Happy 175th Birthday, Iowa!

Today, December 28, 2021, marks the 175th anniversary of Iowa’s admission into the Union as a state in 1846. During the 28th Congress in the Second Session, the elected House of Representatives passed “An Act for the admission of the States of Iowa and Florida into the Union” on February 13, 1845. The second document shown was recorded on December 21, 1846, enforcing previous bills pertaining to the admission of the Territory of Iowa as a state. Below are copies of those acts from Congress.gov.

Through documents like this, the Federal government granted permission to establish a constitution and a state government in Iowa. The document describes the boundaries of the state as well as discusses the number of electors and representatives. More Congressional Records may be found at Congress.gov as well as in the Davenport Public Library’s Government Documents collections.

Since it’s Iowa’s birthday, we would like to share collections that highlight Iowa’s history from the city to the state level.

Iowa and Iowan Fiction Collection

In our Archives Alcove, we shelve our fiction collection including books written by Iowans and about Iowa. The collection features well-known authors such as Floyd Dell, Marilynne Robinson, Julie McDonald, Bill Wundram, and more. Today we would like to highlight the works of Octave Thanet and Max Allan Collins. Above are images of two titles: An Adventure in Photography and Road to Perdition. Octave Thanet (also known by her given name, Alice French) was born in Andover, Massachusetts in 1850. Her family moved to Davenport in 1856. She attended schools on the East coast but returned to Davenport to live until her death in 1934. Max Allan Collins was born in Muscatine, Iowa. He is known for his fictional portrayal of the infamous, Rock Island gangster, John Looney in Road to Perdition.

Amy’s Selection

One of my favorite spots to visit in relation to Iowa may be surprising. Going through the 133.1 Non-Fiction section one finds books on Iowa hauntings. Some authors cover the state like Kathleen Vyn, author of Haunted Iowa. While Bruce Carlson wrote about Ghosts of Scott County, Iowa. Ghosts stories may not always be true, but they usually contain historical facts about people, places, and events in the history of Iowa. These rich stories provide a jumping-off point if you are interested in history. I strongly recommend visiting your 133.1 Non-Fiction section at your local library.

General Iowa History Selection

In our collection, we have a number of books about the general history of Iowa and its people. The Story of Iowa: the Progress of an American State by William J. Petersen from the 1950s features the state’s history from before the state was settled by European immigrants to descriptions of family and personal histories of Iowans. This four-volume set would be a great place for those interested in Iowa history to begin.

Katie’s Selection

Iowa Map

One of my favorite Iowa history resources in the RSSC Center’s collection is Huebinger’s Automobile and Good Road Atlas of Iowa, published by the Iowa Publishing Company in 1912 (SC ATLAS CASE 917.77 HUE).  German native Melchoir Huebinger began his U.S. career surveying the upper Mississippi River valley near Davenport, Iowa in the 1880s, but a new type of transportation route captured his professional attention in the first two decades of the twentieth century: the growing network of automobile roads.  The Atlas documents the tremendous change to Iowa’s landscape as roads were constructed, as well as the development of commercial enterprises supporting the automobile and the travel industry across the state. It offers a visual connection between Iowa communities and perhaps even represents a shift in perspective from the local to the national.

Davenport was the starting point for several routes as shown in the map of Scott County, including the “River to River Road,” with the Missouri River and Council Bluffs/Omaha as the terminus. Iowa highways (marked on the map of Iowa in red) were organized and maintained by private automobile associations. The last image in the slideshow shows the road markers or “blazings” for the various routes.

A Selection of Iowa Maps

Our map collection contains an assortment of maps depicting the territory and state of Iowa. In the map above, Barrows documents Iowa from 1845 a year before Iowa was admitted into the Union. It shows the eastern border with an outline of the western and southern.

Below is a curious map of eastern Iowa and western Illinois in Russian. We believe this map was created in 1980 by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Iowa Amusements Selection

With this book, Iowa Trivia, we can test our knowledge of Iowa facts! We hope this inspires our community to learn more about the history of Iowa and its people.

(posted by Kathryn)

Bibliography

Barrows, W. A New Map of Iowa: Accompanied with Notes. Cincinatti, Ohio: Doolittle & Munson, 1845.

Carlson, Bruce. Ghosts of Scott County, Iowa. Fort Madison, Iowa: Quixote Press, 1987.

Collins, Max Allan. Road to Perdition. New York: Pocket Books, 1998.

Congress.gov. “Text – H.R.497 – 28th Congress (1843-1845): A Bill For the admission of the States of Iowa and Florida into the Union. Whereas the people of the Territory of Iowa did, on the seventh day of October, eighteen hundred and forty-four, by a convention of delegates called and assembled for that purpose, form for themselves a constitution and State government: and whereas the people of the Territory of Florida did, in like manner, by their delegates, on the eleventh day of January, eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, form for themselves a constitution and State government, both of which said constitutions are republican; and said conventions having asked the admission of their respective Territories into the Union as States, on equal footing with the original States:.” February 14, 1845. https://www.congress.gov/bill/28th-congress/house-bill/497/text.

Congress.gov. “Text – H.R.557 – 29th Congress (1845-1847): A Bill For the admission of the State of Iowa into the Union. Whereas the people of the Territory of Iowa did, on the eighteenth day of May, anno Domini eighteen hundred and forty-six, by a convention of delegates called and assembled for that purpose, form for themselves a constitution and State government–which constitution is republican in its character and features–and said convention has asked admission of the said Territory into the Union as a State, on an equal footing with the original States, in obedience to ”An act for the admission of the States of Iowa and Florida into the Union,” approved March third, eighteen hundred and fortyfive, and ”An act to define the boundaries of the State of Iowa, and to repeal so much of the act of the third of March, one thousand eight hundred and forty-five, as relates to the boundaries of Iowa,” which said last act was approved August fourth, anno Domini eighteen hundred and forty-six: Therefore–.” December 22, 1846. https://www.congress.gov/bill/29th-congress/house-bill/557/text.

General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. [Soviet Era Map of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois]. Soviet Union: [Unidentified], 1980.

Huebinger’s Automobile and Good Road Atlas of Iowa. Des Moines, Iowa: The Company, 1912.

Petersen, William J. The Story of Iowa: The Progress of An American State. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., INC., [1952].

Stock, Janice Beck, Alan Beck, and Ken Beck. Iowa Trivia. Nashville, Tennessee: Rutledge Hill Press, 2001.

Thanet, Octave. An Adventure in Photography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1893.

Vyn, Kathleen. Haunted Iowa. Madison, Wisconsin: Trails Books, 2008.

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