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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Beardstown in Cass County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lincoln and the River

 
 
Lincoln and the River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
1. Lincoln and the River Marker
Inscription.
When Abraham Lincoln sought election to the Illinois legislature in 1832, his platform focused on his belief that improvements should be made to the Sangamon River, which he said would be "vastly important and highly desirable to the people of this county." Soon news arrived that the steamboat Talisman was bound for Illinois to demonstrate the Sangamon could be a river of commerce. Accompanied by New Salem and Springfield friends, Lincoln rushed to Beardstown. Armed with axes, corn knives and hooks, they cleared ice, snags, and low hanging branches at the mouth of the Sangamon. They boarded the Talisman for the trip to Portland Landing above Springfield. On the return journey, Lincoln served as the assistant to pilot J. Rowan Herndon. Lincoln lost the election, finishing eighth in a field of thirteen candidates. The Sangamon project was denied the advocacy of its most ardent supporter. By the time Lincoln was elected to the legislature in 1835, the railroad interests had the upper hand. Construction on the Northern Cross Railroad began in Meredosia in the spring of 1838.

Though Lincoln could not turn the Sangamon into a navigable waterway, he continued to support the development of waterways as arteries of commerce. One such venture was the Beardstown and Sangamon Canal. The canal would have paralleled

Lincoln and the River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
2. Lincoln and the River Marker
the Sangamon. Beardstown stood to gain from such an enterprise, since river steamers would have transferred their cargoes, to canal boats at Beardstown, thus making the city a transportation hub. Lincoln pushed this project for a number of years, trying to force the canal through legislation. Despite the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in northern Illinois, Lincoln and his allies failed to secure state support, and private promotions were never able to raise the necessary funds to acquire land and begin construction. Beardstown's Canal Street is the lone reminder of the Beardstown and Sangamon Canal.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 40° 1.118′ N, 90° 26.118′ W. Marker is in Beardstown, Illinois, in Cass County. Marker is on North State Street. Touch for map. Marker is at the end of North State Street at the Sangamon River. Marker is in this post office area: Beardstown IL 62618, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln in Beardstown (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln Photograph (about 300 feet away); Traveling to Beardstown (about 400 feet away); Lincoln the Candidate
Sangamon River at Beardstown image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
3. Sangamon River at Beardstown
(about 600 feet away); Site of Abraham Lincoln's Speech (about 700 feet away); Lincoln the Lawyer (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Beardstown Women's Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); Captain Abraham Lincoln (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beardstown.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Sangamon River at Beardstown image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
4. Sangamon River at Beardstown
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 398 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 26, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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