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Monday, November 29, 2021

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Dr. John Weir (1809-1878) Historical Marker Dedication

Madison County Historical Society

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The Madison County Historical Society (MCHS) invites the public to attend the dedication of a new Illinois State Historical Marker on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, at 2 p.m. at 715 N. Main Street in Edwardsville. The new ISHS marker will commemorate the home and work of Dr. John Weir (1809-1878). Sunday’s dedication also serves as a kick-off for the Society’s Centennial year. The first meeting of the Madison County Historical Society was held on Dec. 3, 1921, the 103rd anniversary of Illinois statehood.

Illinois Heritage, November–December 2021

Volume 24, Number 46

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In this issue of Illinois Heritage we explore the “Badger Huts” of Jo Daviess County, the destruction of an elegant Italianate farm house in Springfield, the remarkable career of author and editor William Maxwell, Ottawa’s tent colony for the treatment of tuberculosis patients, the elegant art of Christia M. Reade, Joseph Harker’s ascent from the coal mines of southern Illinois to the presidency of the Illinois Woman’s College in Jacksonville, and so much more, including several newly installed historical markers around the state.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to renew your ISHS membership. In the coming weeks you will be receiving reminders in the mail from the University of Illinois Press, which handles our subscription and membership renewals. Early renewals help cut down on costs and give us a leg up on the new year. Thanks to all of you who have already sent in your renewals. We look forward to hearing from you in 2022.

William Furry
Executive Director

 

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

Illinois State Historical Society

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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

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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

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