Did Illinois, with Lincoln’s and Douglas’s Support, Build a Railroad in Louisiana and Mississippi?

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alan polk

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Came across this on Wikipedia. I always thought railroads in the South were more private/local ventures. What exactly was Illinois’s role in the railroad? Did the legislature pay for it, or how did it work? I had never thought of Lincoln’s role in its construction. Rather ironic that it was his army that would destroy parts of it years later.

Anyhow, could someone explain this a bit more? Wikipedia doesn’t go into much depth about it. Thanks.

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wbull1

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In 1851 Stephen A. Douglas was in the United States Senate, not the Illinois legislature. He got support for federal land grants for railroads. Lincoln was in the legislature which approved a charter. Lincoln supported the charter. Not all the land had been purchased. No stock was available for sale and the actual building did not start until years later. Approving the charter was an early step, allowing funds to be raised, stock to be sold, land to be acquired and so forth. The railroad did play a role in the Confederacy until the Union forces destroyed most of the tracks and rolling stock. IMHO it is more interesting looking back on what happened ten years after the event than it was at the time.
 

DaveBrt

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Charters were granted for the construction and running of railroads in a state by that states legislature. I would like to see an explanation of the involvement of the State of Illinois in the creation of this railroad.

A history of the construction and management of this road through the end of the war would be interesting. When President Ranney took over in the spring of 1860, he was confronted with a road that had not been surveyed completely (resulting in many law suits for trespassing), that had been built with many miles of track below high flood level (resulting in over a million dollars in repairs in less than 10 years), that had a large amount of debt about to come due for which the management had made no provision, and that had a large amount of rolling stock about to be delivered that was not required (including 7 locomotives and 11 passenger cars). Despite these problems, the road provided great assistance to the Confederate cause all the way to the end of the war.
 
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alan polk

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Charters were granted for the construction and running of railroads in a state by that states legislature. I would like to see an explanation of the involvement of the State of Illinois in the creation of this railroad.
Thanks. I thought it was strange, too. Below is the citation from the Wikipedia article. I tried to access the article but I can’t get my password on JSTOR to work.

Maybe someone will know how to access it via other means?

I really would like to know about the Illinois role. Thanks!

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DaveBrt

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Thanks. I thought it was strange, too. Below is the citation from the Wikipedia article. I tried to access the article but I can’t get my password on JSTOR to work.

Maybe someone will know how to access it via other means?

I really would like to know about the Illinois role. Thanks!

View attachment 320725
I have Estaville's Confederate Neckties, Louisiana Railroads in the Civil War. The article you cited is the basis for one chapter. The only mention of Illinois is the takeover of the road by the Illinois Central RR in 1878.
 

trice

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The Illinois Charter is for the Illinois Central RR. It is one of the several RRs needed to justify the "New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern" name -- but that RR terminated in Canton, MS. That connected it to the Mississippi Central, which took it to Jackson, MS. In Jackson, it connected to the Mobile & Ohio -- which finally completed in April 1861 in Columbus, KY. Then you moved by steamboat 18 miles to Cairo, IL where you could connect to the Illinois Central and the rest of the Northern RR system.

Basically, the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern RR is a big name for a small (206 mile) RR.
 
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trice

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Congressional act approving the acquisition of public land for building railroads.
The first two RRs to benefit from the land grants were:
  1. the Illinois Central RR chartered in Illinois
  2. the Mobile & Ohio RR chartered in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky (IIRR)
When they were completed (April 1861 in Columbus, KY), there was still an 18 mile gap to connect between them by steamboat.
 

alan polk

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USS ALASKA

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Sir, like the others, believe the '...originally commissioned by the State of Illinois...' to be in error.

The New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad Company was chartered in both Louisiana and Mississippi to build a railroad from New Orleans, La., to Jackson, Miss. It received financial support from both state governments as well as private investors. Commencing construction in 1852, the line was completed to Canton, Miss., in March 1858.

From the description of New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad shipment record, 1870-1873. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 429047897


'New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad Company' is available to read online at...


Also please see - https://civilwartalk.com/threads/civil-war-railroad-papers.149039/page-2#post-1953034

The IC started to cooperate with, invest in, then acquire, railroads south of the Ohio river post-war.


Now while not in any official capacity, I can see movers and shakers from Illinois cheering on and supporting any rail ventures from the Gulf that headed north towards the IC from a purely business perspective.

HTHs,
USS ALASKA
 

alan polk

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Sir, like the others, believe the '...originally commissioned by the State of Illinois...' to be in error.

The New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad Company was chartered in both Louisiana and Mississippi to build a railroad from New Orleans, La., to Jackson, Miss. It received financial support from both state governments as well as private investors. Commencing construction in 1852, the line was completed to Canton, Miss., in March 1858.

From the description of New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad shipment record, 1870-1873. (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 429047897


'New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad Company' is available to read online at...


Also please see - https://civilwartalk.com/threads/civil-war-railroad-papers.149039/page-2#post-1953034

The IC started to cooperate with, invest in, then acquire, railroads south of the Ohio river post-war.


Now while not in any official capacity, I can see movers and shakers from Illinois cheering on and supporting any rail ventures from the Gulf that headed north towards the IC from a purely business perspective.

HTHs,
USS ALASKA
Thanks, @USS ALASKA! I agree with your initial comment. And this serves as a prime example of how Wikipedia can get things wrong and should only be consulted with caution.

Also, thanks for the links you posted. When I get a chance, I will give them a thorough read!
 
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USS ALASKA

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And this serves as a prime example of how Wikipedia can get things wrong and should only be consulted with caution.
Agreed sir. For a topic I am unfamiliar with, I like to use wiki as a starting point - mainly for the links and references at the bottom of the page.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 
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