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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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Page 51 of 460

Legislature, which assembled in November, 1839, passed an act requiring 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 Iowa 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, 1841, the unsold lots of Iowa City being the security offered, but only $5,500 was obtained under the act.

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 defined her northern boundary to be the parallel of 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 peaceable adjustment of the difficulty. Upon their arrival they found that the county commissioners of Clark County, Mo., had rescinded their order for the collection of the taxes, and that Gov. Boggs had despatched 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 suit 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. 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.

Page 51 of 460

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