The Iowa territory was opened to settlement in 1836. However, settlement was already well established in Illinois. The Mississippi River was an integral part of the transportation network in the upper Midwest and was essential for connecting settlers in the region to eastern markets. This petition sent to Congress in 1837 described a major concern with transportation on the Mississippi River.
- What was the issue identified by the petitioners and why did they think it was a problem?
- What did the petitioners want Congress to do?
- Predict some of the reasons why Congress would or would not support their petition.
"Navigation of Mississippi River," Committee on Railways and Canals, U.S. Congress, 18 January 1836. Courtesy of U.S. Congress