This is a past event.

"The Mysterious Bard of Sangamo"

A new film, “The Mysterious Bard of Sangamo,” will be presented as the Sangamon County Historical Society’s monthly program. The program is a joint effort of the Society and the Iles House Foundation.

The film is based on the life of poet John Hancock, a well-traveled and well-educated Englishman who made his home in Springfield in the 1830s and 1840s. His poems were originally published in the frontier newspaper, Sangamo Journal, with the author identified only as “H.” As successful as he was locally over 150 years ago, Hancock faded into obscurity until award-winning literary scholar, teacher, historian and author John E. Hallwas, Ph.D, recognized his talent and spent decades tracking down his work and identify the elusive poet. The book he wrote about Hancock, The Poems of H., the Lost Poet of Lincoln’s Springfield, was published in 1982.

Now a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Western Illinois University, Hallwas wrote the play on which the screenplay is based. Illinois State Historical Society Executive Director William Furry served as producer and director of the film. The film can also be downloaded and viewed on the Society’s webpage at the link below.

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