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Mississippi River Scenes

Mississippi River Scenes image
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Edward King, in his " Down the Mississippi," in the Ootober number of Seribner'a Monthly, writes as follows : When the raina had awollen its tributaries to more than their ourdinary volume, the Miasissippi is grand, terrible, treacherous. Always subtle and serpentlike in ita mode of stealing upon its piey, it swallowa up acres at one feil swoop on one Bide ; sweeping them nway from their frail hold on the main land, while on the other it covers plantations with slime, and broken tree trunks and boughs, forcing the frightened inhabitants into the second story of their cabins, and driving the cattle and swine upon high knolls to starve, or perhaps finally to drown. It pieices the puny levees which have cost the States borderiug upon it such immense sums, and goes bubbling and roaring through the crevasses, distracting the planters and sending dismay to millions of people in a single night. It promises a fall on one day ; on anotherit rises so suddenly that the adventurous woodsmen along the border have scarcely time to nee. It makes a lake of the fertile country between the two great rivers ; it carries off hundreds of wood piles, which lonely and patiƫnt labor has heaped, in the hope that a passing steamer will buy them up, and thus reward a season'a work. Out of each small town on its western bank, set too carelessly by the water's edge, it makes a pigrny Venice, or ttoats it off altogether. As the huge steamer glides along, on the mighty current, we could see families perched in the second storiea of their houses, gazing grimly out upon the approaching ruin. At one point a man was sculling from house to barn-yard with food for his stock. The log barn was a dreary pile in the midst of the flood. The swine and the cows stood shivering on a pine knoll, disconsolately burrowing and browsing. Hailed by some flustered paterfamilias or plantation master bound to the nearest town for supplies, we took him to his destination. Aa we passed below the Arkansas and White rivers, the gigantic volume of water had so far overrun its natural boundaries that we seemed at sea, instead of upon an inland river. The cotton woods and cypresses stood up amid the water wilderness like ghosts. Gazing into the long avenues of the sombre forests, we could see only the same level, all-enveloping flood. In the open country the cabins seemed ready to sail away, though their masters were usually smoking with much equanimity, and awaiting a " fall."


Old News
Michigan Argus