The Tazewell County Museum is dedicated to the preservation and protection of historic sites, buildings and artifacts important in the development of Tazewell County and to the education of the public about the early history of Tazewell County and its importance in the development of the State of Illinois and the United States as a whole.
The 2012 Illinois History Symposium, "Contested Lands: 1763-1840," is only
a few short months away. Please put us on your calendar and let your reading
audience know about this marvelous educational opportunity, which highlights
Illinois's role in the War of 1812, and how the outcome of that conflict led to
statehood, Native American removal, and further westward expansion.
William Furry Executive Director Illinois State Historical
Illinois State Historical Society
plans 200th anniversary commemoration of War of 1812
The Illinois State Historical
Society (ISHS), the Canadian Consulate Generalin Chicago, the French Heritage
Corridor Association, and several partner museums, historical societies, and
Native American organizations across the state will host the 2012 Illinois
History Symposium at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria next spring. The theme of
the annual conference, "Contested Lands: 1763-1840," frames the seminal events
of pre- and post-Revolution America as they were played out on the frontier,
including the War of 1812, an international conflict that culminated in
statehood for Illinois six years later, and reestablished the national
boundaries of Canada.
"The symposium commemorates the
War of 1812 and provides the context for events that define our national
identity today," says Christal Dagit, executive director of the Tazewell County
Museum and Historical Center and Regional Director of the Illinois War of 1812
Bicentennial Commission. "The anniversary gives us an opportunity to remember a
time in the development of the United States when Illinois was the far west,"
Dagit observed. "So much is not known about this period in our history. We need
to reflect on these times when life was so hard on so many."
"The War of 1812 was a
significant event in Canadian history, creating a strong national identity,"
said Colleen Duke, Academic and Cultural Affairs Officer at the Canadian
Consulate General in Chicago. "What is most interesting is that both Canada and
the United States see themselves as the victors, each for different reasons. The
Consulate General is pleased to partner in this symposium and making this
commemoration a significant educational opportunity for Canadians, Illinoisans,
Native Americans, and modern-day residents of the Old Northwest Territory."
When the nation's 2nd war with
Great Britain broke out in 1812, the present Prairie State was part of the
Illinois Territory, hunting grounds for more than a dozen Native American
tribes--Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, Sauk, Fox, Miami, Winnebago, Menominee,
Ho-Chunk, Sioux, Piankashaw, and others. The 1809 territorial map included the
future states of Illinois and Wisconsin, and the northern peninsula of Michigan.
Soon after war broke out, the eastern seaboard was set ablaze in several
memorable battles, one that inspired our National Anthem. The Great Lakes
likewise provided a backdrop for numerous bloody encounters with the British,
which gave our nation several heroes. But it was on the Illinois frontier where
the untested American militia went head to head (in some cases scalp to scalp)
with the indigenous population, who fight mightily-and futilely-for Native
"East Peoria is the perfect
setting for the 2012 symposium," says ISHS executive director William Furry.
"Not only was the Illinois River a principal transportation corridor for Native
American tribes moving from Canada to the Mississippi River during the war, the
region was the setting for several bloody engagements between the frontier
militia and the Indians, engagements that set the stage for tribal removal 20
The 2012 Illinois History
Symposium will look at the confluence of these various factions-English, Native
American, French, Canadian, and American-and explore how these populations, in
conflict and collaboration, established the identities of the nations we know
today. Archaeologists, professional and amateur historians, genealogists, and
other scholars will present their latest research at the symposium, providing
ample opportunities for public discussion of their findings. The symposium will
also include an "artifact identification" session, an opportunity for the
general public to bring Illinois artifacts in for examination and identification
by trained archaeologists.
The last day of the symposium
will also include a Native American pow-wow, with tribal elders from several
nations in attendance. Also planned throughout the commemoration are
Native-American blessing ceremonies, a reconciliation offering, and several
sessions devoted to the history and culture of tribes formerly indigenous to the
area. There are no recognized Indian nations living in Illinois at this
Additional partners for the
symposium are Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown; the French Heritage Corridor
Association; The Tazewell County Museum and Historical Center; the Peoria
Historical Society; the Woodford County Historical Society; the McLean County
Museum of History; Daughters of Veterans of the War of 1812; the Illinois War of
1812 Bicentennial Commission; The Chicago History Museum; and the National Park