"[Honey War] Message from the President of the United States, Communicating Additional Information in Relation to the Disputed Boundary Line Between the State of Missouri and Territory of Iowa", U.S. Government
Subject: Document - Honey War, Iowa/Missouri Boundary
Period: 1840 (published)
Publication: Sen. Doc. 35, 26th Congress, 1st Session
This 20-page disbound report provides additional details on a boundary dispute between the State of Missouri and the Territory of Iowa known as the "Honey War." The dispute centered around the Sullivan Line, a 100-mile long line established in 1816 that was the agreed upon boundary between the new state of Missouri and Michigan Territory in 1821. In 1837, Missouri reconsidered its northern boundary and resurveyed Sullivan's line and claimed a boundary that was 10 miles into what would shortly become Iowa Territory. When Iowa Territory was established the following year, President Martin Van Buren appointed 3 commissioners from Iowa Territory, Missouri, and the federal government to resurvey and finalize the boundary. Missouri refused to participate stating that they had already done the survey work. Hostilities escalated when Missouri attempted to collect taxes on these newly acquired lands and angry Iowans chased off the tax collectors, who allegedly cut down 3 trees with beehives as partial payment. Tensions came to a peak when the Sheriff of Van Buren County (Iowa) arrested the Sheriff of Clark County (Missouri). Both sides assembled militias and were ready to fight, but cooler heads prevailed when leaders of both sides met to negotiate a truce. Despite Iowa achieving statehood in 1846, this boundary issue was not officially settled until 1849 when the United States Supreme Court ordered the Sullivan Line be resurveyed and permanently marked.