ELDRIDGE: Duncan CAMPBELL, wife Rebecca LIPPINCOTT and 5-yr-old son Charles Henry raft from Cincinnati to Iowa
Duncan ELDRIDGE and Rachel BROWN were married 8 January 1823 in Haddonfield, New Jersey. They moved to Rochester, New York, where 2 more children were born, both dying in infancy. Jacob was 3 years old when Rachel died in 1827. After Rachel's death, Duncan returned to Haddonfield where he left 4-year-old Jacob in the care of Duncan's mother, a widow, and moved to Cincinnati to work at his bricklaying, plastering, and cooper (barrel maker) trade.
Rachel was illiterate. I don't have any history on her family.
In 1828, President John QUINCY ADAMS formally declared that all lands east of the Mississippi were to be sold to settlers gradually moving their way westward. Native American tribes were forced westward. Black Hawk and 2,000 of his followers refused to move and the "Black Hawk War" resulted. (Source: State of Iowa)
In November 1829 in Cincinnati, Duncan married his childhood friend from Haddonfield, Rebecca Lippincott, who was born in 1807.
On September 21, 1832, the Blackhawk War ended after 15 weeks in the Battle of Bad Axe, Wisconsin.
The Blackhawk War Treaty of 1836 gave title to 6 million acres of Native American land - not just Sac and Fox - to the US Government that lay west of the Mississippi River. Davenport was included in this land and was still called the Michigan Territory. Present at the signing, KEOKUK who was chief of the Sac Indians, English immigrant Colonel George DAVENPORT, Pottowattomie-blooded Antoine LeCLAIRE, who was also a French-Canadian fur trader working for the Hudson Bay Co. who was the interpreter for the US Government.
The treaty was signed near what is now College Avenue (Stubb's Eddy] in East Davenport. The treaty stated Native Americans relinquish a large part of what is now Iowa. Black Hawk, who no longer had power after his capture, camped with his remaining warriors at the top of present-day Lindsay Park. During the gathering for the treaty signing, famed Western artist, George CATLIN not only painted and sketched the Indians–including Black Hawk–before they left their native lands, but also signed his name as a witness to the treaty
KEOKUK donated to Marguerite LeCLAIRE, Antoine's wife, a section of land where the treaty was actually signed in what is now the Village of East Davenport. Marguerite was the granddaughter of a Sac Chief and this gift was made with the understanding that the LeClaires would build their home on this site. Black Hawk was not present at the signing for his capture and imprisonment with 1000 of his followers for not allowing settlement west of the Mississippi.
In 1835, LeCLAIRE, DAVENPORT and 6 other men surveyed and laid out the town of Davenport on this land.
Duncan met LeCLAIRE and DAVENPORT in Cincinnati and heard them describe the town and it's beautiful land. He was persuaded to move to what was then called the Michigan Territory. Btw, “Colonel" was an honorary title.
If you read the uninteresting book account, these page 19 paragraphs should be doused with White-Out.
Duncan built a substantial log raft with a shanty large enough to hold a 4-poster bed, dresser, chair, mirror, clothes, food and a stove.
The ELDRIDGEs (wife Rebecca, and 5-year-old son Charles) packed their belongings and drifted down the Cincinnati River. He thought land travel would be too slow and dangerous, mostly for the Native Americans. After negotiating the Ohio/Mississippi River route, Duncan encountered the captain of a steamship, possibly the Dubuque (book), and asked if he could tie the raft to the back of the boat. This arrangement worked for some distance until it started to get cold and the current slowed. The captain decided the ELDRIDGE raft was slowing him down, so he cut the ropes between the 2 boats and left the ELDRIDGEs to their own.
The Mississippi before the lock and dam system was very shallow, rocky and. therefore, lots of rapids. It could be crossed on foot or horse and buggy in many areas.
They came into the area in October, 1835. The river had frozen over and the ELDRIDGEs became iced-in. They tried calling for help. It was a period of a day or so before anyone heard them. At this point, they were closer to the Stephenson (Rock Island) side. Rescue efforts were hampered because of the ice and the size of the raft. Eventually, several people were able to pull the raft to the Illinois side. Duncan and Rebecca came over to Davenport in early snowy 1836. At the foot of Brady Street near the only other existing house owned by LeClaire, they erected a shanty from the raft logs.
The winds were pretty hefty and the snow had come early. The log cabin was packed with mud between the logs. As an insulator, they glued or shellacked pages of Cincinnati newspaper on the walls to keep the wind out. When the locals found out, they started to come by to read the news. Several people at a time would be standing at the walls, some even on footstools.
Duncan and Rebecca's first child here, Sarah, born May 3, 1837, was the first white girl born in Davenport May 3, 1837. Sons Lewis and Micajah followed.