Laravel API Authentication Middleware

Laravel 5.6 has a native API authentication middleware as an alternative to Passport (https://laravel.com/docs/5.6/passport). If you are not running an up-to-date version of PHP on your servers however, you are going to have some difficulties using Password (as I learned the hard way). After doing some digging I ran across an article for versions 5.2 and 5.3 (see link below) which I found still applicable.

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