Red River Steamboats

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Arcadia Publishing, 1999 - History - 128 pages
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Known by the French settlers of the eighteenth century as the Fleuve Rouge, the Red River boasts a fascinating history in Louisiana. It is the state's historic highway along which plantations were built, and upon which their wares went to the great markets of New Orleans and the rest of the world. In this captivating collection of vintage images, the history of navigation on the Red River unfolds. Flowing some 1,300 miles through four states, the Red River is the eighth-longest river in the continental United States. Despite numerous disasters, regular navigation occurred on the river for over a century. Huge craft loaded with North Louisiana cotton plied the river between Shreveport and New Orleans, and packet steamers carried mail and passengers to dozens of stops along the river's path. The showboats traveling along the river brought a new form of entertainment to the cities and towns that lined its banks. Included in this volume are views spanning the Great Raft, the opening of the river to navigation and commerce, the role the river played in the Civil War, and the twilight of commercial steam navigation. The first photographic tribute to the river ever published, Red River Steamboats captures a bygone era in Louisiana's history.

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About the author (1999)

A professor of history at LSU-Shreveport, Gary Joiner is also a professional cartographer and a native of Farmerville, Louisiana. Co-author Eric Brock is a life-long resident of Shreveport, a social historian, and a columnist for the Shreveport Journal. Together they have compiled an unprecedented visual history of the steamboats that once ran along the Red River and the people who operated those craft--shaping the history of the American South and the nation's great expansion westward.

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