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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 191 [11-12-1853]

              and they don�t give favorable opinions of California.
  13.  Sunday.  Steaming up the Mississippi all this day, as yesterday.
A monotonously grand river it is, nought picturesque or beautiful about
it.   Its winds and curves present no bold rock bluffs, or distant moun-
tain views; only steep muddy banks all bare, or surmounted by dense cotton-wood
thickets; at other times long level sandy reaches.   Only
the river itself is notable, sometimes it is, comparatively speaking nar-
row, then apparently expands till one shore will grow dim in distance.   Its hue
varies, sometimes it is of a yellowish muddy brown, sometimes darker,
but never clear and bright, like the glorious Hudson; (the most beauti-
ful river I�ve ever seen.)  Many islands there are in the Mississippi.
It grows on you, day after day, its power and monotony almost op-
press you.   But for the cities on its banks, (far enough apart as they
are in all concience,) it is as wild looking as in the days of De Soto.
Little �Lake Providence� where the yellow fever took three fourths of
the population; we passed yesterday; this day we are coasting Ar-
kansas on our left, Mississippi on our right.   We stop at the mouth
of the Arkansas river, at a place called Napoleon.  A high muddy
bank, houses appearing above; a boat moored below, with an inscription
about a Mr Shattuck,) probably some relative to my Lake Superior
acquaintance,) agent &c.      This is just before nightfall, and soon we
come up to another boat, a Memphis one, (I think,) called the �Naomi.�
Now yesterday the captain had allowed a boat to pass us, and so this
time, greatly to the delight of the passengers, a race ensued.   The boats
were close together for nearly an hour, with scarcely any perceptible ad-
vantage.      I could very well understand how boiler explosions and Mis-
sippi accidents had became a by-word, where I noticed the universal eager-
ness for a contest on the part of the passengers.   Not one but wouldn�t
have risked the being blown to stones rather than have allowed the other               
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