DescriptionRock Island is part of the Quad Cities community, which also comprises East Moline and Moline, Ill., and Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa. Rock Island's history was highlighted by Native American settlement, the steamboat era and the Civil War. The onset of the Black Hawk War, which included the Sac and Meskwaki Indians, was precipitated by the destruction of the tribes' ancient burial grounds to make way for the pioneers' cornfields. During the days of the steamboat, about 2,000 vessels docked annually.
The Dred Scott Decision, handed down from the Supreme Court in response to a suit filed by the black servant of a Rock Island resident, pushed the country toward Civil War by stating that slaves were property and therefore not entitled to the rights of U.S. citizens. Rock Island Arsenal accommodated one of the most important Northern military prisons of the Civil War.
American bald eagles winter in the Rock Island area. Prime viewing time is in January and February.
Things to SeeBlack Hawk State Historic Site