History of the Butterfly, Part 80: Colonel George Davenport

In 1816 the Americans built Fort Armstrong on a large cliff where the city of Rock Island is now located.  The Fort was about five miles from the village which was home to Black Hawk and Keokuk.

The quartermaster of the troops who built the fort was Colonel George Davenport.  George Davenport was soon discharged from the service, and immediately set up a trading post to trade with the local Indians.

George Davenport from Wikimedia Commons

George Davenport was a man of considerable talent, energy, and ability.  Some suggested that he was also helped by the fact that he was born in England and had an English accent–the natives having a more favorable view of the English than of the Americans.

George took as a partner fur trader Russell Farnham.  Mr. Farnham worked for the American Fur Company, and soon Colonel Davenport was working for them as well.

Russell Farnham had an unusual history himself.  Prior to his partnership with Mr. Davenport, and while in the employment of the American Fur Company, Mr. Farnham travelled by foot from Fort Astoria (now Astoria, Oregon) to Saint Petersburg, Russia.   One account has him travelling across ice sheets to get to the island of Kamchatka, but another has him going by ship.  Most of the trip was on foot, however.

Russell Farnham from Wikimedia Commons.

It is reported that Mr. Farnham got so hungry on his trip that he had to eat parts of his shoes.


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in American Indians, Black Hawk, Iowa History, Keokuk, The History of the Butterfly and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to History of the Butterfly, Part 80: Colonel George Davenport

  1. Zahara says:

    What a character. Just read the Wikipedia version of his life. Life was a tad rougher back then, aye?

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