Secure the Shadow . .

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Secure the Shadow ... ere the Substance Fade (Advertisement of a Daguerreotypist)

Why the stroke of God's hand in the prime of life? Henry Underhill's search for an answer during the summer of 1875 gives the reader the "Life and Times" this Illinois attorney, politician, and Presbyterian elder has become too handicapped to write. Major themes include Illinois politics and law circa 1840-1875, slavery and racism, the role of women, capital punishment, the Civil War, medicine, and Protestantism.

The most important secondary character is Shadrach, Henry's African-American nurse and secretary, who becomes a catalyst for change.

Woven from primary sources, interlaced with jokes and anecdotes, the narration does justice to a protagonist who love both the law and literature.

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