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MAY, 1910— MAY. 1911. 

Springfield, lUinois, May 18, 1911. 
To the Board of Directors of the lUmois State Historical 


GbntiiEmen— In my report made to you a year ago, I 
spoke of the steady gain in the membership and influence 
of the Society, and the experience of the past year has 
been of a continued onward and upward march. Our 
membership, however, ought to be much larger than it is. 
Few of our members have sought to gain new members for 
the Society. Some notable and honorable exceptions to 
this rule can be given, chief among whom may be men- 
tioned, Mr. Wm. A. Meese, Mr. Wm. E. Sandham, Dr. 
W. H. Stennett, Mr. I. S. Blackwelder, Mr. Wm. G. Edens, 
Dr. Daniel Berry, and others. Had we each one secured 
as many new members as these gentlemen our Society 
would number thousands instead of hundreds. We have 
now more than 1,200 members of all classes : 
22 honorary members, 
8 life members, 
47 newspaper members, 

1163 active annual members. 

A total membership of 1240. 

We have lost by death a number of our members, who 
are, as far as known to me, namely : 

John W. Good, Moline, HI deceased April 22, 1910 

Wm. R. Head, Chicago, 111. deceased May 10, 1910 

Henry Hall, Jacksonville. Ill deceased May 29, 1910 

Rev. John Fairbanks, Jacksonville, HI deceased 1910 

C. J. McManis, Princeton, HI deceased 1910 


H. G. McPike, Alton, 111 deceased 1910 

J, M. Pearson, Godfrey, 111 deceased 1910 

Luke Dickerman, Stillman VaJley, 111 

deceased Jnly 4, 1910 

Legh K. Brainerd, Springfield, LI. .deceased Dec. 3, 1910 
Thomas J. Oowder, Springfield, HI 

deceased Feb. 22, 1911 

James S. Culver, Springfield, HI 

deceased March 17, 1911 

Hally Haight, Naperville, 111 deceased May 3, 1911 

Mrs. Harriet Rumsey Taylor, Springfield, HI 

deceased May 15, 1911 

I again urge you to notify the Secretary of the Society 
of deaths in our membership. It is not possible for me 
to learn of them unless notice is sent me. We wish to 
publish brief notices in the Journal and to keep our 
records accurate. Please bear this in mind. 

Legislative Work. 

The present General Assembly just drawing to a dose 
has enacted considerable legislation in relation to his- 
torical nmtters. Mr. Meese, Chairman of our Legislative 
Committee, and to whose efficient labors is largely due the 
result, will tell you of the important step which this Gen- 
eral Assembly has taken in the creation of a commission 
to prepare plans looking toward the erection of a build- 
ing for the Historical Society and Library and some 
kindred interests. This bill passed the Senate some days 
ago and I hope by this time it has passed the House, as 
we had the promise of House leaders that it would. 

In 1912, next year, Madison county will celebrate her 
centennial anniversary, it having been set off as a sepa- 
rate county by proclamation of Gov. Ninian Edwards in 
1812. Madison county has asked an appropriation of 
$5,000 to erect a monument near Edwardsville, the county 
seat, to the memory of Gov. Edwards, Gov. Coles, and the 


pioneers who took part in the border warfare, when Fort 
Russell, near the present Edwardsville, was one of the 
principal frontier forts. 

In 1812 Illinois territory became a territory of the 
second grade and in that year the first territorial legis- 
lature wasi held. Madison county will includle in its 
celebration, the celebration of the one hundredth anni- 
versary of the beginning of representative government 
in Illinois. This bill has passed the Senate. 

A bill has also passed the Senate appropriating money 
for the purchase of the site of Fort Chartres, one of the 
most important of the early Ftench posts. A joint resolu- 
tion has been passed asking the board of trustees of the 
Historical Library to attempt to decide upon the route 
traveled by the family of Mr. Lincoln in its migration 
from Kentucky to Illinois by way of Indiana. The Gover- 
nor in his message reeonunended that this be done, and 
that the route be suitably marked and called the *^ Lincoln 

The most ambitious of the historical plans has been 
the attempt to secure an appropriation for the purchase 
of Starved Rock and vicinity, about 1,100 acres. A bill 
carrying an appropriation of $225,000 has passed the 
House and has yet to be acted upon by the Senate. To 
the indefatigable labors of Prof. J. A. James is largely 
due the sentiment throughout the State demanding the 
preservation of Starved Rock as a State park. To this 
end Professor James, the chairman of the State Park 
Commission, has labored in season and out of season, 
written letters, given addresses, interviewed influential 
persons, furnished historical arguments to other speakers, 
for the past two years, and when, as a result of the labors 
of the State Park Commission, the plan was embodied in 
a bill and presented to the present session of the General 
Assembly, Professor James used every effort to place 
the matter before the members of the General Assembly, 


and he delivered strong, forceful and logical arguments, 
full of historical information; before the appropriation 
committees of each branch of the General Assembly, with 
the result that the State will have a magnificent park in 
that beautiful and truly historic country. Professor 
James was ably assisted by Mr. A. Richards, the secre- 
tary, who did much practical work of great value, as well 
as by the other members of the Commission. 

The Quartert^y Journal. 

Tlie Quarterly Journal of the Society meets with favor 
from the Society and from all persons interested in the 
cause of State History. It is quoted very freely by the 
newspapers of the State and we have daily requests for 
copies of it and for permission to reprint articles from 
its columns. You are again urged to contribute to it 
items of historical interest or original material. 

The Secretary appeared before the appropriation com- 
mittees of the legislature in the interest of a bill for an 
appropriation for a new building for the Library and 
Society. She took as her principal text the burning of 
the capitol at Albany and the destruction of priceless 
records and the present defenseless condition of our own 
records, and the committees were impressed with the 
necessity of providing better quarters, with proper means 
of caring for our records and other historical treasures, 
and have created the conmiission already mentioned. 

We are so crowded in our present quarters that it 
really seems that the limit of the storing capacity of our 
rooms has been reached. I would like each one of you 
to see for himself the congested condition of our rooms. 
We can no longer keep an even fairly tidy appearance. 
Tables and floor must be kept loaded. Our wall space 
for pictures is all used and our shelves for books and 
newspaper files are all overloaded. No plan has been 
advanced which tells us what we can do until the new 
building is a reality. 


The 1909 transactions of the Society have been printed 
and will reaxxh you I hope within a short time. A new 
edition of fifteen thousand copies of the Linooln-Donglas 
Debate volume has been printed and distributed. The 
demand for this volume has been surprising and it has not 

The History of Illinois newspai)ers, 1814-1879, edited 
by Mr. F. W. Scott and published as Illinois Historical 
Collections, Vol. 6, has been distributed. It is an ad- 
mirable and useful volume, and receives high commjenda- 
tion from the press and interested parties generally. 
Vol. 7 of the Collections, the second of the executive 
series of Governors' Letter Books, has also been issued, 
Mr. C. M. Thompson and Prof. E. B. Greene being the 
editors. Its introductory chapters present a most inter- 
esting history of the time covered by the State papers, and 
throw much light upon the internal improvement scheme 
which so nearly wrecked the State, and upon the Mormon 
question. The George Rogers Clark Papers, edited by 
Prof. J. A. James, will probably be the next of the Col- 
lections to be issued. Professor James has devoted sev- 
eral years of patient, scholarly labor to the preparation 
of this volume, and it will probably be, next to the Lincoln- 
Douglas Debate volume. No. 3 of the Collections, the most 
popular of the series, as all of our people are interested 
in the adventures and services of Colonel George Rogers 

Special. Meetings. 

Tlie membership of the Society is so large that it seems 
that the one annual meeting gives hardly enough 
opportunity for the members to meet, and it seems that 
the members in the different localities of the State can 
and ought to aid local societies or committees to observe 
local historical events. I suggest that a committee be 
appointed to consider a plan for such special meetings. 
The secretary of the Society attended the celebration of 


the 70th anniversary af the organization of Woodford 
county. This was held under the auspices of the Wood- 
ford County Historical Society, Fel)ruary 27, 1911. The 
meeting was a very successful one. Addresses were made 
by pioneers of the county and everyone present seemed 
to enjoy the exercises and appreciate the work that the 
Woodford County Society is doing. I hope we will have 
a report of this celebration from a delegate from the 
Society and that other societies may be represented at 
this meeting and give us some account of their activities. 

The Colored Historical Society of Illinois, located at 
Springfield, has asked me to report for it that it has sixty 
active members who are much interested in preserving 
the history of their race in its struggles for growth and 
betterment. I believe this is the only colored historical 
society in the State. 

We have received some gifts for which we desire to 
express our thanks. Members of the Society axe urged 
to help in the collection of local historical material. A 
circular letter was sent you some time ago asking such 
materials. We are very anxious to obtain old letters 
which describe early conditions in the localities of the 
State, the pioneers' manner of living, modes of trans- 
portation, cost of commodities, etc. If you know of any 
such local material we will be glad to be informed of it. 
We will gladly have copies made of historical documents 
if the originals can not be obtained. 

Miss Louise I. Enos, a member of the Society, has pre- 
sented on behalf of her father's heirs, a valuable Lincoln 
document. It is an original surveyiag paper. It was 
mentioned in the April Journal of the Society. The Hon. 
Norman G. Flaigg has a collection of early Illinois letters 
written mostly by his father. He has allowed the Society 
to publish them and they wUl be edited by Mr. S. J. Buck 
and published in the transactions of the Society. 

Such material is of the greatest value and interest. 
Please help the Society and Library in the collection of 
such material. 


Governor Bicliard Yates has presented the Society 
with a manuscript record book containing the earliest 
military orders of his father, the great War Governor. 
There are not many entries but what there are are of 
the greatest interest. 

We acknowledge gifts in the Journal, and so I will not 
take your time by enumerating them now. 

On April 14, the Society held a meeting in commemora- 
tion of the fiftieth anniversary of the breaking out of the 
war between the States. The meeting was one of the 
most interesting we have ever held and the attendance 
was as large as we have ever had. Addresses were made 
by Colonel Carr, Gen. Smith D. Atkins, Mr. Eugene F. 
Baldwin and Col. Bluford Wilson at the afternoon meet- 
ing, and in the evening Judge Marcus Kavanaghl' de- 
livered an address. The old war timie music was sung. 
The patriotic societies were invited and were well rep- 
resented. It shows what can be done in the way of a 
special meeting to commemorate an historic event. 

Our committees will, I hope, report on their activities. 
I urge greater activity among the members of the com- 

Eespectfully submitted, 

Jessie Palmer Weber, 
Secretary Illinois State Historical Society.