The Old Print Shop

Steamboat Riot on the "Dubuque," Above Davenport, Iowa, July 29, 1869.


  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly, August 28th, 1869.

  • MEDIUM: Engraving, Handcolored,

    DATE: 1869

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 10 x 7 1/4" (254 x 184 mm)

  • DESCRIPTION: A 19th-century perspective of the Steamboat Riot on the "Dubuque," above Davenport, Iowa, captured as a wood engraving and handcolored to highlight the details.<br><br> In the early morning of July 29, 1869, a race riot erupted on the steamer "Dubuque" as it departed from Davenport. The conflict began when an Irish lumberman, Mike Lynah, clashed with Moses Davis, a Black deck hand, over fare collection. Lynah and other raftsmen attacked the Black crew members, leading to chaos. The rioters, armed with rocks and wood, forced several Black men to flee or jump into the Mississippi River, resulting in multiple drownings and beatings. The violence continued until the boat reached Clinton, where authorities arrested twenty rioters. Subsequent trials led to the conviction of several men, including Lynah, who was sentenced to ten years in prison. The riot, driven by racial prejudice and alcohol, highlighted the racial tensions of the era.

  • ADDITIONAL INFO: This piece is in a mat for handling.

  • CONDITION: Good condition.


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