Happy Birthday Rock Island
Today marks Rock Island's 176th birthday, or at least 176 years since Rock Island was incorporated. Before then, Rock Island was known as the village of Farnhamsburg, which quickly absorbed into the town of Stephenson in 1835.
Of course, the land originally belonged to the Sauk tribe led by Blackhawk, but after the war of 1832, it became clear that the Sauk would not be able to retain their land.
Roald Tweet, historian, and author of In the book, Rock Island: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow wrote, "After an eastern tour, where Black Hawk met President Andrew Jackson and saw firsthand the magnitude of the United States and thus convinced of the futility of any future attempt to battle with such a nation, he was returned to Fort Armstrong, on what is now Arsenal Island.
"There a treaty was signed on Sept. 21, 1832, ceding all remaining Sauk and Mesquakie land on both shores of the Mississippi."
Interestingly enough, Davenport was the original name of Rock Island. According to Kathleen Seusy's book Joined By a River - Quad Cities, "...one of the lawmakers, Colonel James M. Strode, felt that Colonel Davenport had made insulting remarks about his war record, and he objected so strenuously that the name Davenport was dropped.
"Instead, the legislature chose the name Stephenson in honor of Benjamin Stephenson, an early pioneer, whose son, James W. Stephenson, was a politician who had also fought in the Black Hawk War."
Happy Birthday, Rock Island.