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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 191, November 12-13, 1853

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Identifier: DX04204453

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 191, November 12-13, 1853

Description: Describes the Mississippi River, and a race between the Swamp Fox and the Naomi.


and they don’t give favorable opinions of California.

13. Sunday. Steaming up the Mississippi all this day, as yesterday. A monotonously grand river it is, nought picturesque or beautiful about it. Its winds and curves present no bold rock bluffs, or distant mountain views; only steep muddy banks all bare, or surmounted by dense cotton-wood thickets, or bare; at other times long level sandy reaches. Only the river itself is notable, sometimes it is, comparatively speaking narrow, then apparently expands till one shore will grow dim in distance. Its hue varies, sometimes it is of a yellowish muddy brown, sometimes darker, but never clear and bright, like the glorious Hudson; (the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen.) Many islands there are in the Mississippi. It grows on you, day after day, its power and monotony almost oppress you. But for the cities on its banks, (far enough apart as they are in all concience,) it is as wild looking as in the days of [Hernando] De Soto. Little “Lake Providence” where the yellow fever took three fourths of the population; we passed yesterday; this day we are coasting Arkansas on our left, Mississippi on our right. We stop at the mouth of the Arkansas river, at a place called Napoleon. A high muddy bank, houses appearing above; a boat moored below, with an inscription about a Mr Shattuck,) probably some relative to my Lake Superior acquaintance,) agent &c. This is just before nightfall, and soon we come up to another boat, a Memphis one, (I think,) called the “Naomi.” Now yesterday the captain had allowed a boat to pass us, and so this time, greatly to the delight of the passengers, a race ensued. The boats were close together for nearly an hour, with scarcely any perceptible advantage. I could very well understand how boiler explosions and Missippi accidents had become a by-word, where I noticed the universal eagerness for a contest on the part of the passengers. Not one but wouldn’t have risked the being blown to stones rather than have allowed the other

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-11-12

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Diseases
Mississippi River
Yellow fever
Arkansas River


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