Formerly the capital and largest town in Iowa, and the seat of justice of Des Moines Co, occupies a pleasant slope on the west bank of the Mississippi, 75 miles southeast of Iowa City, 248 miles north of St Louis, 1,429 miles north of New Orleans and 871 miles from Washington (DC).  Pleasant hills and woody slopes rise behind the city, and enhance the effects of its other advantages.  It is the centre of an active, extended, and increasing commerce with the rich interior of the state, together with that of Illinois, and the valley of the Mississippi.  Possessing a combination of so many favorable circumstances it has already received a vigorous growth.  Its broad and delightful streets, either along the water, or on higher ground, are admirably suited for business, was well as for residence, and the number of public buildings, elegant stores, and dwellings, is already large, and receives almost daily accessions.  A steam-ferry connects the town with the opposite side of the river.

Population in 1840 was 1,300; in 1850 was 4,081