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Voices on the River

The Story of the Mississippi Waterways

2003
Author:

Walter Havighurst

Voices on the River

A captivating history of river travelers—now available for the first time in paperback!

Voices on the River relates two centuries of tales of famous steamboats and of the men who piloted them, from Mark Twain to Captain Henry Shreve. Walter Havighurst follows frontier commerce up the Mississippi and its two major tributaries, the Ohio and the Missouri, and tells of the growing nation in the vast Midwest.

Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Series

A big book, well-balanced in facts and colorful stories.

Christian Science Monitor

Voices on the River relates two centuries of tales of famous steamboats and of the men who piloted them, from the renowned Mark Twain to the trailblazing Captain Henry Shreve. The book portrays roustabouts on the main deck, passengers in plush cabins, pilots at the big steering wheel, and government engineers at work in shifting channels. It shows Native American tribes carried to exile; soldiers transported to army posts; artists, scientists, and adventurers on their way to wild country; immigrants thronging river landings where the inland cities rose.

Voices on the River follows frontier commerce up the Mississippi River and its two major tributaries, the Ohio and the Missouri. It tells of steamboat speed records, races, and disasters, and of the growing nation in the vast Midwest. This book gathers memories of a wide variety of Mississippi characters to provide an engrossing portrait of the expanse of river life.

Voices on the River

A longtime professor of English at Miami University, Walter Havighurst (1901–1994) grew up in Wisconsin and was a prolific and passionate writer of regional history and fiction. He is the author of The Long Ships Passing, available from the University of Minnesota Press (2002).

Voices on the River

A big book, well-balanced in facts and colorful stories.

Christian Science Monitor

This sterling volume is the story of the men and women who devoted—and on occasion gave—their lives to the Mississippi. It is a compelling read, the narrative leaping from the pages as this remarkable story unfolds. A must for all students of history fascinated by the process of a nation’s birth.

Evening News (Worcester, U.K.)

Originally published in 1964, this fascinating reissue is still a gem of a study of the early Mississippi River Valley, and the elder eye of Walter Havighurst (1901-1994) is penetrating and exceedingly interpretive. Voices on the River is a hands-on history, researched on location over many years by an author devoted to his subject.

Gateway: The Quarterly Magazine of the Missouri Historical Society