DIGGING CHICAGO HISTORY
Twenty University of Chicago archeology undergraduate students, guided by archaeologist Rebecca Graff, are getting the opportunity to use their skills to unearth remnants of the Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. The Chicago Tribune article reports:
The dig is the university's first foray into its own backyard as an urban archaeology laboratory, offering U of C students a chance to take part in a scientific excavation.
"The desire to preserve the past is not strong here," said Shannon Dawdy, a U of C assistant professor of anthropology who is Graff's doctoral adviser and one of the founders of the school's urban archaeology project. "Our excavation of the fairgrounds is the first project under a pilot program to train students, using the city as laboratory and an archaeological site."
Read more about this exciting project in William Mullen's article, "U. of C. digs for urban archeological treasures."
(Tribune photo by Zbigniew Bzdak / May 16, 2008)
THE BELLE TOLLS
The investigation of alleged seriel killer Belle Gunness continues with the exhumation of the children's remains in Forest Park. The Chicago Tribune is following the 100-year old mystery that began in Chicago.
Here's an interesting photo taken in about 1900 of Armour & Co.'s General Office at the Union Stockyards. Doesn't look much different than offices today, or does it...Dilbert fans take note of the complete panoramic view on the Library of Congress website.
For more information on offices at the turn of the century, see the Early Office Museum. (There seems to be an online "museum" for just about everything!)
MOURNING FIELD DAYS OF YORE
PdxHistory.com, a great website honoring Portland, Oregon's past, features a beautiful page on our beloved Marshall Field's Department Store.
Greg Sandell's Elevator Music blog includes thoughts on Chicago history and a recommendation of Eight Great Books About Chicago. According to Greg, "Calling Chicago history 'fascinating' is a hard sell." Hey, watch that! Yet, here I am... Kidding aside, I see his point, and he does come around a little.
BEAUTY IN DANGER
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the row of historic buildings on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, (often called the "Michigan Avenue Streetwall") to its list of the nation's 11 most endangered places. The Chicago Tribune has a photo gallery highlighting features of these architectural treasures.
COURT OF POPULAR OPINION
Recommended reading: "The People versus Zephyr Davis: Law and Popular Justice in Late Nineteenth-Century Chicago" by Elizabeth Dale
The journal article is based on Dale's book, The Rule of Justice: The People of Chicago Versus Zephyr Davis .
Review from frontlist Books:
On a February afternoon in 1888 Maggie Gaughan, a fourteen-year-old Irish American, was found dead in a closet at Greene’s Boot Heel Factory in Chicago. Suspicions swirled around Zephyr Davis, the seventeen-year-old African American factory foreman who was running an errand when the body was discovered. When Davis did not return to the factory a mob went out and captured him, barely restraining itself from lynching the suspect. Shortly afterwards Davis was tried in a court of law and executed. Chicago newspapers of the time celebrated the swift delivery of justice carried out by the impartial court and the rule of the state. Elizabeth Dale’s analysis of the case, however, reveals that popular opinion dictated the court proceedings, notions of justice and, ultimately, the verdict. Dale examines the important role that Chicago civil associations and the popular press played in both challenging and influencing the rule of the state. She argues that even though the criminal justice system had become more codified and far-reaching by the late nineteenth century many Chicagoans and Americans were skeptical of the Law as it was carried out by the state. In particular, they believed that the laws established by the state and practiced by the court did not always conform to their sense of justice. Thus, as Dale demonstrates, it was left to various groups and newspapers to define what justice meant. The Rule of Justice is a trenchant examination of race relations, the nature of late-nineteenth-century Chicago civil society, and the uneasy relationship that existed between citizens, the state, and the rule of law.