The Illinois and Michigan Canal: Push, push for the people

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2023-05
Authors
Tutt, Ashley Nicole
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Wolters, Timothy
Hilliard, Kathleen
Rosenbloom, Joshua
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History
Abstract
The Illinois and Michigan Canal is a forgotten relic of the nineteenth century. The Illinois Government, with the help of federal legislation, built the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848 to better serve the people of Illinois. While the Illinois and Michigan Canal did not garner the same successes as the Erie Canal and had frequent monetary challenges, along with sickness and damages, the story of the Illinois and Michigan Canal is still worth telling. While the Illinois and Michigan Canal is no longer in operation the social history of the Illinois and Michigan Canal can reveal a lot. When diving into the canal’s history, historians will see a project that seemed uncertain from the start. However, with William Gooding as chief Engineer, who held a very stubborn attitude, the Illinois and Michigan Canal opened to the public in 1848. Even upon opening, the canal never had success to that of the Erie canal; however, the canal served a higher purpose: to provide to the people through donation of land, churches, schools, and transportation. The I &M Canal has always served its people and continues to do so today as recreational purposes for the many residents of Illinois.
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