Steamboat Illustrations, Page 6

Harper's__Jeff_City_IATAN_6_July_1861 page420REDUCEDforNORI


From 6, July, 2015 Harper's Weekly page 420

I have attached an enlarged detail of the upper left hand corner with the engraving of the steamer IATAN and a reduced file of the whole page which includes a map of a portion of Missouri and a panorama of Jefferson City on the Missouri River.

Included below is a transcript of the article on page 431 describing THE (CIVIL) WAR IN MISSOURI, which relates to the illustrations on page 420.

Sidewheel Packet
Way's Packet Directory Number 2699;

Built in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1858 for Captain H. S. Eaton and others for the Missouri River trade.

Served as a troop transport boat during the Civil War and carried U.S. volunteers to Jefferson City, MO, in 1861, illustrated here in a sketch by Orlando C. Richardson in Harper's Weekly 6 July, 1861

Ran Mobile-New Orleans, 1865.

Was in the cattle trade out of Shreveport, Louisiana in 1868; Captain John Hein, owner and master.

Dismantled 1868.



On page 420 we illustrate the outbreak of the war in Missouri. We give a view of JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI, and the LANDING OF UNITED STATES VOLUNTEERS there, from sketches by Mr. O. C. Richardson, of St. Louis ; and on the same page an instructive Map of the Seat of War in Missouri. In our last number we mentioned the departure of Governor Jackson from St. Louis, his traitorous proclamation, and the departure of General Lyon in pursuit of him on the steamer IATAN. A correspondent thus describes the landing at Jefferson City :

On the morning of the 15th, ten miles below Jefferson City, General Lyon transferred his regulars to the IATAN, and proceeded with that boat, leaving the SWAN to follow in his wake. As we approached the city crowds gathered on the levee and saluted us with prolonged and oft-repeated cheering. Colonel Thomas L. Price (no relative to the rebel, Sterling Price), a prominent Unionist of Jefferson City, was the first to greet General Lyon as he stepped on shore. A bar has formed at the regular landing, and we were obliged to run out our gang plank below the penitentiary, at a point where the railroad company has placed a large quantity of loose stone, preparatory to forming a landing of its own. The steep, rough bank prevented the debarkation of our artillery, but the infantry scrambled up in fine style. First was the company of regulars formerly commanded by General Lyon, but now led by Lieutenant Hare. These were sent to occupy a high hill or bluff near the railroad depot and commanding the town. They went forward in fine style, ascending the steep acclivity at the "double-quick step." In one minute from the time of reaching the summit they were formed in a hollow square, ready to repel all attacks from foes, whether real or imaginary. Next came the left wing of the First Volunteer regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, five hundred strong. These soldiers were formed by sections and marched to the tune of "Yankee Doodle," with the Stars and stripes conspicuous, through the principal streets to the State House, of which they took possession amidst the cheers of the people of the town.

After some delay in finding the keys, which had not been very carefully hid, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews with a band, color bearer, and guard, ascended to the cupola and displayed the American flag, while the band played the "Star Spangled Banner," and the populace and troops below gave round after round of enthusiastic applause. Thus was the "sacred soil" of Missouri's capital invaded by Federal troops, and the bosom of "the pride of the Big Muddy" desecrated by the footprints of the volunteer soldiers of St. Louis. She rather seemed to like it.


National Parks study plan to introduce school children to Steamboat History!
Recommended for educators seeking a study plan to teach steamboat history to school kids! Contact: nps.gov

recent acquisitions

A 1905 color insert for LIFE magazine inked and painted by artist Albert Levering. Here's Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) in a playful caricature as a pilot steering the steamboat "American Humor."

The lettering in RED was YELLOW in the original; very hard to "read" against white so I converted those letters to red to make them more readable and agreeable.

recent acquisitions
Artist Elmer Jacobs painted the attached presentation artwork circa the 1950's to which a quote from Sam Clemens was added.

The face of Clemens that Jacob painted was not a flattering likeness so I replaced it with a graphic from the cover of a mini-biography published by Duke's cigarettes in 1887 when Sam still had the auburn hair of his youth before he aged into the white haired icon that the public remembers him as today.

Jacob's graphics of the "whitewashing" scene upper left, the "boy pirates" upper right, the boy fishing, the boys heading into the river to swim lower left and the jaunty stylized steamboat lower right are nostalgic evocations of Hannibal, Missouri (which Sam Clemens renamed "St. Petersburg" in his boyhood novels about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and their adventures on the Mississippi River.

recent acquisitions

While reviewing sculptor's Walter Russell's Mark Twain-inspired works it was uncanny to recognize how much the artist's image of Huckleberry Finn resembled immortal actor James Dean (see inset of him with a similar smile below).

As a boy Dean would have been fabulous in the role of Huck Finn and he would also been ideal to record the complete narrative of the novel which was told in first person by Huck himself.

Since Huck is the most celebrated and beloved fictional character on the Mississippi River he's well qualified to appear even without a steamboat in our museum.

This seated representation of Huck was one of 29 figures in a scaled-down sculpted tableaux created by Russell in anticipation of his proposal to make a large scale version to have been displayed in Hannibal, Missouri represent Mr. Clemens surrounded by 28 characters from his novels including Huck's pal Tom Sawyer, Tom's Aunt Polly and girl friend Becky Thatcher.

Also attached photo of one of Russell's sculptures of Mark Twain's likeness. A bigger-than-life carved marble head of Mark Twain by Russell is exhibited on the 2nd floor of the Mark Twain Museum at the corner of Main & Center Streets in Hannibal.

A plaster cast of the reduced scale tableaux of 29 figures is exhibited in the Visitor's Center adjacent to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home in Hannibal near the corner of Main & Hill in Hannibal.

recent acquisitions

recent acquisitions

A composite of title pages and spines of two steamboat books published in matching formats by the same publisher in the late 1920's.

Cap'n Knee Ander-Tall
"Mississippi Steamboatin', a History of Steamboating on the Mississippi and Its Tributaries"
by Herbert Quick & Edward Quick
Harry Holt & Co. 1926
350 pages

"The Pageant of the Packets: A Book of American Steamboating"
by Garnett Laidlaw Eskew
Harry Holt & Co. 1929
314 pages

recent acquisitions

New acquisition: framed John Stobart print.

ST. LOUIS. The "Gateway to the West" in 1878 {Issued: 1978 }


recent acquisitions

Scan of stylized steamboat graphic on the back of a playing card. It is just a coincidence the cards are marked "Thomson." Dave Thomson does not own a casino.

NATCHEZ dennis lyall remarque pilot saturated 40 percen EXP

A print of illustrator Dennis Lyall's painting of the NATCHEZ 1869, probably commissioned for use on first day of issue envelopes for 5 steamboats in a set of 1996 U.S. commemorative stamps designed by Dean Ellis:

The NATCHEZ is not one of the five steamboats on the stamps which were: The Robt. E. Lee 1866, the Sylvan Dell 1872, the Far West 1870, the Rebecca Everingham 1880 and the Bailey Gatzert 1890. (Copies of the stamps are inset in the lower right corner of Lyall's painting).

In the bottom margin is a original hand drawn remarque by Lyall of a steamboat pilot (possibly intended to represent Sam Clemens) at the pilot wheel.


32 cent stamps.


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.*