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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Newsroom

Abraham Lincoln

Illinois Heritage, September–October 2020

Volume 23, Number 5

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Prairie State history is seldom as pristine as our cover might suggest.

Sometimes it is downright gritty…and then there are the horseflies and gnats. But it is always interesting and sometimes downright fascinating. The September-October issue offers so many examples, from the profiles of Ethel Mars, John Dos Passos, Harriett Rendall, and Ada Miser Kepley to the fascinating essay on Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas, author of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which propelled Abraham Lincoln into the White House, provoked a Civil War, and led to the Emancipation Proclamation. Douglas biographer Reg Ankrom opens a window to our past, where we can reflect on the unresolved conflicts that have contributed to our social unrest today. It’s all good reading in your Illinois Heritage.

Thanks again, to all of you who contributed to our COVID 19 appeal, which helped get us through a difficult summer. May you all stay well, and may the autumn fall colorfully, and gently, in Illinois.

Hesler Prints Now Available

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Alexander Hesler’s companion portraits of presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, taken in   Springfield on June 3, 1860, are stunning photographs. Exposed on 8” x 10” light-sensitive glass plates, the images are among the most eloquent and revealing of Illinois’ greatest statesman before he left Springfield for Washington.

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

Volume 23, Number. 4

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We are well into the COVID-19 summer and still waiting for the first pitch of the 2020 MLB season. People are marching in the streets, statues of oppressors are coming down, and otherwise reasonable adults are forsaking their PPE for an illusory moment of freedom, despite the risks of sickness and death. The news isn’t encouraging.

But we’ve been in pickles before. Pestilence, war, civil strife––even a canceled baseball season––are in our recent memory. Time to buckle down and…read your Illinois Heritage. The July-August issue is crammed with stories about Illinoisans who scraped through life and rose to challenges the likes we can only imagine. R. O. White, the farm-boy who fought in Mexico; lawyer Elisha Bentley Hamilton, who dodged bullets in the Civil War and politics afterwards; John Francis Snyder, one of the founders of the ISHS, who was a medical doctor, an archaeologist, and a Confederate soldier; and photographer Helen Balfour Morrison, whose photos challenged attitudes of white supremacy in the early 20th century. We also say goodbye to beloved friends and teachers John D. Buenker and Patricia Burnette, who shared their passion for history and inspired us.

Thanks to all of you for your support of the Society during the pandemic, which has challenged us to find new ways to sustain our mission. Your gifts help us keep the lights on, reach out to new audiences, and build on our successes.

Thanks for all you do for the ISHS. Share your Heritage, and keep your mask on.

Illinois Heritage, May-June 2020

Volume 23, Number 1

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This issue of Illinois Heritage looks to the history of previous pandemics and offers some thoughtful instruction on how our ancestors coped with contagion without antibiotics, the CDC, or the Internet. Thanks to Allen Croessmann and John Hallwas for their research and fascination with public health history. 

We also meet some very interesting individuals who added art and perspective to our vision of the Prairie State through our ongoing series “Voices from Illinois History” and “Illinois Women Artists.”

Our other feature articles in the May-June issue deserve your attention too. Beth Young’s article about Civil War-era nurse Louise Maertz is a tribute to our current care providers on the frontlines of the war against COVID-19; the summaries of civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass’s lectures from his 1866 visits to Springfield are revealing of Reconstruction-era politics; and Guy Fraker’s analysis of a forgotten Lincoln legal case should illuminate lawyers and arm-chair scholars alike.

Be safe, practice self-distancing, be kind to others, and share your Heritage.

Illinois Heritage, January–February 2020

Volume 23, Number 1

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Happy New Year from the Illinois State Historical Society!

The January-February issue of Illinois Heritage—“The music issue”—ably assembled by ISHS director Bill Steinbacher-Kemp with the help of a sterling group of writers who know their Illinois music history, is a great start for the new year. Our “2020” vision for the ISHS is to make our programs and publications the best in the Midwest.

Thanks to all of you who have taken time to join or renew your 2020 membership in the Illinois State Historical Society. Our organization thrives because of your commitment to our mission of “fostering awareness, understanding, research, preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois.” As you know, membership is the glue that holds the Illinois State Historical Society together. Your personal commitment to this organization makes all the difference in what we accomplish from year to year. Thank you for all you do to make Illinois history unforgettable. 

Share your Heritage.

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