Our July-August issue is full of articles to cool you off, starting with “Mythic Mississippi,” a fascinating look at how the “Father of Waters” has made Illinois a destination for people seeking new beginnings for centuries. In this issue we also continue our commemorative look at Ulysses S. Grant on the 200th anniversary of his birth, showcasing how the general and future 18th president was perceived by Illinois Civil War soldiers in the field. We also include a portrait of Julia Dent Grant, the remarkable and steadfast woman who helped him achieve greatness. Linda Ruholl introduces us to two poets and physicians named James Newton Matthews of Effingham County, who left footprints and verses throughout southeastern Illinois. And Richard Stickann provides us with a portrait of John Locke Scripps, the newspaperman from Rushville who penned the first biography of Abraham Lincoln, a book that helped secure Lincoln’s rise to the presidency.