Continuing with the stories from old Palimpsests from the Iowa State Historical Society, this issue discusses the Centennial of the Trans-Atlantic Cable. The first paragraph (this story is also by William J Petersen) states:
"Iowa in 1858
The pioneers who settled in Iowa prior to 1848 found the steamboat, the covered wagon, and the stagecoach their only means of transportation and communication. For those who had come from beyond the Alleghenies this was especially difficult, the great distance separating them from family and friends added to the lonesomeness of the frontier. The steamboat was the swiftest means of communication with such points as St. Louis and New Orleans on the Mississippi, and with Louisville, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh on the Ohio. The first railroad had been constructed west of Chicago in 1848 but only twelve miles of track were laid that year. It was not until 1852 that the Iron Horse linked the Atlantic with Chicago".
The attached picture is of Daniel Smith Harris, a steamboat captain from 1829 to 1861 who raced his Grey Eagle from Dubuque to St. Paul in 1858 and was the first to deliver Queen Victoria's message to President Buchanan on the successful laying of the Atlantic Cable.