Have you ever read up on the history of the Mississippi River steamboats? If not, you should check out some of what went on back then. It’ll sure make you appreciate how easy it is to get around these days.
The first Mississippi River steamboat was named New Orleans.
Makes sense, when you think about it. Because that’s the “end of the line” (so to speak) for river travel on Ol’ Man River. And the first steamboat trip down the river was certainly filled with adventure.
The New Orleans started out the journey in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Seems like an odd place to start when you think about how the Mississippi River is more toward the middle of America. But I won’t go into the why and how they did it. Just know that it started way back in 1811.
Nicholas Roosevelt, one of the business partners for that new travel venture, was the captain. And he took his pregnant wife and young daughter as passengers. Plus, their crew included the engineer, Nicholas Baker, and the pilot, Andrew Jack, and six deck hands, two female servants for Mrs. Roosevelt, a waiter, and a cook. Oh yeah, they also brought their family dog, a Newfoundland named Tiger.
During their trip they saw Chickasaw Indian warriors along the bank of the Tennessee River. Fortunately, those Indians were American allies against Britain in the War of 1812. But, also during that part of the trip, somebody left some wood too close to the stove. Thankfully they were able to put out the fire quickly.
Some time in October, the ship and its passengers had to wait for the waters of the Ohio River to rise up enough for the New Orleans to “pass safely over the treacherous Ohio Falls.” With just six inches clearance, they made it and continued down river.
Then, the crew and passengers experienced extra water movement from a series of earthquakes in the area. I know. It sounds like I’m writing the script for a disaster movie, right? But the ship suffered no damage from the quakes. Because the water acted as a cushion.
So, they thought the worst was over.
But, according to the article I read, “on December 16, the New Madrid earthquake…became one of the strongest North American earthquakes ever recorded. Seismologists estimate it was a 7.5 magnitude quake.” And you’d probably guess the New Orleans would be cushioned by the water again. Yeah, that’s basically true. But some other problems happened.
The New Madrid earthquake actually altered Mississippi River landmarks. The force moved river islands and river channels around so much that the pilot’s visual navigation was very mixed up.
Eventually, they made it to their final destination. And the New Orleans docked in New Orleans. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Mr. Roosevelt’s wife gave birth to their son, Henry, on board the steamship. Wow!
Their adventures proved that river travel, down the mighty Mississippi, was definitely do-able. And because they had constructed a durable, hard-working steamship, travel UP the river could be done, too.
Sure, travel UP the river was do-able. But it required a LOT more effort.
Because it’s always easier to go with the flow.
And that’s why this month’s UNversity how-to lesson is about what I call “In-process Workflow Development.” Because your work flows much better when you do what I teach in this class. But, if you haven’t already enrolled, you’re too late for this valuable strategy. Yep, that ship has sailed. The deadline to enroll, and be in time for today’s lesson, was yesterday, May 31 at midnight.
Good news is, you can easily meet the deadline for July’s class.
Enroll in UNversity, today. And enjoy how-to business lessons, for $15 a month. Your link is below.
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