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Tracing Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield, IL, footsteps - Part 5


By Gerri Nielsen

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

This story is the fifth and final in a five-part series about Gerri Nielsen’s trip to Springfield, Illinois.

FRIDAY: Friday morning brought Mark Johnson, Historian at the IHPA back. He introduced us to 1800s newspapers. The Sangamo Journal began in 1821 as Springfield’s local paper, and it’s now the state’s capital city newspaper. Lincoln called the Journal his friend. The cost of sending newspapers was very minimal compared to the expensive letters. A large (25” by 19”) 6-page newspaper could travel about 400 miles and only cost 1 1/2 cents to purchase. Local information had to get passed around, so newspapers were made affordable for every home. 90 percent of all pieces moving through the post office were newspapers.

Sangamo Journal subscriptions were delivered to the post offices in small towns; in Springfield, people picked up a copy at the newspaper office. Carriers started delivering much later. There were special New Year’s Day advertisements printed and displayed on the front page to remind subscribers to give their carriers a big tip.

Though many of today’s newspapers are neutral or objective, the Sangamo Journal was violently Whig, and then Republican when the party was created.

Our last presenter of the week was Jason Stacy, assistant professor of U.S. History and Social Science Pedagogy at Southern Illinois University. He spoke passionately about Walt Whitman, a memorable poet of Lincoln’s time. Whitman self-published his book of poetry Leaves of Grass to preserve the union. He never intended for Lincoln to read his book, but he wanted to serve the same purpose as Lincoln in preserving the nation. “Oh Captain, My Captain” is Whitman’s famous ode to Lincoln. Whitman said it’s the people that are the United States.

Both Whitman and Lincoln believed in freedom but said some racist things which didn’t seem so liberating. Neither man was a radical abolitionist; in fact, there is some hypocrisy to their remarks. In Lincoln’s debates with Stephen Douglas, he puts the two races separate but holds the white race higher.

A New York City native, Whitman focused his beliefs and poetry on his observations of people as workers. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, America was an Artisan economy. A worker started out as an apprentice working in a master craftsman’s shop and being fed and housed by his teacher. He then struck out on his own, t .....
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Harmony Foods

Tracing Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield, IL, footsteps- Part 4

By Gerri Nielsen

Fri, Aug 17th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

This story is the fourth in a five-part series about Gerri Nielsen’s trip to Springfield, Illinois. THURSDAY: Dr. Cornelius amazed us again this morning with his presentation “Mary Lincoln--Well, Not Really.” He showed us a portrait painted ..... 
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State Line Rural Methodist Church finds a new home

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 17th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

Each year, buildings that once defined our communities are either demolished or left to fall into utter disrepair. The sagging economy doesn’t often have a place for these old buildings and those left to care for them often have no choice. Luckily ..... 
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Tracing Abe Lincoln’s Springfield, IL, footsteps, Part 3

By Gerri Nielsen

Fri, Aug 10th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

WEDNESDAY: Today included a field trip to the New Salem open-air history museum and state park with our own personal guide, Charles Starling, a retired Illinois Historical Preservation Agency Site interpreter. Charlie gave us all the facts we could ..... 
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Harmony Enterprises, Inc. celebrating 50 years

Fri, Aug 3rd, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

For the past 50 years, the small town of Harmony has been home to a large worldwide business, and many people aren’t even aware of what goes on there. Harmony Enterprises, Inc., known to the local residents as HECO, offers more to the world than c ..... 
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Tracing Abe Lincoln’s Springfield, IL, footsteps

By Gerri Nielsen

Fri, Jul 27th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

Remember the saying, “Be nice to nerds--someday you’ll be working for one”? Our 16th President was a nerd--a 6’-4,” book-readin’, rail-splittin’, 6-inches-too-short-trousers-wearin’ doofus. He also was somewhat of a loser--he lost j ..... 
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Fundraiser for Jem Theatre a huge success

Mon, Feb 27th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

Saturday, February 11, hundreds of people gathered at Wheelers in Harmony to help raise money to keep Fillmore County’s only theatre in business. The support from the community was huge, and the event raised $15,773.50. Lynn Mensink, one of the ..... 
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