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Another Look at Abraham Lincoln as a Lobbyist

By Ronald S. Vasile

In 1999, while going through the annual reports of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, I found a reference to Abraham Lincoln.1 Not finding this fact mentioned in Wayne Temple’s earlier work on Lincoln and the canal,2 I notified Chuck Cali of the Illinois State Archives and he instituted the search that uncovered the receipts signed by Lincoln in the I&M Canal papers. On reading Temple’s subsequent article on Lincoln as a lobbyist, I was somewhat surprised that the author did not mention the role of others in finding these hitherto unknown Lincoln documents. 3 More importantly, however, my research on the I&M Canal led me to question Temple’s account of the Haven lawsuit. Before detailing these errors, however, a little background is perhaps in order.

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