Academic journal article Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

Editor's Page

Academic journal article Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

Editor's Page

Article excerpt

IN MAY 2015, WHILE WE WERE HAVING DINNER before a Civil War Round Table meeting, John Alexander, owner of Books on the Square in Virden, asked me what I thought about the idea of a collection of historical essays in honor of the Illinois statehood bicentennial in 2018. I thought it was a great idea-but I certainly did not expect that I would end up as its editor!

Over the following months, John and I discussed the focus for the collection. Rather than concentrate on the early years of settlement, or any other specific era, we decided to give a taste of the many options available for the study of Illinois' two-hundred-year history. We sought to choose a variety of contributors-both emerging and seasoned scholars-who address very different topics.

Christopher Schnell looks at very early Illinois legal history and the conflict of opinions on the nature of property law between lawyers and squatters. Mining the papers of Civil War governor Richard Yates, Glenna Schroeder-Lein examines the medical concerns of Illinois soldiers and their loved ones as representative of Civil War patient care generally. Rather than tracing the early development of "base ball," Robert Sampson studies comparative urban dynamics in the 1860s as the leaders of Springfield and Bloomington determined, in contrasting ways, where the sport could be played in their cities. …

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