Steamboat Illustrations, Page 5


Image of an item listed in a 2013 catalogue from New Orleans based auction house Neal Auction Company. This painting looks like it was done over a pencil drawing on a smooth surface like "Masonite." There's a sort of fantasy-world style to it with all the bunting and flags fluttering and the windows in the pilot house are so narrow in height that they look like transoms that are usually featured over doors.

There was a sternwheeler named BAYOU BELLE which operated on the lower Mississippi from 1855 to 1860 but since the boat in this painting is a sidewheeler it couldn't be the same vessel, suggesting that it was a generic fantasy of a steamboat based on the Currier & Ives lithograph of the MAYFLOWER.

A St. Louis dining establishment called the Bayou Belle Restaurant was housed in a land bound retired sternwheeler named WHITE SPOT that was built around 1900. A cookbook written as a tribute to the restaurant entitled "Bayou Belle: memories and recipes" by Jean Koprivica Surrisi and Dorothea L. Wolfgram was published by West Wine in St. Louis in 2001.


John Stobart painted this in 1978. This is a detail and an appealing composition, that is the deck of a sailing ship in lower left corner . . . Original limited edition prints of this are expensive but can be found on eBay if you've got a windfall and want to invest in a deluxe Stobart.


This ROB'T E. LEE was the second boat bearing that name; she was nicknamed "Hoppin' Bob." Launched April 1876, at Jeffersonville, Indiana where she was built at the Howard boat yard. Lost in a fire at Yucatan Plantation, Louisiana in September of 1882. The first ROB'T E. LEE beat the NATCHEZ in a race from New Orleans to St. Louis in 1870.


Attached scan of the following, prints available on eBay from Tom's wife Ann:


"Robert E. Lee" painted in 1993
By Tom Freeman

This image is Numbered 21 from a limited edition of 500

Signed by Tom's Wife Ann

overall size of paper with margins 20" x 14-1/4"
image size 17-5/8" x 11-5/8"
Available for $100 each

Tom Freeman passed away, unexpectedly, on June 16, 2015. A brilliant artist, he will be missed by so many around the world. His prints are now signed by his wife Ann.

Tom Freeman was born in Pontiac, Michigan in 1952. He was the third child of James and Doshia Freeman, (3rd of 5 children). The Freeman's lived in Michigan until Tom was 12 years old when the family moved to Baltimore, Maryland.

Tom never had any formal art training and had always considered his talent as a God given gift. In fact school was of very little interest to him. Tom joined the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve in 1970. He later transferred from the Marine Corps Reserve to the regular Army. His military service extended from 1970 to 1977.

Tom's professional art career started when he left the military. He would visit the U.S. Naval Institute and would take samples of his work to them. Finally, he asked what it would take to get his artwork on Proceedings Magazine. A gentleman by the name of Dell Kaiser showed Tom the artwork of Carl Evers. Tom contacted Carl and to this day considers Mr. Evers the master of watercolors. "Carl was very supportive, he told me to look closely at the art and that I would figure it out on my own." Finally, Proceedings used one of Tom's paintings for their cover. This started Tom on the path of success.

Tom started taking 35mm slides of his work and sending them to various book publishers. The first publisher to contact him and offer him a cover was G.P. Putnam & Sons. Tom has worked with most of the large publishing houses such as Dell, Jove, Bantam, and Berkley. Tom's work has appeared on many magazines such as Readers Digest, Popular Mechanics, Boating, Yachting, Business Week, and even the TV Guide. His work has been placed on porcelain plaques and plates for Franklin Mint and the Hamilton Group.

Tom's artwork has been exhibited in many galleries Kirsten, Greenwich, Mystic, and the Grand Central Gallery. He has done work for the National Parks Service and many corporations throughout the world.

In 1986 Tom was asked to hang his original paintings in the West Wing of the White House. Currently, there are 8 original paintings hanging there along with several of his limited edition prints.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Tom produced a collection of 42 paintings now on permanent exhibit at the Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii. Tom completed 12 paintings, which were on exhibit at the Naval Museum in Washington, DC. commemorating the 60th anniversary of the attack.

One of Tom's paintings was donated to the State of Israel; it hangs in the Immigration/Clandestine and Naval Museum in Haifa.

On April 10, 2002 Tom had the honor of giving one of his paintings to the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II in Vatican City, Rome. The painting is hanging in Pope Pius IX museum in Italy.

The White House Historical Association commissioned Tom for 4 years to produce cover art for the Association's annual Christmas card.

Tom was awarded the Department of the Navy Superior Public Service Award on April 3, 2003.

On September 3, 2003 Tom presented a painting to President George W. Bush depicting the President's landing aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. The painting was presented to him in the Oval Office.

Tom won the 2003 Gold and Platinum Ozzie Award in the category of "Best use of illustration for a single article," Popular Mechanics Magazine, The Hearst Corporation.

Tom also won the SILA award for the 42nd Society of Illustrators Los Angeles annual contest; winning the silver award for Editorial Artwork.

Tom had been selected as the first artist in residence to the United States Naval Institute.



In 1987 Clay Lancaster reissued this book in a horizontal format under the title of THE FLIGHT OF THE PERIWINKLE. The summary below incorporates ingredients from the 1961 and 1987 editions.

Baseport seems to have have been a reincarnation of New Orleans in this parallel universe where the equestrian statue reminiscent of Andrew Jackson becomes the equestrian statue of "General Stonewall" who had saved Baseport "from Pirates" rather than the British.

South of Baseport where the river flows into the Gulf stood the Southern mansion called Steamboat Bluff which has two steamboat style smokestacks protruding from the roof.

Clay Lancaster's storytelling accompanied by his imaginative drawings of architecture implies that the whole tale was spun from a dream Timmy had in his sleep.

Written and Illustrated by Clay Lancaster
Published by Viking - March 20th, 1961

Through the upstairs upstairs window of Timmy's bedroom during that cold rainy night on Pennypacker Square came three talking animals who joined Timmy and his puppy Dingle: a goose who got lost from its flock, a squirrel that the wind blew out of his tree, and a cat who got wet in the rain and requested that it be permitted to dry off in front of the fireplace.

Timmy heard a steam whistle in the street and looking down he saw the street was flooded and a little sidewheel steamboat named the PERIWINKLE commanded by Captain Jonathan Bill was pulling up to the curb.

After Timmy gave the Captain directions he inquired if the boat had room for passengers and the Captain cordially invited Timmy, his dog, the goose, the squirrel and the cat to come aboard and join him on the voyage to Baseport.

A balloon popped out of the "bonnet" of the pilot house, expanded and pushed the stacks to the left and right and a net held the balloon in place between the stacks.

"This is a story about a flying steamboat that takes Timmy and his friends to where they want to go, and deposits Timmy and Dingle home again on the return flight.

The friends include

Blanche the goose,

Nutsy the squirrel,

and Tabby the cat;

and their host and pilot is Captain Jonathan Bill.

Through his remarkable conveyance they meet

Uncle Henry, Aunt Azalea and Nina at the Cottage in the Sycamore;

the Potentate of Poonly Poo and his courtiers Rajah and Punkah at Pachyderm Palace;

Mona Moss at Creech Castle;

Colonel Fleuroy and Miss Cynthia Louisa at Plentius Plantation;

and Captain Bill's housekeeper, Matilda, at Steamboat Bluff.

First stop on the journey was the glorious treehouse of Uncle Henry and Aunt Azalea, then on to the elephant-shaped palace of the Potentate of Poonlay Poo, and from there to blossom-shaped Sunflower Lodge. The precarious tour through the eerie domain of Mona Moss is happily offset by the hospitality extended in Plentius Plantation."


excerpts from the Wikipedia article on Lancaster:

Clay Lancaster (30 March 1917 - 25 December 2000), was an authority on American architecture, an orientalist, and an influential advocate of historical preservation. Among Lancaster's many non-fiction books on architectural and art history are Architectural Follies in America (1960), Ante Bellum Houses of the Bluegrass (1961), Antebellum Architecture of Kentucky (1991), The Arts and Crafts of the Animals (1993), and Pleasant Hill: Shaker Canaan in Kentucky (2000).

Lancaster was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and studied at the University of Kentucky. He spent half of 1936 at the Art Students League of New York. Returning to Lexington, he served as stage designer for the university's Guignol Theatre and was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He took his A.B. in Art in 1938.

In 1943, Lancaster moved to New York and, as a graduate student there, worked in Columbia University's Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library with Talbot Hamlin, biographer of Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

At Columbia, Lancaster received the appointment of Ware Librarian. In the fifties he lectured at Cooper Union, Columbia, and the Traphagen art school in New York. In 1968 he originated a course, "Asian Art and its Influence on Europe and America," that was given at New York University.

In 1954 and 1955, during the first of two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships, he carried out the research that underlay The Japanese Influence in America (1963); a second Guggenheim, in 1963 and 1964, supported research on the architecture of Kentucky. In 1966, Parks Commissioner Thomas Hoving appointed Lancaster curator of Brooklyn's Prospect Park, Frederick Law Olmsted's landscape masterpiece, an assignment which led to his preparation of The Prospect Park Handbook (1967).

In 1971, Clay Lancaster moved from Brooklyn to Nantucket. Here he restored an 1829 saltbox dwelling and wrote studies of historic Nantucket, of Victorian architecture, and of train terminals and stations.

Lancaster returned to live in Kentucky in 1978, purchasing Warwick, a Federal-era residence on the Kentucky River.

On the grounds of Warwick, Lancaster built several architectural follies of his own design—an eighteenth-century tea pavilion, a guest-house replicating the first-century A.D. Tower of the Winds, and an Arts and Crafts style art gallery. He also assembled an extensive acreage nearby to serve as a nature preserve, called Shantalaya ("abode of peace").

Also, in his final years, Lancaster established a charitable organization, The Warwick Foundation, to promote and extend his many interests.

The foundation sponsors tours, lectures, scholarships, exhibitions, conferences, and maintains the Warwick compound as a museum.

Lancaster died on Christmas Day in 2000. The following spring, his ashes were scattered in the ravine next to his Warwick residence.


Hoagy Carmichael sings his own lyrics and was probably playing the piano in this recording youtube

(first dozen lines not sung in this recording):

All you cotton toters,
Mississippi floaters,
Gather all about!
Gather all about!
Got some things to tell ya.
Not a thing to sell ya.
Listen and you'll all find out.
What I'm about to say
Will take your breath away,
So, come a little closer,
Just a little closer,
Got a lotta news to shout! Say!

Good people, you're invited tonight
To the Riverboat Shuffle!
Good people, we got rhythm tonight
At the Riverboat Shuffle!
They tell me that slidepipe tooter is grand,
Best in Loosianna

So bring your freighter, come and alligator that band.
Good people, you'll hear Milneberg Joys
In a special orchestration!
Even Mama Dinah will be there to strut for the boys
In a room full of noise.
She'll teach you to shuffle it right,
So, bring your baby;
I'll be seeing you at the Riverboat Shuffle tonight.
The Riverboat Shuffle tonight.

slidepipe tooter - trombone player
Alligator: A devotee of jazz or swing music.
Mister Hawkins on the tenor! (tenor sax: Coleman Hawkins)
Mister Jordan on the alto (alto sax: Louis Jordan)
Mama Dinah - Dinah Washington

Bix Beiderbecke's cornet on this instrumental version of RIVERBOAT SHUFFLE is wonderfully bouncy Shuffle - Frank Trumbauer & His Orchestra (Bix Beiderbecke, Don Murray, Bill Rank) Recorded 9 May, 1927

Louis Armstrong And His Band - Milneberg Joys (Milneberg was a small town on the south end of Lake Ponchartrain north of New Orleans)


Printed on tin . . . looks like late '40's early '50's. Not in the best of shape but Photoshopped out many blemishes except for the ones that are obvious here.

On the crates lower right can be read "COOK'S EST. 1853" & "EVANSVILLE, IND."

NATCHEZ jig saw puzzle box graphic EXP

Attached colorful graphic that I cut out in Photoshop and put over white from a jig saw puzzle box. Ain't it perfectly enchanting though?


An example of charming paintings by Cheryl Harness that she made to accompany her 1998 illustrated biography of Sam Clemens with special emphasis on his association with steamboats on the Mississippi. Available from amazon.com.

Mark Twain and The Queens Of The Mississippi
Written and Illustrated by Cheryl Harness

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
1st edition (November 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0689815425
ISBN-13: 978-0689815423

McDonnell MEMPHIS half size for Nori

Attached scan of detail of a 1943 McDonnell aircraft advertisement which promoted the company's present war time industry and the future building aircraft for the post-war military in their plant at the Memphis Airport.

In the sky above the city the artist added a huge futuristic airplane with twin "pusher propellers" on the back of both wings.

I didn't include the aircraft in this scan since it rather overwhelms the city and the steamboat on the river, I'll leave it to the imagination of our fans and I have provided a "for reference only" scan for your amazement that doesn't need to be posted.

Transcript of the text below the graphic and headline:

"High on the Chickasaw Bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi, stands Memphis . . . historic, colorful, truly representative of the romantic river cities of the Old South, but considerations other than its charm governed our choice of Memphis as the site for additional aircraft manufacturing plant facilities.

Favorable climatic conditions, accessibility of location, adequate supplies of labor, exceptionally good electric, gas, and water facilities, enlightened and progressive civic and community leadership—all these are factors which influenced the location of a McDonnell Plant at the Memphis Municipal Airport.

Details concerning the type and performance of aircraft which will soon roll out on our runways—are of military necessity, restricted. But you may be sure that these aircraft will play an important role in hastening the day of victory for America and our Allies.

That's our job in Memphis, now. But one day, when victory has been won and peacetime transportation is resumed, this old river city will become an important ocean port—in the Ocean of the Air.

Then, we hope to add our share to the contributions which Memphis and the New South will make to the New World of the Air.

James L. Kendrick III

steamboat illustration

Attached is a print of another painting by Louisiana artist "James L. Kendrick III." What a handle! He does plantation homes and N'awlins scenes primarily and some steamboats as well.

The cotton packed AMERICA in the foreground closely follows a vintage photo of the boat but the CITY OF MEMPHIS on the left bears a strong family resemblance to a painting by John Stobart of the J.M. WHITE (a detail of which is on the cover of Way's Directory). The swinging stages are lined up the same way in both paintings although there are differences in various other details if you compare them.

Natchez VI James L Kendrick III EXP for Nori

The NATCHEZ VI painted by James L. Kendrick III (whose painting of Cap'n Cooley's cotton packet AMERICA is a stand out in our illustration gallery, seen above).


James L. Kendrick III's RACE OF THE NATCHEZ & THE ROB'T E. LEE. Believe this was off an online catalogue but it seems to be out of print now.


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.*