Midwestern Heritage Collection

The purpose of the Midwestern Heritage Collection is to deliver to our readers quality reproductions of 19th Century and early 20th Century texts pertaining to the cultural heritage of the Midwestern United States. The best way to learn about our past is to read it directly from those who were there. We have no doubt that teachers, historians, genealogists, and those with an interest in our heritage will find this collection very valuable. The utmost care has been taken to preserve the text as close as possible to the original.

A Circuit Rider in Early Indiana by Reuben D RobinsonA Circuit Rider in Early Indiana by Reuben D. Robinson

“In the early days on the frontier, the spiritual needs of the settlers were served by circuit riders. These itinerant preachers traveled from one settlement to another usually on horseback. Among the circuit riders in early Indiana was Elder Reuben D. Robinson of the Methodist church.” First printed as an interview in the Fort Wayne Sentinel in 1880, this document is a glimpse into the life of an itinerant preacher in the later half of 19th Century Indiana.

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A Woman's Story of Pioneer Illinois by Christiana Holmes TillsonA Woman’s Story of Pioneer Illinois by Christiana Holmes Tillson

Circulated among her family and close friends until first published in 1919, Mrs. Tillson paints an intimate portrait of subjects as diverse as schooling, meals, travel, servitude and slavery, dangers, farming, candlemaking, religious services, and even relations between Yankees and Southerners on the frontier during the 1820s. Christiana Holmes Tillson was born at Kingston, Massachusetts on March 13, 1796. In October 1822, she married John Tillson and immediately set out with him for Illinois, where he had first gone to live in 1819. Her story of the next few years, told in old age for the benefit of her youngest daughter, is the subject-matter of this volume. She died in New York City, May 29, 1872.

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Illinois Pioneer Days by Elbert WallerIllinois Pioneer Days by Elbert Waller

First published in 1918 for the centennial celebration of Illinois statehood, this memoir of frontier life is sure to be of interest to teachers, historians, genealogists, and those with an interest in the heritage of the Midwest. Inside, the author discusses such diverse subjects as schooling, pioneer boatmen, witchcraft, and lawsuits, as well as relates some enjoyable yet long-forgotten anecdotes from the early days of Illinois. Illinois Pioneer Days also contains a pioneer vocabulary of popular terms used on the frontier.

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Indian Creek Massacre by Charles ScanlanIndian Creek Massacre and Captivity of Hall Girls by Charles M. Scanlan

On May 21, 1832, days after Chief Black Hawk’s victory at Stillman’s Run, a Potawatomi raiding party massacred a white settlement in LaSalle County, Illinois and kidnapped two girls, Sylvia and Rachel Hall. After a harrowing journey, the Hall girls were ransomed and delivered from captivity. This faithful reprinting of Charles M. Scanlan’s book “Indian Creek Massacre and Captivity of Hall Girls” is sure to be of great value to teachers, historians, genealogists, and those with an interest in the heritage of the Midwest.

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Pioneer Life in Illinois By FM PerrymanPioneer Life in Illinois by F.M. Perryman

This faithful reprinting of F.M. Perryman’s 1907 classic Pioneer Life in Illinois is sure to be of great value to teachers, historians, genealogists, and those with an interest in the heritage of the Midwest. Inside, Perryman shares his recollections of life on the frontier, from names of early settlers, to encounters with predators, to an ill-fated spelling contest. Perryman’s views on politics, temperance, and religion are sure to be of interest to all.

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Reminiscences of a Pioneer Missionary by Chrysostom VerwystReminiscences of a Pioneer Missionary by Chrysostom Verwyst

Chrysostom Verwyst was an immigrant from North Brabant, Holland, who arrived in Boston in 1848 at the age of seven. After moving to Wisconsin, he attended a seminary near Milwaukee during the Civil War and became a Catholic priest. After joining the Franciscan order in 1883, Verwyst continued to attend communities in the Bayfield and Ashland areas. Following a three-year sojourn in St. Louis and Los Angeles, Verwyst returned to Ashland to attend missions in the Chippewa and St. Croix country. Finally, retiring to Bayfield, Verwyst spent his last years studying and composing works in the Chippewa language. Reminiscences of a Pioneer Missionary examines not only his own life but the accomplishments of Catholic missionaries working among the diverse populations of northern Wisconsin.

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The Surrender of Detroit by Judge PennywellThe Surrender of Detroit by Judge Pennywell

The surrender of Detroit has been considered one of the most shameful episodes of the War of 1812. Early in the war, a British force under Major General Isaac Brock, alongside his American Indian allies under the command of Chief Tecumseh, intimidated American Brigadier General William Hull into surrendering the fort and town of Detroit, Michigan, even though his army outnumbered the British and their allies. First published in 1902, this transcript of a speech by Judge Pennywell is a fair and comprehensive account of that notorious incident.

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