Famous Illinoisans Archives

April 16, 2007

"Commy": the life story of Charles A. Comiskey, the "Grand old Roman" of baseball and for nineteen years president and owner of the American league baseball team "The White Sox," ([c1919])
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Though rebuilt and renamed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003, to Chicago White Sox fans everywhere it will always be Comiskey Field. Here's the biography of the man who built it--Charles "Commy" Comiskey--former St. Louis Browns manager and first-baseman, and for nineteen years the owner of the Chicago White Socks. Filled with 18 great black and white photos, such as the one below taken on opening day of Comiskey Park in 1910. Don't miss this one, sports fans!


May 20, 2007

The prisoners' hidden life, or, Insane asylums unveiled : as demonstrated by the report of the Investigating committee of the legislature of Illinois, together with Mrs. Packard's coadjutors' testimony (1868)
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One hundred and forty-seven years ago today, on June 18, 1860, Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard was committed to the Jacksonville (Illinois) Insane Asylum by her husband Theophilus Packard, a strict Calvinist minister, because she had begun to express liberal religious beliefs that differed from his own. The Packards, who lived in Manteno, Illinois, in Kankakee County, had been married for 21 years and had six children. In 1860, Illinois state law permitted a husband to commit his wife to insane asylum without any court hearing or psychiatric examination. Mrs. Packard spent three years in the Jacksonville hospital. After her release, she separated from her husband and began to campaign for the rights of women and the mentally ill. She founded the Anti-Insane Asylum Society, published numerous books, including this one, and was instrumental in the 1867 passage of an Illinois law "Bill for the Protection of Personal Liberty," which guaranteed the right to a public hearing to anyone, including wives, who were accused of insanity.


See also related work Marital power exemplified in Mrs. Packard's trial, and self-defence from the charge of insanity, or, Three years' imprisonment for religious belief, by the arbitrary will of a husband : with an appeal to the government to so change the laws as to afford legal protection to married women (1870) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

June 11, 2007

So this then is the preachment entitled Chicago tongue (c1913)
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Born in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1856, Elbert Hubbard was a major figure in the American Arts and Crafts movement. In 1895 he founded Roycroft, a reformist community of craft workers and artists in East Aurora, New York. "Participants were known as Roycrofters. The work and philosophy of the group, often referred to as the Roycroft movement, had a strong influence on the development of American architecture and design in the early 20th century." (Wikipedia) The Roycroft creed was a quotation from John Ruskin: "A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness." An admirer of William Morris, founder of the Kelmscott Press in England, Hubbard started his own fine press, the Roycroft Press, which published numerous small books and pamphlets, such as today's book So This Then is the Preachment Entitled Chicago Tongue. The "Chicago tongue" of the title refers to a habit of speaking unkindly about others. Elbert Hubbard and his second wife Alice Hubbard were on the Lusitania when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in 1915. The Hubbard's did not survive, but the Roycroft legacy did, as did many wonderful quotations from the man known as Fra Elbertus. Among them, "To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing" and "Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway."


June 17, 2007

Women's international league for peace and freedom (1st congress : 1915 : The Hague)
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Jane Addams (1860-1935), co-founder with Ellen Gates Starr, of Hull House, a social settlement serving the immigrants on Chicago's north side, became involved in the peace movement during the First World War. Motivated by a strong conviction that women's suffrage was inextricably linked to the cause of international peace, she travelled to the Hague in 1915 where she served as the president of the first congress of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. While many were critical of her pacifism, she continued to call on women to use their influence to oppose militarism throughout the world. The quotation below comes from her book Peace and Bread in Times of War (MacMillan, 1922), which UIUC Library has also just digitized. Jane Addams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.


About Famous Illinoisans

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Digitized Book of the Week in the Famous Illinoisans category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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