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Correspondence primarily concerns problems involving the national government such as federal land in Illinois, presidential electors, railroads, immigration, Spanish-American War Veterans' Fund, extraditions from foreign countries, and Interstate Commission Commission. State and local topics include insane asylum or jail escapes, urban riots, reform schools, state's attorneys' duties, status of aliens, roads, State Primary Canvassing Board, civil service, state militia, and an inventory of state property. The file also contains executive orders and proclamations, presidential executive orders and addresses, Illinois Supreme Court decisions, state and federal maps, newspaper clippings about politics and affidavits from law enforcement agencies. Most of the incoming and outgoing letters are between government officials on the local, state and national levels.
Lennington Small (1862-1936), Republican Governor of Illinois (1921-1929), was born June 16, 1862 on a farm near Kankakee, Ill. He attended Northern Indiana Normal School and a business college before teaching school and investing in real estate until he not only owned a farm but a bank and Kankakee's daily newspaper. When he was twenty one, Small became Secretary and eventually President of the State Board of Agriculture. After his marriage to Ida Moore in 1883, he was a county supervisor, secretary of the Kankakee Interstate Fair, Clerk of the Circuit Court and a member of the Republican State Committee. Small was elected State Senator (1900) and served twice as State Treasurer (1904-1907, and 1916-1919). President Taft appointed him Asst. U.S. Treasurer at Chicago and Small finished second in the Republican race for Governor (1912). Although Small was elected Governor in 1920, his two terms (1921-1929) were marred by a series of scandals. Despite these scandals, Small made his mark as a road builder with over 7000 miles of hard roads built during his term. Small, who ran for Governor six times, died on May 17, 1936, one month after his final unsuccessful bid as the Union Progressive candidate for Governor.
Record Series 101.028, Governor's Records, Lennington Small Correspondence, Illinois State Archives.
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