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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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CAPITAL. In 1836 the DUBUQUE VISITOR stated the conviction held by many Dubuque residents that the city would be the seat of government for a new state formed west of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER and north of Missouri.

         In an oration, July 4, 1836, W. W. Coriell, in speaking of the
         struggle between Madison and Dubuque for the capital, said: 
         "Only three years have elapsed since the white man came into 
         possession of the country in which Dubuque is situated, and 
         already, including the county of Des Moines, it is estimated 
         that we number more than twelve thousand inhabitants on the 
         west side of the Mississippi, being about one-half of the 
         population of the whole country of Wisconsin. Our town and its 
         immediate vicinity has doubtless a population of two thousand 
         industrious and enterprising citizens as any to be found in the 
         broad extent of the United States. Dubuque, from its commanding 
         situation, being easy of access from any point, from the fertility 
         of the soil and the vast mineral resources of the country in its 
         vicinity, from the number of its population, being greater than 
         that of any other town in the territory, may well aspire to be the 
         capital." — (Visitor, July, 1836.) 

The plans for Iowa to extend north to the St. Peter's River were widely accepted until 1845. To avoid leaving Dubuque in other than a central position, Edward LANGWORTHY, at the 1844 Iowa Constitutional Convention, proposed to move the northern boundary of Iowa northward to meet the 45th parallel where it crossed the Mississippi. This would have positioned Dubuque in a commanding central location in Iowa. The motion did not succeed. Disappointment was obvious when, in 1846, Iowa was admitted to the Union with the knowledge that the present capital, Iowa City, would be replaced by Des Moines.



Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-5-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml