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The Illinois State Historical Society Officers

President: David W. Scott, Springfield
President Pro Tem: Marvin W. Ehlers, Deerfield
Treasurer: Arthur M. Martin, Chicago


Directors, Terms Expire in 2005
Leah J. Axelrod, Chicago
Herbert Channick, Rockford
Redd Griffin, Oak Park
Russell Lewis, Chicago
John Power, Jacksonville

Directors, Terms Expire in 2006
Larry Douglas, Belknap
Stuart Fliege, Springfieldd
Roger Bridges, Bloomington
Ellsworth Mills, II, Highland Park
Mary "Happy" Dean, Peoria

Directors, Terms Expire in 2007
Michael Bakalis, Chicago
Michael Batinski, Carbondale
Elaine Egdorf, Homewood
Shirley Portwood, Godfrey
Theodore Wachholz, Arlington Heights

Tom Teague, Executive Director
William Furry, Assistant Director
Mary Lou Johnsrud, Office Manager

          Advisory Board 2004-2005
Robert Adamson, Wheaton
David Badillo, Oak Park
Terry Barnhart, Charleston
John Craig, Springfield
Tim Draper, Sugar Grove
Lawrence Hansen, River Forest
Thomas O. Kay, Wheaton
Alfred Klairmont, Highland Park
Lindell Loveless, Gillespie
Jon Musgrave, Marion
Mark Sorensen, Decatur
Patricia Walton, Hanover Park
John Weck, Sycamore
Dennis Williams, Quincy
Robyn Williams, Harrisburg
Randall Witter, Springfield

            Living Past Presidents
Alexander Summers, San Diego, CA
Robert M. Sutton, Urbana
Gunnar Benson, Sterling
Donald F. Tingley, Savoy
Victor Hicken, Macomb
Katie Fiene Birchler, Chester
Samuel Lilly, Downers Grove
David J. Maurer, Charleston
Wilma Lund, Springfield
Patricia Wallace-Christian, Durham, CT
Mark A. Plummer, Normal
John T. Trutter, Northfield
E. Duane Elbert, Forrest
Raymond E. Hauser, St. Charles
Patricia Grimmer, Carbondale
John Power, Jacksonville
Robert J. Klaus, Chicago
Michael J. McNerney, Carbondale
Robert McColley, Urbana
Barbara M. Posadas, DeKalb
Rand Burnette, Jacksonville

Illinois Heritage
A Publication of The Illinois State Historical Society

July-August 2004                                                          Volume 7 Number 4


3    President's message

4    Letters

4    News

27  New members


6    Small town, big dreams
      Atlanta revitalizes its dream along the "Mother Road"

10   The land of milk and honey
      Southern Illinois has been called "Egypt" for two centuries. Here's why.

16   Lincoln or bust?

18   The pearl of Peru
       Maud Powell played for millions, but her heart was in the Fox River Valley

6     Shabbona's ride
       Flag Creek ballad recalls Pottawatomie chief who protected early settlers


24    Fiddling the Northwest Passage

25    Grierson's Raid

To our readers

The legends and lore of Illinois are truly fascinating. From Egypt to the shores of Lake Michigan, the stories of our Prairie State--the "Sucker" state to our Nineteenth Century forebearers--have filled volumes and will continue to do so. And new history is being written every day.

In this issue of Illinois Heritage we look at several chapters in our common history and reflect on the legends that still hold our imagination and shape our identity. In the poem, "Shabbona's Ride," a 75-plus year old heroic narrative recently uncovered at the Illinois State Historical Library (recently renamed the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library), we remember the Pottawatomie chieftain who risked his life to save early settlers. It is a remarkable antique verse that reveals much about our early Illinois identity, and about the hardships our sturdy ancestors endured.

In "The land of milk and honey," Jon Musgrave explores the origins of that curious region of the state nicknamed "Egypt." Though long associated with the "winter of the deep snow," and occasionally with a risque belly dancer who had more shakes than the New Madrid earthquake,

Egypt has more history than any other region in Illinois.

In "Atlanta rebound," Tom Teague visits a little town on the prairie to tell us of its hopes and dreams for a rebirth along the historic "Mother Road." It's a story that will inspire and perhaps motivate other communities to revitalize their towns.

You'll find our regular features here, too: "History online," book reviews, and short features about lllinoisans who've made us proud. Be sure to read our profile of violinist Maud Powell, the most famous citizen of Peru, who dazzled audiences around the world long before women had a public stage in the arts. Her statue in the Peru plaza is worth a pilgrimage to the Fox River Valley.

It's all a part of our common Illinois heritage. Read it and share us with a neighbor. And, as always, if you know someone who'd love to be receiving our publications, drop us a line. We'll send a sample copy out and an invitation to join the Illinois State Historical Society.

Best wishes for a wonderful summer,

William Furry

Illinois Heritage | 2

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