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Bishop Hill Colony Records

Identifier: yhm-spe-com-bis

Scope and Contents

The Bishop Hill Collection contains accounts, citizenship papers,a letter of gurdianship,a ledger statement, letters of administration, letters of correspondence, a warrantee deed, receipts, quit claim deeds, a loan agreement, a summons, meeting minutes, an invitation, bills, and three Western Reserve Exchange Currency bills. Researchers accessing the collection will gain insight into a communal society that lived in Illinois.


  • Creation: 1853-1886


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

The Bishop Hill Colony began in Sweden when a group of religious dissenters dreamed of creating a utopia-a place where they could live in harmony with their beliefs, free from the dogma of the established church. In 1846,Erik Janson and his followers, sailed from Sweden to New York, made their way to Chicago and walked the last 160 miles to Bishop Hill. They established a communal Colony on the prairie that grew in numbers and prospered, even though the Colony suffered a major loss when Erik Janson was killed in 1850. In the 15 year history of this religious collective, over a thousand immigrants journeyed from Sweden to join the Colony. The Bishop Hill Colony was one of the most significant forces in the later immigration of millions of Swedes. The Colony is still evident today in the form of historic buildings and artifacts as well as in its 130 residents, many of whom are descendants of the original settlers. Source: Bishop Hill Heritage Association, "The Story of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association", accessed May 26, 2023.


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Language of Materials




The Bishop Hill Colony Collection is arranged in chronological order.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hamilton College Special Collections Repository

Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton NY 13323 United States