Galena-Dubuque Mining District

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GALENA-DUBUQUE MINING DISTRICT is located in southwestern Wisconsin, northwestern Illinois, and Dubuque County, Iowa. Nicolas Perrot first mined lead there in 1690. Mining continued intermittently until the Fox Indians (see Mesquakie)granted Julien Dubuque permission to work the mines in 1788. After Dubuque died, in 1810, the Fox prevented his creditors from continuing operations. It was not until 1833 that miners returned to Dubuque.

Henry Shreve took a barge of lead to New Orleans from the Galena River mines as early as 1810. The first government leases to mine lead at the Galena River settlements were granted in 1822. Galena dominated the scene from 1822 to 1847, during which time about 472 million pounds of lead valued at approximately $14.2 million was shipped downstream.


Libby, Orin Grant. Significance of the Lead and Shot Trade in Early Wisconsin History. Madison, 1895.

Wright, James E. The Galena Lead District: Federal Policy and Practice, 1824–1847. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1966.

William J.Petersen/h. s.

See alsoLead Industry ; Mining Towns .