The summer 2016 issue features three stimulating essays on mid-nineteenth century Illinois politics. In "Extradition, the Mormons, and the Election of 1843," Andrew H. Hedges offers a new interpretation of the Mormons' surprising support of Joseph P. Hoge, the 1843 Democratic candidate for U.S. representative in Illinois' sixth congressional district. That decision was fraught with enormous consequence. In the wake of the Mormon vote for the Democrat Hoge, the area's Whig Party turned against the religious group, a momentous shift in local attitudes that spawned conflict and eventual expulsion of the Mormons out of western Illinois.
Brent M. Rodgers examines another dimension of Mormon politics in Illinois in his "'Armed men are coming from the state of Missouri': Federalism, Interstate Affairs, and Joseph Smith's Final Attempt to Secure Federal Intervention in Nauvoo." Rogers examines the constitutional and political theory behind Joseph Smith's letter to President John Tyler, written just seven days before his murder, pleading for federal intervention in behalf of the beleaguered religionists at Nauvoo.
In the issue's final article, "A Copperhead in Quincy Goes to Washington: Senator William A. Richardson," Shawn Hale adds to our knowledge and understanding of the Copperhead opposition that dogged Lincoln throughout the Civil War. Focusing on Richardson's many published speeches, Hale produces a refurbished and updated analysis of the Illinois Democrat's political thought. Richardson, argues Hale, is best seen as a "romantic conservative" whose commitment to the Constitution 'as it was' left him ill equipped in the face of revolutionary changes to federal authority and black freedom wrought by the Civil War.
Volume 19, Number 1
This issue of Illinois Heritage has much to offer our loyal readers: A profile of John Wood, Illinois' 12th governor and the founder of Quincy; a history of the Mormon Template in Nauvoo and what archaeologists have recently discovered on the site; a Collinsville landmark that roadside travelers relish; and the story of the Fansteel sit-down strike and how it changed labor relations in the nation. Thanks to our several contributors for making this issue possible. Of course we have included the latest Society news, announcements, programs, tours, and historical marker dedications around the state.
It's all good reading in Illinois Heritage. I suggest a warm cup of cider, a mug of hot chocolate, or your favorite winter beverage to begin your adventure in Illinois history.