- Archives, Court Records and Sources of Original Documents
- Official Records and Reports, Other Sources of Data and Historical Documents
- Previous Publications Using Cases from the Chicago Police Files
- Contemporaneous Accounts and Early Academic Studies
- Special Topics, Monographs, other Academic Sources and Historical Accounts
- Special Topics: Blacks in Chicago
- Newspapers and the Press
- The Police
- Accounts of Organized Crime and Al Capone
Archives, Court Records and Sources of Original Documents
- Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, “A Short History of the Illinois Judicial Systems,” [Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, 1968, reprinted, 1990] Ch. V describes the structure of the Illinois courts under the constitution of 1870, including several illustrative graphs showing lines of appellate authority. As a spur to the Judicial Article of 1964, which was the first system wide reform after 1870, the Cook County criminal justice system was described as follows:
“In 1962, Cook County had 208 courts; the Circuit Court, the Superior Court, the Family Court, Criminal Court, Probate Court, County Court, Municipal Court of Chicago, 23 city, village, town and municipal courts, 75 Justice of the Peace Courts, and 103 police magistrate courts. Many of those courts had overlapping jurisdiction which increased the already great organizational problems. Perhaps more serious was the fact that there was no administrative authority to unify, co-ordinate and supervise them.” (P. 19)
Juvenile Cases, 1899 –1926 (with gaps), Cook County Circuit Court Archives, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago, Illinois. There are approximately 2,700 extant case files from the court’s founding in 1899 until 1926, but it is not known why these select records were preserved. Every child who entered the juvenile court system was assigned a permanent case number and all his or her subsequent legal papers were filed under this number. The case files are closed and researchers must receive written permission from the presiding Chief Judge of the Cook County Juvenile Court in order to use them.
Illinois State Archives, Norton Building, Capital Complex, Springfield Il. 62756, tel: (217) 782 4582, fax: (217) 524-3930. The records in the Illinois State Archives includes birth and death certificates, Cook County Coroner’s Inquest Record Index, 1872-1911, Supreme Court Reports, and many other official reports, legal records and data sources, including a microfilm copy of the original handwritten records of this data set, and many other rich historical resources.
Chicago History Museum 1601 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614 Phone(312) 642-4600 Fax (312) 266-2077
Chicago Public Library 400 S. State St. Chicago, IL 60605 Phone–Archives Dept. (312) 747-1941 Special Collections Dept.(312) 747-4740 Fax (312) 747-4077 Assistant Curator for Archives Glenn Humphreys Special Collections Division Chief Sophia Jordan
Newberry Library 60 W. Walton St. Chicago, IL 60610 Phone (312) 943-9090 Curator: Robert Karrow
University Of Chicago Library Special Collections Research Center 1100 East 57th St. Chicago, IL 60637 Phone (773) 702-8705 Fax (312) 702-3728 Director, Special Collections: Alice Schreyer
Cook County Coroner’s Inquest Records 1872- 1911, Illinois Regional Archives Depository Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois. These public records, which contain the verdict of the coroner’s jury, the names of the jurors, the witnesses’ names and occupations, are available on microfilm at the depository. The records are indexed by the name of the deceased and date of death. The Illinois Regional Archives Depository lists the available corner’s records as: Coroner’s Inquest Records 1872-1911, 52 reels of microfilm: “Records shows the date and location of the coroner’s inquest; the name, residence, and occupation of the deceased; the names of the jurors; the names, residences, and occupations of the witnesses; the testimony of the witnesses about the circumstances of the death; a description of the deceased; the jury’s verdict on the cause of death; and acknowledgment by the coroner.”
Northwestern University Archives and Special Collections 110 Deering Library, Evanston, Il 60208-2350, 847-491-3354, Patrick M. Quinn, University Archivist. These archives contain the voluminous papers of John Henry Wigmore (1863-1943), Dean of the Northwestern University School of Law, and one of the founders of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, and the Editor of the 1929 Illinois Crime Survey. The papers of Dr. Harold S. Hulbert (1887-1949) a forensic pathologist who did a great deal of work with the criminal and juvenile courts and was associated with Northwestern University, are also in the Archives. Transcripts of original reports, photographs and other documents from the 1924 Leopold and Loeb case are in the Northwestern University Archives. And see: A Guide to Holdings Relating to Northwestern University Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory.
Illinois State Library 300 S. 2d Street, Springfield, Il. 62701-1786, (217) 785 - 5600; TDD (1-800-665-5576). The Illinois State Library is a regional federal depository and has an extensive collection of federal documents in addition to extensive documents and publications on Illinois history and laws. All state agencies are required to deposit publications with the Illinois State Library. The Illinois State Library also has an extensive collection of maps and geographical books and journals, gazetteers and atlases, reference books and carto-bibliographies.
The Center for Research Libraries (CRL), founded in 1949, is an international, not for profit consortium of colleges, universities and libraries that makes available scholarly research resources to users everywhere to foster and advance scholarly inquiry and to provide reliable access to unique and unusual collections of library materials.
American Judicature Society. A nonpartisan organization with a national membership of judges, lawyers, and non-legally trained citizens interested in the administration of justice. Founded in 1913 the Society played an important role in a number of the reform movements after World War I. Their libraries and publications include valuable resources for the history of this period. American Judicature Society, 180 N. Michigan Ave. Suit 600, Chicago, Il. 60601, ph: (312) 558-6900, fax: 312-558-9175.
Chicago Crime Commission. A non-partisan, not for profit organization founded in 1919 by 35 members of the Chicago business community is the oldest citizen’s crime commission in the nation. It is a volunteer organization, not affiliated with any agency of government, whose purpose is to educate the public. Chicago Crime Commission, 79 W. Monroe, Suite 605, Chicago, Il. 60603 ph 312-372-0101; fax: 312-372-6286.
Official Records and Reports, Other Sources of Data and Historical Documents
The Chicago City Council and a series of special state and city Commissions and Committees issued Reports on various aspects of crime during the period. A partial list of these reports includes:
Chicago Police Investigations: Three Reports, including the Chicago Civil Service Commission, Final Report: Civil Service Commission, City of Chicago, Police Investigation, 1911-1912, [An Inquiry conducted by authority of His Honor, Carter H. Harrison, Mayor, Sept. 5, 1911, to March 7, 1912]. Details of Vice Investigation – Departmental Analyses – Reorganization Plan – Conclusion and Recommendations. reprinted with two other official police investigations, Arno Press, Inc. The other reports included in this volume are: Committee of Investigation, Senate Report on the Chicago Police System 1898; and Alexander R. Piper, Report of an Investigation of the Discipline and Administration of the Police Department of the City of Chicago, 1904. In addition to details of the investigations, of which the 1911 investigation is most complete, these reports include contemporaneous descriptions of the bureaucratic and administrative structure of the Chicago Police, and some information on the education and training requirements for officers.
The Social Evil in Chicago, A Study of Existing Conditions with recommendations by The Vice Commission of Chicago, A Municipal Body Appointed by the Mayor of the City Council of the City of Chicago and Submitted as its Report to the Mayor and City Council of Chicago, Chicago, Gunthorp-Warren Printing Co. 1911; 400 pp, Primarily addressing illegal brothels, saloons and the economics and sociology of prostitution in the Levee district, this Report including Tables, interviews, reprints the relevant law, and includes details on the business of prostitution and the lives of the people in it. [See publications.]
The Report of the City Council Committee on Crime of the City of Chicago, Alderman Charles E. Merriam, Chairman, March 22, 1915, Press of H.G. Adair, Chicago (1915), pp 196, including bibliography and extensive statistical compilations.[see publications.]
The 1929 Illinois Crime Survey, Edited by John H. Wigmore. Chicago: Illinois Association for Criminal Justice, 1929. The 1929 Report was issued by the Illinois Association for Criminal Justice in cooperation with The Chicago Crime Commission, Editor John H. Wigmore, Director, Arthur V. Lashly, (1929). This 1100 page study of various aspects of crime, organized crime, and criminal justice institutions, conducted by several different authors, is the most authoritative and comprehensive source on crime, organized crime, and criminal justice institutions in Chicago and also the most sophisticated study of crime and criminal justice institutions for its time. 1929 Illinois Crime Survey includes Ch. VIII, August Vollmer, The Police in Chicago pp. 357- 376; Chapter XIII, Arthur Lashly, Homicide (in Cook County)pp. 593-639; and Part III, John Landesco, Organized Crime in Chicago, pp. 815 - 1090, with Summary and Recommendations by E.W. Burgess. Note: Part III of the 1929 Illinois Crime Survey was reprinted in 1968 with a new introduction by Mark H. Haller, as John Landesco, Organized Crime in Chicago, U. Chicago Press, Chicago (1968).
Landesco, John, “Organized Crime in Crime,” was originally published as Part III of The 1929 Illinois Crime Survey, and then republished separately in 1968, with a new Introduction by Mark Haller. U. Chicago Press, Chicago 1968. This portion of the Illinois Crime Survey combined qualitative information drawn largely from local newspapers with quantitative data culled from police and court records and is a detailed, perceptive sociological study of the history, causes, practices, and impact of organized crime in Chicago.
Skogan, Wesley G. Chicago Since 1840: A Time-Series Data Handbook. Urbana: Institute of Government and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois, 1976. Mainly a collection of tables and quantitative data, this book is a treasure trove of information on the political, economic, and institutional development of the city. This data set is available on line through the University of Michigan Survey Research Center and is included in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 92, No.s 3⁄4.
The Negro in Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1922. Compiled in the aftermath of the 1919 race riot, this Report includes a detailed description of demographics and a history of race relations in the city, and an analysis of the conditions encountered by blacks in Chicago.
Herbert Hoover’s National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, Report on the Enforcement of the Prohibition Laws of the United States, Summary and 5 vols. 71st. Congress, 3rd Sess. H.D. 722, also referred to as The Wickersham Report.
Hon. George Fiedler, The Illinois Law Courts in Three Centuries, 1673-1973, A Documentary History, Physicians Record Co. Berwyn, Ill., 1973.
Block, Carolyn Rebecca, Olson, Davie E., and Mata, Anthony J. Guide to Illinois Firearm Data, revised edition. Chicago: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 1992. This resource contains a great deal of information on current data (and sources) on firearms-related information in Illinois, including Chicago, as well as information on other cities. Information for the city of Chicago includes key elements of registration and permit procedures, as well as information on confiscation of weapons.
Report of the Department of Health of the City of Chicago for the Years 1926 to 1930, Inclusive. Chicago: City of Chicago, 1931. This report contains a wealth of longitudinal data on violence and related public health topics.
Solenberger, Alice Willard. One Thousand Homeless Men – A Study of Original Records. New York: New York Survey Associates, Russell Sage Foundation, 1911. This book includes narratives of interviews and statistics. Its subject is ‘those men of the homeless class who lived in cheap lodging houses in the loop who were applicants for public aid during the years 1900-1903.’ [Introductory, p. 3-4.]
The classification of subjects into four groups illustrates contemporary attitudes and economic realities: The study groups these men into these classes: self-supporting; temporarily dependent [runaway boys; strangers who lack city references, men who have been robbed, victims of accidents or illness; the addicted, misfits, etc.]; chronically dependent,[the crippled, deformed, aged, feeble-minded, insane…]; parasitic, [confirmed wanderers or tramps, criminals, impostors…] Introductory, p.10.
“All large cities and some small ones in these days have cheap lodging houses in which men may secure a night’s lodging at a cost from ten to twenty-five cents. With the exception of Greater New York, the city of Chicago has a greater number of such houses than any other city in the United States…. In normal times men of this class who come to Chicago need not long remain unemployed if they wish work. One season trade may soon by fitted into another. The period between the closing of navigation in the autumn and the beginning of work in the lumber camps is not long. In February the ice-cutting season opens and this furnishes employment to thousands of men at a time of year when in many other cities work for unskilled laborers is especially scarce…. During the course of the ordinary winter there are numerous heavy snowfalls, and the removal of snow from downtown streets affords temporary employment for hundreds.” Introductory, p. 6-8.
1911- present: Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, subsequently the Journal of Criminal Law Criminology and Police Science, and now the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, began publication in 1911 and contains many articles on crime, criminal law, police administration and criminal justice issues.
Historical Statistics of the United States: Two Centuries of the Census, 1780-1990. Compiled by Donald D. Dodd, Greenwood Press, Westport Conn. 1993.
Ernest W. Burgess and Charles Newcomb, Census Data of the City of Chicago, 1920. Includes otherwise unpublished data.
Previous Publications Using Cases from the Chicago Police Files
Adler, Jeffrey S. “‘If We Can’t Live in Peace, We Might As Well Die’: Homicide-Suicide in Chicago, 1875-1910.” Journal of Urban History 26 (November 1999): 3-21. This essay uses the Chicago police homicide logs and other sources, to chart and to analyze a surge in homicide-suicide in Chicago between 1875 and 1910.
Adler, Jeffrey S. “‘The Negro Would Be More Than An Angel to Withstand Such Treatment’: African-American Homicide in Chicago, 1875-1910.” In Lethal Imagination: Violence and Brutality in American History. Edited by Michael A. Bellesiles. New York: New York University Press, 1999. Pp. 295-314. Drawing from the Chicago police homicide log and other sources, this essay explores the ways in which the Great Migration affected patterns of lethal violence among black Chicagoans.
Adler, Jeffrey S. “‘Halting the Slaughter of the Innocents’: The Civilizing Process and the Surge in Violence in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago.” Social Science History 25 (Spring 2001): 29-52. Relying on the Chicago police log, as well as a broad range of legal and institutional records, this essay explores the changing social and legal construction of “homicide” in early twentieth-century Chicago.
Contemporaneous Accounts and Early Academic Studies
Stead, William T. If Christ Came to Chicago -A Plea for the Union of All Who Love in the Service of All Who Suffer. Original publication, Laird and Lee, Publishers, Chicago 1894, reprinted Chicago Historical Bookworks, Evanston, Il. 1990. William T. Stead was a very well known, reform minded British minister and journalist, in the Progressive tradition, who first came to Chicago in 1893 for the World’s Columbia Exposition and then returned in the depression of 1893, and stayed to study the city, its government, its laws and their enforcement, its vice districts, its rich and its destitute. Despite his evangelical purpose, to show that if Christ came to Chicago he would find little of the Christian spirit, the book is neither preachy nor highly rhetorical. Stead’s descriptions of places, and transcriptions of meetings with real historical figures, and the poor and rich of the city in their habitats capture that world and time period. Descriptions include: the various mechanics of vote fraud and vote buying; tax dodging, corruption on the city council, police enforcement and its absence, the economics of and working conditions in the Levee district, the saloon-alderman and those political and economic incentives, and life of tramps, the imprisoned, and the abandoned. All walk through these pages, speaking with their own individual voices.
Abbott, Edith. The Tenements of Chicago, 1908 -1935. Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 1936.
Addams, Jane. Twenty Years at Hull-House. New York: Macmillan Press, 1910. The classic, first person account by the visionary leader and public figure behind Chicago’s first public welfare institution, the Settlement House.
Judge M.L. McKinley, Chief Justice of the Criminal Court of Cook County, 1922-1923, “Crime and the Civic Cancer – Graft,” Reprinted from the Chicago Daily News (1923).
Steffens, Lincoln. The Shame of the Cities (1902-3). New York: Sagamore Press Inc. 1957. This volume reprints a series of ‘muckraking’ articles about city corruption. Chapter 5 takes Chicago as it subject. An interesting example of contemporaneous journalism, although from the present perspective the absence of sources and documentation is a serious omission. Formerly published as a series of articles in McClure’s Magazine in 1902 and 1903.
Reckless, Walter C. Vice in Chicago. Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 1933. Beginning as a Ph. D. thesis and subsequently published in the University of Chicago Sociological Series, edited by Ellsworth Faris, Robert E. Park, and Ernest W. Burgess. This is a well written, sociological study, with extensive demographic, public health and economic data on aspects of vice in the notorious vice districts of Chicago. Topics include: the changing demographics of the business of prostitution; organized crime involvement and control of vice; exposes of government graft allowing and supporting organized crime involvement; fraudulent voting practices which perpetuated organized crime control of government offices; police protection of and involvement in the business; and the periodic enforcement by city and state officials in response to pressure from citizen’s groups. ‘Vice’ is principally prostitution, but also includes the distribution of alcohol, especially during Prohibition, and other illegal activities in the segregated districts of Chicago. The pattern was of intermittent enforcement of the laws prohibiting vice, after the dramatic closing of the vice district in 1912 in response to public outcry. A comprehensive, serious study with a wealth of demographic and court data, an exhaustive review of prior reports and commissions, including official data primarily on the post World War I period, but in some categories going back to the early part of the century.
Barnard, Harry. “Eagle Forgotten” - The Life of John Peter Altgeld. New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1938 (496 pp.). An extensive biography, with bibliography, of the Governor of Illinois and some time law partner of Clarence Darrow. His public life encompassed many historic and important episodes in the history of Chicago. His pardoning of some of the anarchists from the Haymarket trial caused a national political firestorm. The account of his itinerant childhood as a day farm laborer and his subsequent rise in politics is a rich and fulsome narrative of the life of the times. This is a political history of the city and the state, as well as a chronicle of the life of an especially interesting and atypical Governor, lawyer and public figure.
Frederick Thrasher, The Gang, Chicago. U. Chicago Press, 1927. Another in the series of University of Chicago sociological studies. The author identifies three places of gang activity: the North side ‘jungles,’the West Side ‘wilderness,’ and the South side ‘badlands.’
The social reform movements, and advocates for and against prohibition, and religious proselytizers produced a variety of hortatory literature often including statements attributed to public figures of the day. For their language, diction, and allegations of unverifiable facts, these books and pamphlets offer, if nothing else, a vernacular time capsule of public speech, and occasional glimpses into the life and conditions of the day.
Grant Eugene Stevens, Wicked City, Chicago, 1906, published by G.E. Stevens, 1906 is an example. This is an odd combination of novel, puzzle, mystery story, and commentary upon the Wicked City Redeemed, including some contemporary illustrations and photographs. The structure of the book is to collect and solicit opinions and pronouncements from a variety of public figures and fictional persons as to whether Chicago is a ‘wicked city.’ Much attention paid to drinking, gambling and the white slave trade.
Special Topics, Monographs, other Academic Sources and Historical Accounts
Solomon, Rayman L. History of the Seventh Circuit, 1891-1941. Published under the auspices of the Bicentennial Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Miller, Donald L. City of the Century. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. A detailed and historically rich account of Chicago covering part of this period.
Spinney, Robert G. City of Big Shoulders. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2000. A glossy, introductory overview of Chicago history.
Cohen, Lizabeth. Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990. This work documents the difficulties and successes of industrial workers (immigrants and racial minorities) to form a union in Chicago before and leading up to the New Deal. It also describes how mass culture permeated the lives of these workers and forged cohesive bonds across race and ethnic lines.
Barrett, James R. Work and Community in the Jungle: Chicago’s Packinghouse Workers –1894 – 1922. Champaign: U. Illinois Press, 1987. A stury of these workers, their political and social identifications, and the long, bitter and brutal battles for unionization.
Bulmer, Martin. The Chicago School of Sociology – Institutionalism, Diversity, and the Rise of Sociological Research. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1984. A history of the development of Sociology at the University of Chicago, primarily in the 1920’s. Ch.4 discusses “The Polish Peasant in Europe and America: A Landmark of Empirical Sociology.” In 1907 Chicago had a population which included 360,000 Poles. Ch. 5 Sociology, the Social Survey Movement and The Negro in Chicago [Report of the Chicago Commission on Race Relations, 1922].
Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991. Classic study of the creation of markets and the economic development of Chicago.
Duis, Perry R. Challenging Chicago. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1998. An accessible, well written and documented book that chronicles the everyday life in Chicago during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Duis, Perry R. The Saloon - Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880-1920. Champaign: U. Illinois Press, 1983 (repr. 1999). A unusual and especially relevant history of public drinking and its legal regulation, comparing Chicago and Boston. Very useful in counteracting stereotypes and misinformation about the surprisingly different saloon culture, and its connection to political life, in the two cities. Topics include: the official regulation of alcohol, the criminal prosecution or non-prosecution for alcohol related offenses, the temperance movement, the economic constraints operating on the saloon keeper, the industry protective associations, ethnic and racial patterns associated with public drinking, saloons and immigration patterns, the enormous profits from the sale of alcohol and where they went, and the importance of saloons in political campaign and ward politics in Chicago. Includes contemporary photographs and illustrations.
Lewis, Arnold. An Early Encounter with Tomorrow–Europeans, Chicago’s Loop, and the World’s Columbian Exposition. Champaign: U. of Illinois Press, 1997. The focus is architecture, and this volume addresses the larger question of the Chicago spirit and the importance of buildings in shaping the cultural environment of the city.
Lukas, J. Anthony. Big Trouble - A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. Although a murder trial in Idaho is the principal story, a great deal of the relevant history and background, including the history of socialism, the labor movement and unions takes place in Chicago. The book includes a narrative of national and state politics of the period, and the social history and personalities of a number of key political and social figures prominent in Chicago, including: Clarence Darrow, the founder of the Pinkerton Agency, Theodore Roosevelt and Illinois Governor Altgeld are all treated at considerable length in this well documented account of the times, people and conditions of life in the period around the turn of the century. The book is also includes a great deal of background and detail about the role of the press and individual newspapers and reporters in covering sensational trials.
Lyle, John H. The Dry and Lawless Years. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1960. An account of the illegal and other activities of the mob, police and others by a practicing attorney, member of the Illinois legislature, member of the Chicago City Council, and self styled ‘crime busting’ felony court judge in the 1920’s.
Lloyd Wendt and Herman Kogan, Big Bill of Chicago, Bobbs Merrill, NY 1953. A detailed political history of the tumultuous politics surrounding the elections and reelections of Mayor ‘Big Bill the Builder’ Thompson. Thompson was Mayor from 1915-1920, and reelected in 1927-1930.
Meyerowitz, Joanne J. Women Adrift – Independent Wage Earners in Chicago, 1880 -1930, Chicago: U. Chicago Press, 1988. A detailed, strong, and broadly based academic study of working class women in Chicago, including demographics, unionization issues, their abysmally low wages, what they read and wrote, extensive discussion of housing and living conditions, and sexual mores. ‘Women adrift’ were identified from the 1880 and 1910 census systematically as women who were gainfully employed ‘who did not live with kin or with employers,’ other gainfully employed women who lived alone or as boarders, lodgers, and tenants. (Appendix, Women Adrift Samples, p. 143) Includes an excellent, detailed, wide ranging bibliography of books, articles, newspapers and archival sources.
Simpson, Dick. Rogues, Rebels and Rubber Stamps – The Politics of the Chicago City Council from 1863 to the Present. Westview Press, 2001. A colorful historical narrative of the history and politics of the Chicago City Council by a former Alderman. Ch. 2 deals with the Chicago City Council under the ‘Grey Wolves,’ from the Chicago fire to the Great Depression, approximately the period spanned by this data set. The Civil War was followed by a divisive and hotly contested party politics, and by 1865 Chicago was an industrial giant and the undisputed capital of the mid-west. “Local government from the Chicago Fire in 1871 until the Great Depression in 1929 was characterized by corruption, ‘boodle,’ and fragmented power ….The city council was at the center of a corrupt political system in which aldermen and judges could be bribed; the laws and the police favored the businessman, not the workingman; and public officials were often motivated by ambition and lust for money….The battle between machine and reform was the great civic war that replaced the partisanship of the Civil War period.” p. 464-7. The first ethnic based political machines were formed after the Chicago fire and persisted into the depression. The years between 1893 and Cermak in 1931 were ‘the most disreputable in the City’s history.’ p. 50.
Smith, Carl S. Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief - The Great Chicago Fire; The Haymarket Bomb and the Model Town of Pullman. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1995. A rich and unusually structured narrative, a political and social history, recreating the tapestry of events and contemporaneous commentary surrounding these three signature events in Chicago. The affect of the Haymarket trial and executions, only a year later, on the culture surrounding criminal justice and the courts was immediate and long lasting. The author sums up the contemporary mood of the city as follows: “The ‘apprehensive concern’ surrounding Haymarket was based in ‘the feeling and the fact that it is one phase, and the worse phase, of a widespread discontent upon the part of millions of the poorer people of this and other countries.’” p. 169. Internal citation omitted.
Smith, Carl S. Chicago and the American Literary Imagination, 1880-1920. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1984. An identification and description of the work of various literary and artistic figures who used Chicago as setting, or were Chicago based. The variety and popularity of a wide range of different kinds of literary works is noteworthy, and another dimension of the reform minded culture of the period. An overview of the lively cultural scene and the gifted group of writers and artists, including architects, who lived or worked in the city and created a Chicago of the Imagination for future generations. Extensive bibliography.
Reed, Badger._ The Great American Fair: The World’s Columbian Exposition and American Culture_. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1979.
Miller, Ross. The Great Chicago Fire, U. Illinois Press, 2000.
Aurich, Paul. The Haymarket Tragedy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984. McCaffrey, Lawrence J., Ellen Skerret, Michael F. Funchion and Charles Fanning. The Irish in Chicago.
Anderson, Philip J. and Dag Blanck, eds. Swedish-American Life in Chicago: Cultural and Urban Aspects of an Immigrant People, 1850-1930.
Dominic A. Pacyga, Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago–Workers on the South Side, 1880-1922, Ohio State U. Press, 1991. Photographs.
Glen E. Holt and Dominic A. Pacyga, Chicago: A Historical Guide to the Neighborhoods – The Loop and South Side, Chicago Historical Society, 1979. (with historical photographs. Evocative photographs and commentary on the growth, changes and development of Chicago neighborhoods from the city’s founding to the 1970’s, including: the Loop; the Stockyards; the near South Side including Prairie Avenue; Douglas, Oakwood, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Grand Boulevard, Washington Part, Armour Square, Bridgeport, Back of the Yards, Brighton Park and Gage Park. Especially useful for the analysis of ethnic migration patterns.
Special Topics: Blacks in Chicago
U.S. Census, Negro Population in the United States, 1790-1915, Washington, Gov’t Printing Office, 1918. A special report of the U.S. Census.
Harold F. Gosnell, Negro Politicians, U. Chicago Press, originally published 1935, reprinted with a new Introduction by James Q. Wilson, 1967. Chronicles the activities of Negroes in politics and the society in Chicago, where Negroes first entered northern politics in significant numbers although Negroes constituted only 7 per cent of the Chicago population in 1930. “Gosnell said the purpose of his book was to ‘describe in realistic fashion the struggle of a minority group to advance its status by political methods.’ Although it lacks any explicit theoretical orientation and offers few large generalizations, his study succeeds in presenting a vivid and well-documented account of that struggle for status. Today the methods and the motives of Negro leaders have changed somewhat, but the problems and frustrations remain essentially the same.” 1967 Introduction, p. xii. For its relevance to this Project, see Ch. XII, Negro Police Officers, p.244-279.
Spear, Allan H. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967. Emphasizing economic, demographic, and institutional conditions, Black Chicago chronicles the development of the city’s black community:
“The story of Chicago’s Negroes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is interwoven with the general history of the City…. The profound changes that took place in the Chicago Negro community between the 1890’s and 1920 had both internal and external dimensions. One the one hand, they were the result of mounting hostility of white Chicagoans. Whites grew anxious as a growing Negro population sought more and better housing; they feared job competition in an era of industrial strife when employers frequently used Negroes as strikebreakers; and they viewed Negroes as pawns of a corrupt political machine…. The rise of Chicago’s black ghetto belongs to both urban history and Negro history…” Introduction p. 7-8. “Chicago had in its midst a sharply delineated Negro ghetto, separated from the white community by a high though unofficial wall of segregation and discrimination. Within this wall, a quarter of a million black Chicagoans maintained a community life that, on the surface at least, seemed virtually independent of white Chicago…. This study documents the formation of a northern Negro ghetto. It examines the forces, both external and internal, that conditioned the development of separate Negro community life and it analyzes the impact of this development upon Negro racial ideology, the growth of Negro race consciousness, and the composition and outlook of the Negro leadership class. It confronts these problems by tracing the history of the Chicago Negro community in the generation prior to the great riot of 1919….” Preface, p. vii-ix.
St. Clair Drake and Horace Clayton, Black Metropolis, New York, Harcourt Brace and Co, 1945. Considered by many to be the most authoritative and exhaustive study of the Negro community in Chicago.
Tuttle, William M., Jr. Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919. New York: Atheneum, 1970. In analyzing the race riot of 1919, the author summarizes previous work and provides background on race relations before and after the race riot of 1919.
The Negro in Chicago [Report of the Chicago Commission on Race Relations]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1922. Compiled in the aftermath of the 1919 race riot, this Report includes a detailed description of demographics, a history of race relations in the city, and an analysis of the conditions of blacks in Chicago.
Louise V. Kennedy and Frank Ross, Bibliography of Negro Migration (New York: Columbia University Press, 1934).
Foner, Eric. A Short History of Reconstruction 1863-1877. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1990. Although predominately a work describing the reunification of the United States after the Civil War, the book describes many events that occur early in the 1870s (and into the early 1900s) that constitute the beginning of the period of the data set, such as the extreme economic hardships and the inferior legal and social status of blacks.
Grossman, James R. Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989. This readable account provides an extensive analysis of both the southern roots of the Great Migration and the making (and remaking) of Chicago’s black community during the early twentieth century.
Johnson, Daniel M. and Rex R. Campbell. Black Migration in America. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1981. A historical and analytical account of factors contributing to the migration of southern blacks to the north. This book provides detailed data on patterns of black migrations over time periods and across states.
Hirsch, Arnold R. Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940- Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. This work argues that the government, through its suburban, subsidy grants and “redevelopment” policies in the city, perpetuated the decline of the inner city and contributed to the racial strife present during from 1919 to 1960.
Pinderhughes, Dianne M. Race and Ethnicity in Chicago Politics: A Reexamination of Pluralist Theory. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1987. Chapter 6 examines various crimes in Chicago from the 1870’s to the 1930’s and argues that black Americans, despite theoretical expectations, are not as assimilated as other immigrant groups in relation to equal punishment for crimes.
E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro Family in Chicago, U. Chicago Press.
Elizabeth Dale, the Rule of Justice – the People of Chicago versus Zephyr Davis, Ohio State U. Press, Columbus, 2001.
Louise De Koven Bowen, The Colored Population of Chicago (Chicago: Juvenile Protective Association, 1913).
Newspapers and the Press
Baldasty, Gerald J. The Commercialization of News in the Nineteenth Century. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992. A history of newspapers and the changing environment in the reporting of news and political issues in the nineteenth century, including excellent appendices, notes and an extended bibliography.
Emery, Michael and Edwin Emery, The Press and America– An Interpretative History of the Mass Media. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hallo, 1992.
Nord, David Paul. Newspapers and New Politics: Midwestern Municipal Reform. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979. A comparison of urban reform efforts in Chicago and St. Louis in 1890-1900, using contemporaneous newspaper accounts. Ch.5 ‘The Public Community’ focuses on Chicago in the 1870’s; Ch. 6, ‘The Business Values of American Newspapers’ is a study of Chicago journalism in the late nineteenth century; Ch. 7 ‘The Paradox of Municipal Reform in the Late Nineteenth Century’ addressed the role of newspapers in municipal reform; Ch. 11 ‘Reading the Newspaper’ looks at readers responses to urban newspapers by examining some manuscript letters to the editors of the Chicago Herald and the Chicago Tribune in 1912-1917.
History of the Chicago Police. Montclair NJ: Patterson Smith, 1887⁄1973. Beginning with events prior to the founding of Chicago, this book is as much a history of the city as it is of the police department. The author provides extensive detail in describing the role of law enforcement during key nineteenth century events (until 1887) in Chicago history, particularly the various instances of civil unrest.
Lindberg, Charles C. To Serve and Collect: Chicago Politics and Police Corruption from the Lager Beer Riot to the Summerdale Scandal. New York: Praeger, 1991. Beginning with the founding of the city and continuing through the Summerdale Scandal of 1958-61, Lindberg focuses on law enforcement and political corruption in Chicago.
Raphael W. Marrow and Harriet I. Carter, In Pursuit of Crime – The Police of Chicago, Chronicle of a Hundred Years: 1833-1933. The Flats Publishing Company, Sunbury (1996). A history of the Chicago Police Department using internal sources and relating the politics of the times to the development of the police. Chronological and anecdotal.
Cohn, David L. The Good Old Days: A History of American Manners as Seen through the Sears Roebuck Catalogs, 1905 to the Present. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940. The distribution of the Sears Catalog revolutionized the consumer culture. Pages 431-440 review the inclusion of firearms, ammunition, and accessories in Sears catalogs between 1894 and 1924. The author places information on these and other goods in the context of the cultural norms of the day.
Cramer, Clayton E. Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic: Dueling, Southern Violence, and Moral Reform. New York: Praeger, 1979. The author traces the development of concealed firearms laws in America. Beginning with 16th century European influences through the mid-nineteenth century, this source provides much information on the earliest weapon laws of the states and discusses factors related to their passage.
Block, Carolyn Rebecca. Lethal Violence in Chicago Over Seventeen Years: Homicides Known to the Police, 1965-1981. Chicago: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 1985. Block’s study provides a rigorous, quantitative analysis of homicide in Chicago from 1965 to 1981, a useful point of comparison for the essays in this volume.
Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. This work charts the expansion of the suburbs and changes in housing patterns from the 18th century to the 1960s (focusing regular attention on Chicago), detailing a number of factors such as improved transportation technology and government subsidies. Lindberg, Richard. Return to the Scene of the Crime: Chicago. Nashville, TN: Cumberland House, 1999. A look at crime scenes and geographic locations of homicides in Chicago from 1871 to present.
Farrell, James T. Chicago Stories, selected and edited by Charles Fanning, Champaign: U. Illinois Press, 1998. The date of publication of these stories is usually in the early 1930’s, however they capture the speech and circumstances of a swath of street life in certain Chicago neighborhoods in the prior decade.
Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Culture and the City – Cultural Philanthropy in Chicago from the 1880-s to 1917. U. Chicago Press, 1976. A history of philanthropy in Chicago at the time of the founding of some of the city’s great fortunes and cultural institutions.
Joseph C. Bigott, From Cottage to Bungalow, Houses and the Working Class in Metropolitan Chicago, 1869-1929. U. Chicago Press. 2001. A history of everyday life as seen through land use and the development of the built environment through real estate booms, economic depressions and political changes. Attention to the individual character and history of neighborhoods and the living patterns associated with ethnic groups. Photographs.
Dale E. Ruth, Inventing the Public Enemy – The Gangster in American Culture, 1918-1934. U. Chicago Press, Chicago, 1996. “Inventing the Public Enemy is an attempt to understand mass media images and the culture that produced them. As such it is a study in values. Shortly after the First World War many Americans came to believe that rampant crime was a defining element of their society. Attention soon centered on the gangsters, the paragon of modern criminality and eventually the subject of innumerable newspaper and magazine articles, scores of novels and plays, and more than a hundred Hollywood movies. The media gangster was an invention, much less an account accurate reflection of reality than a projection created from various Americans’ beliefs, concerns and ideas about what would sell….” Introduction: The Gangster and Urban America, p.1.
Nathan F. Leopold, Jr. Life Plus 99 Years, Doubleday, 1958. An autobiography account of the imprisonment and path to the eventual release of one of the notorious murderers in the 1924 Leopold and Loeb case.
Clarence Darrow, The Story of My Life, Chas. Scribner’s Sons, NY 1932. The autobiography of the most famous lawyer of his time, defending Leopold and Loeb among others. His practice and his life reflect the political struggles of the day.
Accounts of Organized Crime and Al Capone
Asbury, Herbert. Gem of the Prairie: An Informal History of the Chicago Underworld. New York: Knopf, 1940. A journalistic account of the Chicago underworld during the early twentieth century. Asbury’s narrative focuses on the leading gangsters, most colorful personalities, and most notorious vice spots in the criminal history of the city.
Peterson, Virgil W. Barbarians in Our Midst: A History of Chicago Crime and Politics. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1952. The author, a veteran FBI agent and onetime director of the Chicago Crime Commission, focuses on the relationship between crime, politics, and corruption from the founding of Chicago through the Kefauver Hearings.
Richard Lindberg, Chicago by Gaslight – A History of Chicago’s Netherworld, 1880-1920. Academy Chicago Publishers, 1996. A lively, anecdotal account of historic events, political scandals and the notorious underworld. A valuable table lists all mayors, Chiefs of Police, State’s Attorneys, and Sheriffs from 1871-1920. (p.214) Photographs and illustrations.
John Kobler, Capone – The Life and World of Al Capone, Da Capo Press, Putnam, 1971, NY, reprinted by Da Capo Press, Perseus Pres, 1992. A chronicle of the gang wars and Capone’s rise to and maintenance of power through terrorism and the maintenance of his association with government officials.
Kenneth Allsop, “The Bootleggers - The Story of Chicago’s Prohibition Era,” Arlington House. New Rochelle NY 1961. A Chronicle of the rise and fall of prohibition era mobsters.
Curt Johnson and R. Craig Sautter, “Wicked City Chicago – From Kenna to Capone,” December Press, Highland Park, 1994. A history of Chicago’s famous and infamous through portraits of powerful, celebrated or notorious figures. Intended for the general reader. Includes contemporary photographs of most subject.
Laurence Bergreen, Capone – the Man and the Era, Simon and Schuster, 1994. A history of Prohibition and a biography of the notorious gangster associated with it and Chicago.
Emmett Dedmon, Fabulous Chicago, Random House, 1953. A popular social, cultural history. Illustrated.
Richard Lindberg, Chicago by Gaslight– A History of Chicago’s Netherworld, 1880-1920. Academy Chicago Publishers, 1996. A journalistic description of major events and descriptions of notorious figures.