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“Illinois is what I would call a quasi-slave state”

Friday, Jun 19, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Heritage Magazine

Four Illinois governors owned slaves: Shadrach Bond, the first Illinois governor (1818-1822) had two women indentured to him in 1807, Hannah and Prudence Hansberry, both aged 16. According to the 1820 census, Bond owned 14 slaves. When he died in 1832, he bequeathed 9 slaves to his wife and daughters.

Illinois’ second governor, Edward Coles (1822-1826), inherited 20 slaves from his father prior to living in Illinois. To the shock of family, Coles freed his slaves, came West, and eventually bought 6,000 acres near Edwardsville, hiring some of his freed slaves to work his farm. In Coles’ inaugural address, he asked for the abolishment of the indenture system and black codes; called for the kidnapping of freed blacks to stop; and supported emancipation for descendants of slaves brought to Illinois during the French period. His speech openly accused lllinoisans of practicing a system of slavery that many refused to admit. Two years later, the Illinois legislature had an anti-slavery majority, but little changed.

Illinois’ third governor, Ninian Edwards (1826-1830), bought and sold indentured servants, rented them out for forced labor, and did not free his slaves, who worked on his Kentucky plantation. In fact, in an 1832 register of Blacks, Edwards lists his slave, Charles, as “my property.”

Illinois’ fourth governor, John Reynolds (1830-1834), owned seven slaves and emancipated them over a period of 20 years.

The last emancipation documented in the Archives’ Illinois Servitude Index did not occur until 1863, when Marva Reed was legally freed from Aaron Shook in St. Clair County. That same year the Illinois legislature proposed a resolution objecting to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, but then-Governor Richard Yates dismissed the General Assembly before such resolutions could be enacted. It wasn’t until 1865 that Illinois and the rest of the country ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery in the nation.

* ProPublica Illinois’ Logan Jaffe talked to historian Darrel Dexter about Illinois’ history of slavery

Illinois is what I would call a quasi-slave state. And what’s surprising to people is that it existed here within the law. It begins with the colonial slave laws that came from France (because Illinois was a French territory). And so slavery, at least the enslavement of Africans and then later African American people, started in the French settlements, at least as early as 1720, maybe even before that. And then the Northwest Ordinance (an act that provided a path for much of the Great Lakes region to be admitted to the Union) stated that there shall be neither slavery nor indentured servitude, nor involuntary servitude, except as the punishment of crime. And so people seem to think, “Well, that does it for slavery.” But people still brought slaves in, in violation of the law.

But then as early as 1803, a loophole was created that [essentially] said: “Bring your slaves to Illinois. It’s fine. Just go through the formality of an indenture contract.” Some contracts were for 99 years.

But most indentured people really weren’t given a choice. If your master, or someone who’s claimed to be your master, or has told you they were your master for, you know, 20, 30, 40 years, tells you to put your mark [signature] on a paper that says you’re willing to continue as my indentured servant, it’s not likely that someone would refuse. […]

(W)hat really surprised me as I began researching slavery in Illinois was there weren’t the big cotton plantations, but at the same time there was slavery. And so our image of slavery is not necessarily wrong, but it’s a lot more complicated. It’s a lot broader. I think that what we tend to do oftentimes is think of slavery and racism as something they have down South and kind of with a judgmental attitude: “You know, we’re not like that [in Illinois]. We don’t have slavery here. We didn’t have slaves.” Actually, we did. It was just a different form that was adapted to meet the needs that we had for enslaved people. […]

Here in Union County, although it’s not officially documented, when our first log cabin courthouse was built on the square in Jonesboro, the person that received the contract to build that log cabin was a slaveholder named Thomas Cox. He would have sent enslaved people to work, cutting the trees and building the cabin. Slaves can work in cornfields just as well as they can work in cotton fields. […]

1848 was the year that the [state] Constitution was passed in Illinois. That was truly our first “free” constitution. The 1818 Constitution was called a “free” constitution, but it allowed indentured servitude. The 1848 Constitution ended that and made Illinois a free state that did not permit slavery.

But then in 1853, the state legislature passed a law which made the settlement of African Americans in Illinois a crime. If African Americans remained in Illinois beyond 10 days, they could be arrested and fined. If they couldn’t pay the fines, they were to be auctioned off. It only lasted five years that we were truly a free state. […]

In the 1820s, Illinois had a state law that said all white men are required to stop any black person and have them prove that they were free. I can remember a woman asking me once if I thought this was the beginning of policing of black communities, and I never really saw the connection before she mentioned that. But every white man was required to do it. If people could not prove their freedom documentation, they were placed under arrest — basically a citizen’s arrest — taken to a justice of the peace, put on trial, advertised in the newspapers as a runaway, and then the white person would receive a reward.

* More on the 1853 Black Law

in 1853, under the leadership of southern Illinois Democrat John A. Logan, the General Assembly adopted the draconian “Black Law” of 1853. For the most part, the law simply brought together in one place several existing laws. Under this law, no black from another state could remain within the Illinois borders for more than ten days. Beyond ten days and he or she was subject to arrest, confinement in jail, and a $50 fine and removal from the state. If unable to pay the fine, the law directed the sheriff to auction the offending African-American to the bidder willing to pay the costs and the tine and to work the “guilty” party the fewest number of days. If the convicted man or woman did not leave within ten days after completing the required service, the process resumed, but the fine was increased $50 for each additional infraction. Although most newspapers opposed the measure, there is but little doubt that it reflected the views of much of the state’s population.

For the next twelve years, Illinois African-Americans labored under one of the harshest laws in the nation. […]

The Illinois Black Laws continued in force until the end of the Civil War. Indeed, in the midst of the Civil War, Illinois held a constitutional convention and a new constitution was submitted to the people of the state for ratification. One of the most remarkable features of that document were three provisions that wrote the Black Laws into the proposed constitution. Although Illinois voters rejected the constitution, they overwhelmingly approved the anti-black provisions. Eventually, however, with prodding from John Jones and the logic propelled by the results of the Civil War, the Illinois General Assembly repealed the Black Laws in early 1865. The repeal, however, did not confer suffrage or civil rights on the state’s African-Americans; they had to await the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 1885.

* And then there were the salt works

In 1819, the Gallatin County salines at Equality, using over 1,000 slaves, produced nearly 300,000 bushels of salt. The Great Half Moon salt lick was one of the largest in the United States and covered about 13 acres. This was a crescent-shaped depression in the earth that was caused by numerous animals over the years coming to the spot and licking away at the earth to gain access to the salt it contained.

* More

Landowner and illegal slave trader John Hart Crenshaw leased the state-owned salt works located at the Illinois Salines, two saline springs along the Saline River near Equality that were important sources of salt since prehistory. Salt was vital to the early American frontier economy, both as a nutrient and as a means to preserve food. Illinois was a free state, and the Illinois State Constitution bans slavery. However, the law permitted the use of slaves at the salt works since the labor was so arduous that no free men could be found to do it. As the lessee of the salt works, Crenshaw was one of a small minority of Illinois residents legally entitled to keep slaves, and Crenshaw became remarkably wealthy. At one point, Crenshaw’s taxes amounted to one-seventh of the revenue of the entire state.

The slave-mined salt works were, at one time, the state government’s largest revenue source.

* Crenshaw, by the way, was a very bad guy

Crenshaw was widely believed to be involved in the kidnapping and sale of free black citizens in free states as slaves in the south, an enormously profitable trade later known as the Reverse Underground Railroad. Crenshaw was twice prosecuted for kidnapping, but never convicted.

* Related…

* Illinois Issues: Slave State

* Illinois State Historical Society, 1901: Slavery in Illinois

* Slavery In Illinois: How and Why the Underground Railroad Existed

* The History of Negro Servitude in Illinois, and of the Slavery Agitation in that State, 1719-1864


  1. - GregN - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:24 pm:

    Fascinating, thank you!
    In my 60’s, never learned any of that in school.

  2. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:28 pm:

    America’s black sins emerge from True History…at last.

  3. - Steve Brown - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    Might want to list the Gateway Journalism Review. In the most recent issue they served up a pretty healthy review of racism in IL and MO. Not sure there is a free version available.

  4. - Are You Kiddin' Me? - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:38 pm:

    As an old White person (60 years old), these words, in this context makes my blood boil…
    had two women indentured to him in 1807;
    he bequeathed 9 slaves to his wife and daughters;
    inherited 20 slaves from his father;
    bought and sold indentured servants, rented them out for forced labor;
    Just makes my blood boil….

  5. - walker - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    We were taught so little in school, about this fundamental American history. African-Americans were among our “Founding Fathers”, and original builders of America.

    I learned recently that there were significant numbers of enslaved “Indians” early on in the Northern territories, as well. Some were even sold from the continent to planters in the Caribbean.

    Completely ignored in textbooks.

  6. - Back to the Future - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    Never had a class on school where this was covered.
    Thanks for the information

  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    When digging deeper into the past, it’s rare to find the good that is hidden in the shadows.

    Illinois, the land of Lincoln and Grant, has a past that has ugly moments, times, people, as we hold up high our great leaders and achievements. We can’t now, not anymore, decide that this digging or highlighting existing knowns isn’t important for the healing and change necessary. We can’t as a state see ourselves outside the reality of our own sordid history that simple history wants removed from a wanted simple truth, easily divided as right or wrong.

    I’ve changed my own thoughts, beyond north and south, confederate and union, even patriot and traitor.

    I see this time as crossroads of ugly honesty that has perpetrated the continued systemic and institutional racism in all facets, while the filtered history allows in the shadows truths that Rich has above.

    I need to be better. It’s up to me to be better and listen, not hear, listen and learn. The global society of which I’m a part of is chiming in and watching America, the fragile American Experiment face its own ugly truths in hopes to build, not upon ashes or ruins of exposing to light these ugly truths, but to take on the truths of today, the ugly and wrong of today and end the continued wrongs of our country happening even in the minutes I type these words.

    This time in history is now so much bigger than an election, and that’s not hyperbole simply because no matter how this election ends the issues, challenges, history, and ugly realities of our own still unwritten history will merge to a point where we can’t go back or try to go back, there’s no going back. How we move in this forward progress of change will be the propellant to learn and grow and heal.

    I will be better, not because I need to solely be better, because by not doing so I will be misunderstanding the calls for change so loud the world is screaming back louder.

  8. - Ares - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:01 pm:

    If not mistaken, there was an attempt in 1822 to amend the IL Constitution to allow slavery, and there was a “reverse underground railroad” to seize and put African-Americans into slavery. Keep in mind that Illinois’southern border is at the latitude of TN. But for Chicago, our history may have been very different.

  9. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    Well said OW well said indeed.

  10. - Longtime Lurker - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    Both the 1819 and 1853 Black Laws are featured on a State Archives digital exhibit on their website.

  11. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    Thank you for this. I did not know about slavery in Illinois. What an eye-opener.

    The legislator John A Logan who was instigator of the Black Laws of 1853 is the same man who became a Union General in the Civil War. He was instrumental in the formation of the Grand Army of the Republic for Union veterans. He also was instrumental in the creation of Memorial Day.

    Logan had been a Democrat prior to the war but changed parties to become a Republican.

    John A Logan College is named after him. And our state song mentions him as well.

    Logan Square in Chicago is names after him and there is an equestrian statue of Logan in Grant Park and another in Washington DC. in Logan Circle.

    Logan’s Wikipedia entry has only one sentence about the slave laws he helped pass. No mention about his relationship with African Americans after the war.

  12. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:07 pm:

    To highlight how common slavery in Illinois was, Conrad Will of Will County fame also owned and operated a salt mine dependent on slave labor, but with less success.

    He also specifically advocated in favor of expanding slavery in Illinois leading the opposition against Coles.

    The article is really just the tip of a much larger iceberg.

  13. - Practical Politics - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    The Illinois Constitution of 1848 banned free Blacks from entering or settling in the state. It also prohibited slave owners from bringing slaves into Illinois for the purpose of setting them free.

    This constitution was not replaced until 1870.

  14. - Practical Politics - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    I used to wonder about the lawyers who would collect indentured servant articles and frame the papers to display in their law offices. What was up with that? It always struck me as weird.

    Would they also consider real estate deeds with restrictive racial and religious covenants suitable for framing?

  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:14 pm:

    Uh, this just makes me sick to my stomach.

  16. - City Zen - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:19 pm:

    ==We were taught so little in school, about this fundamental American history==

    Felt like I spent two hundred years being taught the Hundred Years’ War.

  17. - It's not really me. - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:33 pm:

    Thank you Rich. Wish more knew our history, good and bad. Shared.

  18. - Ray Gun - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:34 pm:

    As long as there is money and power in picking at scabs, and opening old wounds, there will never be a generation that looks upon one another with an eye of common humanity. 2020. The year that inflamed a nation.

  19. - Early Illinoisan - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    Oswego Willy - So elegantly articulated. Deeply touched by your words. Thank you. In the heart of this ugliness there were individuals fighting for freedom and risking everything to do so. I beg to differ slightly with some of the source documents that were used in the writing of these articles. Someone may correct me but I do not believe that it was required that Illinois could only be admitted to the Union as a free state. My 4th Great-uncle served on the first Illinois constitutional convention (He also served in the Illinois House and Senate and was one of the few to serve in all three Capitals, Kaskaskia, Vandalia and Springfield) and worked tirelessly to ensure that Illinois be admitted as a free state. And without getting into too much detail, it was a difficult fight to make it so. His father (my 5th great-grandfather) all of his brothers (one my 4th great-grandfather) were all staunch abolitionists who operated stations along the Underground Railroad. Again, OW your message of hope is profound…and one my ancestors would have embraced.

  20. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===John A Logan College is named after him. And our state song mentions him as well. ===

    There are folks in the northern part of Illinois that perhaps just learned what a sundown town is, and that there were sundown towns in Illinois.

    This week there are folks just learning how wide spread slavery was in Illinois.

    I think Logan will eventually have broader context placed upon him, and when there is interest in discussing his changing of heart or mind about the issue of slavery, he was a prolific writer and there is much that will help place his final views into context.

    However today, especially in Southern Illinois, his image is squeaky clean.

    ===Logan’s Wikipedia entry has only one sentence about the slave laws he helped pass. ===

    Wikipedia is open source edited and maintained. You can help improve the wikipedia article if you like — however that being said the edit history for the Wikipedia page for Anna is hilariously full of edits from someone living in Anna that repeatedly attempted to remove references to Anna being a sundown town or changes language to be as favorable as possible.

    They also documented their reason for edits as things like this:

    “The history of Anna, Illinois was lacking. It did not include major points of the history of the town. The section was too brief and only focused on one negative story and a rumor of what the town stands for, which it does not”

    “he City of Anna has recently been written about for being a racist community with the acronym of ANNA ain’t no n-words allowed. This is NOT representative of our town or community. We would like to shift this negative light and focus on what our town is truly about and what the community is like today and has been for decades. We would like to remove this section because it only high lights negative rumors, our town was named after our founders wife. Thank you for understanding”

    I censored the N word in that one, they did not.

    Or from a different user 5 years ago,

    “Eliminated statement that was racially inflammatory, and whose only reference was a document that was clearly based only on hearsay, rumor and innuendo. The reference did not contain any verifiable primary sources”

    Racists will deny history. White supremacists will deny history. They have no interest in anything other than the mythology that makes them special.

  21. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    on the SW side of Chicago, in Beverly, there are locations that were known for the Underground Railroad. Don’t know the history, or if enslaved people escaped from Illinois enslavement, just know that this was frequently mentioned in the 1960s.

  22. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:42 pm:

    The “good news” is that my high school history teacher (not in Illinois) made sure students could access this decades ago - I did. :) The “bad news” is it was in material, not about slavery, but the Northwest Ordinance and why Illinois’ northern border was moved north from the original boundary. :( Much of this was discussed during the 1818 Bicentennial.

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    ===As long as there is money and power in picking at scabs, and opening old wounds===

    And here I thought y’all were totally for preserving monuments to avoid wiping out history. lol

  24. - RIJ - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:52 pm:

    In 1970, my mother and grandmother took my siblings and me to the Crenshaw House (I was introduced to it then as The Old Slave House/Hickory Hill). It made a deep impression on me, and I’ve always been aware that slavery was practiced in Illinois. But this highlights what a long and diverse state we live in. The northern border is about on the same parallel as Boston, MA. The southern border is with Richmond, VA. The farther south you grew up or live, the more likely you are to know of Illinois’ slave history.

  25. - cermak_rd - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===As long as there is money and power in picking at scabs, and opening old wounds===

    Sometimes you have to remove the scarring for the wound to heal cleanly.

  26. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    - Early Illinoisan - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    I appreciate your thoughts on the article(s) and their sources, but there absolutely were people that owned slaves in Illinois regardless of what it said on paper.

    While Illinois was a free state, what this post highlights was that it was a “free” state with people that flouted the law, or were legally permitted exemptions which allowed them to own slaves, or were able to continue to have their slaves so long as after they got caught they showed up to an auction to bid on people in order to pay the “fine” in exchange for a set number of days of bondage, and if that person was caught again after that previous time frame was expired, they were auctioned again but they added another $50 to the “fine.”

    That’s just slavery with extra steps, and the reality of Illinois’ relationship with slavery needs to be taught in history.

    ===worked tirelessly to ensure that Illinois be admitted as a free state.===

    As a word to the wise when making claims about ancestors who appear in historical records — go find the source documents. Don’t rely on what you’ve been told.

  27. - JSS - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    It’s far too easy to go through life assigning the sin of slavery to a the wealthy and landed upper class of the South, when the unfortunate reality is our nation as a whole permitted slavery to flourish. Illinois’ history reflects this as I’m sure many other “northern” states history reflects.

    I held the belief that it was those few bad guys that were responsible for slavery until I saw the census records and wills of my ancestors who owned slaves. My ancestors 5 and 6 generations back weren’t wealthy, they were more fortunate than others because they owned land, but held slaves, sold slaves, and freed some as well. My ancestors have towns and highways named after them in Tennessee and Kentucky, they fought against the British twice, and my branch of the family moved north prior to the Civil War and fought for the Union against another branch fighting for the South. Part of me wants to be proud of my heritage the other part is disgusted. I don’t know how to reconcile these truths, just like I don’t know how Illinois or the nation as a whole can reconcile these truths, except to try to do better than the generation before us.

  28. - downstateR - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:04 pm:

    Well said OW.

    I bought this book a few years ago for our collection; talk about an eye opener. Just list folks as “domestic servant” in the census and no one said anything.

  29. - illinifan - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    Racism is deep. I still remember a co-worker with the state mention she drove into a small town in Southern Illinois. The co-worker is Black. She saw the local police pull behind her car and stayed following her until she left the borders of the town. She understood clearly why that happened.

  30. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:14 pm:

    downstateR Just bought it–thank you for the suggestion.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:15 pm:

    Thanks, all, too kind.

    I’ll be doing much more reading about Illinois in the near future, and learn much more along the way.


  32. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    Some of our counties are named after some loathsome individuals. Wow.

    Thanks for sharing this. I learned a couple things that I did not know before.

  33. - Incomparable Lou - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:43 pm:

    The Crenshaw House was a crusade for the late, great Lovana “Lou” Jones. She wanted to make sure others understood this ugly part of Illinois’ history and that they could learn from it. She was part of the state effort to buy the property in 2000-01 and tried to get it opened to the public.

    In honor of Juneteenth: a few years before Lou died, a freshman representative presented a resolution recognizing Juneteenth and, in his remarks, noted June 19, 1865 was the day Lincoln freed slaves. An indignant Lou popped up from her desk, spun around and admonished the freshman but good for not understanding what Juneteenth was. She had too much class to call him out on the record. Wonder if he remembers the scolding.

    Lou Jones is sorely missed. She was an outstanding leader, immensely respected, beloved, and not to be trifled with. To this day, she’s the only person I ever saw make Bill Black stutter. He could intimidate and even frighten many legislators when they presented their bills. Lou Jones may have been the only person who intimidated him when she presented hers.

  34. - First Amdt Lawyer - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    Rich, you’ve done a public service by posting this.

    Having spent my childhood on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, I must admit that I knew much of this already. The truth is that the Civil War was the most traumatic period in American history, bar none. We are still dealing with the effects today.

    My great-grandfather came over from Canada to fight with the 113th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was wounded and became a homesteader after the war, so I’ve taken a special interest in Illinois’ role in the war.

    As one of his school projects, my son set out to memorize the Emancipation Proclamation. Frankly, it was embarrassing to read. It only applied to the southern states, and then only the areas still under southern control. There are many county exceptions. It freed none in northern states or in northern controlled territory. The 13th Amendment did that after the war.

    And while I greatly admire Grant, his wife did not free her slaves until passage of the 13th Amendment. Is it conceivable that he was fighting to free slaves even as his wife owned them.

    I am glad I was not alive during that period. It was literally family members against family members. It is much more complicated than what is taught in schools.

    The facts in the linked article also point to the inescapable conclusion that the Stars & Stripes, as well as the Illinois flag, flew over slaves much longer than the Stars & Bars. We should keep that in mind as we collectively purge Southern icons as reminders of slavery.

  35. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 3:04 pm:

    This is an eye opener for many who held the belief that slavery was only a Southern sin. Many Northern States were slave states and it began before we became a Country.

    Slavery still exists today in the world. People are still bought, kidnapped and lured into different aspects of slavery.

    The Global Slavery Index (2018) estimated that roughly 40.3 million individuals are currently caught in modern slavery, with 71% of those being female, and 1 in 4 being children. This includes compelled labor and sex. This is atrocious to me.

    I completely understand why people are upset in the US, myself included, with the way people are judged by their skin color. We as a Country have made strides, we are not there yet, but we are on our way.

  36. - Comma Chameleon - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    Thank you for this.

    For an engaging approach that is suitable for all ages, also keep in mind Glennette Tilley Turner’s “The Underground Railroad in Illinois” (Newman Educational Publishing, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, 2001). ISBN 0-938990-05-5.

  37. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    downstateR — I got a copy of the book you mentioned. Amazon reports there are 2 left in stock (more on the way)
    Who knew reading Capitol Fax got you great recommendations for books!

    There is so much about these issues that we were not taught due the textbooks used in the schools. A lot was removed in order to sell them in states such as Texas. There is a committee that reviews all textbooks bought for the state and makes recommendations to the Texas Education Agency. This determines what they want/don’t want in the texts. Publishers placate them because Texas is the biggest purchaser of textbooks. The books recommended by the TEA are the only ones bought for the public schools pre-K to 12 in the state.

  38. - Mjolnir - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    Thank you for posting, Rich. Hopefully, the more we learn about our history, the greater the chance we can work to fix what’s broken.

  39. - Early Illinoisan - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 4:49 pm:

    - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    = As a word to the wise when making claims about ancestors who appear in historical records — go find the source documents. Don’t rely on what you’ve been told.=

    That is indeed good advice. For what its worth everything I know has been through my own hands-on research and travel to county courthouses, libraries church graveyards and interviews with historians throughout the country. Some of my families relics are archived at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. And, as one might imagine, I have found evidence of courageous acts of humanity that one would want to burnish and place on the mantle, and other horrible examples of personal weakness and depravity that I wish I never knew. But thank you for your appropriate advice and caution. It is well taken.

  40. - Lorelil - Friday, Jun 26, 20 @ 9:59 am:

    I’ve known a vague outline of this for several years; back in the early 1960s while reading Huckleberry Finn in high school I wondered why Huck didn’t just cross the Mississippi to free Jim in Illinois. Not an option. Thank you for making the situation more public.

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