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Friday, February 26, 2021

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Women Artists

Illinois Heritage, January–February 2021

Volume 24, No, 1

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The Illinois State Historical Society has, for 121 winters, celebrated each new year with the promise of greater perspective, greater diversity, and the very best scholarship about our Prairie State’s past. We could not dream of a future without you, our members, making this journey with us. If you have not renewed your membership, please do so today. We need you.

This issue celebrates many fascinating aspects of our history, and our writers, board, and staff would love to know what you think of our efforts. Please send your email comments to executivedirector@historyillinois.org, and, with your permission, we will publish them in Illinois Heritage.

Thank you for your support, your perseverance during the late pandemic, and for your fortitude in these challenging times. Spring is coming, bringing the promise of unimaginable joy. Share your joy. Share your Heritage.

Illinois Heritage, November–December 2020

Volume 23, Number. 6

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The presence of humans in the Illinois Country goes back at least 12,000 years, and some archaeologists would push that envelope even further into the past. We find footprints of prehistoric peoples all over the landscape of the Prairie State, and we have ample evidence of their physical presence in cultural artifacts found in museums and historical society collections from Galena to Golconda, Chicago to Cairo. In this issue of Illinois Heritage, our goal is to shine a spotlight on the people who called Illinois home before Europeans arrived on America’s shores.

We also profile southern Illinois historian John Allen and visit the sites of three new historical markers around the state.

Be safe, share your Heritage, and, if you are able, make a donation to the Society in support of our annual appeal. As always, thanks for your membership in the ISHS. With your help, we do great deeds.

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.

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.

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