Search
Thursday, December 8, 2022

Newsroom

Poetry

The Mysterious Bard of Sangamo: Early Illinois poet brought to life in new video production

Illinois State Historical Society

Elaine Evans 0 1387 Article rating: No rating

John Hancock, a well-traveled, heart-broken poet, arrived in Springfield in the summer of 1831. His journey began in Cornwall, England, in the late 18th century, with stops in Italy, France, London (where he studied law), and Canada before his arrival in the Sangamo Country, where he secured a job selling whisky and sundries in Jacob Capps’ Grocery. According to ISHS director John Hallwas, professor emeritus of history and English at Western Illinois University and a Medievalist who has written more than 20 books about Illinois history and culture, Hancock was the finest poet in the Midwest in the 1830s, a writer of exceptional depth who wanted to capture the Prairie experience in verse. He succeeded admirably. Hallwas’ book, The Poetry of H: Lost Poet of Lincoln’s Springfield (Ellis Press, 1982), is the basis for his new play, The Mysterious Bard of Sangamo, which was recorded this past summer.

Illinois Heritage, September–October 2021

Volume 24, Number 5

Elaine Evans 0 1221 Article rating: No rating

To our readers:

Traveling around Illinois is my job and my joy. Last month I visited Oregon, Princeton, Carbondale, Ottawa, Downers Grove, East Peoria, Pullman, Decatur, Centralia, and a zillion towns in between.  I chatted with librarians, church organists, receptionists, a couple of cops, and folks on the street and, guess what—the topic wasn’t the pandemic, it was Illinois history. I passed out copies of Illinois Heritage to dozens of potential new ISHS members, handed out business cards, showed off our new flashy holiday ornament, presented the Society’s new Lincoln-Douglass statuette (designed by sculptor John McClarey) to worthy donors, and even delivered poles to communities planning historical marker dedications.

But the thing that gives me more pleasure than traveling the state is sharing the latest issue of Illinois Heritage with you. This modest little magazine, now nearly 25 years old, is written by some of our most dedicated historians who continue to seek out and share new stories from our Prairie State past. Our family of history tellers grows with each issue too. These are extraordinary folks; I hope you’ve come to value them as I do. 

Thank you for being members of the Illinois State Historical Society. Thanks for being part of our history, and for letting us be part of yours.

Share your Heritage, be “Lincoln-hearted,” and have a safe and joyous equinox. 

William Furry
ISHS Executive Director

Illinois Heritage, July–August 2021

Volume 24, Number 4

Elaine Evans 0 1057 Article rating: No rating

Summer in Illinois. Cicadas, hummingbirds, mosquitos, daylilies, day trips, watermelon, sweetcorn, and the Illinois State Fair. Whatever makes your Prairie State summer special, I hope the season is full of wonders and surprises.

This issue is packed with articles guaranteed to expand your Illinois horizon. I am forever delighted with what our contributors deliver in variety and diversity, and how generous they are with their research. My hope is that you share your Illinois Heritage with family and friends, and with anyone interested in our state’s marvelous history. Our contributors deserve the broadest possible audience we can deliver. It’s small compensation for such tremendous effort.

If you are looking for an opportunity to support and sustain our publications, this is a good time to make a contribution to the Illinois Heritage Fund, or to the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. Please send your donations to:

Illinois Heritage Fund
Illinois State Historical Society
P.O. Box 1800
Springfield, IL 62705-1800

As always, thanks for sharing your history and heritage. The Illinois prairie blossoms in the summer, and more so when we tell our stories.

William Furry
Executive Director

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

Volume 23, Number. 4

Elaine Evans 0 1727 Article rating: No rating

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, March–April 2020

Volume 23, Number. 2

Elaine Evans 0 2006 Article rating: No rating

To our readers:

The nominations are in and buzz is building. If you have not already done so, mark your calendars for Friday, April 24 and the “Best of Illinois History Awards Gala,” the night the Illinois State Historical Society celebrates the people, organizations, authors, museums, and historical societies that made history in the Prairie State in 2019. If you haven’t already received your invitation in the mail, call us. We’ll have one in the mail before you can name the state fossil.

This issue of Illinois Heritage contains articles on several fascinating people, places, and events in our state’s past that will stir your imagination, bring you closer to the essence of Illinois and, perhaps, stoke your own creative fires.

Thank you for reading Illinois Heritage. Your membership and gifts keep this organization vital and relevant. We cannot serve Illinois history without you.

RSS
12

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