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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 192, November 13-15, 1853

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Identifier: DX04205370

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 192, November 13-15, 1853

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


boat the paltry triumph of getting ahead of us! There was no danger in this case, because no very hot contest; the “Naomi” dropped astern & we were victors; but it was a pretty race in its way, and very suggestive of what occasionally occurs. Seeing the raging fires, and the men piling up the wood within, and taunting one another with hoarse cries; the black surging water rushing against the low fore-parts of the two boats, and then whirling off down the roaring channel between them; the sparks flying out among the woodpiles and barrels; the passengers crowded at the sides erected and intent; — seeing all this I could very well fancy what a genuine Mississippi steam-boat race was. / It was a very beautiful sunset this evening, the rarest colors all softening into one indescribable hue; a few stars, brighter than I ever saw before set in it twinkling brilliantly.

14. Monday. Onwards still. Pausing “to wood,” as heretofore sometimes. A great pile would be found on the low banks of some plantation, bargained for, planks thrust out, the pile measured, and then the deck “hands” would swarm out like bees, and bring the wood in in an inconceivably short time. Yesterday we emptied a huge flatboat of its load, its drifting down the river, attached to us; and the water rushing in at the fore part as the men lightened it. / Four or five great cumbrous flat boats passed today, floating New Orleans wards. Wild shores still, and long sandy islands; cotton-wood and distant forest growth, no human habitations. Writing during the Evening.

15. Tuesday. We have passed Memphis, at 5 in the morning, therefore unseen, and now have the Tenessee shore on our right. More wooding, another huge flat boat relieved of its cottonwood load. This must be a profitable trade to the sellers, as the Steamboats use enormous quantities. Clerk estimates $1500 may be required in the journey from New Orleans to Saint Louis. Took a ramble below, to the storm part of the vessel, over

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-11-13

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Diaries
Mississippi River


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