Charleston Riot, Chicago's Guardian Angel Mission, I & M Canal
passenger travel challenges are all part of Illinois history
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SPRINGFIELD -- A riot between Civil War
soldiers on leave and antiwar Democrats in Charleston, the Guardian Angel
Mission built in Chicago to assist Italian immigrants, and the challenges
facing passenger travelers on the Illinois and Michigan Canal are featured
in the latest issue of the Journal of Illinois History, a scholarly
publication about the state's history.
On March 28, 1864, Union soldiers home
on leave clashed with antiwar Democrats on the Coles County
courthouse square in Charleston. When the violent confrontation
ended, six soldiers and three civilians were dead and 12 others
wounded in what was one of the deadliest Civil War riots in the
North. The Charleston Riot exemplified the clash of cultural
differences in the North. Civil versus military control and personal
relationships from Illinois led to President Abraham Lincoln's
involvement in the case.
aftermath centered on the plight of 15 federal prisoners detained
after the riot who became pawns in the struggle between the
military's quest to try them as an example to deter future
insurrection and the efforts of the prisoners, their families and
local supporters, who ultimately appealed to the president for
resolution through civil proceedings.
The article was written by Peter J.
Barry, professor of agricultural finance at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a descendant of participants in the
* * *
Agnes Amberg, a well-to-do Chicago
Catholic, was instrumental in the creation of Guardian Angel Mission
on the city's west side in 1898 to cater to the Italian immigrants
who had supplanted the Irish and German immigrants in Holy Family
Parish. A year later, the 500-seat Church of the Holy Guardian was
built to accommodate the growing congregation.
Services expanded in the next five
years to include a night school for adults and a summer school for
neighborhood children. By 1912 the mission had become a settlement
house, much like its neighbor, Hull House. In 1914 Mary Amberg,
Agnes' daughter, moved to the settlement and took over the role of
The article was written by Deborah
Ann Skok, assistant professor of 20th-century U.S. history at
Hendrix College outside of Little Rock, Ark. She is currently
working on a book on Catholic settlement houses and day care in
Chicago from 1892 to 1930.
* * *
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in this article]
Nearly 12 years of construction
culminated on April 10, 1848, when the Illinois and Michigan Canal
opened for business. Passenger service on the canal began later that
month. In an article written by I & M Canal Corridor Association
historian Ronald S. Vasile, the often-overlooked passenger travel
business on this important waterway is examined.
Travelers on the canal had to endure
cholera outbreaks, counterfeiters and the occasional rescue of a
boat-pulling mule team that went into the canal. In spite of the
unique problems associated with canal travel, such as passengers
having to duck when passing beneath bridges, canal boats could
provide an enjoyable and relaxing travel experience. Unfortunately,
the expansion of railroads soon made passenger travel on the I & M
* * *
The Journal of Illinois History is
the foremost publication for readers who value documented research
on the state's history. The journal features articles, book reviews,
essays and bibliographies that have been reviewed by some of the
country's leading historians.
Subscriptions to the
published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, are $18 per
year for four issues. To obtain a sample copy, contact Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency, Publications Section, 1 Old State
Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL 62701; or call (217) 524-6045.
Historic Preservation Agency news release]