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CONTENTS Number 1 January 1911

Ccn&tribntioiifi of Albert Miller Lea to the History of Iowa CuFFOBD Powell

AndfiTBonville and the Trial of Henry Wirz

John Howard Stibbs

Baeonian Club of Iowa City


Americana Oeneral and Miscellaneous



% Bkrtorical Societies Motes and Comment % CSomtiibaton


Number 2 April 1911

nbe Establiflhment and Organization of Townships in John- son County Clarence Ray Aurner

The Attitude of Congress Toward the Pioneers of the West 1820^1850 Kenneth W. Colorove


Americana General and Miscellaneous



»rieal Societies

and Comment


33 57 114 114 121 123 131 144 149


196 303 303 311 312 319 330 332





Nu ^f BER 3 July 1911

The Expedition of Zebnlon Montgomery Pike to the Sources of the Mississippi Ethyl Edna Martin


The Settlement of Woodbury County

Frank Harmon Garver


The Territorial Convention of 1837


Proceedings of a Council with the Chippewa Indians


Some Publications


Americana General and Miscellaneous






Historical Societies


Notes and Comment




Number 4 October 1911

The Work of the Thirty-Fourth General Assembly of Iowa

Frank Edward Horack


The History of the Codes of Iowa Law

Clifford Powell


The Coming of the Hollanders to Iowa

Jacob Van der Zee


Some Publications


Americana General and Miscellaneous






Historical Societies


Notes and Comment







I ^


%• .


U4 L


1 1







voLk rx 1


[This essay was awarded the seventj-flve dollar prize offered in 1909 by the Iowa Boeietj of the Colonial Dames of America for the best essay in Iowa history. The essay has been revised for publication. Editok.]

The contribntions of Albert Miller Lea to the literature of Iowa history are neither voluminons nor critical. They consist chiefly of a small book of forty-five pages, two maps, and two reports ; bnt, having been written during the forma- tive period of beginnings, they have an historical impor- tance which is out of proportion to their critical character. The little book gave the State its name ; the reports were the baseSi^of legislation and large appropriations by Con- gress ; and the maps served as guides to settlers for a long period of years.

Albert Miller Lea was a Lieutenant in the United States Army and an accomplished dvil engineer a man of varied attainments and remarkable foresight. He was bom in 1807 at Lea Springs a place not far distant from Enox- ville, Tennessee. His father was a merchant who at one time held the position of Register of the Land Office in the State of Franklin f and his mother was one Clara Wisdom, who is described by her son Albert as a **wise and prudent'' woman.

1 The writer desires to express his thanks to Professor Benj. F. Shambangh for the assistance and helpful suggestions given in the preparation of this essay, to Mr. A. K. Harbert of Cedar Bapids for the use of his materials relat- ing to Albert M. Lea, and to Dr. Louis Pelzer and Mr. Kenneth Colgrore for kindly reading and criticising the essay.

s Iowa Hiitariedl Beeard, Vol. Vni, No. 1, January, 1892, p. 201. Lea also describes his father as "positive, dictatorial, domineering, and lagadous.''


The early education of Lieutenant Lea was received in the common schools of Ejioxville. Later he entered college,, and was within one session of graduation when he was com- pelled to give up his studies on account of poor health. Within a year, however, he had regained his health and in 1827 received an appointment to the Military Academy at West Point.* Four years later, on July 1, 1831, Lieutenant Lea graduated from this institution (ranking fifth in a class of thirty-seven) and was assigned, after a short furlough,, to the United States Army.*

The commission to the Military Academy proved to be- the turning point in Lea's career; for instead of becomings a planter and land owner, as did many of his associates,^ he entered the army, came west, and directed several large engineering undertakings,'^ giving the best part of his life in the service of the (Government. The three years follow- ing his graduation were spent in going from one part of the country to another on various topographical and scientific-

9 Iowa Hittoriedl Becord, Vol. VIII, No. 1, January, 1892, pp. 201, 202. Lea received this appointment from Senator H. L. White, who was a com- petitor of Martin Van Boren in 1836.

« Letter to Senator Wm. B. Allison from the Becord and Pension Office,. January 15, 1904.

''Albert lifiller Lea was a cadet at the United States Military Academy from Jnly 1, 1827, to Jnly 1, 1831, when he was graduated and appointed brevet 2nd Lieutenant of Artillery. He was transferred to the 7th Infantry August 11, 1831, and was promoted 2nd Lieutenant March 4, 1833; was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Dragoons, July 1, 1834, to rank from March 4, 1833, and his resignation was accepted to take effect May 31, 1836."

Lea was on leave of absence from February 1, 1836, to the date of h'S resignation. This letter is in the collection of Mr. A. N. Harbert of Cedar Bapids, Iowa.

B Among the engineering services performed were the following :

A. Drew plans for first locomotive ever constructed by the Baldwins.

B. Famous survey of the B. & O. B. B. where a cut was constructed by the use of geologic bedding.

C. Survey of the Tennessee Biver.

See Iowa Historical Becord, Vol. Vm, No. 1, January, 1892, for a complete- list.


duties.* This kind of work, which carried him from the Great Lakes to the Gulf and from Oklahoma to the moun- tains of Tennessee, gave him a vast amount of valuable information concerning the pioneers and the West. FinaUy, however, he was ordered for a second time to Fort Gibson,^ there to attach himself to the First United States Dragoons a regiment formed at the close of the Black Hawk War.

Upon his arrival at Fort Gibson in the autumn of 1834, Lea was ordered by Colonel Henry Dodge to a point near the present site of BeUevue, Nebraska, to pay the Lidians a certain amount of merchandise which was due them.^

When he had completed this task he returned to Fort Gib- son only to find that his company, with two others, was lo- cated at a new post^ on the Upper Mississippi, hundreds of miles away. He immediately set out to join his command, taking the last boat of the season going north from St. Louis, and in a few days reached the town of Keokuk. The present prosperous city was then only ^ ^ a substantial stone building, used as a trading station, the only house on the west bank for many miles below and three hundred miles above. '^® This was Lea's first view of the country to which, within two years, he was to give the name ^^lowa''. A few days later he reported at Fort Des Moines, near the present town of Montrose, where he took charge of his company.

On the 9th of March, 1835, orders" were received by

Iowa Hiiiorieal Beeord, Vol. VIII, No. 1, January, 1892, p. 202.

T Lieutenant Lea first reported at Fort Gibson in 1832. See Iowa HUicrieal Becard, VoL Vm, No. 1, January, 1892, pp. 200-205.

For a full account, see an article entitled Early ExplaraHam in Iowa in the Iowa Hittorieai Beoord^ Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 538.

This new post was Fort Des Moines No. 1. See Annals of Iowa, Third Series, VoL III, Nos. 5-6, April-July, 1898, p. 351.

10 Iowa Historieal Beeord^ VoL VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 541.

11 AnnaU of Iowa, Third Series, Vol. Ill, Nos. 5-6, April-July, 1898, p. 355.


Identenant Colonel Kearney to proceed with his command np the Des Moines Biver to a certain point near the Bac- coon Forks and from there in a northeasterly direction to the Mississippi. From the latter place the command was to march westward until the Des Moines Biver was again reached^ when a return should be made to Fort Des Moines. Accordingly, on June 7, 1835, the troop, consisting of about 150 mounted men, started on the march for the purposes of exploration and of impressing the Indians with the power of the United States government.^ ^ It was on this expedi- tion that Lieutenant Lea ^^voluntarily assumed the duties of topographer and chronicler' ';" and to this fact we owe many fine descriptions of the original condition of the Iowa prairies as well as the Notes on Wisconsin Territory.

The line of march followed as nearly as possible the divide between the Des Moines and Skunk rivers. Being in the springtime, the ground was still very wet and soft, ow- ing to the excessive rainfall. The troop proceeded slowly, covering only from fifteen to twenty miles a day." But with the single discomfort of excessive rainfall, it was an ideal time of the year to make the trip, as the weather in other respects was favorable to both men and horses. The scenery, too, was magnificent; and Lieutenant Lea wrote that ^^the grass and streams were beautiful and strawber- ries so abundant as to make the whole tract red for miles''.^' Game was also plentiful, and wild fowl was a part of nearly every meal. At a place near the present site of the city of Oskaloosa **a small herd of buffalo*'^® was encountered.

12 Annals of Iowa, Third Series, Vol. HI, Noe. 5-6, April- July, 1898, p. 355. 18 Iowa Hiitorieal Becord^ Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 546 1* Iowa Hiatorieal Becord, Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 547. 18 Iowa Historical Becord, Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 547. 16 Iowa Historical Becord, Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 548.


Concerning this incident Lieutenant Lea wrote : ' ' It was the first and only time I have seen vthe lordly beast in his homOi and probably the last time he appeared in that region. "^^ The various pests were in evidence then as now, for at one place Lea declares that ^^ after my tent was pitched we killed four rattlesnakes within it, and the next day I had a bath in a pool, occupied by mosquitos so large that I pressed one in my journal, and carried for years as a specimen of the luxuriant growth of the plains.'' ^^

When the expedition had proceeded as far as the place where Boone is now located, the order was given to march in a northeasterly direction to the Mississippi,^^ where a steamboat with fresh supplies awaited their arrlvaL After a rest of a few days on the banks of the Mississippi near Lake Pepin in Minnesota, the march was again taken up, this time directly westward to the district of the lakes of Minnesota. One of these. Lake Albert Lea,^ perpetuates the name of the Lieutenant. This region was one ^^of lakes and open groves of oak, beautiful as English parks** ; and when writing of it in later years Lieutenant Lea de-

17 i%i8 tame ineident is mentioned in a journal of this march in the follow- ing words:

''[Wednesday, June the Twenty-Fourth]

24 Marched 25 miles & encamped on the banks of the Iwaj a small stream 30 yards broad. This day for the first this season we saw Buffalo. Killed 5 or 6 many of onr men are recruits from the North & never saw a Buffalo before & therefore to them a Buffalo chase was something remark- able. This day was spent in eating Buffalo beef & sleep." Thx Iowa Joui^ NAL OF HisTOBY AND PoLiTios, VoL VII, No. 3, July, 1909, p. 368.

IS Iowa Histariedl Becord, VoL VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 548.

^9 Iowa Historical Becord, Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 548.

Near the present site of Boone the troop camped ''oue night near a flint and gravel covered conical peak, sixty feet above the plain". This is easily found to-day, a short way south of Boone.

20 This lake was named by Mr. J. N. Nicollet, a surveyor, and also a friend of Lea. See Executive Documents, Document No. 52, 2nd Bession, 28th Con- gress, Vol. n, p. 73. Also Iowa Historicai Becord^ Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 549.


dared, that '^Possibly, some day, I may again ride over that trail ; and I might well wish that my freed spirit could leave this green earth with the impression made just fifty-five years ago, as I gazed and sketched, when halted for our noon rest on the shaded and grassy shore of Lake Albert Lea. ' '** Finally, the Des Moines headwaters were reached and the march turned southward, entering the present State in the neighborhood of Swea City.**

By slow degrees the troop made its way to the Raccoon Forks,** near a place where the capital of Iowa is now lo- cated, but which at that time was simply ^^a grassy and spongy meadow with a bubbling spring in the midst. ' *** At this place, too. Lieutenant Lea was ordered to descend the Des Moines Biver in a canoe,*^ to take soundings, and to report upon the practicability of navigating keel boats over its course. This proved to be a very arduous task; but Lieutenant Lea reached the Fort several days before the main body of troops, who returned leisurely by land in the latter part of August.**

After writing his report upon the Des Moines River, Lieutenant Lea resigned from the army and hastened to Baltimore where he published the Notes on Wisconsin Ter- ritory. Two years later, in 1838, he again came to the Iowa

SI Iowa Hiitariedl Eeoord, Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 549.

ssThe ezaet loeation can not be deifinitelj stated. The roate was on the west side of the river is this locality.

ss A journal, kept daring this campaign, may be found in The Iowa Joubnal OF HiSTOBY AND POLITICS, VoL VII, No. 3, July, 1909, p. 331.

Iowa Hittorieal Eeoord, Vol VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 549.

M Iowa HUtorioal Seoard, Veil VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 550 ; AnnaU of Iowa, Third Series, VoL m, p. 356, also an article by General Parrott on p. 374.

In a letter to Hon. T. S. Parrin, written April 4, 1890, Lieutenant Lea says : ''I made a sunrey, in a canoe, of Des Moines river, from Rac[c]oon down, in 1835."

MSee map in Lea's Nates on WiaeonHn Territory.


cojmtry as the United States Commissioner to deteimine ihe boundary between the State of Missouri and the Terri- tory of lowa.^^ When this task was completed Lieutenant Lea entered the employ of large corporations in the capacity of chief engineer.^ At the outbreak of the Civil War he followed his old friend Robert E. Lee into the Confederacy, vhere he completed four years of active service.^ When peace was eventually declared, he was practically ruined financially ; and in this condition he sought a new country, moving to Corsicana, Texas, where he lived until his death in 1890.

The contributions of Albert M. Lea to the literature of Iowa history are based upon his two trips to the Iowa country: (1) the march of the Dragoons in 1835; and (2) his work as a member of the boundary commission of 1838. Upon both occasions Lieutenant Lea left a report and a map ; and these occupy a prominent place in the earliest lit- erature of the Commonwealth.


The first of Lea's contributions in point of time is the Report on the Des Moines River which was made in 1835. Upon arriving at Fort Des Moines after the campaign with the Dragoons, Lieutenant Lea made a comprehensive re- port which included, besides the general conclusions, all the soundings, measurements, and notes of important features

if Exeouiive Documents, House Document No. 38, 3rd Session, 27th Con- gress. This doeoment is also found in the Iowa Hiiiariedl Beeardp VoL II, No. 1, January, 1886, p. 193.

'•Lieutenant Lea was for a number of years City Engineer of Enoxville, Tennessee, and later of Oalyeston, Texas. Bee Lea's Autobiography in Iowa Historieal Seoord, VoL VIII, No. 1, January, 1892, p. 200.

'•The best aceount of this period of Lieutenant Lea's life is found under the title of Cdonel Lea's Beminisoenees, a series of articles published in The Freeborn County Standard, of Albert Lea, Minnesota, from January to May, 1890.


from the Bacooon to the Mississippi. Unfortnnately this report, which was written in 1835 (and which was the first contribution relating to Iowa penned by Lea) can not be found. It seems to have been used as a basis for legisla- tion; for in speaking of the report its author says: '^The manuscript was published by Congress in 1835-6 without the map, and the original is in Adjutant-General's office. It was the foundation of aU the appropriations for Des. Moines under the care of my classmate, Sam B. Curtis. ' '^^ The evidence of the commanding officer also states that the report was actually transmitted; for in the order book of lieutenant-Colonel Kearney we find this statement: '^I send you his [Lea's] report.'*"

Despite this seemingly conclusive evidence of its existence, the document, which related to the Des Moines Biver, its characteristics, its commercial and economic value, has not been located either in the records of the War Department'^ or among the papers of the office of the Adjutant-General of the State of Iowa.** Its historical importance can not,^ therefore, be estimated.

It was in connection with this report that Lieutenant Lea drew a map which was used, with some changes, in his Notes on Wisconsin Territory. In speaking of the making of this

>o Letter written on April 4, 1890, hy Albert M. Lea to Honorable T. 8. Parrin.

SI Order of Lieotenant-Oolonel Kearney. Found in an article prepared by the War Department for Annals of Iowa, Third Seriee, VoL m, p. 356.

as Letter from War Department, December 3, 1908.

''The report made by Lieutenant Albert M. Lea, of the Ist U. 8. Dragoons, in 1835, relative to the Dee Moines river is not found in the Department."' Also a letter from the War Department to W. B. Allison on August 23, 1904 : ''An exhaustive examination of the records on file in this office has resulted in failure to find any report made by Albert M. Lea. ' '

ss Letter written to A. N. Harbert by Adjutant-General M. H. Byers on July 20, 1901: "There are no reports from him [A. M. Lea] on file and in- deed hit name is not found on any papers on file. "


map Lieutenant Lea says: '^Without delay, I mapped the river and wrote a report on its character and capabilitieSi which was forwarded to the Adjutant-General ; and then it occurred to me that I could get an outline of the region be- tween the Mississippi and Missouri, and by filling it in with my sketches, the whole route having been carefully meandered, as I did the river, I could make a map that would interest the public, gain me some reputation and per- haps a little money. ' ' When the map was finished, however, the post commander. Lieutenant Colonel Kearney, sent for it and even refused its maker a copy. The next year, after much difficulty. Lieutenant Lea obtained a copy of his map from the proper officials in Washington and had it litho- graphed for the Notes on Wisconsin Territory.^


The second and perhaps the most important of Lea's contributions to the literature of Iowa history is the Notes on Wisconsin Territory a small book of forty-five pages. When in 1836 Lieutenant Lea returned to Baltimore from his campaign with the Dragoons so many inquiries for in- formation concerning the western country were addressed to him^ that he decided to write a concise and accurate account of the land to which so many immigrants were bound and over which the Dragoons had made their march.

Such a task was an easy undertaking for Lieutenant Lea, since he had secured much information of the West during his travels and his services with the army. The demand, too, for a book of this kind promised to be large, as hun- dreds of settlers were flocking to the western country. Ac- cordingly, Lea wrote an account of the region which was

9^ Early Explorations in Iowa in the Iowa Historical Becord^ Vol. V, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 550.

35 Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory^ the prefaee.


then a part of the original Territory of Wisconsin and lying west of the Mississippi Biver.

When this was finished the author went to Washington, D. C.J where, after much persuasion he managed to secure a copy of the map which has been described above and which had been made at the close of the march in the year 1835. The map and manuscript were then taken to Phila- delphia where the book was published. Lea later described the publication of this valuable book in this manner : ' ^ One thousand copies with the map were put up by my friend, H. S. Tanner, to whom I paid thirty-seven and a half cents per copy, and put them on sale at a dollar. Being quite ignorant of the book trade I assumed the sales myself, sent a few copies by mail, and five hundred in a trunk as freight to Arthur Bridgman of Burlington, an accomplished mer- chant. The last I heard of them was on a little steamboat stranded on a sandbank in the Ohio."'® The book indeed is quite rare, and less than a score of copies are known to be in existence.*^

The book is small, three and a half by six inches, bound in pale blue board cover, and contains, besides a map of the country described, forty-five finely printed pages. The full title of this interesting little contribution is Notes On The Wisconsin Territory; particularly tvith reference to the Iowa District or Black Hawk Purchase. It was written, as the author declares in the preface, ^^to place within the reach of the public, correct information in regard to a very

86 Iowa Historical Becord, Vol. VI, No. 4, October, 1890, p. 552.

*T A partial liat of the owners of these books is the following: L. A. Brewer, Cedar Bapids; T. J. I^tzpatriek, Iowa Citj; Mr. Blair, Kossuth; The Masonic Library, Cedar Bapids; The Davenport Academy of Science, Davenport; His- torical Department of Iowa, Des Moines; State Historical Society, Iowa City; and A. N. Harbert, Cedar Bapids.

Mr. Earl Swem, Assistant State Librarian of Bichmond, Virginia, can fur- nish a complete list of the owners of copies of this book.


interesting portion of tiie Western Country '\*® The con- tentSy too, are confined to subjects which would interest ''the emigrant, the speculator, and the legislator."^ A more complete work was planned, but the author never had the inclination nor the desire to finish it.^

The Notes on Wisconsin Territory consists of three general chapters or divisions. The first division gives a general description of the country ; the second part explains the water courses, the local divisions, and the form of gov- ernment ; while in the last chaptelr the reader finds a descrip- tion of the various towns, landings, and roads.

The country to which the author limited himself was a part of the original Territory of Wisconsin which he chose to call the **Iowa District*' a strip of land ** about 190 miles in length, 50 miles wide near each end, and 40 miles wide near the middle opposite to Bock Island ; and would make a parallelogram of 180 by 50 miles equivalent to 9000 square miles. ''** This strip of country had been practically unsettled before the year 1832, being alternately in the pos- session of various tribes of Indians, but chiefly of the Sacs and Foxes. At the dose of the Black Hawk War in 1832 this country was obtained from the Indians and the date of the latter 's removal placed at June 1, 1833. The treaty of cession was made at Davenport, Oeneral Scott being the chief negotiator on the part of the United States.^^ As a result the ceded area was popularly known as ^^ Scott's Pur- chase'' or, later, as the ** Black Hawk Purchase".

The treaty was barely signed when several families and miners, who had been hovering on the east bank of the

88 Lea 'b Notes on Wiacomin Territory, the preface.

»» Lea 's N,otes on Wisconsin Territory, the preface.

40 Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, the preface.

41 Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, Chap. I, p. 8.

^3 Salter 'a loiva: The First Free State in the Louisiana Purchase, p. 155.


Mississippi^ crossed over and established themselves on the choicest parts of the District; but these people ^^were dis- possessed by order of government '\** Nevertheless many white families remained and some even went so far as to put in crops.**

The climate of the Iowa District is first described, the dif- ferent seasons and their varying aspects beautifully pic- tured. The winds were of especial importance in the opinion of the author, being as fresh and bracing as the sea-breezes and very much less chilling. **The prevailing winds '^ he writes, **are from the southwest. I have known the wind at Bock Island, to remain constant in that quarter for three weeks successively '\** The salubriousness of the climate was variable according to the locality. Lea thought that from the mouth of the Des Moines until the great bend of the Mississippi was reached there was liable to be much fever; but from Bock Island northward he knew of no healthier place in the world.

The descriptions of the various seasons furnish one of the most interesting parts of the book, and also an oppor- tunity for comparison with the seasons of the present day. As a proof that winter is not changing to any appreciable extent, the description by Lieutenant Lea, written seventy- three years ago, may be cited. "Tfee Winter' ', he declares, **is generally dry, cold, and bracing; the waters are all bridged with ice; the snow is frequently deep enough to afford good sleighing. ' '*®

Spring was the least desirable of any of the seasons, being **a succession of rains, blows, and chills.'* The same char- acteristics were in evidence then as now, for Lea writes

4s Lea's Notes on Wiscoruin Territory, p. 8. ^^Shambaogh'B History of the Constitutions of Iowa, p. 38. MLea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 8. M Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 9.


that ''We have no gradual gliding from cold to warm; it is snowy then stormy then balmy and delightful/'*^

Summer was a season in which all the conditions were favorable to a rapid growth of vegetation. The appear- ance of the country during this season was very beautiful, as all the grasses and flowers grew luxuriantly.

Autumn, however, was described by Lieutenant Lea as being ''the most delightful of all the seasons of the year." His description of this season, written in 1836, would apply to-day with equal truthfulness. "The heat of the summer is over by the middle of August ; and from that time till De- cember, we have almost one continuous succession of bright clear delightful sunny days. Nothing can exceed the beauty of Summer and Autumn in this country, where, on one hand, we have the expansive prairie strewed with flowers still growing ; and on the other, the forests which skirt it, pre- senting all the varieties of colour incident to the fading foliage of a thousand different trees.'**®

The soil and the character of the country are presented in detail, and the writer gives his opinions as to the best crops for the various soils. Indian com, he believes, was "peculiarly adapted*' to the low lands of this district.

"The general appearance of the country**, declares Lea, "is one of great beauty. It may be represented as one grand rolling prairie, along one side of which flows the mightiest river in the world and through which numerous navigable streams pursue their devious way to the ocean* *.*• Li another place this same area is claimed by the author to be superior, all things considered, to any other part of the United States.^^

47 Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 9. 4sLea'8 Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 10. ^•Lea's Notes on Wisamsin Territory, p. 11. BO Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 12.


The distribution of timber, water, and prairie was one of the unique features of this District. The beauty of the country seemed to have charmed Lieutenant Lea, for at the dose of his description of its general appearance he writes :

Gould I present to the mind of the reader that view of this country that is now before my eyes, he would not deem my assertion unfounded. He would see the broad Mississippi with its ten thou* sand islands, flowing gently and lingeringly along one entire side of this District, as if in regret at leaving so delightful a region ; he would see half a dozen navigable rivers taking their sources in distant regions, and gradually accumulating their waters as they glide steadily along through this favoured region to pay their tribute to the great "Father of Waters"; he would see innumer- able creeks and rivulets meandering through rich pasturages, where now the domestic ox has taken the place of the untamed bison ; he would see here and there neat groves of oak, and elm, and walnut, half shading half concealing beautiful little lakes that mirror back their waiving branches ; he would see neat looking prairies of two or three miles in extent, and apparently enclosed by woods on all sides, and along the borders of which are ranged the neat hewed log cabins of the emigrants with their fields stretching far into the prairies, where their herds are luxuriating on the native grass; he would see villages springing up, as by magic, along the banks of the rivers, and even far into the interior; and he would see the swift moving steam-boats, as they ply up and down the Mississippi, to supply the wants of the settlers, to take away their surplus pro- duce, or to bring an accesion to this growing population, anxious to participate in the enjoyment of nature's bounties, here so liber- ally dispensed.'^^

The mineral resources were described as abundant, com- prising coal, lead, limestone, zinc, and clay. Lea believed these were the greatest assets of the country. The chief mineral wealth at that time, however, was in the lead indus- try which was in a thriving condition in and near Dubuque. **Here'^ writes Lea, **are capital, western enterprise, for-

BiLea's Notes on WiicOMin Territory, p. 12.


eign experiencOi and Yankee ingenuity combined ; and they have brought to their assistance the powers of both water and steam. The smelting establishments have recently been much improved and are now conducted with scientific acoaracy, yielding seventy or eighty per cent of lead from the native snlphuref^*

The larger game was rapidly beginning to disappear when this book was written, but the writer mentions deer, < < some bear' '9 and buffalo. The wild turkey, grouse and the wild duck were the most numerous of the wild fowls ; and fish of all varieties were found in the numerous rivers. Spearing the fish in the rapids was a favorite sport and large strings of pike, pickerel, catfish, and trout were to be had.

Agricultural products, being least in importance at this time, are only briefly mentioned. The chief product then, as now, was com or maize, of which the yellow varieties were considered the most certain and produced from forty to seventy-five bushels per acre. Wheat and oats were very easily grown, the latter usually yielding from '^ sixty to seventy-five bushels per acre.'*^' Potatoes, too, were one of the most important crops of the period. The stock-rais- ing industry was still unknown, and Lea predicted that '^The growing of stock of various kinds will doubtless be extensively pursued, as few countries afford more facilities for such purposes'"^* a prophecy which has been abun- dantly fulfilled.

Lea estimated that the population in 1835 was sixteen thousand, representing every State in the Union. No higher compliment could have been paid them than the one given in the Notes on Wisconsin Territory. **The char-

sa Lea's Note* on Wiaoontin Territory, p. 41. 58 Lea's Notee on Wisconsin Territory, p. 13. 64 Lea '8 Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 13.

YOL. IX— 2


acter of this population is such", says the author, ^^as is rarely found in our newly acquired Territories. With very few exceptions there is not a more orderly, industrious, ac- tive, painstaking population west of the Alleghanies, than is this in the Iowa District. . . . For intelligence, I boldly assert that they are not surpassed, as a body, by an equal number of citizens of any country in the world* \'*^ Even in the mining camps very little disorder was found, and **the District is forever free from slavery''*^ a condition which was a blessing in the judgment of the author.

**The trade of the District '^ writes Lea, **is confined al- most entirely to the grand thorough-fare of theMississippi'^ There were ten or twelve steamboats which carried the lead and farm products to St. Louis, which was the only market of any importance. It took three or four days for one of these boats to run from St. Louis to the Lead Mines and as a consequence there was a boat each way daily. The rail- road was several hundred miles from Iowa at this time but we are told that a railroad was being pushed westward from New York along ^^the southern shore of Lake Erie'' to Chi- cago and thence to the Mississippi. ^'This work'', writes Lea, ^^ would place the center of the Iowa District within sixty hours of the city of New York ; and if any of the * down- easters' think this project chimerical, let them take a tour of a few weeks to the Upper Mississippi, and they will agree with me, that it is already demanded by the interests of the country. '"^^

To the student of Iowa history the Notes on Wisconsin Territory is also interesting since it gives the first unofficial account of the organization of the District, which in 1835 was composed of the two counties of Dubuque and Demoine.

SB Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 14. 66 Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 14. BT Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 17.


At the time of the writing of the book the government of the District was in disorder. The Territory of Michigan had assumed the form of a State government ; and the Ter- ritory of Wisconsin, to which the Iowa District was later attached, was not yet formed. The Claim Association, too,^ which was an extra-legal institution, is described by the author as an organization made by the people of the District who ''have entered into an agreement to support each other in their claims against any unjust action of the government or against any attempt at improper speculation by capitalists at a distance. And those who know the po- tency of such leagues will feel perfectly assured, that what- ever is protected by this one, will be safe from molesta- tion.''~

Decidedly the most interesting part of the first chapter, as well as of the whole book, is the references made to the name ''Iowa". It is now agreed that it was the publica- tion of this book which brought the name "Iowa" into gen- eral use. One prominent writer precisely summarizes this opinion in the statement: "It cannot of course be said with absolute certainty that the name 'Iowa District' was used for the first time in this book. On the contrary it is alto- gether probable that this was not the case. But since the name was fixed and made generally prevalent through the publication of Lieutenant Lea 's book and map, it is proper and accurate to say that Lieutenant Lea is the father of the expression 'Iowa District' ".•^

The manner in which Lea came by the name "Iowa" is^ given in the book itself. The name was not taken, as some

B8 For a full account of the daim Aisociation see Shambaugh *b Claim Assih eiaiion of Johnson County; and also Shambaugh 'a History of the Constitutions of Iowa.

89 Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, p. 18.

^See article by Benjamin F. Shambaugh in Annais of Iowa, Third Series^ VoL m, p. 641.


have claimedy from Iowa County in Wisconsin. On this point Lieiitenant Lea tells us that ^'the District under re- view has been often called 'Scott's Purchase', and it is sometimes called the 'Black Hawk Purchase', but from the extent and beauty of the Iowa Biver which runs centrally through the District, and gives character to most of it, the name of