Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/161

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133
NAVIGATION OF THE MISSISSIPPI.

Ohio until the month of July,—nay, sometimes not until October; and after all this immense trouble, it brought only a few bags of coffee, and at most 100 hogsheads of sugar. Such was the state of things in 1808. The number of barges at that period did not amount to more than 25 or 30, and the largest probably did not exceed 100 tons burden. To make the best of this fatiguing navigation, I may conclude by saying, that a barge which came up in three months had done wonders, for I believe, few voyages were performed in that time.

If I am not mistaken, the first steam-boat that went down out of the Ohio to New Orleans was named the "Orleans," and if I remember right, was commanded by Captain Ogden. This voyage, I believe was performed in the spring of 1810. It was, as you may suppose, looked upon as the ne plus ultra of enterprise. Soon after, another vessel came from Pittsburg, and before many years elapsed, to see a vessel so propelled became a common occurrence. In 1826, after a lapse of time that proved sufficient to double the population of the United States of America, the navigation of the Mississippi had so improved both in respect to facility and quickness, that I know no better way of giving you an idea of it, than by presenting you with an extract of a letter from my eldest son, which was taken from the books of N. Berthoud, Esq. with whom he at that time resided.

"You ask me in your last letter for a list of the arrivals and departures here. I give you an abstract from our list of 1826, shewing the number of boats which plied each year, their tonnage, the trips which they performed, and the quantity of goods landed here from New Orleans and intermediate places.


1823, from Jan. 1. to Dec. 31. 42 boats, measuring 7,860 tons 98 trips. 19,453 tons.
1824, do. 1. Nov. 25. 36 do. 6,393 do. 118 do. 20,291 do.
1825, do. 1. Aug. 15. 42 do. 7,484 do. 140 do. 24,102 do.
1826, do. 1. Dec. 31. 51 do. 9,388 do. 182 do. 28,914 do.


"The amount for the present year will be much greater than any of the above. The number of flat-boats and keels is beyond calculation. The number of steam-boats above the Falls I cannot say much about, except that one or two arrive at and leave Louisville every day. Their passage from Cincinnati is commonly 14 or 16 hours. The Tecumseh, a boat which runs between this place and New Orleans, and which measures 210 tons, arrived here on the 10th instant, in 9 days 7 hours, from port