The Trader at Rock Island: George Davenport and the Founding of the Quad Cities

Well-known in his lifetime as an honest trader in a cut-throat business, George Davenport was engaged in the Indian Trade with the Sauk and Mesquakie in the Upper Mississippi Valley for over twenty years. He established trading posts from the lead mines in Northwest Illinois to the Lower Rapids of the Mississippi near Keokuk, Iowa. But, there is much more to know about this man for whom Davenport, Iowa, is named. After the Black Hawk War in 1832, Davenport transitioned to trade with newly-arrived settlers and engaged in founding towns in the area we now know as the Quad Cities. He invested in land and started businesses to attract settlement in the fledgling communities surrounding his home on the island of Rock Island. The Trader at Rock Island is a compelling true-life story that takes us back to our frontier community roots, a time when men with vision strove to build the towns surrounding the infamous Rock Island Rapids. The book is deeply researched using family stories, public records from local land records, federal records at the National Archives, and church records in Louth, Lincolnshire, England.