Canal Chronicles

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Canal Chronicles tells the story of the background, construction, and development of the Illinois & Michigan Canal (1836-1848) and the people who came before, during and after to create the history of Northern Illinois and the Greater Chicago region. The I&M Canal was the critical link connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico so that goods could serve the needs of a burgeoning new country and exports could find their way to markets that provided money for growth. Join Marquette and Joliet, William Henry Harrison, Chief Blackhawk, Abraham Lincoln and a host of Chicago history notables as an eye witness to an important chapter in the early history of the United States. Toil with the Irish laborers, or navvies, who cleared the land, dug the trench, and built the locks. Learn what this key phase in building the infrastructure of the United States teaches about nation-building today.

The Author

William McCandless retired from a business career and took up the creative life through writing, painting, poetry, carving, sculpture, ancestry research, photography, and woodworking. During fifteen years as the historical re-creator of William Gooding, Chief Engineer during the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, McCandless researched and gathered a collection of stories, legends and anecdotes about the people who built the Canal and those who have lived in its shadow. When not pursuing his creative muse, Mr. McCandless reads extensively and now finally, exults that the Cubs have won the World Series in his lifetime.