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Old River, Maritime & Steamboat News:
Ships, Their Captains, Crews & Adventures

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UPDATE: This section will now include any and all maritime references, whether the item is a ship's passenger list, news of a shipwreck on the Atlantic or Pacific, or news from one of America's riverboats.

This special section of TheOldenTimes.com features old newspaper articles about life on the America's great rivers. Originally, I included only the Mississippi River system, but since transportation by water was important throughout the country, I'm adding any and all steamboat & river life references here.

America's rivers have long been an important commercial shipping route, but they were once also an important way for folks to get around. Travel by water was often faster and safer than travel by land.  Otherwise, it was a horse and "iffy" roads, at best.

Departures and arrivals, occasional passenger news, shipping company news, cargos, river levels and weather all interested the folks whose livelihoods depended on the river, as well as travelers. Most of the Memphis newspapers carried a daily River News section, and I suspect that most river town newspapers up and down the Mississippi did the same. Since I have more Memphis papers than papers from those other towns, that's what you'll see the most of.... for now!

As always, every personal name will be in the Index of Names.

Note: The Index of Names is always your best bet for finding a specific name!

Each of these was scanned from an original issue of an old newspaper in my personal collection. They appear in the order in which they were added to this website.

River History & Heritage: Books      Maritime History Books

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Vintage Labels: The Lost Art of Travel

Cute, Free Travel Journal Project from joann.com

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Tidewater by Steamboat, a Saga of the Chesapeake: The Weems Line on the Patuxent, Potomac, and Rappahannock

Steam Cuisine: Taste of Tall Stacks

Blacklegs, Card Sharps, and Confidence Men Nineteenth-Century Mississippi River Gambling Stories

Between the Saints: Louis and Paul: A Towboat Travelogue on the Mississippi River

Sandbars and Sternwheelers: Steam Navigation on the Brazos icon

Lloyd's Steamboat Directory and Disasters on the Western Waters: Containing the History of the First Application of Steam as a Motive Power icon

Old Bayou Teche Days - By One Who Lived And Loved Them

Rhode Island Passenger Lists: Port of Providence, 1798-1808, 1820-1872: Port of Bristol and Warren, 1820-1871: Compiled from United States Custom House Papers icon

Currents of Change: Art and Life Along the Mississippi River, 1850-1861

A History of Navigation on Cypress Bayou and the Lakes icon

Steamboats on Louisiana's Bayous: A History and Directory

The Steamboat Montana and the Opening of the West: History, Excavation, and Architecture icon

Rivers of History: Life on the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba, and Alabama

Original Antique Print: Breaking the Ice Blockade in the Delaware River

Round Cape Horn: Voyage of the Passenger Ship James W. Paige, from Maine to California in the 1852 icon

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George NELSON Death, 1884

Liverpool Passengers Arrive in New York, 1850      MOORE, NANNAU

The Steamer J. P. Tweed for Louisville & Cincinnati, D. MILLARD, Master, 1855

The Steamer Dove Bound for New Orleans, John BOX, Master, 1852

Steamer Amaranth for Montgomery & Wetumpka, 1846     BRAGDON, CAMPBELL, OWEN

Disaster on the Ohio& Mississippi Rivers: Steamboats Glencoe & Redstone Explode, Killing Many Passengers & Crew, 1852      BERRY, DAVID, DURBIN, SMITH, SCOTT, PATE, LANGLEY, JACKSON, FRITZ, BRECK, BOZEI, COLLARD, WILSON, STIRGEL, BATES, SOPER, CABLE, CHRISMAN, LANGHENY

Affray on the Magenta, 1868    REILLY, KELLY

Arkansas River Packet: Pocahontas, 1852    MOORE, MERRICK

Officer MacFARLANE Praised for Bravery, 1893

New Packet Steamer: The Daniel Boone, Grafton MOLEN, Master, 1845

Steamer Alabama to Depart for Vienna, Pickensville & Columbus, 1846   
FRY, CAMPBELL, OWEN

Cotton Receipts from Wetumpka, per the Steamboats Amaranth and William Bradstreet, 1846    Now indexed! Surnames include the following:  WALLER, TARLETON, SCOTT, WALSH, ANDREWS, MAULDIN, TERRELL, WATTS, HARRISON, ROBINSON, ARMSTRONG, SMITH, DESHA, SAYRE, CRAWFORD, GOWDAY, HORTON, CLOCK, LESESNE, HOYT, FORD, DONALD, MARSHALL, GWATHMEY, FORBES

John WILDBERGER Advertises the Steamer Falcon for Sale, 1855

Vintage Photo of the Steamer Amy Hewes , date unknown

Reports from the Noxubee River, 1881    STONE, MEAHER

Steamer Luella Bound for the White River from Memphis, Ed BOOKER, Captain, 1855

Passengers Arriving from Wetumpka on the Steamer Amaranth, 1846       Now indexed!     Surnames include the following: ESTES, FRITH, TATUM, OLCOTT, MATLOCK, JOHNSON, SMITH, HILLYER, MCKENZIE, STOKRIES, DONNELL, GOUGH, WOOD, CAWLAN, SCOTT, CAPTAN, BLAIR, GAILLAIRD, MCCOWAN, TANKERSLEY, WILLIAMS, STALSWORTH, COLLINS, PHILLIPS

Passengers Departing Mobile for Wetumpka, Alabama, Including Men of the Montgomery Riflemen and the Macon County Guards, 1846   Now indexed! Surnames include the following: FAIL, HUMSON, RICHEY, CUMMINS, BRIGGS, SALTMARSH, ROBINSON, ODOM, PARKER, DUBOSE, HESSELL, SHEFFIELD, WHIPPLE, FORBES, WEAVER, LARKINS, WATTS, BROWN, STANTON, SAMPSON, GILMER, SEIBLES, LIGON

Passengers Departing Charleston, SC, for New York, per the Steamer South Carolina, 1870    Now indexed!  Surnames include the following: CONLEY, DANNER, MAXWELL, BURKETT, FRANCIS, KENNEY, CLYDE, KRAMER, BRANDLEY, NEWETT, STEMMERMAN, CLARK, NELSON, COOK, LIPMAN, WILLIAMS, GASTION, GODFREY

Steamer Ingomar to Provide Packet Service, 1855     GREENLAW, LAVALLETTE, MORRIS

Marine Disasters & Loss of Life, 1866

Steamer Tishomingo Will be Regular Mail Packet: Louisville, Eastport, Florence & Tuscumbia, 1853   
BRISCOE, MOORHEAD

Did Captain DISNEY Pick up a Fugitive? 1853    HILL, GILL

River History & Heritage: Books

Many More to Come!

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