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Frontier Life in Iowa ( 1833 - 1870 )

This guide provides primary source materials and teacher lesson plans related to Frontier Life in Iowa ( 1833 - 1870 ). These resources are structured around four main themes:

Frontier Iowa in 1851

American Indians in Iowa

Transportation in Frontier  Iowa

Farm Life in Pioneer Iowa

The supplementary primary source materials and lesson plans necessary for each theme are hyperlinked from the list below. While each primary source document appears under only one of the four Frontier Iowa themes, many of the documents will support teaching within more than one theme.

For each theme, learning goals, Iowa history benchmarks, materials and suggested procedures are included for the teacher. The lesson plans are structured for the classroom with access to computers and the Internet. For the classroom with little or no access to the Internet, these learning resources are also available in printable PDF format as well as online.

Frontier Iowa in 1851

J.F Abraham's Township Map of Iowa
File:   JF Abraham's map.pdf   Size: 2.3 Mb
A reprint of an 1851 map showing principal cities, towns and counties of Iowa plus townships. The back of the map contains reprints of source materials related to early Iowa travel.

Lesson Plans

American Indians in Iowa

Black Hawk's Narrative
File: BlackHawk.pdf     Size: 48k
A reprint of Black Hawk's description of important events of each season in the year of the Sac tribe.

Events Leading to the Black Hawk War
File: War.pdf     Size: 62k
A collections of writings from the period 1830-31 dealing with events leading to the Black Hawks War. Included are letters written to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs and an Indian agent in 1831.

Migration of the Iowa Tribe
File: IowaTribe.pdf     Size: 39k
An outline map of Iowa showing various locations on the Iowan Indians adopted from a map made by Waw-Non-Que-Skoon-A.

Lesson Plans

 Transportation in Frontier Iowa

Journal of Archer Walter
File: Walter.pdf     Size: 64k
A journal kept by a Mormon emigrant who joined one of the handcart expeditions across Iowa in 1856.

Journal of William Buxton
File: Buxton.pdf     Size: 57k
A travel journal kept by a Carlisle, Iowa, resident describing his travels from England to Carlisle in November and December, 1853.

Iowa Railway Guide
File: RailwayGuide.pdf     Size: 1   Mb

Tips for Stagecoach Travelers
File: Tips.pdf                     Size: 1.4  Mb

Teamsters Guide to Iowa
File:Teamster'sGuide.pdf  Size:  1.8 Mb

Helpful Hints for Steamboat Passengers
File: Steamboat.pdf          Size:  2.1 Mb
A set of four simulated travel guides like those used by early Iowa settlers. The guides describe travel conditions in Iowa from 1830 to 1870 plus fares and schedules. Each gives advice on what the travelers should wear and where they may obtain food and shelter.

Lesson Plans

Farm Life in Pioneer Iowa

Diary of a Young Girl
File: diary.pdf    Size: 136k
A reprint of a diary kept by Ellen Strang in the early 1860's.She kept a record of pioneer farm life including information on household chores, planting and harvesting crops, illnesses, and travel.

Iowa Farm Letters
File: FarmLetters.pdf     Size: 10 Mb
This is a collection of letters written by two pioneer farm families to their relatives in New Jersey and Rhode Island. The letters describe the many problems faced by early Iowa settlers and the ways they solved them.

1870 Iowa State Almanac
File: IA-Almanac.pdf     Size: 10 Mb
This almanac simulates those published for farmers in the midpart of the 19th Century. It describes changes in Iowa farming between 1830 and 1870. It contains information about the livestock breeding, new seeds, and new machinery.

Life in a Log Home
File: loghome.pdf      Size: 80k
A reprint of an article in Annuals of Iowa.   The author summarizes the living conditions and problems faced by early Iowa settlers who built and lived in log cabins.

Pioneering at Bonaparte and near Pella
File: pioneering.pdf     Size: 80k
A reprint of reminiscence of Sarah Nossaman about life on the early Iowa Frontier in the late 1830's and early 1840's.

Lesson Plans


Explorations in Iowa History Project
Malcolm Price Laboratory School
University Of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa
ęCOPYRIGHT 2003 University of Northern Iowa
Lynn.Nielsen@uni.edu
Duplication for Instructional purposes only.
Credits: Logo and site design by ITS CET
Documents courtesy of the State Historical Society of Iowa
 

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