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ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES


The Illinois and Michigan Canal, 1827–1911

A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives


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DOCUMENT 45
LETTER FROM L.W. CLAYPOOL TO WILLIAM GOODING CONCERNING A LATE CANAL LAND PAYMENT
June 8, 1864




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Explanation

The land in question is located in mid-Grundy County at the border with La Salle County. The closest town is Seneca which in 1864 was called Crotty (see document 18, document 19, and document 22). After Grundy County was created in 1841, L.W. Claypool had been elected its first recorder. He held this position until 1848 when he was appointed the assistant agent for canal lands for La Salle and Grundy Counties. Morris is the county seat for Grundy County.

Illinois contributed 256,297 fighting men over the Civil War years. They came from farms, small towns, and cities. Most were young men, averaging in age from eighteen to thirty. Poorer farms in particular suffered severe hardships when their young men enlisted or were drafted into the service.

If canal lands were purchased by means of installment payments, failure to make a payment by the required due date resulted in a forfeiture of the property. A late payment accompanied by a good reason could result in the redemption of such a purchase. Canal trustees usually were more interested in receiving payments due than in seizing purchases (see also document 38).

In this instance L.W. Claypool had been mistaken. Mr. Garner had died and his son had gone to work for G.W. Armstrong.

Points to Consider

What was L.W. Claypool asking William Gooding to do?
Why had Gooding written Claypool in the first place?
Describe Mr. Garner's circumstance as presented in this document.
This document describes but one circumstance on the Illinois home front. Can you imagine others?


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