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Illinois Mennonite Historical & Genealogical Society Fall Program

Oct 20, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

From: The Illinois Mennonite Historical & Genealogical Society


Spring Program to Feature Dr. Junius P. Rodriguez: “The Underground Railroad in Illinois”

Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center • 675 State Route 116, Metamora, Illinois 61548

Ph. 309-367-2551 • E-Mail: • Saturday October 20th, 2012, 10:00 a.m.


The IMHGS 2012 Fall Program will be held on Saturday, October 20, beginning at 10:00 a.m. We are pleased this year to welcome as our speaker Dr. Junius P. Rodriguez. He will speak on the Underground Railroad in Illinois. 


The Underground Railroad consisted of meeting points, secret routes, transportation, safe houses & assistance provided by abolitionist sympathizers. Illinois became a free state in the Union in 1818, neighboring the slave-holding states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas & Missouri. Ohio, Indiana & Illinois had the most active lines in the Underground Railroad.  


Dr. Rodriguez is a professor of history at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. He specializes in African American history and has done extensive research on slave revolts. His academic focus has covered the history of slavery, slave resistance, and abolitionism; the history of the Louisiana Purchase; and more recently, the history of Eureka College and the early history of Ronald Reagan.


Born and raised in Louisiana, Dr. Rodriguez earned a B.A. from Nicholls State University in 1979. He taught in the public school system of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana for nearly a decade. He received an M.A. from Louisiana State University in 1987 and a Ph.D. from Auburn University in 1992. 


Dr. Rodriguez’ seven award-winning publications include The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery (General Editor), 2 vols., 1997, Chronology of World Slavery, 1999, Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia, 2 vols., 2007, Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World, 3 vols., 2007, and Slavery in the Modern World: A History of Political, Social, and Economic Oppression, 2011.  He served as consultant to MPH Entertainment in the development of the documentary Human Bondage, which first appeared on History Channel’s series History’s Mysteries in 2000.


His public lectures include “Liberty Lines: The Underground Railroad in Central Illinois” (Alliance Library System, 2007); “The Cosmology of Race: Looking upon the Heavens as Symbol and Metaphor in the African American Experience” (Bradley University, Peoria, IL, 2002); and “Christian Ethics and the Enigma of Slavery” (University of Pennsylvania, 1998). In 2007 he was keynote speaker at Fort Leonard Wood in MO, welcoming the 5th Engineering Battalion back from its second tour of duty in Iraq, and he gave the Founder’s Day address at the Eureka College Sesquicentennial in 2005.  His awards include the W.C. Bradley Award for Student Achievement in the Humanities (Auburn University), and the Helen Cleaver Distinguished Teaching Award (Eureka College). 


Dr. Rodriguez is currently president of the boards of Heartline and Heart House in Eureka, as well as the Eureka Area United Fund.


The IMHGS Fall Program is open to the public as well as to members.  It will be prefaced by the annual IMHGS business meeting and followed by a lunch provided by the Heritage Center. The meal is free;   donations will be accepted.


The Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center is open April through October, Fridays & Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm & Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Tours, $2 for adults, include the Sutter barn (livestock) & agricultural (machinery) museums, the prairie plot with native Illinois trees & grasses, museum of household & church artifacts, a library of Anabaptist history & genealogy, & archival holdings.


Location: Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center, 675 State Route 116, Metamora, IL 61548

Contact: Julie Hendricks

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