Apparently nobody happened to want such a river, nobody needed it, nobody was curious about it; so, for a century and a half the Mississippi remained out of the market and undisturbed.
The mere mysteriousness of the matter ought to have fired curiosity and compelled exploration; but this did not occur.
The Devil's Oven and Table.--A Bombshell falls.--No Whitewash.-- Thirty Years on the River.--Mississippi Uniforms.--Accidents and Casualties.--Two hundred Wrecks.--A Loss to Literature.-- Sunday-Schools and Brick Masons . They had proved to their satisfaction, that the Mississippi did not empty into the Gulf of California, or into the Atlantic. They turned back, now, and carried their great news to Canada. In the dead of winter he and Henri de Tonty, son of Lorenzo Tonty, who invented the tontine, his lieutenant, started down the Illinois, with a following of eighteen Indians brought from New England, and twenty-three Frenchmen.
A short distance below "a torrent of yellow mud rushed furiously athwart the calm blue current of the Page 35 Mississippi, boiling and surging and sweeping in its course logs, branches, and uprooted trees." This was the mouth of the Missouri, "that savage river," which "descending from its mad career through a vast unknown of barbarism, poured its turbid floods into the bosom of its gentle sister." By and by they passed the mouth of the Ohio; they passed canebrakes; they fought mosquitoes; they floated along, day after day, through the deep silence and loneliness of the river, drowsing in the scant shade of makeshift awnings, and broiling with the heat; they encountered and exchanged civilities with another party of Indians; and at last they reached the mouth of the Arkansas (about a month out from their starting-point), where a tribe of war-whooping savages swarmed out to meet and murder them; but they appealed to the Virgin for help; so in place of a fight there was a feast, and plenty of pleasant palaver and fol-de-rol. He was provokingly delayed, by one misfortune after another, but at last got his expedition under way at the end of the year 1681.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively. Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (Soft Quad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs. And also, by signs, La Sale drew from these simple children of the forest acknowledgments of fealty to Louis the Putrid, over the water. These performances took place on the site of the future Page 38 town of Napoleon, Arkansas, and there the first confiscation-cross was raised on the banks of the great river.
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively. Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998 Page 5 BUT the basin of the Mississippi is the BODY OF THE NATION. New Pilots undermining the Pilots' Association.--Crutches and Wages. Marquette's and Joliet's voyage of discovery ended at the same spot-- the site of the future town of Napoleon.
On the rocks above the present city of Alton they found some rude and fantastic Indian paintings, which they describe.
In the morning the chief and six hundred of his tribesmen escorted the Frenchmen to the river and bade them a friendly farewell.
Conceptions formed from the river-basins of Western Europe are rudely shocked when we consider the extent of the valley of the Mississippi; nor are those formed from the sterile basins of the great rivers of Siberia, the lofty plateaus of Central Asia, or the mighty sweep of the swampy Amazon more adequate. --Some Curious Performances--not Early English.--Natchez, or the Site of it, is Approached . There was a temple in the town, with a mud wall about it ornamented with skulls of enemies sacrificed to the sun.
Latitude, elevation, and rainfall all combine to render every part of the Mississippi Valley capable of supporting a dense population. The voyagers visited the Natchez Indians, near the site of the present city of that name, where they found a "religious and political despotism, a privileged class descended from the sun, a temple and a sacred fire." It must have been like getting home again; it was home with an advantage, in fact, for it lacked Louis XIV.