Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
City of Big ShouldersA History of Chicago$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert G. Spinney

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749599

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749599.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 29 June 2022

Boom, Bust, and Recovery in Early Chicago, 1835–1850

Boom, Bust, and Recovery in Early Chicago, 1835–1850

(p.26) Chapter 3 Boom, Bust, and Recovery in Early Chicago, 1835–1850
City of Big Shoulders

Robert G. Spinney

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at the start of construction on the long-anticipated portage canal that would link Chicago with the westward-flowing Des Plaines River in 1836. It mentions Judge Theophilus Smith of the Illinois Supreme Court who predicted that Chicago would boast 20,000 inhabitants in twenty years and 50,000 in fifty years. The chapter describes the enthusiasm of the local residents of Chicago that were wildly optimistic about the town's prospects and their expectation of Chicago to grow quickly into a frontier metropolis. It also talks about the level-headed observers that had every reason to reject the prospects of Chicago dominating the Old Northwest since it was considered small, dirty, and unattractive in 1836. It describes Chicago's winters that were bitter and long, in which the ice closed Lake Michigan to shipping for at least one-third of every year.

Keywords:   Chicago, portage canal, Des Plaines River, Judge Theophilus Smith, frontier metropolis, Old Northwest, Lake Michigan

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.