Did You Know? 1839.

1839 – How did the name “Hawkeye” become associated with Iowa?

Burlington lawyer, Judge David Rorer, and newspaperman, James G. Edwards promoted the name Hawkeye as the state’s nickname, honoring both their personal friends, Chief Black Hawk and Sumner “Hawkeye” Phelps, while also pulling from the great popularity of James Fenimore Cooper’s book, The Last of the Mohicans. So, by 1839, while Edwards was using his Burlington Hawk Eye newspaper to promote the idea, Rorer did his part by ghostwriting several anonymous letters widely published in Iowa newspapers. His series of articles was called A Wolverine Among the Hawkeyes; letters supposedly written by a Michigan traveler visiting Iowa.


Did you know? is an Our Iowa Heritage blog series that offers you a little bit of Iowa trivia from a large selection of stories on our website. Subscribe to this FREE blog and you’ll get a new email from us every Monday – Wednesday – Friday.

Join us for Our Iowa Heritage blog posts.

Learn some historical facts about Iowa City, Johnson County, or Eastern Iowa.

Amaze your friends.

Click to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s