Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bloody Vendetta is History

The Bloody Vendetta of Southern Illinois is finally done. I am so happy.

I started this book last year and had planned to take it to the printers last November, but a drunk driver intervened and reset by calendar.

Now the book is larger and goes to the printer Monday. It should be back on shelves by the last week of August.

The book is 240 pages, 6" x 9", trade paperback.

I've held off on taking orders to make sure I was finally ready. Well I am now.

For readers of I'm offering a pre-order price of $14.95, which is normally the regular price, but without the $3 shipping cost and I'll cover the sales tax if you are an Illinois resident.

Plus, every book ordered from will be autographed and dated.

But this offer is good only until I get the books back from the printers in about three weeks.

To make a secure order online all you have to do is go here and click the "BUY NOW" button.

Or, you can pay by check or money order. Just make it out to and mail to this address:
    PO Box 1142
    Marion IL 62959

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New Writers Blog Begins

I've just added a new blog to the site focusing on Illinois writers and authors. It's entitled, the new "Illinois Writers Blog".

I plan on using this to plug new books and works by Illinois-based writers as well as those who write about Illinois.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Politics, History & Troubles

While I've been gone there have been some trouble developments with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Former IHPA Director Maynard Crossland has sued the state for his dismissal and is blowing the whistle on political machinations in the supposed-to-be independent agency.

Here are some of the details Crossman brought forward in his lawsuit.

Don't know if any of these are true, but the administration is racking up a number of losses in the courts when it comes to former employees.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mission Trip Blog Up & Running

In less than 10 hours I will be leaving for a mission trip with my church in Marion and another one in Andalusia, Alabama. We're heading back to Chernivtsi, Ukraine, where we last went in July 2004.

I've signed up and learned how to update the blog by e-mail as well as add an audio blog by phone.

Check out the new Ukraine Mission Trip 2006 blog for more.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Liberator and the Fourth

The folks over at Power Line blog have two great pieces dealing with Abraham Lincoln and Stephan Douglas.

The Eternal Meaning of Independence Day recalls two speeches made by Douglas on July 9, 1858, and Lincoln, the next day, during their famed race for the U.S. Senate.

Douglas downplayed the Declaration of Independence in his support for popular sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision. Lincoln, as he did repeatedly through the campaign, stressed the importance of those important words about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
If [immigrants to America since 1776] look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration [loud and long continued applause], and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world. [Applause.]

The second post, Thinking about the Great Liberator, deals with Lincoln's effort to preserve the Constitution even though he took extreme measures to do so.
The constitutional powers of the commander-in-chief in time of war are critical to the system established by the framers. Lincoln's analysis and exercise of the commander-in-chief's war powers during the Civil War both serve to illuminate those powers. Given the Supreme Court's decision in the Hamdan case this past week, it may be an opportune moment to revisit some history.

Lincoln's primary aim as commander-in-chief was of course the preservation of the Union — the restoration of democracy and the rule of law among the seceding states. He meant to demonstrate that "among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and that those who take such appeal are sure to lose their case, and pay the cost."

Both articles offer reminders of history's lessons too often ignored.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

New Dig Eyes Site of 1730 Battle

The Pantagraph of Bloomington has an interesting article this week on Parkland College Professor Len Steele's search to find the exact location of a major battle between the French and Illini Indians on one side and the Mesquakie on the other.

The French account of the 1730 siege of a Mesquakie fort, the remains of which are buried beneath rows of corn, are the “the beginning of history in McLean County,” the Parkland College professor said. What remains below the ground are buried trenches and dug-in houses, musket balls, arrow points and various tools and goods, such as blades from hinged French knives.

It was the last stand for the Mesquakie, who were outnumbered in the fortified grove near the Sangamon River, Steele said. There were up to 900 people in the acre-size fort, including women and children, and 1,400 French and Illini troops around them during a 23-day battle, he said.

The professor, his wife, 10 students and a woman whose family has owned the farm since the 1800s have been at the dig site near Saybrook several hours four times a week for the last three weeks, and the class is scheduled to end today. But Steele said he may extend the dig.

People had lived in the area about 12,000 years, but the military accounts are the first written histories for the area, he said.

Not familiar with Saybrook's location, well here's a map.