Life on the homestead wasn't easy for early members of Champaign County, never mind the looming Civil War just around the corner. As the country became more and more divided politically, the deadliest war in American history overtook the lives of average citizens, affecting access to provisions and eventually instating a military draft.
Though the Chapin-McNeil family faced plenty of hardships and losses themselves, their correspondence is proof of the resilience of early settlers. We are proud to present the Chapin-McNeil Family Letters digital exhibit.
Follow the Chapin-McNeils from the 1850s to the turn of the century as they navigate the harsh realities of homesteading, the war, family drama, illness, and more. Click here to our most recent digital exhibit!