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Sangamon Soil: A Family History and Memoir
This book traces the diverse roots of the author's family who all converged in the Sangamon Country of Illinois to establish family farms. They came from Scotland, Germany, England and Holland. Some were descendants of slave owners; others were attracted to the antislavery messages of their neighbor Abraham Lincoln and Methodist circuit riders such as Francis Asbury and Peter Cartwright. All were oblivious to the claims of the Kickapoos and other indigenous peoples who had previously occupied the land. The corn that was sacred to the Kickapoos became a cash crop, and the farmers prospered until market conditions changed in the 1920s and 1930s. Sangamon Soil is a social and cultural history of the rural Midwest, as seen through the stories and experiences of one family.