SPRINGFIELD – He went off to fight a war he opposed. She stayed behind and tried to hold their home together. Their relationship and views on the Civil War will be the focus of special Illinois History Forum on Feb. 23 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Timothy Mason Roberts, a historian at Western Illinois University, will lead a discussion of his book “This Infernal War: The Civil War Letters of William and Jane Standard.”
The free event takes place at noon at the Lincoln Presidential Library (112 N. 6th Street, Springfield). Attendees are welcome to bring lunch to eat during the forum.
The Standards, from Lewistown, Ill., were “Copperheads” – northern Democrats who sympathized with the Confederacy. Still, William fought for the Union once war broke out.
His letters home reveal his unhappiness with army life. Meanwhile, Jane’s letters urged him to desert and come back to Illinois. Their opposition to the war helped sustain their commitment to each other. Their letters show two strong-willed people in love, remaining hopeful, passionate and even playful as they awaited a reunion.
Upcoming meetings of the Illinois History Forum are:
- March 8: “The Signs of Springfield” (This session meets at Ace Sign Co., 2540 S. First St.)
Moderator: Dennis Bringuet, president of Ace Sign
- May 10: “U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth”
Moderator: Nick Sacco, Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
- July 12: “Lincoln’s Vandalia: A Pioneer Portrait”
Moderator: James Cornelius, the ALPLM Lincoln curator
- Sept. 6: “Prairie Defender: The Murder Trials of Abraham Lincoln”
Moderator: author George R. Dekle
- Sept. 13: “When Character was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan”
Moderator: ALPLM Executive Director Alan Lowe
- Nov. 8: “South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration”
Moderator: Historian Holly Kent, University of Illinois Springfield
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology. It also serves as the state historical library.
The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln material, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to other aspects of Illinois history. Meanwhile, the museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors.