When Abraham Lincoln moved to Illinois’ Sangamo Country in 1831, he found a pioneer community transforming from a cluster of log houses along an ancient trail to a community of new towns and state roads. But two of the towns vanished in a matter of years, and many of the activities and lifestyles that shaped them were almost entirely forgotten. In The Sangamo Frontier, archaeologist Robert Mazrim unearths the buried history of this early American community, breathing new life into a region that still rests in Lincoln’s shadow. Named after a shallow river that cuts through the prairies of central Illinois, the Sangamo Country—an area that now encompasses the capital city of Springfield and present-day Sangamon County—was first colonized after the War of 1812. For the past fifteen years, Mazrim has conducted dozens of excavations there, digging up pieces of pioneer life, from hand-forged iron and locally made crockery to pewter spoons and Staffordshire teacups. And here, in beautifully illustrated stories of each dig, he shows how each of these small artifacts can teach us something about the lifestyles of people who lived on the frontier nearly two hundred years ago. Allowing us to see past the changed modern landscape and the clichés of pioneer history, Mazrim deftly uses his findings to portray the homes, farms, taverns, and pottery shops where Lincoln’s neighbors once lived and worked. Drawing readers into the thrill of discovery, The Sangamo Frontier inaugurates a new kind of archaeological history that both enhances and challenges our written history. It imbues today’s landscape with an authentic ghostliness that will reawaken the curiosity of anyone interested in the forgotten people and places that helped shape our nation.
Author: Joseph M. Di Cola, Foreword by Terry W. Jones
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
In 1829, eleven years after Illinois became the twenty-first state, New Salem was founded on a bluff above the Sangamon River. The village provided an essential sanctuary for a friendless, penniless boy named Abraham Lincoln, whose six years there shaped his education and nurtured his ambition. Eclipsed by the neighboring settlement of Petersburg, New Salem had dwindled into a ghost town by 1840. However, it reemerged in the early part of the twentieth century as one of the most successful preservation efforts in American history. Author Joseph Di Cola relates the full story of New Salem's fascinating heritage.
A history of a quintessentially American place--the rural and small town heartland--that uncovers deep yet hidden currents of connection with the world. When Kristin L. Hoganson arrived in Champaign, Illinois, after teaching at Harvard, studying at Yale, and living in the D.C. metro area with various stints overseas, she expected to find her new home, well, isolated. Even provincial. After all, she had landed in the American heartland, a place where the nation's identity exists in its pristine form. Or so we have been taught to believe. Struck by the gap between reputation and reality, she determined to get to the bottom of history and myth. The deeper she dug into the making of the modern heartland, the wider her story became as she realized that she'd uncovered an unheralded crossroads of people, commerce, and ideas. But the really interesting thing, Hoganson found, was that over the course of American history, even as the region's connections with the rest of the planet became increasingly dense and intricate, the idea of the rural Midwest as a steadfast heartland became a stronger and more stubbornly immovable myth. In enshrining a symbolic heart, the American people have repressed the kinds of stories that Hoganson tells, of sweeping breadth and depth and soul. In The Heartland, Kristin L. Hoganson drills deep into the center of the country, only to find a global story in the resulting core sample. Deftly navigating the disconnect between history and myth, she tracks both the backstory of this region and the evolution of the idea of an unalloyed heart at the center of the land. A provocative and highly original work of historical scholarship, The Heartland speaks volumes about pressing preoccupations, among them identity and community, immigration and trade, and security and global power. And food. To read it is to be inoculated against using the word "heartland" unironically ever again.
"A groundbreaking study in which an engaged archaeology produces nuanced understandings of the past and shapes new understandings of the present. New Philadelphia promotes a rethinking of race relations between African and European Americans."—Claire Smith, President, World Archaeological Congress "Shackel shows in explicit detail how one community archaeology project—dealing with the delicate subject of race—is being put into practice in the American Midwest. This is required reading for archaeologists and historic preservation activists who confront bondage and freedom, and who wrestle with remembrance and representation in real time."—Charles Orser, author of Race and Practice in Archaeological Interpretation "New Philadelphia examines an historic struggle for social justice and the role for archaeology in anti-racist projects. Shackel's engaging narrative shifts among artifacts, landscapes, and documents to illuminate the lives of African Americans and European Americans in a 19th- and early 20th-century community. This is an important book for archaeologists, historians, and cultural heritage practitioners interested in recovering the past to address pressing issues of the present."—Robert Paynter, co-editor of Lines that Divide and co-director of archaeological research at the W.E.B. Du Bois Boyhood Homesite
“A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”—Boston Globe Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln's lifelong engagement with the nation's critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln's greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.
On April 15, 1837, a "long, gawky" Abraham Lincoln walked into Joshua Speed's dry-goods store in Springfield, Illinois, and asked what it would cost to buy the materials for a bed. Speed said seventeen dollars, which Lincoln didn't have. He asked for a loan to cover that amount until Christmas. Speed was taken with his visitor, but, as he said later, "I never saw so gloomy and melancholy a face." Speed suggested Lincoln stay with him in a room over his store for free and share his large double bed. What began would become one of the most important friendships in American history. Speed was Lincoln's closest confidant, offering him invaluable support after the death of his first love, Ann Rutledge, and during his rocky courtship of Mary Todd. Lincoln needed Speed for guidance, support, and empathy. Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln is a rich analysis of a relationship that was both a model of male friendship and a specific dynamic between two brilliant but fascinatingly flawed men who played off each other's strengths and weaknesses to launch themselves in love and life. Their friendship resolves important questions about Lincoln's early years and adds significant psychological depth to our understanding of our sixteenth president.
Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen is a culinary biography unlike any before. The very assertion of the title--that Abraham Lincoln cooked--is fascinating and true. It's an insight into the everyday life of one of our nation's favorite and most esteemed presidents and a way to experience flavors and textures of the past. Eighmey solves riddles such as what type of barbecue could be served to thousands at political rallies when paper plates and napkins didn't exist, and what gingerbread recipe could have been Lincoln's childhood favorite when few families owned cookie cutters and he could carry the cookies in his pocket. Through Eighmey's eyes and culinary research and experiments--including sleuthing for Lincoln's grocery bills in Springfield ledgers and turning a backyard grill into a cast-iron stove--the foods that Lincoln enjoyed, cooked, or served are translated into modern recipes so that authentic meals and foods of 1820-1865 are possible for home cooks. Feel free to pull up a chair to Lincoln's table.
America's favorite president sure got around. From his time as a child in Kentucky, as a lawyer in Illinois, and all the way to the Oval Office, Abraham Lincoln toured across the countryside and cities and stayed at some amazing locations. In Lincoln Road Trip: The Back-Roads Guide to America's Favorite President, Jane Simon Ammeson will help you step back into history by visiting the sites where Abe lived and visited. This fun and entertaining travel guide includes the stories behind the quintessential Lincoln sites, but also takes you off the beaten path to fascinating and lesser-known historical places. Visit the Log Inn in Warrenton, Indiana (now the oldest restaurant in the state), which opened in 1825 and where Lincoln stayed in 1844, when he was campaigning for Henry Clay. You can also visit key places in Lincoln's life, like the home of merchant Colonel Jones, who allowed a young Abe to read all his books, or Ward's Academy, where Mary Todd Lincoln attended school. Along with both famous and overlooked places with Lincoln connections, Jane Simon Ammeson profiles nearby attractions to round out your trip, like Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, a third-generation family-owned amusement park that can be partnered with a trip to the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and Lincoln State Park. Featuring new and exciting Lincoln tales from Springfield, IL; Beardstown, KY; Booneville, IN; Alton, IL; and many more, Lincoln Road Trip is a fun adventure through America's heartland that will bring Lincoln's incredible story to life.