Afloat on the Ohio: an historical pilgrimage of a thousand by Reuben Gold Thwaites

By Reuben Gold Thwaites

Nineteenth-century American commute literature offers attention-grabbing glimpses into the lives of standard humans and into the heritage of the nation's payment. Reuben Gold Thwaites's Afloat at the Ohio is a very good instance of the style, wealthy in Ohio River personalities, legends, and historical past as visible via Thwaites's eyes. His six-week trip by way of skiff lined one thousand miles from Redstone, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois, the place the Ohio River meets the Mississippi. Thwaites's voyage echoes these taken by way of early explorers, pioneers, and settlers who unfolded the West via river go back and forth from the East.This variation is a reprinting of the unique 1897 edition. 

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Additional info for Afloat on the Ohio: an historical pilgrimage of a thousand miles in a skiff, from Redstone to Cairo

Example text

Washington, who had large landed interests on the Ohio, knew Redstone well; and here George Rogers Clark set out (1778) upon flatboats, with his rough-and-ready Virginia volunteers, to capture the country north of the Ohio for the American Page 5 armsone of the least known, but most momentous conquests in history. Early in the nineteenth century, Redstone became Brownsville. But, whether as Redstone or Brownsville, it was, in its day, like most "jumping off" places on the edge of civilization, a veritable Sodom.

Fifty years hence, if these enterprises multiply at the present ratio, and continue their present methods, the Upper Ohio will roll between continuous banks of clay and iron offal, down to Wheeling and beyond. Before noon we had left behind us this industrial region, and were again in rustic surroundings. The wind had gone down, the atmosphere was oppressively warm, the sun's reflection from the glassy stream came with almost scalding effect upon our faces. We had rigged an awning over some willow hoops, but it could not protect us from this reflection.

Within a hillside ravine, but a hundred yards inland, the brilliant column fell into an ambuscade of Indians and French half-breeds, suffering that heart-sickening defeat which will ever live as one of the most tragic events in American history. The noisy iron-manufacturing town of Braddock now occupies the site of Braddock's defeat. Not far from the old ford stretches the great dam of Lock No. 2, which we portaged, with the usual difficulties of steep, stony banks. Braddock is but eight miles across country from Pittsburg, although twelve by river.

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