The Lost Panoramas of the Mississippi

By John Francis McDermott | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
SAM STOCKWELL "Canvasses" the Mississippi

"Ever since the advent of Banvard, this city has been literally over-run with panoramas," wrote a Boston correspondent of the St. Louis Reveille in October, 1849.

I cannot enumerate them all, but there is always two or more open at the same time. With the exception of "Bayne's Panorama of a Voyage to Europe," all have lost money. Two Mexican Panoramas were failures. "Champney's Rhine," the "Shores of the Mediterranean," a "Voyage to California," the "Creation and Deluge," "Ireland and her Shores," Hudson's "Ohio and Mississippi," "A Voyage round the World," a "A walk through the Garden of Eden," are anything but successful. Some of them are "up the spout," and some "laid by" for the present. The panorama rage, however, is still high. The Panorama of the "River St. Lawrence and Falls of Niagara," and another called "American Scenery, embracing all that is grand and wonderful in America," also, "Stockwell's colossal Panorama of the Mississippi river," are yet in full blast. "Skirving's overland journey to California" was opened October 1st. "The sketches are by Col. Fremont, &c., (so announced,) and exhibit his late disasterous trip over the mountains, etc."! Stockwell is doing finely, owing to the fact that as a "Boston Boy" he is very popular, and as an artist greatly admired. His friends were determined to "put him right tho"--and they have done it. While the other halls are empty, Stockwell's is full. It has become a "Bos

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