Population (2010)

1,147

Introduction

Nauvoo is a town with an outsized history, where big dreamers and idealists came to make their plans a reality and where some of those dreams sparked epic conflicts, especially during the town’s Mormon era. While much of the town’s Mormon history has been preserved (and nicely buffed and polished for public consumption), it takes some digging to explore the rest of Nauvoo’s fascinating history.

Visitor Information

Visitors can get their questions answered from the Nauvoo Tourism Office (1295 Mulholland St.; 217.453.6648).

History

Early History
The area around the Des Moines Rapids has a long history of human activity, from Paleo-Indians some 12,000 years ago to the Sauk (Sac) and Meskwaki (Fox) nations who moved into the region in the 18th century after the Ho Chunk (Winnebago), Mamaceqtaw (Menominie), and Bodéwadmi (Pottawattamie) nations had called the area home. At the turn of the 19th century, Meskwaki Chief Quashquema led a large village at the future site of Nauvoo of perhaps 500 lodges and several thousand people.

In 1804, a contingent of Sauk and Meskwaki representatives, including Chief Quashquema, went to St. Louis to secure the release of one of their own who had been imprisoned. They also hoped to negotiate a trade deal with terms as favorable as the one given to their