Keokuk


Keokuk
/kee"euh kuk'/, n.
1. c1780-c1848, leader of the Sac tribe.
2. a city in SE Iowa, on the Mississippi River: large power dam. 13,536.

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born 1790?, along Rock River [near present-day Rock Island, Ill., U.S.]
died 1848?, [in present-day Franklin county, Kan.]

Sauk Indian orator and politician.

He engaged in a lifelong struggle for power with rival leader Black Hawk, who advocated resistance to white settlement on tribal lands. Keokuk instead urged accommodation and concession. Many Indians, witnessing the showering of gifts and honours on Keokuk by U.S. Indian agents and military leaders, turned to him for leadership. In 1832 Black Hawk led a short-lived resistance effort against white encroachments; Keokuk counseled peace and surrender, and he even provided advance warning to the U.S. of Black Hawk's intentions. For this assistance, the U.S. government named Keokuk leader of the Sauk nation in 1837. Keokuk responded by ceding the Illinois lands of his tribe and moving his people to Iowa. He continued to give away tribal land until his people were forced to settle on a reservation in Kansas, where he died in disgrace, despite the wealth and power he had accumulated.

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 city, Lee county, extreme southeastern Iowa, U.S. It lies along the Mississippi River (bridged to Hamilton, Illinois) at the mouth of the Des Moines River, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Burlington. The first settler in the area, Samuel C. Muir, arrived in 1820, and a trading post was established there later in the decade. The town was platted in 1837 and was named for Keokuk, a chief of the Sauk Indians who advocated conciliation with settlers; his grave is in a city park. Located at the foot of the Des Moines rapids, beyond which steamboats could not pass up the Des Moines River, the settlement served as a transshipment point after the completion of the railroad in 1856. A ship canal (1877) was constructed around the rapids, and in 1910–13 the Des Moines River was dammed for hydropower, navigation, and flood control, creating Lake Keokuk.

      Several hospitals were located in Keokuk during the American Civil War, to which wounded soldiers were transported by boats on the Mississippi. Keokuk National Cemetery, one of the first to be designated, contains graves of more than 4,000 soldiers. The writer Mark Twain (Twain, Mark) lived briefly in Keokuk in the 1850s, and a collection of his memorabilia is kept in the public library.

      Keokuk has a large wholesale-distribution trade, agricultural industries, and varied manufactures, notably rubber products and steel castings. Southeastern Community College (South Campus) was opened (1953) in the city. The George M. Verity stern-wheeler is preserved as a riverboat museum, and a replica of Iowa's first schoolhouse (the Galland School, 1830) is just north. The home of Samuel F. Miller (Miller, Samuel Freeman), a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court appointed by Abraham Lincoln, has been preserved as a museum. Many bald eagles winter in the vicinity along the Mississippi, and observing them is a popular attraction. Shimek State Forest is about 15 miles (25 km) to the northwest. Inc. city, 1847. Pop. (1990) 12,451; (2000) 11,427.

▪ Sauk leader

born 1790?, along Rock River [near present-day Rock Island, Ill., U.S.]
died 1848?, [in present-day Franklin county, Kan.]

       Sauk Indian orator and politician who became chief by ceding Indian lands to win white support and by rallying opposition to his own tribe's resistance leaders.

      Born of the Fox clan, Keokuk early exhibited physical prowess, keen intelligence, and a gift of persuasion. He rose to prominence in the tribal council, and, during the War of 1812, he tried to seize power from Black Hawk, who had left the Sauk village to fight with the British. Thus began a lifelong struggle between these two leaders, who disagreed completely on how to meet the challenge posed by advancing white settlement. Black Hawk stood for resistance; Keokuk represented accommodation and concession. Many Indians, witnessing the showering of gifts and honours on Keokuk by U.S. Indian agents and military leaders, turned to him for leadership.

      Keokuk urged patience as white settlers moved closer and closer to ancient tribal lands along the Rock River. In the late 1820s, he advocated compliance with the government's demand that the Sauk and Fox move westward. In 1832, Black Hawk led a short-lived resistance effort against the white encroachments. Keokuk counseled peace and surrender, and he even provided advance warning to the U.S. Indian agent at Rock Island of Black Hawk's intention to take to the warpath.

      For his assistance, the U.S. government named Keokuk to head the Sauk nation. Keokuk responded by ceding the Illinois lands of the Sauk and Fox and moving his people to Iowa. Through the remainder of his life, he continued to give away tribal land until the Sauk and Fox had to settle on a reservation in Kansas, where, in disgrace among his own people despite the wealth and power he had accumulated, Keokuk died.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Keokuk — Keokuk, IA U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 11427 Housing Units (2000): 5327 Land area (2000): 9.159739 sq. miles (23.723615 sq. km) Water area (2000): 1.419029 sq. miles (3.675267 sq. km) Total area (2000): 10.578768 sq. miles (27.398882 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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