land covered with black walnut and hickory timber. A short distance above the mouth of Rock River we came to the great rapids of the Mississippi, which extend up the river a distance of eighteen miles.* These shoals are continuous chain of rocks, reaching in some places from shore to shore. They afford much more water than the Des Moines rapids, but the current is swifter and more difficult to ascend.”
On Saturday, August 31st, Lieutenant Pike writes:
“We saw an encampment of Fox Indians on the west shore of the river, on a beautiful eminence, which appeared to be an old town. It is about ninety miles above Rock Island by the river.”
At 12 o'clock the next day the explorers arrived at the “Mines of Spain.” Lieutenant Pike writes:
“We were saluted with a field piece by Monsieur Dubuque, the proprietor. There were no horses to take us to the mines, which were six miles west of the river, and it was impossible for me to make an inspection of them from the river. I therefore proposed ten queries, which Dubuque answered. The substance of his answers was, that the mineral lands were supposed to extend twenty-seven leagues in length and from one to three leagues in width. The ore yielded about 75 per cent, and from 20,000 to 40,000 pounds were annually formed into pig lead. From the first Reynard (Fox) village to the lead mines the Mississippi became narrower, but the navigation became less difficult. The shores consist in general of prairie, which, when not immediately bordering the river, can be seen through the skirts of forest that in some places line the banks. The timber is generally maple, birch and oak, and the soil very excellent.”†
On the 2d day of September the explorers reached Turkey River. The country is described as follows:
“From the lead mines to Turkey River, the Mississippi continues about the same width; the banks, soil and productions are entirely similar. Between the Iowa and Turkey rivers we found coming in from the west the Wabisapenkum (Wapsipinicon) river; it runs parallel with the Red Cedar, and has scarcely any wood on its banks. We next came to the
* The city of Davenport was afterward built on the west shore of the river at the foot of these rapids. The cities of Rock Island and Moline occupy the east shore, with a National Armory on Rock Island, which divides the river. These, with the wooded bluffs rising from either side, form one of the most beautiful and picturesque landscapes to be found in the west.
† While here Lieutenant Pike met the Sac and Fox chief, Black Hawk, who had just returned from leading a war party against the Sauteurs.