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Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/23 is a good formatting guide for the ends of the chapters. How does reflist work on these?




















In the preparation of this book it has not been the author's purpose to write an exhaustive treatise on the Constitutional Law of Iowa. On the contrary, he has aimed in these pages to give a narrative and descriptive account of the government of Iowa, divorced as far as possible from legal verbiage and prosaic references to articles, titles, chapters, sections, and paragraphs of Constitution, Code, and Statutes. For the convenience of students and teachers who desire the exact wording of the State Constitution, the text of that instrument has been added in an Appendix.

The tendency, in recent years, of constitution makers to limit the powers of the legislature by incorporating numerous and often non-essential subjects in the Constitution has made many of our State Constitutions lengthy documents. Sometimes we find jumbled up with the outline of the framework of the government subjects which have no place in a written Constitution. Where such provisions occur in the Constitution of Iowa, they have frequently been passed over by the author as unimportant in the study of Iowa government. Moreover, our State Constitution is not altogether systematic in its arrangement. Sometimes the same subject is referred to in several places. By the adoption of the topical method it is believed that a more convenient arrangement for study has been provided.

Wherever statutory legislation has supplemented constitutional provisions herein considered, the author has endeavored so far as practicable to make use of such material. Some of the newer institutional forms of democracy which have recently been enacted into law, such as the primary election, the commission plan of city government, and the like, have been included in the discussion. Statutory provisions are, of course, subject to change at any session of the General Assembly; and so, a text-book on State and local government must always be supplemented by legislation enacted subsequent to its publication.

The purpose of the author has been to explain both the organization and the functions of government. Nor has he hesitated to express freely his own opinions relative to the organization or activities of the State. Teachers and students alike must always bear in mind the fact that government in the United States is popular government, and that changes in organization and administration are constantly being made to meet the most recent demands of the people. The old notion that the individual exists for the State has been discarded: we now say that the State exists for the individual. Government is a very human institution and at every point the human element is apparent. It should be the duty of the teacher to instil sound notions of public morality, to teach both the spirit and the letter of the law, and to encourage the pupil to observe for himself the actual workings of government so that he may ever after take an intelligent and high-minded interest in public affairs.

The author is especially indebted to Professor Benjamin F. Shambaugh, Head of the Department of Political Science in the State University of Iowa, for his many valuable suggestions during the preparation of this book, and for his critical reading of the entire manuscript. Furthermore, the Maps Illustrative of the Boundary History of Iowa were compiled by Professor Shambaugh in connection with an article written by him for The Iowa Journal of History and Politics. The maps are copyrighted by the State Historical Society of Iowa and are reproduced here by permission of the Society.

The plates for the map showing the accessions of territory from the Indians, made for the Iowa Census of 1905, were kindly loaned by Hon. A. H. Davison, Secretary of the Executive Council of Iowa. Professor John E. Brindley of Ames kindly read and revised the chapter on taxation, and Professor Forrest C. Ensign, State High School Inspector, gave many helpful suggestions in reference to our school system. To Dr. Dan E. Clark, Assistant Editor for the State Historical Society of Iowa, I am deeply indebted for the excellent index to this volume, and for his careful and expert proof reading. To many others who have given me encouragement and assistance, I am likewise much indebted.


The State University of Iowa,
Iowa City, Iowa,
chapter page
I. The Land and Resources 1
II. Population and Ethnic Elements 6
III. Early History and Explorations 13
IV. The Foundations of Government in Iowa 22
V. The Organic Act and Constitutions of Iowa 26
VI. Our Civil Rights 35
VII. Suffrage, Elections, Party Machinery 43
VIII. The Legislative Department 51
IX. The House of Representatives, or Lower House 60
X. The Senate, or Upper House 69
XI. The Executive Department 73
XII. Administrative Officers, Boards, and Commissions 87
XIII. The Judicial Department 105
XIV. The County and its Government 112
XV. The Civil Township and its Government 122
XVI. The Government of Cities and Towns 125
XVII. Amendments to the Constitution 135
XVIII. Taxation 139
XIX. Education and the School System 145
XX. Social and Economic Legislation 155
Appendix —The Constitution of Iowa 167
Index 207


Map I. Illustrative of Indian Land Cessions in Iowa

between pages 8 and 9

Map II. Illustrative of the Northwest Territory, the Territory of Indiana, and the Territory of Michigan

between pages 18 and 19

Map III. Illustrative of the Boundaries of the Original Territory of Wisconsin and the Separate Territory of Iowa

between pages 20 and 21

Map IV. Illustrative of the Lucas Boundaries

between pages 28 and 29

Map V. Illustrative of the Nicollet Boundaries

between pages 30 and 31

Map VI. Illustrative of the Date of Establishment and Present Boundaries of Counties in Iowa

between pages 112 and 113




The Physical Basis of Government. — Physiography has always been an important factor in moulding the character of a people and determining the nature of their political institutions. We may, therefore, better understand our own State by first considering its physical features and its material resources. Iowa is renowned as an agricultural and stock-raising Commonwealth. It lies in the very heart of the great Mississippi Valley, a region unsurpassed in the productiveness of its soil. In fact, a large part of the world looks to the Mississippi Valley for its necessary food supply.

The State Boundaries. — The State of Iowa stretches from the majestic Mississippi on the east to the rapid Missouri on the west. It is bounded on the north by Minnesota, and on the south by Missouri. The exact location of the southern boundary line almost precipitated an armed conflict between Iowa, which was then a Territory, and Missouri, in 1839. Within this imperfect rectangular area lie 55,475 square miles, or 35,504,000 acres, of the most fertile land the sun has ever shone upon.

The Land. — Iowa is usually described as a rolling prairie; and such, indeed, is its general topography. One of our State Geologists, the late Professor Samuel Calvin, says: "It would seem that a very short chapter ought to be sufficient to include all that can be said concerning the physical features of Iowa; for the state is simply an extensive plain — over large areas a very monotonous plain — lying between the great rivers and rising but little above them at any point." Yet here and there, especially along the watercourses, rugged hills and picturesque bluffs often rise to the height of three or four hundred feet. A part of this hilly region in the northeastern part of the State has aptly been called "the Switzerland of Iowa."

The Prairies. — "It is estimated," says Dr. White, an earlier State Geologist, "that seven-eighths of the surface of Iowa was prairie when the State was first settled." To the early explorer and pioneer, who had fought his way through the stubborn forests and underbrush of the eastern part of the continent, these treeless prairies were an object of great wonder and interest. To stand upon them was like being out in midocean. The horizon seemed like a perfect circle; and the heavens rose like an inverted bowl above the explorer's head. Is it any wonder that on some of the early maps the Iowa country is designated as a "Great Desert"? The early pioneers clung to watercourses, where timber, so necessary for building and fuel most abounded. They seemed to be afraid to settle in the open country, being ignorant of the richness of the prairie soil.

The Work of the Glaciers. — How came Iowa to be a country in which the plough found itself almost independent of the axe and the grub hook? Geology, whose records have been written deep across the whole face of this fair Commonwealth, must answer. Professor Calvin says that "these geologic records, untampered with, and unimpeachable, declare that for uncounted years Iowa, together with the great valley of the Mississippi, lay beneath the level of the sea. So far as it was inhabited at all, marine forms of animals and plants were its only occupants." Countless ages passed; the waters disappeared; plant and animal life came to abound only to be ground down and destroyed later by the great sheets of ice and snow which flowed down from the north. Devastating as they were, the glaciers made Iowa what it is to-day.

The Soil. — "Soils of uniform excellence would have been impossible," says Professor Calvin, "in a non-glacial Iowa. The soils of Iowa have a value equal to all of the silver and gold mines of the world combined. And for this rich heritage of soils we are indebted to great rivers of ice that overflowed Iowa from the north and northwest. The glaciers in their long journey ground up the rocks over which they moved and mingled the fresh rock flour from granites of British America and northern Minnesota with pulverized limestones and shales of more southern regions, and used these rich materials in covering up the bald rocks and leveling the irregular surface of preglacial Iowa." Thus in the course of the ages Iowa was made habitable for plant, animal, and man through the operation of natural laws.

The Resources of Iowa. — The census of Iowa for the year 1905 gives the number of farms in the State as 209,163, representing 33,228,109 acres of land. The estimated value of these farms is $1,552,106,449, not including the value of buildings and farm implements. Upon these 209,163 farms the great bulk of the wealth of Iowa is produced. Corn is the chief farm product, the annual crop being estimated at 346,577,988 bushels; but wheat, oats, barley, and rye are also produced in goodly quantities, to say nothing of hay, vegetables, fruits, and berries. The total value of farm products in Iowa in the year 1905 was estimated at $203,888,540. The value of live stock (cattle, hogs, sheep, horses, and fowls) upon the farms of Iowa is even greater than the value of the products of the soil, being estimated in 1905 at $218,447,468. If now we add to these two already large sums the value of the Iowa farms and the estimated annual value of the mineral products, such as coal, clay, stone, gypsum, lead, and zinc ($14,961,293), we have a grand total of $437,297,301. But these figures, almost beyond comprehension, still give us only an imperfect idea of the wealth of Iowa. Manufactures are rapidly growing in this great agricultural and stock-raising State; and the value of the annual products of 4788 manufacturing establishments is given as $160,604,161.

The Railroads. — To carry the products of Iowa to the markets of the world, private enterprise has literally covered the State with a network of railroads. Over nine thousand miles of rails traverse the State; and every one of our ninety-nine counties is crossed by one or more railroads. Indeed, it is asserted that few farmers are more than ten miles distant from a railroad station.

The Climate. — It is not the soil alone that has made Iowa rich and prosperous: the climate must also be taken into account. Millions of acres of fertile land are scarcely better than a desert of sand if climatic conditions are not favorable to the growth of plant and animal life. The director of the Iowa Weather and Crop Service says: "Situated near the geographical center of the United States, too far inland to receive the equalizing thermal effects of winds blowing directly from the oceans, the climate of Iowa is strictly continental in type. This implies a very wide range in temperature, winters of considerable severity, summers of almost tropical heat, and a large percentage of sunshine as compared with insular regions. As there are no mountain ranges, nor considerable differences in the altitude of the several sections, the climate of the state is quite homogeneous.… In fact, it is the best watered and most productive mid-continent region known on earth. Its worst drouths and seasons of floods have never been famine breeders." A complete failure of crops has never been known in Iowa.



1. What is the area of Iowa in square miles? In acres?

2. Why were the prairies avoided by the earliest settlers?
3. What has made the soil of Iowa so fertile?
4. What are the chief farm products of Iowa?
5. What are the chief mineral products of Iowa?
6. What are the characteristics of the Iowa climate?



The Making of a State. — A fertile soil and a genial climate are two very necessary elements in the creation of a Commonwealth. A third and most important factor is an intelligent, honest, and industrious people. It has been Iowa's good fortune to have such a population, without which, indeed, the figures given in the previous chapter could never have been written. But long before Iowa was settled by white men other peoples dwelt upon our rivers and roamed across our prairies.

Prehistoric Man. — The antiquity of mankind has always been a subject of greatest interest to man himself. As a human habitat Iowa is very old. Whether man was here before the glaciers is not at all certain. Evidences there are that a race or races of human beings dwelt in the Iowa country for countless generations before Columbus ever thought of his great western voyage. And even after the great discovery by Columbus, nearly two centuries had passed before the white man had gone so far into the interior of this continent as the Iowa country.

The Mound Builders. — It is believed that primitive man moved north as the glaciers disappeared, and that this first human inhabitant of the Mississippi Valley was Eskimoid in type. "It is supposed," says Dr. Duren J. H. Ward, "that this little Eskimoid man was followed by the famous Mound Builder, who finally spread his art and civilization up and down the Mississippi Valley and east and west for great distances. His characteristic works are found in Ohio and in Iowa, in Louisiana and in Wisconsin. He has left a vast amount of evidence as to his physical characteristics and the material stage of his civilization; but he is withal a great mystery. His mounds, so numerous, constitute together the most baffling problem in Archæology. What are they, what were they for? Some of them are doubtless the remains of his dwelling places, but many are not. Some have religious significance; some may have been for defence. Doubtless in many of them is buried the owner of the lodge which once existed thereon or thereby. Probably with his bones are to be found his implements of peace and war, and oft-times, too, the bones of his slaves and his wives, who were sacrificed to accompany his spirit on the long voyage to the land of the Great Spirit."

What became of the Mound Builder is a great mystery. He had disappeared, no one knows how long, before the first white man discovered the Mississippi Valley. That he lived in Iowa in great numbers is evidenced by the mounds which may be found on the banks of nearly every stream of any consequence in the State.

The Indians. — The Mound Builder was displaced, or at all events followed, by the North American Indians — a people who to-day are rapidly approaching extermination. When the country west of the Mississippi was first explored by the whites, the Sioux Indians were found in possession of Minnesota and northern Iowa. This family of red men consisted of the following tribes: Sissetons, Ioways, Winnebagoes, Osages, Otoes, Missouris, and Omahas. The tribes of the Algonquin family, consisting of the Sacs, Foxes, Illinois, Pottawattamies, Ottaways, and Chippewas, occupied northern Missouri and southern Iowa. Of all of these tribes only a bare remnant of the Foxes still remain in Iowa. They are found along the Iowa River in Tama County and are known as the Meskwaki Indians.

Indian Conflicts. — Although the warlike spirit of the Indian had been much broken by his contact with the white man, the possession of the Iowa country was not given up without a struggle. Indian raids and depredations within the limits of Iowa are recorded as late as 1863. The most bloody of these Indian outbreaks was the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857. The Black Hawk War, which was waged in 1832, was, however, the one great contest between the white man and the Indian of the Iowa country. It was fought in Illinois and Wisconsin, and resulted in the first cession of lands in the Iowa country in September, 1832.

Indian Cessions of Land. — A restless throng of immigrants, with all their worldly possessions packed in covered wagons, were waiting on the frontier eager to enter the Indian country and there to make permanent homes and settlements. Little by little the Indians were induced or coerced to give up their rights to occupy the Iowa lands.

Map I. Showing Cessions of Territory by the Indians

The most important of these Indian land cessions were: the Black Hawk Purchase of 1832; the Keokuk Reserve of 1836; the Cession of 1837; and the Cession of 1842. (See Map I of Indian Cessions.) In all of these transactions the Indian was not always fairly dealt with. Here in Iowa history has again been repeated. An inferior race had to give way to the more energetic and enterprising Caucasian. The Indian is gone forever; but the names of our rivers, creeks, lakes, cities, counties, townships, and even the State itself perpetuate his memory.

The Earliest White Settlers. — Probably the first white settler within the present limits of the State of Iowa was Julien Dubuque, who crossed the Mississippi in 1788, made friends with the Indians, married a squaw, and obtained from the Indians a lease of the lead mines in the vicinity of the present city of Dubuque. A few other settlements were made during the last quarter of the eighteenth century under Spanish grants, some of which were afterwards confirmed by the United States government as valid claims.

The Permanent Settlement of Iowa. — After the Indian title had been extinguished by the Black Hawk Purchase, settlers began literally to pour into the Iowa country even before they were legally entitled to do so. From 1830 it became apparent that Iowa was destined to be a land of homes and permanent settlements. Towns sprang up with mushroom rapidity, some of which (such as Dubuque, Burlington, Davenport, and Keokuk) have continued to flourish and prosper. Others, like Napoleon, Buffalo, and New Boston, have disappeared and yielded up their sites to the cultivation of corn.

Whence came the Iowa Pioneers. — Whence the early settlers came has been the subject of some lively discussion. There has long been a tradition that Iowa was settled for the most part by New Englanders. On the other hand, it is well known that southeastern Iowa was settled largely by Southerners. In fact, the early settlers of Iowa came from all parts of the Union. Now it is reasonable to suppose that where government is in the hands of the people, the nativity of those in charge of the activities of government would be a pretty safe guide to the nativity of the population. This seems to be especially true in a pioneer community. The first Constitutional Convention of Iowa, which met in 1844, was composed of 72 members. Of these, one was born in Germany, one in Scotland, and one in Ireland. Of those born in the United States, thirteen were from Pennsylvania, eleven from Virginia, nine from New York, eight from Kentucky, eight from Ohio, six from North Carolina, six from Vermont, and one each from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois. The early settlers of Iowa represented the whole Union and not any one section of it.

The Growth of Population. — In 1838 the Territory of Iowa had a population of 22,859; by 1844 this number had increased to 75,152. This rapid growth in population represents the pioneer scramble for cheap land in a fertile region. When Iowa was admitted into the Union in 1846 the population numbered 102,388. And in the ten years from 1846 to 1856 it increased four times over. A writer in 1854 states that "immigrants to Iowa wait days to get a chance to be ferried across the river. They come in crowds a mile long, from every land, and the cry is 'still they come,' the immigration to northern Iowa exceeds anything ever seen or heard of except the stampede to California." The population of the State continued to gain up to 1900 when it numbered 2,231,853. In 1905 the returns showed but 2,210,050 — a decrease of 21,803 since 1900. The Federal census of 1910 shows a population of 2,224,771, an increase of 14,721 since 1905, but a decrease of 7,082 since 1900. In the ten years since 1900 the population has decreased in seventy-one counties of the State and increased in but twenty-eight. Cheaper lands in Canada, the far west, and the southwest have been attracting the young men of Iowa, as the Iowa country in the forties and fifties attracted their grandfathers from the older States.

Ethnic Elements. — The earliest settlers were mostly native born, that is, born in the United States, of English, Huguenot, Scotch-Irish, and Dutch extraction. During the fifties the Germans and Irish came direct from their native countries to Iowa in considerable numbers. The first settlement of Dutch was made at Pella in 1847. Since the Civil War large numbers of Slavs, Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians have come to the State. The mingling of these various ethnic elements in Iowa has produced a vigorous, industrious, and intelligent people, who have made Iowa what it is to-day. According to the census of 1905 there were in the State 1,264,443 native white persons of native parents, 648,532 native white of foreign parents, 282,296 foreign born, and 14,831 colored. Nearly one-third of the population of the State is resident in towns of over 1000 inhabitants — thus showing the tendency of the people to migrate to the towns and cities in a great agricultural State like Iowa.



1. What purposes did the mounds of the Mound Builders serve?

2. What tribe of Indians is still found in Iowa?
3. What was the worst Indian outbreak in the history of Iowa?
4. Why were the Indians forced out of Iowa?
5. Who was the first white settler in Iowa?
6. From what parts of the Union did the pioneers of Iowa come?
7. What has caused a decrease in population in recent years?
8. Name the chief nationalities represented in Iowa's population.



The Struggle for the Middle West. — Although Iowa as a State is comparatively young, the early history of the Iowa country is full of the romance of exploration, adventure, and international conflict. The Iowa country was in a region coveted by the three great nations of Spain, France, and England. Each of these nations struggled for the possession of the vast unexplored domain west of the Mississippi.

Early Explorers. De Soto. — Of De Soto's unfortunate Spanish expedition but little is known except that it was conceived in an avarice for gold and left a trail of slaughter and devastation. In 1541 De Soto discovered the lower Mississippi River, and the next year was buried in its waters. After wandering for several years, they scarcely knew where, across the southern part of the United States, scarcely two hundred and fifty of his army of one thousand men survived to return to the Spanish settlements.

Nicollet. — Although he did not reach Iowa, the great journey of Nicollet in 1634 prepared the way for subsequent discoveries. Jean Nicollet, a Frenchman, sought to find a short water route to China from the Great Lakes; and it is said that he carried with him a gorgeous Mandarin's robe that he might be suitably dressed when he arrived at the Chinese court. He found, however, only naked Indians along the Wisconsin River.

Radisson and Grosseilliers. — Radisson and his brother-in-law Grosseilliers made a western expedition in 1660. Launching their canoes upon Lake Superior, they followed the south shore to the end of the lake. They then made an extensive overland journey which probably took them as far west as the Mississippi. In his journal Radisson mentions, among the Indian tribes he had met, the Maingonis. "These," says Professor Lænas G. Weld, "were probably the Moingonas, who at this period dwelt along the Illinois River, though they were found in Iowa not many years later. Our capital city is named from the river Des Moines, i.e. La riviere des Moingonas" It is believed that this is the earliest appearance of the name Des Moines in history.

Marquette and Joliet. — To Iowans the famous first voyage of Marquette and Joliet down the Mississippi in 1673 is of the greatest interest. For they were the first white men to discover the upper Mississippi and to make explorations within the present limits of the State of Iowa. From Marquette's journal and map we know that it was upon June 25, 1673, that the two men landed near the mouth of the Iowa River in Louisa County,[1] and proceeded inland along the Iowa River for some miles. Having discovered a village of Illinois Indians, they tarried several days before continuing their journey down the Mississippi. Marquette and Joliet made their journey under French auspices.

Du Luth. — This man, after whom the flourishing Minnesota city on Lake Superior has been named, was the leader of a band of Frenchmen who carried on trade with the Indians, contrary to the king's orders, between 1678 and 1681. But these wood rangers or Coureurs de bois, as they were called, did much to extend the French trade and influence in the Northwest.

La Salle. — Ambitious to extend French power in the West, La Salle conducted several expeditions through the Mississippi Valley between the years 1669 and 1687. Though disappointments and misfortunes accompanied most of his undertakings, La Salle clung steadfastly to his purpose; and the French based their claims to the Louisiana Territory largely upon the results of his discoveries and explorations. He lost his life in 1687 at the treacherous hands of a member of his own party.

Hennepin. — Father Louis Hennepin, as a member of one of La Salle's expeditions, explored the Mississippi to its sources in 1680. He gave the name of Saint Anthony to the beautiful falls on the upper Mississippi; and his published accounts of the "New Discovery" were widely read throughout the civilized world.

The French Title Confirmed. — These and other discoveries and explorations confirmed the title of France to the Mississippi Valley; while the reports of the explorers and the accounts of wilderness adventures roused many an ambitious youth to follow the trails into the wilderness. It was on the ninth day of April, 1682, that La Salle unfurled the French flag at the mouth of the Mississippi River and formally took possession of the entire valley in the name of the king of France. He gave to the country the name Louisiana in honor of his king, Louis XIV.

The Louisiana Country. — France and England had long been enemies at home; and so it is not surprising that they were likewise enemies in the new world. France finally lost Canada and the Ohio Valley to the British, and secretly bestowed upon Spain the trans-Mississippi country. The success of the American colonies in their war for independence gave to them, in addition to the territory of the thirteen original States, the territory west of the Alleghanies and east of the Mississippi River. In 1800 Spain receded the Louisiana country to France. By this time the American pioneers were rapidly pushing westward, only to find their chief avenue of commerce — the Mississippi River — blocked at the mouth by grievous burdens laid upon commerce by the Spanish and French authorities.

The Purchase of Louisiana. — President Jefferson sent a commission to France to purchase the French rights at the mouth of the river; but Napoleon, fearing that Louisiana like the other French possessions in America, might any day fall into the hands of his British enemies, persuaded the Commissioners to take the whole province of Louisiana for something over $15,000,000. Thus, Iowa, though as yet unnamed, first became a part of the United States in 1803. The periods of French, Spanish, and again French control of the Iowa country, however, left little or no permanent impress upon its future government, because the country was as yet unsettled.

The Government of the New Purchase. — On March 26, 1804, Congress made provision for the government of the newly acquired country by dividing it into two jurisdictions — the Territory of Orleans and the District of Louisiana. The Territory of Orleans in no way concerns the history of Iowa; but the District of Louisiana, of which Iowa was a part, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Governor and Judges of the Territory of Indiana. It was in 1804, while the Iowa country was under the jurisdiction of the Governor and Judges of the Territory of Indiana, that Governor William Henry Harrison, afterwards President of the United States, made the famous treaty with the Indians at St. Louis, which was later one of the causes of the Black Hawk War.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition. — The United States now authorized several military expeditions into the newly acquired area for the purpose of getting more accurate information relative to the nature of the country. The first and most famous of these was the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806). Making their way up the Missouri River, Lewis and Clark passed along the western border of Iowa. Sergeant Floyd, the only person who died on the expedition, was buried on Iowa soil near the present site of Sioux City; and his memory is perpetuated in the names of Floyd River and Floyd County and by a monument near his grave erected jointly by the government of the United States and the government of Iowa.

The Pike Expedition. — In 1805 Zebulon Montgomery Pike led an expedition from St. Louis to the source of the Mississippi River for the purpose of selecting suitable sites for military posts. He visited the lead mines of Dubuque, and there had a personal interview with Julien Dubuque. He also met and conversed with Black Hawk on Iowa soil. His journal of the expedition contains many references to the eastern border of the Iowa country.

Early Governments. — From 1805 to 1812 the Iowa country formed a part of the Territory of Louisiana. In 1812 it was included in the Territory of Missouri. When, however, Missouri was admitted into the Union in 1821, the Iowa country was apparently forgotten until 1834, when it was "attached to, and made a part of, the Territory of Michigan" for the purpose of temporary government. (See Map II.) Since the Iowa country was not permanently inhabited by white men before 1830, its political history up to that date is scarcely more than a record of changes in sovereign and subordinate jurisdictions.

The Expedition of the United States Dragoons. — In 1833 Congress created the First United States Dragoons, a military organization established to insure a more perfect defence of the frontier country. Its marches extended over five of the States of the Mississippi Valley, serving not only as a body for defence, but also conducting

explorations, holding councils, and making treaties with the various Indian tribes.

On June 7, 1835, Companies B, H, and I of the Dragoons left Fort Des Moines in Lee County, marched 1100 miles across the eastern part of Iowa and as far north as Wabasha's village on the Mississippi River in Minnesota, and returned by a more westwardly route August 19, 1835, without the loss of a single horse or man. Lieutenant Albert M. Lea was in command of Company I, and was also the official "topographer and chronicler" of the expedition. It is in Albert Lea's Notes on the Wisconsin Territory that much information of vital interest in the early history of Iowa has been preserved.

The Naming of Iowa. — Marquette and Joliet had discovered Iowa: it remained for an American citizen to christen it. There has been some dispute as to the exact meaning of the word "Iowa";[2] but there can be no dispute as to who gave the name to the country west of the Mississippi. Albert M. Lea's Notes on the Wisconsin Territory, particularly with Reference to the Iowa District or Black Hawk Purchase, published in 1836, was the first descriptive account in which the name Iowa was applied to the country west of the Mississippi. In this little book the author in referring to that part of the Wisconsin Territory which lay west of the Mississippi says : ". . . from the extent and beauty of the Iowa river which runs centrally through the District, and gives character to most of it, the name of that stream being both euphoneous and appropriate, has been given to the District itself." Thus Iowa was first named by Albert M. Lea, who took the name from the Iowa River. The name Iowa seemed to meet with general favor and was soon universally adopted.

The Territory of Wisconsin. — It was on the fourth day of July, 1836, that the original Territory of Wisconsin, of which the Iowa District was a part, was organized under an act of Congress. (See Map II.) So rapid was the growth of population in the Iowa District that the capital of Wisconsin Territory, which had originally been located at Belmont on the east side of the Mississippi in 1836, was moved to the town of Burlington on the west side of the river within a year.

The Territory of Iowa. — No sooner had the Territory of Wisconsin been organized than a movement was started to establish a separate territory west of the Mississippi. In his Notes on the Wisconsin Territory, Albert M. Lea said: "Though this District may be considered, for a time, as forming a part of the Wisconsin Territory, yet the intelligent reader will have little difficulty in foreseeing that a separate government will soon be required for Iowa." On June 12, 1838, President Van Buren gave his approval to an act to divide the original Territory of Wisconsin and to establish the territorial government of Iowa. (See Map III.) The political existence of Iowa as a separate and distinct government began on the fourth day of July, 1838. Eight years afterwards, on December 28, 1846, Iowa was admitted into the Union with the present State boundaries. (See Map IV.)


1. What nations sought possession of the Mississippi Valley?

2. Who were the first white men to discover and land in Iowa?
3. Who explored the upper Mississippi?
4. How was the French title to the Mississippi Valley gained?
5. Why did the United States want the mouth of the Mississippi River?
6. Who was Sergeant Floyd, and why is his memory perpetuated in Iowa?
7. Why was the government of the Iowa country prior to 1830 of but little importance?
8. Who deserves the credit of having named Iowa?
9. From what was the name "Iowa" derived?
10. When was Iowa established as a separate territory?



The Squatter Governments. — History records how the Pilgrim fathers, coming without government authority to the new world, drew up the famous Mayflower Compact to insure among themselves an orderly civil society. The pioneers of Iowa, settling upon lands as yet unsurveyed and unprovided with local constitutional government, likewise voluntarily entered into agreements to secure peace, order, and justice.

The Miners' Compact. — The neglected and abandoned mines of Spain at Dubuque were reopened by miners early in the year 1830. And as Congress had made no provision for the local government of the Iowa country after the admission of Missouri in 1821, the miners at Dubuque met around an old Cottonwood log and organized themselves into a body politic by drawing up the following regulations:

Dubuque Mines, June 17, 1830.

We, a committee, having been chosen to draft certain rules and regulations, by which we, as miners, will be governed; and, having duly considered the subject, do unanimously agree that we will be governed by the regulations on the east side of the Mississippi River, with the following exceptions, to wit:

Article I. — That each and every man shall hold two hundred yards square of ground by working said ground one day in six.

Article II. — We further agree, that there shall be chosen by the majority of the miners present, a person who shall hold this article, and who shall grant letters of arbitration, on application being made, and that said letter [of] arbitration shall be obligatory on the parties concerned so applying.

To the above, we the undersigned subscribe.

J. L. Langworthy, Samuel H. Scoles,
H. F. Lander, E. M. Urn.
James McPheeters,

The Squatters and the Law. — Zachary Taylor, in command of United States troops at Prairie du Chien, sent Jefferson Davis, at this time a young army officer, with a detachment of troops to drive the Dubuque miners and other settlers back to the east side of the river; for Congress had as early as 1785 and again in 1807 declared that no settlements should be made on any part of the public domain until the Indian title thereto had been extinguished and the land surveyed. And again in 1833 the act of 1807 was revived with special reference to the Iowa country. But as Professor Benjamin F. Shambaugh aptly says in his History of the Constitutions of Iowa, ". . . the pioneers on their way to the trans-Mississippi prairies did not pause to read the United States Statutes at Large. They outran the public surveyors. They ignored the act of 1807. And it is doubtful if they ever heard of the act of March 2, 1833. Some were bold enough to cross the Mississippi and put in crops even before the Indian title had expired; some squatted on unsurveyed lands; and others, late comers, settled on surveyed territory."

The Character of the Squatters. — When the Congressional survey was first begun in Iowa in 1836, there were Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/54 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/55 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/56 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/57 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/58 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/63 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/64 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/69 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/70 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/71 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/72 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/73 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/74 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/75 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/76 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/77 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/78 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/79 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/80 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/81 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/82 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/83 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/84 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/85 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/86 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/87 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/88 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/89 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/90 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/91 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/92 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/93 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/94 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/95 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/96 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/97 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/98 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/99 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/100 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/101 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/102 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/103 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/104 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/105 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/106 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/107 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/108 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/109 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/110 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/111 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/112 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/113 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/114 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/115 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/116 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/117 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/118 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/119 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/120 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/121 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/122 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/123 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/124 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/125 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/126 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/127 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/128 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/129 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/130 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/131 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/132 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/133 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/134 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/135 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/136 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/137 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/138 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/139 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/140 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/141 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/142 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/143 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/144 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/145 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/146 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/147 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/148 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/149 Page:The Government of Iowa 1911.djvu/150

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  1. Weld's Joliet and Marquette in Iowa in the Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. I, No. I, pp. 3-16.
  2. "This is the place" or Beautiful Land" are generally accepted.