By Charles Edward Russell
Through the 19th century, pine logs have been lashed jointly to shape simply floatable rafts that traveled from Minnesota and Wisconsin down the Mississippi River to construct the farms and cities of the almost treeless decrease Midwest. those large log rafts have been suggested down the river through steamboat pilots whose ability and intimate wisdom of the river's many risks have been mythical. Charles Edward Russell, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, chronicles the heritage and river lore of seventy years of lumber rafting. "Russell offers with these many years within which the lumber company and the rafting of lumber grew and reached huge, immense proportions. yet his tale covers additionally the luxurious section of the river steamboat. Russell writes with a full of life pen, and he has made a colourful and interesting account." big apple instances e-book assessment "Not a lifeless web page within the e-book. Russell writes frontier background appropriately written." long island usher in Tribune Charles Edward Russell (1860-1941) grew up at the beaches of the Mississippi River throughout the days of lumber rafting. most sensible often called a journalist through the muckraking period for his expos?s at the red meat and tobacco trusts, Russell was once additionally a cofounder of the nationwide organization for the development of coloured humans (NAACP) in 1909. Fesler-Lampert Minnesota historical past sequence
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Extra info for A-Rafting on the Mississip (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series)
Up to 1894, records showed 294s steamboats lost on its turbulent waters, of which 193 had been wrecked on snags. The one consolation about the snag peril was that when a steamer was pierced by a snag she was necessarily in shoal water and the passengers had a fair chance to escape; in their night-clothes, maybe, or with the water chasing them to the roof, but still a chance. In a boiler explosion, or often in a fire, the odds were against them. Steamboats took fire, bumped into one another, hit rocks and sank, hit sandbars and stuck for hours or maybe days, were liable to be tied up by low water or carried into the woods by high, ran into logs, wrecks, and keel-boats, and withal prospered, multiplied, transported the moving millions, and performed an indispensable function to society and civilization.
Warren says that the scandalous proceedings of different species about the pine lands became so notorious that the public land office at Eau Claire was closed by the National Government. But he could not find that any of the thieves were prosecuted. He records the significant fact that after 188S, when there was a genuine auction of lands at which free bidding was allowed, the prices realized always bore some relation to the actual value of the land. Suppose the tract to have been acquired, by whatsoever means, and the penitentiary to have been eluded, the next task was to cut down the trees and get them into rafts for the sawmills, at which point enters the other side of this grimy drama.
Louis and smash a dozen or twenty boats. Anywhere north of Davenport it was the common belief that in winter the river froze solid to its bottom. The boats ran as late in the fall as they dared—or later. The climate was as tricky as the river itself. All might be serene upon a lovely day in the far-famed Indian summer, say November, and the next day the river be impassable with ice. This reminds me of an adventure of the favorite packet Julia Dean. The winter of 1855-56 was at first unusually mild, and the Deem, which was a stern-wheeler with a record on the Des Moines River, was running between Keokuk and St.