Franklin T Oldt.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 37 of 56)
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stance of the town of Dubuque. For Congress, George W. Jones
received 930 votes and Moses Meeker 49. For the council, John
Foley received 815; Thomas McCraney, 451; Thomas McKnight,
413; Peter A. Lorimier, 409; Stephen Langworthy, 363; William
W. Coriell, 190; Simeon Clark, 163. For the house, Loring
Wheeler received 572; Hardin Nowlin, 567; Peter H. Engle, 437;
Patrick Ouigley, 401; Hosea T. Camp, 450; Ezekiel Lockwood,
291 ; E. White, 267; Chauncey Swan, 251 ; A. W. McGregor, 233;
John Finley, 140: William Hutton, 137; B. Bushee, 115; William
C. Jones, 112 ; E. Parkhurst, 50; David Dyass, 7,y\ J. K. Moss, 15.
For sheriff, George W. Cummins received 374 ; E. C. Daugherty,
198; H. H. Pease, 190; D. D Downs, 93; G. Kennedy, 44. For
colonel of the militia regiment, W. W. Chapman, 501 ; Leroy Jack-
son, 197; J. S. Loraine, 127. For lieutenant-colonel, Paul Cain,
493 ; C. H. Stowell, 280. For major, William S. Anderson. 373 ;
William Allen, 274; T. Childs, 273. The total vote in Dubuque
county was 1,031. Dubuque county was entitled to three mem-
bers of the council and five members of the house. The following



election districts in Dubuque county were established in Septem-
ber, 1836: Dubuque at the house of Robert Bourne; head waters
of the Catfish at the house of Colonel Camp; Turkey river at the
house of Robert Hatfield: Prairie la Porte; Durango; Bellevue;
on North Fork of Maquoketa at the house of Hamilton; Higgins-
port; upper end of Mississippi Rapids; Le Claire's; Brophy's Ferry
on Wapsipinicon river; on Red Cedar river. In November, 1836,
Peter H. Engle, of Dubuque, was speaker of the territorial house.

In November, 1836, Gov. Henry Dodge and a delegation from
the territorial legislature visited Dubuque ; they were met at the
ferry landing by a citizens' committee and were entertained with
dinner at the Grafiford House and with preaching by Rev. Mr.
Teas at the Methodist church. This was a notable occasion of
early Dubuque. Late in 1836 General Jones introduced a bill in
Congress to inquire into the expediency of establishing a separate
territory west of the Mississippi north of Missouri. Ouigley's
speech against the location of the Wisconsin capital at Madison
was an important political event of the times. All members from
this county protested against the location of the capital at Madison;
Dul)uque wanted the honor.

In August, 1837, George W. Harris and R. Whittlesey were
appointed justices for Dubuc|ue county. Colonel Camp, repre-
sentative, having died, a special election to fill the vacancy
resulted as follows: McGregor, 502; Parker, 364. The following
were the election precincts : Duljuque, Peru, Durango, Bellevue,
Prairie la Porte, Turkey River, Higginsport, White Water, Bro-
phy's Ferry, Parkhurst, Le Claire and New York.

In October, 1837, the people of Dubuque county were urged to
attend the convention to be held at Burlington in November to
take steps to form a new territory west of the Mississippi. A
large meeting was held at the court house on October 13, Warner
Lewis serving as chairman and John Plunbe, Jr., as secretary. The
following delegates to the Burlington convention were chosen:
P. H. Engle, J. T. Fales, S. W. Harris, W. A. Warren. W. B.
Watts, A. F, Russell, W. H. Patton, J. W. Parker, J. D. Bell and
J. H. Rose. Mr. Engle served as chairman of the Burlington con-

In January, 1838, William H. Brown and Mathias Ringer were
justices. In March, 1838. the Democrats nominated for county
commissioners Peter .A. Lorimier, James Fanning and Edward
Langworthy : George W. Harris for recorder : Guy B. Morrison for
county treasurer; Charles Leist, John Laflcsh and Reuljcn ATay-
field, constables. All these men except Langworthy were elected ;
Andrew Bankston defeated Langworthy. J. L. Hempstead was
elected coroner. In 1838 Ouigley and McGregor having resigned
from the legislature, Lucius H. Langworthy and Patrick Ouigley
succeeded them, the latter being re-elected over his resignation.


At this election the county was Democratic by about two to one.
Timothy Mason was justice. In June, 1838, Joseph T. Fales was
doorkeeper of the house and George W. Harris sergeant-at-arms.
In June, 1838, Congress passed the law providing for the formation
of Iowa territory. Mr. McGregor, after resigning, was arraigned
on the charge of having received a bribe and for extortion and cor-
ruption. In June, 1838, Jackson county indorsed Thomas S. Wil-
son, of Dubuque, for Congress. The Democratic meeting in Du-
buque recommended either Col. William W. Chapman, Peter H.
Engle or Thomas S. Wilson for that position. The latter was
unanimously chosen. The following men were appointed a com-
mittee of vigilance: Col. Andrew Bankston, John R. Ewing, Hiram
H. Loomis, John Parker, James Fanning, Milo H. Prentice, Will-
iam Smith, Sr., Stephen Hempstead, James Langworthy, William
Hutton, Hardin Nowlin, Joseph T. Fales, Patrick Quigley, Warner
Lewis, Michael Powers and Calvert Roberts. Other candidates for
Congress, besides Mr. Wilson, were Milo H. Prentice, Stephen
Hempstead, Col. P. H. Engle and George W. Jones. In 1838,
Robert M. Lucas was appointed governor of Iowa territory. Be-
fore Peter H. Engle had resided in Dubuque five months he was
chosen to represent it in the legislature; his first term expired in
1838. In 1838 the governor appointed Hardin Nowlin supreme
court commissioner; Thadeus C. Martin, notary public; Joseph
T. Fales, C. C. Bellows, William Morrison and Charles P. Hutton,
justices ; Thomas Child, district surveyor, and David Sleator, lieu-
tenant-colonel of militia.

Governor Lucas arrived at Dubuque on August 19, 1838, on
board the steamer Knickerbocker, but returned to Burlington on
the 24th. While here he discussed public affairs with the leading
citizens, all of whom called upon him. He was about sixty years
old, tall and commanding, but easily approachable. He left a good
impression. While here he prepared his proclamation making va-
rious appointments and disregarding the proclamation made by
William B. Conway, secretary of the territory, made for him in
his absence. The counties of Jackson, Dubuque, Delaware, Buch-
anan, Favette and Clayton were constituted one election district
and entitled to two members of the council and four members of
the house. The first election was set for the second Monday in
September, 1838. and the sheriffs in the counties were directed
to give ten days' notice of such election. The candidates here for
county officers were as follows: Paul Cain and George W. Cum-
mins, sherifif; Alfred McDaniel, county commissioner; John B.
Russell, recorder. In accordance with the proclamation of Gov-
ernor Lucas, the sherifif of Dubuque county ifixed the polling places
as follows: Dubuque, at the house of Lorimier and Gra-
tiot ; Peru, at the house of M. W. Power ; Durango, at
the house of A. J. Devin ; Paul's, at the house of John Paul; Re-


gan's, at the house of John Regan; Whitewater, at the house of
Jacob Hamihon; Hewitt's, at the house of Joseph Hewitt;
Dreibelbis', at the house of Jacob Dreibelbis. The election was for
one delegate to Congress, two members of the council, four mem-
bers of the house, one county commissioner, one county treasurer,
one recorder, three constables and one coroner.

In 1838 J. R. Ewing, G. W. Ames and W. Smith were elected
county commissioners ; Peter H. Engle, delegate to Congress ; War-
ner Lewis and Stephen Hempstead, senators; Chauncey Swan,
Andrew Bankston, Thomas Cox and Hardin Nowlin, representa-
tives; George W. Cummins, sheriff; George W. Harris, recorder;
J. M. Emerson, treasurer; John W. Finley, coroner. A dispute as
to authority between the old and the new county boards was settled
by^the county attorney, Mr. Hempstead, in favor of the new board.

"While Colonel Engle was out stumping his district for Con-
gress and while crossing the Wapsipinicon, which was very high,
he became entangled and would have drowned but for the daring
energy of an Indian, who, upon hearing his call, ran 200 yards,
plunged in and caught him after he had sunk for the third time
and pulled him ashore in a senseless state." — {lozva Nczi's Sentem-
beri, 1838.) '

Early in 1839 Dr. Timothy Mason, Mortimer Bainbridge, Ben-
jamin Rupert and Joseph R. Goodrich were appointed justices
and Charles Corkery judge of probate. Joseph T. Fales was clerk
of the house in 1839.

In 1840 the presidential contest was fought out here, but the
territory had nothing to say in the result. The sub-treasury bill,
the banks, Locofocos, log cabin and hard cider terms were bandied
back and forth by Whigs and Democrats. The Whigs sang —

"Cold water will do for the Locos,

And a little vinegar stew ;
But give us hard cider and whisky

And we'll vote for Old Tippecanoe."

In November, 1840, Mortimer M. Bainbridge, of Dubuque
county, was chosen president of the Iowa Territorial Council.
Timothy Mason and Edward Langworthy were active members
of the house in 1840, and M. M. Bainbridge and Joseph S. Kirk-
patrick were prominent in the council.

On May 9 the Democrats reassembled at the court house. Foley
again presided. The following citizens were appointed a committee
to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting: L. H.
Langworthy, Patrick Quigley, George Ames, J. Parker, ]. W.
Harris, J. R. Ewing, J. King, P. S. Dods, T- B. Russell, W. Smith,
J. Fanning, W. Cardiff, T. McCraney, M. W. Power. H. Lore
W. J. A. Bradford, J. Tavlor, A. Levi, E. D. Wclle, T. H. Benton,


Jr., G. L. Nightingale, E. M. Bissell and W. Lewis. While this
committee was preparing the resolutions a lengthy address to the
people which had been prepared by the previous committee was
read to the meeting. It glorified the Democracy and asked for the
support of the people. Then the resolutions were read and adopted
separately. They declared in favor of a Democratic territorial
convention to select candidates for delegates to Congress. The
following men were then elected delegates to such convention :
John Parker, David Sleator, Lucius H. Langworthy, Thomas Mc-
Craney, Hardin Nowlin, John Beach, Joseph T. Fales and John B.
Russell. The following were appointed as Democratic county ex-
ecutive committee: P. Quigley, J. R. Ewing, George W. Ames,
William Smith and Dr. S. Langworthy.

In May, 1841, the Democrats sent John Foley, Thomas H. Ben-
ton, Jr., Gen. Francis Gehon, C. H. Booth and L. Dillon as dele-
gates to the territorial convention; Mr. Foley was chosen president
of that bodv; General Gehon was a member of the committee on
resolutions, and Mr. Booth was one of the committee to prepare
an address to the people of the territory. General Gehon was one
of the first marshals of Iowa territory. At a Democratic meeting
held at the Presbyterian church in May a committee of five was
appointed to meet a like committee of Clayton and Delaware
counties to prepare the names of candidates for the legislature;
P. C. Mohiser, A. Cline, William Smith, Lyman Dillon and John
Parker were chosen such committee. Coriell, of the Ncivs, had op-
posed the advancement of General Gehon, whereupon, at this meet-
ing, Mr. Churchman introduced a resolution condemning the Nezvs,
which was adopted unanimously. This act angered Mr. Coriell
and he attacked General Gehon more sharply than ever.

The Democratic territorial convention held at Iowa City on
June 21, 1 84 1, to nominate a candidate for delegate to Congress
was the largest assembly of the kind ever convened in the territory
up to that time, and was largely attended by prominent Dubuque
citizens of that political faith. Augustus C. Dodge received the
nomination. The delegates to the convention from Dubuque, Clay-
ton and Delaware counties were as follows : Gen. F. Gehon, C. H.
Booth, John Foley, B. Rush Petrikin and Lyman Dillon. John
Foley w-as chosen president of the convention, C. H. Booth one of
the vice-presidents, and General Gehon one of the committee on

In August, 1841, the combined vote of Dubuque and Delaware
counties for delegate to Congress was as follows: Dodge (Dem. ),
363; Rich (Whig), 225. In December, 1841, Warner Lewis was
elected speaker of the house, and George W. Harris transcribing
clerk of the council. Coriell of the lozva Ncivs, was state printer
in 1841-2. At the election for territorial councilman in June, 1842,
there was a tie vote between Hardin Nowlin and Stephen Hemp-


stead. In tlie second election Xowlin, Gehon and Hempstead. Dem-
ocrats, ran against Collins, Whig. The latter admitted he was a
deserter from the British army, but had enlisted at the age of sev-
eiiteen years and jjleaded his youth to excuse his act. Francis
Gehon was elected by a large majority. The Bloomington Herald.
of September 23, 1842. called Hempstead a bogus Democrat and
said : "Poor Stephen, once honored with the confidence of that
district, is now laid on the shelf, at least for a season. We would
have greatly preferred seeing Collins elected than Hempstead."

In 1842 the people of Iowa territory voted down a proposed con-
vention to form a state government: the majoritv against it was

In August, 1842, Thomas Cox and Stephen Hempstead were
elected to the council, representing Dubuque, Jackson, Clavton
and other counties, and T. Rogers and F. Sudros were elected
from Dubuque county alone for the house. There was a division
of the Democracy on the question of the conxention or no con-
vention system. A convention was held, but as Jackson county
was poorly represented, its citizens placed the name of another
candidate before the people. "Then Hempstead, who is scarcely
worthy of the name of a pscudo Democrat, ran as a matter of
course. Nowlin, the nominee of the convention, backslided, too,
and disavowed all connection with Gehon, his fellow nominee. He
traveled with Hempstead and acted all for self. Having four
Democratic candidates, the Whigs thought it a fine ciiance to run
in an interloper and under their patronage aided by the renowned
'Long Jim' (John Tyler's surveyor-general, James Wilson), a fel-
low who came from Ireland, not an Irishman ( for all who come
from Ireland are not Irishmen), became a candidate. With three
Democratic candidates in the field and one 'bogus' and one Whig
candidate, our strength was divided and tlie Whigs uniting upon
'Long Jim's' candidate, one of the latter is thought to be elected.
Such was the bitterness of the Whigs toward the Democratic can-
didates tliat some of them we have heard say they would never
vote for any foreigner for otitice, though some supported Collins."
— (Cor. of Bloomington Herald, ^August 12. 1842.)

The Democratic central committee in 1843 was as follows:
Thomas H. Benton. Jr., HanniJial Fmerson, John Parker, Charles
Corkery, James Fanning. Thomas McCraney and John H. The-
dinga. In 1843 Dubuque county gave A. C. Dodge, Democratic
candidate for Congress, a majority of 255 votes over W. H. Wal-
lace. Whig.

In May, 1844, Dul)U(|ue county again voted on the question of
a state convention, as follows: For convention, 282; against con-
\ention, 293. But the question carried by over 4,000 majority out
of about 11,000 votes polled. Parties here sided for or against
tlie annexation of Texas in the spring of 1844. Tlie cilizcns'could


not yet (1844) take part in the presidential election. The proposed
constitution for Iowa was published broadcast in November, 1844.
Stephen Hempstead, Theo]ihilus Crawford, Francis Gehon, Ed-
ward Langworthy, Samuel B. Olmstead and Dr. O'Brien repre-
sented Dubuque county in the territorial convention in 1844.

By the constitution of 1844 the counties of Dubuque, Delaware,
Clinton. Fayette, Buchanan and Blackhawk were given two sen-
ators and Dubuque county was given one representative.

The passage of the joint resolution in Congress in April, 1845,
annexing" Texas caused great rejoicing here among the Democrats,
but was denounced by the Whigs. In 1845 Dubuque favored the
division of Iowa territory on the line dividing Clinton and Jackson
counties. The Burlington HciK'kcyc also favored this division in
order to secure another Whig state. A mass meeting at Dubuque
on May 5 was held "for the purpose of adopting such means as
may be deemed necessary to insure a division of the territory of
Iowa and the formation of a new territory." George Greene, Han-
nibal Emerson, John Foley, James Crawford and Piatt Smith
vvere the committee on resolutions. It was declared to be the
policy and welfare of the West to increase its representation in
Congress, and the proposed division would accomplish that result.
Stephen Hempstead, P. B. Bradley, D. S. Wilson, Samuel Mur-
dock and James Leonard were requested to do their best in the
legislature to secure this division.

In the summer of 1845 war between Mexico and the United
States as the result of the annexation of Texas seemed inevitable.
In 1845 Dubuque county voted for delegate to Congress as fol-
lows: Dodge (Dem. ), 480; Lowe (Whig), 270. On the constitu-
tic^n it voted — For, 278 ; against, 502. The bill to vote again on the
constitution was vetoed by the governor, but was passed over his
veto. In 1846 Dubuque county voted as follows on the constitu-
tion : For, 395 ; against. 597. It was carried in the territory by
less than 500 majority. In 1846 Ansel Briggs (Dem.) and
Thomas McKnight (Whig), of Dubuque, were candidates for
governor ; the former won by a small msjority.

The election of April, 1847, i" the city of Dubuque was im-
portant because a new city charter and license or no license were
to be voted up or down. P. A. Lorimier (Whig) received 232
votes for mayor and Charles Corkery (Dem.) 149 votes. License
received 204 votes and no license 173 votes. Dubuque county gave
Judge Mason a majority of 152 over James Harlan for state super-
intendent of public instruction. The result for Congress in 1847
was: Leffler (Dem.), 749: McKnight (Whig), 617. In 1848 the
Democrats named Shepherd Leffler as delegate to Congress and
Thomas H. Benton, Jr., as superintendent of public instruction.
George W. Jones, John G. Shields, David Jones, Thomas Hardie,


William H. Morrison, William S. Hall, Lincoln Clark and I. P.
\'an riagan were delegates to the Democratic state convention.

Stephen Hempstead, of Dubiujue, was one of the committee of
three appointed by the legislature in 1847-8 to revise the laws of
the state. Joseph T. Fales, of Dubuque, was auditor of state at
this time.

In February, 1848, the Democratic members of the legislature
selected the following party candidates: Thomas S. Wilson, of
Dubuque, for United States senator, and George Greene, of Du-
buque, for an associate justice of the Iowa supreme court.

The Democrats of Dubuque in March, 1848, nominated the fol-
lowing city officers: H. S. Hetherington, mayor; Joseph Swab,
marshal; A. D. Anderson, recorder; Charles Miller, treasurer;
George McHenry, assessor. Lincoln Clark presided at this meeting.
Valentine Glenat was named for school fund commissioner. About
the same time the WHiigs nominated G. L. Nightingale for mayor;
John Coft'ey, marshal ; Major I\Iobley, school fund commissioner.

"What a strange contrast is presented to see WHiigs and Demo-
crats laboring together in a common vineyard. But the surprise
is in a measure lessened when we reflect that the call was for a
'mass meeting of the people' and two of the nominations are outside
of the WMiig party evidently to catch Democratic votes."

Joseph Swab, candidate for marshal, announced himself thus:
"I am in favor of appropriating the public square for a calf pas-
ture and giving the freedom of the city to all swine and goats,
believing such animals to be great at keeping streets clean. I will
not at any time during the day or night interfere with any of my
friends who may be engaged in the laudable acts of quarreling,
fighting, gambling, carousing, firing cannons, guns or pis-
tols, breaking houses, etc. — in short, I pledge myself to
allow all who vote for me to do as they please and to those who
\ote against me I will give particular Jesse. I will pay the utmost
respect to the corpses of all those unfortunate cows, calves, horses,
dogs, cats, etc., which may hereafter 'go dead' within the limits of
our fair city by allowing them to remain where they have fallen,
in peace and quietness undisturbed, to perfume the air of heaven.
In regard to the Mexican war I am sound, being opposed to peace
on any terms until the whole of Me.xico, South America, China,
British Provinces, Cuba and Ireland are annexed to our glorious

In April, 1848, George L. Nightingale (W'hig) was elected
mayor over Warner Lewis (Dem. ) by a small majority. In 1848
Dubuque county cast 766 votes for Shepherd Leffler (Dem.) for
delegate to Congress and 597 for Timothy Davis (Whig) for the
same office : this vote showed the comjiarative strength of the Demo-
crats and Whigs. In the forties the favorite meeting ])lace
for jinlitical ])arties was over Terry's saloon. Lincoln Clark


was one of the Cass electors in 1848. At a big Whig meeting in
October, 1848, Langworthy, Berry and Nightingale addressed the
audience; the first had lately become a Whig. At a Democratic
meeting Hempstead, Rogers and Merritt ridiculed the candidacy of
General Taylor. A "Rough and Ready" club was formed here.
A Free Soil convention held at Iowa City was attended by a dozen
or more of Dubuquers. On November 25 the Whigs celebrated the
election of the Whig national ticket. In 1848-9 George W. Jones
was elected senator of the United States; this election left the sur-
veyor-general's office vacant ; General Booth succeeded. Dubuque
county gave the Cass electors a majority of 186 votes. Theophilus
Crawford and John G. Shields were state senators and Sidney
Wood and James A. Langton representatives in 1848.

In the spring of 1849 the state legislature reversed itself on the
Wilmot proviso and voted against any more slave territory; this
roused the wrath of the Democracy of Dubuque county. In the
spring of 1849 the Whigs cried "no partyism" in the city election,
but the Democrats refused to bite. As the city was really Demo-
cratic, now was the time for its redemption, it was said. The
Democrats won the city election in April, 1849. In May W. H.
Robbins was appointed postmaster of Dubuque. The Democrats in
1849 elected their county ticket by about 395 majority. W. G.
Stewart became sherifif; J. P. Van Hagan, recorder; John Ball,
surveyor ; Charles J. Leist, coroner, and J. H. Thedinga, county
commissioner. It was noted in 1849 that there was almost open
warfare among the Whigs for the spoils of office under the Taylor
administration. There was also a newspaper war between the
Tribune and the Telegraph.

"The factions into which the Whig party of Dubuque is now
divided are warring with each other with a degree of malignant
hostility which should bring the blush of shame to every honest
politician. The spoils of oflice constitute the bone of contention
and no mastiff cur or ferocious bulldog ever contended with more
determined fury than have the factions of Dubuque Whiggery for
the precious morsel." — (Miners' Express, June 27, 1849.)

All Whigs who were friendly to the Abolitionists were de-
nounced by the Democrats and when the two amalgamated in the
summer of 1849, at Iowa City, the Democrats began a severe cam-
paign. This drew political lines sharply here. In November, 1848,
the Democratic majority in the county was about 197; in August,
1849, it was about 300. Judge Corkery, in 1848-9, was secretary of
the state board of public works. In June, 1849, ^t the Democratic
convention, Judge Wilson made desperate efforts to have die dele-
gates to the state convention instructed to vote against the Wilmot
jiroviso. This was the time when Whiggery, Locofocos, Hunkers.
Barnburners and Americans were abroad in the land. In Decem-
ber, 1849, A. P. Wood, editor of the Tribune, was cowhided by


Charles Bogy; it was due to a quarrel between the "Fogies" and
the "Anties" of the Whigs, local factions at Dubuque. George
L. Nightingale established the Telegraph, it was said, to aid him
in his own political schemes and ambition.

Credit or discredit was given to George L. Nightingale, acting
editor of the Telegraph, in tlie sjjring of 1849, for inventing the
term "Fogies," which was applied to a local clique of the Wliigs;

Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 37 of 56)