Firstly, permit me to briefly apologize.
We spoke of publishing Day 2 content on Friday, July 3rd; this was impossible, as we had no Internet connection.
KHF has successfully arrived in Johnston City, Illinois, wherefrom we will travel to St. Louis (Monday) and, inevitably, to Springfield (Tuesday - Unknown Date.)
Prior to our arrival yesterday, we visited three of the Commonwealth's Western cities: Bardstown, Elizabethtown, and Hodgenville. Among the sites visited thus far are: the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater, My Old Kentucky Home State Park, the Lincoln Museum, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, and the Hardin County History Museum; whereas these wonderful sites were in our native Kentucky, we also (unexpectedly) found ourselves at Fort Massac State Park near Metropolis, Illinois.
Sorrowfully, one must report that the original health issues referenced prior to our departure are not entirely resolved. Moreover, an unfortunate accident at My Old Kentucky Home State Park has resulted in the temporary necessity of a cane. Nonetheless, in spite of these hindrances, our resolute determination has not been dissolved; we shall press onward with our Multistate Trek.
Typically a Reader may expect to read a considerably lenghty portion of text which properly excavates as well as analyzes the topic at hand, then immediately thereafter view photographs and videos with brief contextual scripts. However, due to the vast periods of time and locations we have transversed - and in the interest of my present condition of health - we will present photos and videos with longer explanations on a site-by-site basis.
This is not to be expected for the entirety of the MST; eras, themes, and locations will shift to a greater centrality as our journey progresses. Hence, the aforesaid system will be deemed unnecessary.
Thank each of you for your patience; check back for Day 3 on the 8th of July. Note: As we are operating in the Central Time Zone, any times we post should be considered 1 hour early (in EST) if marked CST.
- Austin R. Justice, History of Kentucky Group.
Illinois - the Illinois State Song - is a rather contemporary composition, being adopted in 1967. The piece references prominent figures whose legacies are oft intertwined with the Prarie State, as evidenced via the lines On the record of thy years, Abra'am Lincoln's name appears; Grant and Logan and our tears, Illinois, Illinois... Though Illinois is commonly given as the Land of Lincoln, it is interesting to note that neither Lincoln nor Grant were native to the State -- Grant was of Ohio, and Lincoln of Kentucky; we will also visit the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, location of Grant's White Hall estate in Missouri. Indeed, a multitude of 19th century characters which are categorized as Illinoisans originally hail from elsewhere: a notable exemplar is Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, Democratic rival of Lincoln, whose life began in Vermont.
As an historian, one must utilize and integrate various sources of migrational, social, political, military, etc. historiography in order to construct a cohesive comprehensive narrative. The reasoning of Illinois' seemingly odd lack of native citizens is quite explicable; a rational reasoning does indeed exist. What one must recall is that Illinois is the farthest extent of the Frontier in 1809 (the year of Lincoln's birth.) During such period, the lands of the region comprise the Illinois Territory (statehood follows in 1818); generally, we may define the Upper Frontier as thus: Kentucky - the only state thereof in 1809,- Illinois, and Indiana. Although Illinois is presently categorized as a constituent of the Midwest, Kentucky as the East or South, the Antebellum mind conjures images of these States when thinking of the West. The United States did not expand beyond the Mississippi River, therefore the Frontier simultaneously constituted the West. Even throughout the course of the ravaging American Civil War (1861-1865) the States west of Virginia are collectively known as the Western Theater.
Frontier society is characterized by continual development, rural civilization, ongoing governmental foundation, horrid legal property disputes, population growth, etc. Lexington is unique in its comparative "Eastern" sophistication among the primarily Frontier-esque Kentuckian society, one in which Lincoln was highly versed and rooted. Illinois is most definitely no exception; the Lincoln family - that is, a young Abraham with father Thomas, mother Nancy Hanks, and soon step-mother Sarah Bush Johnston - had relocated from Sinking Spring and Knob Creek, Kentucky due to fierce land disputes and Thomas's inability to profit as a farmer/laborer in a society so deeply indoctrinated in that peculiar institution to Indiana, and from Indiana to Illinois.
In brevity, the Frontier had yet to be entirely settled. The representation of Kentucky in the Federal House of Representatives fluctuated significantly throughout time due to the immigration and emigration of residents. Whilst the Northern sections of Illinois received mass influx from the Northeast and European nations, Central Illinois - in which Springfield is located - was populated primarily by Kentuckians; it is estimated that circa 50% of the area's citizens were of Kentucky. All three of Lincoln's law partners were from our Commonwealth, as was his wife. Illinois had yet to exist or be populated by European descendants for a great enough length of time to develop a large native-born citizenry.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park
The detached kitchen of Federal Hill.
Federal Hill Mansion, the estate of Judge John Rowan.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park, located in Bardstown, was the first segment of our MST. The dominating site on the Park grounds is Federal Hill Mansion, the estate of Judge John Rowan. The Rowans were an early Kentuckian family of immense comparative wealth; their towering estate would have no doubt stood as an oddity among the small Frontier town.
For us, it also has the distinction of being the place of my ankle injury.
Federal Hill is the site of both tragedy (insert reference to ankle injury), i.e. the unintentional suicide of an occupant, and triumph; it is nestled among the scrolling beauty of Western Kentucky. Mostly notable however is Federal Hill's designation as My Old Kentucky Home: local lore which has spread to the wider United States holds that Stephen C. Foster - the preeminent Antebellum composer who wrote the heart-wrenching song My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night [adopted as the State Song under the revised title and lyrics, My Old Kentucky Home] - was inspired by the charm of the estate to compose the piece. Though the State may well capitalize on this legend, it is but myth. As we discussed in the inaugural Kentucky History Friday some months ago, My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night retains a discreet racial legacy. It is factually accurate that Foster was a cousin of Rowan, and may have visited (as the Rowans often hosted guests and social events.) Nevertheless, the song is known to be an elaborate metaphor for the institution of slavery; when penned, Foster titled his original manuscript Poor Uncle Tom, Good-Night thus referencing Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, an allegorical novel likewise denouncing the practice. Ardent abolitionist and free-person-of-color Frederick Douglass once remarked that in his view the song stimulates, "the sympathies for the slave, in which anti-slavery principles take root and flourish." As Dr. Thomas D. Clark and others furthermore note, the piece was likely shifted to My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night upon publication due to the genre: minstrelsy. Minstrelsy, which often invoked Black Face performances, was a style of popular favor in the Antebellum South, wherein Beecher's work was utterly detested; Kentucky being a major slave-holding State offered a perfect metaphor for the institution whilst simultaneously propelling its popularity among Southerners who presumed its literal meaning. If you'd like to read the full KHF article on the topic, visit here. Unfortunately, photos were not permitted inside.
The Civil War Museum
of the Western Theater
The effects of Dr. John Moore.
Frock coat and items of Dr. Riley Wells.
The Vicksburg Exhibit.
The Chickamauga Exhibit; Battle Flag of the 6th Tennessee.
The Military Band Exhibit with the Perryville Drummer Boy (Left.)
Pictured near the coat are posters advertising The Battle Cry of Freedom and Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! both by George F. Root. We've added these songs below.
So We Sang the Chorus from Atlanta to the Sea:
The Georgia Campaign Exhibit.
Marching Through Georgia by Henry Clay Work is a celebratory march published in 1865 commemorating Sherman's March to Sea. His successful capture of Atlanta was one of the final death nails in the coffin of the Confederate States; Sherman wrote a letter during the campaign in which he addressed Lincoln stating, I beg to present to you as a Christmas present the City of Savannah.... Inevitably, it would lead to the surrender of Johnston to Sherman at Bennette Place, North Carolina. Jay Ungar, composer of famed Ashokan Farewell, is known to play the piece both as a march and as a lament for the sheer devastation felt by the other side due to a collapsing Confederate infrastructure and Sherman's Scorched Earth policies. The song itself incorporates the development of the cause of emancipation among the Union armies, joyfully boasting Hurrah, hurrah, we bring the jubilee! Hurrah, hurrah, the flag that makes you free! So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea, while we were marching through Georgia! A jubilee, though today merely synonymous with joy or delight, was in during the Antebellum Period a meeting of enslaved or free persons of color in which spirituals and other songs of freedom were sung.
Regimental Colors of the 16th Kentucky Infantry (Union.)
Colors of the 1st Kentucky Calvary, circa late-1863.
Bledsoe's Cavalry Battalion Flag, CSA
Regimental colors of the Confederacy varied greatly from the well-known St. Andrew Cross pattern employed by the Army of Northern Virginia.
This flag, though at first glance seemingly Unionist, was used by Bledsoe's Confederate Cavalry; it displays 12 stars and was captured at the Battle of Mill Springs (September 1862.)
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
Lincoln's birthplace at Sinking Spring Farm is now enshrined in this monument, the steps to which symbolize each year of his life (56,) and is maintained by the National Park Service.
The Lincoln family soon relocated to Knob Creek, Kentucky after Lincoln's birth here. At the age of 7, the Lincoln family emigrated out of the Commonwealth to the Indiana Territory; they and their neighbors had become embroiled in the disastrous land claim disputes which plagued the State throughout the 19th century due to a horrible, overlapping system of land grants in early Kentucky County, Virginia.
Lincoln is reputed to have once said I, too am a Kentuckian.
Large 1860 Print, Hardin County History Museum
This large print newspaper of 1860 heralds the candidacy of A. Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin. The paper is evidently Republican; whereas a majority of contemporary news sources claim impartiality, 19th century press consisted of openly partisan papers. To the Antebellum citizen, politics served as a form of entertainment; men fervently rallied 'round their candidates, attending grand rallies and legthy standing-room debates (i.e. Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858,) while touting banners exclaiming Lincoln and Hamlin: Wide Awake and using Party-compiled songsters to cheer their favorite campaign pieces, i.e. Lincoln and Liberty. In Springfield, Lincoln's primary patron paper was the Sangamon Journel; Lincoln also legally owned a German language paper intended to sway immigrants until circa 1861.
Ft. Massac State Park, Illinois Visitor Center Exhibit
The remnants of Fort Massac; Statue of George Rogers Clark overlooking the Ohio River.
The shores opposite Ft. Massac are our own Kentucky.
A rural residential area in Johnston City, Illinois.
Hi, I'm the website Admin. I look after the website as well as the chapter social media accounts.
Austin R. Justice
PMC of River Cities Chapter and Lincoln Forum & Colloquium Student Scholar.
Spencer M. Dayton