Father Mississippi

Father Mississippi

Father Mississippi

Father Mississippi

Excerpt

This book is not a history of the Mississippi River in the strict sense of the word, although I have outlined the discovery, the exploration, and the settlement of the valley. A great many learned men have written weighty tomes dealing with the various phases of the Mississippi, but this volume is like a scrap-book in which I have collected men's thoughts, my own thoughts, and the thoughts and experiences of other men. These incidents seem to me informative, or amusing, or terrible, or tragic, or fantastic; but they are all a part of the living pageant which moved down the great river through the changing years.

Here you will find jottings from old diaries written by men and women who came down the river a century or more ago. In every instance where it was possible I have let these men and women speak for themselves. So here you will meet La Salle, Father Hennepin, Henri de Tonty, and the rest, and you will read their narratives, uncolored by comments of mine; you will read the hitherto unpublished memoir of a woman pioneer who came down the river in 1810; you will read the journal of a flatboatman of 1817, you will meet heroes and gamblers, heroines and murderesses --men and women who lived beside the Mississippi and whose adventures gave color to the times in which they lived.

Only twice do I speak directly to you: in the beginning and in the end of this volume. At first, I try to let you see into the life of a Louisiana plantation as I remembered . . .

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