2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Through the Looking Glass: How Illinois Mirrored National Trends in Slavery and Education in the Nineteenth-Century

Dalaney D. Plott
Dr. Sally West, Faculty Mentor

Genealogy is an emerging field within the historical discipline that ties family’s personal experiences to larger historical discourse. This paper explores one branch of my family tree that has remained in Union County, Illinois for approximately two hundred years. My family migrated to Southern Illinois in the 1810s and has remained ever since. While studying four generations in the nineteenth century, I learned that family and local issues contributed to national discourse in two important areas, the political controversy over slavery and educational reform. Much like the national debates, the state of Illinois was often divided along northern and southern lines. The men of my family voted in important state elections that impacted national discourse.  Educational reform directly impacted my family as earlier generations were illiterate, but their children and grandchildren attended school. The genealogical nature of this paper provides personal insight into political and social decisions of the era.

Keywords: Genealogy, History, Rural History, Nineteenth-century, Politics, Education

Topic(s):History 496: Genealogy and Family History

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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