Central Military Tract Land Grant
May 27, 1818
This grant was issued to Francis Graves of New York and signed by President James Monroe. Mr. Graves was a sergeant during the War of 1812. For his service, he was given 160 acres in Henry County, Illinois. This acreage is located in the northeast corner of Section 28 in Weller Township, southwest of the future Bishop Hill Colony.
Fabric Sample Books and
“Tailor to the Trade”
Starting in the 1890’s, a new branch of the U.S. clothing industry was begun. Called “tailor to the trade,” these tailors adopted mail-order techniques. They would supply local merchants in rural areas with sample books and measuring instructions. Then, the tailors would fill their orders from a central location. By the turn of the century, hundreds of these operations were inundating small-town retailers with solicitations for business. The “tailor to trade” industry lasted to the mid-1900’s.
Wednesday August 6, 1817
Calmar (Kalmar) is a seaport city located in the province of Smaland in southern Sweden.
This newspaper contains mostly news about sea traffic and world events
Kentucky Percussion Rifle
Built by John Armstrong of Emmitsburg, Maryland
Overall 60.5 inches long, barrel 42.5 inches long, ramrod 43.25 inches long.
The long rifle or Kentucky rifle was first developed on the American frontier in southeastern Pennsylvania during the early 18th century. It eventually passed out of fashion in the 19th century. Kentucky rifles were used during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. John Armstrong’s rifles are considered among the finest of the Kentucky Rifle’s Golden Age, which was from 1790 to 1820.
Mid to late 1800’s
Created by a daughter of Olof Johnson
(Bishop Hill Colony Trustee).
Tapestry could have been done by either Olivia or Lillian Johnson.
Civil War Soldiers Memorial Poster
Company C, 9th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Cavalry
This poster describes the history of Company C. The unit was organized in Geneseo, Illinois in September 1861.
Company C fought at the Battles of Franklin and Nashville.
The Tale of Helena’s Prism
It all began during a June 2011 interview with Richard Andersen, Bishop Hill Colonist Jacob Jacobson descendant. At one point in the interview, Richard asked about an item that might have possibly been in a large collection given to the Bishop Hill State Museum several years ago. He described the item as a small glass prism with a unique story handed down in the Jacobson family. Bishop Hill Colonist Helena Jacobson had treasured this glass prism that she had removed from a chandelier as a last memento from her homeland of Sweden on this journey to the unknown land of America and to Bishop Hill. Richard received the sad reply that a glass prism was not in the collection.
Richard Andersen’s life on earth came to an end in mid-July 2012. According to his wishes, his ashes were brought to Bishop Hill to be interred close to other Jacobson relatives. As Richard’s wife, Barbara, was leaving Bishop Hill that day, she stopped by the Steeple Building museum to donate some Jacobson photos, a cradle, and a small red velvet box. Mrs. Anderson was uncertain what the box contained but thought the museum should have it.
After Barbara left, the velvet box was opened. Inside were various papers and small objects. One small folded paper was gently opened. It read “Pendent was only keepsake Helena took from Valla when she left there in 1846.” Below that note was the glass prism that Richard had been searching for and that is now on display today!
Civil War Soldiers Memorial Poster
Company A, 43rd Illinois Veteran Infantry
This poster describes the history of Company A. The unit was organized as Company C in Galesburg, Illinois in August 1861. In 1865, the unit’s name was changed to Company A.
Company A fought at the Battles of Shiloh and Vicksburg.
Early 20th Century McCaskey Cash Register
Used by E.L. Swanson at his general store
This register was used from 1910 to the mid 1930’s in the Colony Store across the street from this museum. Mr. Swanson was the general manager of the store.
The cash register still contains the customer receipts from that time period. Take a look back into the past. See how much items cost during the Roaring 20’s and the Great Depression.
Edward Linnie Swanson, Cash Register Owner
E. L. Swanson was born in Bishop Hill in 1862. He was the son of Swan and Christine Swanson, Bishop Hill Colony pioneers. Just like his father before him, E.L. Swanson served as manager of the general store and village postmaster. For 44 years, Mr. Swanson operated the store and post office, which were located in the current Colony Store. He also served as village clerk and town mayor. E.L. Swanson passed away in April, 1932. After his death, his daughter Evelyn served as town postmaster for 27 years.
Swedish Bill of Sale for Farmland
Translation summary: “Bill of sale executed by Vice-Sheriff Christoffer Spak at the 6 February 1770 regular session of the Court for Hammarkinds härad at Mogata Church in Östergötland, concerning the sale to farmhand Anders Hälling of Källtorp farm, Drotthems Parish. Seller is Capt. Gustaf Gyllencreutz and his wife Beata Magdalena Leijonancker, for the price of 1500 Crowns in copper coinage."
This document still has the two original wax seals. Seals were used to authenticate legal papers. These particular one are called pendent seals. Pendent seals hang loose from a document and are attached by cords.