The 19th century was a period of substantial party instability in American politics. New parties emerged, vanished, merged, and succeeded, altering the shape of the American political discourse. The Illinois Historical and Lincoln Collections has a special pop-up exhibit on display that highlights some of these political parties. Drawing on several of our archival collections and cataloged material, the exhibit contains pamphlets, election tickets, broadsides and other items produced by the parties of the 19th century, their partisans, and their opponents. The exhibit will be on display for the remainder of the Fall 2022 semester.… Read More
Bernhardt Wall was an American illustrator and lithographer. He was born in 1872 in Buffalo, New York, to German parents who had recently emigrated to the United States. Sometime before 1893, Wall moved to New York City, where he briefly studied at Art Students League before pursuing a career as a commercial lithographer. While in New York City, Wall also worked as a watchmaker and photographer.
During the Spanish-American War, Wall enlisted in the New York Volunteer Infantry. After the war, Wall lived and worked in New York City, where he designed postcards that were popular for their distinctive coloring.… Read More
The Establishment of Camp Butler
On April 15, 1861, Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, sent a telegram to Illinois Governor Richard Yates reading: “Call made on you by to-nights mail, for six regiments of militia, for immediate service.” The Civil War had begun, and the State of Illinois was responsible for organizing men to fight in the Union army. At the time, there were no organized militias within Illinois, and the state’s government began planning military training camps. On August 2, 1861, the State of Illinois announced the construction of a Union army camp about six miles outside of Springfield named Camp Butler, after Illinois State Treasurer William Butler.… Read More
In the initial decades after its founding in 1909, the Illinois Historical Survey (now part of the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections) focused on research and collecting documents to support the publication of a multi-volume state history as well as an edited series of documents. The Survey obtained copies of archival materials from both North America and Europe. The IHLC currently holds dozens of boxes and reels of microfilm of documents from these early collecting initiatives, including 16 cubic feet and 25 reels of microfilm from French Archives and Depositories (MS 023). The project to collect copies of documents from French archives and depositories involved significant effort and repeated readjustments, as it spanned two continents and the outbreak of two world wars.… Read More