Coming Up on A House Divided
Frank Cicero’s Creating the Land of Lincoln

Frank Cicero joins us to talk about Creating the Land of Lincoln. Join us at or on Facebook Live on April 14, at 12 Noon, Central time. Learn more, Order you signed book today at

Cicero’s book, Creating the Land of Lincoln: The History and Constitutions of  Illinois 1778 – 1870, provides an appealing new history of Illinois as expressed by the state’s constitutions―and the lively conventions that led to each one.

In its early days, Illinois seemed destined to extend the American South. Its population of transplants lived an upland southern culture and in some cases owned slaves. Yet the nineteenth century and three constitutions recast Illinois as a crucible of northern strength and American progress.

In Creating the Land of Lincoln, Cicero sheds light on the vital debates of delegates who, freed from electoral necessity, revealed the opinions, prejudices, sentiments, and dreams of Illinoisans at critical junctures in state history.

Cicero simultaneously analyzes decisions large and small that fostered momentous social and political changes. The addition of northern land in the 1818 constitution, for instance, opened up the state to immigrant populations that reoriented Illinois to the north. Legislative abuses and rancor over free blacks influenced the 1848 document and the subsequent rise of a Republican Party that gave the nation Abraham Lincoln as its president.

Cicero concludes with the 1870 constitution, revealing how its dialogues and resolutions set the state on the modern course that still endures today.

Also joining us on the program is Illinois State Historian, Dr. Samuel Wheeler. As the Illinois State Historian, Dr. Wheeler serves as the Director of Research and Collections at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois and is a member of the state’s Bicentennial Commission.

He will be discussing the exhibit, From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama.” The exhibit opened last month and is up until the end of the year. Assembled in honor of Illinois’ Bicentennial, it examines the connections of those four presidents to Illinois, their achievements as politicians and communicators, and the first ladies who helped them succeed.

Visitors can see rare artifacts gathered from institutions across the country, for each of these presidents. Learn more about the exhibit. 

We have chosen four pieces from our inventory that compliment this exhibit. Take a look!

Four Illinois Presidents


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