Steamboat Times
Night Stop on the Mississippi

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 650 x 429pxs.

Maritime Heritage Prints

'Night Stop on the Mississippi' 

In this moonlit scene, a small sidewheeler lands against a levee with the Mississippi at flood stage. The landing places either rose with the river or were relocated, depending on the current. The flat-bottomed hull design of the riverboat, drawing as little as two-and-a-half-feet, afforded easy access to levees and riverbanks as river levels fluctuated. The boat would be eased up-current toward the landing, and the near-side stage swung out onto land under the direction of the Mate. Freight, supplies or passengers would be quickly transfered, the stage retracted on the spar, with a "hat full of steam", and within moments the Pilot would be backing and "setting" the boat.

Here, a hand-held oil-lamp assists the handling of supplies intended to be transported on a horse and cart, via a muddy-track, to a nearby settlement or plantation. The river is above the surrounding land, and it may be a matter of time before it breaches or overtops the levee.

John Stobart is a leading maritime artist, with an extraordinary ability to render realistic lighting, day or night. Prints are available in Limited Editions. Please contact Maritime Heritage Prints for further information about this print.
Eating Up The Lights

Credit:
Artist, Gary R. Lucy.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 650 x 399pxs.

'Eating Up The Lights'

Navigation at night was always hazardous. The channels offering a safe route would constantly change as currents, sandbars and snags moved. Running downstream in the dark was especially dangerous, as it was difficult to pause to mark a channel. Running upstream allowed a boat to sit back while a group of men in a yawl measured the depth and laid a line of floating candles, affixed by wax to wood floats and anchored using strings and rocks. The candles would be protected from the wind by attaching, also with wax, a paper shield. A line of small lanterns was the result, which the boat could then follow "eating up the lights" as she ran the marked channel.

The channel marking task in itself could be extremely difficult and hazardous, requiring strong oarsmen and practiced skill to set the lights successfully. Rough weather and pitch darkness could spell disaster for such men. Mark Twain, in Life on the Mississippi, recounts the true story of a channel marking crew who were themselves mistakenly run over by their steamboat.

Gary R. Lucy is known for his historical accuracy and his eye for detail. Prints are available directly from the artist in Missouri. Please contact the artist at www.garylucy.com for further information about this print.
City of St. Louis

Credit:
Artist, A.C. Warren.
 Engraver, R. Hinshelwood. Lithograph. 
Enlargement: 1105 x 800pxs.
'City of St. Louis' ~ 1874

St. Louis was transformed by steamboats. Beginning as a French trading post, river commerce depended on flatboats prior to 1817. But when the steamboat Zebulon M. Pike reached St. Louis on July 27 of that year, the St. Louis riverfront was soon lined with steamboats, turning the settlement into a bustling boomtown and inland port. Because of rapids north of the city, St. Louis was as far as many of the large boats could go. By the 1850s, St. Louis had become the largest city in the U.S. west of Pittsburgh, and the second largest port, with a commercial tonnage exceeded only by New York.

In this scene, the newly completed Eade's Bridge can be seen in the distance, and a large lumber raft (three strings wide) is passing downriver on the left.
City of New Orleans

Credit:
Artist, A.R. Waud.
 Engraver, D.G. Thompson. Lithograph. 
Enlargement: 1101 x 800pxs.
'City of New Orleans' ~ 1874

Rewrite this ...In its colorful history, many flags have flown over the City of New Orleans, such as the French, the Spanish, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America. Although originally, the land we now call New Orleans was inhabited by Indians, the Houma tribe. Some historians speculate that Indians lived in what is now the New Orleans area for thousands of years.

Modern history for New Orleans begins with the French explorers of the late seventeenth century motivated by King Louis XIV to bring home treasures and triumph for France. At that time, the city was almost completely unfit for human habitation. It lies about 107 miles from the Gulf of Mexico on a stretch of land between the mighty Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. In 1682, the area we now know to be New Orleans was crowded with mosquitoes, alligators and Indians when first the French explorer La Salle discovered it. He did not stay and moved on to what is now Texas before being killed by his own men. Later, in 1718, the French explorers Iberville and Bienville founded the city. The explorers named the city Nouvelle Orleans, after the Duke of Orleans. Iberville and Bienville discovered a city on a parcel of land that actually sits below sea level. This saucer topography has caused New Orleans to be adversely affected by floods, hurricanes and epidemics like yellow fever. 
The Robert E. Lee Leaving the Crescent City

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 650 x 399pxs.

'Robert E. Lee Leaving the Crescent City'  ~ 1875

Here, the Robt. E. Lee is steaming upriver out of port, viewed from the forecastle of a sailing vessel arriving from the Gulf.

New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana and one of the great ports of the world. The name "Crescent City" arose because the early city was literally shaped like a slender moon. Following a big bend in the Mississippi, most of the houses, businesses, churches, and schools were built on the high ground closest to the riverbank. Then it waxed in size, filling in the low lying areas east and west, bounded only by Lake Pontchartrain above.

The full title is: 'New Orleans - The Robert E. Lee Leaving The Crescent City In 1875.'

John Stobart is a leading maritime artist, with an extraordinary ability to render realistic lighting, day or night. Prints are available in Limited Editions. Please contact Maritime Heritage Prints for further information about this print.
Marietta, the Mail Line Packet Courier

Credit: Artist: John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.

Enlargement: 650 x 415pxs.

'Marietta, the Mail Line Packet Courier' ~ 1875

Here, the U.S. Mail Packet Courier is arriving at the Marietta levee after a snowfall, as people gather to meet her.

Located at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers, Marietta was founded by soldiers of the Revolutionary War of 1776, who instead of payment were given warrants for the exchange of land. A group of these soldiers formed the Ohio Land Company, settling in this favorable location to benefit from river trade into the Ohio Territory.

This painting is titled: 'Marietta, the Mail Line Packet Courier Arriving at the Wharfboat in 1875'

John Stobart is a leading maritime artist, with an extraordinary ability to render realistic lighting, day or night. Prints are available in Limited Editions. Please contact Maritime Heritage Prints for further information about this print.
Cincinnati, The Public Landing by Moonlight

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 650 x 509pxs.

'Cincinnati: Public Landing'  circa 1875

The Bananza and other boats conduct business against Cincinnati’s public Landing, with the Church of the Immaculata visible in its sentinel position on Mt. Adams. Some driftwood in the current indicates that the river may be rising.

The full title is: 'Cincinnati: The Public Landing by Moonlight'

John Stobart is a leading maritime artist, with an extraordinary ability to render realistic lighting, day or night. Prints are available in Limited Editions. Please contact Maritime Heritage Prints for further information about this print.
Natchez circa 1876

Credit:
Artist, James L. Kendrick III.
Enlargement: 500 x 318pxs.


Note:
The first Natchez was built in 1823,
and Captain Leathers later commissioned
several boats with the Natchez name. The famous racer, built in 1869, was the sixth Natchez. If the 1823 boat is counted, then the 1869 Natchez would be the seventh.

'Natchez' VI circa 1876

Captain Thomas P. Leathers owned and operated several boats named Natchez. At least two of them had square-topped stacks. The largest and most distinctive square-tops appear to have been on his famous sixth Natchez, the boat that participated in "the race of the century" with the Rob't E. Lee, from New Orleans to St. Louis, in 1870.

Though the Natchez lost the race, she was very likely just as fast, or faster. Unlike the Rob't E. Lee, she was not stripped of unnecessary weight, and was delayed by fog and fuel stops, steaming into St. Louis six and a half hours after the Rob't E. Lee, which had set a record of 3 days, 18 hours and 14 minutes from New Orleans to St. Louis. The Natchez was, nevertheless, a most successful boat, making 401 trips between New Orleans and Natchez during the nine and a half years that she ran on this trade. Contemporary accounts claim that she ran on the water with the grace and ease of a swan. One of her tall chimney stacks contaimned her whistle, which sounded like an enormous bumblebee. As Captain Leathers put it, 'The whistle is for awakening the people on the shore, not on the steamboat.'

James L. Kendrick III is best known for his realistic oil paintings of Southern Antebellum homes and historic New Orleans.  Many find his maritime paintings equally appealing. On land or water, his paintings capture impressive details and remarkable natural lighting. Please visit the Kendrick III Studio for further information about this print.
St. Louis. View Through the Arches of the Eads Bridge

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement:
650 x 473pxs.

'St. Louis: View Through the Arches' ~ 1876

The first iron bridge across the Mississippi River, at St. Louis, was built by James G. Eades between 1866 and 1874. The Ead's Bridge provided a true gateway to the west, linking railroads, and heralding an end to the western era of wagon and steamboat.  St. Louis, already the main departure point for westward travellers, experienced further growth. Just one year after the completion of the bridge, the population of St. Louis climbed to half a million.

The cobblestone levee adjacent the city, downriver from the bridge, continued to throng with steamboat activity for years to come, but inevitably grew quieter as the rail and road networks expanded. 

The full title of this painting is: 'St. Louis: View Through the Arches of the Eades Bridge in 1876'

John Stobart is a leading maritime artist, with an extraordinary ability to render realistic lighting, day or night. Prints are available in Limited Editions. Please contact Maritime Heritage Prints for further information about this print.
View of the Levee from the Bridge at St. Louis

Credit:
Artist, Charles Graham.
Medium: Engraving, colored.
Enlargement: 994 x 462pxs.
'St. Louis' ~ 1876

Harper's Weekly published this remarkably detailed scene by Charles Graham in 1876. This is the downriver view from the Eads Bridge. The companion to this is the upriver view published at the same time.

Obviously, this particular scene has been given a watercolor wash.

The full title is: 'View of the Levee from the Bridge at St. Louis'

The high resolution original. (2362x1669pxs.)



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