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newly-plowed soil. Securing the object he took it to his home where, upon examination, it proved to be a work of art of a modern race, and of more recent date than that of the Stone Age. It was sent to the Illinois State Historical Society for identification, and for that purpose it is here represented, in actual size, and described, with the hope, and request, that some of the Journal readers will send us a solution of its several puzzling features. The metal of which it is made is either brass or bronze, and is but slightly corroded after its long burial in an Indian grave.
The first impression, that it is a common Catholic medal is, upon close inspection, not well sustained. Almost the quarter of an inch in thickness, its edges and the reverse side are plain and smoothly polished. The eye, or loop, usual at the upper end of medals, for their suspension, is absent in this; but at B, on the left of the central figure, two small holes were drilled through it, and at A a small patch of white metal seems to indicate that originally something may have been attached to the surface there with solder. In the scroll above the figure of the Madonna and Child- not discernable in the cutis plainly seen, with other symbols, the Fleur De Lis, emblematic of French royalty, and conclusive of its French origin. The letters and numerals on its face, however, are unmistakably English, and are transposed, or reversed, as type are ordinarily set for printing. This strange peculiarity of the object suggests the explanation that it may have been designed-and used for printing; or as a seal, as the impression made by it on paper or sealing wax, transforms the unintelligible word at the upper margin into plain LEITH, and the numerals 81 below the caraval become 18, as though intended for the first two figures of (1800) the last century, leaving the balance of the date blank to be supplied as required, with pen or otherwise.
But this is mere supposition. Tho undoubtedly having some religious significance, it is obviously not a medal of the class commonly issued by the Catholic church of Europe a century or two ago; yet may have served the similar office of a sacred talisman for some devout soldier or sailor.
That this strange object of European manufacture, and comparatively recent date, should be recovered from an old Indian burying ground in the American Bottom is not at all mysterious. Many instances are recorded of metal implements, utensils and ornaments—such as iron tools, copper kettles, silver crosses, glass beads, etc., brought to this country from across the Atlantic-having been found in Indian mounds as well as in their graves. Almost coincident with the discovery of America by Europeans they began exchanging with the natives here the wares and products of the old hemisphere for those indigenous to the new. The glittering novelties of civilization traded to the coast Indians, transmitted by barter or reprisal from tribe to tribe, were not long in reaching the Mississippi. Soon the enterprising trader and adventurous coureur des bois, and the self-sacrificing Jesuit missionary penetrated far into the interior, taking there various articles of foreign make that, by devious ways, passed into the possession of the red lords of the soil to be, according to their customs, ultimately buried with them. And thus we have indubitable evidence of the ancient aboriginal burial customs, including mound building, having been continued here for some time after intrusion of the civilized white race.
It may be that the interesting relic here presented is quite well known to some of our readers, especially to students of numismatics, or to those versed in the lore of the Catholic church, who will kindly oblige us by information of its probable date, origin and the purpose it was intended to fulfill.
THE ILLINOIS STATE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.
This institution, organized four years ago by a few of our enthusiastic scientists, is now in flourishing condition. It has issued three volumes of Transactions, and has an active working membership of over 400. Prof. A. R. Crook, Curator of the State Natural History Museum, at Springfield, is the permanent secretary, and the other officers for 1910-11 (elected annually) are, President, John M. Coulter, Chicago; Vice President, R. 0. Graham, Bloomington; and Treasurer, J. C. Hessler, Decatur. As other scientific associations, the Academy has no fixed place for holding its annual meetings — which occur in the month of February. The meeting of last February was held at the State University, in Urbana, and the next February meeting will probably be at the Chicago University. The membership fees are one dollar for initiation, and then one dollar annually.
The membership of the Academy is not yet sufficiently large to be divided into sections in its transactions, and its proceedings comprise papers read, discussions and symposiums. Psychiatry is the special science of but one member, Dendrology of one, Parasitology of one, and Archaeology of two. The other sciences are well and ably represented.
The transactions at the annual meetings are varied, and abound in instructive interest. Much study and attention are devoted to the ecology of the Illinois flora and fauna, while chemistry, geology, biology, etc., receive their full share; and the exercises are interspersed with no less interesting popular dissertations on such subjects as “The Chinese Problem,” “The Passing of the Prairie Chicken,” “Observations on Robin Nests," etc.
It is hoped that the day is not far distant when the people of our State, by their representatives in the Legislature, will provide a much-needed building at the capital for the home and proper care of the State Museum and the Historical Library with their concomitant guardians and agencies, the State Academy of Science, and the State Historical Society.
ANOTHER LETTER IN RELATION TO THE JOURNAL OF THE ILLINOIS STATE
CHICAGO, October 15, 1910. MRS. JESSIE PALMER-WEBER, Secretary Illinois State His
torical Society, Springfield, Illinois :
DEAR MADAM–Noting Mr. Worthington's criticism of the Journal in the recent number and your invitation for suggestions I, as one small layman, say keep right on if you can, just as it is. They are certainly a handsome volume, and when bound as I intend to have mine as soon as this volume is completed, will, with their fine margins (which will naturally cut down some in binding) make a volume of the size of an ordinary law book which does not run too large for the average book case. I do not deem it needful to reiterate my appreciation of them, as I have heretofore “spoken my mind," and have not changed it. As to cutting the leaves, what book lover does not enjoy it and say with Field:
“Oh, let it such a volume be
As in rare copper plates abounds;
F. H. SMITH.
PROPOSED CELEBRATION OF THE ORGANZATION OF WOODFORD COUNTY, ILLINOIS, BY THE WOODFORD COUNTY HISTORICAL
EUREKA, ILL., Oct. 22, 1910. MRS. JESSIE PALMER-WEBER, Springfield, Ill.:
DEAR MADAM- At the last meeting of the Executive Committee, some weeks ago, we decided to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the organization of our county. Herewith I enclose a newspaper clipping in reference thereto. The same article appears in all the papers of the county this week. Proofs were also sent to the Bloomington and Peoria papers. Doubtless they will make mention of the celebration.
I have not made out the program, but will soon have it under way.
I notice from the Journal that Jersey county has already held the celebration of her 71st anniversary. Ours coming in the winter, we can not hope to have anything but a literary program as it seems to me.
Thomas Bullock, the prime mover of the plan to organize Woodford county, and who suggested the name, presented the petition referred to in the within article, in 1840, before the Legislature. I am very anxious to secure the original petition, if possible, a copy will be next best, and I have thought it might be found among the legislative papers, or it may be in the Journal of 1840 or 1841. If it will not require too much searching I would like to ask you to see whether the original petition can not be found.
Later I will send you a program with invitation to be present at the celebration. I hope you may find it possible to be present.
L. J. FREESE.