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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 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.

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Steamer Farmer has Fatal Accident, 1840 GILBERT, BERRY

The Louisville, Evansville & Henderson & Mai Packets, Leaving Daily! 1881 PENNEY, GILMORE, BERRY, LEVI, HITE

U. S. Marshal LYON's Sale of the Steamer Union in the case of SKAATES vs. BARTON, SANDERS & MOORE, AL, 1846

The Elegant Steamer Plow Boy for the Arkansas River, 1881 SMITH, HARBIN

Capt. FLOWERS takes the Tiger to Cottonwood Point, MO, Twice Weekly, BOOKER, Agent, 1881

Captain WISE Assaulted in Cincinnati, 1880  Superintendent of the Memphis Packet Line in a critical condition.

Death of Well-Known Capt. M. J. MURPHY, 1912

Captain LEE runs the Natoma from Memphis to Friar's Point, 1868

Captain KYLE Heads for Arkansas on the Cheyenne, 1868

Captain MATHES Arrives in New Orleans, 1912

Capt. HARRY no Longer with the St. Francis Belle, 1876

Captain WOOD to Arkansas on the steamer Natoma, 1869

 The Steamer B. H. Cooke Departs Ohio River Cities, 1879 THROOP, ASHCRAFT, PATTERSON

The Steamer Dora Cabler Departs from Nashville, 1879 CARROLL, ARMSTRONG, FERGUSON, PATTERSON

Coroner Declares Furlong Drowning an Accident, 1851 ROSS

Captain TAYLOR Prepares New Steamer for Arkansas River Trade, 1866

The Grey Eagle Departs for Leavenworth, etc., 1861 DONNELLY, LUSK

The Jacob Strader Departs for Cincinnati, Capt. DITTMAN, 1861 JENNINGS

Another Boy at Captain Jack SLEETH's in Paducah! 1879

The W. A. Johnson Departs for Florence, 1879 DUNCAN, MAYNARD, CATRON

The Dick Johnson to Depart for Cannelton, Ohio River, 1879 ADAMS, PENNINGTON

The Morning Star Leaves for Louisville, Ohio River, 1879 CRIDER,

The Arkansas Belle Departs for Cairo, 1879 BROWN, PENNINGTON, THOMAS, WEED

The B. S. RHEA for Paducah from Nashville, Capt. TYNER, Clerk MARSHAL, Agent PATTERSON, 1879

The City of Vicksburg, Captain WHITLEDGE, Agent HALL, 1887

The Golden Crown, Captain SHINKLE, 1879

The Gold Dust, Captain McCORD, 1879

The Batesville, 1879


A Cold Souse in the Wolf River, 1876 McNEELY, BROWN & JONES, HANKINS

Message in a Bottle, 1868 JONES

Captain MILLER Reports, 1876

Vintage Postcard: Cotton on the Levee

Horrible HAYDEN Death in Explosion of Boiler on Steamer J. N. Kellogg, 1876

The Steamer Mary Belle and Her Popular Passengers, 1876

The Steamer B. H. Cooke, Captain THROOP, 1879 ASHCRAFT, PATTERSON

Many More to Come!

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