Jens Jensen (1860–1951) was one of America's most distinguished landscape architects and a pioneering conservationist. During his long and productive career, this Danish-born visionary worked for and with some of the country's most prominent citizens and architects, including Henry Ford, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright. He became internationally renowned for his design of landscapes throughout the Midwest and beyond, his contributions to the American conservation movement, and his philosophy that emphasized the significance of nature in people's lives. He found inspiration in the landscape, particularly the plants native to a region, and was an environmentalist long before the term became popular.
Today, Jensen is perhaps best remembered for establishing The Clearing on Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula. But the outspoken views in his writings—many of which were included in ephemeral planning reports, early newspapers, and out-of-print journals—are now virtually forgotten, with the exception of his two small books. Jens Jensen: Writings Inspired by Nature is a collection of Jensen's most significant yet lesser-known articles. The scope of Jensen's philosophy represented in these writings will further solidify his legacy and rightful place alongside conservation leaders such as John Muir and Aldo Leopold.
The man popularly credited with planting apple trees throughout the Midwest, John "Appleseed" Chapman epitomizes the American folk hero and pioneer: a man of humble origins who headed west to seek his destiny.
The essays in this collection bring to life the real Johnny Appleseed (1774-1845). A courageous, God-fearing, peaceful, and spartan figure, Chapman was welcomed by settlers and Native Americans alike. He was an unusual businessman -- one who believed that his "wealth" was sown in the trees he planted rather than in banks.
But most of all, Johnny Appleseed was a lover of nature whose respect for all living things was born of his faith. An itinerant "missionary," he provided settlers with "news fresh from heaven" -- pages from the works of eighteenth-century theologian Emanuel Swedenborg.
Editor William Ellery Jones has updated historical essays that explore how Chapman's legend grew both during and after his life.
2013 Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society.
In the antebellum Midwest, Americans looked to the law, and specifically to the jury, to navigate the uncertain terrain of a rapidly changing society. During this formative era of American law, the jury served as the most visible connector between law and society. Through an analysis of the composition of grand and trial juries and an examination of their courtroom experiences, Stacy Pratt McDermott demonstrates how central the law was for people who lived in Abraham Lincoln’s America.
McDermott focuses on the status of the jury as a democratic institution as well as on the status of those who served as jurors. According to the 1860 census, the juries in Springfield and Sangamon County, Illinois, comprised an ethnically and racially diverse population of settlers from northern and southern states, representing both urban and rural mid-nineteenth-century America. It was in these counties that Lincoln developed his law practice, handling more than 5,200 cases in a legal career that spanned nearly twenty-five years.
Drawing from a rich collection of legal records, docket books, county histories, and surviving newspapers, McDermott reveals the enormous power jurors wielded over the litigants and the character of their communities.