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George Caleb Bingham Rojismcti Phiyiii^ Cards 
(^)11(( lion City Art Museum of St. Louis 

11 1 s e I s 1 1 p p 1 

the life ami landscape of the Father of Waters 
and its great tributary, the Missouri; with 188 illus- 
trations of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, bank 
notes, river boat models, steamboat appurtenances and 
the Dickeson-Egan giant moving Panorama of the 

Edited with an Introduction by 




C O P Y R I r, II T 19 5 

C I T Y A H T M r S K V M OK ST. I, O U I S 

!• It I N T E D I N r H K INT T !■: D S T A T K S OF AMERICA 


I) I S T K I II V T !■: I) H Y THE C A I. E D O N I A P R E S S . ST. L O l' I S 





page i 



(.lutrU's van Ravciisuaay 


page 17 





Perry T. RalJihone 

I L L I S 1 R A I 1 O N S . N T E S 

H. Stewart Leonard 



P R I N T S 



page 27 

page 50 

page 50 
page 127 
page 1 M) 

page 193 

page 207 



George Caleb Bingham 


George Caleb Bingham 

opposite page 64 

George Catlin 

opposite page 80 

IN 1822 

John James Audubon 

between pages 120-121 


Currier and Ives 



ME IDEA of the exhibition on which this book is based was suggested, 
almost inevitably, by the paintings of river boat life by George Caleb 
Bingham, three of which are treasured in St. Louis. From that imj)ortant 
nucleus, for a matter of years, notes from reading and research as well 
as suggestions from many interested and helpful j)eople were gathered 
into a file that expanded beyond expectations, and is, in fact, still 
growing. It soon became apparent that the great waterways of the mid- 
continent had been a more fertile source of inspiration to the artist tlian 
is generally realized. And what was at first envisioned as a display of 
modest dimensions, drawn mainly from local sources, grew to be an 
exhibition comprehensive in scope and gathered from many quarters 
of America. 

While still in the early stages of planning, it was decided that it 
would be an artificial limitation to rule out of an exhibition devoted 
to the Mississippi the art of that even greater river, the Missouri. That, 
it seemed, would be like representing a giant tree with only one branch 
and a fraction of the trunk. It was easy to agree with Captain Marryat 
who in 1839 wrote in his Diary in America: "It was a great mistake 
of the first explorers, when they called the western branch, at the 
meeting of the two rivers, the Missouri, and the eastern the Mississippi; 
the western branch, or the Missouri, is really the Mississippi, and 
should have been so designated; it is the longest and farthest navigable 
of the two branches, and therefore is the main river." Moreover, an 
exhibition of the Mississijipi alone would hardly be approjiriate to 
St. Louis; for it is well known that the {)re-eminence of the city in 
this far-reaching valley has been due to its advantageous location at 
the confluence of the two great streams. It has always looked westward 
up the Missouri as well as up river and down on the Mississippi. It has 
only been less conscious of the Ohio. And ideally, the Ohio should 
be embraced by this display. Only limitations of space and time 
forced us to place it out of bounds. 

[ 7 ] 

Although the exhibition is comprehensive — it contains many items 
never before exhibited or published — it lays no claim to being com- 
plete. Not only have certain j)aintings, considered essential to the 
exhibition, been unobtainable for various reasons of ownership or prior 
commitment: but there are, no doubt, many others that remain in total 
obscurity. It is lioped that this enterprise will bring some of these 
to light and aid thereby in their preservation. It must be added that 
while the exhibition includes much, in reviewing the material for it 
one restraining principle above all has been observed: to resist the 
purely historical, however tempting. 

Not only does the title of the exhibition — Mississippi Panorama — 
j)oint to that extraordinary American art form so characteristic of the 
age, the moving panorama, a rare example of which is the central 
feature of the display; it also serves conveniently to connote the sweep 
of the exhibition. By panorama we have meant an assemblage of those 
visual objects of man's handiwork — the great majority of them pic- 
torial, to be sure — that would in any way reveal the look and character 
of the rivers and the life they created and sustained in the nineteenth 
century. In this connection, the contents of the catalogue are accom- 
panied by selections from the most familiar travel literature of the 
age, not for descriptive reasons so much as to extend the meaning 
and add another dimension to the matter at hand. The intention, 
then, has been to show not only the art of the rivers, but to present 
in terms both visual and verbal a review of American social history 
as it unfolded along the Mississippi and the Missouri in the last century. 
To achieve this end it was necessary to be inclusive. In consequence 
a great number of the popular lithographs of the era have been in- 
cluded as well as a selection of recent j)hotographs of the plantation 
architecture of the lower valley, peculiar to the Mississippi, and a 
remarkable group of architects' drawings from the same place and 
time. In addition, a revealing and fascinating assemblage of river 
boat models, ranging in type from the most primitive bark to the 
"floating palaces*' of the 'seventies, has been arranged in a special 

[ 8 ] 

setting. As an extension of the steamboat display, a variety of now 
rare and remote aj)j)urtenances of the great packets, from boiler room 
to gambling saloon, has been brought together: for all these objects, 
humble or elegant, were made not only for utility but for visual effect. 
A number of the most eye-catching decorated menus and bills of 
lading, as examples of the minor craft of the artist-{)ainter, have 
been included. Of more artistic imj)ortance are the remarkably fine 
bank note engravings that constitute a display in themselves. The 
selection has been made to complement the pictorial record of river 
life in the paintings and prints, for the bank-note engraver was at 
pains to reveal aspects of that life that was otherwise neglected. In 
short, the display ranges from the most familiar picture of a 
Mississij)pi steamboat race to objects that today are unrecognizable 
to the average person. 

Finally, there is the Panorama itself which by the paradoxical good 
fortune of neglect has been ])reserved, the one remaining work of 
seven of its kind that were devoted to the Mississippi. Unrolled 
repeatedly in this exhibition, it is seen as a moving spectacle of 
the ri\(M- for the first time in probably no less than ninety years. 

In bringing together this exhibition it would be impossible to 
acknowledge comj)letely the debt we owe. So many people have come 
to our assistance witli invaluable suggestions and counsel as well as 
with material helj) that their names would fill a small-town tele))hone 
directory. But the charity and patience of a few in particular must 
not go unrecorded. 

In addition to the many generous lenders to the exhibition through- 
out the country, including museums, historical societies and tlie private 
owners who have made this exhibition possible, the Museum is espe- 
cially indebted to tlie following individuals in St. Louis: to Miss Ruth 
Ferris, an enthusiastic collector and an authority on the h)re and 
history of the ri\er, for much \aluable information not to be found 
in books; to Captain Donald T. Wright, Editor of The Waterways 
Jounuil. for help in securing exhibits and for sharing his encyclopedic 

I 9 1 

knowledge of river boats and river traffic; to Mr. Charles van Ravens- 
waay, Director, and Miss Marjory Douglas, Curator of the Missouri 
Historical Society, the former for valuable suggestions, and the illumi- 
nating historical introduction to this catalogue; his colleague for 
helpful research; to Mr. John A. Bryan and Miss Temple Burrus of 
the National Park Service, for help in securing exhibits from the Old 
Court House; to Miss Dorothy Breen of the Public Library and Miss 
Elizabeth Tindal of the Mercantile Library for bibliographic assist- 
ance; to Mr. Irving Dilliard for having long ago made the lives of 
two great river personalities a matter of accurate record in the Dic- 
tionary of American Biography and for valuable publicity suggestions; 
and to Mr. John McDermott, who, without hestitation, has shared his 
fund of scholarly information, as yet unpublished, pertaining to the 
earliest artists and the panoramists of the river mentioned in the cata- 
logue; and to the Landesman Galleries for lending a Victorian chan- 
delier. Finally, the Museum is deeply indebted to the St. Louis Post- 
Dispatch and to Mr. Russ David of their radio-television staff for 
directing the presentation and providing the musical accompaniment 
for the Panorama of the Mississippi. 

In New Orleans, the Museum is no less indebted to the following: 
to Mr. Alonzo Lansford, Director of the Isaac Delgado Museum of 
Art, in particular, for his never failing kindness, not only in scouting 
for works of art germane to the exhibition, but in providing important 
information about them from unpublished sources, and in handling 
many irksome details of a practical kind; to Dr. Garland F. Taylor, 
Director of Libraries, Tulane University and to Mr. James J. A. 
Fortier, Curator of the Louisiana State Museum, for valuable assist- 
ance in arranging loans; to Mr. Albert Lieutaud for many helpful 
suggestions; and to Mr. Frank Boatner for his gracious assistance. 

In Minneapolis, Miss Bertha Heilbron of the Minnesota Historical 
Society and Mr. Richard S. Davis of the Minneapolis Institute of 
Arts have both earned our gratitude for many favors and for their 
patient attention to our problems. 

The Museum is also most grateful to tlie following for numerous 

[ 10 ] 

courtesies: Dr. F. Alden Mason of the University Museum, Phila- 
delphia; Dr. Hans Huth of the Art Institute of Chicago and Dr. H. 
Maxson Holloway, of the Chicago Historical Society; the Staff of tlie 
Frick Art Reference Library in New York; Mr. Harry Shaw Newman 
of New York: Mr. Charles Walker of Hannibal, Missouri; Mr. K. D. 
McClelland, Acting President of Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois; 
Mr. Floyd C. Shoemaker, Secretary of the State Historical Society of 
Missouri, Columbia; Mr. A. Remington Kellogg, Director of the 
United States National Museum; and Mr. Paul North Rice, Chief of 
the Reference Department, New \ ork Public Library. 

In preparing the catalogue, the Museum lias incurred the debt of 
the following: Charles Scribner's Sons for permission to quote from 
a particular work; Houghton Mifflin Company for lending the color 
plates of the Audubon View of Natchez and Mrs. George M. D. Kelly 
for her gracious permission to j)ublish tlie same; The Travelers 
Insurance Company for generously presenting the color plates of the 
Currier and Ives lithograph; Mr. Clarence John Laughlin for per- 
mission to reproduce his copyrighted photographs; the American 
Museum of Natural History and the Macmillan Company for per- 
mission to publish the color engraving of the Catlin Grand Detour; 
and the Metropolitan Museum of Art for lending the color plates of 
the Bingham Fur Traders Descending the Missouri. 

The exhibition has engaged tlie time and the talents of manv mem- 
bers of our staff. Special credit is due llit- (iurator. Dr. Hoopes, for 
his ingenuity and persistent devoted labor in mounting the Panorama 
in its framework and devising the mechanism for operating it. in 
this he has been ably assisted by the generous lielp of Mr. (George 
Lamborn of the School of Engineering, Washington UniNcrsilv: l)y 
Mr. Paul Haut-r: and Mr. Ben Swartz of our stall". The catalogue 
would ha\(' been a pictorial record at best had it not been for the 
assiduous reading of nineteenth centiirv authors by Mr. Leonard, 
Assistant to the Director, wlio selected tlie accompanying texts, and 
who scouted for material and did imicli of tlie research upon which 
the exhibition rests. Bibliogra|)hic assistance was given abundantly 

I 11 1 

by [he I,il)iaiian, Mrs. Stewart and her Assistant, Miss Kllermann. 
For the complicated business of handling the diversified material of 
the exhibition and solving the untried |)roblem of installation, credit 
is due to Mr. Thalinger, the Registrar. For their invaluable help in 
seeing the catalogue through the {)ress, the Secretary, Mr. Hitt, and 
Miss Gray, his Assistant, deserve recognition, as Miss Filsinger does 
for helping with the manuscript. Certain exhibits have required special 
preparation for dis{)lay— cleaning, restoration, painting and photo- 
graphing. For this painstaking work Miss Filsinger, Mr. Linsenmeyer, 
Mr. Paul Piaget, Mr. Thalinger and his staff deserve much credit. 

Finally, acknowledgment is gratefully made to the contemporary 
authors whose original research in the field of American painting 
covered by the exhibition has been frequently relied upon in preparing 
the introductory essay on the art of the Mississippi. Chief amongst them 
are the following: Porter A. Butts, David 1. Bushnell, Albert Christ- 
Janer, Bernard DeVoto, Bertha Heilbron, Loyd Haberly, John Mc- 
Dermott, and E. P. Richardson. 

Perry T. Rathbone 
St. Louis, 1950 

'T, f'^yu'~ 

["Rofliiiii: oil the River." ciiiiiaiiiii:; from a five dollar bank note of about 1857] 

[ 12 1 



UK Dickeson-Egan Panorama, while a work o( art (see pai^es 127- 
135), was also a theatrical enterprise. The mechanics of exhibition 
today presented the same problems as those that beset the entrepreneur 
a century ago. The necessarily ponderous mechanism was recon- 
structed to be as nearly like the vanished original as possible. Of this 
tiiere remained one roller and set of spokes. A second identical one 
was made and each of the two rollers, mounted on bearings within 
iieavily braced supj)orts, was turned manually by a stagehand, accord- 
ing to original practice, so that one scene after anollier was exj)Osed 
from behind the jiroscenium. (Caution was necessary to insure that 
the muslin would not be torn and that, at the same time, there was 
enough tension to present it from sli])j)ing down on the rollers. Bind- 
ing was stitched to both edges of the muslin to reinforce it against 
strain, and a vinylite fixative was s})rayed over it to prevent flaking. 

Panorama statu' diiriiiii iwrjoi niaiicc: The lluiinl oj Dc Solo s/ioiiiiiij, Irans- 
lucent moon. For method oj liiihlinii same see harhstatie vieiv on page 1 L 

[ 13 ] 

Courtesy Life iQ Time, Inc. 

Backstage view of Panorama during performance showing method of operating 
roller and of lighting translucent moon for the Burial of De Soto scene. 

[ 14 ] 

Fixed to the inside of the proscenium, a metal track was reconstructed 
upon which, by means of wooden balls fastened to the top edge, the 
Panorama could travel and be supported between the rollers. 

Blue, white and yellow footlights were played on the Panorama to 
dramatize the changing moods of moonlight, winter, cave and sunset 
scenes. Sound effects provided for the steamboat whistles, thunder 
anil Indian war whooj)s; chopped paper added t(» the realism oi a 
snow storm, the footlights were flickered to {)rovide lightning for the 
Tornado of 1844, and a special light shone through a translucent 
moon to illuminate the Burial of De Soto. The red and gold orna- 
mentation of the proscenium, a row of footlight reflectors and a gas- 
light chandelier suggested the theatrical atmosphere of the period. 
An informative lecture prepared by Dr. Thomas T. Hoopes combined 
extensive research with a literary style redolent of the nineteentli 
century to evoke the spirit and manner of Dr. Dickeson. The perform- 
ance, lasting thirty-five minutes, was further supported by a musical 
score based on a romantic song. The \\ kite Fawn of the Mississippi, 
composed by Mme. Harriet Schwieso for the showing of Banvard's 
Panorama in London in 1850. This was integrated and transcribed 
witli the lecture on tape to accompany the Panorama when mo\ing 
forward. Reversed and re-transcribed, it accompanied the next per- 
formance of the Panorama when it moved the other way, thus obviat- 
ing the need for re-rolling. The original handbill, twenty inches long, 
advertising Dr. Dickeson's "magnificent scenic mirror," was re[)roduced 
in facsimile. With the name of the Museum inserted, copies were given 
to the audience as souvenirs of "this gorgeous Panorama." 

The original handbill is rc|)ro(liicc(l on the lollowing page and is 
transcribed below. 

"Monumental (Grandeur of the College of Medicine; memher of 
Mississippi Valley! .\oiv e.xhih- the .tcndemy of Natural Sciences, 
iting for a short time only \ at the <uul Fellow of the Royal Society 
City Art Museum of Saint Louis] of Copenhagen, S:c., &c., will 
with scientific lectures on Ameri- lecture this evening on the An- 
can AFrchiology. Dr. Dickeson, tiquities tK: Customs of the In- 
late professor in Philadelphia hi storied Indian Tribes, who 

f 15 ] 

dwelt on this continent 3,500 
years ago, and also on the lead- 
ing peculiarities in the construc- 
tion of those mounds, tumuli, 
fossas, &c., 2vith the geology, 
mineralogy and botany of this 
beautiful country. 

''Dr. D. has devoted twelve 
years of his life in these investi- 
gations, having in that time ex- 
plored the whole Valley of the 
Mississippi, and opened over 
1,000 Indian monuments or 
mounds, and has now a collec- 
tion of 40,000 relics of those 
interesting, but unhistoried na- 
tive Americans. 

''During the entertainment, 
the Doctor ivill unroll a magnifi- 
cent scenic mirror, covering 
15,000 feet of canvass, illus- 
trating the monumental gran- 
deur of the Valley, with the 
splendid scenes that occur upon 
the Father of Rivers. 

"His lecture, which accom- 
panies each moving of the tab- 
leaus, abounds in invaluable in- 
formation, and is worth alone, 
double the price of admission. 

"This gorgeous Panorama, with 
all the aborigintd monuments 
of a large extent of country once 
roamed by the red man. was 
jHiinted by the eminent artist 
I. J . Egan, Esq., and covers over 
15,000 feet of canvass! It has 
been pronounced by our cele- 
brated artists to be the most 
finished & magnificent picture 
ever presented to the American 
publi( . Each view and scene is 
taken from drawings made on 



A'aiericao JESrchiology . 

U: lii.i...,.,,. Ui- l'r.jr.'».jr in I'l.ilvWplni. 1 '..ll-aw of Sl.-I,. ii,.' ■ ll.-a.Ur ..f ihf ,.| N,h:n.l <,,,;„., ind tVU..».if a-' lUvul or ■■oprnl..irrn *.■ t- 

>.iiir^. lun-rni- KW.vivi: nniw 


i-oiiHiniL-lmAi i.f ilii™' .U(i/ni^«, Tumuiii, Ftt^MU fc^ . with tt^' (]>.i>1oa.v. Mmcntli'ify «ii<1 

Ih- l> f.A- a.<ii(.,l tw.K.- >.'ui» i-f l.tfclif.- ill III iriK^iRjUiLiw. bnviujr in tb«l tmif- 

ci(4'T"l I'" '^l'"'- \-iil'N . r 111. MUiwiupi. null oj«ni-.i i>vpr l.OM Iijilimi MonurewnU 
11 M.iirl ^i,.i 1^. J, ,\ k -<<lL>''t"ij 'T 10,000 rr&fi nf Ihnao uilrrntltng, Ifuruiihiatonaj 

Hm I^rUiiv, will, lio...,.,,]..!!!.- .-u It 1.11. u.ii: .-r till- Tal-Ii-ww. aUdiiidi. lu iurjusblc 



Eminent Artist I. J. EC^AN, Enq. 

And OoTers over 15.000 Feet of Canvass ! 

FLVtsHEn 4- .yi.w.xiFicF:.yT ptcTinE 
Pronlil. W. DICKES01\, M. D^ 

Indian •^oundH, 



CiiJMrcn under 13 


the spot, by Prof. M. W. Dicke- 
son, M.I)., who spent twelve years 
of his life in opening Indian 

[ 16 ] 


M 1 S S I S Sim 

Charles van Ravenswaay 


KOGKAPHEKS tciul lo (.lisiegaicl tlie clean upper slietclies ol the 
Mississi})pi, and lo consitier llie great river's true source as the 
headwaters of the Missouri. Their combined 4200 miles of waterways 
iiave bound the Alleghenies to the Rockies, and helped keep the ex- 
panding nation "one and indivisible." The Mississippi has shaped the 
lives and attitudes of all those who have lived in its valley, and through 
them, much of the character of our mature nation. Too big and too 
subtle to catch in a phrase, even the garrulous frontiersman found no 
nickname for it, but the Negro's "old man river," fits as w^ell as any. 

Thousands of tributaries, many bearing names of Indian, French, 
or Spanish origin, feed the Mississippi. Its waters are muddy and 
turbulent, its temper uncertain. In the 1850's a Waverly, Missouri, 
newspaper bragged that the Missouri was "the muddiest, the deepest, 
the shallowest, the bar-iest, the snaggiest, the sandiest, the catfishiest, 
the swiftest, the steamboatiest, and the uncertainest river in all the 
work!."' Residents along the Mississipi)i banks boasted that they were 
such ""go-ahead" people they had no time to filter the water. They thank 
it mud and all, and called it fresh, sweet, and healthful. "And besides," 
a steamboat captain once explained to a shocked New Englander, "it 
scours out the bowels. Ma'am." 

The Mississipj)i has a life and a personality of its own, which all 
the |)i(meer tall tales, and all the books of description ami statistics, 
and all the canvases painted by artists along its shores, oidy help to 
catch and e\j)lain. The muted sounds of river life are not in the 
rhythm of modern civilization, and the familiar scenes along the 
Mississippi banks take on new meaning to those who travel its 

The river can be soft and gentle, flowing in a silver, rose, or 
lavender haze. Or it can be a brown and sinister fury, lashed by 
wind and swollen by floods which surge out of the channel to wash 
away houses, barns, and crops. Its banks, between the grimy crags 
of modern cities, are tre«' lined and beautilul, broken by towering 
limestone bluffs. At many places along its ways are ancient Indian 

[ 17 ] 

niouruls. Once the exposed surfaces of the bluffs bore weird Indian 
paintings sucli as the Piasa bird, near Alton, Illinois, which was a 
crude representation of a creature half bird, half serpent. These have 
long since weathered away, or been blasted off to make way for rail- 
road tracks or highways. 

At the Grand Chain of the Mississippi, about thirty miles above 
the mouth of the Ohio, the river boils against Devil's Bake Oven on 
the Illinois shore, and is thrown back against Grand Tower on the 
Missouri bank. In tliis turbulent spot, just above the point where 
the valley widens into the fertile delta of the lower river, pioneer 
boatmen used once to initiate greenhorns into their trade. In the 
bottoms along the river, an occasional swamp or lake marks the 
channel's former course. In these are found fascinating birds and 
fish, and many varieties of plant life, all guarded by swarms of 
mosquitoes which in an earlier time were the deadly enemy of the 
entire valley. 

On the sand bars and lonely islands the entire length of the great 
waterway are thickets of willow and poplar and sycamore, where 
wild ducks and blue heron take sanctuary in seasonal flights, and 
the native mushroom, the morel, is to be found on the first warm days 
of spring. Pioneer records tell of green and orange parakeets in 
great number, and passenger pigeons that darkened the sky in their 
flight, but these varieties are now extinct. The enormous size and 
whiskered ugliness of the Mississippi catfish terrified early travelers. 
Now they are caught and sold by fishermen who live in huts along 
the banks, and vary their fishing with snagging driftwood during 
the spring "rise" to use as fuel. 

The Mississippi has served the nation as a highway, and as a 
battleground; it has been a road to opportunity, and a barrier to 
religion and the law; an international boundary, and a unifying force. 
It still remains the dividing line between "back East" and "out West". 

De Soto was the first white man to see the Mississippi nearly four 
centuries ago. Marquette and Joliet began the first real exploration 
of the river in 1673. Shortly after that, French-Canadian trappers, 
traders, and priests began nosing their canoes into every tributary of 
tlie river, searching for furs, or souls to be saved; seeking gold, or 
waterways to the Pacific. 

Villages slowly grew up along the routes of these explorers. The 
earliest permanent settlement was at Cahokia, Illinois, in 1699. 

[ 18 ] 

During the following century other villages were established along 
the fertile banks all the way to New Orleans. For their settlers the 
only real link witli each other and with the outside world was the 
river. During the years of French, Spanish, and English occupation, 
the river and its remote settlements were on the outermost fringe 
of the civilized world, but nevertheless they served as j)awns in the 
game of international jiolitics for the control of the continent. From 
the Revolution to the Civil War, the valley and the river played a 
vital part in military strategy. 

The western farmers and merchants depended upon the river to 
get their produce to eastern or European markets, and by the thou- 
sand they loaded their grain, lead, cattle, salt, and furs onto flat- 
boats, and headed for New Orleans. Thus they saw more of the 
world than many of their descendants, and came to know a national 
pride and solidarity. In contrast, the southern common man, who 
rarely left his home, did not feel as strongly that the river and its 
tributaries had bound the nation into an indissoluble union. But 
so she had, and these bonds were to survive even the Civil War. 

Indian canoes provided the first means of transportation on the 
river. In the upper stretches, where frequent portages were necessary 
because of rapids or shallows, the canoes were generally of birch 
bark. In the lower reaches the much heavier pirogues, made of 
hollowed logs, were used. The larger of these were some thirty feet 
long, and with a three and a half foot beam, and a mast amidshi])s with 
a scjuare sail. Some boats of this type were used in southeast Missouri 
until the twentieth century. In areas where wood was not ])lentiful 
bullboats of a red willow frame covered with stretched buffalo hide 
were common. 

French and Spanish settlers used a iriucli lariicr crafl, tlio kccl- 
less flat-bottomed Ixitrau, which was mancu\ercd upstream by pole, 
sail, or oars. Sometimes the crew literally j)ulled it up by m<\ins of a 
towline, or corilelle. In the early nineteenth cctiliiiy, Vincricaii 
settlers introduced keelboats, which liad woocjcii lihs covcnMl witli 
planks, and also carried a sail. Long and slender, tliey could carry 
from fifteen to thirty tons of freight at a time. Rut like tlie hntenu. 
they depended largely uj)on nuiscle power for upstream ]irogress. 
In deep water oars were used, but generally ihc boats hugged the 
shore where the current was less swift. TTcic tlie cicw jhisIkmI the 
boat along by means of setting poles, or used a cordrllr. Sometimes 

[ 19 ] 

in difficult stretches of the river the boat was warped along by means 
of a line and windlass. Barges were also in common use at that time. 
Wider than a keelboat, and comparable in size to many ocean- 
going vessels of their day, they could carry up to fifty tons of freight. 
In 1802 the average trip from New Orleans to St. Louis might 
require as much as four months. Traveling downstream, the journey 
took from ten to thirty days, depending upon the stage of the river. 
For transporting the bulky, heavy freight to market, huge rafts were 
used which were square-cornered and flat-bottomed, called variously 
"flatboats", "Kentucky flats", or "broadhorns." Furniture and country 
produce of every kind was loaded on these and floated downstream. 
Once unloaded, the craft was broken up and sold for lumber, the crew 
returning by keelboat, or by land, and later by steamboat. 

Since there were no highways, and travel by land on foot, horse- 
back, or wagon was not only slow but extremely dangerous, the 
Mississippi was heavy with traffic even in these early days. Everyone 
rode the river; flatboatmen with their produce for market; settlers 
with their furniture seeking the promised land; theatrical troupes; 
bands of soldiers; merchants selling pottery and household gear. 
Many guide books of the river were published, giving distances, 
charts, navigation hazards, and landmarks, along with sundry bits 
of miscellaneous information, often of a curious nature. The Nav- 
igator, 1811, published by Zadok Cramer, throws in this interesting 
fact: "The Pelican is said to have a melancholy countenance . . . 
and is very torpid ... It is asserted that they seem to be fond of 

The first flatboatmen were generally farmers who merely made 
a trip to market when they had produce to sell, or trappers who 
divided their time between trapping and boating. Before long, however, 
the traffic supported professional boatmen, usually Creoles — American- 
bred French or Spanish. Clad only in breech-clouts in summer, living 
on frugal and monotonous fare, they were docile, tractable workers 
who plied the river singing their traditional songs of Canada and 

As the traffic increased and settlement developed, the Creole boat- 
men were superseded by lusty American roisterers who took the river as 
their own. Generally honest and faithful, they were none the less 
heavy drinkers, foul-witted and prodigal. Almost to a man they 
were great fighters. Mark Twain tells that, upon landing, the strongest 

[ 20 1 

of each crew would put a red feather in his cap to challenge any 
one on shore to fight, "fair" or "rough and tumble. " A rough and 
tumble fight ended only when one contestant was maimed or dis- 
figured for life. "\\ hoo-oop,'' a typical flatboatman hollered as he 
came ashore. "I'm the old original iron-jawed, brass mounted, copper 
bellied corpsemaker from the wilds of Arkansas! . . . Lay low and 
liold your breatli, for I'm about to turn myself loose!" Drunken 
crews and their lawless friends made Natcliez-under-tlie-Hill, and 
many other spots along the river, notorious. 

Probably the most famous of the rivermen of that day was Mike 
Fink, a slow spoken man of |)rodigious endurance, wlio was a 
crack shot and had a woman named "Pittsburgh Blue." An Indian 
fighter in his youth, he became a keelboatman of great popularity in 
his middle years. He brawled his way in and out of every town along 
the Mississippi, boasting that he was "half-man, half-alligator, and 
chock full of fight." One of his favorite exhibitions was to shoot a 
cup of whiskey off the head of a trusting companion, until the 
inevitable day when his rifle "slipped." Eventually, when he had 
retired from the river and become a trapper in the Far West, lie 
was shot by a friend of the man he had killed. 

Because traffic on the river was rich and lush, and law enforce- 
ment practically non-existent, criminals were naturally attracted. The 
particularly unsettled condition which followed the American Revolu- 
tion fostered an outbreak of pirates along the lower Mississip})i. 
Working in bands, the pirates would either lure their victims ashore, 
or board them on the river in traditional pirate fashion. Cave-in- 
Rock, on the lower Ohio, became notorious. Even the wife and chil- 
dren of the Spanish Lieutenant-Governor Cruzat of St. Louis were 
captured and held for a time. With the coming of a more settled 
government, and the development of the steamboat, both the pirates 
and the brawling keelboatmen were driven from the river. W ith them 
went the mellow notes of the boatman's horn acioss llie walei-, and 
the echo of such songs as: 

Some rows U|», but we rows down. 
All the way to Shawnee town, 
Pull away — pull away! 
They were followed by restless, improvident shanty-boatmen, whose 
"driftings" have been transferred by the jaloj)y to our highways. 

After the invention of the steam engine in the late eighteenth 

1 21 I 

century it was, of course, but a short step to the development of 
steamboats. Who actually invented this craft has long been debated. 
Oliver Evans proposed their use on western rivers in 1785; John 
Fitch and others had begun experiments on such craft before 1800. 
Livingston and Fulton, after successful experiments on the Hudson, 
joined with Nicholas J. Roosevelt in buihUng a steamboat at Pitts- 
burgh in 1810, Roosevelt took the boat on her maiden voyage to New 
Orleans during tlie following year, but not without adventure. As 
they neared New Madrid, close to the mouth of the Ohio River, they 
were caught in the most violent earthquake America has ever known. 
The earth heaved and si)lit, and the Mississippi waters flowed back- 
ward. The 116-foot boat was severely tossed about, but eventually 
weathered the cataclysm. Other boats in the vicinity were totally 
destroyed, some being literally swallowed whole. The little steamboat 
clmgged on and pulled into the Natchez wharf with such a show of 
energy that a Negro on the bank threw up his hat and whooped, "Old 
Mississippi done got her master now!" 

The boats which Fulton and Livingston designed for use on the 
Mississippi were deep-drafted, low-powered craft such as had succeeded 
on the Hudson River. Captain Henry M. Shreve, well-known as the 
Master of the Mississippi, finally developed a vessel more suited to 
the shallow waters of the great river and its tributaries. He also 
cleared the channel of snags and sawyers, and even of the hulks of 
wrecked vessels. In 1815, Shreve directed the building of the Wash- 
ington at Wheeling. This boat had a shallow hull, with the boilers 
and engines on the main deck, and an added second deck. Its engines 
used stationary, horizontal cylinders with oscillating pitmans, a revolu- 
tionary design. The Washington demonstrated its superiority to all 
other steamboats of that time on its maiden voyage to New Orleans 
in 1816, and thereafter its model was the prototype of nearly all 
the boats used on the Mississippi and Missouri. Hundreds of similar 
craft were soon plying the waters. In a single generation freight 
rates from New Orleans to St. Louis were reduced from $1,000 a 
ton to $40. 

The first steamboat to reach St. Louis came up from New Orleans in 
July of 1817. It was the Zebulon M. Pike, a single boiler boat. It 
made the trip in one-fifth the regular keelboat time, and steamboating 
was here to stay. Two years later the Independence proved the Mis- 
souri River navigable by journeying from St. Louis to Chariton and 

[ 22 1 

return in twenty-one days. In the same year the Western Engineer 
accompanied Long's expedition to the upper Missouri, reaching a 
point 7 miles below Council Bluffs. This was one of the strangest 
vessels ever built. Its bow was shajx'd l(» resemble the head of a 
huge serpent, from whose gaping moutli issued smoke and flames, 
much to the terror of the Indians along the way. 

Soon American "know-how" had provided fast, j)ractical boats 
adapted to the streams they navigated. Immigrants moving west 
crowded their rails. Their lower decks groaned under produce from 
the farms and ore from tlie mines along the waterways. Streams 
which today seem incapable of floating a rowboat once knew the 
familiar sound of the steamboat whistle. Though they lacked tlie 
trim beauty of the larger ocean-going craft of the day, the steam- 
boats were none the less handsome in their way. Many of the larger 
ones were fitted out with remarkable luxury. Their saloons sported 
crystal chandeliers, handsomely carved furniture, paintings and fine 
carpets; the cabins were spotless; a ship's band jirovided music. Their 
dining tables were beautifully set with the finest china, often spe- 
cially designed for the boat, and massive silver. Drinks were served 
in sparkling, heavy glasses with flaring bases. Elaborately folded 
linen napkins were a point of pride. Fresh foods were taken aboard 
frequently, and the menus set a standard probably never equalled 
since. On each trip the pastry cook would plan a surprise for the 
passengers. One such surprise consisted of setting thirteen different, 
elaborate desserts before each guest at the end of a particularly hearty 
meal. The boat steward, as was natural under these conditions, was 
considered of almost equal im|)ortance to tlie captain, and often was 
paid as much. The captains were individualists, of many and divergent 
backgrounds. Captain Casa B. Creen was a Cod-fearing Methodist 
minister; Tom Cushing had been a well-known opera singer in New 
^Ork; Ageston Haraszylhy, who commanded the Rod: Rirrr. was a 
j)()litical refugee and a Count in his own right. 

Many who had learned the river as keelboatnicn bccatiir pilots 
on the steamboats, and their knowledge was invaluable. Since the 
river was constantly changing its course, maj)s were never reliable; 
the pilot had to know every bend, sandbar, and snag along the way, 
by night or by day, in fog or in storm. He was responsible for the 
safety of the boat, the passengers, and the cargo. The pilot was con- 
sequently paid quite fabulous wages, and many of them became 

[ 23 1 

popular idols, as movie stars and baseball heroes do today. Some 
even sported specially designed clothes, such as pants with a map 
of the river woven in the fabric. Again like our modern sports heroes, 
the j)il()ts were frequently known by descriptive nick-names. One 
very tall pilot with a long beard was known the length of the river as 
Swamp Angel; another was dubbed Tackhammer, from his manner 
of expectorating. A man who paced the deck in moments of stress 
was called Caged Lion. Still another earned the title Chief-Rain-in- 
the-Face, because he insisted upon sleeping in an Indian tepee back 
of the pilot house. The skill of the pilots was a blend of photographic 
memory, real understanding of weather and river signs, and supersti- 
tion. The color of the water and the pattern of each ripple had its 
meaning to the pilot. Wind from the east meant rain; w^hen the 
wheel became sticky in early evening it was a sure sign of fog before 
morning. To start the year's journey on a Friday brought bad luck for 
the entire season. 

Every operation on a steamboat was done to the song of a leader, 
the crew working in rhythm and joining in the chorus. On one boat, 
whenever they left a wharf, a Negro would stand in the forecastle 
waving a small flag, and singing: 

She's a bully boat, she's got a bully crew 

And a bully captain too. 
Let her go! Our work is done; 
And now we'll rest and see her run. 

An old riverman describes the scene at a wharf. "The palatial 
steamer, obeying every turn of the wheel like a thing of life, with a 
band of music and flags flying" would dance up to the landing to 
deposit her way-freight and passengers, "then out and away again, 
like a bird of passage, leaving behind her a surging, boiling passage- 

The passengers were of every class and walk of life. On nearly 
every trip there would be one of the professional gamblers about whom 
legend grew. They were usually consummate actors, handsomely 
dressed and immaculately groomed, with a tradition of gentlemenly 
behavior, and their own strict code of honor. On most of the boats 
they were permitted to ])ly their trade without interference, though an 
occasional God-fearing captain would forbid gambling, just as a 
rare few did not sell li(|Uor or run their boats on Sunday. 

By the early 1850's "show boats" were plying the river, floating 

\ 24 ] 

theatres where river towns were first introduced to the sorrows of 
Little Eva, or the histrionics of Hamlet. Medicine men, with their 
spiels and lively entertainment, provided halms for all ills. River 
cities received the great or the notorious visitor with a water pageantry 
of music, flags, cannon salutes, and the graceful movements of escort- 
ing vessels. Excursion parties found relaxation on trips to the falls of 
St. Anthony, viewing in luxury the upper river world which was only 
then emerging from Indian days, but which had already become a 
romantic theme in poetry and art; or they journeyed to Louisville, or 
floated downstream to exotic New Orleans. 

There was considerable competition among the many boats for 
both passengers and freight. Success naturally depended largely upon 
the pilot's reputation for safety, but speed was also of great importance. 
Designers were constantly on the alert to improve the boats' potfiitial 
speed. The fastest craft on the river was the /. M. White II, built 
at Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, and owned by St. Louisans. On her maiden 
voyage from New Orleans to St. Louis in 1844, piloted by the famed 
Isaiah Sellers, she broke all records, making the trip in three days, 
twenty-three hours, and nine minutes. It is doubtful if her speed, 
under comparable mileage and fueling conditions, has ever been bet- 
tered, even by the Robert E. Lee in its famous race with the Natchez 
in 1870. Captain Sellers, who taught Mark Twain much of his river 
lore, became a legend on the river even during his own lifetime. 

Steamboat races were popular sport, and were both colorful and 
exciting, though they resulted in the frequent loss of bolli lives and 
boats. In order to gain speed in a race the safety valves were held 
down, and all too often the boiler exploded. Snags and sand bars took 
their toll of shi])s also. In 1873 John A. Scudder testified before a 
Senate Committee that five thousand boats lay sunken between St. Louis 
and Cairo alone. Probably the worst steamboat disaster ever to occur 
on the Missouri was the explosion of the Sniuda. carrying two lunidred 
and fifty Mormon passengers, near Lexington, Missouri, in 18.')2. Oidy 
one hundred of the passengers were ever accounted for after the 

During the Civil War the y'wrv was used for moxiiiji; troops, and 
for hospital ships and transports organized and directed by General 
Charles Parsons, in cooj)eration witli I nited States army and naval 
officers. Through herculean effort, the river was opened to the sea, and 
ironclad fighting ships, made in the St. Louis shi})yards under the 

[ 25 1 

supervision of Cajitain James B. Eads, passed down the river. Captain 
Eads, who was without any formal training, also evolved techniques 
for raising sunken craft for salvage purposes, and constructed the 
South Pass jetties below New Orleans, which preserved the city as an 
ocean port. In 1874, his bridge across the Mississippi, with its long, 
graceful spans, was completed, marking the close of the golden age 
of steamboating. 

[John Senexs Map of Louisiana and the Mississippi, London, ca. 1720] 

[ 26 ] 

Perry T. Ratiibone 


.N New Orleans on a November clay in 1803, J. L. Bouquet cle 
Woiseri, a self-styled "designer, drawer, geographer and engineer," 
sketched out a long narrow strip of a picture. It was just the shaj)e 
to accommodate his subject, a panoramic view of the capital of Louisi- 
ana [25] stretched in a crescent curve on the sea level banks of 
the Mississippi. Then he carefully painted each lofty tower, roof top 
and dormer window of the little city basking in the sultry warmth 
of the South, and fringed it witli the seagoing vessels and up river 
craft docked at the long water front. It was the first of immmerable 
topographic views of the young settlements along the Father of Waters 
that would occupy artists for a century. And the painting would not 
be otherwise remarkable had Bouquet de Woiseri been satisfied alone 
with what he saw. That which he was inspired to add from his mind's 
eye was extraordinary. High above the city across the whole expanse 
of sky he unfurled a waving star-decked ribbon clutched at the center 
by a flying eagle and bearing the legend, "Under My Wings Every 
Thing Prospers." Bouquet de Woiseri's painting was, of course, ])oliti- 
cal in its meaning, for it symbolized with jubilation the end of Spanisli 
autocracy and French inconstancy that came with the Louisiana 
Purchase and the transfer of the colony to the democratic rule of the 
United States. And to make sure his sentiments were understood, 
Bouquet de Woiseri enlivened his view of the old French town with 
not one, but two American flags stretched to the breeze, and dedicated 
to President Thomas Jefferson the engraved reproduction of the painting 
that he promptly prepared for the market. The painting is also signifi- 
cant as the starting point of our story, for the art of the Mississippi 
commences with the American settlement of the valley. Likewise a 
keynote to the art the Mississippi {)roduced is provided in Bouquet 
de Woiseri's factual delineation of New Orleans. This approacli, 
handed from artist to artist, was not to change for a ceuturv. 

At the end of the story stands another j)aititing, B<ild Eai^le \92\ 
bearing the date 1905, by the St. Louis artist, Frederick Oakes Syl- 
vester. It loo may be accepted as a symbol, designating the close of 
the century-long era during which the Mississippi was a never-failing 

[ 27 ] 

source of wonder and inspiration to native and European artist alike. 
No riverscape of the nineteenth century could offer greater contrast 
to Bouquet de Woiseris meticulous delineation of New Orleans: tlie 
harbor city is as factual a record as the artist could produce; Sylvester's 
intention was to create a poetic mood. One picture, if you will, was 
made to be examined, the other, to be contemplated. Sylvester's 
painting is a mist-shrouded night scene in tones of blue; it is vague 
and Whistlerian to a degree. No life troubles the quiet waters save a 
lonesome river boat whose running light glimmers in the distance. 
That single light in itself is significant, a melancholy emblem that 
the steamboat })ageantry of the great age had gone. With it the artist 
departed from the river; his work of depicting it was done. For a 
century, while the river remained a teeming avenue of commerce 
and travel, it was ever-present in tlie minds of those who saw it and 
in the imagination of the rest of the nation who heard about it and 
felt its j)rodigious influence. The artist supplied the insatiable demand 
for its image, an image that was realistic by intention, and picturesque, 
even at times glamorous, by reason of the subject itself. The rapid 
growth of swifter overland travel and the development of photography 
changed all that. The vast riverways of the Mississippi and its tribu- 
taries became incidental to continental travel and commerce whereas 
it formerly had been supreme; the camera usurped the once indispen- 
sable role of the artist as reporter and recorder. By the first centenary 
of the Louisiana Purchase the national mind had turned to other 
interests, the artist to other ways of seeing. 

Sylvester, of course, was an impressionist, painting in the idiom 
of his day. But the significant fact for us is not his mode of expression, 
but his approach to painting. His exclusive interest was in the poetry 
of the river, the majesty of its watery expanses and towering bluffs. 
Its prosy aspects interested him not at all; nor would they have caught 
the fancy of his admirers who expected other things of art. His quiet 
scenes are unj)e()pled, untouched by city or village. The River's 
Golden Dream. | 'H | as he called one of his paintings, is a trans- 
cendental reverie. His aim, like that of all his artistic generation, 
was esthetic, not informative. 

Not so with Bouquet de Woiseri and his multifarious and busy 
successors. They were explorers, recorders, and reporters first of all, 
as thrilled and excited by what they saw as any new traveler in a 
foreign land. They had neither the time nor the inclination to dream, 

[ 28 ] 

but only to sketch and paint as accurately as they could every burgeon- 
ing town and village, every raft and keelboat, the endless banks and 
bluffs, the flora and fauna of the new inland waterway which had no 
equal in the world. The painters of the Mississippi were factual- 
minded, eager to preserve the visual experience of the life and land- 
scape of the river even as it changed before their eyes. And while 
their activity paralleled tlie rising tide of romanticism in literature 
and art, the poetry and romance that speaks from nearly every picture 
they created was not so much the invention of the artist as it was 
inherent in the life they portrayed. 

Who were the artists that created this panoramic record for a 
hundred years? Who were the men that fastened their gaze on all 
the living aspects of the great river and recreated them with brush 
and pencil? It is too early to deliver a definitive answer, and in this 
survey we must rely, for the most part, on the best known of them. 
At least four are renowned: Audubon, Bingham, Bodmer and Catlin: 
seven others, Richard Clague, Seth Eastman, Henry Lewis, J. R. 
Meeker, W. A. Walker, J. C. Wild and Charles Wimar, are familiar 
to students of history, art and anthropology. Enough of the work of 
their lesser brethren has been preserved and recorded to indicate 
that they were a numerous kind, to say the least. Tt is well known that 
the contemporary writers on the subject were legion, and their works 
have been published and republished, indexed, annotated and com- 
mented upon. The Rev. Timothy Flint, one of the most indefatigable 
travelers of the valley in the first quarter of the century, wrote in 
1826, "There are such showers of journals, and travels and residences, 
and geographies and gazeteers; and every |)erson, who can in any 
way fasten the members of a sentence together, after having traveled 
through a country, is so sure to begin to scribble about it, that T 
have felt a kind of awkward consciousness at the thought of starting 
in the same beaten track." Tt is from a few such writings that the 
quotations in this catalogue have been drawn to describe or elucidate 
the works of art that comj)rise the exhibition. Even though the Eng- 
lish writer, Mrs. Jameson, could note in 1837 that "the country seemed 
to swarm with painters," the pictorial record can hardly match the 
written in extent: but just as the literary record is surj^risingly large, 
so is the visual record more copious than one would sus])ect. 

Of the painters of the Mississippi and Missouri whose achieve- 
ment is established and widely known, only one, Richard Clague of 

[ 29 ] 

New Orleans, was a native of the valley. Indeed, of the eleven 
artists referred to above, six alone were born in America. While this 
fact is to be expected amongst tlie earlier j)ainters who were carried 
into the valley in the endless stream of immigration following the 
Louisiana Purchase — sometimes as children as in the case of Bingham 
and Wimar — it is surprising that no artist of more than local repu- 
tation, save Clague, in the second half of the century was born amidst 
the scenes he painted. While, nevertheless, not a few of those who 
painted the great rivers could call the valley their home, some artists 
were only brief visitors at one river town or another; others like 
Audubon, Catlin and Bodmer were drawn to the Mississip])i and 
Missouri, not to settle there, but for the sole purpose of traveling 
the length of them, exploring and recording their shores of swamp 
and prairie, forest and mountain, and the birds and beasts and Indians 
that lived in them. In consequence, the exhibition embraces the 
work of men who knew the great watercourse from mountain source 
to sub-tropical delta as well as of those who merely crossed it and 
passed on. 

In a study of the procession of artists who made of the great river 
valleys a chief dominion of their activity, one fact stands out: the 
most distinguished and widely known of them were in pursuit of some 
particular aspect of the life that flourished there. And their fame, 
without doubt, rests in large part upon the steadfastness of that pursuit 
and the consistency of the subject paintings that it yielded. In the 
light of our present knowledge, we can say that these river artists 
number twelve, from the most famous as well as the earliest, John 
James Audubon, the naturalist, to August Norieri of New Orleans, 
who was not only amongst the last of the river painters and one who 
has remained in obscurity, but who also, strange to say, almost alone 
concerned himself with the most glamourous man-made feature of the 
river, the steamboat. Most numerous of the twelve were the {)ainters 
of Indians; George Catlin, Seth Eastman, Charles Bodmer, and 
Charles Wimar. Second in number to them were the painters of land- 
scapes and towns: John Casper Wild and Henry Lewis (the mid-century 
artists of St. Louis), and Richard Clague of Louisiana, who was work- 
ing into the 'seventies. Related to them in his interest was Joseph 
Rusling Meeker whose imagination, though he lived in St. Louis, 
never ceased to dwell upon the desolate swamj)s and bayous of 
Louisiana. William Aiken Walker, who lived well into the twentieth 

[ 30 ] 

century, fouiul enduring satisfaction in painting the Negro life of 
the cotton doinain on Louisiana plantation and New Orleans levee. 
But without question, tlie greatest artist of them all was George Caleb 
Bingham of Missouri who in large measure devoted his wonderful 
gift to painting that prodigious species of man, the boatman, of whom 
Timothy Flint was moved to say, "when the warmth of wliiskey in 
his stomach is added to his natural energy, he becomes in succession, 
horse, alligator, and steamboat." 

But it is easy to get aliead of our story. During tiie first two decades 
of the nineteenth century there were, no doubt, numerous artists, in 
addition to the portraitist who does not concern us here, at work 
along the Mississippi. So far as we know, with the exception of one 
professional. Bouquet de Woiseri, their names are lost. Perhaps most 
of them were amateurs who painted the local scene for personal satis- 
faction like Christophe Colomb, the author of the charming prospect 
of White Hall Plantation [46] which dates from about 1800. Others 
may have been modest talents that were gainfully employed like the 
unknown "drawer and engraver" of the bank note woodcut [163] 
of 1817 who has provided us with the earliest known view of St. 
Louis, a view that tantalizingly appears to be a small slice of a larger 
composition. But in the wake of these slow beginnings, during the 
decade of the 'twenties, no less than seven artists whose names we 
know had hllered into the valley with tlieir sketchbooks, pencils and 
paints. Of this pioneer contingent the most famous and the most 
obscure were the first to arrive — in 1820: Audubon and Joshua Shaw. 
Joshua Shaw is an almost legendary character so little is known of 
his movements. It has often been repeated without substantiation that 
he voyaged up the Missouri in 1820. In any case, he knew tlie Oliio 
and it is not improbable that he also reached the Mississippi by way 
of it. He is remembered for his drawings of river boatmen, efforts 
that are chiefly remarkable for their early date. His shadowy figure 
was followed by the more substantial Samuel Seymour, an Knglish- 
man who had established himself in Philadelj)hia as painter and 
engraver. Seymour at least crossed the Mississippi in 1819, and in 
1823 returned to its headwaters as a commissioned artist in the com- 
pany of a Government reconnaisance e\|)editi()n. The outfit reached 
the Mississippi at Prairie du Chien in Wisconsin Territory, where 
Seymour painted not only the Indians, but also the bluffs of the river 
and other panoramic landscapes. Although the paintings are lost, 

[ 31 ] 

lith()grai»hs of tliein publislied in 1824 survive. Likewise it is only 
in litliograplis tluit the work of James Otto Lewis, well known for his 
book the Ahorigiruil Portfolio, is preserved. Like Seymour two 
years earlier, lie also visited Prairie du Chien in the capacity of an 
official artist and in 1825 painted tlie landscape and Fort Crawford 
there, as well as portraits. Another artist visitor to Prairie du Chien 
was Peter Rindisbacher, a Swiss, who arrived from Canada in 1826 
by way of Fort Snelling in Minnesota and very probably painted the 
river near the little French outpost, as well as the Winnebago and 
Fox Indians who frequented it and who were his chief concern. In 
1829 he settled in St. Louis. Meanwhile the Mississippi had been 
visited by the Philadelphia Frenchman Charles Alexandre Lesueur 
and Capt. Basil Hall of the Royal Navy. Lesueur, a naturalist who 
was remarkably handy with a pencil, voyaged on the river during 
1827 and 1828 and made excellent drawings of river craft that were 
intended to illustrate his travels. Amongst them is probably the 
first of tliat rarest of subjects, the interior of a flatboat with its 
brick fireplace and furniture. The originals are preserved in the 
Museum of Natural History at Le Havre, of which Lesueur was curator 
for a time following his return to France in 1837. While Basil Hall's 
reputation rested primarily on his travels and writings, he is of 
interest to us as an accomplished sketch artist. Visiting the Mississippi 
in the late 'twenties, he made rather dry but factual drawings for his 
Travels in North America with the aid of the camera lucida, a portable 
optical device for rendering objects with accuracy and with more 
speed than is possible with the unaided eye. 

More significant was the arrival at Fort Crawford in 1829 of Seth 
Eastman, a second lieutenant fresh from West Point, who was 
destined to become one of the best Indian painters America produced. 
He commenced at once to sketch his new environment, and enriched 
the beginning of the story of Mississippi art by making a drawing 
of Fort Crawford with the rounded hills behind it and the river in 
the foreground peopled with Indians paddling a canoe [52]. Born 
in Brunswick, Maine, in 1808, and educated on the Hudson, where 
at the Military Academy he studied drawing with John Whistler, 
grandfather of James McNeill Whistler, it probably remained for 
Eastman to find his life's work when he saw his first Fox or Winnebago 
at Fort Crawford, just as a similar experience likewise inspired Charles 
Wimar fourteen years later upon his arrival in St. Louis from the 

[ 32 ] 

Rhineland. Eastman's view of Fort Crawford was the first of many 
sketches involving Indian life — chiefly on the Mississippi frontier — 
that occupied him for twenty years and provided the models for his 
paintings. Before leaving Fort Crawford for Fort Snelling in 1830, 
Eastman is thought to have prepared the drawings for one of his most 
successful pictures, a scene on the banks of the Mississippi, Squaws 
Playing Ball on the Prairie [50]. It was completed at some later 
date and, with five other Indian paintings, was ultimately purchased 
and distributed by the American Art Union in 1849. Most of Eastman's 
experience of the river was gained during three tours of duty amounting 
to eight or nine years while stationed at Fort Snelling at the junction 
of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. That picturesque redoubt, 
high on a cliff overlooking both streams, was a recurrent subject with 
Eastman. But he also ventured into the virgin forests and spacious 
prairies of the upper Mississippi region, painting and sketching the 
Indians at tlieir ceremonials and sports, as well as the landscape, pre- 
sumably that of the Site of St. Paul, Minnesota [51] amongst others. 
Judging from the sketches that have been preserved, it would seem 
that 1847 and 1848 were Eastman's most productive years. It was largely 
upon the pictorial notes made then that he prepared his illustrations 
for Schoolcraft's great work. History, Conditions, and Future Prospects 
of the Indian Tribes of the United States, during the years 1850 to 
1855, as well as those for his wife's book, the American Aboriginal 
Portfolio, j)ublished in 1853. In 1848 l^astman (juit tlie Mississippi for 
the last time, and two years later he retired from the Army. But like 
his contemporaries who knew the valley, he continued to the end of 
his life to draw upon that never-failing resource, the indelible experi- 
ence of his life on the river. 

Meanwhile, in the decade of tlie 'twenties, the most renowned artist- 
explorer of the Mississippi, John James Audubon, had already come 
and gone after six years in the lower valley. Audubon was unques- 
tionably the archetype of his generation. I'or the pattern of his experi- 
ence was not ordy in every way characteristic; it was likewise so ample 
and so ramified, that it embraced, at least in principle, the activity 
of all the remarkable genus he belonged to, that of the artist-explorer 
of the river in the first half of the nineteenth century. Like Catlin, 
Eastman, Bodmer and Wimar in their chosen field, and Wild, Henry 
Lewis and Bingham in theirs, Audubon was a specialist in portraying 
the life of the river; he was also a keeper of journals like Hall and 

[ 33 ] 

Lesueur, Catlin, Wimar and Lewis; and again like Catlin and Bodmer 
as well as Eastman in aboriginal studies, and Wild and Lewis in land- 
scape, Audubon was a creator of the great illustrated books of the 
age. Like all of them he was motivated by a driving inspiration as 
big in its own dimension as the territory he roamed; like all of them 
he was a pioneer at heart, a good shot and a traveler upon whom the 
sight of the distant horizon never palled but only beckoned. 

Born in Santo Domingo in 1785, a natural son of his father, a rich 
French naval officer, Audubon first came to the United States in 1804 
and two years later revisited France where, he reports in his journal, 
he received instruction in drawing in the Paris studio of the reigning 
classicist, Jacques Louis David. But even before he came under that 
valuable discipline, Audubon had made drawings of the birds of 
America. In fact it was this consuming interest in ornithology that 
bred in him a serious disinclination lor business. After repeated lailures 
in Pennsylvania the frontier attracted him and in 1807 he opened a store 
in Louisville, Kentucky, and shortly after moved his business to Hender- 
son where he again met disappointment. The unprospering Audubon, in 
considerable despair, decided with his partner that a bright future was 
to be found at Ste. Genevieve in Missouri. Accordingly, he arrived 
there in January, 1810, but in 1812 he was back in Henderson. Al- 
though this final venture as a tradesman lasted seven years, it too ended 
in bankruptcy and Audubon turned to that familiar refuge of the 
frustrated painter, portraiture. For a time he was employed in Dr. 
Daniel Drake's natural history museum in Cincinnati. There it was 
that he decided upon his monumental life work, to portray in the 
color and action of life and in their natural haunts, all the birds of 
America. Even more startling, indeed utterly original, was his inten- 
tion to render each bird in actual size, whether wren or Louisiana 
heron. Filled with this momentous ambition and resolve, Audubon at 
the age of thirty-five set out for the Mississippi and by way of the 
Ohio first entered the river as an artist by vocation in 1820 and floated 
down to New Orleans on a flatboat. In his diary under the date Novem- 
ber 17th as his boat swung into the Mississippi, he noted, "here the 
Traveller enters a New World . . . the Passenger feels a different 
atmosphere, a very diferent prospect." 

With New Orleans as his stamping ground Audubon labored for 
six years on his project, tutoring and painting portraits for a livelihood. 
And he also j)ainted in 1822 his only pure landscape in the valley, 

[ 34 ] 

the enchanting view of Natchez [3] where for the first time he was 
instructed in the use of oil by an itinerant portraitist. Audubon 
embraced the pioneer life with a good heart and endured its rigours 
and hardships with cheerfulness. Traveling indefatigably on river 
boat and prairie nag, his ever ready gun — as important to him as liis 
pencil — slung over his shoulder, he shot and sketched and camped in the 
wilderness, pursuing his seemingly inexhaustible enterprise with zeal 
and a singleness of purpose that has rarely been equalled. It was at 
this time that he painted the three great birds of the lower river that 
are included in the exhibition: the Roseate Spoonbill, W^ood Ibis 
and Louisiana Heron [169-171] providing each of them with their 
proper habitat, the water-soaked, moss-draped riverscape of bayou or 
flooded bottom land of the South. With his hard-won specimens in his 
bag, Audubon tramped through swamp and canebrake, forest and 
prairie; and he knew squatters and runaway slaves as well as planters 
and plantation hospitality. A tireless traveler, as every artist of the 
Mississippi and Missouri wilderness was of necessity, he was also a 
keen observer of every form of nature. His superabundant energy, 
even at the age of fifty-eight when he reached the mouth of the 
Yellowstone, overflowed in his journals. For Audubon was a reporter 
in word as well as in picture and those who have read his travels and 
Episodes know that he was a gifted raconteur, and over and again 
recognize the truth of his remark, "the bow spring of my spirit is not 

The years from 1826 to 1831 Audubon spent largely in London, 
Edinburgh and Paris arranging for his great ])ublication and getting 
subscribers for it. In England in 1826 he met and became friendly with 
Basil Hall, providing him with endless notes and introductions to 
Americans in preparation for tlie Captain's forthcoming journey in 
which he was to travel and sketch extensively on the Mississi])|)i. Then 
during the next eight years he traveled again in America from 
Florida to Labrador to complete his study of birds. 

In 1839 with an accomplishment behind him that would have 
satisfied a lesser genius as a life's work, Audubon set forth on another 
project no smaller in scope. Once more he sought the Father of 
Waters. His scheme now was to record in similar terms, with the 
obvious exception of size, the quadrupeds of America, and for this 
giant task he entered into fruitful collaboration with his two sons and 
his Lutheran minister friend of years, the Rev. John Bachman of 

[ 35 ] 

Charleston. By 1843, Audubon was ready to pursue his quest into 
the vast northwest region watered by the Missouri. He was the third 
great artist of the rivers to make the voyage, having been preceded 
a decade earlier by Catlin and Bodmer. Aboard the steamboat Omega 
he and his j)arty made their way from St. Louis to Fort Lnion. 
Sketching and bagging specimens and game by day, but habitually 
shunning meat in his diet, and writing his Missouri Journals by 
night, Audubon endured the rigours of a pest-ridden boat with forti- 
tude. But he abandoned his customary charity in his unsympathetic 
written record of the Indians he observed and his repeated criticism 
of Catlin's delineation of both the redman and the landscape. For 
two months Audubon was comfortably quartered at Fort Union, the 
most desirable outpost in the far Indian country. He also took occasion 
to make an overland trip up the Yellowstone before returning to 
St. Louis in October whence he departed from the Mississippi for the 
last time. 

No less a traveler and no less tireless was George Catlin, the first 
painter of the landscape of the Far West, and a man who, incidentally, 
gave bread for a stone in always speaking most kindly of Audubon. 
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1796, he tried his hand at 
law, having been educated for it at Litchfield, Connecticut. But finding 
this pursuit too dry for his temperament, he trained himself as a painter 
and hung out his shingle as a miniaturist in Philadelphia in 1820. 
In that city, whose artistic life at the time had no rival in America, 
he soon was exploring the wonders of Charles Willson Peale's museum. 
And it was also in Philadelphia that his first sight of Western Indians 
in full regalia en route from an official visit in Washington to their 
home on the Plains, inspired him to embark upon his unprecedented 
scheme to paint all the Indian tribes between the Alleghenies and the 
Pacific. His was the encyclopedic and all-embracing attitude of the 
age: it was the attitude of Audubon and his naturalist predecessors 
Thomas Nuttall and John Kirk Townsend, and, to a lesser degree, of 
Prince Maximilian of Wied who traveled with Bodmer; of Louis 
Agassiz in the field of botany who, later in the century, employed the 
painstaking St. Louis draftsman and painter of the river, Paulus 
Roetter. It was the fruitful attitude of the searching and fact-finding 
great historians of the nineteenth century, botli in Europe and America. 
To expand and record man's knowledge of man and of tlie world was 
the consuming passion of Catlin's time. And for the artist-reporter 

[ 36 ] 

of the life and landscape of the West, the river and the steamboat were 
the avenue and the vehicle that made it possible. 

With feverish eagerness Catlin arrived in St. Louis in 1830, sought 
out General William Clark for a permit to travel in the vast nortliwest 
region under his contrt)!, and painted portraits of visiting Indians. 
But before embarking on the Missouri, Catlin traveled on the Mis- 
sissippi, trailing Eastman by a matter of months at Fort Crawford 
where Clark was conducting a treaty with the Indians. Perhaps before 
he boarded the famous steamboat Yellowstone for Fort L nion in 
March of 1832 to paint the Indians and the Indian country, he 
brushed in a portrait of St. Louis itself [27] which exists in two 
versions and is one of the two earliest |)aintings of the city, the other 
being tlie work of the same date by the St. Louis artist, Leon Pomarede 
[82]. Catlin was the first artist to penetrate the Far West, and in tiie 
ensuing eight years during which he traveled widely through the 
country, south to Arkansas and New Orleans and Florida, and north 
to the catlinite quarries in Minnesota which bear his name, he painted 
upwards of five hundred canvases of Indian portraits and genre, wild 
animals and landscapes, fifteen of which are included in the ex- 
hibition [28-42]. Unlike Audubon who was a more careful and self- 
exacting workman, Catlin completed most of his paintings on the 
scene, husbanding his suj)ply of oil paints by spreading them thinly 
on the canvas. But like Audubon's monumental volume, Catlin's 
book that resulted in 1841, Illustrdtioiis of the Manners, Customs and 
Conditions of the North American Indians, was of deep and lasting 
importance. Hardly less vital for the influence it had at the time and 
as a means of supporting liis colossal project, were his gifts as a 
showman, for Catlin revealed the American aborigine to a host of 
wliile men by traveling in both Kurope and America with his "Indian 
Gallery" of ])aintings and a troupe of redmen in full regalia. With 
the same flourish that characterizes his paintings, esj)ecially his land- 
scapes, he wrote of the Indians, "I have flown to their rescue, not of 
their lives or of their race (for they are 'doomed" and inii>t perish), 
but to the rescue of their looks and th«Mi- modes, at wliich the aicpiisitive 
world may hurl their poison and every besom of ih'struction, and 
trample them down and crush them to death: yet phoenixdike tliey 
may rise from the 'stain on a painter's palette,' and live again upon 
canvas and stand foilh for centuries yet to come — the living monuments 
of a noble race." 

[ 37 ] 

A far better and more convincing painter, albeit a less prolific one, 
was Charles Bodmer, the gifted Swiss who, in the employ of Maxi- 
milian of Wied, in 1833 boarded at St, Louis the same Yellowstone 
that had carried Catlin up river the previous year. Bodmer penetrated 
the Missouri valley farther than his predecessor, pushing on by 
keelboat beyond Ford Union to Fort McKenzie at the mouth of the 
Marias River where he spent two months. Still in his twenties, but with 
a solid Paris art training beliind him, he made his reputation as an 
artist — at least for Americans — on the single great experience of 
the year he passed on the Missouri River. Later he became associated 
with the Barbizon School and at one time engaged the youthful Jean 
Francois Millet as a ghost artist on an assignment involving illustra- 
tions of Indian life. 

Bodmer came upon the Western scene with all the benefits of ad- 
vanced European training and he was the first full-fledged artist to do 
so. Like Audubon before him in David's studio, he had a similar 
rigorous schooling — only more of it. While Catlin learned to paint 
by observing a limited number of portraits in the Anglo-American 
tradition and thereby formed the habit of seeking an alia prima and 
decorative eff^ect, Bodmer's art unmistakably reflects the emphasis 
upon drawing that Ingres, David's uncompromising successor as the 
leader of the academic French school, insisted upon. Accuracy of 
delineation and detail, even though it revealed the laborious effort 
behind it, was the ideal to be achieved in most Paris art circles, just 
as it was the prevailing goal at Diisseldorf where Charles Wimar was 
to commence his studies less than twenty years later. And Bodmer's 
treatment of landscape, atmospheric, expressive of mood and beauti- 
fully delineated, shows the impress of German romantic painting, a 
trait that links him to Wimar and the conceptions that the younger 
artist was able to bring forth on canvas after his German training. 
The romanticism of both artists' work, in fact, stems from this source, 
and rests not so much upon the strangeness and wonder of the subject 
as the quality of romanticism in Catlin's paintings does. At the same 
time, Bodmer's wonderful illustrations for his patron's scientific 
book, Travels in the Interior of North America [177-194], probably 
looked more objective and scientific to Maximilian, with eyes ac- 
customed to the characteristic expression of the romantic age, than they 
do to us, a century afterward. 

Twenty-six years later, Charles Wimar, the Rhineland boy who had 

[ 38 ] 

grown up in St. Louis, the youngest and the last of the river painters 
of the Indian, travelled farthest of them all, reaching Fort Benton at 
the mouth of the Teton River in the summer of 1859, at which time 
he made the preliminary sketches for his Indians Crossing the Mouth 
of the Milk River [101] and Indians Approaching Fort Benton 
[102]. Only three years remained to the artist after this important 
voyage, for he died in St. Louis, his life work barely begun, in 1862. 
Wimar probably contracted "Indian fever" earlier in life than any of 
his great predecessors, for he was the only one of them who grew up 
in a town where Indians were still a common sight. Arriving from 
Germany in 1843 at the age of 15, he was diffident, and shy in his 
use of English. Fortunately for him the Indians camped near where 
his family lived on the outskirts of the city, and it was natural for him 
to make friends with them. We may surmise that Wimar saw the Catlin 
paintings of Indians that remained in St. Louis. We know that he was 
encouraged in his interest by the kindly artist-decorator to whom he 
was apprenticed, Leon Pomarede, French-born and New Orleans- 
trained, with whom he voyaged up the Mississippi to the Falls of St. 
Anthony in 1849. At length in 1852, Wimar managed to scrape 
together a meagre sum, enough to take him to Diisseldorf, the current 
mecca of American painters, to study. In the German town he was 
not forsaken by the influence of his youthful experience on the Mis- 
sissippi. Indeed, his passionate devotion to the Indian seemed a bit 
peculiar to his fellows. But in spite of their jests on that account, 
he was never swerved from his chosen path to paint the Indian life 
of his adopted country. He even had Indian buckskins and beadwork 
sent to him from St. Louis to satisfy his desire for accuracy in his 
pictures, and his fellow students insisted he was at least part Indian 
himself. In fact, Henry Lewis, the St. Louis painter who had settled 
in the Rhenish town in 1851, introduced him as an Indian on one 
occasion as a joke. Like Bingham, who arrived in Diisseldorf the year 
Wimar left the Academy for St. Louis, and who continued while he 
studied to paint the river boatmen of his youth on the Missouri, and 
like Lewis who painted the Mississippi to tlie end of his life in 1904, 
Wimar was not allured by the historical and sentimental romanticism 
of Diisseldorf that was apt to overcome the more impressionable painter 
from the eastern seaboard who trained there. In the nature of all 
three artists, the experience of the Mississippi was too deeply engrained. 
One is inclined inevitably to compare the accomplishment of Wimar 

[ 39 ] 

atul Hodmer, If Wimar's paintings of the Indians and Missouri river 
frontier lack the delicacy and the precision of Bodmer's, it must be 
remembered that Bodmer was preparing plates for publication; Wimar 
was not. And if their relative importance in this story must be pointed 
out, we must consider that Wimar was concerned with the Indian 
and the Western rivers throughout his life; with Bodmer it was an 
interlude. Nevertheless, Bodmer was instrumental in sending his 
younger countryman, the minor artist Friedrich Kurz, to the Missouri 
years later, in 1847. For five years he remained in America writing 
a valuable journal of his trip to Fort Union and making many sketches 
incident to this voyage, chiefly of Indian life, that he rendered into 
watercolor upon his return to Switzerland. 

Like Wimar and Bodmer, John Casper Wild, the first important 
landscape artist of the river, was born in Europe. From his birthplace, 
Zurich, he went to Paris, remained fifteen years and apparently 
studied art. Emigrating to the United States, he settled in Phila- 
delphia for a few years and painted a panorama of the city. He came 
to St. Louis about 1840 where Henry Lewis, his younger contem- 
porary, had been engaged for several seasons as a stage carpenter 
at the St. Louis Theatre. Wild was attracted to the river at once 
and his interest in it as an artist took a characteristic form. Such 
was the phenomenon of the Mississippi, with its endless stream of 
river boats forever pushing up or gliding down to distant shores, 
that the early landscape painters were compelled to think of it in 
terms of the whole valley. Not a few attempted to record it that way. 
Wild was amongst the first whose inspiration spurred him to such a 
project and he soon commenced to publish in periodical form with 
accompanying lithographs the Volley of the Mississippi Illustrated 
[265-268]. These thirty-four lithographs, fifteen of which show the 
Missouri or the Mississippi, are amongst the rarest of the early prints 
of the Middle West, and it is remarkable that their rarity was carefully 
noted by a writer of Davenjmrt, Iowa, as early as 1858, twelve years 
after Wild's death. Wild prepared somewhat larger lithographs of 
his published views as pictures for framing. All of them are char- 
acterized by his ability to see his carefully drawn subjects enveloped 
in light and atmosphere, and by the sensitive coloring which he applied 
himself. Only less common are Wild's paintings. One of them, a 
view south from Carondelet, a picture redolent of the lovely rural 
atmosphere that fringed the cities of mid-nineteenth century America, 

[ 40 ] 

is included in the exhibition [99], In IHlo Wild visited Davenport 
where he was described as a portrait painter as well as a landscapisl 
and lithographer. He voyaged up the river to the Falls of St. Anthony 
the same summer Henry Lewis was there, in 1846, presumably in 
quest of subjects for finished paintings. Except for a view of the Falls, 
his work got no further than the sketch stage for Wild died the same 
year in Davenport at about the age of forty. 

Wild was not the man to paint a panorama of the river. That 
remained for the energy and ambition of younger iihiod. Even at 
forty Wild was described as having a "worn and haggard look" which 
was attributed to probable ill health and certainly poor finances. But 
Henry Lewis, who was born in England in 1819 and came to St. Louis 
about 1836, was endowed by nature as a man for the job and equipped 
for it as a painter by having taught himself to draw and use brush 
and colors while engaged as a stage carpenter at the St. Louis Theatre. 
He may very well have been influenced in his art by liis theatrical 
experience; perhaps he even conceived his panorama on the stage 
where scenic effects were the business of the day and where a famil- 
iarity with unwieldly backdrops well might dispel any qualms about 
coping with the mammoth canvas a panorama would consume. Lewis 
has even been credited with first conceiving a panorama of the Mis- 
sissippi and with conveying the idea to John Banvard, who preceded 
him in the venture, and later became his rival. Be that as it may, 
John Rowson Smith, ])erha})s unbeknown to Lewis and Banvard, beat 
them both at this incredibily popular game by unfurling his huge 
canvas of the Mississippi in Boston in 1839. But St. Louis was the 
center of Mississippi panorama production; no less than five of the 
seven artists who |)ainted j)anoramas of the river were sometime 
residents of the city. These include Pomarede, who for a time assisted 
Lewis and then painted a Mississippi panorama of his own, taking 
the young Wimar with him on his |)relinn'nary sketching e\|)edition 
up river. 

During three summers from 1816 to 1848, Lewis, not yet thirty, 
boated the whole length of the riv(M- from the (iulf of Mexico to the 
confluence of the Mississij)|)i and Minnesota, where, at Fort Snelling, 
in 1848, he met Seth Eastman on his last visit. On this long voyage 
he made innumerable drawings of the scenery, the towns, the moving 
watercraft and the Indians, recording in his journal his adventurous 
experiences, his hellish battles with mosquitoes, and the beauty of 

[ 41 ] 

the river, and fortunately preserving between the covers of his sketch 
books, one of wiiich is included in the exhibition [70], the living 
scene as he floated by. But as it happened, it was not only for his 
panorama that he engaged an objective and tireless eye on these 
solitary expeditions. For like Seth Eastman before him, the sketches 
he made were to be an enduring resource of his painting for half a 
century, as they were the reserve from wliicli was drawn tlie seventy- 
eight illustrations for his remarkable book, Das lllustrirte Mississip- 
pithdL published in Diisseldorf from l(So4 to 1858. A large selection 
of plates from it is included in the exhibition | 209-248] . Lewis had the 
{)anoramic eye that was peculiar to tlie mid-nineteenth century in 
America; and its ambition was not uidike the all-embracing, encyclo- 
pedic attitude that drove Audubon to seek out and record the birds 
and animals, Catlin the Indians, and Prescott and Parkman the historic 
facts of man's career in the Western Hemisphere. 

Two landscape artists of the river whose activity falls into the second 
half of the century w^ere born in the "twenties, Richard Clague of 
New Orleans in 1821 and Josej)h Rusling Meeker in 1827. Unlike 
their {)redecessors they were Americans by birth. Both of them 
remain somewhat obscure figures in the development of painting in 
this country. They are familiar in New Orleans and St. Louis, but 
their art is little known outside the valley today. Having been born 
in Newark, New Jersey, Meeker came to St. Louis in 1859 after practic- 
ing for seven years as a painter in Louisville. Behind him was sound 
training at the National Academv of Design in New' York, where he 
also developed his landscape style from studying the work of Asher 
B. Durand. Somewhat later, perhaps out of necessity, he turned his 
attention to portrait painting, and was astute enough to place himself 
under Charles Loring Elliott, who had settled in New York in 1839 
and who was certainly the most gifted portraitist of the middle decades 
of the century. Meeker profitted greatly from this tutelage. A self- 
j)ortrait and one of his wife in the Missouri Historical Society, St. 
Louis, are indeed worthy of such an artistic heritage. In St. Louis 
the Civil War soon disrupted Meeker's progress as an artist, yet it 
also led him into those removed and desolate regions of the Mississippi 
that were to remain an enduring insj)i ration to him — the swamps and 
bayous of Louisiana. Assigned as a paymaster in the United States 
Navy, Meeker was in uniform four years and followed the Mississippi 
campaign to the lower reaches of the river. During these years he 

[ 42 1 

made sketches and studies of the swamp lands, collecting a fund of 
pictorial notes that he employed repeatedly in his paintings of the 
'seventies and 'eighties. Indeed, his rendering of this weird, dreary 
aspect of the river and its lugubrious beauty lias probably not been 
exceeded in quality or extent. An exponent of the ebbing romanticism 
of the nineteenth century. Meeker was moved occasionally to people 
the prevailing dark green, brown and gray of his curtained swamps 
of cypress and Spanish moss with silent characters in historical costume, 
shades of Evangeline's Acadians and Ue Soto's men, as exemplified 
by the Museum's painting in the exhibition. The Land of Evangeline 
[73] and Sivamp on the Mississippi [74J. 

New Orleans from the beginning of its history was culturally 
oriented towards Paris. Its artists have often been visiting Frenchmen; 
its native painters not infrequently got their training in tlie ateliers 
of Paris. In consequence, much of the painting produced there, even 
to the end of the nineteenth century, has borne a French stamp. 
Richard Clague was educated as a boy in Switzerland and trained 
as an artist at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris; but it is apparent 
in his painting that he found direction by his contact with the art of 
the Barbizon School. In revolt against the artificiality of academic 
painting, these artists sought to express the beauty in the honest toil 
of peasants and the humble life of the cottage, in the rugged majesty 
of the plane trees and oaks of the Fontainebleau Forest. Clague, 
upon returning to Louisiana, was probably imbued with this ideal, 
and with the realism of the Barbizon approach and a love for its rich 
use of paint. At home he found the counterpart of the Barbizon 
cottage and forest in tlie moss-draped live oaks of Louisiana, in the 
trapper's cabin and the fisherman's shack, and the little farms on 
the bayous. These he painted with a deep feeling, bred of his intimate 
knowledge of the subject, and with professional skill, an accomplish- 
ment that he fortunately passed on to liis gifted })upil, Marshall J. 
Smith, Jr. 

E. B. D. Fabrino Julio, a conleinijorai y of ( Jague in New Orleans, 
studied unchn- Leon Boniial in I- lance and also ai)plied his gifts to 
recording the less familiar Louisiana of back woods and liumble farm. 

Clague's younger contemj)orary, William Aiken Walker, was born 
in 1838 in Charleston, South Carolina, and was a Louisianian by 
adoption, having been active in his native city as well as in Savannah 
and St. Augustine before liis arrival in New Orleans. Walker was 

[ 43 ] 

alone in pursuing his particular interest, the life of the Negro on the 
cotton plantations of the lower river, and the busy export scenes on 
the levee at New Orleans. Long outliving the popularity of genre 
painting, Walker died in abject poverty in 1921, his pictures remem- 
bered only by two Currier and Ives plates ol them made in the 'eighties. 

Likewise the distaste for genre and subject painting that came with 
impressionism and the purely esthetic in art so successfully popular- 
ized by \\ histler, liastened the almost complete eclipse of the greatest 
painter the Mississippi produced, George Caleb Bingham of Missouri. 
Not until the "thirties of the present century did his art begin to attract 
attention again and awaken the admiration it so richly deserves. 
Migrating from \ irginia with his family into the fertile Boons Lick 
country in central Missouri in 1819, Bingham's boyhood was spent 
near the turbulent course oi the great river of the W est, and like the 
youthful settlers described by Timothy Flint, the young Bingham was 
probably magnetized by the half wild and carefree life of the boatmen 
as lie longingly observed it from the river banks. Like the landscape 
painter Thomas Cole in backwoods Ohio, at precisely the same time, 
he may well have aspired to a painter's career by observing one of 
the army of itinerant portraitists who were painting everywhere on 
the frontier while the sound of the pioneer's axe still rang from the 
primeval woods. In any case, it appears that he w^as sell -taught and 
that he resolved to become an artist only after reading both for the 
law and the ministry. His early attempts at portraiture were proudly 
acclaimed as the work of a young man who had never been east of 
the Mississippi since he was a child, and that he had become a painter 
"by means of his own unassisted application, and untutored study.'' 
These early works show a remarkable natural gilt ami Bingham was 
soon known throughout the region. In 1835, with the enterprise that 
characterized his whole life whether in art or in politics, he widened 
the sphere of his activity by setting himself up as a portraitist in St. 
Louis for a year, and late in 1836 he took a steamboat down to the 
affluent city of Natchez, where for about six months he busily painted 
portraits at forty and sixty dollars apiece. 

In the autumn of 1837, having garnered sulhcient tunds, Bingham 
went to Philadelphia and for three months studied art at the Pennsyl- 
vania Academv of the Fine \rts. His contact with the quantity of 
paintings to be seen in that metropolis was of great and beneficial 
importance: for though his portraiture may have suffered from observ- 

[ 44 ] 

ing the rather shallow pnxhutioiis o( the prolific- Sully, tliat iletrinient 
was more than eounterbalanced by his almost certain study ot the 
genre painting he eould not have seen in the W est. And geine was 
the unparalleled contribution of Bingham to the art ol tiie Mississippi. 
He alone preserved the image of that tough and roistering, oatli- 
spouting, harum-scarum race: the bargee, the keeler, ami tlie voyageur 
— the boatmen, not of the packets, but of the small craft that pioneered 
the river: and by \irtue of Hingham's great gift he created an image 
that is undying. In Philadelphia the foundation must have been laid. 
It is significant tliat Bingham's art, though \astly superior, bears a 
certain resemblance to the work o{ one o{ the earliest American painters 
of daily life, John Lewis Krimmel, who at the age of twenty-three 
came from Germany to Philadelphia and painted there until liis death 
in 1821. In KrimmePs massing of figures, his orderly but realistic 
crowd effects, in his clear spatial designs and atmospheric distances, 
Bingham niav have found the key that unlocked his own visions ot 
the everyday life of Missouri. 

Bingham's method in picture making was to prepare accurate, even 
detailed drawings of individual figures from life and then assemble 
them into a group composition. One hundred and nine ot these excep- 
tionally handsome and vigorous drawings are preserved in the Mer- 
cantile Library, St. Louis, bound into a single volume, the "Sketch 
Book," which is included in tlie exhibition |21|. None of the draw- 
ings is dated, so it is a matter of conjecture as to when Bingham com- 
menced his career as a geine artist. However, we know that in the 
years he spent in W ashington })ainting portraits, trom 1840 to 1844, 
he finished his first genre composition. The Jollv Flatboatmen, a lost 
painting that was bouglil by the American Art I nion the following 
year and engraved in 1817 | 1 7.> | . It caught the popular tancy at 
once, as well it might. Bingiiam was (hdibed "the Missouri artist*' 
and he suddeidv had a reputation to live up to. No artist ot the Mis- 
sissippi and the Missouri bet ore lU" alter Bingham, whatever his gifts, 
captured as he diil the essence of the river boat scene; the quiet 
floating on the bosom of the stream that was half the life ot a voyageur: 
or the dreamy langour of those waters hemmed for miles by untrodden 
wilderness, and bathed with the sultry atmosphere and half-obscuring 
haze of the Midwestern summer — the high season of the boatmen, 
Bingham's first geine j)ainting was followed by the sj)lenilid boatmen 
series: a second version of The Jolly Flatboatmen. Fur Traders De- 

[ 45 ] 

scending the Missouri [20], Raftsmen Playing Cards [15], Lighter 
Relieving a Steamboat Aground 113], Fishing on the Missouri fl6], 
Hatching the Cargo [19], and finally the third version of The Jolly 
Flnthoatmen | 18] painted in Diisseldorf in 1857. Of this painting, 
Bingham wrote, it "j)romises to be far ahead of any work of that class 
which I ha\e yet undertaken." But it is more important to us as demon- 
strating the unshakable hold uj)on him of the river life of the distant 

Meanwhile, Bingham had distinguislied himself as a painter of 
the genre of country politics, a subject which, incidentally, reveals 
that a century ago in America a man could still live in a man's w'orld; 
as in the case of the boatmen series, no crinoline or curl diverts the 
eye in these purely masculine pictures. Regrettably, politics offered 
Bingham a field of activity which increasingly occupied his abilities, 
robbing him of the energy that he formerly devoted to painting. 

It has been pointed out that the Mississippi and its life was the 
passing interest of not a few visiting artists. While this was true 
in the upper valley which J. F. Kensett painted in 1855 [59] and 
in St. Louis where in 1853 Frederick Piercy, the Englishman, painted 
his striking wash composition of the upper levee and a steamboat in 
full stream [81], it was especially true of New Orleans. That 
picturesque city continued to hold a charm for Frenchmen that no 
other city in America did. Amongst these visitors from France were 
three highly trained artists, two of them very accomplished painters, 
Alfred Boisseau and Hippolyte Sebron; the third was a genius, Edgar 
Degas who visited his relatives in 1872 and painted the well-known 
Cotton Bureau at Neiv Orleans. Boisseau, the first to arrive, was 
resident in New Orleans in the late 'forties and in 1847 painted 
Louisiana Indians Walking Along a Bayou [24]. Hippolyte Sebron 
visited America in the mid-nineteenth century and painted a winter 
scene on Broadway, New York, a panorama of the Cataract of Niagara 
and a Vieiv of New Orleans. But in our survey he stands out with great 
distinction as the creator of the classic steamboat picture, Giant Steam- 
boats at New Orleans |88], in 1853. With an eye that does not 
sufler by comj)arison with Bingham's he saw in broad terms the bustle 
and excitement of the levee with steamboats still tied up to the land- 
ing, others already hitting the stream. Smoke plumes out of the tower- 
ing stacks from the freshly stoked boiler fires of pitch and pine knots. 

[ 46 ] 

The scene is enveloped in n gray pall. Tliiougli it filters down the 
warm sun of late afternoon — the customary time of tleparture. 

Of the resident painters of New Orleans, only two oddly enough, 
concerned themselves with more than passing interest in the unex- 
ampled parade of steamboat traffic. They were Edward Arnold [4 J who 
collaborated with other painters, notably J. G. Evans [5oJ, tluring 
the Civil War era, and August Norieri [ 77-79 j whose activity accom- 
panied the decline of the steamboat age in the seventies and 'eighties. 
It would seem that the grand spectacle of the mastercraft of the river 
stirred a feeling of nostalgia as it weaned and disappeared. 

No less strange is the fact tliat only the minor painters of Louisiana 
were attracted by the State's most celebrated feature, its splendid j)lan- 
lation architecture and the extravagant social life it sheltered. Witii 
the single exception of the amateur painter at the beginning of the 
eighteen hundreds and the quaint and charming art of Adrian Persac 
[80] in the mid-century, this phase of the life of the Mississippi has 
been neglected by its artists. But it has been compensated for in the 
exhibition by the art of a contemporary photographer, Clarence John 
Laughlin and by a remarkable group of hitherto unpublished arclii- 
tectural illustrations in ink and watercolor of a tobacco warehouse 
on the New Orleans levee and five plantation houses [300-304] dating 
from about 1835 to 1855, two of tliem by the celebrated New Orleans 
architect, James Gallier. 

In looking back over the whole panorama of the life and landscape 
of the Mississip})i and Missouri in the nineteentli century we are 
impressed by how very much of that wonderful and far-flung spectacle 
bore the mark of the white man's rapid settlement and exploitation 
of the rivers and their fabulous valleys, from the weathered palings 
of Fort Benton to the brick and stucco urbanity of New Orleans, a 
distance of some four thousand miles by water. We are amazed that 
such changes could have taken place in the eighty years that followed 
the somewhat exaggerated, but nevertheless indicative, estimate of 
Senator Benton antl W illiam (llark in 1820 that the Mississip])i \ alley 
had fifty thousand miles of boatable waters. This circumstance and 
the development it gave rise to had an immeasurable effect upon the 
economic life of America and the expansion of the nation westward. 
It also brought into being the artists' contribution of the image of that 
expanding life. But that which more deeply excited the imagination 
of America, indeed of the western world, was the last frontier of 

[ 47 ] 

wilderness that remained to it, a wilderness thr()ug;h which the rivers 
flowed. And our thoughts go back to the artist-explorer who, like all 
the painters of the early age, knew and loved the wilderness — captured 
its nature for the civilized world in word and picture. Our thoughts 
inevitably return to Audubon, the model of that artist who in later 
years, reflecting upon his experience on the frontier wrote "... I 
sit on a grassy bank, gazing at the glittering waters. Around me are 
dense forests of lofty trees and thickly tangled undergrowth, amid 
which are heard the songs of feathered choristers, and from whose 
boughs hang clusters of glowing fruits and beautiful flowers. Reader, 
I am very happy." 

"Reclining Rajtsnwn.' pencil drawing from George Caleb Bingham's 

Sketch Book] 

[ 48 ] 


P A I V T 1 V C S A N f) I) H A W I N G S 

Arranged iilphahclically by artist 
Height precedes iiullh in all <lirnensi<)iis given 

1 Anonymous: /lo/////^ Douustreain 

Oil on canvas. 22's"x27%"; ca. 1840-50 
Indiana lhii\ersit\ Lil)rar\. lUooinitijiloii 

"'I may here remark, that this kind of questioning often gives occasion 
to that rccontre of wit. that is commonly called blackguarding. I have 
more than once been compelled to smile, at the readiness or whimsicality 
t)f the retorts in these trials of vulgarity, between the people on shore 
and the boatmen. But I have much oftener been disgusted with the 
obscenity, abuse and blasphemy, which usually terminate the contest. 
We are told, that this proceeds sometimes to the length of exchanging 
musket shots." 

Timothy Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

2 Anonymous: Vieiv of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri 
Pencil drawing, MVi" x 25=54"; ca. 1845-50 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

3 Holmes Andrews: St. Paul, Minnesota, 1855 
Oil on canvas, 15" x 25" 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul 

"At last, after waiting three days at St. Paul, and having sundry false 
alarms of a start, it was intimated to us that we should be conveyed 
from the hotel in an omnibus to a steamer that really was about to leave 
for Galena. It was somewhat discouraging, when we bade adieu to one 
of our friends, to see him turn up his eyes when we told him the name 
of the boat. 'Wal, mister,' he said, 'it's your business, not mine; but I know 
something of that boat. She belongs to that darned picayunish old 'coon, 
Jim Mason, and he'll run her till she sinks, or busts up, and then God 
help the crowd' ... so we drove down to the wharf, shook hands tenderly 
with the omnibus driver, and boots, who accompanied him to help us 
get our luggage on board, and went in search of cabins, in the course 
of which Bury found himself, by mistake, in the ladies' saloon — a fact 
he was i)olitely informed of by one of the occupants, who said, 'Guess 
you put for the wrong pew, mister.' " 

Laurence Oliphant, Minnesota and the Far West (1855) 

[ 50 ] 


0, OF ILL Lia 

4 Edward Arnold (1824-1866) : Battle of Port Hudson 
Oil on canvas. 3()"x4()"; signed: E. Arnokl 
United Slates National Mnseuni. Washington. 1). C. 

Edward Arnold was born in Heilhronn. W nertteudierg. Germany, 
between 1824 and 1826. He married Caroline Mary O'Reilly of Ireland 
and appeared in New Orleans about 1853, living there until his death 
in 1866. 

Port Hudson is on the left bank of the Mississippi about 135 miles 
above New Orleans. In 1862 the Confederates installed extensive bat- 
teries on the commanding bluffs for a stretch of about three miles. This 
was the strongest fortification between New Orleans and Vicksburg. On 
the night of March 14, 1863 Admiral Farragut, with seven vessels, 
attempted to run past the batteries. Four of his vessels were disabled 
and forced to turn back, the Mississippi was destroyed and only the 
Hartford and Albatross passed the batteries. 

5 John James Audubon (1780-1851): Natchez, Mississippi, in 1822 
(Color plate) 
Oil on canvas 
Collection Mrs. George M. D. Kelly, Natchez 

"from the River opposite Natchez, that place presents a Most Romantick 
scenery, the Shore Lined by Steam vessels Barges & flat Boats, seconded 
by the Lower town, consisting of Ware Houses, Grogg Chops [read Grogg 
shops], Decaved Boats proper for the uses of Washer Women, and the 
sidling Road raising along the Caving Hills on an oblique of a quarter of a 
Mile and about 200 feet High covered with Goats feeding peaceally on its 
declivities, while hundreds of Carts, Horses and foot travellers are con- 
stantly, meeting and Crossing each Other reduced to Miniature by the dis- 
tance renders the whole really picturesque; on the Top of this the Traveller 
comes in sight of the town as he enters avenues of regularly planted Trees 
Leading to the different Streets running at right Angles towards the 
River; on the left the Theater a poor framed Building and a New and 
Elegant Mansion the property of Mr. Postlewait attracts the Anxious 
eye — on the right the rollings of the hearth thinly diversified by poor 
habitations soon dose the prospect — advancing, he is Led into Main 
Street; this as well as the generality of the place too Narrow to be Hand- 
some, few of which are Bricks — and at this season very much encumbered 
by Bales of Cotton — the Jail. Court House are New and tolerable in their 
form the Lower part of the former a Boarding House of some Note, there 
are Two Miserable Looking Churches; 1 dare not say unattended but 
think so — " 

John James Audubon, Journal (December 27th, 1820) 

[ 52 ] 

6 John Banvard (1815-1891): River Scene 
Oil on canvas, 8" x 10" 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul 

John Banvard was born in New Wnk and at an earl\ age showed 
aptitude for painting and for creating mechanical effects. His ambition 
was to paint the largest painting in the world and his panorama of the 
Mississippi satisfied it. He took his panorama to London in 1850 where 
it was shown before Queen Victoria and vast crowds. His English 
successes were repeated in Paris. Other trips took him to Palestine and 
on his return to America he showed a panorama of the Holy Land 
and paintings in which all of the obelisks of Egypt were represented. 
He engaged in theatrical activities in New York and in addition to some 
plays he wrote more than seventeen hundred poems. He died in Water- 
town, South Dakota, May 16, 1891. 


[ 53 1 

7 John Banvard: Mississippi River Plantation Scene 
Oil on canvas, 7" x 10" 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul 


7A Augustus G. Beller: View of Weston, Missouri 
Oil on canvas; signed and dated: A. G. Beller 1879 
State Historical Society of Missouri. Coluniliia 

C. E. Bigot: Flatboating 

Oil on canvas, 24"x30"; ca. 1849 

Collection Mrs. Helen Weber Kennedy. Stockton, California 

According to family tradition, the artist appeared in California and 
sold this group of five paintings to Captain Charles Weber, a former resi- 
dent of New Orleans, who recalled the .Mississippi river with nostalgia. 

"We now began to pass many rafts and flats and it was curious to 
hear them sing out to us — What you got to sell stranger? I would 
generally answer Elephants turks [tusks?] and Carcassian slaves, then there 
would be a pause and talking among themselves. We had many a pretty 
little bit of badinage of this kind as we pass"d the sIkhc or rafts." 

Henry Lewis, Journal (1848) 

[ 54 1 


9 C. E. Bigot: Alchapalaia. Louisiana 

Oil on canvas. 281/." x 36"; signed and dated: Bigot 1848 (or 9) 
Collection Mrs. Helen Weber Kennedy, Stockton, California 

10 C. E. Bigot: The ''Sultana' 

Oil on canvas, 26"x33yo"; ca. 1849 

Collection Mrs. Helen Weber Kennedy, Stockton. California 

"I know of nothing so perplexing and vexatious to a man of feelings, 
as a turbulent wife and steamboat building. I experienced the former 
and quit in season, and had I been in mv right senses I should undoubledK 
have treated the latter in the same niaiinci. l)iil for one man to be teased 
with both, he must be looked ii|)(iii as [\\r mosl uiifdrlimalr man of this 

John 1 itch in his journal. (|iiot('(l b\ \]. \\ . (iould. /'///v ) car.s on llie 
Mississippi ( loo9j 

[ 55 ] 



[ 56 ] 


lie. E. Bigot: Alligator Hunting 

Oil on canvas. 2oVV'x36": signed and dated: Bigot 1849 
Collection Mrs. Helen Weber Kennedy. Stockton. California 

"I hate the Mississippi, and as I look down upon its wild and filtlu 
waters, boiling and eddying, and reflect how uncertain is travelling in 
this region of high pressure, and disregard of social rights. I cainiot help 
feeling a disgust at the idea of perishing in such a vile sewer, to be 
buried in iiiiid. and perhaps to be rooted out again by some pig-Tiosed 

Captain Marryat, Diary in America (1839) 

12 C. K. Bigot : Hajting on Soni/wm H aters 
Oil on canvas, 21 V2" x 2611-"; ca. 1849 
Collection Mrs. Helen Weber Kennedy, Stockton, California 

[ 57 ] 

13 Gkokce Caleb Bingham (Io11-Io79): Lii^hier Rclicvi/ig a Steamboat 

Oil oil taiivas, 291/2" x 35i/ii"; 1847 
Private Collection 

"During the whole of this trip 1 was hiikIi anuised witli our pilot, who, 
full) a\\ar(> of the dangers of the river, was also equally conscious that 
there were not sufficient means on hoard to avoid them: when, therefore, 
we were set upon a sand-hank, or j)ressed hy the wind on the sunken trees, 
he always whistled: that was all he could do, and on proportion as the 
danger hecame more imminent, so did he whistle the louder, until the 
affair was decided ])\ a hump or a crash, and then he was silent." 

Captain Marryat, Diary in America (1839) 

14 George Caleb Bingham: The Birch Homestead, Boonville, Missouri 
Oil on canvas; ca. 1875 
Collection Mrs. Fulton Stephens, Esparto. California 

"A Missouri planter, with a moderate force and a good plantation, 
can be as independent as it is fit that we should be. He can raise the 
materials for manufacturing his own clothing. He has the greatest 
abundance of every thing within himself; an abundance in all articles, 
except those which have been enumerated, as not naturally congenial to 
the climate, of which a northern farmer has no idea. One of my immediate 
neighbours, on the prairie below St. Charles, had a hired white man, a 
negro, and two sons large enough to begin to help him. He had an 
hundred acres enclosed. He raised, the year that I came away, two 
thousand four hundred bushels of corn, eight hundred bushels of wheat, 
and other articles in proportion, and the number of cattle and hogs that 
he might raise was indefinite; for the pasturage and hay were as 
sufficient for a thousand cattle as for twenty. If the summer be hot, the 
autumns are longer and far more beautiful, and the winters much 
milder and drier, than at the North, and the snow seldom falls more than 
six inches. Owing to the dryness and levelness of the country, the roads 
are good, and passing is always easy and practicable. Any person, able 
and disposed to labour, is forever freed from the apprehension of poverty; 
and let philosophers in their bitter iron) pronounce as many eulogies as 
they may on poverty, it is a bitter evil, and all its fruits are bitter. We need 
not travel these wilds in order to understand what a blessing it is to be 
freed forever from the apprehension of this evil." 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

[ 58 ] 




[ 59 ] 

15 George Caleb Bingham: Raftsmen Playing Cards (Frontispiece) 
Oil on canvas, 2o"x36"; io47 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

"They scatter their wit among the girls on the shore who come down to 
the water's edge to see the pageant pass. The boat glides on until it 
disappears behind a point of wood. . . . No wonder the young, who are 
reared in these remote regions, with that restless curiosity which is 
fostered by solitude and silence, who witness scenes like this so fre- 
quently, no wonder that the severe and unremitting labours of agriculture, 
performed directh in the view of such scenes, should become tasteless and 
irksome. No wonder that the young people along the banks of the great 
streams, should detest the labours of the field, and embrace every op- 
portuiiitv. either openlv. or if minors, covertly, to escape and devote 
themselves to the [)ernicious emplovment of boating." 
Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

16 George Caleb Bingham: Fishing on the Missouri 
Oil on canvas, 28%"x35%"; 1851 
William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City 

"The catfish is a voracious creature, not at all nice in feeding, but one 
who, like the Vulture, contents himself with carrion when nothing better 
can be had. A few experiments proved to us that, of the dainties with 
which we tried to allure them to our hooks, they gave a decided pref- 
erence, at that season to live toads. . . . Many 'fine ladies', no doubt, would 
have swooned, or at least screamed and gone into hysterics, had they seen 
one of our baskets filled with these animals, all live and plump." 
John James Audubon, Episodes (1810) 

17 George Caleb Bingham: Landscape with Cattle 
Oil on canvas, 38"x48"; 1846 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

". . . the shore on our left was densely wooded, and the somber 
shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, 
ruffled trail that shone like silver; and high abo\e the forest wall a clean- 
stennned dead tree waved a single leafy bough that glowed like a flame in 
the unobstructed splendor that was flowing from the sun. There were 
graceful curves, reflected images, woody heights, soft distances: and over 
the whole scene, far and near, the dissolving lights drifted steadily, 
enriching it every passing moment with new marvels of coloring." 
Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

[ 60 1 



[ 61 ] 

18 George Caleb Blngham: The Jolly Flalboalinen 
Oil on canvas, 46yi"x69": 1857 
City Art Musouin of St. Louis 

"'Almost every hoat. wliile it lies in the harbour has one or more 
fiddles scraping continuall) aboard, to which )ou often see the boatmen 
dancing. There is no wonder that the way of life which the boatmen 
lead, in turn extremely indolent, and extremely laborious; for days 
requiring little or no effort, and attended with no danger, and then on a 
sudden, laborious and hazardous, beyond Atlantic navigation; generally 
plentiful as it respects food, and always so as it regards whisky , . . 
The hands travel about from boat to boat, make inquiries and acquaint- 
ances, and form alliances to yield mutual assistance to each other, on 
their descent from this to New Orleans. After an hour or two has passed 
in this way, they spring on shore to raise the wind in town. It is well 
for the people of the village, if they do not become riotous in the course 
of the evening; in which case I have often seen the most summary and 
strong measures taken. About midnight the uproar is all hushed. The 
fleet unites once more at Natchez, or New Orleans, and although they live 
on the same river, they may, jierhaps, never meet each other again on the 

Timothy Flint, Recollections oj the Last Ten Years (1826) 


[ 62 ] 


19 George Caleb Bingham: Waiching the Cargo 
Oil on canvas, 26"x36"; 1849 
State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia 

"Again the boat proceeds, but in passing over a shallow place, runs on 
a log, swings with the current, but hangs fast, with her lee side almost 
under water. ... I shall not continue this account of difficulties, it having 
already become painful in the extreme. I could tell you of the crew 
abandoning the boat and cargo, and of numberless accidents and perils . . . 

John James Au(hil)oii. Episodes ( ca. 1833) 

20 George Caleis Hingiiam: /•'/// Traders Descending ihe Missouri 
(Color plate detail) 

Oil on canvas, 291/4" x 361/4"; ca. 1846 
Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York 

"Said one of these men. long past se\(Mil\ \cars of age: 'I ((Uild (;iir\. 
paddle, walk and sing with aii\ man I rwi saw. I \ni\c liccii twcntx -Imir 
years a canoe man, and forl\-oiie )ears in service: no portage was ever too 
long for me. Fiftv songs could I sing. 1 have saved the lives of ten vox - 
ageurs. Have had tweKc wi\t's and six running dogs. 1 sp(Mit all ni\ money 
in })leasure. Were I young again. 1 should spend my life the same wa\ 
over. There is no life so happy as a vo\ ageurs life. 

Quoted from James H. Baker, Lake Superior. Minnesota Historical Col- 

[ 63 ] 


21 George Caleb Bingham: Sketchbook 
Mercantile Library, St. Louis 
Five of the 109 drawings mounted in the book 

(a) Seated figure heating a pan 

(b) Fiddler seated on a barrel head 

(c) Standing man drinking from a jug 

(d) Boatman with a setting pole. 

(e) Reclining Raftsman I Illustrated page 48) 

These sketches are studies for The Jolly Flathoatmen, No, 18 
"Whoo-oop! Fm the original iron-jawed, brass-mounted, copper- 
bellied corpse-maker from the wilds of Arkansas! Look at me! Fm 
the man they call Sudden Death and General Desolation! Sired by a 
hurricane, dam'd by an earthquake, half-brother to the cholera, nearly 
related to the smallpox on my mother's side! Look at me! I take nine- 
teen alligators and a bar'l of whisky for breakfast when Fm in robust 
health, and a bushel of rattlesnakes and a dead body when Fm ailing. 
I split the everlasting rocks with my glance, and I squench the thunder 
when I speak! Whoo-oop! Stand back and give me room according to 
my strength! Blood's my natural drink, and the wails of the dying is 
music to my ear. Cast your eye on me, gentlemen! and lay low and hold 
your breath, for Fm 'bout to turn my self loose!" 
Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

[ 64 ] 

George Caleb Bingham Fur Traders Descending the Missouri (Detail) 
Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 




[ 65 ] 


22 James IVI. Boal i 1800? -1862 ) : Fort Snelllng 
Oil on canvas 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul 

23 Charles Bodmer (1809-18931 : The Banks of the Mississippi 
Watercolor. 21"x28"; signed: K. Bodmer; ca. 1833 
Collection Dr. J. T. C. Gernon. Chicago 

'"But what words shall descrihe the Mississippi, great father of rivers, 
who (praise be to Heaven) has no young children like him! An enormous 
ditch, sometimes two or three miles wide, running liquid mud, six miles 
an hour: its strong and frothy current choked and obstructed everywhere 
by huge logs and whole forest trees: now twining themselves together in 
great rafts, from the interstices of which a sedgy lazy foam works up, to 
float upon the water's top; now rolling past like monstrous bodies, their 
tangled roots showing like matted hair; now glancing singly by like giant 
leeches; and now writhing round and round in the vortex of some small 
whirlpool, like wounded snakes. The banks low, the trees dwarfish, the 
marshes swarming with frogs, the wretched cabins few and far apart, 
their inmates hollow-cheeked and pale, the weather very hot, mosquitoes 
penetrating into every crack and crevice of the boat, mud and slime on 
everything: nothing pleasant in its aspect, but the harmless lightning 
which flickers every night upon the dark horizon.' 

Charles Dickens, American Notes (1842) 

[ 66 ] 


24 Alfred Boisseau (1823-1852) : Louisiana Indians Walking Along a Bayou 
Oil on canvas, 24"x40"; signed and dated: Al. Boisseau 1847 
Collection Mr. W. E. Groves, New Orleans 

Boisseau was born in Paris February 28th, 1823, and died some time 
after 1852. He was a pupil of Paul Delaroche and exhibited in the Paris 
Salon in 1842, and again in 1847 when this picture was exhibited. 

"The squaws went 1)\ . walking one behind the other, with their hair, 
growing low on the forehead, loose, or tied back of the head. . . These 
squaws carried large Indian baskets on their backs, and shulllcd along. 
barefooted, while their lords paced before them, well mounted: or. if 
walking, gay. with l)lii(' and red clolhiiin and cinln oidered leggings, with 
tufts of hair at the knees, wliile pouches and uhilc fringes dangled about 
tiiem. The) looked like grave merr\ -andrcws: or. more still, like solemn 
fanatical harvest men going out for largess. By eight o'clock they had 
all disajJiJcared: but the streets were full of them again the next morning." 

Harriet Martineau, Society in America (1837j 

25 J. L. Bouquet de Woiseri: Atw<, Orleans in 1803 

Watercolor, signed and dated: Boqueto de Woieseri licit [sic] in New 

Orleans, Novr. 1803 

Mariners' Museum, \euporl News. Virginia 

Mantle Fielding renders the name "J. L. liuuquet Woiseri". In the 
Philadelphia General Advertiser of February 21. 1804, de Woiseri 
offered two engravings for sale. One was the "View of the City of New 
Orleans". He referred to himself as a "designer, drawer, geographer, and 
engineer"" and stated that he had lived in New Orleans for a number of 

New Orleans in lo()4 had "al)out one thcnisand houses, and eight 
thousand inhabitants, including l)latks and people of color. Nearly 
the whole of the old houses are of wood, one story high, and make an 
ordinarv appearance. The suburbs on the upper or north end of the city, 
have been built since the fire in 1794. and contain about two hundred 
and fifteen houses, mostly composed of cypress wood, and generally 
covered with shingles or clapboards. Among them is one elegant brick 
house covered with tile. .Several of them are two stories high, and two 
in the same quarter three stories high. One of them cost eighty thousand 
dctllars. and the rest from fifteen to twentv thousand dollars. They are 
plastered on the outside with white or colored mortar: this, as frosts are 
seldom severe in the climate, lasts many years: it beautifies the buildings, 
and preserves the bricks, which, from the negligence or parsimony of the 
manufacturers, are usually too soft to resist the weather. 

Amos Stoddard, Sketches, Historical and Descriptive of Louisiana ( lol2 I 


[ 68 ] 


26 Carl Christian Brenner (1838-1888i: Race on the MhsL^sippi 
Oil on canvas. 28"\50": signed and dated: Chris Brenner 1870 
Addison Gallery of American Art. riiillips Acadenn . Ando\er. Massa- 

Brenner was horn at Lauterecken in the Rhenish Palatinate. The faniih 
emigrated to the I nited States in 1853 b\ \\a\ of New Orleans t»» Louis- 
ville. Kentucky. In iJiTl he hegan his career as a landscape painter. In 
1884 he made a trip to the Rock\ Mountains. 

"An appearance, more or less common to all the western ami southern 
rivers, struik me as heing more dislinctK markeil in this ri\er. than in 
anv that I have seen. It is the entire uniformit\ of the meanders o{ the 
rivers, called, in the phrase of the countrv. "points and bends." ... So 
regular arc these i in \cs in all the ri\crs of the lower countrx. that the 
hunters ami the Indians lalculate ilistances In them." 

Timothy Flint, RccoHeciioiis oj the Last Ten Years 082o) 

2(>A TiKiMVs II. iUKKlOGE: L iiitetl States C^iin Hoat "Osatie" 
Oil on wood panel. 22" \ 3l)i j"; signed: 1 hos. II. Hurridge 
Missouri Historical Societ\. St. Ltuiis 

The Osasi^e was designed and huilt 1»\ Captain James B. Lads tluring the 
Civil War. 

[ 69 ] 

Ckorge Catun (1796-18721 

"Tliere is now in tliis citN a coiletlion of |)aintiiigs, which we consider 
the most extraordinary and interesting that we have ever witnessed; and 
one which constitutes a most valuable addition to the history of our 
contijient. as well as to the arts of our country. Mr. Catlin engaged 
some time since in the very arduous and novel enterprise, of visiting 
the distant tribes of our western frontiers, for the purpose of painting from 
nature a series of portraits and landscapes illustrative of the country 
and its inhabitants, and has succeeded thus far beyond his most sanguine 
hopes. . . . His gallery now contains about one hundred and forty 
pictures: and we are informed that he has in his possession an equal 
number in an unfinished state . . . 

"There is also a series of landscapes, endjracing views of the scenery 
of the Missouri River. To us. who have traversed the prairie in its length 
and breadth. . . . these graphic delineations served to awaken agreeable 
images of past pleasure. To others they will communicate valuable in- 
formation — to all who have never had the good fortune to see a prairie, 
they will convey some idea of the appearance of those vast meadows, so 
boundless, so beautiful, so rich in scenic attraction. The shores of the 
Missouri have a peculiar and strongly marked character. They are like 
nothing else in nature but themselves. . . . We are glad that we have a 
native artist, who . . . has had the good sense to train his taste in the 
school of nature, and the patriotism to employ his genius on subjects 
connected with his own country. We are proud of such men as Audubon 
and Catlin ..." 

Western Monthly Magazine, Cincinnati (1836) 

27 George Catlln: St. Louis from the river below in ]H')2, a town on the 
Mississippi, ivith 25,000 inhabitants 
Oil on canvas, 191/." x 261/." 
United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

"We arrived at St. Louis too late in the evening to remove my canoe, 
and in the morning I was saved the trouble; and with it, on this occasion, 
had departed forever a large package which I had left in the cabin, 
with my name on it, containing several very beautiful articles of Indian 
costumes, pipes, etc. For the loss of these things on his vessel I remon- 
strated with the captain, and severely so, for the parcel taken from the 
cabin of his steamer with my name on it. For this he laughed me in 
the face again and said, 'Why, don't you know, sir, that if you leave 
a box or parcel in any steamboat on the Missouri or the Mississippi, with 
George Catlin marked on it, it is known at once by all the world to be 
filled with Indian curiosities, and that you will never see it again unless 
it goes ashore with you.' *' 

George Catlin, North American Indians (1841) 

[ 70 1 


[26 a; 


[ 71 1 





28 George Catlin: Madame Ferrebault's Prairie from the river above 
Oil on canvas, IQl/s'^x 261/2"; dated 1836 
United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

The title continues: "The author and his companion descending the 
river in a bark canoe, above Prairie du Chien, Upper Mississippi; beautiful 
grass covered bluffs. There is no more beautiful country in the world 
than that which is to be seen in this vicinity. In looking back from this 
bluff, towards the west, there is, to an almost boundless extent, one of 
the most beautiful scenes imaginable. The surface of the country is grace- 
fully and slightly undulating, like the swells of a retiring ocean after a 
heavy storm, and everywhere covered with a beautiful green turf and 
with occasional patches and clusters of trees. The soil in this region is 
also rich, and capable of making one of the most beautiful and jiroductive 
countries in the world." 

George Catlin, North American Indians (1841) 

29 George Catlin : View on Upper Missouri — Magnificent Clay Bluffs 1800 
miles above St. Louis 
Oil on canvas, 11" x UV/'; dated 1832 
United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

[ 72 j 

The title continues: "... Stupendous domes and ramparts, resembling 
some ancient ruins; streak of coal near water's edge: and mv little canoe, 
with myself and two men ( Bogard and Batiste I descending the river. 
Painted in 1832." 

George (Tallin, .\orth American Indians I lo41 I 


30 Georgf: Catlin: f icn- on Upper Missouri — Prairie Bluffs Burning 
Oil on canvas. 11" x 1 1> ,": dated 1832 
United States National Museum, Washington. D. C. 

"I beheld beneath me an immense cloud of black smoke which extiMided 
from one extremit\ of this vast plain to the other, and seemed majestically 
to roll o\(M- its surface in a Ix'd of li(|iii(l fire: and aboxc (his might\ 
desolation, as it rolled along, the whitened smoke, pale with terror, was 
streaming and rising up in magnificient cliffs to heaven. 

■'I stood secure, but tremblingly, and heard the maddening wind which 
hurled this monster o'er the land I heard the roaring thunder and saw 
its thousand lightenings flash: and then I saw behind, the black and 
smoking desolation of this storm of fireH 

George Catlin, North American Indians (1841) 

[ 73 ] 


31 George Catlin: View on Upper Missouri; distant view of the Mondan 
Village, 1800 miles above St. Louis 
Oil on canvas, 11" x 141/4"; dated 1832 
United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

"This tribe is at present located on the west bank of the Missouri, about 
1800 miles above St. Louis, and 200 below the mouth of the Yellowstone 
River. They have two villages only, which are about two miles distant 
from each other; and number in all (as near as I can learn), about 
2000 souls. Their present villages are beautifully located, and judiciously 
also, for defense against the assaults of their enemies. The site of the 
lower (or principal) town, in particular, is one of the most beautiful and 
pleasing that can be seen in the world, and even more beautiful than imag- 
ination could ever create. In the very midst of an extensive valley (em- 
braced within a thousand graceful swells and parapets or mounds of 
interminable green, changing to blue, as they vanish in the distance) is 
built the city, or principal town of the Mandans. On an extensive plain 
( which is covered with green turf, as well as the hills and dales, as far as the 
eye can possibly range, without tree or bush to be seen) are to be seen 
rising from the ground, and towards the heavens, domes — (not 'of gold' 
but) of dirt — and the thousand spears (not 'spires') and scalp-poles, etc., 

[ 74 ] 

etc., of the senii-suhterraiieoiis village of (he hospitable and gentlemanly 

George Catlin, North American Indians (1841) 

'"The Mandan mud huts are very far from looking poetical, although 
Mr. Catlin has tried to render them so by placing them in regular rows, 
and all of the same size and form, which is by no means the case. But 
travellers have different eyes." 

John James Audubon, The Missouri River Journals (1843) 

fWAI«#^K»l T 






32 George Catlin: View on the Upper Missouri — Minataree Village, earth- 
covered lodges, on knife River, 1810 miles above St. Louis 
Oil on canvas, 11" x 14U"; dated 1832 
United States National Museum, Washington. 1). C. 

The title continues: "Batiste, Bogard and myself ferried across the 
river b\ the Indian woman in a skin canoe, and Indians bathing in the 
stream. Painted in July, 1832." 

This is near what is now Mandan. North Dakota, i he Min;itarccs are 
better known today as the Hidatsa. 

"The principal village of the Minatarees. which is built upon the bank 
of the Knife Rixcr. contains fort\ or fiflx (\irth-covered wigwams, from 


forty to fifty feet in diameter, and, being elevated, overlooks the other 
two which are on lower ground and almost lost amidst their numerous 
corn-fields and other profuse vegetation which cover the earth with their 
luxuriant growth. 

"The scenery along the banks of this little river, from village to village, 
is quite peculiar and curious, rendered extremely so by the continual 
wild and garrulous groups of men, women and children who are wending 
their way along its winding shores, or dashing and plunging through 
its blue waves, enjoying the luxury of swimming, of which both sexes 
seem to be passionately fond. Others are paddling about in their tub- 
like canoes, made of the skins of buffaloes." 

George Catlin, North American Indians (1841) 


33 George Catlin: View on Upper Missouri — View in the "Big Bend" 
1900 miles above St. Louis 
Oil on canvas, 11" x 1414"; dated 1832 
United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

[ 76 ] 

"Saturday, fifth day of our voyage from the mouth of Yellow Stone, 
at eleven oclock. — Landed our canoe in the grand detour (or Big Bend I 
as it is called, at the base of a stately clay mound, and ascended, all hands, 
to the summit level, to take a glance at the pictures(]ue and magnificent 
works of nature that were about us. Spent the remainder of the day 
in painting a view of this grand scene; for which purpose Batiste and 
Bogard carried my easel and canvas to the top of a huge mound, where 
they left me at my work; and I painted my picture [No. 33 j, whilst 
they amused themselves with their rifles, decoying a flock of antelopes, 
of which they killed several, and abundantly added to the stock of our 

George Catlin, North American Indians (1841) 


34 Gkorge Catlin: f ien on (he Upper Missouri — River Bluffs and White 
Wolves in the Foreground 
Oil on canvas, 11" x 14V4"; dated 1832 
United States National Museum. Washington. D. C. 

[ 77 ] 


35 George Catlin: View on Upper Missouri — Beautiful Prairie Bluffs above 
the Puncahs. 1050 miles above St. Louis 
Oil on canvas, 11" x Uy/' ; dated 1832 
United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

36 George Catlin: Vieiv on the Upper Missouri — Buffalo Herds Crossing 
the River 

Oil on canvas, 11" x 14 V4"; dated 1832 
United States National Museum. Washington, D, C. 

"In one instance, near the mouth of the White River, we met the most 
innnense herd crossing the Missouri River — and from an imprudence 
got our boat into imminent danger amongst them, from which we were 
highly delighted to make our escape. It was in the midst of the 'running 
season', and we had heard the 'roaring' (as it is called) of the herd 
when we were several miles from them. When we came in sight, we 
were actually terrified at the immense nund)ers that were streaming down 
the green hills on one side of the river, and galloping up over the bluffs 
of the other. The river was filled, and in parts blackened, with their 
heads and horns, as they were swimming about, following up their objects, 
and making desperate battle whilst they were swimming. 

[ 78 1 


"I deemed it imprudent for our canoe to be dodging amongst them, 
and ran it ashore for a few hours, where we lay, waiting for the oppor- 
tunity of seeing the river clear; but we waited in vain. Their numbers, 
however, got somewhat diminished at last, and we pushed off, and suc- 
cessfully made our way amongst them. From the immense numbers that 
had passed the river at that place, they had torn down the prairie bank of 
fifteen feet in height, so as to form a sort of road or landing-place, where 
they all in succession clambered up. Many in their turmoil had been 
wafted below this landing, and unable to regain it against the swiftness 
of the current, had fastened themselves along in the crowds, hugging close 
to the high bank under which they were standing. As we were drifting 
by these, and supposing ourselves out of danger, I drew up my rifle 
and shot one of them in the head, which tumbled into the water and 
brought with him a hundred others, which plunged in, and in a moment 
were swimming about (»ur canoe, and placing it in great danger. [No. 
36]. No attack was made upon us. and in the confusion the poor beasts 
knew not, perhaps, the enemy was amongst them; but we were liable to 
be sunk by them, as ihev were furiously hooking and clindjing on to 
each other." 

George Catlin, North American Indians (1841) 

[ 79 ] 


37 George Catlin: Buffalo Chase; Mouth of Yellowstone — Animals dying 
on the ground passed over, and my man Batiste swamped in crossing a 

Oil on canvas, 23" x 27%"; dated 1832 
United States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

3o George Catlin : Upper Missouri — Grand Detour (Color plate) 
Oil on paper, 211/4" x2734"; ca. 1832 
American Museum of Natural History, New York 

"... we reached the place where the Missouri makes a great bend 
of fifteen miles, the distance across by land being only 400 or 500 paces. 
At this place the ice drives in spring over the flat land, or sandy point, 
and the tall j)<)plars at the end of it were rubbed smooth, on the lower 
part, to half the thickness of their trunks. This bend is called Le Grand 
Detour, and there are several such in this river." 

Maximilian Prince of Wied, Travels in the Interior of North America 

[ 80 ] 

George Catlin Upper Missouri — Grand Detour 
Collection American Museum of Natural History, New York 

39 George Catlin: View on the Upper Missouri — Prairie meadows burning, 
and a party of Indians running from it in grass eight or ten feet high 
Oil on canvas, Il"xl4y4" 

United States National i\Iuseiin). \\ asliington. D. C. 

"But there is yet another character of burning prairies . . . the war. 
or hell of fires! where the grass is seven or eight feet high, as is often 
the case for many miles together, on the Missouri bottoms; and the 
flames are driven forward by the hurricanes, which often sweep over 
the vast stretches of this denuded country. There are many of these 
meadows on the Missouri, tlie Platte, and the Arkansas, of many miles 
in breadth, which are perfectly level, with a waving grass, so high, that 
we are obliged to stand erect in our stirrups, in order to look over its 
wa\ ing tops, as we are riding through it. The fire in these, before such 
a wind, travels at an immense and frightful rate, and often destroys, 
on their fleetest horses, parties of Indians, who are so unlucky as to be 
overtaken by it: not that it travels as fast as a horse at full speed, but 
that the high grass is filled with wild pea-vines and other impediments, 
which render it necessary for the rider to guide his horse in the zig-zag 
paths of the deers and buffaloes, retarding his progress, until he is 
overtaken by the dense column of smoke that is swept before the fire- 
alarming the horse, which stops and stands terrified and immutable, till 
the burning grass which is wafted in the wind, falls about him, kindling 
up in a moment a thousand new fires, which are instantly wrapped in 
the swelling flood of smoke that is moving on like a black thunder-cloud, 
rolling on the earth, with its lightening's glare, and its thunder rumbling 
as it goes." 

George Catlin, North American Indians (loll) 

40 George Catlin: Vietv on Lake St. Croix, Upper Mississippi 
Oil on canvas, 18%" x 261^"; dated 1835 

I iiited States National Museum. Washington. 1). C. 

41 George Catlin: View on the Upper Missouri: Mouth of the Yellow Stone 
— /'///• Company's Fort, their principal post 2(100 miles above St. Louis, 
and a large party of knistcncu.x encamped about it 

Oil on canvas, 11" x 14' i"; dated 1832 

United States National Museum, Washington. I). C. 

Fort Union, a trading post of the American Vuv Compan\. was buill 
in Jul\. 1820. It was the first fort built on the Missouri ai>ove the 
^ I'ilowstonc. Buill b\ Kenneth McKeiizie: in IJ!3I it was burned and 
rel)uilt and stood until 1868. 

"Interesting . . . and luxurious for this is trul\ the land of the 
Epicures; we are invited by the savages to feasts of dogs meat, as the 

[ 81 ] 

most honourable food that can be presented to a stranger, and glutted 
with the more delicious food of beavers' tails and buffaloes' tongues. . . . 
He (McKenzie) has, with the same spirit of liberality and politeness 
with which Mons. Pierre Chouteau treated me on my passage up the river, 
pronounced me welcome at his table, which groans under the luxuries 
of the countr\ : with bulfalo meat and tongues, with beavers' tails and 
marrow fat; but sans coffee, sans bread and butter. Good cheer and 
good living we get at it however, and good wine also; for a bottle of 
Madeira and one of excellent Port are set in a pail of ice every day. and 
exhausted at dinner." 

George Catlin, North American Indians (lo41j 

42 Gi:oRGE Catlin: View on the Upper Missouri — .\ishnabottana Bluffs, 
1070 miles above St. Louis 
Oil on canvas. 11" x W: I414"; dated 1832 
United States \ational Museum. Washington. D. C. 


43 W. L. ChallonkR: Harbor of .\en' Orleans 

Oil on canvas, 30"x48"; signed: W. L. Challoner; ca. 1880 
Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans 

[ 82 ] 

"It was a pleasure to hear the French language spoken, and It) have 
our thoughts recalled to the most civilized parts of Kurope by the aspects 
of a city, forming so great a contrast to the imuunerable new towns we 
had lately beheld. The foreign aj)pearance. moreover, of the inliabitants, 
made me feel thankful that it was possible to roam freely and without 
hindrance over so large a continent — no bureaus for examining and 
signing of passports, no fortifications, no drawbridges, no closing of 
gates at a fixed hour in the evening, no waiting until they are opened 
in the morning, no custom-houses separating one state from another, no 
overhauling of baggage by gens d'armes for the octroi; and yet as perfect 
a feeling of personal security as I ever felt in Germany or France." 

Charles Lyell, entry dated February 23, 1846 from A Scco/ul I isil tu 
the United States of JSorth America 


44 Rich AKI) (j,\gik ( lolO-UJi!')! : Trapper's ('ahin. I.oitisiaiia 
Oil on canvas. 12"xl6"; signed: H. Clague: ca. i;;7() 
Collection Mr. W. F. Groves, New Orleans 

Born in Louisiana, died in New Orleans, lie studied with Ijnest Hebert 
and at the £cole des Beaux-Arts in i'aris. He iiainlcd l.duisiaiia land- 
scapes and New Orleans street scenes. 

[ 83 ] 


45 Richard Clague: Back of Algiers 

Oil on canvas, 13%"x20"; signed: R. Clague; ca. 1860 
Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans 

46 Christophe Colomb: While Hall Flanlalion, Louisiana 
Gouache on paper, 19"x22"; ca. 1800 
Collection Mrs. Suzanne Bringier McConnell, New Orleans 

White Hall was the plantation of the Bringier family whose daughter 
Fannv married Christophe Colomb. The home of this couple was Bocage 
which is to be seen in the architectural section of this exhibition. 

(.hrislophe Colomb introduces himself as the painter seated on the 
bank making the gouache which is seen here. He has exercised the right 
of the artist to tidy up and make the scene more comprehensible by 
reducing the width of the river and bringing the elements on the opposite 
shore closer to the house. Two young Bringiers study a flatboat tied 
up at the landing. Their father is seated on top of a vessel loaded with 
bales of cotton as his slaves strain at the oars. A sightseer on a passing 
barge examines the plantation through his spyglass. 

[ 84 ] 


.,V..V'-*L ' 



"The luxui) of the lal)le is carried to a great extent among them. 
They are ample in their supply of wines, though (^aret is generally drunk. 
Every family is provided with Claret, as we at the North arc with cider. 
I have scarcely seen an instance of intoxication among the respectahle 
planters. In drinking, the guests universally raise their glasses, and 
touch tlicni together instead of a healtli. In tlic iiioiniiig. before )ou 
rise, a cup of strong colTee is offered you. Alter the dessert at dimier, 
you are offered another. It is hut very recenth. that the ladies have 
begun to (hink lea. Dniing the warm months liefore \ou retire, it is 
the custom in main phiees for a black girl to take (dl \oui stockings, and 
perform the ancient cerenionial of washing the feet. 

''rhe\ are eas\ and amiaMr in their intercourse with one another, and 
excessiveh attached to balls and |)arties. They cerlainh li\e more in 
sensation, than in reflection. The past and future are seasons, with which 
they seem lilllc cuiKcrncd. I lie |iicseiil is their dax. and "(bmi \i\imns. 
vivamus". in other words, 'a siiort life and a merry one', their motto. 
Their feelings are easily excited. Tears (low. The excitement passes away, 
and another train of sensation is started." 

Timolln Flint. RecolU'clioiis of the Lost Ten Years (1826) 

[ 85 ] 


47 George L. Crosby: Doicn River View of the Mississippi and Hannibal 

Oil on canvas, 30"x72"; signed and dated: Crosby 1869 
Collection Mrs. W. M. Hawkins, Cambridge, Massachusetts; courtesy of 
the Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal, Missouri 

George L. Crosby, born in Massachusetts in 1833, travelled west as 
a young man with settlers bound for Kansas. His impressions of that 
expedition were recorded in two paintings, "Kansas or Bust" and "Kansas 
and Busted". After his return to Massachusetts he was commissioned by 
investors in the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad to paint views of 
Hannibal and the surrounding terrain. Crosby married in Hannibal, 
returned to Marlborough, Massachusetts, and came back to Hannibal 
in the 1860's where he was active as a photographer and portrait painter 
until he and his family were drowned in a flash flood of 1877 or 1878. 

In the distance is Jackson Island where Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry 
Finn became pirates. The Rob Roy is docked at the boat and freight 
house. The Hannibal and St. Joseph roundhouse, shops and general 
office, the latter still in use. appear below Lover's Leap. 

"The people of Hannil)al are not more changed than is the town. It 
is no longer a village; it is a citv. with a Mayor, and a council, and water- 
works, and probably a debt. It has fifteen thousand people, is a thriving 
and energetic place, and is paved like the rest of the West and South — 
where a well-paved street and a good sidewalk are things so seldom seen 
tliat one doubts lliem when he does see them. The customary half- 
dozen railways center in Hannibal now. and there is a new depot, which 

[ 86 ] 


cost a hundred thousand dollars, in my time the town had no speciality, 
and no commercial grandeur; the daily packet usually landed a passenger 
and bought a catfish, and took away another passenger and a hatful 
of freight; but now a huge commerce in lumber has grown up, and a 
large miscellaneous commerce is one of the results. A good deal of 
money changes hands there now." 

Mark Twain. Life on the Mississippi ( 1874) 

48 George L. Crosby: Up River View of the Mississippi ami llannilxil 

Oil on canvas, 30"x72"; signed and dated: Crosby 1870 

Collection Mrs. W. M. Hawkins, Cambridge. Massachusetts; courtes\ of 

the Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal. Missouri 

Commanding the scene on H()]lida\'s Hill is the home of the W'idttw 
Douglas and at the left is CardilT Hill. 

■'From this \aMtage-ground the e\l('nsi\t' \ ieu up and down (lie river, 
and wide over the wooded expanses of Illinois, is \vv\ beautiful — one 
of the most beautiful on the Mississippi. I lliiiik: which is a hazardous 
remark to make, for the ciiilit liiiiHlrcd miles of lixcr licluccn St. koiiis 
and St. Vi\\\\ afford an unbroken succession of li»\('l\ |)i(tut('s." 

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1874j 

[ 87 ] 


49 Charles Deas (1818-1867): Prairie Fire 

Oil on canvas. 29"x35^'8"; signed and dated: C. Deas 1847 
Brooklyn Museum, New York 

"I have often witnessed in this country a most impressive view, which 
I do not remember to have been noticed by any travellers who have 
preceded me. It is the burning of the prairies. It is visible at times in 
all jnuts of Missouri, but nowhere with more effect than in St. Louis. 
The tall and thick grass that grows in the prairies that abound through 
all the country, is fired; most frequently at that season of the year, called 
Indian summer . . . Thousands of acres of grass are burning in all 
directions. In the wide prairies the advancing front of flame often has 
an extent of miles. Many travellers, arrested by these burnings, have 
perished. The crimson-coloured flames, seen through the dim atmosphere, 
in the distance seem to rise from the earth to the sky. The view, before 
the eye becomes familiarized with it. is grand. I might almost say terrific; 
for nothing has ever given me such a striking image of our conceptions 
of the final conflagration." 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 



50 Seth Eastman (1808-1875): Squaivs Playing Ball on the Prairie 
Oil on canvas, 25" x 34" 
Peabodv Museum. Harvard L'niversity 

Born in Brunswick, Maine. January 24, 1808 and died in Washington 
D.C., August 31, 1875. He entered West Point as a cadet July L 1824. 
He served at Fort Crawford. Wisconsin. 1829-30: Fort Snelling. Miinie- 
sota, 1830-31; and again at Fort Snelling from ir)41 to 1846 and after 
a brief interruption again at Fort Snelling until 1848. In 1850 he was 
in Washington D.C. where he worked on illustrations for Schoolcraft's 
great book on American Indians. 

George Catlin, who painted a similar scene, wrote that the day came 
when the men "wanted a little more amusement, and felt disposed to in- 
dulge the weaker sex in a little recreation also: it was announced among 
them, and through the village, that the Wdmen were going to have a 
ball-play ! 

"For this purpose the men, in their \ery liberal trades they were 
making, and filling their canoes with goods delivered to them on a year's 
credit, laid out a great (piantity of ribbons and calicoes with otiier ])resents 
well adapted to the wants and desires of the women: which were hung 
on a pole resting on crotches, and guarded b\ an old man. who was to 
judge and umpire the play which was to take place among the women, 
who were divided into two equal parties, and were to play a desperate 
game of ball, for the valuable stakes that were hanging before them." 

George Catlin, North American Indians ( 1«')41 I 

[ 89 ] 


51 Seth Eastman?: Site of St. Paul, Minnesota 
Oil on canvas, 24" x 32" 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul 

"The town is one of the youngest infants of the Great West, scarcely 
eighteen months old, and yet it has in this short time increased to a 
population of two thousand persons, and in a very few years it will 
certainly be possessed of twenty-two thousand, for its situation is as 
remarkable for beauty and healthfulness as it is avantageous for trade. 
Here the Indians come with their furs from that immense country lying 
between the Mississippi and the Missouri, the western boundary of Minne- 
sota; the forests still uridespoiled of their primeval wealth and the rivers 
and lakes abounding in fish offer their inexhaustible resources, while the 
great Mississippi affords the means of their conveyance to the commercial 
markets of the world, flowing, as it does, throughout the whole of Central 
America down to \ew Orleans. Hence it is that several traders here 
have already acquired considerable wealth. ... 

Fredrika Bremer, America of the Fifties (Oct. 25, 1850) 

[ 90 ] 


52 Seth Eastman: /"o// Crawford — Prairie du Cliieii 

Pencil drawing, 4^/2" x 7I/2". Inscribed: [Mississippi] River. Fort Craw- 
ford Prairie du Chien 557 miles above St. Louis Oct. 1829 
Peabody Museum, Harvard University 

The Fort was constructed in 1816 and the following year Maj. Stephen 
H. Long wrote, "Spent the day in measuring and planning Fort Crawford 
and its buildings. The work is a square of 340 feet upon each side; and 
is constructed entirely of wood, as are all its buildings, except the maga- 
zine, which is of stone, it will accommodate five companies of soldiers." 

Maj. Stephen H. Long, Voyage in a six-oared shifj to the Falls of St. 
Anthony in 1817 

53 Seth Eastman: Wahbaslia's Prairie — Mississippi River Scene in Jnly 

Pencil drawing, 6^2" x 9^ o". Inscribed: Wahbasha's Prairie. Miss. River 
Scene in July 1848. Dillicult) with the Winnebagoes while removing them 
to their present country 
Peabody Museum, Harvard I niversity 

As Eastman was, at that time, Captain of the 1st Infantrv commanding 
Fort Snelling, he may have been in command of the troops drawn up 
at the left in this drawing. 

[ 91 ] 

^ . ^ i ;^^' ^ ^'^ ::^' '^'-^ Am ^ ^' '^^"^i^^^ 



[ 92 


54 Seth Eastman: View of Fort Snelling. Minnesota 
Oil on canvas 

Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul 

55 J. G. Evans and Edward Arnold: The Tug,-l)oat "Panther" toning the 
cotton ships "Sea King", "Themis' and "Columbia up the river to i\eiv 

Oil on canvas, 44 V^" x 54^4" ; signed : Evans & Arnold 
Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans 

J. G. Evans is said to have been in New York and San Francisco as 
well as at the Rock of Gibraltar. In 1850 he had the intention of painliiij: 
scenes in New Orleans in partnership with Edward Arnold. 

56 William Jacobs Hays (1830-1875): Fort Inion. Month oj the Vellon- 
stone. Upper Missouri. June 16. IH()() 
Pencil drawing touched with while. 11" x 14" 
Collection Dr. Robert Taft, Lawrence. Kansas 

Havs made a trip up the Missouri lea\ ing St. Louis May 3, 1860 
and arriving at Yi. I nion June 15th on the Spread Eagle. 

[ 93 ] 

"From Mr. Jatoh Liiiclcr, male, and Mr. Joseph Ma) hood, carpenter, 
of the Sjyreod Eagle, we gather some news in regard to the upper country, 
and the up-trip of the fleet. Forts Clark and Kip on the Missouri and 
Fort Sarpy on the Yellow Stone have been abandoned by the Fur Com- 
pany. The various tribes of Indians along the upper river are reported 
to be engaged in a war of extermination. Every-day almost, war parties 
were seen on the bank of the river. Bleeding scalps were seen dangling 
from sticks at the door of the lodges of the chiefs and big men. Mur- 
muring out complaints were the burden of the speeches at every council 
held. Thev complain of the government of the Indian Agents and of 
one another. The probabilities are that they will allow no peace to 
each other till a strong military post is established at some point in their 
country, as the Agents feel that until this is done their influence has but 
little force in controlling the turbulent spirit of the young and ambitious 

From the Tri-Weckly Missouri Republican. St. Louis. July 12. 1860 


57 William J. Hinchey (1829-1893): Dedication oj Eads Bridge, St. Louis, 
July 4, 1874 

Oil on canvas, 18" x 80" 
Collection Mr. A. S. Hinchey, St. Louis 

William James Hinchey was born in Dublin. Ireland, in 1829 and died 
in St. Louis in 1893. He was educated at Trinity College and continued 
his studies in art in London and Paris. In 1854 while painting in some 

[ 94 ] 

Parisian churches he was commissioned to come to the United States 
and do similar work. After iiis marriage in lo58 he established his home 
in St. Louis, but spent much time in other cities where he had commissions 
for portraits. 

This painting was the result of sketches made from a steamboat in mid- 
stream. He chose that moment during the fireworks display when the 
National Capitol was represented. 

58 E. B. D. Fabrino Julio (1843-1879): Bayou Landscape 

Oil on canvas, 9yo"x 141/2"; signed and dated: E. B. D. F. Julio 1877 
Collection Mr. Albert Lieutaud, New Orleans 

Everett B. D. F. Julio was born on the Island of St. Helena of a Scotch 
nu)ther and a Spanish father ulio was al tliat lime in the emplo) of ibe 
British government. He was educated in Boston and at ibe age of twenty- 
one came to St. Louis where he worked as an artist. In 1871 he went 
down the river to New Orleans where he stayed for three years before 
going to Paris where he studied under Bomuit for a year and a half. I pon 
his return he continued painting until he suffered from tuberculosis wbich 
caused his death in Kingston, Georgia. 

"Amidst the desolation and abominable dirt, I observed a mos(juito 
bar, a muslin curtain, suspended over the crib. Without this, the 
dweller in the wood would be stung almost to madness or death before 
morning. This curtain was nearly of a saffron colour; the floor of the 

[ 95 ] 

hut was uf damp earth and the place so small that the wonder was how 
two men could live in it. There was a rude enclosure round it to keep 
off intruders; but the space was grown over with the rankest grass and 
yellow weeds. The ground was swampy all about, up to the wall of the 
untouched forest which rendered this spot inaccessible except from the 

Harriet Martineau. Retrospect of Western Travel (1838) 


59 John F. Kensett (1816-1872): Upper Mississippi 

Oil on canvas, 181/2" xSOVo"; signed and dated: J. F. K. 55 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

Kensett was born in Cheshire, Connecticut, the son of Thomas Kensett, 
an engraver and native of England. In 1840 he sailed for England and 
later toured through Europe visiting Paris, the Rhine country, Switzerland 
and Ital\. During his European stay he turned from engraving to paint- 
ing. In 1848 he returned to the United States and from then on was a 
frequent exhibitor in the National Academy of Design and the American 
Art Union. 

". . . the great Mississippi, the majestic, the magnificent Mississippi, 
Milling its mile-wide tide along, shining in the sun; the dense forest away 
on the other side . . .' 

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

[ 96 ] 

"We remarked a curious but uniform circumstance, which applied 
equally to the Mississippi, and all its tributaries. It is, that with few 
exceptions, where the bluffs of the river rise immediately from the shore 
on the one hand, the bottoms broaden on the other; and when the bluff 
commences at the termination of the bottom, that connnences on the 
opposite shore. Thus they regularly alternate with each other." 

Timoth\ Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten Years ( 1826 ) 


60 Cornelia A. Kuemmel: Glasgow, Missouri 
Oil on canvas, 28" x 42" 
State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia 

Miss Kuemmel, whose birth date is unknown, was a graduate of the 
St. Louis .School of Fine Arts, Washington liiiversitv. 1895. She taught 
at Pritchett College, Glasgow, in 1884-85 and again in 1895. She died in 
Kansas City in .September, 1938. 

61 Fkikdkich KlRZ l 1818-1871 l : Packet Boat "S/. Ange'' 
Drawing, from the artist's sketchbook. AiiWd Jul\ 2. 1851 
Historical Museum, Bern, Switzerland 

[ 97 ] 



Friedrich Kurz was advised by Carl Bodmer to become more proficient 
"in the drawing of natural objects and in the true representation of 
animals" before travelling to the United States. He left Bern in 1846 
and on New Year's Day 1847 started up river from New Orleans. His 
manuscript journal and sketchbook record his travels up the Mississippi 
and Missouri until his return in 1852. In 1851 Kurz stayed at Sarpy's 
"trading house for the Omahaws" at Belle Vue, opposite Council Bluffs. 
On June 16, 1851 the American Fur Company's boat, St. Ange, arrived at 
Sarpy's and Kurz went aboard and soon was bound up the Missouri. The 
following day he wrote, "No doctor on board, two more deaths since 
yesterday! Evans, a professor in geology, prepared the remedy — meal 
mixed with whisky — that I administer." The St. Ange brought up the 
river, in addition to the normal cargo, several cases of cholera which caused 
the deaths just mentioned. Kurz entered the employ of the American Fur 
Company and was stationed at Fort Berthold where he found abundant 
material for his sketchbook. The chief, Le Corl)eau Rouge, accused Kurz 
of being the direct cause of the great sickness, saying, as Kurz wrote in 
his journal, "my looking at everything and writing down what I saw 
was the cause." 

David I. Bushnell, Friedrich Kurz. Artist-Explorer 

I 98 ] 

In the upper right hand corner there is a sketch of the wooden framework 
for a bullboat. 

"The frame of this boat resembles an ordinary canoe. It is formed by 
l)oth sticks giving a half circle: the upper edges are fastened together by 
a long stick, as well as the center of the bottom. Outside of this stretches 
a Buffalo skin without tiie hair on; it is said to make a light and safe 
craft to cross even the turbid, rapid stream — the Missouri. By simply 
looking at them, one may suppose that they are sufficiently large to carr\ 
two or three persons." 

John James Audulion. The Missouri River Journals IIo43) 

62 EdoUARD Coudroy DE LaUREAL (1o0o-1o99): J'hc Home of Dr. Louis 
Vitalis, Caroudelet, South St. Louis 
Oil on paper, 6-]i" x H-^i" 
Collection Miss Noemi M. Walsh. St. Louis 

63 Edouard Coudroy de Laureal: View of the Mississippi, with Honeysuckle 

Pastel, 8"x7"; dated on reverse: 15 Aout 1871 
Collection Miss Noemi M. Walsh. St. Louis 

64 Edouard Coudroy de Laureal: Vieiv of Caroudelet, South St. Louis 
Pastel, 9V2"xll%"; ca. 1850; signed. E.L. 
Collection Miss Noemi M. Walsh, St. Louis 

65 Lemasson: St. Louis River Front after the Great Fire, 1849 
W^atercolor on j)aper. 5"x46"; signed: Lemasson 
Mercantile Library, St. Louis 

This artist is known onl\ bv this and a similar view. No. 66. 

66 Lemasson: St. Louis River Front after the Great Fire, 1849 
W^atercolor on paper, Ay-2"\29^'-2"- signed: Lemasson 
Collection Mr. Monroe C. Lewis. St. Louis 

This watercolor was formerly in the possession of Henry Lewis and 
was returned to this country with other effects after the death of the 
artist in Diisseldorf. For a long time it was believed to be the work of 
Henry Lewis, but the jjresence of Lemasson's signature at the extreme 
right establishes Lemasson as the artist. 

[ 99 ] 


67 Henry Lewis (1819-19041 : St. Anthony Falls as it Appeared in 1848 
Oil on canvas, 19"x27"; signed and dated: H, Lewis 1855 
Minneapolis Institute of Arts 

This is dated 1855, and therefore was executed at Diisseldorf from 
sketches made in 1848. 

"At the foot of the Falls the voyageurs launched the canoe and prepared 
lunch, while we explored the neighbourhood and sketched the Falls. They 
are only twenty feet in height; but the scenery does not derive its interest 
from their grandeur, but from the perfect grouping of rock and wood and 
water on a magnificent scale. The Mississippi is upwards of six hundred 
yards wide above the Falls. These are quite perpendicular, and the water 
drops in beautiful single sheets on either side of a huge mass of white 
sandstone, of a pyramidal form, which splits the stream. The rapids below 
extend for several hundred yards, and are very broad, divided into various 
channels by precipitous islands of sandstone, gigantic blocks of which are 
strewn in grotesque confusion at the l)ase of lofty walls of stratification 
of dazzling whiteness." 

Laurence Oliphant, Minnesota and the Far West (1855) 

[ 100 ] 


68 Henry Lewis: Cheevers Mill on the St. Croix River 
Oil on canvas, 20" x 30" 
Minneapolis Institute of Arts 

"Steamers run up the St. Croix to Stillwater, a large town seltletl long 
before St. Paul, and owing its prosperity to the lumber districts of the 
headwaters of the river upon which it is situated. By ascending the 
St. Croix for a hundred miles in a bark canoe, and making a short portage 
to the Brule River, Lake Superior is easily reached." 

Laurence Oliphant. Minnesota and the Far If est ( 1J555) 

69 Henry Lewis: Gorge of the St. Croix 

Oil on canvas. 20"x30"; signed and dal(>(l: H. Lewis. St. Louis 184l?) 
Minneapolis Institute of Arts 

". . . Lake St. Croix, glowing in the evening sun. and surrounded by a 
charmingly diversified country, the hills swelling back from the water, 
and covered with prairie or forest and watered by large streams, abound- 
ing in waterfalls and trout." 

Laurence Oliphant. Minnesota and the Far U est (18.55) 

[ 101 ] 


70 Henry Lewis (1819-1904) : Sketch Book 

Each sheet measures 5^/v^"x9%"; seventy-eight sheets bouiul in boards. 
The cover has a leather apphque, is tooled and gilded with his name in 
the center. 
Missouri Historical Society. St. Louis 

In the illustrations on the opposite page the Sketch Book is opened to 
views of Alton, Illinois. 

"As I looked I felt how hopeless art was to convey the soul of such a 
scene as this and as the poet wishes for the pencil of the artist so did I 
for the power of description to tell of the thousand thoughts fast crowding 
each other from my mind. But a truce to sentiment, here I am with pencil 
and sketch book ruminating and dreaming when I should be at work so 
here goes to make the effort if it is only in outline to carry to my friends 
at home and try and give them some idea of where I have been." 

Henry Lewis, Journal (1848) 

71 Joseph Rusling Meeker (1827-1889) : Mississippi Cypress Sivomp 

Oil on canvas, U-'/^" x liiV^' ; signed: J. R. Meeker 
Collection Ben Hirschfeld, St. Louis 

In 1845 Meeker began drawing from casts for a scholarshij) in llie 
Academy of Design, New York. He later studied under Asher B. Durand. 

[ 102 ] 

i «, 

1^- il^^ 



t* : :r 

:i' /^ 



3\a- ■*» 

i N r.-_r- 



f « 


[ 103 ] 

In 1859 he travelled thiDugh a dozen large cities and finally settled in 
St. Louis. During the Civil War he was a paymaster for the United 
State Navy and it was at this time that he made his sketches of Southern 
swamp scenery. 

"Beyond these lakes, there are immense swamps of cypress, which 
swamps constitute a vast proportion of the inundated lands of the Mis- 
sissippi and its waters. No prospect on earth can be more gloomy. The 
poetic Styx or Acheron had not a greater union of dismal circumstances. 
Well may the cypress have been esteemed a funereal and lugubrious tree. 
When the tree has shed its leaves, for it is a deciduous tree, a cypress swamp, 
with its countless interlaced branches, of a hoary grey, has an aspect 
of desolation and death, that often as I have been impressed with it, I 
cannot describe. . . . The water in which they grow is a vast and dead 
level, two or three feet deep, still leaving the innumerable cypress 'knees', 
as they are called, or very elliptical trunks, resembling bee-hives, throwing 
their points above the waters. This water is covered with a thick coat 
of green matter, resembling green buff velvet. The musquitoes swarm 
above the water in countless millions. A very frequent adjunct to this 
horrible scenery is the nioccason snake with its huge scaly body lying 
in folds upon the side of a cypress 'knee'; if you approach too near, lazy 
and reckless as he is, he throws the upper jaw of his huge mouth almost 
back to his neck, giving vou ample warning of his ability and will to 
defend himself.*' 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

72 Joseph Rusling Meeker: Bayou Teche 

Oil on canvas, 30" x20"; signed and dated: J. R. Meeker 1879 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

"When the river is high, it pours its redundant waters into these lakes 
and Bayous, and the water is in motion for a width of twenty miles. 
These lakes are covered with the large leaves, and in the proper season 
the flowers of the 'nymphea nelumbo', the largest and most splendid 
flower that I have ever seen. I have seen them of the size of the crown 
of a hat; the external leaves of the most brilliant white, and the internal 
of a beautiful yellow. They are the enlarged copy of the New England 
pond lilv. which has always struck me as the most beautiful and fragrant 
flower of that country. These lakes are so entirely covered with these 
large conical leaves, nearly of the size of a parasol, and a smaller class 
of aquatic plant, of the same form of leaves, but with a yellow flower, 
that a bird might walk from shore to shore without dipping its feet in 
water: and these plants rise from all depths of water up to ten feet." 

Timothy Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

[ 104 ] 

73 Joseph Rusling Meeker: The Land of Evangeline 

Oil on canvas, 33" x 451/2"; signed and dated: J. R. Meeker 1874 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

"The air was excessively sultry, and the musquitoes troublesome to a 
degree, which I have not experienced before nor since. I was obliged 
to rise from my bed at least ten times a night, for forty nights. I slept 
under a very close musquitoe curtain. 1 would soon become oppressed 
for want of breath under the curtain, and when I drew it up and attempted 
to inhale a little of the damp and sultry atmosphere, the musquitoes would 
instantly settle on my face in such lunnbers that I was soon obliged to 
retreat behind my curtain again. Thus passed those dreadful nights, 
amidst the groans of my family, calls for medicine and drink, suffocation 
behind my curtain, or the agony of mosquito stings, as soon as I was 
exposed to the air. These were gloomy days indeed; for during the da\ 
the ardours of the sun were almost intolerable. My accustomed walk, to 
change the scene and to diversify the general gloom a little, was down 
a beach toward the upper Bayou, under the shade of some lofty cypress 
trees; and even here, the moment I was out of the full heat of the sun. 
the musquitoes, which, during the heats of the day, took shelter in the 
shade, would rise in countless swarms from the grass to attack me." 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

[ 105 ] 


74 Joseph Rusling Meeker: Sivamp on the Mississippi 

Oil on canvas, 32"x42"; signed and dated: J. R. Meeker 1871 
M. Knoedler and Company, New York 

75 Joseph Rusling Meeker: Upper Mississippi 
Oil on canvas, 13%" x 29"i/o 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Oliver M. Clifford, St. Louis 

76 Antonio Mendelli: View of Cairo. Illinois in 1838 
Oil on paper, MVo" x I8V2"; signed: A. Mendelli 

City Art Museum of St. Louis (Gift of Mr. Joseph Verner Reed, New 

He was a pupil of the Italian Parego, of Milan, and a designer of 
theatrical sets for Caldwell's American Theatre, New Orleans. Hs has 
been mentioned as a teacher of Leon Pomarede which might well be 
the case as he was his father-in-law. 

"Early in the morning of the 20th of March (1833) we approached 
the mouth of the Ohio, where it falls into the Mississippi, 959 miles 
from Pittsburgh, and 129% miles from St. Louis. The tongue of land 
on the right, which separates the two rivers, was, like the whole of the 
country, covered with rich woods, which Avere partly cleared, and a 
few houses erected, with an inn and a store, and the dwelling of a planter, 

[ 106 ] 


where we took in wood . . . the settlement, at wliich we now were, 
has no other name than Mouth of the Ohio." 

Maximilian Prince of Wied. Travels in the Iiilcrior of North America 

77 August Norikri I ca. 1860-1890) : The ""Wade JJamploir 
Oil on canvas. 1 P i'" x 20Vvj" ; signed: Aug. Norieri 
Louisiana State Museum. New Orleans 

Norieri was born ahout 1860 of Italian parents; died in Louisiana 
about 1890. He exhibited in New Orleans in the Second Annual Exhibi- 
tion of the Artists' Association in 1877 and in the First Annual Exhibition 
of the Art Association in 1886. He painted river traffic and some portraits. 

78 August Norieri : The "'Robert E. Lee" Bound Upstream at Night 
Oil on canvas, 251/2" x 36" 

Louisiana Slate Museum. New Orleans 

"I find that \\v usualb made nuicli iikmc \sa\ li\ nii:hl llian \)\ day, 
the balance of the l)oal being kept even while the passengers are e(pially 
dispersed and quiet, instead of running from side to side, or crowding 
the one gallery and deserting the other." 

Harriet Martineau. l{clr<).sj)ect of Western 7 ravel (1838) 

[ 107 ] 


79 August Norieri: The "Natchez' Bound Down the River at Night 
Oil on canvas, 27"x33y2"; signed and dated: Aug. Norieri, 1890 
Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans 

"I did not expect that the muddy Mississippi would be able to reflect 
the silver light of the moon; yet it did, and the effect was very beautiful. 
Truly it may be said of the river, as it is of many ladies, that it is a 
candle-light beauty." 

Captain Marryat, Diary in America (1839) 

80 Adrian Persac: Olivier Plantation 

Watercolor, 16V4" x 22"; signed and dated: A Persac 1861 
Louisiana State Museum. New Orleans 

It was Persac's custom to cut out figures of men and women from 
contemporary publications and paste them on his paintings and drawings. 
These applied figures were then painted by the artist. 

Persac was active in New Orleans between 1857, when he was said 
to have been making a chart of the Mississippi, and 1872 when he was 

[ 108 ] 

advertised as a commercial artist. In the meantime he referred to himself 
also as an architect. 

"The opulent planters of this state [Louisiana] have many amiable 
traits of character. They are high-minded and hospitable, in an eminent 
degree. I have sojourned much among them, and have never experienced 
a more frank, dignified, and easy hospitality. It is taken for granted, 
that the guest is a gentleman, and that lie will not make an improper 
use of the great latitude, that is allowed him. If he does not pass over 
the limits, which just observance prescribes, the more liberties he takes, 
and the more at ease he feels within those limits, the more satisfaction 
he will give to his host. You enter without ceremony, call for what you 
wish, and intimate your wishes to the servants. In short you are made 
to feel vourself at home. This simple and noble hospitality seems to 
be a general trait among the planters, for I have not yet called at a 
single house, where it had not been exercised toward me. Suppose the 
traveller to be a gentleman, to speak French, and to have letters to one 
respectable planter, it becomes an introduction to the settlement, and 
he will have no occasion for a tavern." 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 






81 Frederick Piercy: St. Louis, 1853 
Sepia wash drawing. ()~s" x 10" 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

This drawing was reproduced as a steel engraving for one of the 
illustrations in the artist's journal which was puhlished as Route from 
Liverpool to (ircat Salt Lake Valley, London, 1855. Piercy's dates are un- 
known. There are records of his work lielween 1818 and 1880. 

82 Leon Pomareoe (ca. 18l)<-1892l: //<'»• oj St. Louis jrom Illinois Tonn 
in IH:12 

Oil on canvas. 29" x 39" 

Collection Mr. Arthur Ziern. St. Louis County 

Leon I'oniarede was liorn in Tarhes. France, ahout 1807. He came 
to New Orleans in 1830. Later newspaper accounts say that he had 
studied in the "best schools of Paris". His first work known is this 
view of St. Louis and this painting together with the Catlin view 
of St. Louis, also in the exhibition, are the earliest paintings of the city. 
This canvas was later donated to "the Ladies . . . for the benefit of a 
charit) fair." Pomarede married Clementine Mendelli sometime between 
1837 and 1840. His wife's father was a scenic artist in New Orleans 
and some of his work is to be seen in this exhibition. Pomarede was 
active in St. Louis where he decorated the Old Cathedral, the Mercantile 
Library, the Merchants Exchange and other buildings. He painted a 
panorama of the Mississippi in which he quite possibly had the assistance 
of the young Charles Wimar. In 1892 while decorating a church in 
Hannibal. Missouri, he fell from a scaffolding and died shortly thereafter. 

"St. Louis, as you approach it, shows, like all the other French towns 
in this region, to much the greatest advantage at a distance. The French 
mode of building, and the white coat of lime applied to the mud or 
rough stone walls, gives them a beauty at a distance, which gives place 
to their native meanness, when jou inspect them from a nearer point 
of view. The town shows to very great advantage, when seen from the 
opposite shore, in the American bottom. The site is naturally a most 
beautiful one, rising graduallv from the shore to the summit of the bluff, 
like an atnphitheaire. It contains inan\ handsome, and a few splendid 
buildings. The country about is an open, pleasant, and undulating kind 
of half prairie, half shrubbery." 

Tiniolln Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

83 Ferdinand Pkit(:ii\i{D: St. Anthony Falls. 1857 

Oil on canvas. 15"x26": signed and dated: F. I'rilchard 1857 
Minnesota Historical Societv. St. Paul 

[ iin ] 


J . .J. _=ii. •_ 



[ 111 ] 


'St. Anthony is a cheerful, pretty place, clean and well built, con- 
taining about 2500 inhabitants. A great rivalry exists between it and 
St. Paul; the former owing its prosperity to the conveniences it derives 
for timber operations from the magnificent water-power — the latter from 
its position at the head of Mississippi navigation. ... St. Anthony is 
already a curious mixture of manufacturing town and (a) watering- 
place. The extreme beauty of the scenery in the neighborhood, the attrac- 
tions of the Falls themselves, and the comfortable and civilized aspect 
of the town, are beginning to render it a fashionable summer resort, and 
picturesque villas are springing up on all available sites; but upon the 
bank of the river saw-mills, foundries, shingle-machines, lath-factories, 
etc., keep up an incessant hubbub — delightful music to the white man, 
who recognizes in the splashing of water, and the roar of steam, and the 
ring of a thousand hammers, the potent agency which is to regenerate 
a magnificent country, and to enrich himself — but the harshest sounds 
that ever fell upon the ear of the Indian, for they remind him of the 
great change through which he has already passed, and proclaim his 
inevitable destiny in loud unfaltering tones." 

Laurence Oliphant, Minnesota and the Far West (1855) 

84 Paulus Roetter (1806-1894) : Sugar Refinery, from the River at St. 

Pencil drawing, 7" x 9^,4"; signed and dated: Paulus Roetter 1854 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

[ 112 ] 



Paulus Roetter's origin is somewhat obscure. One branch of his descend- 
ants says that he was born in Thun, Switzerland, and another branch 
places his birth in Nuremberg, Germany. He studied art in Diisseldorf 
and Munich before coming to St. Louis in 1845 as a member of a com- 
nmnistic colony. He taught here at Washington Ihiiversity, participated 
in some govermnental scientific expeditions, and in 1867 worked with 
Louis Agassiz at Harvard I iiiversitv. 

85 Paulus Roetter: St. Charles, Missouri 

Pencil drawing. 7l4"xl2%"; inscribed: St. Charles Mo 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

86 Paulus Roettek: The Mississippi from the Hlufjs at Carondelet, South 
St. Louis 

Oil on canvas. 20"x3()"; ca. 1857 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

'"The vast size of their horses [in tliis Missouri community of Germans] 
their own gigantic size, the peculiar dress of the women, the child-like 
and unsophisticated simplicity of their conversation, amused me exceed- 
ingly. Nothing could afford a more striking contrast to the uniformitv 
of manners and opinions among their American neighbours. I attended 
a funeral, where there were a great number of them present. After I had 
performed such services as I was used to perform on such occasions, a 
most venerable looking old man, of the name of Nyeswunger, with a 
silver beard that flowed down to his chin, came forward and asked me 

[ 113 ] 


if I were willing that he should perform some of their peculiar rites. I 
of course wished to hear them. He opened a very ancient version of 
Luther's hymns, and they all began to sing in German, so loud that the 
wood echoed the strain; and yet there was something affecting in the 
singing of these ancient people, carrying one of their brethern to his long 
home, in the use of the language and rites which they had brought with 
them over the sea from 'fader land', a word which often occurred in 
their hymn. It was a loud, long, and mournful air, which they sung as 
they bore the body along. The words 'mein Gott', 'mein broder', and 
'fader land' died away in the distant echoes of the woods." 
Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Lost Ten Years (1826) 

87 Harold Rudolph: Indian Lodges on the Bhiff 
Oil on canvas. 33"x21" 
Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans 

Rudolph was active as a portrait painter in New Orleans from 1871 
to 1877. 

[ 114 ] 

\;w1k*i^li "TT 

P .«^i:4l' 

88 HiPPOLYTE Sebron (1801-1879) : Giant Steamboats at New Orleans 
Oil on canvas; 1853 
Tulane University, New Orleans 

Sebron came to New Orleans in 1852 with llu> reputation of being an 
established artist in France, He showed daguerreotypes, dioramas, pastels 
and a view of Niagara Falls. In the 1850s he was known to have been 
in New York where he painted New York, Winter Scene in Broadway 
which is now in the museum of Rouen. France. 

"A multitude of Kcntuckians and other western men had almost forced 
their way on board, as deck-passengers; men who had come down the 
river in flat-boats with produce, who were to work their wa\ u|) again 
by carrying wood at the woodiiig-jjlaces. morning and exening. to supply 
the engine-fire. These men, like others, prefer a well-managed to a perilous 
boat; and their eagerness to secure a passage was excessive. More 
thronged in. after the captain had declared that he was full; more were 
bustling on the wharf, and still the expected jiarty did not come. The 
captain ordered the plank to be taken up whicli fornu^d a ( oininuuication 
with the shore. Not till six o'clock was it put tlown for the dilatory 
passengers, who did not seem to be aware of the inconvenience they had 
occasioned. They were English." 

Harriet Martineau. Retrospect oj IT est cm Travel ( 1838) 

[ 115 ] 


89 R. Sloan: 5/. Anthony Falls, 1852 

Oil on canvas, 17"x20"; inscribed on back: Painted by R. Sloan 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul 

"The Falls of St. Anthony are not very imposing, although not devoid 
of beauty. You cannot see the whole falls at one view, as they are 
divided like those of Niagara, by a large island, about one-third of the 
distance from the eastern shore. The river which as you ascended, poured 
through a bed below the strata of calcareous rock, now rises above the 
limestone formation; and the large masses of this rock, which at the 
falls have been thrown down in wild confusion over a width of from 
two hundred to two hundred and fifty yards, have a very picturesque 
effect. The falls themselves, I do not think, are more than thirty to thirty- 
five feet high; but with rapids above and below them, the descent of the 
river is said to be more than one hundred feet. Like those of Niagara, 
these falls have constantly receded, and are still receding." 
Captain Marryat. Diary in America (1839) 

[ 11^^ 1 


90 Marshall J. Smith, Jr.: Bayou Farm, Louisiana 

Oil on canvas, 161/4" x 261/4" ; signed and dated: Marshall J. Smith, Jr. 


Collection Mr. W. E. Groves, New Orleans 

Smith was a native of New Orleans where he studied under Richard 
Clague. He specialized in Louisiana landscapes and portraits. 

91 Frederick Oakes Sylvester (1856-1915): The River's Golden Dream 
Oil on canvas, 40"x30"; signed and dated: F. 0. Sylvester 1911-12 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

F. 0. Sylvester was born in Brockton. Massachusetts in 1856. He 
studied at the Massachusetts Normal Art School. In 1883 he came to St. 
Louis and taught at Central High School and Principia. 

'There is something in having passed one's childhood heside the big 
river. In my early years, the river made a great impression on me, 
and it was a treat to be taken down to the Eads Bridge in flood time. 
My people were Northerners and New Knglanders. and I have spent many 
years out of America altogether; but the Missouri and the Mississippi 
river have made a deeper impression on me than any other part of the 

T. S. Fliot in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Novendjer 4. 1948 

[ 117 ] 


92 Frederick Oakes Sylvester: Bald Eagle 

Oil on canvas, 25"x20"; signed and dated: F. 0. Sylvester 1905 
Noonan-Kocian Galleries, St. Louis 

93 Frederick Oakes Sylvester: The Eads Bridge 

Oil on canvas, 10"xl4"; signed and dated: Frederick Oakes Sylvester 


Collection Mr. K. G. Sylvester, St. Louis County 

94 Frederick Oakes Sylvester: Sandbars on /he Mississippi 
Watercolor, l74"x4%"; ca. 1900 

Collection Mr. K. G. Sylvester, St. Louis County 

95 Frederick Oakes Sylvester: Mississippi Landscape 
Pastel, 7" X 12"; dated: 1895 
Collection Mr. K. G. Sylvester, St. Louis County 

[ 118 ] 



[ 119 ] 

96 William Aiken Walker (1838?-1921) : The Levee— New Orleans 
Oil on canvas. 20"x30%"; signed and dated: W. A. Walker 1883 
Collection Mr. J. Cornelius Rathborne, New Orleans 

Walker was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and painted in Savannah. 
St. Augustine and New Orleans. Currier and Ives lithographed two of 
his Louisiana views, of which this is one. He was a musician as well 
as a painter. 

"It was always the custom for the boats to leave New Orleans between 
four and five o'clock in the afternoon. From three o'clock onward they 
would be burning rosin and pitch-pine ( the sign of preparation ) , and 
so one had the picturesque spectacle of a rank, some two or three miles 
long, of tall, ascending columns of coal-black smoke; a colonnade which 
supported a sable roof of the same smoke blended together and spreading 
abroad over the city. Every outward-bound boat had its flag flying at the 
jack-staff, and sometimes a duplicate on the verge-staff astern. Two or 
three miles of mates were commanding and swearing with more than the 
usual emphasis: countless processions of freight barrels and boxes were 
spinning athwart the levee and flying aboard the stage-planks; belated 
passengers were dodging and skipping among these frantic things, hoping 
to reach the forecastle companionway alive, but having their doubts about 
it; women with reticules and bandboxes were trying to keep up with 
husbands freighted with carpet sacks and crying babies, and making a 
failure of it by losing their heads in the whirl and roar and general 
distraction; drays and baggage-vans were clattering hither and thither 
in a wild hurry, every now and then getting blocked and jammed together, 
and then during ten seconds one could not see them for the profanity, 
except vaguely and dimly; every windlass connected with every fore-hatch, 
from one end of that long array of steamboats to the other, was keeping 
up a deafening whizz and whir, lowering freight into the hold, and the 
half-naked crews of perspiring negroes that worked them were roaring 
such songs as, 'De Las' Sack! De Las' Sack!' — inspired to unimagin- 
able exhaltation by the chaos of turmoil and racket that was driving every- 
body else mad. By this time the hurricane and boiler decks of the steamers 
would be packed black with passengers. The 'last bells' would begin to 
clang, all down the line, and then the powwow seemed to double: in a 
minute or two the final warning came — a simultaneous din of Chinese 
gongs, with the cry, 'All dat ain't going', please to git asho'!" 

Mark Twain. Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

97 William Aiken Walker: Negro Fruit Seller on the Levee, New Orleans 
Oil on canvas, 6%"xl2Vo"; signed: W. A. Walker 
Collection Mr. J. Cornelius Rathborne, New Orleans 

[ 120 1 


John James Audubon Natchez, Mississippi, in 1822 


9o \\li.l.l\M \lKl.N \\ M.KiK: Mlssissipi)! lUnilmaii. \ in Orlratis Levee 
Oil on canvas. 17'-_>" x 11" 
Collection Mr. \\ . I",, (monos. New Orleans 



99 John Casper Wild ( 1804? -1846 ) : Vieiv of CaromleJct, South St. Louis 
Watercolor, 19%"x32Vi>; signed and dated: J. C. Wild 1841 
Mercantile Library, St. Louis 

"The French inhabitants from J ide Poche I Emptv Pocket), now called 
Carondelet, would all be there with their little quaint carts loaded with 
vegetables or little loads of wood, the unvarying price of which was six 
bits. If vou offered them 75 cents, the reply would be. 'no. no. six bit.' 
The men and women would keep up a constant chattering, gesticulating 
and shrugging of their shoulders, as they were making bargains with 
their customers for their various wares.*' 

S. W. McMaster, 60 Years on the Upper Mississippi (1893) 

100 CiivKi.Ks WiMAR (1828-1862): The Missouri, Probably \ear the Mouth 
of the Judith River 
Charcoal and chalk drawing, 7" x 15" 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

101 Charles Wimar: Indians Crossing the Mouth of the Milk River 

Oil on canvas, 2414" x 4814"; 1859-60 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Otto S. Conrades, St. Louis County 

[ 122 ] 


102 Charles Wimar: Indians Approaching Fort Benton 

Oil on canvas, 24"x4o"; signed and dated: C. Winiar, 1859 
Washington University, St. Louis 

"Early this morning we received news that a band of (Indians) would 
come from their settlement and make us a visit. Finally, after all members 
of the group had their festive array in order, according to Indian custom 
that is of the greatest importance, they emerged from a grove and marched 
forward toward us. There were some on foot, while others on horseback 
Hanked the colunm. Five chiefs, carrying ornanienlal peace pipes and 
displaying prominently their trophies in recognition of coups, formed the 
vanguard. Behind them were the warriors singing, beating their drums, 
and firing their guns. 1'hen came three women. Last in the procession 
came young men who had not ncI won distinction for themselves." 
Friedrich Kurz. Journal l.luK 26. 1851) 

103 Charles V^'imxk: liuitcs on the I ppcr Missouri 
Charcoal and chalk drawing, d'^i" x 14%" 
Citv Art Museum of St. Louis 

[ 12.'! ] 



104 W. Winter: The "Thompson Dean" 

Oil on canvas, 25'''x30"; signed and dated: W. Winter pinx 1872 
Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans 

[ 126 1 


105 Dr. Montroville W. Dickeson and I. J. Egan: Panorama of the Monu- 
mental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley 
Tempera on muslin sheeting, 7i4'x348'; 1850 
University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 

Dr. Montroville Wilson Dickeson was born in Philadelphia in lolO 
and educated in Woodbury, New Jersey. While in scIkkiI. he manifested 
a passionate interest in natural science and made collections of birds, 
insects, reptiles and shells. He added taxidermy to his accomplishments. 
One of his delights was the cretaceous marl beds of lower New Jersey, 
and he became known not only as a collector but as an authority on 
fossils. About lo2o. he began the study of medicine and on graduation 
became a resident in the Philadelphia Dispensary. His interests in 
"AErchiology" led him to the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi between 
1837 and 1844 where he, by his own admission, opened more than a 
thousand Indian mounds in the twelve (sic) years of this study. He 
collected more than 40,000 Indian objects and artifacts and made drawings 
for later use, some for this Panorama. 

The handbill for the Panorama informs us that it was painted by the 
"Eminent Artist. I. J. Egan, Esq." whose name is given elsewhere as 
John J. Egan, Little is known of him save that about 1850, when the 
Panorama was painted, he exhibited some paintings in the Pennsylvania 
Academy of Fine Arts. The handbill further adds that the Panorama 
covers 15,000 feet of canvas and that it was taken from "drawings made 
on the spot by Prof. M. W. Dickeson, M. D., who spent twelve years of 
his life in opening Indian Mounds." Tall tales were told in the 19th 
century and panoramacists contributed their share. Simple arithmetic will 
reduce the 15,000 feet of canvas to 2610 square feet, a not inconsiderable 
shrinkage. Dickeson's pretension that every scene was based on a drawing 
made on the spot is diflicult to reconcile with the fact that the Burial of 
De Soto is shown, an event of May, 1542. Such inconsistencies should 
not disturb us any more than they disturbed the good doctor's cash cus- 
tomers who, for 25 ceiiLs (children under 12 for 12^/) cents), could view 
the wonders of the Panorama and his collection of Indian artifacts and 
curiosities. It is known thai lie toured the <dnnlr\ uilli his Panorama 
about 1852. In Philadelphia he opened his exhibition for the benefit of 
the "Cooper Shop and I nion Refreshment Saloons ". The Indian collec- 
tion, at least, was shown al later dates and was one of the features at 
the Philadel{)hia (ItMilcnnial l!\|)osilion of 1876. In 1899, the Dickeson 
collection was acquiretl b\ the I niversity of Pennsylvania and is now a 
part of the L niversity Museum. Now, and for the first time in perhaps 
ninety years, a Mississippi panorama has been unrolled before the public. 

[ 127 ] 

Together with the Paiiorania there exist thice of the original advertising 
flyers on eanvas, the original handhill uhieli has been reproduced by the 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch uilh the insertion of the name of the City Art 
Museum and the dates of showing in the space provided, and a wooden 
sign setting forth the j)rice of admission. 

Europe had long been familiar with the c\cloramas which were installed 
in a circular building so designed that the spectator, as the solipsistic 
center of the visible universe, stood in the middle of the room with a view 
of 360 degrees. A building large enough for cycloramas represented a 
capital expenditure, something rather difiicult for artists to arrange. Yankee 
ingenuity brought about the development of the panorama which consists 
of a canvas wound from one vertical roller to another behind an enframe- 
ment or stage opening. This arrangement did not require a special building 
as it could be shown in any auditorium, hall or theater. It had the added 
attraction of motion and the panorama itself could be moved from town 
to town with ever widening audiences for the artist-showman. Thus one 
scene after another was exposed, the motion interrupted for the grand- 
iloquent or horrific descriptions given by the lecturer who at times might 
have been the painter himself, or. as in the case of this Panorama, Dr. 
Dickeson. whose remarks were colored by the importance, awareness, 
gullibility or sparseness of the audience. 

Panoramas of the Mississippi were painted by John Banvard (1815- 
18911, Samuel B. Stockwell ( ? -1854 », John Rowson Smith (1810- 
1864). Leon Pomarede (ca. 1807-1892), Henry Lewis (1818-1904) and 
one Hudson. These artists had many things in common. With the exception 
of those of John Banvard, Dickeson and Hudson, all these panoramas had 
their inception in St. Louis. The task of painting was accomplished in 
large part between 1845 and 1850. Ahnost all the panoramas were an- 
nounced as having claims to greater accuracy, more completeness in 
picturing the scope of the Mississippi, to being superlatively endowed with 
beautiful effects and replete with tricks of showmanship, such as smoke; 
and steam belching from the steamboats which may have been pulled 
across on a track in front of the panorama, as seems to have been the 
case in Leon Pomarede's panorama. Bitter competition and active show- 
manship marked the travels of the panoramas in America and Europe 
until, with the exception of the Dickeson-Egan Panorama, all shared the 
common fate of destruction, loss, or complete disappearance. 

All of these panoramas were presented as educational entertainment; 
Lidian artifacts were displayed with the Dickeson Panorama. All of them 
attempted to fulfill the exacting standards for highly moral entertainment 
which, while it anuised and thrilled, instructed the young, and informed 
their elders. They were the precursors of the newsreel, the travelogue, 
the documentary film and the motion picture. Their contribution to art 
was not as great as their propaganda value which excited the wonder and 
amazement of audiences on the Atlantic seaboard and in European capi- 

[ 128 ] 

tals. John Banvard showed, for example, a hish prairie hind that couhl 
be obtained for $1.25 an acre. Here he combinetl liis role of artist and 
painter of the largest painting in the world with that of an apologist for 
any Midwestern land speculator. These panoramas presented a vast land, 
a river that drained from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. Dunbar in his 
History of Travel in America wrote about the settlement and expansion 
in the decade between 1840 to 1850, "Both the travel movement in ques- 
tion and the earth's area affected by it were, in respect of size, the most 
extensive and largest involved in any similar phenomenon within a like 
interval of recorded human history." 

The yearnings of the romantic poets which led them to Italy and 
Greece, the vistas dreamed of by the romantic painters, the romantic desire 
for that which was distant in time or place, the delight and fascination of 
exotic cultures, all could ])e satisfied by the panoramas of the rivers with 
their wild and wonderful scener\ stretching from the rice filled lakes of 
the North to the alluvial increments ceaselessl) deposited at the Balize. 
The Indians were to Catlin, Bodmer, Kurz. Wimar ami the others what 
the no less romantic Arabians were to Delacroix. Here was a strange 
and foreign culture still to be seen, then, as now, largely unknown; here 
were savage and primitive peoples — the famous massacre at New Ulm, 
Minnesota, was yet to occur. 

The tradition of the polite, socially acceptable form of romantic paint- 
ing was carried on concurrently in the works of the Hudson River School. 
The perhaps less polite, or more democratic expression was found in 
the panoramas which derived their technique from the fine arts, their 
form and maimer from the theater, and some of their content and manner 
of exhibition from showmanship in which humbuggery was not an incon- 
siderable feature. 

The other panoramas of the Mississippi had the scenery of the river 
as the major theme. The spectator either ascended or descended the river, 
depending on whether the panorama was being wound from left to right 
or from right to left. The Dickeson-Egan Panorama did not have this 
limited interest in landscape; it reflected to a great extent the Doctor's 
interest in Indian culture, archaeology, habits and customs. Opening, 
fittingly enough, with the historic Indiati mounds at Marietta, Ohio, it 
continues down the Ohio to the Mississippi with attention to Cave-in-Rock 
where intrepid explorers are seen admiring the stalactites and pictographs 
inscribed on tlie walls, {'onliiuiing farther down the river, showing his 
interest in the geological, he iiilroduces a distant \ iew of the Rocky 
Mountains, a subject as extraneous to ilie ri\er as it was to his theme. 
Since there is no record that he e\cr \ isilcd tlic Rocky Mountains, he 
may have borrowed from another artist, a |)i'a(lice as common as it may 
have been necessary. lb' (hew on liistor\ for the scene showing the 
Burial of De Soto and the Massacre of Fort Rosalie and on contemporary 
events for the Tornado of 1844 and the views of the Mississippi River 

[ 129 ] 

steamboats. A Louisiana squatter pursued h\ wolves was introduced as 
a "humorous scene". This is the Panorama that Dr. Dickeson took with 
him on his American tour in 1852. 

In Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain records a stranger's monologue 
in wiiich he recalled the beauties of the river in flambovant phrases. The 
author concluded this episode by saying, "Sir, you must have travelled 
with a panorama. ' 

Scenes selected from The Mississippi Panorama as described in the 
handbill, follow: 


(a I Colossal Bust at loiter water mark, used as a metre by the Aborigines 

A few miles above Portsmouth, Ohio, at the mouth of the Scioto there 
was, at least until loTo, a colossal human head incised on the face of a 
large rock which extended into the river. Familiarly known as the "Indian's 
Head"', it was visible only when the river was at its lowest stage and 
then only once every four or five years. The artist has here taken certain 
liberties, making the head in the form of a bust. The pictographs have 
been shown with more romantic feeling than with archaeological skill. 
Thc\ mav have been derived from pictographs Dickeson saw at Hanging 
Rock. LaAvrence Countv. Ohio, about twent\-four miles above the mouth 
of the Scioto. 

[ 130 ] 


(b) Portsmouth Aboriginal Group, in a Storm 

This scene introduces mounds, a village, two steamboats and spectacular 
cloud effects and storms. This is probabh a summary of scenes in the 
vicinity of Portsmouth. Ohio. 

((•) Cave in the Rock, Stalagmitic Chamber and Chrystal Fountain 

This limestone cavern at Ford's Ferry on the Ohio, was two lunuhod 
feet long, eight feet wide and twenty-five feet high at the entrance. It 
was long famous as the resort of Indians and later as the base of operations 
for gangs of white criminals that preyed on the flourishing river traffic. 
The painting shows it, however, as it was when first discovered. The 
torchlights of the intrepid explorers illumine the imiumerable stalactites 
and stalagmites which have been enhanced by the artist who added tinsel 
and mica to suggest the crystaline formations. The skeletons and mum- 
mified bodies add to the mysterious quality. This was, undoubtedly, one 
of the long-awaited moments in the showing of the Panorama as the 
skeletons and mummies seen here had previously been exposed to the 
public in the advertising flyers. 

[ 131 ] 


I (1 1 Twelve gated Labyrinth. Missouri — Indians at their piscatory exploits 

This twelve-gated lalnrinth has been identified as being in Missouri: its 
exact location is not a matter of record. Some Indians are fishing with 
barbed hooks and a spectacular rainbow adds a final touch to this 
bucolic scene. 

iel The Tornado of 1844 . . . Horrid loss of Life 

On the 25th of October 1844. a tornado overwhelmed a considerable 
part of Jackson County- Illinois, leaving behind a desolate path twelve 
miles long. 

ifl Louisiana Squatter pursued by Wolves 

The handbill refers to this as a "Humorous Scene." 

(gl Fort Rosalie — Extermination of the French in 1729 

Fort Rosalie, just below Natchez. Mississippi had been laid out in 
1700 by DIberville, the first French Governor of Louisiana. Sixteen 
vears later it was constructed on the summit of a mound two lumdred 
feet above the level of the river. It was named for the Countess of 
Pontchartrain, whose husband, the French Minister of Marine Affairs, was 

[ 132 ] 



I 133 ] 

D'Iberville's patron. Tension developed lietween the French and the 
Indians and when Chopart. Commandant of llie Fort, ordered the evacua- 
tion 1)1 an iin|»()rtant ncij>hhoring villajie. the Natchez Indians complied, 
hut j)hiime(l a lerril)le revenge. At nine o clock in the morning of Novem- 
ber 2oth. 1729. the Indians attacked and the French were exterminated 
save for a tailor and a carpenter who were spared to work in slavery for 
their captors. The heads of the victims were piled in a pyramid at the 
feet of the Chief. 

The French wear garb varying from full armor of the seventeenth cen- 
turv to the buikskins of the frontiersman. The Indians are attired in 
paint, feathers and animal skins. Various combat actions are shown 
and details in the process of scalping probably brought great satisfaction 
to the vounger visitors. 

(h) Huge Mound and the manner of opening them 

In 1813 Dr. Dickeson opened some Indian mounds on the plantation of 
William Feriday in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. The doctor and a 
fellow archaeologist are seen watching the Negro slaves cut a vertical 
section through the mound. At the left the figure sketching may again 
be the doctor preparing one of his "sketches made on the spot". The 
mound reveals a shaft tomb, striated layers with skeletons neatly disposed, 
Indian pottery and miscellaneous relics. 

[ 134 ] 



[ 135 ] 


'*We had found the sun too warm on deck, and had had enough of mutual 
staring with the groups on the wharf: we turned over the books, and made 
acquaintance with the prints in the ladies' cabin; and then leisurely arranged 
our state-rooms to our liking." 

Harriet Martineau. Retrospect of Western Travel ( lo3o) 


Arranged alphabeticaHy by title 
Dimensions refer to picture size only 

106 Anonymous: Bombardment of Island "Number Ten' in the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored, 7"<<" x 12%". Currier & Ives, 1862 
Knox College, Galesburg. Illinois 

107 Anonymous: Bound Down the River 

Lithograph colored, 7%" x 121/2". Currier & Ives, 1870 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 
"Comin' down de river 
Settin' in de stern ; 
She had her hand on his'n 
And he had his'n on her'n." 
Eskew, Pageant of the Packets 

108 Anonymous: Burning of the Palace Steamer, "Robert E. Lee" 
Lithograph colored, QV^' x ISVo". Currier & Ives, 1882 
University of Michigan Transportation Library 

The fire took jilace 35 miles below Vicksburg on 30th September, 1882. 

109 E. E. Palmer: The Champions of the Mississippi ''A Race for the Buck- 

Lithograph colored, 18i/s" x 27%". Currier & Ives, 1866 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

110 Anonymous: City of New Orleans 

Lithograph colored, 8" x 12%". Currier & Ives. Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

[ 136 ] 



[ 137 ] 

Ill Anonymous: The City of New Orleans, and ike Mississippi River. Lake 
Ponlchartrain in Distance 

Lithograph colored, 251/4" x 35^/4". Currier & Ives, 1868 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

Thi? print is not listed in Bland. Currier & Ives, A Manual for Collectors 

112 Parsons and Atwater: The City of St. Louis 

Lithograph colored. 20yo" x 321/2". Currier & Ives, 1874 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

"Account for it? There ain t any accounting for it, except that if 

you send a d d fool to St. Louis, and you don't tell them he's a 

d d fool, they'll never find it out. There's one thing sure — if I 

had a d d fool I should know what to do with him: ship him to St. 

Louis — it's the noblest market in the world for that kind of property." 

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

113 Anonymous: Com. Farragut's Fleet Passing the Forts on the Mississippi, 
April 24, 1862. The U. S. Frigate, "Mississippi," destroyed the rebel ram, 

Lithograph colored, 7-;4" x 12%". Currier & Ives, 1862 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler. Jr., St. Louis 

114 Anonymous: Destruction of the Rebel Ram "Arkansas" by the United 
States Gunboat "Essex", on the Mississippi River, near Baton Rouge, 
August 4th, 1862 

Lithograph uncolored, 7%" x 12%". Currier & Ives, 1862 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

115 Anonymous: Good Times on the Old Plantation 

Lithograph colored. 8%" x 121/1>". Currier & Ives, Undated 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr.. St. Louis 

116 Anonymous: The Great Fire, St. Louis, Missouri, Thursday Night, May 
17 th, 1849 

Lithograph colored, 8" x 121/2". N. Currier 
Mercantile Library. St. Louis 

[ 138 ] 



[ 139 ] 

117 Anonymous: The Great Mississippi Steamboat Race 
Lithograph colored, I'M" x 12"%. Currier & Ives, 1870 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

This is tho same stone as Peters No, 1330. There is a difference in the 

"From INew Orleans to St. Louis, Jul) 1870. Between R. E. Lee, Capt. 
John W. Cannon and Natchez, Capt. Leathers, Won by R. E. Lee. Ar- 
riving St. Louis July 4th at 11:20 A.M. Time: 3 Days, 18 Hours and 14 

"On board the Lee they plain could see 
The Natchez' roaring fire. 
And as they pitched the resin in 
Could see the steam get higher." 

118 Anonymous: The Great Mississippi Steamboat Race 
Lithograph colored, 1~/U" x 12%". Currier & Ives. 1 870 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"From New Orleans to St. Louis. July 1870. Between the R. E. Lee, 
Capt. John W. Cannon and Natchez. Capt. Leathers. Won bv R. E. Lee. 
Time: 3 Days. 18 Hours and 30 Minutes. Distance: 1,210 Miles." 

"As the time approached, the two steamers 'stripped' and got ready. 
Every encumbrance that added weight, or exposed a resisting surface 
to wind or water, was removed, if the boat could possibly do without it. 
The 'spars', and sometimes even their supporting derricks, were sent 
ashore, and no means left to set the boat afloat in case she got aground. 
When the Eclipse and the A. L. Shot well ran their great race many years 
ago, it was said that pains were taken to scrape the gilding off the fanciful 
device which hung between the Eclipse's chimneys, and that for that one 
trip the captain left off his kid gloves and had his head shaved. But I 
always doubted these things, 

'Tf the boat was known to make her best speed when drawing five and 
a half feet forward and five feet aft, she carefully loaded to that exact figure 
— she wouldn't enter a dose of homeopathic pills on her manifest after 
that. Hardly any passengers were taken, because they not only add weight 
but they will never 'trim boat'. They always run to the side when there 
is anything to see, whereas a conscientious and experienced steamboatman 
would stick to the center of the boat and part his hair in the middle with 
a spirit-level." 

Mark Twain. Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

119 Anonymous: The Great St. Louis Bridge 

Lithograph colored, 8" x 13%". Currier & Ives. Undated 
I niversity of Michigan Transportation Library 

[ 1^10 ] 



'^.-: t 






[ 141 J 

120 Charles Parsons: High Pressure Steamboat "Mayflower" 
Lithograph colored, 16%" x 28yo". N. Currier, 1855 
Kii()\ Collcjic C7alcsl)nri>. flliiiois 

121 F. E. Palimkk: "Hiiili li atrr" in the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored, lo" x 2o". (uirricr ii Ives, 1868 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 
Colored only light blue. 

122 F. E. Palmer: "High Water" in the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored, 18" x 28". Currier & Ives, 1868 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 
This version is in full color. 

123 Anonymous: A Home on the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored, 8%" x 12%". Currier & Ives, 1871 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr., St. Louis 

124 W. A. Walker: The Levee— New Orleans 

Lithograph colored, 19%" x 29%"- Currier & Ives, 1883 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

The original painting is in the exhibition. 

125 Anonymous: Loading Cotton 

Lithograph colored, 8" x 12%". Currier & Ives, 1870 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

This is the same stone that was used in On the Mississippi showing the 
New Orleans Packet Boat, Eclipse. 

"'Here, now, start that gang-plank fo'ard! Lively, now! What\e you 
about! Snatch it! snatch it! There! there! After again! aft again! 
Don't you hear me? Dash it to dash! are you going to sleep over it! 
'Vast heaving. 'Vast heaving, I tell you! Going to heave it clear astern? 
Where''ve you going with that barrel! fo'ard with it 'fore I make you 
swallow it, you dash-dash-dash-c?a5Ae^/ split between a tired mud-turtle 
and a crippled hearse-horse.' " 

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

[ 142 ] 



[ 143 ] 

126 F. K. r\l..Mi:K: Low Water in the Mississippi 

Lithograph rolmod. 18i4"x28". Currier & Ives, 1861 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 
Colored only a light blue. 

12. I". K. pAi.MKi;: Lou U utei in the. Mississippi (Color plate) 
Lilh. -graph (..Icred. 18i4"x28". Currier & Ives, 1868 
Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois 

This version is in full color. 

"Mr. Dickens declined to agree that the Mississippi steamboats were 
'magnificent', or that they were 'floating palaces' — terms which had always 
been applied to them; terms which did not over-express the admiration 
with which people viewed them. 

"Mr. Dickens' position was unassailable, possibh : the peoples position 
was certainly unassailable. If Mr. Dickens was comparing these boats 
with the crown jewels; or with the Taj. or with the Matterhorn; or with 
some other priceless or wonderful thing which he had seen, they were 
not magnificent — he was right. The people compared them with what 
they had seen; and. thus measured, thus judged, the boats were magnifi- 
cent — the term was the correct one. it was not at all too strong. The people 
were as right as was Mr. Dickens. The steamboats were finer than any- 
thing on shore. Compared with superior dwelling-houses and first-class 
hotels in the valley, they were indubitably magnificent, they were 'palaces'. 
To a few people living in New Orleans and St. Louis they were not magnifi- 
cent, perhaps; not palaces; but to the great majority of those populations, 
and to the entire populations spread over both banks between Baton Rouge 
and St. Louis, they were palaces; they tallied with the citizen's dream of 
what magnificence was, and satisfied it." 

Mark Twain, Lije on the Mississippi (1874) 

128 Anonymous: Maiden Rock 

Lithograph colored, 7~,s" x 12V-_>". Currier & Ives. Undated 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. lr\ing Dilliard, CoUinsville. Illinois 

"Winona's death-song on the rock [Maiden Rock] by Lake Pepin; 
Ampato Sapa's death-song on the waters of the Mississippi, when she 
and her children sought for the peace of forgetfulness in their foatiiing 
depths; and many other of their sisters who yet to this day prefer death 
to life, all testify how deeply tragical is the fate of the Indian women. 

Fredrika Bremer, America of the Fifties, letter of October 25, 1850 

[ 144 ] 


Currier and Ives Low Wafer in the Mississippi 
Collection Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 


129 Anonymous: Maiden Rock 

Lithograph colored, 8%" x 12-;s". Currier & Ives. Undated 
University of Michigan Transportation Lihrar\ 

1 his rare version of the print is mA listed in l)land. (.iirncr &- Ives, A 
Manual for Collectors. 

130 F. E. Pai.mer: A Midnight Race on the Mississippi 
From a sketch by H. D. Manning of the Natchez 
Lithograph colored, 18" x 27's". Currier & Ives, lo6() 
Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois 

Shows the steamboats Natchez and Eclipse. This was used as an adver- 
tisement with the title "Steand)oat Race on the Mississippi' . 

131 Anonymous: Midnight Race on the Mississippi 
Lithograph colored, 9" x 13^ |". ("urrier ii: l\i>s, liSTS 
Knox College, Galesburg. Illinois 

The boats shown are the Memphis and ihc .lames llouard. The slonc 
is inscribed "M . 

132 Anonymous: The Mississippi Flotilla dispersing the Rebel Gun Boats 
Lithograph colored, 7/«" x 12y2". Currier ii Ives, 1864 
Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois 

[ 145 ] 

133 F. K. I'akmkk: The Mississiijpl in Time uj Peace 
Lithograph colored, ISVi" x 27%". Currier & Ives, 1865 
rni\ersit\ of Michigan Transportation Lil)rary 

134 Anonymous: Moonli^li! on llie Mississippi 

Lithograph cohned. u^-^" xl'Il^'. Currier ii. Ives. Lndated 
Knox College. Galeshurg. Illinois 
The stone is signed "CM." 

135 Anonymous: The Old Plantation Home 

Lithograph colored, oVii" x 12^ 2"- Currier & Ives, 1872 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler. Jr., St. Louis 

136 Anonymous: On the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored, 8" x 12^ •>". Currier & Ives, 1869 
Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois 

"Conceive the pleasure of rushing down this stream bv night (as we 
did last night I at the rate of fifteen miles an hour; striking against 
floating blocks of timber at every instant; and dreading some infernal 
blow at every bump. The helmsman in these boats is in a little glass-house 
upon the roof. In the Mississippi, another man stands in the very head 
of the vessel, listening and watching intently; listening, because they can 
tell in dark nights by the noise when any great obstruction is at hand. 
The man holds the rope of a large bell which hangs close to the wheel- 
house, and whenever he pulls it, the engine is to stop directly, and not 
to stir until he rings again. Last night, this bell rang at least once in 
every five minutes: and at each alarm there was a concussion which 
nearly flung one out of the bed. . . . While I have been writing this 
account, we have shot out of that hideous river, thanks be to God; never 
to see it again, I hope, hut in a nightmare. 

Charles Dickens. Letter of April 15. 1842 in John Forster, Life of 
Charles Dickens 

137 Anonymous: A Race on the Mississippi. The "Eagle'' and the ''Diana 
Lithograph colored. 8" x 12^ o". Currier & Ives. 1870 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"Accustomed to see the steam-boat with its prodigious and untiring 
power, breasting the heavy current of the Mississippi, the Kentuckian 
draws his ideas of power from this source; and when the warmth of 
whiskey in his stomach is added to his natural energy, he becomes in 
succession, horse, alligator, and steam-boat. Much of his language is 

[ 146 ] 



[ 147 ] 

fijiuralivc ami tlrawii liuiu the power uf a steam-boat. To get ardent and 
zealous, is to 'raise the steam'. To get angry, and give vent and scope to 
these feelings, is to iet off the steam'. To encounter any distaster, or meet 
with a great catastrophe, is to 'burst the boiler'. The slave cheers his oxen 
and horses by bidding them 'go ahead'. Two black women were about to 
fight, and their beaux cheered them to the combat with 'Go ahead and 
buss e boiler". 

Timoth} Flint. RaolU-ctions oj the Last Ten Years (1826) 

138 F. E. Palmer: "Rounding a Bend" on the Mississippi. The Parting Salute 
Lithograph colored. 18" x 27%". Currier & Ives. 1866 
Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois 

139 Anonymous: The Splendid Naval Triumph on the Mississippi, April 24th, 
Lithograph colored, ISy^" x 221/4". Currier & Ives, 1862 

Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

140 Anonymous: Through the Bayou by Torchlight 

Lithograph colored, 8V2" x 12yo". Currier & Ives. Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"Passing one of these boats at night, and seeing the great body of 
fire, . . . that rages and roars beneath the frail pile of painted wood: 
the machinery, not warded off or guarded in any way, but doing its work 
in the midst of a crowd of idlers and emigrants and children, who throng 
the lower deck: under the management, too, of reckless men whose 
acquaintance with its mysteries may have been of six months' standing: 
one feels directly that the wonder is, not that there should be so many 
fatal accidents, but that any journey should be safely made." 
Charles Dickens, American Notes (1842) 

[ 118 ] 





141 F. E. Palmer: 'Wooding Up" on the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored, IT"^" x 27%". Currier & Ives, 1863 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"Indeed there are solitary cabins of wood-cutters, who fix their dwell- 
ings on piles or blocks, raised above the inundation, who stay here to 
supply the steamboats with wood. In effect, to visit this very portion 
of the river in the autumn after the subsiding of the spring-floods, to 
see its dry banks, its clean sand-bars, and all traces of inundation gone, 
except its marks upon the trunks of the trees, one would have no suspicion 
of the existence of such swamp and overflow as it now exhibits. ' 

Timothv Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten Years (18261 

"I suppose that St. Louis and New Orleans have not suffered materially 
by the change, but alas for the wood-yard man! 

"He used to fringe the river all the way; his close-ranked merchandise 
stretched from the one city to the other, along the banks, and he sold 
uncounlaMc cords of it every year for cash on liie nail: but all the 
scattering boats that are left burn coal now, and the seldomest spectacle 
on the Mississippi to-day is a wood-pile. \V here now is the one wood-yard 

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1874) 

[ 150 ] 


The oiioiiyinous prints ore arranged alphabetically according 

to title: the others, alphabetically according to artist 

Dimensions refer to picture size only. 

142 Anonymous: Bateau a Vapeur de Pittsburgh Descendant le Mississippi; 
vue par I'avant 

Lithograph colored, 4%" x 6%"- Undated 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr., St. Louis 

"A stranger to this mode of travelling, would find it difficult to descrihe 
his impression ui)on first descending the Mississippi in one of the better 
steam-boats. He contemplates the prodigious establishment, with all its 
fitting of deck common, and ladies' cabin apartments. Over head, about 
him and below him. all is life and movement. He sees its splendid cabin, 
richly carpeted, its finishings of mahoganv, its mirrors and fine furniture, 
its bar-room, and sliding tables, to which eighty passengers can sit down 
with comfort. The fare is sumptuous, and everything in a style of splendour, 
order, quiet, and regularity, far exceeding that of taverns in general. You 
read, you converse, vou walk, you sleep, as you choose; for custom has 
prescribed that everything shall be 'sans ceremonie'. The varied and 
verdant scenery shifts around you. The trees, the green islands, have an 
appearance, as by enchantment, of moving by you. The river-fowl, with 
their white and extended lines, are wheeling their flight above you. The 
sky is bright. The river is dotted with boats above you, beside, and 
below you. You hear the echo of their bugles reverberating from the 
woods. Behind the wooded point, you see the ascending column of smoke, 
rising above the trees, which announces that another steam-boat is ap- 
proaching you. This moving pageant glides through a narrow passage 
between an island, thick set with young cotton woods, so even, so regular, 
and beautiful that they seem to have been planted for a pleasure ground. 
and the main shore. As you shoot out again into the broad stream, you 
come in view of a plantation, with all its busy and cheerful accompani- 
ments. At other times you are sweeping along for many leagues together, 
where either shore is boundless and pathless wilderness. And the con- 
trast, which is thus so strongly forced upon the mind, of the highest 
improvement and the latest in\cnti(>ii of art. with the most lonely aspect 
of a grand but desolate nature. — the most striking and complete assemblage 
of spendour and comfort, the cheerfulness of a floating hotel, which carries, 
perhaps, two hundred guests, with a wild and uniidiabitable forest, one 
hundred miles in width, the abode oid\ of ovsis, bears, and noxious 
animals. — this strong contrast produces, to me at least, something of 
the same pleasant sensation that is produced l>y lying down to sleep 
with the rain pouring on the roof, innnediately overhead. ' 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

[ 151 ] 


143 Anonymous: Furt Jackson 

Lithograph colored, T^^" x 26yo". Undated 
Collection Mr. Albert Lieutaud. New Orleans 

Fort Jackson was located on the Mississippi 57 miles southeast of New- 
Orleans and with Fort St. Philip guarded the lower approach to the city. 
In the Civil War it was passed by the Federal fleet under Farragut on 
April 24. 1862. and was compelled to surrender after the fall of New 

144 Anonymous: Match at the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored, o-; i" x 14^^". Copyright by F. Sala & Co. I'ndated 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr., St. Louis 

145 Anonymous: Midnight Race on the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored. 18" x 25". Published and printed by Ih. KelK . 17 
Barclay St.. New York. Undated 
Collection Mr. Franklin ,). Meine. Chicago 

Mf) \\onymous: Midnight Race on the Mississippi 

Lithograph colored. 8" x 12%". Haskell & Allen, 16 Hanover St., Boston, 

Mass. Undated 

Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler. Jr.. St. Louis 

One packet is the I'ichsburg: the lettering is in reverse. 

147 Anonymous: A Midnight Race on the Mississippi, jroni a sketch by the 
Captain of the Lincoln 

Chromo lith(.graph. 13",s" x 22i/s". Entered at Stationer's Hall, 1871. 
and published by the Yorkshire Fine Art Distribution. Yates & Co. Chromo 
lithograph. Published by R. Rogerson. 21 Hunsleth Road 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler. Jr.. St. Louis 

[ 152 ] 

148 Anonymous: The Mississippi Rajl (Near Poii Gibson) 

Steel engraving colored, 41/2" x 7". Nat. Kinsey. engraxcr. I'uMisher: 
Middleton Wallace & Co. Printers. Cinciniiati. I ndatod 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr., St. Louis 

149 Anonymous: M. S. Mepham 

Lithograph colored. 17Vii" x 27. Dated on paddle hox, 1864 
Collection Mrs. George S. Mepham. St. Louis ('ounty 

"Here, too, you begin to see the southern style of building, the indi- 
cations of being among the opulent cotton-planters. The stranger inquires 
the object and use of a cluster of little buildings that lie about the principal 
house, like bee-hives. These are the habitations of the negroes." 

Timothy Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten )'eais (1826) 

150 Anonymous: New Orleans 

Lithograph colored, 9-}4" x 14%". Druck u. Verlag v. F. C. Wentzel in 
Weissenburg ( Elsass ) . Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"The connnunications from this city with the interior, are easy, pleasant, 
and rapid, bv the steam-l)oats. More than a hundred are now- on these 
waters. Some of them, for size, accommodation, and splendor, exceed 
any that I have seen on the Atlantic waters. The Washington. Feliciana. 
Providence. Natchez, and various others, are beautiful and connnodious 
boats. The fare is sumptuous, and passages are comparatively cheap. I 
have also uniformly found the passengers obliging and friendly. Manners 
are not so distant or slatelv as at the North; and it is much easier to 
become acquainted with \()ur fellow passengers. A trip up the Mississippi 
at the proper season of the year is delightful." 

Timothy Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten ) ears I 1826) 

151 Anonymous: i\eic Orleans Hater front 

Lithograph colored, 2()"s"x30l/s". Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"This city exhibits the greatest variet\ of costume, and foreigners; 
French, Spanish. Portugese. Irish in shoals, in short, samples of the 
connnon people of all tlit- Furopeaii nations. Creoles, all the inter-mixtures 
of Negro and Indian blood, the moody and ruminating Indians, the inhabi- 
tants of the Spanish |)ro\ inces. and a goodb woof to this warp, of boat- 
men, "half horse and half alligator': and more languages are spoken here, 
than in an\ ulhci i((\\ii in Viiicrica. There is a sample, in short, of 
everything. " 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

[ 153 ] 

152 Anonymous: Netv Orleans Battle 

Engraving, engraved by J. Scoles for The Impartial and Correct History 

of the War, New York, 1815 

Louisiana State Historical Society, New Orleans 

153 Anonymous: Plan of l\eiv Orleans the Capital of Louisiana; the Course 
of Mississippi River from Bayaiioulas to the Sea; The East Mouth of the 
Mississippi with the Plan of Fort la Balise ivhich defends the Entrance 
and Channel of that River 

Engraving colored, 13%" x 19". 1759 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

This map was published in England in 1759 after the drawing of de 
laTour of 1720. 

154 Anonymous: St. Charles am Mississippi 

Steel engraving colored, 4" x 6". Aus d. Kunstanst. d. Bibl. Inst, in 
Hildbh. Eigenthum d. Verleger. PI. dccclxxxix. Undated 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr., St. Louis 

155 Anonymous: Scene on the lower Mississippi (Eine Scene am Mississippi) 
Lithograph colored, 10%" x I514". Undated 

University of Michigan Transportation Library 

The boats shown are the Princess and Hylas loading cotton at night. 
The print is, presumably, of German origin. 

" 'Wal now, I reckon there's fifty passengers on board this boat, and 
they've all used that towel, and you're the first on 'em that's complained 
of it'." 

Laurence Oliphant, Minnesota and the Far West (1855) 

156 Anonymous: Steamer "Fleetivood" 

Lithograph colored, on metal, 161/^" x 27V2"- Undated 
Collection Mr. Franklin J. Meine, Chicago 

This print on metal was undoubtedK used as an advertising sign and 
was probabb displayed in the open. 

157 Anonymous: Steamer Grand Republic, the Largest Steamboat in the 

Lithograph colored, 14%" x 221/4". Forbes Co. Boston. Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

This boat was one of the most famous and lavishly appointed "floating 
palaces" of the 'seventies. 

"... we went ashore at the wooding-place, and I had my first walk 
in the untrodden forest. The height of the trees seemed incredible, as 
we stood at their foot, and looked up. It made us suddenly feel dwarfed. 

[ 154 ] 

We stood ill a crowd of locust and cotton-wood trees, elm, maple, and 
live oak: and they were all bound together by an inextricable tangle of 
creepers, whicli seemed to forbid our penetrating many paces into the 
forest beyond where the woodcutters had intruded. I had a great horror 
of going too far; and was not sorr\ to find it impossible: it would be so 
easy for the boat lo leave two or three passengers behind, without finding 
it out: and no fate could be conceived more desolate." 
Harriet Martineau. Rrlrospcct of Western Travel (1838) 

158 Anonymous: Robt. E. Lee 

Lithograph colored, 18-"'s" x 29' s". Lithographed l.\ llalch ^^ Co., New 
York. Published by Stetson & Armstrong, ^e\\ Orleans. I iidalcd 
Collection Mr. Franklin J. Meine, Chicago 

159 Anonymous: Steamer Robt. E. Lee 

Lithograph colored, 18-;s" x 29Vs"- Lithograi)hed by Hatch & Co., New 
York. Published by Stetson and Armstrong, New Orleans. Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"The innumerable steam boats, which are the stage coaches and fly 
waggons of this land of lakes and rivers, are totally unlike any I had 
seen in Europe, and greatly superior to them. The fabrics which 1 tiiink 
they most resemble in appearance, are the floating baths, {les bams I tgier) 
at Paris. The room to which the double line of windows belongs, is a 
very handsome apartment; before each window a neat little cot is 
arranged in such a manner as to give its drapery the air of a window 
curtain. This room is called the gentlemen's cabin, and their exclusive 
right to it is somewhat uncourtcously insisted upon. The breakfast, dinner, 
and supper, are laid in this apartment, and the huh passengers ai'c |)er- 
mitted to take their meals there. ' 

Mrs, TroUope, Domestic Manners of the Americans (1836) 

160 Anonymous: View of New Orleans, taken from the Loner Cotton Press 
Aquatint uncolored, 10V4" x 26'/-". I'ublislicd In Louis Schwartz. R. 
Dondorf, Frankfurt am Main, German). I ndalcd 

Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

"We braved the heat on the hurricane deck, for the sake of obtaining 
last views of New Orleans. The city soon became an indistinguishable 
mass of buildings, lying in the swamp: yet with something of a cheerful 
air, from the brightness of the sun. The lofty Cotton-press, so familiar 
to the e>e of every one acquainted with that region, was long visible, 
amidst the windings of the river, which seemed to bring us quite near 
the city again, when we thought we should see it no more. 

Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel (1838) 

[ 135 ] 

161 Anonymous: J ieiv of St. Louis 

Lithograph colored. 14"x23". Name of puMisher and copyright faded 
and indistinct, hut date looks like lo73 
Knox (.ollege, Galesburg, lilinois 

162 Anonymous: I ieic of Si. Louis Water front 

Lithograph colored. 2l"\35's"- 1 ndated 
Knox College, (kileshurg. Illinois 

"The cities of the West are all of them pre-eminently cosmopolitan 
cities. The Germans have their quarters there — sometimes half the city, 
their newspapers, and their clubs; the Irish have theirs; and the French 
theirs. The Mississippi River is the great cosmopolitan which unites all 
people, which gives a definite purpose to their activity, and determines 
their abode, and which enables the life of every one, the inhabitants 
themselves and their products, to circulate from the one end to the othei 
of this great central valley." 

Fredrika Bremer. America of the Fifties ( Novendjer 27. loSO) 


Paper currency was issued by various banks throughout the Lhiited 
States until 1865. The examples exhibited here illustrate the wealth of 
pictorial detail surrounding the rivers. Especially significant in this group 
is the earliest known view of St. Louis on a bill dated 1817. The later 
bills show many different types of boats and the collection is especially 
rich in scenes illustrating life on rafts. The views of the levees indicate 
the vast commercial activity on the river and the variety of river scenes 
indicate the extent to which river life penetrated the social and economic 
life of the period. 

All paper curreiK\. collection Mr. Eric Newman. St. Louis 

163 Anonymous: Partial I ieiv of St. Louis 

Engraving on a Ten Dollar Bank Note. Issued b\ llie Bank of St. Louis: 
dated 1817 

The earliest known \ ieu ctf St. Louis; the cit) is seen prior to 181 <. 

"The appearance of St. Louis was not calculated to make a favorable 
impression upon the first visit, with its long dirty and quicksand beach, 
numbers of long, empl) keelboats tied to stakes driven in the sand, 
squads of idle boatmen passing to and fro, here and there numbers pitch- 
ing quoits; others running foot races, rough and tumble fights; and shoot- 
ing at a target was one of their occupations while in port." 

James Haley White, Early Days in St. Louis (1819) 

[ 156 ] 


164 Anonymous: Alligaior and Steamboat 

Engraving on a Five Dollar Bank Note. Issued by the Tomhigbv Railroad 
Company, Columbia, Mississippi; engraved by Rawdon, Wright & Hatch. 
New York; dated before 1837 

165 Anonymous: The Shot Tower at Herculaneum, Missouri 

Engraving on a Twenty Dollar Bank Note. Issued h\ the Bank of St. 
Louis; engraved by Leney and Rollinson; dated 1818 

166 Anonymous: Rafting on the River (Illustrated page 12) 

Engraving on a Five Dollar Bank Note. Issued by the Brownville Bank 
and Land Company. Omaha (]ity. Nebraska; engraved by Danforth, \\ right 
and Company, New ^ ork and Philadelphia: this was designed prior to 

"In the spring, one hiiiKhcd boat:^ ha\c been numbered, that landed 
in one day at the moiilii of the Bayanm at New Madrid. I have strolled 
to the point on a spring evening, and seen them arriving in fleets. The 
boisterous gaiety of the hands, the congratulations, the moving picture 
of life on board the boats, in the numerous animals, large and small, which 
they carry, their different loads, the evidence of the increasing agriculture 
of the country above, and more than all. the immense distances which 
they have already come, and those which [\\v\ will have to go. afforded 
to me copious sources of meditation. You can name no point from the 
numerous rivers of the Ohio and the Mississipj)i. from which these boats 
have not come. In one phuc there are boats loaded with planks, from 
the pine forests of the Southwest of New York. In another quarter there 
are Yankee notions of Ohio. From Kentuckv. pork, flour, whiskey, hemp, 
tobacco, bagging, and bale-rope. From Tennessee there are the same 
articles, together with great cpiantities of cottDn. From Missouri and 

I 1^7 ] 


Illinois, cattle and horses, the same articles generally as from Ohio, to- 
gether with peltry and lead from Missouri. Some boats are loaded with 
corn in the ear and in bulk; others with barrels of apples and potatoes. 
Some have loads of cider, and what they call 'cider royal', or cider that 
has been strengthened by boiling or freezing. There are dried fruits, 
every kind of spirits manufactured in these regions, and in short, the 
products of the ingenuity and agriculture of the whole upper country of 
the west. They have come from regions, thousands of miles apart. They 
have floated to a common point of union. The surfaces of the boats cover 
some acres. Dunghill fowls are fluttering over the roofs, as an invariable 
appendage. The chanticleer raises his piercing note. The swine utter their 
cries. The cattle low. The horses trample, as in their stables. There are 
boats fitted on purpose, and loaded entirely with turkeys, that, having little 
else to do, gobble most furiously." 

Timothy Flint, Recollections of lite Last Ten Years (1826) 

167 Anonymous: Sieanihoais at the Levee 

Engraving on a Ten Dollar Bank Note. Issued by the Bank of St. Louis; 
engraved by Danforth. W right and (]oni|)any, New York and Philadelphia. 

Landing stages were not introduced on steamboats until 1869. Be- 
foic that lime iinproxised landing stages had to be made at every stop. 

168 Anonymous: Raftsmen on the Mississippi 

Engraving on a check form. Issued by Boatmen's Saving Institution, St. 
Louis; engraved by The American Bank Note Company; dated 1856 

[ 158 ] 


169 JoiiiN James Audubon (]7oU-1o51): Louisiana Heron 

Copper plate engraving colored, elephant folio. Engraved by Havell, 1834. 
Plate ccxvii from Audubon's The Birds of America 
Mercantile Lihrar\ . St. Louis 

170 John James Audubon: Roseate Spoonbill 

Copper plate engraving colored, elephant folio. Engraved by Havell, 1836. 
Plate cccxxi from Audubon's The Birds of America 
Mercantile Library, St. Louis 

171 John James Audubon: Wood Ibis 

Copper plate engraving colored, elephant folio. Engraved by Havell, 1834. 
Plate ccxxvi from Audubon's The Birds of America 
Collection Mr. Arthur Hoskins. St. Louis 


[ 159 ] 


172 W. J. Bennett (ca. 1787-1844) : New Orleans, Taken from the opposite 
side, a short distance above the middle or Picayune Ferry 

Aquatint colored, 16'%^"x25%"; painted by W. J. Bennett from a sketch 
by A. Mendelli. Engr. by W. J. Bennett. New York. John Levison, 341 
Broadway. Undated 
Howard-Tihon Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans 

Mr. Albert Lieutaud of New Orleans recalled reading in New Orleans 
newspapers of 1842 that fashionable persons crowded the river banks 
to watch Mendelli (probably in the 'twenties) sketch this scene which was 
later engraved by Bennett. 

173 George Caleb Bingham. The Jolly Flatboatmen 

Steel engraving uncolored, as published, 18%" x 23^/s". Engraved by 
T. Doney; published by the American Art Union, New York. 1847 
Collection Mrs. H. B. Rathbone, Greene, New York 

This engraving is after the lost painting distributed by the American 
Art Union, 1847. The engraving was repubhshed from the worn plate by 
Wallace and Co., New York, 1860. 

I 160 ] 



[ 161 ] 

"The boatman is a luckv man 
No one can do as tlic hoatman can, 
The boatmen dance and the boatmen sing, 
The boatman is np to everything. 

When the boatman goes on shore, 

Look, old man, your sheep is gone, 

He steals your sheep and steals your shote. 

He puts em in a bag and totes em to the boat. 

When the boatman goes on shore. 

He spends his money and works for more, 

I never saw a girl in all my life, 

But what she would be a boatman's wife." 

River Boatmen s Song 

174 E. VAN Blon (John H. B. Latrobe) : The Balise. Mississippi River 
Aquatint colored, 7" x 9%". J. Hill Sc. Line at top of engraving: Moon- 
light. Plate xiii, Lucas' Progressive Draiving Book 

Knox College, Galesburg. Illinois 

"I never beheld a scene so utterly desolate as this entrance of the 
Mississippi. Had Dante seen it, he might have drawn images of another 
Bolgia from its horrors. Only one object rears itself above the eddying 
waters; this is the mast of a vessel long since wrecked in attempting to 
cross the bar, and it still stands, a dismal witness of the destruction that 
has been, and a boding prophet of that which is to come." 

Mrs. Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans (1836) 

175 H. S. Blood: The Grand Turk 

Lithograph colored, 17^"x25". Drawn by H. S. Blood. Fishbourne's 
Lithog. 46 Canal St., New Orleans. Undated 
Collection Mrs. Thomas W. Fry, St. Louis County 

"The steamer Belle Key is of the family of the river giants. I call it 
Noah's Ark, because it has more than a thousand animals on board, on 
the deck below us and above us. Immense oxen, really mammoth oxen, 
so fat they can scarcely walk — cows, calves, horses, mules, sheep, pigs, 
whole herds of them, send forth the sounds of their gruntings from the 
lower deck, and send up to us between times anything but agreeable odors; 
and on the deck above us turkeys gobble — geese, ducks, hens, and cocks 
crow and fight, and little pigs go rushing wildly about among the poultry 

"On the middle deck, where we, the sons and daughters of Adam are 
bestowed, everything, in the meantime, is remarkably comfortable. The 
ladies' saloon is large and handsome, the passengers few and of an 
excellent class. I have my state-room to myself. . . . No screaming 

[ 162 ] 


-—- " "■' "^ i — ■ — - • • I — 1^^ 


children dislurl) the quietness on board; and the grunting of the swine 
and other animal sounds in our Noah's Ark we do not allow to trouble 
us. All these animals are destined to the (>hrislmas market of New Orleans." 
Fredrika Bremer, America of the Fifties (December 18, 1850) 

176 H. S. Blood: Nashville & New Orleans Packet, Gov. Jones 

Lithograph colored, 17"x28". Fishbourne's Lithographer: 46 Canal St., 

New Orleans. L'ndated 

Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr., St. Louis 

"As thirsty as I was, I hesitated to drink [\\v lliitk mud(l\ water, for 
while standing in our tumblers, a sediment is precipitated of half an 
inch. . . . While drinking, one of the ladies advanced for the same 
purpose. 'Dear me! what insipid water!' she said, 'it has been standing 
too long. I like it right thick.' I looked at her in surprise. 'Do you prefer 
it muddy, to clear? I asked. 'Certainly I do,' she replied. 'I like the 
sweet clayey taste, and when it settles it is insipid. Here Juno!' calling 
to the black chambermaid who was busy ironing, 'get me some water 
fresh out of the river, with the true Mississippi relish'." 

Mrs. Steele, A Summer Journey in the West (1841) 

Charles Bodmer (1809-1893) : Ilhistrations for Travels in the Interior 
of North America by Maximilian I'rince of Wied 
Aquatints colored. Folio, 1839 
New York Public Library 

[ 163 ] 

Bodmer was horn at liefTenl^runnen. near Zurich, Switzerland, in 1809. 
He studied at first under liis uncle Johann Jacoh Meyer, an engraver, in 
Zurich and later in Paris under Cornu. There he met Maximilian Prince 
of \\ ied. who was horn in 1782. a Prussian officer and naturalist. Maxi- 
milian came to the United States with Hodmer as artist and Ureidoppel 
as his valet. This partx joinetl a group from the American Fur Company, 
and in March. 1833. ascended the Missouri on the steamer Yellowstone. 
At Fort Inion thev changed to a keelhoat which took them to Fort 
McKenzie. Ihey returned in a mackinac to the Mandan countr) where 
they spent the winter. Ilie following spring they voyaged down the 
river to St. Louis and then returned to Europe. In 1839 Maximilian 
published his Reise in das innere Nord-Amerika in den Jahren 1832 bis 
1834. English and French translations followed shortly. Bodmer's work 
appeared in an accompanying Atlas with eighty-one plates. Of the nine- 
teen plates included in the exhibition, eighteen deal with the Missouri, 
and one with the Mississippi. The plates are the work of various European 
engravers, and were published in Coblenz. Paris and London. 

177 Toner-Rock (Mississippi) 

178 Rnnka Indians encamped on the banks of the Missouri 


[ 164 ] 

179 Beaver hiil on ihe Missouri 

1<)0 The (.ildtlel-Rock on I he upper Missouri 

lol Encanipineni oj the Iraiellcrs on the Missouri 

"Here was a lliiiiy which had not changed; a score of years had not 
affected this waters mulatto complexion in the least; a score of centuries 
would succeed no better, perhaps, ll (oines out of the turhulent. bank- 
caving Missouri, and every tumblerful of il iiolds nearK an acre of land 
in solution. I got this fact from the bislnjp of the diocese. If \ou will 
let \our glass stand half an hour, you can separate the land from the 
water as easy as Genesis; and then xou will find them both good: the 
one to eat. the other to drink. The land is \erv nourishing, the water is 
thoroughly wholesome. The one aj)peases hunger: the other, thirst. But 
the natives do not take them separateK . but together, as nature mixed 
them. When they find an inch of mud in the bottom of a glass, they 
stir it up. and then take a draught as the\ would gruel. It is difficult for 
a stranger to get usetl to this batter, but once used to it he will prefer it 
to water. This is really the case. It is good for steandioating. and good 
to drink: but it is worthless for any other purpose, except for baptizing. 

Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (Io74) 


[ 165 J 


182 Bellevue. Mr. Dougherty''s agency on the Missouri 

183 Snags on the Missouri 

"On looking along the banks of the river, one can not help observing 
the half-drowned young willows, and cotton trees of the same age, trem- 
bling and shaking sideways against the current; and methought, as I 
gazed upon them, of the danger they were in of being immersed over 
their very tops and thus dying, not through the influence of fire, the 
natural enemy of wood, but from the force of the mighty stream on the 
margin of which they grew, and which appeared as if in its wrath it was 
determined to overwhelm, and undo all that the Creator in His bountiful- 
ness had granted us to enjoy. The banks themselves, along with perhaps 
millions of trees, are ever tumbling, falling, and washing away from the 
spots where they may have stood and grown for centuries past. If this 
be not an awful exemplification of the real course of Nature's intention, 
that all should and must live and die, then, indeed, the philosophy of 
our learned men cannot be much relied upon!" 

John James Audubon, The Missouri River Journals (1843) 

184 Fori I'icrrc on the Missouri 

185 Fort (Aark on the Missouri (February 1834) 

[ 166 ] 



[ 167 ] 


186 Fort Union on the Missouri 

187 Junction of the Yellowstone River with the Missouri 

188 Remarkable Hills on the upper Missouri 

]iV) The White (^.ostels on the upper Missouri 

190 Camp of the Gros Ventres of the prairies on the upper Missouri 

191 Herd of Bisons on the upper Missouri 

192 View of the stone nails on the upper Missouri 

193 Herds of Bisons and Elks on the upper Missouri 

[ 168 1 

194 Charles Bodmer: Das Darnpfboot. Ycllousionc 
Aquatint uncolored. Folio, 1839 
University of Michigan Transportation Library 

195 Will Conklln: The Democrat's Picture of the Bridge at St. Louis 

Lithograph colored. 14"s"x29~s". Baker & Co., Eng. Chicago. Barnes 
& Benyon. I M liters. 215 Pine St. Undated 
University of Michigan Transportation Library 


196 Seth Eastman: Lake. The Source of the Mississippi 
Lithograph colored, ^Vi;" x 12". 
Yale L^niversity Press. New ^ ork 

This plate was lithographed h\ J. T. How en. Philadelphia for School- 
craft's Indian Tribes of the United Stales. 1851-1857. 

Henry R. Schoolcraft on this expedition was accompanied hy the Rev. 
William T. Boutwell. a missionary, who suggested the name for the lake, 
from Latin, \eritas (truth! and caput (head). 

19/ George Filler (1822-1844): A Steamboat Race on the Mississippi. 
( Betnren the Baltic & Diana) 

Lithograph colored, I8V4" x 2C)-' i". Painted hy Geo. F. Fuller. Published 
by M. Knoedler, New York; Goupil & Co., Paris: Goupil & Co., London. 


[ 169 ] 

University of Michigan Transportation Library 

Fuller left for Europe shortly after painting this scene as a publisher's 
commission. He emerged in the 'seventies as one of the leading pastoral 
painters of New England. 

198 Ambroisk Louis Garneray (1783-1857): Nouvelle Orleans 

Aquatint colored, 12-}4"xl7%": Garnerai pinx. Himely sculp. A Paris 

chez Hocquart Succr de Mr. Basset rue St. Jacques No. 64. Depose. 


Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

199 Leopold Gast: View of the City of St. Louis, Mo. The Great Fire of 
the City on the 17th & 18th May, 1849 

Lithograph uncolored, 9I/2" x 9%". Drawn by L. Gast, Juls Hutawa 
Lithr Chestnut St. 62, St. Louis 1849 
Missouri Historical Societv, St. Louis 


[ 170 ] 


200 Leopold Gast: St. Louis, Mo. in 1855 

Lithograph uncolored, 6I4" x 53". Drawn from nature h\ Panhis Roctter, 
Engraved on stone by Leopold Cast & Bro., St. Louis 
Collection Mr. Stratford Lee Morton, St. Louis 

201 J. W. Hill & (?) : St. Louis, 1852 

Lithograph colored, 241/0" x 41%". Printed in Tints by F. Michelin, 225 
Fulton St.. N.Y. New York. Published b\ Smith Hros. & Co.. 225 Fulton St. 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

202 Julius Hutawa: Plan oj the City of St. Louis, Mo., 1850 

Lithograph uncolored, 24%" x 34%". Lithographed by L. Gast. Pub- 
lished by Julius Hutawa and L. Gast. lithographers, St. Louis, Missouri 
Collection Mr. Stratford Lee Morton. St. Louis 

It is interesting to note the distances given from St. Louis to various 
other ports in the tables in the upper left-hand and right-hand corners. 
From St. Louis to San Francisco via Cape Horn is 17,000 miles. 

[ 171 ] 


203 A. Janicke and Company: Our City (St. Louis, Mo.) 

Lithograph colored, l^Ys" x 20%". Lith. A. Janicke & Co., 3rd Street, 
0pp. the Post Office, St. Louis, 1859 
Collection Mr. Stratford Lee Morton. St. Louis 

Some of the boats shown are the: Edward J. Gay, Henry Clay, Baltimore, 
Canada, Quincy, Emma, Neiv Orleans, and Ben Lewis. 

204 Georgk J. Kerth: City of New Orleans and Suburbs 
Lithograph colored, 2474" x 40i/t". Pohlmann, 1883 
Howard-Tiltori Memorial Library. Tulane L^niversity, New Orleans 

205 E. B. Krausse : View of St. Louis 

Steel engraving. 35" x 23%". Drawn by G. Hofmann and taken partly 
from daguerreotype by Aesterley. Engraved by E. B. Krausse. Printed 
by W. Pate N.Y. Published and sold by C. A. Cuno. Krausse and Hofmami. 
31 South Main St.. St. Louis. Mo. 1854 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

[ 172 ] 




t ,#^ <-: 


"5 ii/»^^* 


[ 173 ] 

206 Hyancinthe Laclotte: Dejeat of the British Army, 12,000 strong, under 
the Command of Sir Ediv'd Packenham, January Hth, 1815, on the Chal- 
metle plain, five miles below New Orleans, on the left hank of the Mis- 
sissippi. "Drawn on the Field of Battle, and painted hv Hthe Ladlotte, 
Arch't and Assist. Engineer in the Louisiana Army. The Year 1815." 
Aquatint coldrcd. lo' |" x 27-?s"; Dessine par Hthe Ladlotte. Grave par 
P.O. Debucourt. 
Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois 

llxacinthe Laclotte, "architect and assistant engineer in the Louisiana 
Army" had the misfortune to have his name mis-spelled by the engraver 
Philibert Dei)ucourt 11755-1832) one of the great masters of engraving. 

207 John Landis: Battle of New Orleans. 

Lithograph colored. 15Vs"x24%". Copyright by John Landis 1840, 
Eastern District of Penna. From an unfinished painting of 14 by 22 feet. 
Knox (College. Galesburg, Illinois 

208 Lebreton : Steam-Packet Boat de Nelle Orleans 

Lithograph colored, 7" x 101/4". Published by Monrocq fr. Edit. Imp. r. 
Suger. Fr. Album de Marine, PI, 22. Undated 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr., St. Louis 

Henry Lewis (1819-1904) : Illustrations for Das lUustrirte Mississippithal 
Color lithographs colored. Quarto, 1854-1858 
City Art Museum of St. Louis 

Lewis was born in Scarborough, England, the son of Thomas and 
Elizabeth Garrison Lewis. In 1829 after the death of his first wife, 
Thomas Lewis brought his three sons to Boston. In 1834 two of his sons 
came to St. Louis, but Henry remained in Boston where he was apprenticed 
to a bench maker, but he disliked the "Swearing Drinking Games and vices 
of Every Description'" and so he came with his father to St. Louis in 
1836. In 1847 he was advertised as a landscape painter. Earlier he had 
assisted several artists with their panoramas and in 1846-9 he worked on 
his own panorama which covered the territory from St. Anthony Falls to the 
Gulf. He took his panorama East and finally to Europe. He married an 
English wife, served for a time as American Consul in Diisseldorf where he 
died September 16th, 1904. 

His panorama was exhibited with success in this country and in 
England where it seems it was sold to an Englishman who took it to 
India and forever out of sight. Lewis settled in Diisseldorf where he 

[ 174 ] 

prepared his Das lllustrirte Mississippithal which was published bv 
Arnz & Company from 1854 to 1858. His piil)Hshers failed and the projected 
edition in English never appeared. The title page outlines the book by 
saying that it consists of "80 views taken from nature from the Waterfalls 
of St. Anthony to the Gulf of Mexico, a journey of about 2300 English 
miles." Some of the lithographs from that book are seen here. All of 
them measure 5I/2" x 7')4" except the double plate of New Orleans which 
is 18^" in width. Some of the color has been applied in the printing, 
other colors have been added by hand. Titles on the plates were given 
variously in Englisli or (^erman and here the titles iiave been given in 
English. It is not unlikelv that in these lilbograpiis Lewis has recalled 
similar scenes from his panorama. 

"Yes, in this Great West, on the shores of the Great River, exist very 
various scenes and peoples. There are Indians: there are squatters; there 
are Scandinavians with gentle manners and cheerful songs; there are 
Mormons, Christian in manners, but fanatic in their faith in one man (and 
Eric Jansenists are in this respect similar to the Mormons); there are 
desperate adventurers, with neither faith nor law, excepting in Mannnon 
and club-law; gamblers, murderers, and thieves, who are willioul con- 
science, and their numi)er and their exploits increase along the banks of 
the Mississippi the further we advance south. There are giants, who are 
neither good or evil, but who perform great deeds through the force of 
their will, their great physical powers, and their ])assion for enterprise. 
There are worshippers of freedom and communists; there are slave- 
owners and slaves. There are communities who build, as bees and beavers 
do, from instinct and natural necessity. There are also clear-headed, 
strong and pious men, worthy to be leaders, who know what they are 
about, and who have laid their strong hand to the work of cultivation. 
There are great cities which develop the highest luxur\ of civilization and 
its highest crimes, which build altars to Mannnon, and would make the 
whole world subservient." 

Fredrika Bremer, America of the Fifties (Novendjer 3, 1850) 

209 5^ Louis 

"To watch the foam of our vessel had been a favorite pastime, but 
alas, what a change from the diamond and emerald of our lakes, the 
topaz of the Illinois, the Zircon of the Mississippi lo the soapsuds of the 

Mrs. Steele, A Summer Journey in the H est (1841) 

210 Steamboat Wooding, at Sight 

"But still, from time to time, appeared tiie hut of the wood-cutter, who 
supplies the steam boats with fuel, at the risk, or rather witii the assurance 

[ 175 ] 

of eai"l\ (Icatli. in r\(liaiig«* for dollars and whiskey. These sad dwellings 
are nearl\ all of tlicni iniindalt'd (lurin<i the winter, and the Lest of them 
are constructed on piles, which j)erniit the water to reach its highest level 
without drowning the wretched inhahitants. These unhapp\ heings are 
in\arial)l\ the victims of ague, which they meet recklessly, sustained by 
the incessant use of ardent spirits. The scpialid look of the miserable wives 
and children of these men was dreadful; and often as the spectacle was 
renewed. 1 could never look at it with indifference. Their complexion is 
of a bluish white, that suggests the idea of dropsy; this is invariable, and 
the poor little ones wear exactly the same ghastly hue. A miserable cow 
and a few pigs, standing knee-deep in water, distinguish the more pros- 
perous of these dwellings: and on the whole I should say, that I never 
witnessed human nature reduced so low as it appeared in the woodcutters 
huts on the unwholesome banks of the Mississippi." 

Mrs. rrollope, Domestic Manners oj the Americans (1836) 

21 1 Fort SneUiu^ 

212 The Falls oj St. Anthony 

213 St. Paul. Minnesota Territory 

214 Red Rock Prairie 

"Now", a prairie is undoubtedly worth seeing It was fine. It 

was worth the ride. The sun was going down, very red and bright; and 
the prospect looked like that ruddy sketch of Catlin's, which attracted 
our attention (you remember? I ; except that there was not so much 
ground as he represents, between the spectator and the horizon. But to 
say (as the fashion is, here) that the sight is a landmark in one's existence, 
and awakens a new set of sensations is sheer gammon. I would say to 
every man who can't see a prairie — go to Salisbury plain, Marlborough 
downs, or any of the broad, high, open lands near the sea. Many of them 
are fully as impressive; and Salisbury plain is decidedly more so." 

Charles Dickens, letter of April 16, 1842 from John Forster, Life oj 
Charles Dickens 

21.5 The Mouth oj the St. Croix 

216 Red Wings Village 

217 Mouth oj the Chippeway, Wisconsin 

I 176 ] 



[ 177 ] 



218 Battle of Bad Axe 

219 hidians Spearing Fish 

220 Prairie Dii Chicn. Wisconsin in 1830 

221 Mouth of the Wisconsin, from Pikes Hill 

Til The Indians' Looh-Out 

223 Dubuque, loua 

224 Vieiv of Fever River 

225 Savannah. Illinois 

226 Port Byron, loua and Berlin. Illinois 

[ 178 ] 


[ 179 ] 



227 The Rapids near Keokuk, loiva 

"The village of Keokuk is the lowest and most blackguard place that 
I have yet visited: its pojjulation is composed chieflv of the watermen 
wiio assist in loading and unloading the keelboats, and in towing them 
up when the rapids are too strong for the steam-engines. They are a 
coarse and ferocious caricature of the London bargemen, and their chief 
occupation seems to consist in drinking, fighting and gambling. One 
fellow, who was half drunk (or. in western language, 'corned'), was relat- 
ing with great satisfaction how he had hid himself in a wood that skirted 
the road, and (in time of peace) has shot an unsuspecting and inoffensive 
Indian, who was passing with a wild turkey on his shoulder: he concluded 
by saving that he had thrown the body into a thicket, and had taken the 
bird home for his own dinner. He seemed (|uitc proud of his exploit, and 
that he would as soon shoot an Indian as a fox or an otter. I thought 
he was only making an idle boast; but some of the bystanders assured me 
that it was a well known fact, and \('t he had never been either tried or 
|)unished. This murderer is called a (christian, and his victim a heathen! 

Charles Augustus Murra\ . Travels in North America 1834-36 

228 Muscatine. Iowa 

229 Burlington, Iowa 

[ 180 ] 

230 Fort Madison, lona 

231 IVauvoo. Illinois 

232 Warsaiv, Illinois 

233 The Arlisl's Kncarnpnicnl 

234 Quincy, Illinois 

235 Hannihal. Missouri 

236 ClarliSville. Missouri 

237 The Piasau Rock AV«/- Allon. Illinois 

"Within the recollection of men now living, rude paintings of the 
monster were visible on the cliffs above AUon, Illinois. To these images, 
when passing in their canoes, the Indians were accustomed to make offer- 
ings of maize, tobacco and gunpowder. They are now quite obliterated. 

J. L. McConnel. Western Chnracters. or Types of Bonier Life (1853) 

23«) Bahislntile lUufJs n illi llic (inind Shtircase 

239 Allon. Illlinois 

"This we learned was Alton. W liiic our crcu was mooring our boat 
upon llic sleep bank, we ga/cd uilli great ciniositN and interest upon 
this |)lace. larger than ati\ we had si'en since leaving Detroit ft)urteen 
iuuidred miles behind. To the l(>ft the rocks were crowned b\ a large 
solid looking building which we were lol<l was the prnilcnt iai \ . In iiont 
was a row of high ware-iiouses niad(> ol linieslone. Illled with goods and 
men; while a mass of houses and sl<'ei)les at our right were brightly 
reflecting the ravs of the linking >\\\\. The >horr piocrited a busy scene: 
men and carts were transporting goods or luggage, or busily employed 
Macadamizing the bank — a great improvement u|)on the wharves we had 

Mrs. Steele, A Summer Journey in the II est ( 1841) 

[ lai 1 

.*-*(t:^-i-» - ■'..rrwisrt???': 

240 Herculaneum. Missouri 

241 Cairo, Mouth of the Ohio 

"Floating down the Great River, 'the Father of Rivers , between Indian 
camps, fires, boats, Indians standing or leaping, and shouting, or rather 
yelling, upon the shores; funeral erections on the heights; between vineclad 
islands, and Indian canoes paddling among them. I would yet retain 
these strange foreign scenes; but I precede onward, passing them by. We 
leave this political wilderness, the region of the youthful Mississippi, and 
advance toward that of civilization. The weather is mild, the sun and 
the shade sport among the mountains — a poetical, romantic life. ' 

Fredrika Bremer, America of the Fifties (October 24, 1850) 

242 Memphis, Tennessee 

"The entire company of passengers was assembled to watch the objects 
on shore; — the cotton bales piled on the top of the bluff; the gentleman 
on horseback on the ridge, who was eveing us in return: the old steamer, 
fitted up as a store, and moored by the bank, for the chance of traffic Avith 
voyagers, and above all, the slaves, ascending and descending the steep 
path, with trays of provisions on their heads, — the new bread and fresh 
vegetables with which we were to be cheered." 

Harriet Marlineau, Retrospect of Western Travel (1838) 

[ 182 ] 

243 Mouth of the Arkansas 

244 Cotton Plantation 

"The negro village that surrounds a planter's house, is, for the most 
part, the prototype of the village of Owen of Lanark. It is generally oblong 
rows of uniform huts. In some instances I have seen them of brick, but 
more generally of cypress timber, and they are made tight and comforlal>l('. 

Timothv Flint. Recollections of the Last Ten Years (1826) 

245 Natchez, Mississippi 

"Every one wished to reach and leave Natchez before dark: and this 
was accomplished. As soon as we came in sight of the bluff on which 
the city is built, we received a hint from the steward to lock our state- 
rooms, and leave nothing about; as there was no preventing the towns- 
people from coming on board. We went on shore. No place can be more 
beautifullv situated; — on a bend of the Mississippi, with a low platform 
on which all ugly traffic of the place can be transacted; bluffs on each 
side; a steep road up to the town; and a noble prospect from thence. The 
streets are sloping, and the drains are remarkably well built; but the 
place is far from healthy, being subject to the yellow fever. It is one of 
the oldest of the southern cities, though with a new, — that is, perpetually 
shifting population. ... I believe the landing-place at Natchez has not 
improved its reputation since the descriptions which have been given of 
it by former travellers. When we returned to the boat, after an hour's 
walk, we found the captain very anxious to clear his vessel of the towns- 
people, and get away. The cabin was half full of the intruders, and the 
heated, wearied appearance of our conipaiiy at lea bore lestiinoiix In llic 
fatigues of the afternoon."' 

Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel ( \\\'.\{\) 

246 Bayou Sacra, Louisiana 

247 Convent Du Sacrament 

"One night, when Mr. K. was just {•(miliidiiiu the ualcli . . . the Imal lan 
foiil uf aiintlici-. and lliiis jtaili'd in two. licninnini: iiislaniK to sink. Mr. E. 
roused his huh from her sleep, made Ihm iliinst her feel inln his |)oots. 
threw his cloak over her. and carried lin n|i on d'ck. nol douiiling that, 
from her being the onl\ ladx on boaid. she wonid l>r the first to be 
accommodated in the boat. Hut lh»> boat had been seized by some gamblers 
who were wide awake, and read) dressed, when the accident happened, and 
thev had got clear of the steamer. Mr. E, shouted to ibein to take in the 

[ 183 ] 

la(l\. (tiily the lady: he proiniised that neither Judge H. nor himself 
should enter the boat. They might have come hack for every one on 
i)(>ar(l with perfect safet\ : hut he could not move thcni. Judge H. mean- 
while had secured a plank on which he hoped to seat Mrs. E., while Mr. E. 
and himself, hoth go(td swimmers, might push it before them to the shore, 
if the\ could escape the c(\d\ from the sinking vessel. Mr. E. heard next 
the voice of an old gentleman whom he knew, who was in the boat, and 
trying to persuade the fellows to turn back. Mr. E. shouted to him to 
shoot the wretches if thev would not come. The old gentleman took the 
hint, and held a ])islol (which however was not loaded) at the head of the 
man who was steering: upon which thev turned back and took in. not only 
Mrs. E.. her party, and their luggage, but everybody else; so no lives were 

Harriet Martineau. Retrospect of Western Travel { lo3o) 

24(5 New Orleans 

249 A. E. Mathews: Battle oj Shiloh. The Cnnhoats Tylor and Lexington 
Supporting the National troops hy firing up the ravine hack oj Pittsburgh 

Lithograph colored, lOi,/." x 15%". Sketched by A. F. Mathews. 31st Regt. 
O.N.U.S.A. Middleton. Strobridge & Co. Lith. Cincinnati. Ohio. Undated 
Knox College. Galesburg. Illinois 

[ 184 ] 

[231 J 

250 A. McLean : Steamer Natchez 

Lithograph colored. 12%" x IQi^". Lithographed and puIiIIsIkmI hv A. 

McLean. St. Louis. 1870 

Collection Mr. Franklin J. Meine. Chicajio 

This piiiit has been perforated and transparent red material has heen 
ajiplied to the hack so that when illuminated from the l)ack the engines 
and the stacks would show a reddish gl(»w. A companion print of the 
Robert E. Lee by A. McLean has been foimd botli with ami without these 

251 A. McLean: Sicnmrr Rohi. E. Lee 

Lithograi)h, 12' V' x I9I/2". Lithographed and Pub. b\ A. McLean, 
("or. 3rd & Pine, St. Louis. Undated 
(]it\ Art Museum of St. Louis 

The building at the right is Selma Hall. Selma. Missouri. 

"Nothing surprised me more than to see that ver\ few i>\ \\u- ladies 
looked out of the boat, uidess their attention was partieulaiK called. 
All the morning the greater number sat in their own cabin, working collars, 
netting purses, or doing nothing: all the evening they assumed themselves 
in the other cabin, dancing or talking. And such scenery as we were pass- 
ing! I was in perpetual amazement that, with all that has been said of the 
grandeur of this mightv river, so little testimoin has been borne to its 
beaut\ ."" 

Harriet Martineau. Retrospect of Western Travel (ISHS) 

[ 185 ] 


252 Joseph Rusling Meeker: Louisiana Scenery — The River Bank 

Steel engraving uncolored. 4~s"x6%". Engr.: R. Hinshelwood. Undated 
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans 

253 Joseph Rusling Meeker: Back of Pointe Coupee, Louisiana 

Steel engraving uncolored, 4 Vs" x 5%". Engr.: R. Hinshelwood. Undated 
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans 

254 William Momberger: Wooding Up, On the Mississippi 

Engraving colored. 12-'^'i" x 17". Engraved by C. Rost, 1867 
Boatmen's National l?aiik. St. Louis 

William Momberger. born in Germany in 1829. came to the I nited 
States in 1818 where he painted landscapes and did some illustrating. 
Christian Rost, also born in Germany, came to the United States and 
carried on engraving here. At one time he was employed by the American 
Bank Note Company. 

[ 186 ] 

255 Thomas Miller: Nouvelle Orleans J'ue Prise d' Algiers 

Nueva Orleans J isla lomada c/esde Algiers 

Lithograph cohjietl, \()yi"\'2i\s"- I lulalcd 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler, Jr.. Si. Lmiis 

"One hundred miles from the nioulli «)i' llu> Mississippi, and something 
more than a thousand from the inoulh of the Ohio, just helow a sharp 
point of the river is situated on its east hank, the city of New Orleans, 
the great coninuMcial capilal of tlie Mississippi valley. The position for a 
commercial cil\ is unrixalifd. 1 believe, by any one in the world. At a 
proper distance from the Gulf of Mexico, — on the banks of a stream 
which may be said almost to water a world. — but a little distance from 
Lake Ponchartrain. and connected with it by a navigable canal, — the 
immense alluvion contiguous to it — penetrated in all directions either by 
Bayous formed In nature, or canals which cost little more trouble in the 
making, than ditches, steamboats visiting it from fifty different shores, — 
possessing the immediate agriculture of its own state, the richest in 
America, and as rich as any in the world, willi the continually increasing 
agriculture of the upper country, its position far surpasses that of New 
York itself. It has one dreary drawback — the insalubrity of its situation. 
Could the immense swamps between it and the lilufTs be drained, and the 
improvements commenced in the city completed: in short, could its 
atmosphere ever become a dry one, it would soon leave the greatest cities 
of the Union behind. 

"Great efforts are making towards this result. Uphappily, when the 
dogstar rises upon its sky. the yellow fever is but too sure to come in 
its train. Nothwithstanding the annual, or at least liie biennial visits of 
this pestilence; although its besom sweeps off multitudes of unacclimated 
poor, and compels the rich to fly: notwithstanditig the terror, tiiat is every- 
where associated with the name of the cil\. it is rapid!) advancing m 

Timothy Flint, Recollcclions oj the LasI Ten Years (1826) 

256 Franclsco Scacki: A Correal View oj llie Uallle Sear the City oj New 
Orleans, on Eighth oj January, 1815 

Copper plate engraving. 18Vs"x24Vi". Undated 
Knox College, Galesbmg. Illinois 

257 John Senex: A Map oj Louisiana and oj the River Mississippi i llhislrated 
page 26) 

Engraving colored, 19" x 22^ o". I iidalcd 
Knox College. Galesburg. Illinois 

"If \(.u will throw a long. i)liant apple-paring over your shoulder, it 
will pretty fairly shape itself into an average section of the Mississippi 
River ..." 

Mark Twain, Lije on the Mississippi (1874) 

[ 187 ] 

■■()1 all tilt' \aiial)K' things in crealiun the luosl uncertain are the action 
of a jurv. the stale of a woman's mind, and the condition of the Missouri 

Sioux City Register, March 2o, l!50o 

■ - r,,f^y ^A -v. 

I^M Ujjf II*.* Otfate*. -> < J-i-M ^^Mt'^'-i-J-f ■ Iiiliil ill I I iT'Ulmii I liiiiht- '' ^ " 



258 S. Seymour: Bollle oj New Orleans and Defeat of the British under the 
Command of Sir Edward Packenham. by Genl. Andrew Jackson. <Hth J any. 

Engraving colored, 11" x ICiV-i". Published by Wni. H. Morgan, No. 114 
Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Drawn by S. Seymour. Engraved by J. W. 
Steel. Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg. Illinois 

259 H. F. Smith. Jr.: New Orleans from St. Patrick's Church. 1852 
Lithograph colored. 23V^" x 40". J. W. Hill ii Smith del. 
Howard-Tilton Memorial Librar\. Tulane Ihiiversity, New Orleans 

260 VVii.r.iAM Strickland ( 17o7-lo54» : Prospective View of the City of Cairo, 
at the Junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi River, Illinois 
Lithograph colored. 12"x22i/i". \Vm. Strickland, Ach"t del. P. S. Duval. 
Lithogr. Phila. Drawn on Stone by A. Hoffy. Undated 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

[ 188 ] 

261 A. C. Warren: City of St. Louis 

Steel eiigravin*! imcolored. S'/i^" x 9Vi". 1872 
Collection Miss Catherine Filsinger, St. Louis 

262 Alfrki) K. W \l D: The Lever at St. Louis 

Wood engravinji colored. 6's"xyVs"- \V • Koherts sc. I ndated 
Collection Miss Margaret C. Dockery, St. Louis 

263 William Howard Wkst: Bottle of New Orleans and Death of Major 
General Pakenliain on the Hth of January. 181S 

Engraving colored. 13" \ 19". W est. Del. J. Vaeger Sc. Printed hy Y. 
Sauerman. Published by McCarthy and Davis, Booksellers, Printers and 
Stationers. S.E. corner of Ninth & Race St., Philadelphia. July 1817 
Knox College. Galesburg. Illinois 

William Edward West (17()8-1875l was Imrn in Lexington. Kentuckx. 
About 1807 he went to Philadelphia where he studied under Thomas 
Sully and he sta)ed there until 1819 when he went to Natchez. Mr. Evans 
of Natchez sent him abroad and he painted Bxron and Shelley in ltal\. 
distinguished Frenchmen in Paris in 1824 and celebrities in London ft)r 
fifteen years. In 1839 he returned to New York where he stayed until 
his last move in 1855 which took him to Nashville. 

264 John Caspkr Wild: The Alex Scott passing Sehna, Missouri 

Lithograph coIohmI. 23io" x31-)i". Drawn and lilhographed h\ J. C Wild, 

boat skclchcil 1)\ H. S. Blood 

Collection Mr. Arthur Hoskins. St. Louis 

J. C. Wild also printed this same scene in his / alley oj the Mississippi 
Illustrated. At a later date the Alex Scott was superimposed by H. S. 
Blood. Mark Twain cubbed as a pilot on the Alex Scott. 

'"The weather has been bad ever since we left Baltimore. . . . We first 
encountered ice at \^ heeling, and it has floated down the Ohio all around 
us. as well as up the Mississippi to pleasant St. Louis. And such a steamer 
as we have come in from Louisville here! — the very filthiest of all filthy 
old rat-traps I ever travelled in: and the fare worse, certainly much worse, 
and so scantv withal that our worthv commander could not have given 
us another meal had we been detained a night longer, f wrote a famous 
long letter to my Lucy on the subject, and as I know you will hear about 
it, will not repeat the account of our situation on board the 'Gallant' — a 
pretty name, too, but alas! her name, like mine, is only a shadow, for as 
she struck a sawyer one night we all ran like mad to make ready to leap 
overboard; but as God would have it, our lives and the 'gallant' — were 
spared — she from sinking, and we from swimming amid rolling and 
crashing ice. The Ladies screamed, the babies squalled, the dogs veiled, 
the steam roared, the captain (who, by the wav, is a verv gallant man) 
swore — not like an angel, but like the verv devil — and all. was confusion 
and uproar, just as if Miller's prophecv had actuallv been nigh. Luckily, 
as we had had our supper, as the thing was called on board the 'Gallant\ 
and every man appeared to feel resolute, if not resolved to die. 

"I would have given much at that moment for a picture of the whole. 
Our compagnons de voyage, about one hundred and fifty, were composed 
of Buckeys, Wolverines, Suckers, Hoosiers, and gamblers, with drunkards 
of each and every denomination, their ladies and babies of the same nature, 
and specifically the dirtiest of the dirty. We had to dip the water for 
washing from the river in tin basins, soap ourselves all from the same 
cake, and wipe the one hundred and fiftv with the same solitary one 
towel rolling over a pin, until it would have been difficult to say, even 
with your keen eyes, whether it was manufactured of hemp, tow. flax 
or cotton. My bed has two sheets, of course, measuring seven-eights of a 
yard wide; my pillow was filled with cornshucks. Harris faired even 
worse than I, and our "state-room' was evidently better fitted for the 
smoking of hams than the smoking of Christians. \^'hcn it rained outside, 
it also rained within, and on one particular morning, when the snow melted 
on the upper deck, or roof, it was a lively scene to see each person seeking 
for a spot free from the manv spouts overhead '. 

Letter from John James Audubon to Mr. James Hall. St. Louis. iMarch 
29, 1843, The Missouri River Journals (1843) 

[ 190 ] 


265 John Casper Wild: North East Vieiv of St. Louis from the Illinois Shore 
Lithograph colored, 10" x 15i/4"« Published at the Republican office. 

Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

266 John Casper \\ ild: Fanoranm of Si. Louis fXorth. South. East, West) 
Lithograph uiicolored. 11" \ 2!". 1 tnlditig plati-s IKmi his I alley of 
Mississippi Illustrated, loll 

Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

267 John Casper W ii.n: J'iew of Front St.. St. Louis 

Lithograph colored, 9%" x ISVi". Publ. \ l.illi. I.\ j. C. W ii.l. IJ'.IO 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

"The markets here abound with all liii' -:<i(i(| ihiiius ol tin- land, and 
of nature's creation. To give \(iu an idea of this, read the bdiowing 
items: Grouse, two for a York shilling; three chickens for the same; 
Turkeys, wild or tame. 25 cents: flour 82.00 a barrel: butter, sixpence 
for the best— fresh, and rcalK uood. licef. .'> to 1 cents: \eai. the same: 
pork, 2 cents: venison hams, large and dried. 15 cents each: jjolatoes, 
10 cents a bushel; Ducks, three for a shilling: Wild Geese, 10 cents each; 
Canvasback Ducks, a shilling a j)air: vegetables for the asking, as it 
were; and on]\ think, in the midst of this abundance and cheapness, we 

[ 191 ] 


are paying at the rate of S9.00 per week at our hotel, the Glasgow, and 
at the Planters we were asked SIO.OO". 

Letter from John James Audubon to Mr. James Hall, St. Louis, March 
29, 1843, The Missouri River Journals (1843) 

268 John Casper Wild: Vieiv of St. Louis from the Illinois Shore 

Lithograph uncolored, 6Vl>" x 8^2"- Published by the artist, St. Louis. 
lo41 as the frontispiece for J. C. Wild. Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated 
Collection Mr. Stratford Lee Morton. St. Louis 

"We went on board between ten and eleven at night, and the next 
morning were in the waters of the Missouri, which rush into those of 
the Mississippi, about eighteen miles north of St. Louis, with such vehe- 
mence, and with such a volume of water, that it altogether changes the 
character of the Mississippi. There is an end now to its calmness and 
its bright tint. It now flows onward restless and turbid; stocks and trees 
and every kind of lumber which can float, are whirled along upon its 
waves, all carried hither by the Missouri, which, during its impetuous 
career of more than three thousand miles through the wilderness of the 
West, bears along with it everything that it finds in its way. Missouri is 
a sort of Xantippe, but Mississippi is no Socrates, because he evidently 
allows himself to be disturbed by the influence of his ill-tempered spouse." 
Fredrika Bremer, America of the Fifties ( November 3, 1850j 

[ 192 ] 


"All 1 want ill this (rcalioii 
Is a lilllc-hiltee wife 
And a l)i<^ plantation." 
Old song 

The architectural section ol llii> iiook lias beeti coiifiiifd to Louisiana 
because the Mississip[)i"s uni(|ue contribution to American architecture, 
the mansion and dependencies of the Southern planter, attained its most 
abundant and perfect llovvering in thai state. 

Clarence John Laughlin has photographed many Louisiana plantation.- 
and has recorded his findings in a recent book, Ghosts Along the Mississippi, 
published b) Charles Scribner's Sons. New York, in 1948. The descriptive 
notes are taken from that book and from material furnished by Mr. 
Laughlin who has lent all of the photographs of plantation architecture. 

The remarkalde group of architectural drawings, beautifully rendered 
in pen lines and watercolor, are here published for the first time. ()nl\ 
one of the buildings, the tobacco warehouse. New Orleans, has been identi- 
fied. The dwellings may have been designed for plantations or Louisiana 
town houses. 


[ 193 ] 

209 I'lirlaiiiic I'lttnlitlioii. iK^ar New Roads. Louis^iana. ca. 1750 

Tlic huildcr. Mar(|iiis de Vincent de Teriiant of Danville-sur-Meuse, 
olitaiiicd tho land grant from the French crown. At one time an indigo 
and lal(M' a sngar plantation, the })lacc r(Mnains in the hands of his de- 

270 Parlance Plantation. Pigeonnici . ca. 1<50 

At some distance from the main house are two pigeonniers (dove cotes), 
octagonal in plan, the roofs characteristically shingled and topped with 
finials. Architecturally this is related to the style of northern Frajice. 

271 Ormond Phtnlation. near Norco. Louisiana, before 1790 

Built before 1790 by Pierre de Trepagnier who received his land grant 
from the Spanish Governor. Bernardo de Galvez. It is of cypress frame 
construction with the interstices filled with brick, moss and mortar. The 
columns were made, as so frequently was the custom, of brick plastered 

272 Elm wood Plantation, near New Orleans, ca. 1762 

This is one of the oldest plantation houses, having been built, it is 
thought, about 1762 by Lafreniere who was then attorney -general for 
the Colony. It was later occupied by W. C. C. Claiborne, the first American 
to govern Louisiana. In 1940 it was burned and only the brick walls, 
twenty-two inches thick, and the columns were left standing. 

273 Elmwood Plantation, Gothic Revival Stable, ca. 1850 

274 Greennood Plantation, near St. Francisville. Louisiana, ca. 1830 

William Bullin Harrow built this plantation on his tract of twelve thou- 
sand acres. Federal troops destroyed all of the out-buildings, but the 
house itself was saved and served as a hospital. It has the customary 
llo(»r plan: a great central hall, seventy feet in length, flanked by two 
rooms on either side. The panelled cypress doors are hung on sil\(M- 
liin-'cs and fitted with silver door knobs. 

275 Greennood Plantation. Plaster Ornament, ca. 1830 

This plaster ornament enhances the ceiling of the second floor parlor, 

[ 194 ] 


276 Roscdoivn Fluitlatioii. near St. Fiaiicisville, Louisiana, ca. MVM) 

Built by Daniel Turnhull for his young bride whose faniiK built Green- 
wood Plantation, also included in this exhibition. The Georgian feeling. 
Greek Revival detail and certain structural elements recall architectural 
practices more connnon to Virginia than to Louisiana. 

277 Three Oaks I'idiiliitioii. New Orleans, ca. 1840 

This house, now owned li\ the American Sugar Refincr\. dcrixcs its 
name from the three oaks at one side of the house. One of tin- cohunns. 
since repaired, was shattered h\ camion fire from Adnnral I-arrajiuts 

(IccI (hiring the all;u k on ihc (!hahncllc liallciio. Il i> <>nc of ihc cailiest 
houses of its l\pe. 

27o ('.liti'lieii I'oiiil I'Id/ildlioii. near Sunset. Louisiana, ca. 1!'>.'V'> 

Built b\ Hi|)pol\le (".hrelien II who cmplo\ed Sanmel '^ oung and Jona- 
than Harris as carpenter and bricklayer and "undertakers (d building". 
The brick columns, originally })lastered over, and the entablature of 
cypress wood illustrate the indigenous elements that iidluenced Louisiana 

[ 19.3 ] 



[ 196 ] 

279 Evergreen Plantation, near Edward, Louisiana, ca. 1830 

Possibly built by Pierre Becnel who married Desiree Brou in 1830. Two 
rows of three different kinds of trees formed great alleys that ran from 
the levee, past the main house and on to the cane fields. Flanking the 
main house were pigeonniers. one of which can be seen here; and some- 
what farther removed from the main house were flanking garc^onnieres. 
Since the destruction of I ncle Sam Plantation. Kvergreen presents the 
most complete plantation group still standiiii: in Louisiana. 

280 Evergreen Plantation. Plantation Office (?) ca. 1835 

This is thought to have l)een the plantation office. It is of post construc- 
tion filled with brick. The cherub is one of several figures recently added 
to replace the original statues which have been lost. This building stands 
back of the main house and opposite the i)lantalion kitchen. 

281 Evergreen Plantation, Privy, ca. 1835 

Clarence John Laughlin wrote in Ghosts Along the Mississippi: "'Midway 
between these (probably two carriage houses I there was a little double 
privy of plastered brick, executed in Greek Revival design — and now 
unique in Louisiana. No existing small building tells us so much, perhaps, 
nor so gracefully, of the height achieved in the art of living by Louisiana 
plantation culture, than this exquisite little privy: so delicately set off 
bv the lustrous and lovely grays of the moss, and the dark figure of the 
cherub with his sheaf of wheat — the whole ensemble fascinating ..." 

282 Evergreen Plantation, Slave (Mhins. ca. 1<>35 

Two great lines of trees set liack aiul lo tlic >id(' ol the main liousc 
marked the slaves' cabins. The one row remaining shows cabins designed 
to acconunodate one to three families. Miiilt of (■\i>ress and attuned to 
the climatic conditions, they are functional in the best modern sense of 
the term. 

283 Oak Alley (Bon Srjour). near \ aclicric. Lonisiana. l!!;i2-3() 

Built by Jacques Telesphore Roman 111 will) George Swainey as archi- 
tect. Before the main bouse, extending lhre(> luindred \ards to the 
levee, there were two lines of oaks, said to lia\e been |>lanted by some 
Frenchman in the 1690"s. Josephine Pilie. Jaeiiues Roman"s wife, named 
the plantation Bon Sejour, but travellers on the Mississippi called it more 
simply. Oak Alley. This was the first of the great Louisiana plantation 
houses to be restored. 

[ 197 ] 

284 Oak Alley (Bon Srjour), The Alley of Live Oaks 

283 Hounuts House (Huniside Pltinlalion ) . iicai- Buniside. Louisiana. 1800-1 840 

riio two story, square plan, coiitiiiuous gallery and portico, and hipped 

roof with long dormers summarize much of what was best in Louisiana 

architecture. Shade was provided l)\ the deep verandahs and shuttered 

windows, and the spacious central hall cocded the house. 

286 Houmas House (Burnside Pla/ilulion ). Spiral Staircase 

The spiral staircase is considered to be one of the handsomest in Louisi- 
ana. The slight irregularities in the railing are not photographic distortions. 

287 Houmas House (Burnside Plantation), Gar^onniere. ca. 1820 

The gargonniere was originally intended to be used by the son of the 
family and his friends. Later they served the more general purpose of 
a guest house. As a rule there were, in the symmetrical scheme of things 
which prevailed in Louisiana architecture, two such buildings at each 
side of the main house. This simple hexagonal building of plastered 
brick has a classic qualitv emphasized by the repetition of the rounded 
door and window in the blind arcade. 

288 Madewood Plantation, near Napoleonville, Louisiana. 1848 

Henry Howard was the architect who designed this house for Thomas 
Pugh and his wife, Eliza Folev. tradition has it that four years were 
spent in making the brick and cutting the lumber, all of which came from 
the plantation, hence the name Madewood. and four years more in the 
construction. Ihe Greek Revival is seen here in the Ionic columns rest- 
ing on a st\lol)ate. the pediment with a fan light, and in the attached 
wings which repeat the configuration of the main house and at the same 
lime supplant the free standing gari^onnieres. 

289 Madeuood Plantation. Second Floor Gallery. 1848 

290 Afton I ilia, near St. Krancisville. Louisiana. 1790-1849 

In rcalitx this is two houses, the one inside the other. The original 
house was i)uilt about 1790 bv John Crocker; it passed from him to 

[ 198 ] 


Bartholomew Barrow whose son David later possessed it. In lolO Daxid 
Barrow married for the second time and his wife felt that a man of her 
hushand's position and eminence needed a house more suitable to his 
position in society. The husband gave his consent on the condition that 
the old house remain, and so it is included within tiie fal)ric of the l)uildinji 
seen here, forty rooms surrounding the original four. Cypress was carved 
and cut in a fine example of "carpenter's frenzy" to create the Neo- 
Gothic eflfect. The original plan called for a moat and portcullis. 

291 Ajtoii I ilia, S 1)1 nil Staircase 

292 Nottawax Plantation, near White Castle, Louisiana. Ballroom. 1857 

Nottawa\ was coinijlctcd in 1857 by the architect Henry Howard, who 
was the builder of Madcwood. for the Kaiidolph family of Virginia. The 
house consists of two doors over a raised basement. Three wings are 
attached to the main botiv of the house. 

[ 190 1 

293 Belle Glove I'laiitalioii. near Wliilc (-aslle. Loiii.siaiia. 1857 

This stands as the greatest ruined house in the Mississippi Valley. 
John \n(he\vs. a wealthy Virginian, commissioned James Gallier and his 
son. the foremost Greek Revival architects in the South, with the indi- 
cation that no account of construction expenditures need be kept. The 
seventy-five rooms were elaborately finished and furnished and, again, 
there were silver door knobs and scutcheons. 

James Gallier, Sr., was born in Ireland in 179o and studied archi- 
tecture in Dublin and later in England before coming to New York in 
1832 where he worked for a brief time with Minard Lafevre. In 1834 
he went to Mobile and later to New Orleans where he practiced with 
Charles Dakin as partner until they separated and each established an 
office. Gallier died in the shipwreck of the Evening Star off Cape Hatteras 
in 1868. James Gallier, Jr., (1829-1870) continued the practice of his 

294 Belle Grove Plantation, Side I erandah 

In concept and in details this is a departure from the characteristic Louisi- 
ana plantation. The many assymetrical features, the projecting bays and 
the rather random disposition of the various elements suggest the Gothic 
Revival despite the insistence of Greek Revival treatment of detail. The 
basement is built of brick plastered over, but here the plaster has been 
treated to imitate masonry. 

295 Belle Grove Plantation. Column at the Corner of the Verandah 

The fluted columns are of plastered brick and the enormous capitals, 
six feet high, were carved from cypress wood in four sections which were 
then affixed to the brick column and gilded. 

296 The Hermitage, Ascension Parish. Louisiana. 1812-1840 

This house was built by Michel Doradou Bringier who was an aide 
to Andrew^ Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. He celebrated the victory 
with the General in his recently completed house and called his house 
The Hermitage after the Generals residence in Tennessee. Some remodeling 
tt)ok place about 1849 when the handsome columns seen here replaced 
the earlier brick columns and wooden colonettes. 

297 Windsor Plantation, between Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi, ca. 1861 

[ 200 ] 


298 Woodlmvn I'htnhilion. near Napoleom illc. Louisiana. lo.S9 

Built in the Lafonnlic counliN. in that j>arl of Louisiana west of tlic 
Mississippi, Woucllawii was tlu' acconipiislinienl of \\ illiani W. Pugh. Some 
four ^ears were required to hring tli(^ liouse to completion and. despite 
the use of slave labor. $70,000 was rcMpiired. 'I'lic capitals liere were made 
of stone, a rarit\ in Louisiana, as no stone was there to he lound. 

299 Sale iiotirr of licllr Crovr Plaiiliitioii. 1867 (Detail illustrated I 

Woodcuts after drawings hv .lames (/allier. 18.^7. lO', o"\9" 
(lolieclion Mrs. Georw W . Pii'man, New Orleans 

300 Arcliitcrlnriil Didiciiiii "/ " I'ldnhilioii House, south elexalion 

Pen drawing touched with wateicolor. \?>\.\^" \ 19; |". ca. 1835 
Collection Mr. Alhert Lieutaud. New Orleans 

A beautifuiix proportioned design in the (".re(>k He\i\al st\le. Architect 

[ 201 J 

J lu m ui 111-. 

«ll)h i.f.KVATInX. 


301 Architectural Draiving of a Plantation House and Floor Plan. Enlarged 
and Remodelled 

Pen drawing with watercolor washes, 19" x 291/4". ca. 1850 
Collection Mr. Albert Lieutaud, New Orleans 

A rather simple, small house of about 1830 in the Greek Revival style 
is here enlarged and remodelled in the Italianate style of about 1850. 
Architect unknown. 

302 Architectural Drawing of a Plantation House 

Pen drawing with watercolor washes, IS^i" x 28". ca. 1850 
Collection Mr. Albert Lieutaud, New Orleans 

This connnodious wooden mansion of yellow clapboards and rich detail 
|)ainte(l gra\ exemplifies the fusion of Greek Revival j)roportions and 
doorwa\ detail with Italianate elements typical of the mid-century. Archi- 
tect unknown. 

303 Arcliilcctural Draiiing and Floor Plan of a / ilia for Mrs. H. C. Camnwck 
Pen drawing with watercolor washes. 19" x 2914"- Gallier. Turpin & 
Co., Architects, New Orleans, 1854 
Collection Mr. Albert Lieutaud. New Orleans 

This deliberately picturesque design b\ the foremost nineteenth century 
architect of Louisiana, clearlv shows the influence of Italian villa archi- 
tecture, but still retains much detail derived from the Greek Revival. 

[ 202 ] 

^':? ^^ ' W^ V?V^ V^ 


V,' jy // 7 . , i',/ /, ^, 



■F)*fRff' ff 


[ 203 ] 


I I i (~ 


iSiiri^bHi^iiii .ijisii^wiSr 

:r- h- 

'i^ i 

SPl W'W' ^^lill: 


^' , SIR/ 










304 Architectural Drawing of Elevation of Tobacco Warehouse on Trhoupiloulas 
Street for Messrs. A. V. M. Heine, New Orleans 

Pen drawing with watercolor washes, 16" x SO^/i". Ciallicr. Tiirpiii \ Co.. 
Architects, New Orleans, March 29th, 1854 
Collection Mr. Albert Lieutaud. New Orleans 

305 Captain Isaiah Sellers' Monument, Bellefontaine Cemetery. St. Louis 

Capt. Sellers was one of the oldest and most highly respected pilots 
on the Mississippi. He ( unti ihiiled occasional notes on shipping to the 
New Orleans Picayune which he signed "Mark Twain". After Capt. 
Sellers' death in loC)4 Samuel Clemens adopted this pseudoium. 

"The captain had an honorable pride in ids profession and an al>iding 
love for it. He ordered his monument before he died, and kejU it near 
him until he did die. It stands over his grave now. in Bellefontaine Cetne- 
tery, St. Louis. It is his image, in marl)le. standing on duty at the pilot- 
wheel; and worthy to stand and confront criticism, for il represents a 
man who in life would have stayed there till he jjurned to a cinder, if 
dutv required it. 

Mark Twain. Life on the Mississippi (lo74l 

[ 205 ] 


306 Captain Claiborne Greene Wolff's Monument, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. 

Capt. Wolff, called George by his friends, was born in Louisville in 
1829 and died October 18, 1881. 

"He sleeps amid the peaceful shades of Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. 
Louis, and his ashes repose beneath a monument erected by his many 
friends. Carved thereon, in enduring marble, is the representation of a 
Mississippi River steamboat, fitting syndjol of his chosen and idolized 

E. W. Could. Fijty Years on the Mississippi (1889) 

[ 206 1 


The thirteen scale models of Mississippi river l)oats provide a graphic- 
survey of the priiuipal t\pes of watercraft that plied the stream f(»r a 
century and a (piarler. from the primitive pirogue to the palatial twin- 
stacked steamers of the 'seventies and their more modest twentieth century 
descendants. The artist's records of the fabulous interiors of these "floating 
palaces" are rare; one of these decorates the menu of the Steamboat M.S. 
Mepham [324]. 

"The first thing that strikes a stranger from the Atlantic, arrived at 
the boat landing, is the singular, whimsical, and amusing spectacle, of 
the varieties of water-craft, of all shapes and structures. There is the 
statelv barge, of the size of a large Atlantic schooner, with its raised and 
outlandish looking deck. This kind of craft, however, which required 
twenty-five hands to work it up stream, is almost gone into disuse, and 
though so common ten vears ago, is now scarcely seen. Next there is 
the keel-boat, of a long, slender, and elegant form, and generalh carrying 
fifteen to thirty tons. This boat is formed to be easih propelled over 
shallow waters in the summer season, and in low stages of the water is 
still much used, and runs on waters not \et frequented b\ steam-boats. 
Next in order are the Kentuckv fiats, or in the vernacular phrase, 'broad- 
horns', a species of ark, very nearly resembling a New England pig-stye. 
Thev are fifteen feet wide, and from forty to one hundred feet in length, 
and carry from twentv to seventv tons. Some of them, that are called 
family-boats, ajid used 1)\ families in descending the river, are very large 
and roomv, and have comfortable and separate apartments, fitted up with 
chairs, beds, tables aiul sto\es. It is no uncommon spectacle to see a 
large family, old and young, servants, cattle, hogs, horses, sheep. fo\\ Is. 
and animals of all kinds, bringing to recollection the cargo of the ancient 
ark, all embarked, and floating down on the same liottttm. Then there 
are what the people call 'coxtrcd sleds', or ferry-flats, and Allegain- 
skifTs, carrying from eight to twelve tons. In another place are pirogues 
of from two to four tons burthen hollowed sometimes from one prodigious 
tree, or from the trunks of two trees united, and a |)lank rim fitted to the 
upper pari. Tlicrc are comnmn skills, ami ollici small riaft. naiiicd from 
the manner of making them, 'dug-ouls . and canoes hollowed lioin smaller 
trees. These boats are in great nund)ers. and these names are spec ifii . 
and clearly define the Imals to which llic\ bi'loiig. lUil beside these, in 
this land of freedom and inNcntioii. with a little aid perha|)s. from the 
influence of the moon, lliex' aic monstrous anomalies. r(>ducible to no 
specific class of boats, and onl\ illnstraling the wliinisical arcliel\pes of 
things that have previously existeil in the brain of inventi\e men, who 
reject the slavery of being obliged to build in any received form. You 
can scarcely imagine an al)stract form in which a boat can be built, that 

[ 207 ] 

in some ])art (tf the Ohio or Mississippi you will not see, actually in 
motion. . . . I Ills \aricl\ of boats, so singular in form, and most of them 
a|)|)ar(Mitl\ so frail, is destined in many instances to voyages of from 
twelve hundred to three thousand miles. Keel-boats, built at this place, 
start on lumtinj: cxjieditions for points on the Missouri, Arkansas, and 
Red River, at such distances from Pittsburgh as these. Such are the inland 
vovages on these long streams, and the terms of navigation are as novel 
as are the forms of the boats. 

liiiiotlu I' lint. llccoUections of l/ie Last Ten Yeurs (18261 


307 Pirogue, with Paddles 

Length 15" 

National Park Service. Old Court House. St. Louis 

Pirogues, hollowed out of logs, were used ))) liie early vo\ageurs and 
fur trappers on the Mississippi and its tributaries. 

3()o Flalhoat, ivilh Rudder and Siieeps 
Length 26" 
National Park Service. Old Court House. St. Louis 

"The keebboats and barges were employed in conveying produce of 
different kinds besides furs, such as lead, flour, pork and other articles. 
These returned laden with sugar, coffee, and dry goods suited for the 
markets of St. Genevieve and St. Louis on the upper Mississippi, or 
branched off and ascended the Ohio to the foot of the Falls near Louisville 

[ 208 ] 

in KentiU'k\. lUit. reader. Inllou llieir moveiiuMits. and judjic for yourself 
of the fatigues, troubles, and risks of the men employed in that navifralion. 
A keel-l)oat was generalh manned hv ten hands. prituij)all\ Canadian 
French, and a ])alr(K)n or master. These boats seldom carried more than 
from twenty to thirt\ tons . . . Ilach boat or barge carrietl its own pro- 
visions. We shall suppose one of tlu>se boats under wa\ . and. having 
passed Natche/. entering upon what were the dilliculties of their ascent. 
Wherever a point projected, so as to render the course or bend below 
it of some magnitude, there was an aUU . the returning current of which 
was sometimes as strong as thai of the middle of the great stream. The 
bargemen therefore rowed up prett\ close under the bank, and had merely 
to keep watch in the bow. lest the boat should run against a |)lanter or 
sawyer. But the boat has reached the point, and there the current is 
to all appearance of double strength, and right against it. The men. 
who lia\e all rested a few miimtes. are ordered to take their stations, 
and Un hold of their oars, for the river must be crossed, il being seldom 
possible to double such a point, and proceed along the same shore. The 
boat is crossing, its head slanting to the current, which is. however, too 
strong for the rowers, and when the other side of the river has been 
reached, it has drifted perhaps a quarter of a mile." 
John James Audubon. Episodes lea. jo^.'^l 


309 KcfUxHtl. II llli Rudder. Oars and Setli/iii l*<des 
Length 2«;l._." 
National Park Service. Old Court lion.-e. St. Lonis 

Keelboats were used for upstream and downstream lialhr on the Mis- 
sissippi and its tributaries until steand)oats became common. It would 
take three months of toil with poles, oars and tow ropes called cordelles 
to bring a cargo from New Orleans to St. Louis. The average load was 
between fifteen and thirty tons. 

[ 209 ] 



[ 210 ] 


310 Steamboat "Ben. Jolmson'' 
Length 61" 

City Art Museum of St. Louis (Gift of Mr. Joseph Pulitzer. Sr.. St. Louis) 
This large sidewheeler of 525 tons was built in St. Louis in 186(). In 
that year it was chartered by Capt. LaBarge who took the United States 
Conmiissioners to F'ort Sull\ to treat with the Sioux Indians. The ciiarter 
fee was S3(3() per da\ . The following year this boat was in the St. Louis — 
Fort Benton trade. On March 29lh. 1869. she was destroxcd 1)\ fire at 
the St. Louis uharl. This model, the oldest in the exhibition, scimus to 
i)c contemporarx with the boat and it is not impossible that it served as 
the basis for the design of the boat. 

311 Steamboat "Robert E. Lee" 
Length 28" 

Collection ('apt. Bernard Clark. St. Louis 

Built in ](!66 at New Alban\. Indiana, the Robert E. Lee was one of 
tlie most renowned boats and es|)eciall\ well reniend)ered for its classic 
race with the \atchez in 1870. Ihe model was made 1)\ (^apt. (!lark. 

312 Steamboat " Natchez'^ 
Length 25" 
Collection \\aterwa\s Journal. St. Louis 

This sidewheeler was Innit in Cincinnati in 1!!69. .She was 307 feet 
in length and 44 feet in the beam. She was launched from the wavs with 
steam up. Under Capi. I". I*. Leathers she engaged in the famous race 
with the Robert E. Lee in 1870. In 18.70 the boat wa> dismantled. 

1 211 ] 


• =55 tr. I 


313 Steamboat "Mary Morton' 
Length 57" 
Collection Capt. Donald T. Wright, St. Louis 

This stern wheeler was built at Dubuque, Iowa, in 1880. She was 210 
feet in length and 32 feet in the beam. She was in the St. Louis and St. 
Paul trade when operated by the Diamond Jo Line Packet Company. 
Later she was operated by the Anchor Line Company and sank on 
October 2, 1897, at Grand Tower, Illinois, en route to Memphis. 

31 !• Sleamlxxil 'Y,'//v of Si. Louis'' 
Length 37" 
Collection Mr. A. F. Winn, Kansas City 

The City of St. Louis was built at Jeffersonville, Indiana, by the Anchor 
Line in March 1883 at a cost of ^135,000. It was 300 feet long, 491/2 
feel ill llie beam and carried 2,200 tons. The boat was burned at St. 
Louis. October 30, 1903. 

315 Stcfinilxxi/ "Tennessee Belle' 
Length 41" 
Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans 

liiiill al ra(hi(ali. KenUicky, in 1923. this boat is known as ''the last 
of the packets". For many )ears she was in the ^ew Orleans- Greenville, 
Mississippi run and sank after ruiming on a sandbar near Lake Provi- 
dence, Louisiana. February 3, 1936. The model was made by Ernest W. 
Bates, engineer of the Belle. 

I 212 1 



W- I I I; 


[ 213 ] 







316 Steamboat "Golden Eagle" 
Length 28V12" 
Collection Cap!. Bernard Clark, St. Louis 

The hoat was built as the Wm. Garig at Jeffersonville. Indiana, in 
1904. In 1918 she was sold to the Eagle Packet Company and renamed 
Golden Eagle. She was 175 feet long, and 35 feet in the beam. The Golden 
Eagle sank May 18, 1947, one mile below Grand Tower, Illinois, and was 
a total loss. The model was made by Capt. Clark. 

The pilot house is preserved on the grounds of the Community School, 
St. Louis County. Examples of the jigsaw wooden trim, belonging to Miss 
Ruth Ferris. St. Louis, are included in the exhibition. 


[ 214 ] 


317 Steamboat "Gordon C. Greene'^ 
Length 593/4" 

Gordon C. Greene Lines, Cincinnati 

This model represents a steanihoat. huill in 1*)2.') al jclTcrsoin illc Indi- 
ana, that is still ruimiiip, on the tImms. 

318 Steamboat "/ irginia LaBargc". ca. 1875 
Length 29" 

Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

An example of the imaginar\ steand)()al models often made hv retired 
river boatmen. There is no actual |)rolol\ pe of this vessel. However, it 
is intended to represent a hoal \M feel in lenjilh. M feel in llic licani. of 
430 tons with 5 holds. The maker. .los('|)li LaMarge, was Iroin a fainih 
famous in the annals of the river. 

319 Steamboat "fuiniic Emmet t". i*JU8 
Length 49" 

Division of Audio-Visual fjiucalioii. Si. Louis I'uliJic Schools 

Another example of an ima_uinar\ stcand)oat. Made l)\ Gapl. George W. 
Streeter. it is ecpiipped with a miniature steam boiler which can actually 
propel the model. 

[ 215 ] 

» " I 



I flit Kit :ill. IH7S. 

Kin;; A < loplKii. 
W. I . A < . I . Mo 
\<l A ll.'iiiU-.. 




320 Certificate of the St. Louis Association of Steamboat Engineers 
Engraved by J. N, Kershaw, St. Louis 

Boatmen's National Bank, St. Louis 

This certifies that Erasmus AUison can act as First Engineer "on any 
high pressure Steamboat navigating the Western or Southern Waters," 
signed St. Louis, September 1848. 

321 Engineer's License 

Issued to James Sutherland, First Engineer, 1883 
Golden Eagle Club, St. Louis 

322 Manifest of the Steamboat ''North Alabama'' 

F. P. Taber, Master, from Vicksburg to New Orleans, September 25th, 1836. 
Collection Mr. F. E. Fowler. Jr.. St. Louis 

323 Manifest of the Steamboat "James Howard" 

B. R. Pegram, Master, from Memphis to New Orleans, November 3d, 1875 
Collection Miss Ruth Ferris, St. Louis 

In 1875 this boat carried one load of 7701 bales of cotton to New 
Orleans, a record for the time. This manifest is one of a group of com- 
mercial papers lent by Miss Ferris which indicates the nature and extent of 
river commerce. 

[ 216 ] 

'Ill, or »'Av. 





324 Menu from the Steamboat "M. S. Mepham'' 

Chromo lithograph by P. S. Duval. Philadelphia. 1864 
Collection Mrs. George S. Mephani. St. Louis County 

"The total want of all the usual courtesies of the table, the voracious 
rapidity with which the viands were seized and devoured, the strange 
uncouth phrases and pronunciation: the loathsome spitting, from the 
contamination of which it was absolutely impossible to protect our dresses; 
the frightful matmer of feeding with their knives, till the whole blade 
seemed to enter into the moulh: and the still in<.re frightful manner of 
cleaning the teeth afterwards witli a pocket knife, soon forced us to feel 
that we were not surrounded bv the generals, colonels, and majors of the 
old world; and that the (bnncr hour was to be ;in\ thing rather than an 
hour of enjoyment." 

Mrs. Trollope, Domestic Maimers oj the Americans i l!i36) 

325 Bayard Waltz 

Cover of a music score with a view of the steamboat Bayard. 
Copyright 1870. A. M. McLean, Lith. 
Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

[ 217 ] 


326 r/ie Belle of Alton 

Lithographed sheet music, with a view of the steamboat, Belle of Alton, 

on the cover. 

Copyright, 1868. Engraved by Cast, Moeller & Co., St. Louis 

Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois 

327 The May-Flower Schottisch 

Lith. of Sarony & Co. 117 Fulton St. N. Y. Published by Firth, Pond & 
Co., 1 Franklin Sqr., New York 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

"Respectfullv dedicated to Mrs. Captn. Joseph Brown. b\ the publisher". 

328 Mittie Stephens March 

Composed and Respectfully dedicated to Capt. A. C. Goddin of St. Louis 

by C. Farringer. 

Published for Author by Balmer & Weber. No. 56 Fourth Street. 

A. McLean lith. St. Louis 

Missouri Historical Societv. St. Louis 

329 Chinauare: A Pair of Compotes. Covered Dish, Cup and Saucer 

Collection Mrs. Grace Lewis Miller; courtesy of the Missouri Historical 
Society, St. Louis 

Selected from a verv large set of china used aboard the steamboats of 
Capt. C. D. Blossom before 1858. 

[ 218 ] 


330 (Jiiiia (hip and Saucer from the Steainhoat ''Dahiique" 
Collection Miss Ruth Ferris, St. Louis 

A sketch of the steamboat by H. H. Henderson reproduced in Harpcr\s 
Weekly for August 28. 1869, is identical with the view of the steamboat 
seen on this cup. 


331 China Plate from the Steamboat 'M/. S'. Mepham'' 

Decorated b\ hand: diameter 8": signed: I\. T. ],ii\. \. O. Dalcd oti the 

j)addl<> box. 1 8()4 

(lolicciion Mrs. M. S. Mepliam. St. I.ouis (louiilv 

Randolph T. Lux maintained a studio in Camp Street, New Orleans 
before and during the Civil War. He was known as a painter of miniatures 
on porcelain and all that remains of his work in New Orleans todav is 
said to be some miniature- on colTcr cups. 

[ 219 ] 


332 C:hiiia Flalc icitli the Steamboats ''Roht. E. Lee" and ''Belle Lee" 

Decorated l)v hand: diameter 9'^ ^" : signed and dated: R. T. Lux. \. 0. 

La.. 1868. 

Collection Mrs. Dagmer Colbert, St. Louis 

333 Plated Silver Tea Set from the Steamboat "M. S. Mepham" 

Tea pot, sugar bowl and pitcher made by Rogers, Smith & Co., New 

Haven, Connecticut in I860. 

Collection Mrs. George S. Mepham. St. Louis County 

334 Plated Silver Tray from the Steamboat 'M/. ^'. Mepham" 
Made by the Manhattan Plate Company, ca. 1860 
Collection Mrs. George S. Mepham. St. Louis County 

335 krno Goose 

Turned mahogany and ebonized wood: height 19 
Collection Miss Rulh Ferris, St. Louis 

A gambling device used on the Steamboat Grand Republic, 1876. 

[ 220 ] 

[335 336] 

336 Chuck-a-Luck Cup 
Turned maple; height 8V2" 
Collection Miss Ruth Ferris, St. Louis 

A gambling device used dii ihc Steamboat Cra/id Rcpithli'c. 1876 

337 Natchez Chief and Sqiiaic 

White pine, carved, paiiilcd and jiildrd: height 33". ca. 1850 
Louisiana State Museum. New Orleans 

These two carved figures decorated the dining saloon of the steamboat 
Natchez of 1869. and |)robaiilv her predecessors of the same name. 

338 Negro Mascot of the I iiion Army 

Wood, carved and paiiiird 1 restored to the Drigiiial color: the musket is 
a modern replacomenl l)ased on a model of 1833 I : height 30' 2". ca. 1863 
City Art Museum of St. Louis I Gift of Ca|)t. B. J. Carragher. St. Louis I 
This carved figun' ina\ lune lieen placed in froiil of the pilot house 
on the Texas deck. The figure is dressed u|) in the blue uniform of the 
Union Army with forage cap. yellow boots with black soles and heels. The 
figure was dredged out of the Missouri River in the early 1870's by a 
snag boat. It was apparentb made during the Civil \\ ar. 

[ 221 1 


339 Spread Eagle from the "War Eagle" 

Oak, carved, painted and gilded; vvingspread 54" 
Davenport Public Museum, Davenport, Iowa 

This ornament came from the first War Eagle, Capt. Daniel Smith Harris, 
which was put into service in 1845. The boat, and probably this carving, 
were made in the Best & Co. Shipyards, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

340 Spread Eagle from the "Golden Eagle'' 
Wood, carved and gilded; vvingspread 32" 
Golden Eagle Club, St. Louis 

Although this ornatnent was used aboard the Golden Eagle which sank in 
1947, it und(jubtedly was made for a river boat as early as the middle of 
the nineteenth century. 

341 Spread Eagle j'roin the Tug "Eagle'' 
Papier mache. gilded: wingspread 40" 
Collection Miss Hildegard Brown, St. Louis 

Unquestionably used as an interior ornament. 

[ 222 ] 




[ 223 ] 

[340 J 

342 Pilot Wheel of the "Betsy Ann' 
Diameter 110"; 1899 

National Park Service, Old Court House, St. Louis 

343 Pair of Bell Pulls 
Braided rope; length 24" 
Collection Miss Ruth Ferris, St. Louis 

This pair of pilot house bell pulls was probably made about lo90 for 
the Steamboat Belle of Calhoun. 

344 Bell Mop 

Cord, knotted, plaited and painted; length 45" 
Collection Miss Ruth Ferris, St. Louis 

Devices like this were found only on the larger and more palatial 
steamboats where they hung in the boiler room with a ball of waste upon 
which the engineer wiped his greasy hands. An old tradition on the 
Mississippi River, bell mops were the handiwork of the engineer and his 
assistants, all of whom vied with the crews of other large steamboats in 
creating fanciful pieces. It is believed that this is the only remaining 
bell iiioi). 

345 Backing Bell 

Cast bronze; diameter 5"; dated 1835 
Collection Capt. B. J. Carragher, St. Louis 

The bell is decorated with the Crucifixion, which appears twice, rosettes, 
and fleurs-de-lis suggesting a French origin. The bell was recovered from 
the Missouri River by a snag boat in the early 1870's. Tradition has asso- 
ciated the bell with one of the boats of Capt. Joseph LaBarge of St. Louis. 

[ 224 ] 



[ 225 ] 


346 Two Fathom Marker 

Rope with liansNcrsc strips ol Iratlicr ami lead weight 
National I'aik Sfixicc. Old (".ourt House. St. Louis 

A characteristic marker used l)\ the leadsman to sound the bottom. 
'"Mark Twain", one of the leadsman's frequent calls, was first used as a 
l)seudon\m I)\ Capt. Isaiah Sellers and, after his death, by Samuel Clemens. 

347 Presentation Ewer 

Silver, height 10^ •_>". W. and A. Cooper, silversmiths 
Collection Mrs. Richard Semple, De Soto, Missouri 

The engraved inscription reads, "Presented to Capt. Wm. Alter by the 
passengers of the Steamboat Lexington from New Orleans to Louisville 
on the 17th of July 1839". 

Capt. Alter wrote his wife from New Orleans February 17, 1839. about 
an incident which, in all probability, was the reason for the presentation 
of this ewer. 'Two weeks from this day, I started from this place for 
home with a fine freight and a good number of passengers. We proceeded 
on the journey as far as three miles from Grand Gulph, where the boat 
was discovered to be leaking very fast and having about fifteen inches of 
water in her hold. 1 had her run on to a sandbar to keep her from being 
entirelv lost. we. by pumping and bailing succeeded in getting ahead of 
the leak, which was in the bottom of the boat. We dare not cut the ceiling 
so as to get at the leak as by giving it vent she would have filled with 
water. Therefore we were obliged to unload her and bring her here for 
repairs in the dock. PS. Will be home as soon as we can, the damage to 
the boat was done at the falls, we suppose that a rock was fastened in her 
bottom which remained there until we might have disturbed her by backing 
out at Grand Gulph, or passing through the eddies at that place. ..HI 
could sing more than one song, I would sing 'Sweet Home' but as it is I 
will sing 'Old Rosin'." 

348 Lions Head 

Wrought copper, height 191/V'. 

City Art Museum of St. Louis (Gift of Capt. B. J. Carragher. St. Louis) 
The lion's head was dredged out of the Missouri River in the early 
1870"s together with the Negro Mascot of the Union Army [338]; pre- 
sumably it was a steamboat ornament, at least it was later so used on the 
Tennessee Belle. 

349 Victory Bowl for the Steamboat "Robert E. Lee" 

Quadruple silver plate, diameter of bowl ISVo". Made by the Homan 
Silver Plate Company, 1870 
Missouri Historical Society, St Louis 

This bowl was presented to the winner of the greatest of the Mississippi 

[ 226 ] 

;'>47j [348] 

steamboat races. Captain Leathers of the defeated i\atclicz suffered the 

added indignit\ of lia\ ing liis name engraved in tlie inscriitlioti as 

350 Rules and Regulations of the Steamboat "Lexington" 

Printed in gold on purple-black sateen, 11-^4" x^Vi", 1B36 
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis 

Steamboat rules and regulations for the passengers were frequently 
posted inside the stateroom doors. Some of the rules for the Lexiuiiton are 
quoted below. 

"Passengers will not be allowed to smoke in the cabins. 

"No gentleman will be j)ermitte(l to \ isit the Ladies" (^abiii. willinnt 
s|)ecial permission from the ladies. 

"7/ is ixt/iiciildi h rcciucsli'd tluti h lien sma/i/s (ire Nduliiiii in (illcntioii 
or respect to the passengers, tlial it he made lnionii lo tlic (.aptaiii or 
Clerk, as no passenger nill he allowed to strike or othernise ahnse the 

"No passenger will be allowed to lake a seat at table with his coal off. 
or in any garb that shows a want of respect for the compan\ present. 
Ladies must in all cases he first sealed at lalilf. 

"No persons will be permitted to lie tlown i?) the berths with boots or 
shoes on. 

"Amusements of all kinds must cease at Id u chu k in the e\eniiig. 
precisely; no banking games allowed. 

"As cleanliness, neatness, and order are necessary to health and comfort. 
it is expected that passengers will rise at the ringing of the first bell in 
the morning, that the berths may be put in order before the table is spread. 

[ 227 ] 

351 Miniature Anchor 

Cast bronze; height 11"; inscribed: From M. Brashear to Capt. J. C. 

Cramer 1872 

Collection Capt. B. J. Carragher. St. Louis 

This replica, in miniature, of the anchor for the Grand Republic, the 
largest steamboat anchor ever cast, weight about 4.000 pounds, was pre- 
sented to Capt. (drainer who. in 1<")72. was probably piloting the Belle 


[ 228 ]