A pair of books that shed light on elements of the state’s history will be recognized as the 2020 and 2021 Friends of Morris Library Delta Award winners on Thursday at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
“Stained with Blood and Tears: Lynchings, Murder and Mob Violence in Cairo, Illinois, 1909-1910” by John A. Beadles is the 2021 laureate. “Kaskaskia: The Lost Capital of Illinois”, by David MacDonald and Raine Waters, the 2020 award winner, will also be honored at this year’s event due to the event being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A presentation and awards ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 30 in the John C. Guyon Library Auditorium. A reception and signing session will follow in the rotunda on the first floor. Darrel Dexter, one of the editors of Beadles’ book, will discuss “Stained with Blood and Tears”. Mark Wagner, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the SIU and Director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations, will give a presentation on the archaeological excavations at Fort Kaskaskia and their connection to Kaskaskia.
This event is free and open to the public. The SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all participants must follow current campus and state security protocols in the event of a pandemic and wear masks in shared indoor spaces.
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SIU University Press published the two award-winning books. Founded in the mid-1950s and located on the UES campus, University Press publishes books of scientific, intellectual, and creative merit. The publications include books celebrating the history and culture of southern Illinois, the state, and the Midwest region.
The two awards are now 117 Delta Awards given annually since 1976 by the Friends of Morris Library “to individuals who have made significant contributions to the southern Illinois region, either through their writings or through other services. “.
Stained with blood and tears
Author John A. Beadles, who grew up in Cairo, tells the story of what he called “the ‘equal opportunity’ lynchings” of a black man and a white man in Cairo in November 1909, when “at least a thousand men and women turned into a murderous mob.
The 2019 book also details a lesser-known attempt to lynch a suspected purse thief by another mob some three months later who was arrested by a dozen mostly black MPs and a white sheriff, and the murder of a police officer in Cairo by a county of Pulaski. sheriff about an incident that started at a brothel in Cairo.
Beadles, a history professor who retired from Kennesaw State University, had heard of the lynchings growing up and later learned of the Cairo policeman’s gunshot death. Beadles was visiting his father, Thomas, who served as mayor of Cairo from 1963 to 1967, at a retirement home in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, when he decided to start collecting information and material for the book.
Beadles, who is 80 years old and lives in Georgia, will not be able to attend the ceremony, but Jerri Pasborg and Dexter, who worked with Beadles on research for the book, will receive the award on his behalf. Beadles is also the author of the 1990 book, “A History of Southernmost Illinois”.
The first capital of the state
MacDonald and Waters take a comprehensive look at Illinois’ first territorial capital, then state capital, as well as the state’s debut in “Kaskaskia: Lost Capital of Illinois.”
MacDonald, professor emeritus of history at Illinois State University, said he and Waters became interested in Kaskaskia because of the Illinois state bicentennial in 2018 and that “there was no complete history of the city “. The book focuses on the growth, dynamism, struggles and subsequent demise of the city.
The original village of Kaskaskia came into being in 1703 when the Kaskaskia Indian tribe, along with French Jesuit missionaries and a number of Indian traders, settled there. The location eventually became one of the largest French villages in Illinois. MacDonald said Kaskaskia became the territorial capital after George Rogers Clark annexed the country from Illinois in 1778 to what would become the United States.
After the Illinois legislature moved the state capital to Vandalia in 1820, Kaskaskia experienced a slow decline, in part due to a terrible flooding in 1844 followed by an epidemic which MacDonald said took devastated the city. The Mississippi River in 1881 crossed the Kaskaskia River north of the city, eventually taking the course of the lower Kaskaskia River and beginning to wash away the city. The last major house in the town of Kaskaskia was taken by the Mississippi in 1907, MacDonald said.
“The modern village of Kaskaskia, where some of the antiques of ancient Kaskaskia are kept, was founded in 1893 five kilometers from the original site of Kaskaskia. The site of former Kaskaskia is now largely the course of the Mississippi River, ”he said.
For more information about the program, contact the Morris Library at [email protected] or 618-453-2522. Both books will go on sale at the 30th event, and can also be purchased online from the press at www.siupress.com.