It exceeds in extent the whole of Europe, exclusive of Russia, Norway, and Sweden. The voyagers journeyed on, touching here and there; "passed the sites, since become historic, of Vicksburg and Grand Gulf;" and visited an imposing Indian monarch in Page 39 the Teche country, whose capital city was a substantial one of sun-baked bricks mixed with straw--better houses than many that exist there now.
It would contain Austria four times, Germany or Spain five times, France six times, the British Islands or Italy ten times. La Salle again Appears, and so does a Cat-fish.--Buffaloes also.-- Some Indian Paintings are Seen on the Rocks.--"The Father of Waters" does not Flow into the Pacific.--More History and Indians. The chief's house contained an audience room forty feet square; and there he received Tonty in State, surrounded by sixty old men clothed in white cloaks.
But at last La Salle the Frenchman conceived the idea of seeking out that river and exploring it.
Swinging down the River.--Named for Me.--Plum Point again.-- Lights and Snag Boats.--Infinite Changes.--A Lawless River.-- Changes and Jetties.--Uncle Mumford Testifies.--Pegging the River.--What the Government does.--The Commission Men and Theories. When De Soto found it, he was not hunting for a river, and had no present occasion for one; consequently he did not value it or even take any particular notice of it.
Apparently it was because at this late day they thought they had discovered a way to make it useful; for it had come to be believed that the Mississippi emptied into the Gulf of California, and therefore afforded a short cut from Canada to China.
It always happens that when a man seizes upon a neglected and important idea, people inflamed with the same notion crop up all around. Naturally the question suggests itself, Why did these people want the river now when nobody had wanted it in the five preceding generations? On the rocks above the present city of Alton they found some rude and fantastic Indian paintings, which they describe. In the morning the chief and six hundred of his tribesmen escorted the Frenchmen to the river and bade them a friendly farewell.The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South. The white man and the red man struck hands and entertained each other during three days.Footnotes have been transcribed directly after the relevant paragraph. Then, to the Page 37 admiration of the savages, La Salle set up a cross with the arms of France on it, and took possession of the whole country for the king--the cool fashion of the time--while the priest piously consecrated the robbery with a hymn.All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively. Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (Soft Quad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs. And also, by signs, La Sale drew from these simple children of the forest acknowledgments of fealty to Louis the Putrid, over the water. These performances took place on the site of the future Page 38 town of Napoleon, Arkansas, and there the first confiscation-cross was raised on the banks of the great river.All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively. Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998 Page 5 BUT the basin of the Mississippi is the BODY OF THE NATION. New Pilots undermining the Pilots' Association.--Crutches and Wages. Marquette's and Joliet's voyage of discovery ended at the same spot-- the site of the future town of Napoleon.As a dwelling-place for civilized man it is by far the first upon our globe.--EDITOR'S TABLE, Harper's Magazine, February, 1863. The Mississippi is Well worth Reading about.--It is Remarkable.-- Instead of Widening towards its Mouth, it grows Narrower.--It Empties four hundred and six million Tons of Mud.--It was First Seen in 1542. A few more days swept swiftly by, and La Salle stood in the shadow of his confiscating cross, at the meeting of the waters from Delaware, and from Itaska, and from the mountain ranges close upon the Pacific, with the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, his task finished, his prodigy achieved. Parkman, in closing his fascinating narrative, thus sums up: "On that day, the realm of France received on parchment a stupendous accession.--It is Older than some Pages in European History.--De Soto has the Pull.--Older than the Atlantic Coast.--Some Half-breeds chip in.--La Salle Thinks he will Take a Hand . The fertile plains of Texas; the vast basin of the Mississippi, from its frozen northern springs to the sultry borders of the Gulf; from the woody ridges of the Alleghanies to the bare peaks of the Rocky Mountains--a region of savannas and forests, sun-cracked deserts and grassy prairies, watered by a thousand rivers, ranged by a thousand warlike tribes, passed beneath the sceptre of the Sultan of Versailles; and all by virtue of a feeble human voice, inaudible at half a mile." Page 40 APPARENTLY the river was ready for business, now. War Talk.--I Tilt over Backwards.--Fifteen Shot-holes.--A Plain Story.--Wars and Feuds.--Darnell versus Watson.--A Gang and a Woodpile.--Western Grammar.--River Changes.--New Madrid. They found them, by and by, and were hospitably received and well treated--if to be received by an Indian chief who has taken off his "HOSPITABLY RECEIVED." last rag in order to appear at his level best is to be received hospitably; and if to be treated abundantly to fish, porridge, and other game, including dog, and have these things forked into one's mouth by the ungloved fingers of Indians is to be well treated. it, embarked again, paddled some way farther, and anchored in the stream, keeping a man on the watch till morning." They did this day after day and night after night; and at the end of two weeks they had not seen a human being. They had been warned that the river Indians were as ferocious and Page 34 pitiless as the river demon, and destroyed all comers without waiting for provocation; but no matter, Joliet and Marquette struck into the country to hunt up the proprietors of the tracks.