Burlington is a city in, and the county seat of, Des Moines County, Iowa, United States. The population was 23,982 in the 2020 census, a decline from the 26,839 population in 2000. Burlington is the center of a micropolitan area, which includes West Burlington and Middletown, Iowa, and Gulfport, Illinois. Burlington is the home of Snake Alley, an extremely crooked street.
Prior to European settlement, the area was neutral territory for the Sac and Fox Native American tribes, 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. The Lewis and Clark Expedition 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 what would become Iowa soil and recommended construction of a fort. The recommendation went unheeded.