Tag Archives: Iowa History

Can You Yada Yada History?

The TV show Seinfeld had a memorable episode called “The Yada Yada.”  In the episode, a number of conversations involved a story in which a part was described with the words “yada yada, yada.”   Usually that is used to … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 141: Dancing for the Amusement of Spectators

Yesterday my family and I went to the 98th annual Meskwaki Pow Wow. This is a four-day celebration, descended from the “green corn festival”, that includes dancing and singing for spectators.  It is a very charming thing to witness, although … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 139: The Death of General Street

In May of 1840 General Joseph Montfort Street died. General Street had been Indian Agent to the Sacs and Foxes, and by all accounts had looked out for the interests of the Indians. He had a close friendship with Wapello … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 136: The Death of Black Hawk

From Stevens, 1903: “Black Hawk’s cabin stood about one hundred feet from the north bank of the Des Moines River, a few rods from that of Mr. James H. Jordan, the agent.  Near it, on the sloping bank, stood two … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 134: The Founding of Agency City

The treaty signed by Poweshiek, Keokuk, and a number of the other chiefs of the Sacs and Foxes required the groups of Meskwaki living near what became Iowa City to relocate within a year.  It gave Keokuk’s group of Sac … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 132: “Ross Can Come Back Now.”

The early settlers in the Iowa City area had frequent interactions with the Indians.  Sometimes those interactions were positive—shared meals, care for women in childbirth.  Sometimes the interactions took on a darker character. Asa Gregg was an early settler who … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 130: A New Treaty

The visit that the Sauk and Fox Indians made to Washington resulted in a new land cessation treaty. The tan double triangle area was what was ceded.  Poweshiek’s village was near Iowa City at the time–Poweshiek lived in that area for … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 119: A Letter From General Street

The Niles Weekly Register was a newspaper that published information from a number of sources.  On February 4, 1837 it published a letter that had been made available for publication by the Congressional Globe, the official paper of Congress. This … Continue reading

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The History of the Butterfly, Part 110: Pow-E-Shiek

No comprehensive history of Chief Poweshiek exists.  There are a number of historical writings that mention him, however. You may remember that Poweshiek became a chief by default, when a number of the Meskawki leaders were massacred by Sioux warriors … Continue reading

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History of the Butterfly, Part 79: Catlin on Keokuk

“From Dubuque, I descended the river on a steamer, with my bark canoe laid on its deck, and my wife was my companion, to Camp Des Moines, from whence I am now writing. After arriving at this place, which is … Continue reading

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