The River Settlements
Transportation and Steamboats
The river was civilization's early route to Mississippi County and in 1812 marked the beginning of "Anglo Saxon" population along its banks in Arkansas by none other than Nicholas Roosevelt and his bride in the steamer "New Orleans " sailing from Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania to New Orleans , Louisiana.
These boats created an industry for those living along the river , as they used wood to build steam so selling cordwood kept some busy getting the wood out and over to the river. In 1834 there were not more than a half dozen clearings along the river .In early days 3000 flat boats descended the river annually . It took a tough breed to crew these boats. The Keel boats were nicknamed "Alligators " She was the first queen of River trade , however they could not survive steamboat competition.
The boats preceding steamboats were slow and cumbersome . A trip took months to complete , as they floated and sailed down the river to New Orleans . Changing cargoes there , they would tediously be poled back by hand .
Thus the great era of paddle wheelers began. Early cargoes consisted of bear oil, skins and pelts which founded a ready market . This was the way the sturdy Pioneers came to settle along the river. They would clear a spot ,dig a well , build a cabin and start fillng the tackless forest trees. A noble band with faith , fortitude , and vision.
They cut roads , repelled the savages, exterminated the ferocious wild beasts . thy struggled , and endures that others might enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice .
They bridged streams , made settlements ,towns and cities ,rendering all things possible to their descendants a race of heroes and martyrs. Preeminent in al times for the blessings they transmitted to posterity.
They built wiser than they knew , yet they built and built well , and their success was a triumphant march of peace. May the record of their lives humble yet immortal . The dark woods gave away to the ring of the axe and the music of the cross-cut saws , falling timber and huge fires of clearing swamps and thick cane breaks.
A first traveler could find endless interest in the wild lowlands through which he sped in colorful landings and soulful songs of roustabouts.During the War Between the States, shippers were denied the Mississippi River . Then came the St. Francis Levee System , then the railroads .
But when the swamp lands were reclaimed the fishing and hunting grounds which had been the hiding places for renegades and outlaws began to recede and come forth tillable alluvial farm lands and a new picture took form.
The run of the Robert E. Lee from New Orleans to St . Louis in 1870 , in her famous race with the Natchez and in as much as the race created National interest we give her time table from Port to Port.
|PORTS||DAYS||HOURS AND MINUTES||MINUTES|
|HARRY HILLS||1||01 1/2|
|COLLEGE POINT||3||50 1/2|
|BAYOU SARA||1||0 26|
|RED RIVER||1||2 56|
|HALF MILE BELOW WARRENTON||1||00||00|
|HALF MILE BELOW ST. FRANCIS||2||00||00|
|FOOT ISLAND 37||2||9||00|
|FOOT ISLAND 26||2||13||30|
|TOW HEAD ISLAND 14||2||17||23|
|DRY BAR NO. 10||2||21||25|
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