The Illinois and Michigan Canal, 1827–1911
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives

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April 20, 1830

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The first public sale of canal lands took place at Springfield over April 19-21, 1830 (see document 2). The state capitol at this time was located at Vandalia, some sixty-five miles to the south. Springfield was home to approximately 900 residents in 1830. State law enacted in 1829 required a minimum purchase price of $1.25 per acre. All sales were conducted on a cash only basis. Once in possession of one of the certificates represented here, purchasers could present the same to the governor who in turn was required to issue a land patent for the land specified.

Both of these land sale certificates were for parcels in present day La Salle County. Both Abraham Trumbo and John Green had come to Illinois from Licking County, Ohio in 1830. When La Salle County, Illinois first elected county officers in the spring of 1831, Trumbo and Green were selected to be two of La Salle's first three county commissioners. Trumbo died in 1865 at the age of seventy-three. Green was eighty-four when he died in 1874.

Points to Consider

How large is an acre of land?
What is the west half of the southeast quarter of section number 23, township number 33 north, range 4 east?
Abraham Trumbo and John Green respectively had $100.00 and $204.48 in cash with which to buy land in 1830. What does this fact tell about them?
Vandalia was the state capitol in 1830. Why was this sale being held in Springfield?

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