Forgotten Waterway : The Illinois and Michigan Canal and Its Connection to Early Mormon History
John Whitmer Historical Association Journal
John Whitmer Historical Association
The article examines the role of the Illinois and Michigan Canal (I&M) in the establishment of economic opportunity and travel for Mormon settlers in northern Illinois in the 19th century. The article reviews the evolution of the I&M, its design and construction, and the formation of towns such as Chicago, Ottawa, and Peru along the canal route. It also describes Mormon canal travel and the establishment of a Mormon community in Commerce, Illinois, later called Nauvoo. The article discusses the visitation of Mormon communities along the I&M in May 1844 by Mormon leader Wilford Woodruff, Mormons who worked on the canal such as Jeremiah Leavitt, and Mormon high priest Rueben T. Nichols's move to Nauvoo from New York state.