Illinois (Location Key)


Chicago, the largest city in Illinois, is a Location in 9 texts, and has its own entry in this index. The only other Illinois locations in the fictions are, probably coincidentally, both prisons. The first is Rock Island Prison, where Rosa's aunt's husband is held in Absalom! This was a real Union prisoner-of-war camp during the Civil War. It was opened in 1863 in Rock Island, Illinois, and became one of the Union Army's largest prisons; by the end of the war, over 12,000 Confederate soldiers had been held there. The second is the penitentiary in Go Down, Moses where Samuel Worsham Beauchamp is executed in 1940 for killing a Chicago policeman. Gavin Stevens talks to "the Warden at Joliet" and "an undertaker in Joliet" about the event (260, 262; 357, 359), and there is a famous prison in Joliet, Illinois, but Faulkner was probably thinking of the nearby Stateville Penitentiary, which was the site of executions by electric chair from 1928 onward.

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