Illinois Social History – Women of Illinois – Immigrants – Reform


Free online books and articles, with descriptions: Anti-slavery in Illinois, farm women, history of Hull House, Jane Addams, trial of Chicago anarchists, Mary Livermore, Mexican women, 19th century working women, French Canadians, detecting crime in Chicago, outlaws at Cave-in-Rock, Springfield race riot, temperance movement, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, Frances Willard, new women in the Progressive era, Allan Pinkerton, organized crime, underground railroad, Americanization, Illinois pioneers, Jews in Illinois, female office workers, Jewish life in Quincy, Irish in Chicago, the great migration to Chicago, slavery in Illinois, Hull House and immigrants, Illinois charitable institutions, hospitals for the insane, soldiers’ and sailors’ home, women’s suffrage movement, working conditions of coal miners, African American women’s clubs, League for the Protection of Immigrants, Norwegians, famous women of Illinois, working in the stockyards, pioneer women, Swedes, Polish Catholics, Germans at Vandalia, Elijah P. Lovejoy, Italians

Find the Directory for 90+ pages in this collection at History of the Great Lakes States.

 

The Immigrant and Coal Mining Communities of Illinois

Abbott, Grace
Springfield: State of Illinois Department of Registration and Education 1920

This is a Bulletin published by the state government “Immigrants Commission”; a study of working and living conditions of immigrant miners in four regions of Illinois.

Books and articles about everyday life, women, ethnic groups, social issues etc. at Social history topics in the early Great Lakes region

“The Changing Roles of Farm Women”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 7, No. 1, 1999, pp 2-6

Adams, Jane
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Also see our collections of Books on Women’s History and Articles on Women’s History

Twenty Years at Hull-House, with Autobiographical Notes

Addams, Jane
NY: Macmillan 1911

Addams’ autobiography, a history of Chicago’s famous settlement, and a study of urban social problems.

See also:
Hull-House Maps and Papers in Working Conditions – History of Labor Unions in the U.S.

Philanthropy and Social Progress; Seven Essays by Miss Jane Addams, Robert A. Woods, Father J.O.S. Huntington, Professor Franklin H. Giddings and Bernard Bosanquet in Social Services – Poverty & Homelessness

“Mexicanas in Chicago”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 10, No. 2, 2003, pp 57-62

Arredondo, Gabriela F.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

The Entrance of Women into the Occupations in Illinois

Bedient, Ethel Louise
University of Illinois 1917

A thesis submitted for a Masters’ degree in Economics, in two parts. The first part very briefly covers women’s occupations prior to 1870. The second, more thorough part covers the period from 1870 to 1910, for which the author found much more data.

See also: Campbell, Helen, Woman Wage-earners: Their Past, Their Present and Their Future in Working Conditions – History of Labor Unions in the U.S.

Candee, Helen Churchill, How Women May Earn a Living in Working Conditions – History of Labor Unions in the U.S.

An online vintage collection of Settlers’ guides and ‘Emigrant Handbooks’ for the Great Lakes region

“French Women and Family Life in Post-Colonial Illinois”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 12, No. 2, 2005, pp 18-21

Bishop, Erin I.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

“French Canadians in the Kankakee Valley”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 12, No. 2, 2005, pp 28-33

Brettell, Caroline B.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Find 14 more subject pages of books and articles about Illinois at the History of the Great Lakes States Directory.

“The Progressive Era in Illinois: “Launching Pad” for “New Women””

Illinois History Teacher Vol 7, No. 1, 1999, pp 15-20

Buenker, John D.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

“Chicago’s Italians: Immigrants, Ethnics, Achievers, 1850-1985”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 6, No. 2, 1999, pp 36-41

Candeloro, Dominic
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Books and articles about work, medical care, business & industry, etc. at Illinois Economic History

50-50: Fighting Chicago’s Crime Trusts

Chamberlin, Henry Barrett
Chicago: 1916

Reveals through details of police investigations how organized criminal groups operated a number of activities.

Contents:1. Arson Trust 2. Clairvoyant Trust 3. Wiretapper’s Trust 4. Pickpocket Trust 5. Burglary Trust 6. Detective Bureau Criminals 7. Horse Thief Trust 8. Auto Thief, Auto Bandi and Auto Murderer 9. Glass Smashers’ Trust 10. The Gunmen 11. Parasite Trust 12. Moron, Juvenile and Sex Criminal 13. Unspectacular Crime 14. Maclay Hoyne

Illinois and the Underground Railroad to Canada

Cooley, Verna Lucille
University of Illinois 1917

Master’s Thesis in History

For links to books about the issue of slavery in Indiana and Illinois, see: Anti-Slavery before the Civil War

The Jews of Illinois …

Their Religious and Civic Life, their Charity and Industry, their Patriotism and Loyalty to American Institutions, from their earliest settlement in the State unto the Present Time

Eliassof, Herman
Chicago: Reform Advocate 1901

Produced by a weekly newspaper that was published “in the interest of Reform Judaism”.

“Female Office Workers in Chicago, 1870-1930”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 10, No. 2, 2003, pp 24-29

Fine, Lisa M.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

“From Immigration to Integration: Jewish Life in Quincy in the Nineteenth Century”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 5, No. 1, 1998, pp 29-34

Frolick, David A.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Works of Fiction set in Illinois

“The Irish in Chicago”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 6, No. 2, 1999, pp 12-15

Funchion, Michael F.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

“The Chicago Anarchists of 1886: The Crime, The Trial, and the Punishment, by the judge who presided at the trial”

The Century Magazine Vol 45, 6, April 1893, pp 803-837

Gary, Joseph E.
NY: Century

The trial after the famous event now known as the “Haymarket Affair” or “Haymarket Massacre”.

“Railroads and Community Life”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 15, No. 1, 2008, pp 18-21

Grant, H. Roger
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

“Chicago and the Great Migration”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 3, No. 2, 1996, pp 33-37

Grossman, James
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

History of Negro Slavery in Illinois and of the Slavery Agitation in that State

Harris, Norman D.
Chicago: McClurg. 1904

This book was originally a PhD dissertation at the University of Chicago History Department.

Contents:-The Beginnings of Slavery in the Illinois Country, 1719-1783 -Slavery in the Illinois Territory, 1800-1818 -Slavery and the Constitution of 1818 -The Contest for a Convention, 1820-1824 -Negro Servitude under the Constitution of 1818 -The Lovejoy Episode – in St. Louis -The Lovejoy Episode (continued) – in Alton -The Slavery Question in the Courts, 1819-1864 -The Beginnings of the Anti-slavery Agitation -The Origin of the Illinois Liberty Party and the Free Soil Party -The Free Soil, Free Democratic, and Republican Parties, 1848-1856 -Later Slavery Agitation and the Lincoln-Douglas Debates -The Progress of Sentiment on the Negro Question, 1840-1875

Appendices -Bibliography -Specimen Copies of Slave Papers -Data Relative to the Contest of 1823-24 -Table of Abolition Votes

Books and articles on Native American tribes in historic Illinois

“Hull House and the Immigrants”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 10, No. 1, 2003, pp 23-26

Holli, Melvin G.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Brief History of the Charitable Institutions of the State of Illinois

Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners
Chicago: Morris Printers. 1893

This consists of 10 short histories of the following institutions prepared by their superintendents, distributed at the Columbia Exposition of 1893.

-Institution for the education of the deaf and dumb, at Jacksonville, 1838-1893.
-Institution for the education of the blind, at Jacksonville. 1849-1893.
-Southern hospital for the insane, at Anna. 1869-1893.
-Central hospital for the insane, at Jacksonville 1847-1893.
-Eastern hospital for the insane, at Kankakee. 1877-1983.
-Northern hospital for the insane, at Elgin. 1869-1893.
-Charitable eye and ear infirmary, at Chicago. 1858-1893.
-Soldiers’ and sailors’ home, at Quincy. 1885-1893.
-Soldiers’ orphans’ home, at Normal. 1865-1893.
-Asylum for feeble minded children, at Lincoln, 1865-1893.

“Mary Livermore and the Illinois Women’s Suffrage Movement”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 3, No. 1, 1996, pp 2-5

Janu, Bruce D. and Venet, Wendy Hamand
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Illinois in the Fifties or A Decade of Development 1851- 1860. Illinois Centennial Edition

Johnson, Charles Beneulyn
Champaign: Flanigan-Pearson 1918

In this volume the author has endeavored to describe things, people and conditions as he saw and knew them in the Fifties.

Contents:-The Pioneer and his environment -A Progressive pioneer and the evolution of a home -The gold seekers of the late Forties -The stage-driver, stage-coach, stage-hand and an original Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde -A Country store in the Fifties -Churches, church people and preachers in the Fifties -Sports, amusements and some other things -The village Lyceum and some local Pettifoggers -An old-time water-mill -Schools, scholars and teachers -In and about an Illinois cornfield in the Fifties -Books, periodicals and other reading matter in the Fifties -The village doctors -Railroads and other methods of travel and transportation -Elections, parties and politics -Slavery and the Lincoln-Douglas debate

Books and articles on Religion in historic Illinois

“African-American Women’s Clubs in Chicago, 1890-1920”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 10, No. 2, 2003, pp 11-15

Knupfer, Anne Meis
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

League for the Protection of Immigrants: Annual Reports 1909-1917

League for the Protection of Immigrants
Chicago 1910-1918

The name of the League changed to “Immigrants Protective League” in the 1910-1911 report. “The work that the League is attempting to do is primarily that of first help to the immigrant … welcoming the newcomers, seeing that they reach the homes to which they are destined, guarding them against wrongs at the railroad stations, labor employment agencies, and work camps, assisting them to secure work, advising and encouraging them to take advantage of [educational opportunities] , settlements, churches, Y.M.C.A. and other organizations, protecting [women and girls] from the perils of the white slave trade and prostitution. Personal visits to stations and homes, conferences with the local, state and national authorities, co-operation with other organizations and especially with the police, have been some of the methods employed as the basis for the work.”
– Report of the President 1909-10, pp 5-6
In addition to being annual summaries of the work of the organization, these reports contain numerous descriptions of case studies or incidents, along with a wide variety of useful data.

Americanization in Chicago …

The Report of a Survey made by authority and under direction of the Chicago Community Trust

Loomis, Frank D.
Chicago: Chicago Community Trust 1920

This small book covers addresses the efforts being made by a wide variety of organizations that served the needs of immigrant groups in Chicago and worked to “Americanize” them. It contains brief descriptions of many types of organizations and the way in which they contributed. A number of tables provide data about immigrant groups, and there are lists of all organizations involved in such work.

Books and articles on War in historic Illinois

Pioneers of Illinois, containing a Series of Sketches relating to Events that occurred previous to 1813…

also Narratives of many thrilling incidents connected with the early settlement of the West, drawn from History, Tradition and Personal Reminiscences

Matson, N.
Chicago: Knight & Leonard. 1892

The author wrote in the Preface that a very large share of the content of this volume was collected by him in discussions with early settlers and by an Indian he employed to collect stories and narratives from Indians. Much of the book concerns interaction between pioneers and Indians, and there appears to be a lot of material about Peoria.

The Women of Illinois

McCormick, Henry
Bloomington, ILL: Pantagraph 1913

Contents:-The Pioneer Women of Illinois -Mrs. Le Compt -Mrs. John Edgar -Mrs. Robert Morrison -Mrs. Mary A. Bickerdyke -Mrs. Mary A. Livermore -Frances E. Willard -Jane Addams -Mrs. Lida Brown McMurry -Mrs. Letitia Green Stevenson -Marie Eugenia Von Elsner (Litta) -The Women of Today

“A Quarter of a Century in the Stockyards District”

Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society 1920, pp 72-83

McDowell, Mary E.
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society

An account of labor conditions by a Chicago social worker.

“Foreign Immigrants in Illinois 1850”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 5, No. 1, 1998, pp 15-21

Meyer, Douglas K.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

“Freedom’s Early Ring: Ending Slavery in the Illinois Country, 1787-1818”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 5, No. 1, 1998, pp 2-6

Middleton, Stephen
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Please visit our Century Past Free Online Library, with thousands of books to read online or download

“The Work of Pioneer Women”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 15, No. 2, 2009, pp 23-30

Nordhauser, Ellen More
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

The Swedish Element in Illinois; Survey of the Past Seven Decades

Olson, Ernst W.
Chicago: Swedish-American Biographical Association 1917

Arranged into four parts, each with numerous chapters, followed by 320 pages of “Life Sketches of Men of Today”, a general index and a biographical index. The parts are:

1. The Pioneer Period; Prior to 1846 2. The Period of Settlement and Foundation 3. The Period of Growth and Establishment 4. The Period of Cultural Progress

“Multicultural Difficulties in Chicago’s Polish Catholic Community: Historical Perspectives”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 6, No. 2, 1999, pp 23-27

Parot, Joseph John
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Pioneer Life in Illinois

Perryman, F. M.
Pana, ILL: Kerrs. 1907

An unusual little book of one-page chapters of reminiscences about a wide variety of topics in pioneer life.

See also: Biographies & Memoirs in Illinois History

Criminal Reminiscences and Detective Sketches

Pinkerton, Allan
NY: Dillingham. 1878

This book is a collection of autobiographical stories of investigations by Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish immigrant who became Chicago’s first detective in 1849. In 1850 he formed a partnership later known as the ‘Pinkerton National Detective Agency’. He developed some investigative techniques such as ‘shadowing’ a suspect and ‘assuming a role’, or undercover work.

This book appeared nine years before the first Sherlock Holmes stories.

The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock …

Historical Accounts of the Famous Highwaymen and River Pirates who operated in pioneer days upon the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and over the old Natchez Trace

Rothert, Otto A.
Cleveland: Clark. 1924

This volume is about gangs of criminals that operated for decades from the cave located on the Illinois bank of the Ohio River. Some readers may remember a scene from the 1962 movie “How the West was Won”, which was partly shot in the cave.

Over 120 magazines online, from the early 1800s to today, at Read Old Magazines Online

“The Springfield Race Riot of 1908”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 3, No. 2, 1996, pp 22-27

Senechal, Roberta
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

A History of the Norwegians of Illinois …

a concise record of the struggles and achievements of the early settlers together with a narrative of what is now being done by the Norwegian-Americans of Illinois in the development of their adopted country. Illustrated. With the valuable collaboration of numerous authors and contributors

Strand, A. E., comp. and ed.
Chicago: Anderson 1905

The first half of the book is a collection of stories from pioneer life and local histories. The second half contains numerous brief histories of Norwegian churches, histories of other societies, 19 biographies, “some memorable events in the history of the Norwegians in Chicago”, and profiles of some companies owned by Norwegians.

“Ferdinand Ernst and the Germany Colony at Vandalia, Illinois”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 4, No. 1, 1997, pp 2-5

Stroble, Paul E.
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

The Martyrdom of Lovejoy; an Account of the Life, Trials, and Perils of Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy …

who was killed by a Pro-Slavery Mob at Alton, Ill., on the night of November 7, 1837. By an Eye-Witness

Tanner, Henry
Chicago: Fergus. 1881

“In May 1836, after anti-abolitionist opponents in St. Louis destroyed his printing press for the third time, Lovejoy left the city and moved across the river to Alton in the free state of Illinois. In 1837 he started the Alton Observer, also an abolitionist paper. On November 7, 1837, a pro-slavery mob attacked the warehouse where Lovejoy had his fourth printing press. Lovejoy and his supporters exchanged gunfire with the mob, which fatally shot him. He died on the spot and was soon hailed as a martyr by abolitionists across the country.” – Wikipedia entry for Elijah Parish Lovejoy

Illinois Pioneer Days

Waller, Elbert
Litchfield, Ill: Lewis. 1918

An 80-page book describing what life was like for pioneers, in no particular location of Illinois. Light and humorous, but informative.

Contents:-Where the West Begins -Pioneer Home Life -A Pioneer Church -A Pioneer School -The Pioneer Mother -Going to Mill -A Ranger’s Adventure -“Lasses” -Buck-Skin Breeches -Pioneer Boatmen -Camp Meetings -Witchcraft -Kaskaskia Cursed -Freak Lawsuits of Pioneer Days -Money of the Good Old Days -Settling their Differences -A Trapper’s Predicament -Pioneer Hash -Song of the Pioneers -A Pioneer Vocabulary

“Conflict in the Illinois Woman Suffrage Movement of 1913”

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society Vol 76, No. 2, Summer 1983, pp 95-114

Wheeler, Adade Mitchell
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society

 

Please visit our collection of 2,000+ selected online magazine and newspaper articles on 40 subjects, plus online map & vintage photo collections, at Century Past History Resources

“Bishop Hill, Sweden’s Doorway into Illinois”

Illinois History Teacher Vol 6, No. 2, 1999, pp 2-4

Wyman, Mark
Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

 

Poles of Chicago, 1837-1937

A history of one century of Polish contribution to the City of Chicago, Illinois

Zglenicki, Leon Thaddeus
Polish Pageant 1937       

A collection of papers by various authors on the history and immigration of Chicago’s Poles.

Contents: The Poles in Chicago – Hundred years of economic contribution of the Poles to Chicago’s progress – The rise of Poles in American politics – Chicago Poles share in city art history – Contribution of Americans of Polish ancestry to the development of music in Chicago – The amateur theatre among the Poles – The Polish stage in Chicago – Polish churches of Chicago and vicinity – Polish contribution to social welfare in Chicago: Institutions maintained by Poles of Chicago, Works of Chicago Poles in other social welfare organizations, Poles on the School Board, Polish secondary schools, Polish language supplementary schools – Polish days and other demonstrations of civic and national character – Early days of sport among Polish Americans of Chicagoland – Polish organizations of Chicago – Thrift among the Poles – Biographies

 

You can find more works like these at our other ‘Social History’ pages.

Great Lakes Social History

Indiana Social History

Michigan Social History

Ohio Social History

Wisconsin Social History

 

 

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