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Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Spring 2021

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Spring 2021

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Spring 2021

Volume 114, Number 1

The Spring 2021 issue of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society is printed and in the mail. The Journal, the scholarly publication of the ISHS, is published quarterly and is a benefit of membership in the Illinois State Historical Society. Each issue includes articles, essays, book reviews, and documents about history, literature, art technology, law, and other subjects related to Illinois and the Midwest. Visit our Membership page for membership options and information. Click on the “Read More” button for a list of articles and reviews included in this issue.


“Discovering the Lost Lake, Pimiteoui”
Richard Gross
The creation of dams and levees and the migration of First Peoples across the Illinois landscape have obscured the location of a historic lake for more than a century. It was near this lake that the explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, first met the Peoria, Moyngoana, Kaskaskia, and other families of the Illinois people. It was here that he found open water in the midst of winter and truly began the project that he hoped would produce a viable settlement of the lower Mississippi, river traffic to expand the economy of New France, and a naval base to command an American empire for Louis XIV. Finally, however, numbers tell the story and maps powerfully testify, solving the mystery and revealing the location of this lake amid the vast wetlands of central Illinois.

“Immigrant Culture and Community Conflict at Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago”
William B Sieger
On February 12, 1877, a group of Bohemian Americans of Chicago met to establish a cemetery for their community. Among the group were representatives of twenty Czech benevolent, workingmen’s, fraternal, gymnastic, and free-thought societies. A committee subsequently identified suitable (and inexpensive) locations in what was then Jefferson Township, ultimately settling on a fifty-acre site east of Pulaski Avenue in what is now northwestern Chicago.

Typically, Chicago burial grounds of this day were either civic or religious institutions. This cemetery was neither. But its nondenominational status and the circumstances of its founding are only the first indications of its deep and complex relationship to the Czech American population of Chicago—a community that was divided against itself in important ways, with the role of institutional religion within the community as one of the main points of contention. The unique historical circumstances of this part of immigrant American culture are evident still in startling ways in the surviving fabric of the cemetery—its monuments, architecture, and landscape design—although these are notably eclectic in style and product of multiple hands working across many decades.

“Writing His Life During the Civil War: The Diary of James A. Mulligan”
Daniel P. Kotzin
While stationed in Cumberland, Maryland, during the Battle of Gettysburg, after checking his regiment’s fortifications in case of a Confederate attack, Colonel James S. Mulligan of the Twenty-Third Illinois Volunteers sat down to write in his diary. Praised as a hero from the Battle of Lexington in 1861 and known publicly as a gallant Irish American officer who raised his regiment full of eager Irishmen, he did not write anything about how he felt at this ominous moment. Instead, after making a note about his visit to the fortifications, he concluded his entry by scribbling that in the afternoon he “looked through bookstores.”

Book Reviews

The History of Starved Rock
By Mark Walczynski
Reviewed by Jay Purrazzo

Kaskaskia: The Lost Capital of Illinois
By David MacDonald and Raine Waters
Reviewed by Michael Batinski

German Americans on the Middle Border: From Antislavery to Reconciliation, 1830-1877
By Zachary Stuart Garrison
Reviewed by Herbert K. Russell

The World of Juliette Kinzie: Chicago before the Fire
By Ann Durkin Keating
Reviewed by Merritt Morgan

Sixteenth President-in-Waiting: Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield Dispatches of Henry Villard, 1860-1861
Edited by Michael Burlingame
Reviewed by Dan Monroe

Mississippi Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated Field Guide
By Timothy S. Sedor
Reviewed by David Joens

Poles in Illinois
By John Radzilowski and Ann Hetzel Gunkel
Reviewed by Daniel Blumlo

The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress: New Bedford, Chicago and the Twilight of an Industry
By Daniel Gifford
Reviewed by Patrician Ann Owens

Negotiating Latinidad: Intralatina/o Lives in Chicago
By Frances R. Aparicio
Reviewed by Edward L. Bathes

Chicago Católico: Making Catholic Parishes Mexican
By Deborah E. Kanter
Reviewed by Steve Rosswurm


Exterior of the Crematory Building of Bohemian National Cemetery, Chicago, by Frank Randak, dedicated in 1913.
Photo by William B. Sieger.



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