Iowa Assembly Meets

In 1838 the new territorial assembly and governor did not always agree on issues about governing.


The Territorial Assembly met for the first time in the old Zion Church in Burlington. From the very beginning, the Assembly and the Governor were in conflict. With all do respect Sir, why did you veto this last bill? You gentlemen seemed to be of the opinion that because the United States pays for the expenses of the Territorial Government, the greater the expenditure the better for the Territory. I cannot permit such use of Federal Money. But Governor, we have our people… The Governor showed his dissent by vetoing those bills which he believed created unnecessary expenses. I am afraid that I am unable to allow this bill to be passed. I am going to have to veto this bill. I realize we have had problems in the past… He vetoed other bills which were just bad laws. The legislatures came to see Lucas as a villain. They were jealous of his absolute veto power and since the legislatures had been elected by the people of the Territory, they felt that they should be able to override the Governor’s veto.

“The Path to Statehood,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 3, Iowa Public Television, 1978.