Rock Island, Illinois

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Rock Island is the county seat of Rock Island County, Illinois,[2] United States. The population was 39,684 at the 2000 census. Located on the Mississippi River, it is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Moline, East Moline, and the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The original Rock Island, from which the city gets its name, is the largest island in the Mississippi River. It is now called Arsenal Island.[3]



Prior to European contact, this area was settled for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. By the early nineteenth century, it was occupied chiefly by the Sauk Native Americans. Their major village of Saukenuk was located on the south side of Rock Island, along the Rock River. This was the birthplace of the Sauk war chief Black Hawk, for whom the Black Hawk War of 1831-1832 was named. Today the Black Hawk State Historic Site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes much of the site of the original village of Saukenuk. The park includes a museum and a number of hiking trails along the Rock River and in surrounding woods.

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