What It Is, What It Isn’t

What This Is

  • This is my Illinois history blog, a chance for me, a professional historian, to delve into topics both obscure and apocryphal, regarding my home state;
  • This is, “A History of Illinois,” so not encyclopedic nor definitive.  The big names will make appearances here, but perhaps not in ways that you’d expect.
Oh, the former Postmaster of New Salem will make appearances, but hopefully in surprising ways.
  • It will (hopefully) be a scholarly endeavor as well.  I footnote grocery lists.  Well, not really, but you take my point.  Historical writing, to my way of thinking, isn’t of much use if the sources are unknown.  Don’t worry; if you want to ignore the citations, you can do that.
  • It will also be a place where I can work out ideas that might appear elsewhere, but you read them here first, so there’s that.

What This Isn’t

  • This will not be a nostalgia trip, although topics of history and memory might just be discussed.
  • This will involve my personal reflections on the topic at hand, but nothing more.
  • This will not be a forum for debating the affairs of the day.  That’s why you pay a therapist or irritate the person next to you on the bus.
  • This will not be a Chicago-centric treatment of Illinois history.  Yes, Chicago is in Illinois.  Yes, its history is important and interesting.  No, don’t choose to write much about it here.

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