Territory is bounded on the n. by the British Territory of the
Hudson Bay Company, E. by Wisconsin Territory and Illinois, from
which it is separated by the Mississippi river, and a line due
north from its source in Itasca lake to the British Possessions;
s. by the state of Missouri; and w. by the Missouri river to the
entrance of White-earth river, and following this n. to the
British Possessions. It lies between 40° 30' and 49° n. lat.,
and between 90° and 102° w. Ion., and between 14° and 26° w.
Ion. from W. It is about 600 miles long, and, at a medium, 250
miles broad, containing about 150,000 square miles, or
96,000,000 acres. To a considerable portion of this territory
the Indian title has not yet been extinguished. The population
in 1840 was 43,111. Employed in agriculture, 10,469; in
commerce, 355; in manufactures and trades, 1,629; in mining,
217; navigating the ocean, rivers, and canals, 91; learned
This territory is divided into 18 counties, which, with their
population in 1840, and their capitals, were as follows:
County, Population, Capital
|Cedar, 1,253, Tipton
||Johnson, 1,491, Iowa City
|Clayton, 1,101, Prairie la
||Jones, 471, Edinburg
|Clinton, 821. Comanche
||Lee, 6,093, Ft. Madison
|Delaware, 168, Delaware C. H.
||Linn, 1,373, Marion
|Desmoines, 5,577, Burlington
||Louisa, 1,927, Wappello
|Du Buque, 3,059, Du Buque
||Muscatine, 1,942, Bloomington
|Henry, 3,772, Mt. Pleasant
||Scott, 2,140, Davenport
|Jackson, 1,411, Bellevue
||Van Buren, 6,146, Keosagua
|Jefferson, 2,773, Fairfield
||Washington, 1,594, Washington
Iowa City, on
Iowa river, 33 miles w. n. w. of Bloomington, is the capital.
The face of
the country is moderately uneven, without any mountains or high
hills. There is a tract of considerably elevated table land,
which extends through a considerable part of the territory,
dividing the waters which fall into the Mississippi from those
which fall into the Missouri. The margins of the rivers and
creeks, extending back from 1 to 10 miles, are generally covered
with timber, and back of this the country is an open prairie,
without trees; and by the frequent alternations of these two
descriptions of land, the country is greatly diversified. The
prairies cover nearly three fourths of the surface of the
territory, and, although they are destitute of trees, present a
great variety in other respects. Some have a level and others a
rolling surface: some are covered with a rich coat of grass,
well suited for grazing; in others, this is interspersed with
hazel thickets and sassafras shrubs, and, in the proper season,
superbly decorated with beautiful flowers The soil, both on the
bottom and prairie land, is generally good, consisting of a deep
black mold, intermingled in the prairies with sandy loam, and
sometimes with a red clay and gravel. The agricultural
productions are Indian corn, wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat,
potatoes, pumpkins, melons, and all kinds of garden vegetables.
The soil and climate are favorable to the cultivation of fruit;
and crabapples, wild plums, strawberries, and grapes, are
indigenous and abundant.
The agricultural statistics of this recently settled territory
in 1840, give a favorable view of its capabilities. There were
10,794 horses and mules; 38,049 neat cattle; 15,354 sheep;
104,899 swine; poultry to the value of $16,529. There were
produced 154,693 bushels of wheat; 728 of barley'; 216,335 of
oats; 3,792 of rye; 6,212 of buckwheat; 1,406,241 of Indian
corn; 23,039 lbs. of wool; 2,132 of wax; 234,063 bushels of
potatoes; 17,953 tons of hay; 313 of hemp and flax; 8,076 pounds
of tobacco; 41,450 of sugar. The products of the dairy were
valued at $23,609; of the orchard, $50; of lumber, $50,280.
Value of skins and furs, $33,594.
The climate, excepting some low bottom lands on the rivers and
streams, is salubrious; the streams are not sluggish, and,
therefore, their borders are more healthy than in some portions
of the western country. Winter commences in December, and ends
in March; the weather is variable, and sometimes severe, but
less so than is common in the same latitude. Summer is not
oppressively hot, and is refreshed by frequent showers.
A portion of Iowa is exceedingly rich as a mineral region. The
great lead country of the northern part of Illinois, and the
southern part of Wisconsin, crosses the Mississippi, and in Iowa
comprehends about 80 townships, containing 2,880 square miles.
It borders upon the Little Makoqueta River, about 12 miles from
e. to w., and extends a considerable distance s., and still
further n. along the Mississippi. Zinc and iron ore also abound
in this region; some of the latter is magnetic. Limestone is
abundant, and there is some beautiful marble.
The Mississippi borders this territory for its whole length on
the E., and is navigable in time of high water for steamboats to
the mouth of St. Peter's. St. Peter's River rises near the
sources of Red River, and, after a course of 230 miles, enters
the Mississippi 9 miles below the falls of St. Anthony. The Des
Moines River runs in the southern part of the territory, and,
forming a part of its s. w. boundary, enters the Mississippi. In
high water it is navigable for steamboats 100 miles, and for
keelboats at all times. Checauque, or Skunk River, after a
course of 150 miles, enters the Mississippi. Iowa River is 300
miles long, and is navigable for steamboats 12 miles from its
entrance into the Mississippi, and for keelboats to Iowa City.
Red Cedar, the main branch of the Iowa, is navigable for
keelboats, in high water, 100 miles above its junction. The
Wapsipinecon has a winding and rapid course 200 miles to its
entrance into the Mississippi, and affords much good water
power. The Makoqueta bounds the mineral region on the s., and
enters the Mississippi, furnishing in its course the best water
power in the territory. Turkey River, after a course of 150
miles, enters the Mississippi. It is not navigable. James and
Sioux rivers enter into the Missouri. Red River, which rises
near the head waters of the Mississippi, runs northwardly into
Lake Winnipeg, and finally into Hudson's bay.
Burlington, on the Mississippi, 1,429 miles above New Orleans,
is a place of much trade. Du Buque is the metropolis of the
mineral region. Fort Madison, and Bloomington, and Davenport, on
the Mississippi, are places of considerable business; and Iowa
City, in the interior, the seat of government, is a growing
There were in 1840, 14 commission houses engaged in foreign
trade, with a capital of $92,300; 157 retail drygoods and other
stores, with a capital of $437,550; 29 persons were employed in
the lumber trade, with a capital of $16,250; homemade, or family
manufactures, were produced to the amount of $25,966; 3
tanneries, with a capital of $4,400; 2 distilleries, cap.
$1,500; 6 flouring m., 37 grist m., 75 saw m., the whole
employing a capital of $166,650; 14 brick and stone, and 483
wooden houses, were built at an expense of $135,987; 4 printing
offices, and 4 weekly newspapers, employed a capital of $5,700.
Total capital in manufactures, $199,645.
The University of Iowa, at Mt. Pleasant, in Henry County, has
been chartered by the territorial legislature, under the
direction of 21 trustees. 7 academies have been incorporated. In
1840, 1 academy was in operation, with 25 students. There were
63 common and primary schools, with 1,500 scholars.
The Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians, are the most
numerous religious denominations. There are some Episcopalians,
Friends, and Roman Catholics, and a few others.
The chief Indian tribes of this region are the Sacs and Foxes,
the Chippewas, Ottawas, and Pottawatomies. The Sioux also
inhabit the n. part of the territory.
In 1838 Iowa was separated from Wisconsin, and has since had a
distinct territorial government. The governor and secretary of
the territory, the judges, U. S. attorney and marshal, are
appointed by the president of the U. S., with the advice and
consent of the senate. The governor, who is also superintendent
of Indian affairs, is appointed for 3 years. A council, or
senate, of 13 members, and a house of representatives, of 26
members, are elected by the people; the former once in 2 years,
the latter annually. All citizens of the U. S. t over 21 years
of age, who have resided in the territory 6 months immediately
preceding the election, have the right of suffrage. Every 2
years the people elect a delegate to the U. S. congress.
In 1832 this country was purchased of the Indians, and in 1833
the territory began to be settled by white emigrants. Since that
time the population has greatly increased, towns have been
built, and improvement has rapidly progressed.
Table of Contents
Source: A Complete Descriptive And
Statistical Gazetteer Of The United States Of America, By Daniel
Haskel, A. M and J. Calvin Smith, Published By Sherman & Smith,
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