Steamboat Times
St. Louis, Laclede's Landing
     
     Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
     Medium: Oil on canvas.
     Enlargement: 485 x 650pxs.

'St. Louis, Laclede's Landing' ~ 1885

Pierre Laclede and his 13-year old stepson Auguste Chouteau, arrived at the future site of St. Louis in 1763. They had set out from New Orleans with a small band of men, landing in November, eighteen miles downstream of the confluence with the Missouri River where wooded limestone bluffs rose 40 feet above the river. The men returned to Fort de Chartres for the remainder of the winter. In February 1764, Laclede sent Chouteau and thirty men to begin construction of a trading post.

When it was learned that the Treaty of Paris (1763) had given England rights to all land east of the Mississippi, Frenchmen who had settled east of the river moved to the new settlement west of the river. "Laclede's Village", as it was called, grew quickly.

Other settlements were established at Saint Charles, Carondelet (now a part of the city of St. Louis), St. Ferdinand (now Florissant), and Portage des Sioux.

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 Levee at Daybreak

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement:
650 x 388pxs.

'Cincinnati, The Levee at Daybreak' ~ 1884

Here, the lighthouse tender Lily is loading up near the wharf boat of the Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Co. The Lily, smaller than most other boats of the period, was one of several tenders that plied the Ohio and Mississippi rivers putting in place or maintaining an extensive system of navigation lights managed under the U.S Light House Service. Most of these lights were oil burning lamps lit nightly, and monitored in all weathers, by riverside farmers.

In the background is the John Roebling Suspension Bridge. The construction of this famous landmark began in 1856, ceased during the Civil War, and was completed in 1867.

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. 
Pittsburgh: Moonlight Over the Monongahela

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement:
650 x 423pxs.

'Pittsburgh' ~ 1885

Quote:~
The Ohio River begins at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at the Point in Pittsburgh, PA, and flows 981 miles to join the Mississippi at Cairo, Ill.

The Allegheny Mountains posed the greatest barrier to westward expansion. The two principal routes were overland from Baltimore to Redstone on the Monongahela River via the National Road; or by the Forbes Road from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. At the end of these two overland treks, the settlers bought or constructed boats and rafts and continued their journey by water.

The flatboat was the cheapest of the many types of boats used and became the standard conveyance for families moving west. All of the boats in this period were hand-powered, with poles or oars for steering, and usually floated with the current. They were not intended for round trips since the settlers used them only to get to their new homes and then broke them up for their lumber. This situation changed dramatically in 1811 with the launching of the first steamboat on the western waters, the New Orleans, which was built near Pittsburgh.

Steamboats made it possible to increase the speed of the trip downriver and made the return trip easier. Commerce on the rivers increased and by the end of 1835 more than 650 steamboats had been built in the west, including 304 in the vicinity of Pittsburgh.
Credit:~
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The full title is: 'Pittsburgh: Moonlight Over the Monongahela'

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.
New Orleans: The J.M. White Leaving the Crescent City

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 650 x 461pxs.

'J.M. White: Mistress of the Mississippi' ~ 1887

Three boats carried the name J.M. White during the steamboating era. The final one reached the peak of riverboat design in her architecture, engineering and furnishings. Built for Captain John William Tobin, the successful owner of sixty-three Mississippi packets, construction began at the Howard Shipyards in Jeffersonville, Indiana, on September 15th, 1877. No expense was spared and she was launched on June 3rd, 1878.

Considered the grandest steamboat on the Mississippi in the years after the Civil War, she was ornate, commodious and luxurious. She was also fast. Although Captain Tobin never used a full head of steam for fear of damaging her powerful engines, she easily broke the New Orleans to Vicksburg speed record. 

She ran between New Orleans and Vicksburg teamed up with the Robert E. Lee (2nd) nick-named "Hoppin' Bob" and the Natchez (7th). Due to hard times and yellow fever, she never carried her cotton capacity, and high running costs and insurance demands further reduced her viability.

Unfortuantely, on December 13, 1886, she was destroyed by fire while moored at Blue Store Landing, St. Maurice Plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Several lives were lost, but casualties would have been much higher without the determination of her clerk G. Wash Floyd, who lost his life saving others. Gunpowder stowed in the boat's magazine in the hold ignited, sending blazing timbers skyward during the spectacular and tragic demise of one of the greatest cotton queens of the Mississippi.

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.
New Orleans: The J.M. White Leaving the Crescent City

Credit:
Artist, Marion Sue Thompson.

Enlargement: 1024 x 768pxs.

Courtesy of:
Michael and Bridget Bradford.
'Kate Adams III' ~ 1898

Quote: ~
The first Kate Adams was launched in 1882 and reached Memphis on December 14th of that year. She was named after the wife of one of her owners, Capt. John D. Adams. She burned on Christmas Eve a year later at Commerce Landing with a loss of 33 lives.

The second Kate was built and slid from her ways on March 15, 1889. For ten years she plied the river carrying passengers and freight. As a gesture of patriotism in the war of 1898 she was renamed the Dewey.

The Kate Adams III was launched at Pittsburgh in 1898, was 240 ft. long and had a 40 ft. beam. She made her maiden trip in the Memphis-Arkansas trade on Thanksgiving Day, 1899. Several years later her run was shortened and she plied between Memphis and Rosedale, Ms. In 1921 the run extended to Arkansas City and then Greenville.

She was used for scenes in the film, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

Tradition tells that a youngster in Sunday School being quizzed said that Adam was the first man and Kate Adams the first woman.

A dear lady recalls she along with her brothers and sisters running to the bank of the great Mississippi to the sound of the sweet musical whistle of the Kate Adams. No other boat in the world had a sound like hers. There on the river was the gorgeous Kate Adams, sparkling in the sun a sight to behold. Even on cloudy days it seemed the whitest of white. There on the bank they stood, spellbound, watching the beautiful Steamboat ease down the river like a graceful swan.
Credit: ~ Marion Sue Thompson.

Artist:~ Marion Sue Bradford Thompson (1926-2007) was one of only two females known to be a steamboat artist.  Her lively style was borne of an endurung love of her subject. Her many works were widely exhibited and admired.  Marion Sue was affiliated with many organizations throughout her career. Some were: Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, Arkansas Arts Council, Federation of the Arts, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Arkansas Arts Registry, U.S. Navy Artist, and UALR, Little Rock, Arkansas. At the time of her death she was a member of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists, Northeast Arkansas Visual Art League, American Society of Marine Artists, United States Coast Guard Artists, (links to her Coast Guard paintings are on the history page) and the Memphis-Germantown Art League. Marion Sue attended steamboat meetings all over the country. She donated many paintings to be auctioned for various charities.

Prints are available from the artist's website.

Artist's website URL:
http://www.marionsue.com/

Pittsburgh, Water Street by Gaslight

Credit:
Artist, John Stobart.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 650 x 438pxs.

'Pittsburgh: Water Street by Gaslight' ~ 1899

Quote:~
"
Pittsburgh’s greatest natural assets are its rivers. An eighteenth century British army captain named Harry Gordon stood captivated by his first glimpse of what is today known as "The Point": the meeting of the Allegheny and Monongahela to form the Ohio. Gordon called it "the most healthy, the most pleasant, the most commodious, the most fertile spot of Earth known to European people." French explorers interpreted the Iroquois term "Oyo" as labelle riviere", or "the beautiful river."

A half century later, in 1836, a visitor who took the pen name Peregrine Prolix published an account of his trip to Pittsburgh. The impression he recorded paints a very different picture: "Pittsburghers have committed an error in not rescuing from the service of Mammon, a triangle of thirty or forty acres at the junction of the Allegheny and the Monongahela, and devoting it to the purposes of recreation. It is an unparalleled position for a park in which to ride or walk or sit. . . . it is a spot worthy of being rescued from the ceaseless din of the steam engine and the lurid flames and dingy smoke of the coal furnace. But alas! The sacra fames auri (the holy hunger for gold) is rapidly covering this area with private edifices."

Steamboat building was one of Pittsburgh’s major industries. In fact most advances in steamboat technology were developed on the three rivers. By the mid-nineteenth century, hundreds of flatboats, steamboats, and keel boats clogged the rivers every year ~ laden with coal, agricultural supplies, and manufactured goods, and millions of feet of lumber. Prior to the Civil War, dock workers loaded cargo directly onto steamboats. An 1857 visitor counted 124 steamboats lined up along the Monongahela’s extensive cobblestone wharf. Pittsburgh boomed during the Civil War. By 1870 its blast furnaces produced nearly 40% of the nation's annual iron output. Heavy mechanization and concentration of steel during the Gilded Age irrevocably altered Pittsburgh’s landscape.
Credit:~
A compilation of quotes from a History of Public Access, Prepared by: Steve Burnett M.A., Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University.

In this night-scene, the City of Pittsburg has just arrived at the cobblestone levee, stacked with freight awaiting shipment. The gaslights along Water Street further illuminate the moonlit riverfront. The Richardsonian Court House is visible on the left, and the Duquesne University tower rises on the bluff, in the center right.

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.

Note: ~
"Pittsburgh" was spelled without an "h" between 1880 and 1910.
America Unloading Cotton

Credit: Artist, James L. Kendrick III
Enlargement: 1315 x 1025pxs.
'King Cotton, America Steamboat'  circa 1900

The lengendary Capt. La Verne Cooley operated the Camden, Ouachita (three boats by this name at different times), and the America, which was the largest and finest of his boats. The graceful America was one of the most well-designed cotton-style packets ever built, operating from 1898 until 1926.

Quote: ~
Competition between railroads and steamboats grew dramatically in the early 1900's. In 1905, Captain L. V.. Cooley, steamed his boat, the "America", to Camden, Arkansas, to pick up 500 bales of cotton for delivery to New Orleans. Upon arrival, Cooley, found the railroads, also, bidding for the same delivery; which ended in a bidding war with Cooley, finally, winning. Cooley, delivered the cotton to New Orleans for a mere... one dollar.
Credit: ~ Ouachita River Foundation.

In this scene the America is delivering cotton and is partially unloaded. Men are rolling bales of cotton from the forecastle onto the port stage, which is gradualy being lowered as each layer of bales is removed.

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.

Winter Packets

Credit: Artist, Michael Blaser.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 750 x 463pxs.

Courtesy of:
Michael Blaser
'Winter Packets in Cincinnati' ~ 1925

Quote: ~
Steamboats are a summer thing ~ but not so in the packet business that lasted until 1941. Pictured is the famous little packet Betsy Ann owned by Captain Fred Way. Her saga was made famous in the best seller, "Log of the Betsy Ann." Also shown are the Green Line steamers, Tom and Chris Greene, at the Cincinnati Public Landing. The following is an excerpt from the "Log of the Betsy Ann" by Captain Fred Way ~ "My dad bought me a steamboat in the age and day when trucks were hauling all the freight, Pullman cars all the passengers and express cars all the mail. He bought me a boat designed to do all of these things when there were none of these things to do."
Credit: ~ Michael Blaser.

Michael Blaser's accuracy and passion is derived from his personal perspective, having known and been inspired by Captain Frederick Way Jr. Please contact the artist at www.michaelblaser.com to enquire about prints and commissions.
Under The Bridge

Credit: Artist, Michael Blaser.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Enlargement: 1080 x 523pxs.

Courtesy of:
Michael Blaser
'Under The Bridge' ~ Cincinnati, late 1920's

In 1790, General Arthur St. Clair, newly appointed governor of the Northwest Territory, renamed the village of Losantiville 'Cincinnati' after the Society of the Cincinnati, an organization of American Revolutionary army officers. Cincinnati was chartered as a town in 1802 and as a city in 1819.

The settlement grew rapidly into the steamboating and commercial hub of the region, acquiring several nick-names. As early as 1826, the burgeoning city was described as the 'Queen of the West,' in the book Cincinnati, co-authored by Benjamin Drake and Edward Mansfield. Cincinnati became the chief port on the Ohio River, and was the fastest growing city in the nation between 1835 and the 1850's. The city became the largest in Ohio and in the entire Midwest prior to the Civil War. 

In 1854, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in his poem 'Catawba Wine,' referred again to the 'Queen of the West'. At this time, the city was famous as a pork packing center, acquiring the nick-name 'Porkopolis'. Later, as the citizenry  embraced music, art, and built a university, the city was hailed as 'the London of America', and 'the Paris of America'. But the time-honored 'Queen of the West,' or 'the Queen City' prevailed as the favorite nick-name for Cincinnati.

This painting by Michael Blaser provides an unusual view looking under the Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the late 1920's, with the Queen City passing underneath, and the Tacoma beside the levee.

Michael Blaser's accuracy and passion is derived from his personal perspective, having known and been inspired by Captain Frederick Way Jr. Please contact the artist at www.michaelblaser.com to enquire about prints and commissions.

The original of Under The Bridge is in the Dave Thomson Collection.




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