City in northeast Iowa, USA, northeast of Iowa City, just across the Mississippi River from the Wisconsin–Illinois border; seat of Dubuque County; population (2000) 57,700. An important port, it has agricultural marketing facilities; major industries are agricultural equipment, food processing, publishing, and metal working. Since the revival of legalized riverboat gambling in Iowa in 1991, tourism has increased, and greyhound racing has also developed.
The area was ceded to the government by the Mesquakie tribe in 1833 after the Black Hawk War. It had been much settled since the 1820s, when there was a rush for lead mining rights. Dubuque was incorporated as a city in 1841. It is named after Julien Dubuque (1762–1810), the first European to settle in Iowa, who made a treaty in 1788 with the American Indians, giving him lead-mining rights. There is a monument to him in the town. Dubuque was a lead- and zinc-mining centre until 1870, and a shipbuilding centre from 1850–1920.
Attractions include the Five Flags theatre, a 1910 replica of the Moulin Rouge theatre in Paris. There is also a funicular railway built in 1882 to traverse the steep river bluffs, called the Fourth Street cable railway. The Dubuque Shot Tower is a building of 1855 used for manufacturing lead shot, and present courthouse and jail is the third one, built in 1891, and listed on the national register of historic places. Dubuque is the seat of several colleges including Loras College (1839), Clarke College (1843), and the University of Dubuque (1852).