The Illinois Rail Splitter’s influence can be felt across the Land of Lincoln, but his relationship with Chicago was pivotal in his journey to the national stage. Lincoln first came to Chicago in 1847, a year before the Illinois-Michigan Canal opened and brought spectacular wealth to the region. The midwestern metropolis is where Lincoln met the backers who ultimately propelled him into the White House. Tens of thousands of Chicagoans viewed his coffin at its last stop before its final destination in Springfield. John Toman and Michael Frutig explore how the people of Chicago managed to get their man into power on the eve of the greatest crisis the nation had ever faced.