ABOUT THIS BOOK
"Davis writes with an authority derived from his own perceptive
studies of Illinois during the Jackson period. His account is balanced
and critical while at the same time recognizing the value of Ford's book."
-- Robert W. Johannsen, J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Both cynical and self-serving, Illinois's seventh governor Thomas Ford
also possessed an unrivaled sensitivity to the dynamics of frontier life.
He reveals these and other qualities in his classic A History of Illinois,
which covers the state's first thirty years.
Ford writes with candor of the lengthy "Hancock County difficulties"
and the ouster of Mormons from the state. His treatment of the Black Hawk
War and his writings on the slavery controversy in the state, the murder
of Elijah Lovejoy, and the larger issues of violence and vigilantism help
show why this volume has been called the outstanding early survey of Illinois
history. This reissue of Ford's book includes an introduction by Rodney
O. Davis and a publication history by Terence Tanner.