REPORT OF JESSE B. THOMAS, AS A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY THE CHICAGO HARBOR AND RIVER CONVENTION, OF THE STATISTICS CONCERNING THE CITY OF CHICAGO. Jesse Thomas.

REPORT OF JESSE B. THOMAS, AS A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY THE CHICAGO HARBOR AND RIVER CONVENTION, OF THE STATISTICS CONCERNING THE CITY OF CHICAGO.

Chicago: Printed by R. L. Wilson, Daily Journal Office, 1847. 32pp. Disbound without wrappers, else Very Good.

A scarce, desirable Chicago imprint, marking Lincoln's first appearance in a nationally circulated newspaper [Donald, Lincoln, page 151]. The 1847 Convention was called to protest President Polk's veto of the River and Harbor Bill, which had included an appropriation to develop Chicago's harbor. Chicagoans considered harbor development absolutely essential to the City's future prosperity. Thomas, the "official statistician of the convention," produced this Report, which "gives statistics on trade and commerce, lists vessels owned at Chicago and other lake ports, and describes the Chicago harbor" [Byrd]. His Report, "a sketch of the history of Chicago from the treaty of Greenville of 1796 to date, including the disastrous speculation that collapsed in 1837, is followed by various tables, including tables of population in 1840 of 4,853 that had increased in 1845 to 12,088" [Streeter]. Thomas's purpose was to demonstrate the advantages of Chicago's harbor development and the necessity of federal funding.
The delegates included the era's most prominent Whigs and other advocates of federal financing of infrastructure. They opposed President Polk's view that Congress lacked constitutional power to fund internal improvements. "As the sole Whig congressman-elect from Illinois, Lincoln attracted some attention, and his name first appeared in a nationally circulated newspaper when Horace Greeley in the New York Tribune mentioned that this 'tall specimen of an Illinoisan...spoke briefly and happily' to the convention" [Donald].
FIRST EDITION. Howes T174aa. Streeter Sale 1491. McMurtrie 88. Byrd 1254. Not in Graff or Eberstadt. Item #30269

Price: $1,250.00

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