Burlington is a city in, and the county seat of Des Moines County, Iowa, United States. The population was 25,663 in the 2010 census, a decline from the 26,839 population in the 2000 census. Burlington is the center of a micropolitan area including West Burlington, Iowa and Middletown, Iowa and Gulf Port, Illinois. Burlington is the home of Snake Alley, the crookedest alley in the world, and has been called the Backhoe Capital of the World.
Prior to American settlement, the area was neutral territory for the Sac and Fox Indians, who called it "Shoquoquon" (Shok-ko-kon), meaning Flint Hills.
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson organized two parties of explorers to map the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark followed the Missouri River, while Lt. Zebulon Pike followed the Mississippi River. In 1805, Pike landed at the bluffs below Burlington and raised the United States Flag for the first time on Iowa soil and recommended the construction of a fort. The recommendation went unheeded.