sheds much needed light on the French-American experience in the Windy City in "Of Three Nations: Devotion and Community in French-American Chicago, 1850-1950."

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