A Community in Search of Itself: A Case History of Cairo, Illinois

Synopsis

Cairo, Illinois, at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, was a city favored by geography and climate. It was founded in the early 1800s on great expectations. Its location at the head of major rivers navigable both summer and winter and its proximity to coal fields generated predictions that Cairo would soon surpass Louisville, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and even Chicago. Yet itfailed to realize the success its promoters believed inevitable.

Using mainly primary sources such as newspapers, city council records, and census data, Herman R. Lantz has traced the history of the city and has pinpointed the economic, social, and psychological factors that helped to retard Cairo's progress while other cities with the same, or even fewer, advantages flourished. The result is an important socio-historical contribution that attempts to explore the process of community failure in the perspective of national success.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Carbondale, IL
Publication year:
  • 1972

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