Conference on Illinois History

Twenty-Fourth Annual
Conference on Illinois History
October 6-7, 2022

Held on-site at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in the library building
112 North 6th Street
Springfield, IL 62701


Thursday, October 6

MPR 1 = Multipurpose Room 1              MPR 2 = Multipurpose Room 2              C = Classroom

8:30 - 10:00 Concurrent Sessions

Illinois State Historical Society Panel Discussion: Archives and Public History (MPR 1)

Moderator: David Joens, Illinois State Archives

Stephanie Martin, Lincoln Library, The Public Library of Springfield, Illinois

Christian McWhirter, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum 

Catheryne Popovitch, Illinois State Archives


Early Illinois (MPR 2)

Moderator: Christopher Schnell, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“Agriculture is the Noblest of All Alchemy: 19th Century Agricultural Contributions of Illinois Settlers," Brian Conroy, Will County Historical Museum

“Avatars of Illinois Statehood:  Daniel Pope Cook, Nathaniel Pope, and Elias Kent Kane,James Edstrom, William Rainey Harper College

“Relive the True Mother Road: The Edwards Trace,” Anna Sielaff, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Violence and Disaster in Illinois History (C)

Moderator: Mark Pohlad, DePaul University

"The Days of Rage: the Implications and Aftershocks of Militant Activism,” William Oswald, University of Illinois Springfield

“Fire Consumes Colossus of the Windy City: McCormick Place Fire, January 16, 1967,” Jeff Stern, Independent Scholar

“The Legacy of Mayor Paul Egan, Rev. Bob Wesby, and the nation's first African-American Police Chief,” Brandon Kooi, Aurora University

10:15 – 11:45 Concurrent Sessions

Culture and Community in Twentieth-Century Chicago (MPR 1)

“Towards a Commemorative History of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, 1919 to Tomorrow,” Devin Hunter, University of Illinois Springfield

“A ‘Diverse’ Neighborhood? Lincoln Park, Urban Renewal and the Question of Diversity, 1950-1975,” Brian Mullgardt, Milikin University

“Pilsen's Festival de Mujeres: Mexicana-Chicana Feminist Issues, Practices, and Collaborations in 1970s Chicago,” Hinda Seif, University of Illinois Springfield

Who’s at the Table?: Experiences of Local Im/migrant Communities and the Making of the Breaking Bread in McLean County Web Series. (MPR 2)

Hannah Johnson, McLean County Museum of History

Archana Shekara, Illinois State University

Mike Matejka, BN Welcoming/Not in Our Town

Gilbert Kiamana, Contributor to “Ca Va Cassava? The Roots of Congolese Cooking” program

Teacher Workshop: Unvarnished: Housing Discrimination in the Northern and Western United States (C)

Donna K. Sack, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, and Andrea Field, Curator of Research, Naper Settlement

Learn about a new online exhibit featuring articles, primary materials, videos, and teacher resources sharing the history of segregation in the northern and western US, through the lens of exclusionary real estate and sundown town practices, once used extensively throughout Illinois.

Luncheon Presentation: 12:00-1:30

Mirelsie Velázquez

“Puerto Rican Chicago and the Makings of Home, 1940s-1970s”

Mirelsie Velázquez, PhD, is an associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Rainbolt Family Endowed Education Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma. As a historian of education, her work centers race, gender and sexuality, and the history of urban education. Her book, Puerto Rican Chicago: Schooling the City, 1940-1977 (University of Illinois Press 2022), chronicles the Puerto Rican community’s response to the urban decay in which they were forced to live, work, and especially learn. Her work has most recently appeared in the journals Latino StudiesCentro, and Gender and Education. Dr. Velázquez is currently working on a second book project that historicizes Puerto Rican women and other Latina activists in higher education across the Midwest, from the 1970s to the 1990s, as they worked to create homespaces.

1:45 – 3:15 Concurrent Sessions

Illinois State Historical Society Panel Discussion: Resiliency in Academic Publishing (MPR 1)

Moderator: Robert D. Sampson, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

James R. Barrett, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of History

Jenny Barker Devine, Professor and Chair, Illinois College Department of History

Jeff McArdle, Associate Journals Manager, University of Illinois Press

Illinois in Wartime (MPR 2)

Moderator: Ian Hunt, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“The Resilient Men of the Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry,” Thomas Mack, Independent Scholar

“Albert Cashier: Illinois Civil War Soldier with a Secret,” Mary Disseler and Linda Canter, Independent Researchers

“Performing Loyalty: The Hungarian Patriotic Association, the Illinois State Council of Defense, and public patriotism during the 1st World War,” Josh Fulton, Northern Illinois University

Teacher Workshop Mission Engage: Building Interactive Mysteries Using Historical Records (C)

Abigail Cline, Corinne Claycomb, Heather Nice, and Hayley Goebel, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The President has gone missing! Compete in teams to solve an exciting mystery, then engage with the ALPLM's Education Department to discuss the possibilities of creating gamified learning experiences that incorporate original records and clever puzzles. 

3:30 – 5:00 Concurrent Sessions

Abraham Lincoln: His Times and Legacy (MPR 1)

Moderator: Daniel Worthington, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“Averting Panic: How Chicago and Lincoln Coped with the Crisis of 1837,” Richard Hills, Independent Researcher

“The Civil War in Illinois: Governor Yates, Early Soldier Recruitment, and the ‘Alton Incident,’” Mark Flotow, Independent Researcher

“Abraham Lincoln in Post-World War II Polish Scholarship, Translation, and Popular Culture: Questions of Historical Omission, Inclusion and Relevance,” Marek Sroka, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Institution Building in Illinois (MPR 2)

Moderator: Kenneth Owen, University of Illinois Springfield

“Harold W. See, Delyte Morris, and the Struggle to establish Southern Illinois University Edwardsville,” Stephen Kerber, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

“The History of Chicago’s Spurgeon Jake Winters Free Peoples’ Medical Center:  Black Health Activism and It’s Influence on Awareness, Research and Education of Sickle Cell in the United States,” Natasha Isler, University of Bridgeport

“Uneasy Partners: The Coming Together of Lindsay-Schaub Newspapers,” Bob Hartley, Freelance Historian

Teacher Workshop: Meet Your City – No Small Plans (C)

Angela Esposito, Chicago Architecture Center

The Meet Your City initiative stems from No Small Plans, a graphic novel that follows the neighborhood adventures of teens in Chicago's past, present and future as they wrestle with designing the city they want, need and deserve. All participants will receive a copy of No Small Plans.

Thursday Evening Program:

Edwards Place Historic Home

5:30 PM

700 N 4th St, Springfield, IL 62702

Join us for a tour of Edwards Place. Built in 1833, Edwards Place is now a historic house museum that tells the story of social and domestic life in Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield.

Friday, October 7

MPR 1 = Multipurpose Room 1              MPR 2 = Multipurpose Room 2              C = Classroom

8:30 – 10:00 Concurrent Sessions

Gender and Sexuality in Illinois History (MPR 1)

Moderator: Jacob K. Friefeld, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

“The Everleigh Club’s ‘Butterflies’ and the Suppression of Female Sexuality in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago,” Deena Vecchiollo, MA, Independent Scholar

“Letters to the Dead: Susan Lawrence Dana, Spirit Letters, and Female Grief in the 20th Century,” Katie Brethorst-Stockwell, Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum

“Frenchmen and Native Wives under the Coutume de Paris, 18th-Century Illinois’s First Law,” Sharon Person, Independent Scholar

Nineteenth-Century Illinois (C)

Moderator: Lauren Thompson, McKendree University

“Resilience in Early Illinois Base Ball,” Bob Sampson, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

“Breaking the Code: Stories of Resilience Under the Illinois Black Codes, 1819-1865,” Caroline M. Kisiel, DePaul University

“James Newton Matthews: Mason Physician and Prairie Poet,” Linda Ruholl, RN, PhD, Effingham County Museum

10:15 – 11:45 Concurrent Sessions

Race and Resilience in Illinois History (MPR 1)

Moderator: Jessica Harris, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

“The South Side Community Art Center: Four Decades of Chicago Black Arts Activism,” Alexandrea Keith, Northwestern University

“Black Illinoisans and Hybrid Labor Activism during the Early Jim Crow Era,” Alonzo M. Ward, Eastern Illinois University

“Geraldine Mardis: African American Pioneer Medical Social Worker,” Pamela Smoot, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Panel Discussion: Problems and Opportunities in Springfield Public History (MPR 2)

Moderator: Brian Mitchell, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Jenn Edginton, Illinois State Museum

Sarah Adams, Springfield Art Association/Edwards Place

Tim Townsend, National Park Service, Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Beyond Pad Thai, Saris, and Lunar New Year: teaching Asian American History (C)

Esther Hurh, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago

Whether you're implementing the TEAACH Act, seeking to include Asian American voices in your courses, or interested in documenting the Asian American experience, this session is for you! You’ll receive local and national demographics; access to oral histories and personal accounts; historical and current events driven by anti-Asian tropes; “dos and don’ts” strategies; and lessons and implementation tools. Asian American history is American history! 

Luncheon Presentation: 12:00 – 1:30

Michael E. Woods

"Placing Douglas in the Land of Lincoln: Rethinking the Political Geography of Antebellum Illinois"

Michael E. Woods is associate professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and editor/director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson. He is the author of three books, including Arguing until Doomsday: Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy (University of North Carolina Press, 2020), which received a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society in 2021.

1:45 – 3:15 Concurrent Sessions

Mapping Care and Tumultuous 2020: Two Oral History Projects (MPR 1)

Moderator: Kyle E. Ciani, Illinois State University

“Mapping Care Project,” Jojo Galvan and Gwyneth Rhiannon Milbrath, UIC Midwest Nursing History Research Center

“Tumultuous 2020 Project,” Amanda Riggenbach, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Illinois State Historical Society Panel Discussion: Public History at Illinois History Sites (MPR 2)

Moderator: Dave Oberg, Elmhurst History Museum

Carolyn Farrar, Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum

Michelle Poe, Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum

Will Shannon, St. Clair Historical Society

Teacher Workshop: Teaching the Great Migration and Racial Violence in Chicago (C)

David Bates, Concordia University Chicago

In this multimedia presentation, participants will examine a variety of primary source and discuss strategies for teaching the about Great Migration and racial violence in turn-of-the-century Chicago.

3:30 – 5:00 Concurrent Sessions

Connecting With Illinois: History Tourism, Pioneer Cabins Survey, and Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair (MPR 1)

Moderator: Brad Winn, Lewis and Clark State Historic Site

"The Built Environment: Early Architecture and Landscape in Highland Park, Illinois," Nancy Webster, Highland Park Archives and Local History Collections

"Heirloom Recipes from the Illinois State Fair," Catherine Lambrecht, Highland Park Historical Society and Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, Independent scholar

"Destination: Illinois History," Cynthia Clampitt, Independent scholar

Resilience and Illinois Politics (MPR 2)

Moderator: Mark DePue, Independent Historian

“The Illinois Congressional Delegation and the Beer and Wine Revenue Bill of 1933,” Phillip Grant, Pace University

“Mindful Moments with History: Resiliency and the Power of Positive Losing,” Nicole Stocker, Bess Bower Dunn Museum

“Congressman Richard Yates of Illinois, 1851-1855,” James Fuller, University of Indianapolis

Teacher Workshop: State History is Indigenous History (C)

Janis Michael, Avoca West Elementary School

The history of Illinois since the arrival of non-Native people is a speck on a timeline. Teach Indigenous history and technology as the foundation of state history, not as an "extra.”


CPDU Credit

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Education Department is providing 1.5 Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) for each session attended during the Conference on Illinois History. An additional 1.0 CPDU will be offered for the Edwards Place Tour. An educator who attends all conference events will receive 16.0 CPDUs.

To receive CPDU credit, educators must complete an evaluation for each session they attend; to comply with ISBE requirements, they should plan to complete the evaluation prior to moving to the next conference session. One digital certificate will be issued at the end of the conference for each participating educator. The certificate will include total hours awarded and a record of sessions attended. If you have any questions, please contact the Education Department at

Lodging and Parking Information

Hotel Accommodations:

Rooms have been set aside at two nearby downtown hotels on Wednesday, October 5 and Thursday, October 6, and a limited number of rooms are held on Friday, October 7.

President Abraham Lincoln Springfield–A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

701 E. Adams

Call (217) 544-8800. The reservation group code is “HPA”.

Wyndham Springfield City Centre

700 E. Adams

$85 single and $100 double

Reservations can be made online at

Reservations can be made at 217-789-1530, ext. 1. 

Reservations must be made by September 14 to receive the conference rate.

For other accommodations and rates in Springfield, call Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1–800–545–7300 or 217–789–2360, or visit its Web site at


Parking during the conference is available in the Museum Parking Garage, one block north of the presidential library on the west side of N. 6th Street, just north of Madison Street.

The parking garages closes at 7:00 pm.

Parking is currently FREE!

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