Teaching on the Illinois Frontier

Today’s blog post looks at what it was really like to teach in rural Illinois in the 1850s. The JFA was founded as an institution to train teachers, but as of yet, I’ve not put my hands on any direct writings or reminisces of early JFA-educated teachers who clearly described their experiences as students and teachers. AsContinue reading “Teaching on the Illinois Frontier”

Infant Schools – or Daycare in 1830s Jacksonville

Last month, you read about women coming to Jacksonville in the 1830s to teach. This week, we’ll add one more to the list: Miss Caroline Blood. Her name first caught my eye when I found this ad, placed by Sarah Crocker in the Illinois Patriot on 19 October 1833. Just above it is an ad for an InfantContinue reading “Infant Schools – or Daycare in 1830s Jacksonville”

The Elephant in the Room

I stumbled across this ad from the Western Observer, a Jacksonville newspaper, dated April 1831. It throws a wrench into everything we think we know about the frontier. It is the literal elephant in the room that brings together various threads questioning standard historical narratives that privilege patriarchy, whiteness, and Americans’ obsession with manifest destiny.