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In 1808 Fort Madison was built along the shores of the upper Mississippi River. The fort was one of three outposts built by the United States Army to assist in controlling the territories acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. The other two forts were Fort Belle Fontaine near St. Louis and Fort Osage near Kansas City. In the War of 1812 Fort Madison was the site of the first battle with Black Hawk, chief of the Sauk tribe who sided with the British. In 1813 after a siege several weeks from the British the army was forced to abandon the fort. The soldiers set it on fire as they left so it would not be captured by the British and Black Hawk. ...

In 1808 Fort Madison was built along the shores of the upper Mississippi River. The fort was one of three outposts built by the United States Army to assist in controlling the territories acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. The other two forts were Fort Belle Fontaine near St. Louis and Fort Osage near Kansas City. In the War of 1812 Fort Madison was the site of the first battle with Black Hawk, chief of the Sauk tribe who sided with the British. In 1813 after a siege several weeks from the British the army was forced to abandon the fort. The soldiers set it on fire as they left so it would not be captured by the British and Black Hawk. All that remained were the chimneys, which today are historic markers of the fort's origin. Twenty-five years later settlers came into the region and built homes near the site of the old fort. The city of Fort Madison sprang up from that settlement. The Fort Madison Downtown Commercial Historic District stands guard over a collection of late 19th century Federal and late-Victorian style storefront buildings that line the streets of the small downtown area.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Fort Madison, in Lee County, is located in southeastern Iowa, on the Mississippi River.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October