Steamboat Illustrations, Page 19



Attached art for the 2011 U.S. postal service FOREVER stamp dedicated to MARK TWAIN.

I believe that the artist based the steamboat on the little White River (Arkansas) steamboat MARY WOODS No. 2 that was on display at Jacksonport, Arkansas until she sank and nobody wanted to pay the cost of restoring her so she was scrapped in 2011.

The attached photo of the WOODS from the CAPTURE ARKANSAS photo site was taken by Marvin Barrow and copyrighted by him 2014.

Jacksonport site feature on the WOODS from back when she was still a tourist attraction.

The WOODS had the distinction of playing the "PAUL JONES" in the 1979 T.V movie MARK TWAIN BENEATH THE LAUGHTER in the sequence where Horace Bixby is "learning" the river to young Sam Clemens on the Mississippi.

Way's Towboat Directory Number T1764

Stw tb sh 1931-1949. b. Nashville, TN (hull) and completed at Memphis, 111x26x4.4. Engines, Gillett & Eaton, 123/8's-6 ft. stroke. Engines new but boilers, doctor and pumps from the FRANK E. WOODS. Capt. Clarence Moxley came out master.

Capt. Ed B. Warner, approaching 81, was pilot on her in White River, March, 1940. He once piloted the packet CHICKASAW to Memphis with her largest cargo of White River cotton. Capt. Charles Warner also was on the WOODS as pilot. Converted to diesel at Memphis in 1949. Owned by the Woods Lumber Co.. Memphis, until sold in February, 1960 to Potlach Forests, Inc., Clarendon, AR. Decommissioned in 1967. Potlach donated the MARY WOODS NO. 2 to the Arkansas State Publicity and Park Commission in 1967. She was restored and exhibited at Jacksonport State Park, a mile west of Newport, AR on Highway 69.

steamboat illustration

When I was bidding on a piece of calendar art on eBay I recognized the boat right away as having been based on a photo of the CITY OF ST. LOUIS.

I double exposed that art with a postcard of the C of SL and managed to improve the color scheme and detailing on the calendar graphic; the name on the paddlebox came through nicely and the stacks look better as well. Feels a little more like Dean Cornwell* might have done it although he'd have painted a better riverscape . . . I'll have to see if I can improve on that also. Will send an uncropped version of the composite as well.

Then the green/brackish lookin' water was gettin' to me so I subdued the palette. You convert the whole image to grayscale, tint it blue green then double expose it over your color version.


From JEWELL's CRESCENT CITY ILLUSTRATED a local New Orleans, a full page original advertisement for one of Cap'n Leathers' series of boats named NATCHEZ.
Jim Hale believes that this is probably the 6th boat by that name.
There was no date on this piece which was yellow with age. I cleaned it up in this hi con version.
The reduced scan produced a "moray pattern" in the sky which of course the original doesn't have.


In addition to the Disney - Twain themed stamps in 1985 (which was not only "International Youth Year" but also the 150th anniversary of Mark Twain's birth, November 30, 1835) there were also commemorative stamps issued for the Turks & Caicos Islands. The artist did a nice job depicting the steamboat GRAND TURK (probably based on the lithograph Henry Lewis made in 1848 that we have on one of the illustration pages) and Mark Twain riding Halley's Comet which was in the sky when he was born in 1835 and when he died on April 21st, 1910. Clemens had often predicted that he would pass on when Halley's comet returned 74 years, 4 months, 23 days after he was born.


The Turks and Caicos Islands , or TCI for short, are a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago, north of the larger Antilles island grouping.

There is also a strong influence from Cornwell's ROB'T E. LEE painting in the depiction of the GRAND TURK which was different primarily in the design of the upper deck and pilot house etc. which is apparent in Henry Lewis' lithograph.


This March 25, 1882 cover from sketches by Charles Upham is one I've always liked and finally found one (attached).

Page 75 was not included, no pages outside of the cover were, so I don't have the article that pertains to the cover art.

Harper's Weekly published an article on the subject in their May 13, 1882 issue from which I extracted 2 paragraphs of useful history. Have provided the link to the article for those who would like to read the whole thing.

excerpt from
May 13, 1882, Harper's Weekly
The South Asking the Federal Government's Protection from the Unruly, Overflowing Monster Mississippi


The great flood of 1882 ravaged communities along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and their tributaries. In Cincinnati, heavy rains began on Sunday night, February 19, 1882, and lasted for two days, causing the Ohio River to rise at a rate of two inches per hour. The flood blocked railroad tracks entering the city, submerged homes and factories, displaced hundreds of families and put thousands out of work temporarily. Similar scenes occurred along the Ohio in southern Indiana and Illinois.

Even more serious was the flooding along the Mississippi River, from Illinois and St. Louis virtually all the way down to the delta of New Orleans. The 1882 flood was one of the most devastating to the lower Mississippi River Valley. The water easily broke through most of the levees, burying entire towns, killing livestock and other animals, and forcing thousands of residents to flee for safety. In Arkansas alone, an estimated 20,000 people were left homeless. In some places the overflowing Mississippi River transformed the adjacent communities into a lake, 15-miles wide. Private steamboat companies rescued those stranded by the flood, as did the Army Corps of Engineers and the Quartermaster Corps, which also distributed rations to the victims.


The attached is a composite of 3 of the 8 vertical "columns" from a brochure for "River Tours" aboard the QUEEN CITY, SENATOR CORDILL and the LIBERTY. The "columns" as displayed in this comp are not in the order that they appear in the brochure but the arrangement looks satisfactory for presentation.

This brochure has to pre-date 1934 when the SENATOR CORDILL expired. The LIBERTY lasted until 1938 and the QUEEN CITY until 1940.

steamboat illustration

You probably have all the old DQ brochures. I got this on eBay because I liked the quaint styling of the cover with graphics and text done in an old timey way including the "guarantee" at the bottom assuring passengers of top notch service and staff.

I subdued the red lettering in Photoshop a bit, seemed a bit too bright to me. The effect caused the color to taper off pretty much to black and white at the bottom which is OK since it leads you eye to the courtesy guarantee.

From the looks of the stateroom interiors this would have been early on in the DQ's career back East since the headboards on the beds look non descript and inexpensive and the old Professor of Cally-ope is featured in a photo also and I gathered he was an early member of the crew.

steamboat illustration

A flour sack label.

steamboat Yank Magazine cover

Detail of cover from August 1945 YANK magazine. (U.S. Army publication). Nostalgic scene taken near Owensboro, Kentucky. Nice pix of the Greenes in the article . . . (see next two pages).

steamboat Popular Mechanics cover

Old Popular Mechanics magazine cover, March 1913, documents the opening of the lock and dam in 1913.

Kelly Tires ad steamboat illustration

This is a detail from a 1953 Kelly Tires ad by an artist named Wainwright (first name not legible). It's based on a photo of the Piasa taken on the St. Louis levee I sent a while ago. The painting is certainly idealized from the photo with everything cleaned up, smokestacks made higher, bridge made grander. Nice job of idealization and nostalgia.

Hiram Walker Imperial Wiskey advertisement with steamboat illusration

Detail of a Hiram Walker Imperial Whiskey advert. Even more emphasis on idealized nostalgia here.

colorized steamboat postcard

I have it on good authority from Jim Hale that this scene shows Yazoo City, Mississippi not Vicksburg. La'rn somethin' new ever' day.


With the exception of images credited to certain institutions,
most of the images on this page are from a private collection.
Please request permission before reproducing our images in any publication.*