Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History
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"Old Man River," Paul Schneider's exploration of America's great waterway taking the reader from the Mississippi River's origins to its polluted present and tracing its prehistory, geology, and cultural and literary histories is as vast as its subject.
The fascinating cast of characters includes the French and Spanish explorers de Soto, Marquette and Joliet, and the incomparable La Salle; George Washington fighting his first battle in an effort to secure the watershed; the birth of jazz and blues; and literary greats like Melville, Dickens, Trollope, and, of course, Mark Twain.
Pirates and riverbats, gamblers and slaves, hustlers and landscape painters, loggers and catfishers, tourists and missionaries: The Mississippi is a river of stories and myth. It's Paul Robeson sitting on a cotton bale, Daniel Boone floating on a flatboat, and Paul Bunyan cutting trees in the neighborhood of "Little House in the Big Woods."
Half-devastated product of American ingenuity, half-magnificent natural wonder, it is impossible to imagine America without the Mississippi."
Trip to New Orleans, 1768.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 31, no. 3 (1907): 304–10. _____. “Journal from Fort Pitt to Fort Chartres in the Illinois Country, March–April, 1766.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 31, no. 2 (1907): 145–56. Johnson, Jerah. “New Orleans’s Congo Square: An Urban Setting for Early Afro-American Culture Formation.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 32, no. 2 (Spring 1991): 117–57. Jones, Mary Harris.
since everybody thought he must be one. He told reporters that he had instructed his famous pals from the Hole in the Wall Gang to get revenge on Harrington and the two lawmen who arrested him. “I smuggled a letter out,” he said, “and those three men are marked.” His last day alive, when it came, was a suitably boisterous affair. A stockade set up ostensibly to protect the proceedings from the Hole in the Wall Gang also handily allowed local lawmen to make some money selling tickets to come
folly to go farther with such a small crew. “Their action would be judged the fruit of rashness or despair,” he told the men. More important, La Salle would not “abandon the search for M. De Tonti without learning what had become of him.” They turned back toward the Great Lakes on December 7, 1680. “He was very glad to see us again,” said Tonti, recalling the moment La Salle paddled up to the trading post Michilimackinac and found his deputy still alive, “and notwithstanding the many past
eight-hour massacre of Indians who were waving a white flag on the banks of the Mississippi in Illinois. “The Inds. were pushed literally into the Mississippi, the current of which was at one time perceptibly tinged with the blood of the Indians who were shot in its margin & in the stream,” wrote the Indian agent Joseph Street. • The First Sioux War of 1854 started when a Brulé warrior named High Forehead shot an ox that belonged to a passing Mormon immigrant in the Platte River valley. • The
requisitioned my gadget as the price for skipping the reservoir, I was permitted to proceed. I didn’t miss the GPS. After all, it wasn’t as if the destination and route were complicated. I was floating down the river. I floated past the first oil wells in the world, and past Babylon Hill, where the ladies of the Tidioute evening used to entertain the roughnecks. In the early days, wooden barrels filled with the new “earth-oil” were simply pitched into the river to be picked up downstream. The