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Autobiography of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk by Black Hawk

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Is located on the bank of the river in Illinois, immediately opposite
to Davenport, and is a large and flourishing city, with a population
of about twelve thousand inhabitants. It has fine public buildings,
elegant churches and residences, substantial business blocks,
extensive manufactories and elegant water works. The city is lighted
by electric lights, from high towers, that cast their refulgent rays
over the entire city, which makes it the finest lighted city in the
west. There are two daily papers, (morning and evening) _The Union_
and _The Argus_, both enjoying the privilege of Press dispatches, and
both issue weeklies. _The Rock Islander_ is also published weekly, and
all have the appearance of great prosperity. The professions are
represented by men of fine ability, including some of wide reputation.
The banking business is done principally by two National Banks, that
have a deservedly high reputation, and are doing a large business.
There are two first-class hotels--the Harper House and Rock Island
House--and several of less pretentions. The city has large coal
fields, in close proximity, with railroads running daily to and from
the banks, by which the three cities are supplied.


Is located two miles up the river from Rock Island, but connected with
it by street railways. It has a population of over 8,000 inhabitants,
and is extensively known from its many manufacturing establishments,
which are supplied with water power from a dam across the river from
the Island.


When the writer first visited this most beautiful Island in the
Mississippi river, then and now known as Rock Island, the ground on
which the triplet cities of Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline now
stands, was covered with prairie grass, and apparently a sterile waste
as regards to the two former, whilst the latter was principally
covered with timber. Now how changed! Then the site of Davenport was
claimed to be the most beautiful on the west bank of the Mississippi,
between St. Paul and St. Louis by Black Hawk and his confreres, who
had traveled up and down the river in canoes, whilst his judgment was
confirmed by thousands of passengers who viewed it from steamboats in
after years. Now


are widely known as the leading manufacturing cities of the great
west, with railroads stretching out from ocean to ocean, and although
the Mississippi makes a dividing line, they are united by a
magnificent bridge, which makes their intercourse easier than over
paved streets.

Rock Island, at that time, was excluded from settlement by the orders
of Government, as it had been reserved, on the recommendation of Hon.
Lewis Cass, whilst he was in the Senate and Cabinet, as a site for a
United States Arsenal and Armory. Fort Armstrong was situated on the
lower end of the Island, and was then in command of Col. William
Davenport. The Sac and Fox agency (Maj. Davenport, agent,) stood on
the bank of the river about half a mile above the Fort; next came the
residence and office of Antoine Le Clair, United States Interpreter
for the Sam and Foxes, and a little higher up, the residence, store-
house and out buildings of Col. George Davenport, who had by an act of
Congress, preempted a claim of two hundred acres of land running
across the Island from bank to bank of the river. The Island is about
two miles long, and being at the foot of the rapids has the best water
power on the river, capable of running a much greater amount of
machinery than is at present in operation. The entire Island is now
owned and occupied by the Government, (the heirs of Col. Davenport
having sold and deeded their interest), and is now used as an


which are destined to be in the near future, the most extensive works
of the kind probably in the world. Indeed, army officers who have
traveled extensively in the Old World, say they have never seen
anything to compare with it, in elegant grounds, water power and
buildings, and with such facilities for moving anything to and from
the Arsenal. These works were commenced under the supervision of Gen.
Rodman, the inventor of the Rodman gun, and since the death of the
General, D. W. Flagler, Lieut. Col. of Ordinance, has been in command,
and a more efficient and better qualified officer for the place could
not have been found in the army.

There are already completed ten massive stone buildings, which are
used for work shops, storage, etc., officers' quarters, both durable
and comfortable, and many other buildings. The former residence of
Col. George Davenport, (the House in which he as killed for money
many years ago) built in 1831, of solid hewed timber, and afterwards
weather-boarded, still stands unoccupied.

The Island is mostly covered with trees of different varieties, which
are kept neatly trimmed, and is laid out like a park, with wide
avenues extending its whole length, which makes the most elegant
drives and shady walks for the thousands of visitors who flock to the
Island to feast their eyes upon its magnificence.


Is located at the foot of the Lower Rapids, 139 miles from Rock
Island, and bears the name of the distinguished chief of the Sacs and
Foxes. At our first visit there, in 1832, there was a long row of
one-story buildings fronting on the river, that were used by Col.
Farnham, agent of the American Fur Company, as a store and warehouse--
this being the principal depot for trade with the Sacs and Foxes, who
were then the sole proprietors of the country and its principal
inhabitants, with the exception of a few individuals who had got
permission to put up shanties for occupation during the low-water
season, while they were engaged in lighting steamers passing up and
down the river, but unable to cross the rapids while loaded.

At that day the old chief, Keokuk, boasted of having the handsomest
site for a big village that could be found on the river, and since
that day it has grown to be a large and elegant city, with wide
streets, fine public buildings, nice churches, school-houses, elegant
residences, extensive business houses, wholesale and retail stores,
manufactories, and a flourishing Medical University with elegant
buildings, which has been in successful operation for more than twenty
years. The United States District Court for Southern Iowa is also
located here. The city is well provided with good hotels. The
Patterson House, an immense building, five stories high, being chief,
which has always ranked as first-class-with a number of hotels of
smaller dimensions, but well kept--affording ample accommodation for
the thousands of travelers that frequently congregate at this place.
The various professions are represented by men of fine ability--some
of them of wide reputation. They have two daily papers, _The Gale
City,_ and _The Constitution_, which are ably conducted.

A fine canal, running the entire length of the Rapids, from Montrose
to Keokuk, has been built by the United States, through which
steamboats can now pass at any stage of water--but designed more
particularly for low water--so that there is no longer any detention
to lighten steamboats over the Rapids.


Muscatine was first settled as a wood yard by Col. John Vanater, in
July, 1834, and was laid out as a town by him in 1836, and called
Bloomington. The county was organized in 1837, under the name of
Muscatine, and Bloomington made the county seat. The name of the town
was changed to correspond with that of the county in 1851. Its
population at the last census was 8,294; present population not less
than 10,000. Besides being the centre of a large trade in
agricultural products, it is extensively engaged in manufacturing
lumber, sash, doors and blinds, and possesses numerous large
manufactories, oat-meal mills, and the finest marble works in the
State. It is also the centering point of a very large wholesale and
retail trade. It is situated at the head of the rich Muscatine
Island, the garden spot of the Northwest, and is the shipping point
for millions of melons and sweet potatoes annually.

Muscatine is a good town, with a good business and good newspapers.
The _Journal_ and _Tribune_ are published daily, semi-weekly and
weekly. Hon. John Mahin has been the editor of the _Journal_ since
1852, and there is no editor in the State whose service dates further
back than his.


Soon after the close of the war and the discharge of the volunteer
army, the writer, with some twenty others who had served through the
war, formed a company for the purpose of laying out the town of
Dubuque. One of their number, Capt. James Craig, being a surveyor, he
was selected to survey the lines and lay out the town. About the
middle of September, 1832, he started out from Galena with his chain-
carriers, stake-drivers, etc., (stakes having been previously sawed
and split on an island opposite, all ready for use), and in due time
completed the survey. Blocks fronting the river on three or four
streets back were completed, each lot receiving its stakes, whilst
those farther back were staked as blocks, and not subdivided. A few
of the original proprietors built and took possession at once. Among
them were the Messrs. Langworthy, enterprising and energetic young
gentlemen, who commenced business as grocers in a small way, with
supplies for miners. Their faith was strong that adventurers would
come in, and that the time was not far distant when the town would
take a start, and in a few years become a populous city. Miners and
prospectors soon took possession of claims in the immediate vicinity,
and in one instance a claim was made and ore struck within the limits
of our survey.

It was well known that the Indians had been in the habit, for many
years, of visiting this portion of their country, for the purpose of
getting their supplies of lead; hence the supposition of miners, who
had long been engaged in prospecting for lead-mining, that lead would
be found on this side of the river and in the vicinity of Dubuque.
This caused a great rush to the new fields, of hundreds, who expected
to strike it rich with less labor and expense. All were aware,
however, that under the treaty just made with the Sacs and Foxes by
Gen. Scott and Gov. Reynolds, they had no right to enter upon these
lands, and stood in daily fear of being ordered off by United States
troops. But their numbers steadily increased. At length the long
expected order came. Major Davenport, Indian Agent at Rock Island,
was ordered to go forward, and, with one company of infantry in two
Mackinaw boats, commanded by Lieut. Beach, they landed near the mouth
of Fever river (Galena) about the first of October. The Major came up
to Galena with a letter from Col. George Davenport to the writer, to
assist him in the discharge of his delicate duty. Word was sent to
Lieut. Beach not to proceed up the river until the afternoon of the
next day, as the sight of troops by the miners might make them hard to
manage; otherwise, I assured the Major, he would have no trouble. We
proceeded at once to a point opposite Dubuque, where we found a
comfortable stopping place with the ferryman, and he being a man of
considerable influence, I suggested to him the propriety of going over
to Dubuque to send men to all the mining camps, requesting a meeting
the next morning, at nine o'clock, of all the miners, with the agent,
to hear what he had to say, and to assure them at the same time that
his mission was a peaceable one, and that there should be no objection
manifested to disobey the orders of the Government.

After the departure of our messenger we took a private room to talk
over the programme for the meeting, when we suggested that, on
assembling, the Major should make a little speech explanatory of his
visit, in which he should express sorrow for the hardships it would be
to leave their claims, with the hope that the time was not distant
when all might lawfully return, etc. The Major said he was not a
speech-maker, or a very good talker, but would read the orders sent to
him to dispossess them, and see that they crossed the river.

After some discussion, the writer, at his request, wrote out a short
address for the Major, and on going over the next morning, we met some
four or five hundred miners at the grocery store, who had assembled to
listen to the orders sent for their removal. There being no boards or
boxes into which to improvise a stand for the speaker, a whisky-barrel
was introduced, from the head of which, after apologizing to the
miners for the disagreeable duty that had been placed upon the Major,
and in consequence of his suffering from a bad cold, we had taken the
stand to read to them his short address, and as most of them had spent
the summer in the service of the Government as soldiers in the field,
and had been honorably discharged, the Major felt satisfied that there
would be no objection manifested by any one in the large crowd before
us to disobey an order from the Government. After the close of the
Major's address, the question was put to vote by raising of hands.
There was a general upraising of hands, which was declared to be
unanimous for immediate removal. Owing to the good treatment received
by the Major, he proposed to treat the entire party, and, to
facilitate the matter, buckets of whisky with tin cups were passed
around, and after all had partaken they shook hands with the Major and
commenced Crossing over in flatboats.

At three o'clock in the afternoon we crossed over on the last boat,
and took our departure for Galena. During the evening the Major's
report of how his peaceable removal of a large body of intruders from
the west to the east bank of the Mississippi had been accomplished,
was made out and mailed. But the further fact that all those miners
had recrossed the river, and were then in their mining camps, was not
recorded, for the reason that the Major had not been posted as to
their intentions.

Owing to the provisions of the treaty, it was a long time before
Congress passed an act for the sale of these lands, and confirmation
to the titles of town sites, hence, many of those who had laid out the
town of Dubuque had left the county, and at the time of proving up
their claims failed to put in an appearance--the writer being one of
them--whilst those who remained, with the Messrs. Langworthy, became
sole proprietors--the latter having lived to see the town rise in
importance, and at this time become one of the most populous cities on
the west side of the Mississippi.

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