My grgrgrandfather Daniel O'Keefe and his wife Anne left County Cork shortly after their marriage c. 1840. All of their neighbors walked with them some 20 to 30 miles with bag pipes and drums to see them off. They arrived somewhere in Connecticut where he had a letter to the governor of that state. He worked for a short time in a marble works and then procured a government land grant of 160 acres of land in Lake Forest,Ill. The above is from my great-uncle's memoirs.
Does anyone know why an Irishman would have a letter to the governor of Connecticut or what "marble works" he might have worked in? I also want to know how or from whom he "procured" the government land grant in Lake Forest, Ill. Any help would be appreciated. He was settled in Lake Forest by 1844, when my ggrandmother was born.