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22 April 2010

A Glimpse of Iowa in 1823

I am slowly letting go of my collection of Iowa Palimpsests that date back to the early 1900s.  I'm reading some of these stories for the first time - they are wonderful.  The December 1969 issue is about an Italian explorer.  "Outstanding among these early travelers was Giacomo Constantine Beltrami, an Italian exile and judge, who journeyed through Europe in 1822 and then crossed the tempestuous Atlantic and wrote his first letter from Philadelphia on February 28th, 1823."  It goes on to tell of his encounters with the Saux tribe while on the maiden voyage of the "Virginia" steamboat (there is a copy of the steamboat's original enrollment in this issue as well as a map of the Mississippi River).

In letters quoted in this issue of the Palimpsest it gives detailed physical descriptions of the Native Americans he encountered.  It is quite a read.

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