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
This month IHLC opens its newest exhibit, Constructing Utopias: Examining Communitarianism Efforts in America, 1825-1940, which explores the promotion and study of communitarian colonies in America through research collections and personal papers at IHLC.
This exhibit was originally set for installation in March 2020. Due to COVID-19 pandemic responses and library closings, the exhibit materials have been patiently waiting in crates in the IHLC vault. We are excited to have this exhibit finally installed and available available for viewing during our open reading room hours, Monday-Friday 9am-12pm and 1-5pm (please see our website, library.illinois.edu/ihx, for up-to-date hours).
Read more about the research and curation process in the interview below with Jessie Knoles, who curated the exhibit as a graduate student at the University of Illinois iSchool, and is currently the Lincoln Collection Research Specialist at IHLC.… Read More
On May 4, 1865, the body of Abraham Lincoln arrived at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. His coffin was placed in the cemetery’s receiving vault along with the coffin of his son, Willie, who had died three years earlier. In the days following, the National Lincoln Monument Association was founded by then Governor Richard J. Oglesby to construct a memorial that would honor the memory of the fallen president. Funds were raised across the country to support the cost of the memorial. Because construction would take six years, a temporary vault was built, and Lincoln’s body was placed there on December 21, 1865.… Read More