Logo by Ginger Cisewski
One of the military outposts built to protect the upper Mississippi River was Fort Madison. The site proved susceptible to attacks by Indians led by the S auk Chief Black Hawk and allied to the British in 1812. A besieged United States Military command finally abandoned Fort Madison in September 1813, setting fire to it buildings.
In 1812, the Territory of Louisiana was renamed the territory of Missouri, and in 1820, under the Missouri Compromise of 1820, a part of that territory became the slave state of Missouri. Slavery was prohibited in an area that included the future Iowa. The unregulated area included Indian peoples and sometimes hostilities ensued. The United States negotiated treaties in 1825 and 1830 that sought to divide the Iowa lands among Indian tribes and established a 'neutral ground' between the Sioux in the north and the Sauk and Meskwaki in the south.
In 1831, Chief Black signed what has been called the "Corn Treaty," agreeing to remove his followers from Illinois to their assigned lands along the Iowa River and accept the authority of the younger chief Keokuk. In exchange, the United States guaranteed the sanctity of the Sauk and Meskawaki lands west of the Mississippi River.
In the spring of 1832, Chief Black Hawk recrossed the Mississippi River into Illinois and began a fruitless drive to reclaim his former lands. Black Hawk engaged in brief skirmishes with the Unites States military before the massacre of his band of followers and the collapse of his hopes.
Following this "Black Hawk War," General Winfield Scott dictated the terms of peace. The guaranteed lands along the Iowa River were forfeited; the Sauk, and Meskawaki were to leave the area by 1 June, 1833. Even before the June 1 removal date, white settlers began locating on the rich west bank of the Mississippi - the formal beginnings of Dubuque, Bellevue, Muscatine, Burlington, Fort Madison, and Keokuk. However, the future Iowa was still in a state of governmental limbo, a situation remedied in 1834 when Congress made it part of the Territory of Michigan.
The first Sauk signatory of the Treaty of 1832 was Chief Keokuk. His conciliatory nature was rewarded with the land concession in Article ii. The older Chief Black Hawk, whose attempts to return to his homelands east of the Mississippi had resulted in the small skirmishes known as the "Black Hawk War" was not present when the treaty was signed. He had been taken prisoner and sent down the Great River to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dubuque is known as the "Key City" to Iowa. One of the earliest settlers to arrive in Dubuque was Woodbury Massey who was born in Waterloo, NY in about 1799. His father was Issiah Massey, whose sister was Mrs. Stephen Langworthy. This made Woodbury a cousin of James, Lucius, Solon and Edward Langworthy who had tremendous impact on the early development of Dubuque.
Other children of Issiah Massey were Benjamin F., Henry L. (born Aug 1809) and Louisa. The family moved to Edwardsville in Madison County, Illinois along with the Langworthy family where Issiah Massey died of "the bilious fever." The Massey's then moved to Wisconsin.
Henry Massey served under General Dodge and assisted capturing Chief Black Hawk at the Battle of the Bad Axe which open up the land west of the Mississippi for settlement. Henry later opened up a harness shop in Galena, Illinois. His brother, Woodbury, along with his wife Maria and one child, was one of the firsst to cross the river and move to the area of the Dubuque lead mines. His brother Benjamin and sister Louisa came shortly after along with the Langworthy girls. Shortly thereafter, Woodbury was murdered in a dispute over a mining claim called "The Irish Lot" by a Mr. Smith and his son William. They were arrested but later released because the judge ruled that the Wisconsin court where they were tried had no jurisdiction over Iowa cases.
The Elder Smith shortly after passed by the shop of Henry Massey in Galena and Henry came out of his shop and shot him. Never charge, Henry left for Santa Fe, New Mexico on a trading expedition and returned to Wisconsin to become a leading citizen, where he died in 1872. The younger Smith, William, vowed to avenge his father's death, but Louisa, younger sister of Woodbury went to him first and shot him in the chest. Thinking him dead, she fled to her brother Benjamin 's home, then with the help of the Langworthy's escaped to Galena and later married to S. J. Williamson.
Nothing more is known of Woodbury's family. It is assumed his wife remarried. Four children, Sarah Rebecaa, Maria Louisa,Solon Lycurgus, and Henry Clay Massey. Louisa County, Iowa was named after the brave sister of Woodbury for avenging her brother's murder.
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