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Conway, of Pittsburgh, was appointed Secretary of the Territory; Charles Mason, of Burlington, Chief Justice, and Thomas S. Wilson, of Dubuque, and Joseph Williams, of Pennsylvania, Associate Judges of the Supreme and District Courts; Mr. Van Allen, of New York, Attorney; Francis Gehon, of Dubuque, Marshal; Augustus C. Dodge, Register of the Land Office at Burlington, and Thomas McKnight, Receiver of the Land Office at Dubuque. Mr. Van Allen, the District Attorney, died at Rockingham, soon after his appointment, and Col. Charles Weston was appointed to fill his vacancy. Mr. Conway, the Secretary, also died at Burlington, during i he second session of the Legislature, and James Clarke, editor of the Gazette, was appointed to succeed him.
Immediately after his arrival, Governor Lucas issued a proclamation for the election of members of the first Territorial Legislature, to be held on the 10th of September, dividing the Territory into election districts for that purpose, and appointing the 12th day of November for meeting of the Legislature to be elected, at Burlington.
The first Territorial Legislature was elected in September, and assembled at Burlington on the 12th of November, and consisted of the following members:
Council.---Jesse B. Brown, J. Keith, E. A. M. Swazy, Arthur Ingram, Robert Ralston, George Hepner, Jesse J. Payne, D. B. Hughes, James M. Clark, Charles Whittlesey, Jonathan W. Parker, Warner Lewis, Stephen Hempstead.
House.-William Patterson, Hawkins Taylor, Calvin J. Price, James Brierly, James Hall, Gideon S. Bailey, Samuel Parker, James W. Grimes, George Temple, Van B. Delashmutt, Thomas Blair, George H. Beeler,* William G. Coop, William H. Wallace, Asbury B. Porter, John Frierson, William L. Toole, Levi Thornton, S. C. Hastings, Robert G. Roberts, Laurel Summers, Jabez A. Burchard, Jr., Chauncey Swan, Andrew Bankson, Thomas Cox and Hardin Nowlin.
Notwithstanding a large majority of the members of both branches of the Legislature were Democrats, yet Gen. Jesse B. Browne (Whig), of Lee County, was elected President of the Council, and Hon. William H. Wallace (Whig), of Henry County, Speaker of the House of Representatives—the former unanimously and the latter with but little opposition. At that time national politics were little heeded by the people of the new Territory, but in 1840, during the Presidential campaign, party lines were strongly drawn.
*Cyrus S. Jacobs, who was elected for Des Moines County, was killed in an unfortunate encounter at Burlington before the meeting of the Legislature, and Mr. Beeler was elected to fill the vacancy.
+Samuel R. Nurray was returned as elected from Clinton County, but his seat was successfully contested by Burchard.
At the election in September, 1838, for members of the Legislature, a Congressional Delegate was also elected. There were four candidates, viz.: William W. Chapman and David Rohrer, of Des Moines County; B. F. Wallace, of Henry County, and P. H. Engle, of Dubuque County. Chapman was elected, receiving a majority of thirty-six over Engle.
The first session of the Iowa Territorial Legislature was a stormy and exciting one. By the organic law, the Governor was clothed with almost unlimited veto power. Governor Lucas seemed disposed to make free use of it, and the independent Hawkeyes could not quietly submit te arbitrary and absolute rule, and the result was an unpleasant controversy between the Executive and Legislative departments. Congress, however, by act approved March 3, 1839, amended the organic law by restricting the veto power of the Governor to the two-thirds rule, and took from him the power to appoint sheriffs and Magistrates.
Among the first important matters demanding attention was the location of the seat of government and provision for the erection of public buildings, for which Congress had appropriated $20,000. Governor Lucas, in his message, bad recommended the appointment of Commissioners, with a view to making a central location. The extent of the future State of Iowa was not known or thought of. Only on a strip of land fifty miles wide, bordering on the Mississippi River, was the Indian title extinguished, and a central location meant some central point in the Black Hawk Purchase. The friends of a central location supported the Governor's suggestion. The southern members were divided between Burlington and Mount Pleasant, but finally united on the latter as the proper location for the seat of government. The central and southern parties were very nearly equal, and, in consequence, much excitement preva:led. The central party at last triumphed, and on the 21st day of January, 1839, an act was passed, appointing Chauncey Swan, of Dubuque County; John Ronalds, of Louisa County, and Robert Ralston, of Des Moines County, Commissioners, to select a site for a permament seat of Government within the limits of Johnson County,
Johnson County had been created by act of the Territorial Legislature of Wisconsin, approved December 21, 1837, and organized by act passed at the special session at Burlington in June, 1838, the organization to date from July 4th, following. Napoleon, on the Iowa River, a few miles below the future Iowa City, was designated as the county seat, temporarily.
Then there existed good reason for locating the capital in the county. The Territory of Iowa was bounded on the north by the British Possessions; east, by the Mississippi River to its source; thence by a line drawn due north to the northern boundary of the United States; south, by the State of Missouri, and west, by the Missouri and White Earth Rivers. But this immense territory
was in undisputed possession of the Indians, except a strip on the Mississippi known as the Black Hawk Purchase. Johnson County was, from north to south, in the geographical center of this purchase, and as near the east and west geographical center of the future State of Iowa as could then be made, as the boundary line between the lands of the United States and the Indians, established by the treaty of October 21, 1837, was immediately west of tho county limits.
The Commissioners, after selecting the site, were directed to lay out 640 acres into a town, to be called Iowa City, and to proceed to sell lots and erect public buildings thereon, Congress having granted a section of land to be selected by the Territory for this purpose. The Commissioners met at Napoleon, Johnson County, May 1, 1839, selected for a site Section 10, in Township 79 North of Range 6, West of the Fifth Principal Meridian, and immediately surveyed it and laid off the town. The first sale of lots took place August 16, 1339. The site selected for the public buildings was a little west of the geographical center of the section, where a square of ten acres on the elevated grounds overlooking the river was reserved for the purpose. The capitol was located in the center of this square. The second Territorial Legislature, which assembled in November, 1839, passed an act requiriing the Commissioners to adopt such plan for the building that the aggregate cost when complete, should not exceed $51,000; and if they had already adopted a plan involving a greater expenditure, they were directed to abandon it. Plans for the building were designed and drawn by Mr. John F. Rague, of Springfield, Ill., and on the 4th day of July, 1840, the corner stone of the edifice was laid with appropriate ceremonies. Samuel C. Trowbridge was Marshal of the day, and Gov. Lucas delivered the address on that occasion.
When the Legislature assembled at Burlington in special session. July 13, 1840, Gov. Lucas announced that on the 4th of that month he had visited lowa City, and found the basement of the capitol nearly completed. A bill authorizing a loan of $20,000 for the building was passed, January 15, 1811, the unsold lots of Iowa City being the security offered, but only $5,500 was obtained nnder the act.
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION.
The boundary line between the Territory of Iowa and the State of Missouri was a difficult question to settle in 1838, in consequence of claims arising from taxes and titles, and at one time civil war was imminent. In defining the boundaries of the counties bordering on Missouri, the Iowa authorities had fixed a line that has since been established as the boundary between Iowa and Missouri. The Constitution of Missouri defines her northern boundary to be the parallel of the latitude which passes through
the rapids of the Des Moines River. The lower rapids of the Mississippi immediately above the mouth of the Des Moines River had always been known as the Des Moines Rapids, or “the rapids of the Des Moines River." The Missourians (evidently not well versed in history or geography) insisted on running the northern boundary line from the rapids in the Des Moines River, just below Keosauqua, thus taking from Iowa a strip of territory eight or ten miles wide. Assuming this as her northern boundary line, Missouri attempted to exercise jurisdiction over the disputed territory by assessing taxes, and sending her Sheriffs to collect them by distraining the personal property of the settlers. The Iowans, however. were not disposed to submit, and the Missouri officials were arrested by the Sheriffs of Davis and Van Buren Counties and confined in jail. Gov. Boggs, of Missouri, called out his militia to enforce the claim and sustain the officers of Missouri. Gov. Lucas called out the militia of Iowa, and both parties made active preparations for war. In Iowa, about 1,200 men were enlisted, and 500 were actually armed and encamped in Van Buren County, ready to defend the integrity of the Territory. Subsequently, Gen. A. C. Dodge, of Burlington, Gen. Churchman, of Dubuque, and Dr. Clark, of Fort Madison, were sent to Missouri as envoys plenipotentiary, to effect, if possible, a peacable adjustment of the difficulty. Upon their arrival, they found that the County Commissioners of Clarke County, Missouri, had rescinded their order for the collection of the taxes, and that Gov. Boggs had dispatched messengers to the Governor of Iowa proposing to submit an agreed case to the Supreme Court of the United States for the final settlement of the boundary question. This proposition was declined, but afterward Congress authorized a suít to settle the controversy, which was instituted, and which resulted in a judgment for Iowa. Under this decision, William G. Miner, of Missouri, and Henry B. Hendershott were appointed Commissioners to survey and establish the boundary. Mr. Nourse remarks that "the expenses of the war on the part of Iowa were never paid, either by the United States or the Territorial Government. The patriots who furnished supplies to the troops had to bear the cost and charges of the struggle.
The first legislative assembly laid the broad foundation of civil equality, on which has been constructed one of the most liberal governments in in the Union. Its first act was to recognize the equality of woman with man before the law, by providing that "no action commenced by a single woman, who intermarries during the pendency thereof, shall abate on account of such marriage. This principle has been adopted by all subsequent legislation in Iowa, and to-day woman has full and equal civil rights with man, except only the right of the ballot.
Religious toleration was also secured to all, personal liberty strictly guarded, the rights and privileges of citizenship extended
to all white persons, and the purity of elections secured by heavy penalties against bribery and corruption. The judiciary power was vested in a Supreme Court, District Court Probate Court, and Justices of the Peace. Real estate was made divisible by will, and intestate property divided equitably among heirs. Murder was made punishable by death, and proportionate penalties fixed for lesser crimes. A system of free schools, open for every class of white citizens, was established. Provision was made for a system of roads and highways. Thus, under the territorial organization, the country began to emerge from a savage wilderness, and take on the forms of civil government.
By act of Congress of June 12, 1838, the lands which had been purchased of the Indians were brought into market, and land offices opened in Dubuque and Burlington. Congress provided for military roads and bridges, which greatly aided the settlers, who were now coming in by thousands, to make their homes on the fertile prairies of Iowa—"The Beautiful Land." The fame of the country had spread far and wide; even before the Indian title was extinguished, many were crowding the borders, impatient to cross over and stake out their claims on the choicest spots they could find in the new Territory. As soon as the country was open for settlement, the borders, the Black Hawk Purchase, all along the Mississippi, and up the principal rivers and streams, and out over the broad rolling prairies, began to be thronged with eager land hunters and immigrants, seeking homes in Iowa. It was a sight to delight the eyes of all comers from every land—its noble streams, beautiful and picturesque hills and valleys, broad and fertile prairies extending as far as the eye could reach, with a soil surpassing in richness anything which they had ever seen. It is not to be wondered at that immigration into Iowa was rapid, and that within less than a decade from the organization of the Territory it contained a hundred and fifty thousand people.
As rapidly as the Indian titles were extinguished and the original owners removed, the resistless tide of emigration flowed westward. The following extract from Judge Nourse's Centennial Address shows how the emigrants gathered on the Indian boundary, ready for the removal of the barrier:
In obedience to our progressive and aggressive spirit, the Government of the United States made another treaty with the Sac and Fox Indians, on the 11th day of August, 1842, for the remaining portion of their land in Iowa. The treaty provided that the Indians should retain possession of all the lands thus ceded until May 1, 1843, and should occupy that portion of the ceded territory west of a line running north and south through Redrock, until October 11, 1845. These tribes, at this time, had their principal village at Ot-tum-wa-no; now called Ottumwa. As soon as it became known that the treaty had been concluded, there was a rush of immigration to Iowa, and a great number of temporary settlements were made near the Indian boundary, waiting for the 1st day of May. As the day approached, hundreds of families encamped along the line, and their tents and wagons gave the scene the appearance of a military expe