ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
The Illinois and Michigan Canal, 1827–1911
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives
LETTER FROM JOHN H. KINZIE TO THE CANAL TRUSTEES CONCERNING ADDITIONAL OFFICE HELP
May 19, 1852
The following table shows the canal's annual toll collections and operating seasons.
|Year||Tolls Collected||Opened to Navigation||Closed To Navigation||Number of Days Open|
|1848||$ 87,890||April 19||Nov. 29||224|
|1849||118,375||April 20||Dec. 6||231|
|1850||125,504||March 22||Dec. 6||259|
|1851||173,300||March 15||Dec. 6||269|
|1852||168,577||March 29||Dec. 8||255|
Of the $168,577 collected in 1852, $104,592 was taken in at Chicago. Of the remainder, Lockport received $9,060, Ottawa $8,765, and La Salle $46,160. Goods and passengers headed south from Chicago were producing the greatest revenue. When the canal opened in 1848 Chicago contained 20,023 inhabitants. By 1852 the figure had reached 38,733. The trustees were willing to pay for temporary help to get the job done but were most reluctant to increase the head count of permanent employees.
For a map of the completed canal route, see Exhibit A.
Points to Consider
What was John H. Kinzie asking the canal trustees to do?
Why was his request necessary?
Who was John H. Kinzie? Describe the man.
Why had it been particularly desirable to have found a man of integrity to be the collector at Chicago?