MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Moon River wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style Some day...

Old dream maker You heart breaker
Wherever you're going I'm going your way...

Two drifters Off to see the world
There's such a lot of world To see...

We're after the same rainbow's end
Waiting around the bend My Huckleberry friend
Moon River and me..

Music by Henry Mancin, Words by Johnny Mercer

 

DISCOVERY OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER

Fernando De Soto, accompanied by a party of seekers sifter adventure, which included the flower of Spanish chivalry, sailed from Spain for the New World, aud landing in Florida, marched across the country, then a wilderness, but now the progressive states of Florida. Georgia. Alabama aud Mississippi. They were a brilliant company in their military trappings, aud must have seemed strangely out of place amid their primitive surroundings. At last, on May 8,1541, guided by Indians. De Soto and his companions stood upon the bank of a mighty river, which poured its vasl flood majestically into the ocean.

This was the lordly Mississippi, so named from the Indian words, Mee-zee(great), and see-bee (river). De Soto and his party were the first Europeans to look upon the waters of this river. The "great river" was destined to be the grave of its discoverer, for, so history tells us, De Soto, after weary wanderings along its shores, and up some of its tributaries, dis­ couraged by the loss of many of his followers from disease aud other causes, and by his failure to find the fabulous stores of gold and gems which he was seeking, succumbed to an attack of malignant fever. He died May 21, 1542, and at midnight his body was sunk in the dark waters of the Mississippi to conceal the fact of his death from the natives.

He sought gold and fame but found instead a grave. yet his life was not in vain for he had blazed a pathway. His followers, under the leadership of Moseoso. after more than another year of fruitless wandering, escaped down the fateful river in boats which they had built. A small remnant returned to Spain, clad in rags and Indian mats. This was but the beginning. Other expeditions followed. Many were the hardships endured by soldier, missionary and trader, aud many were the battles fought and lives lost along the "great river," before socalled civilization claimed the magnificent val­ ley for its own. Rock Island county bore its full part in this warfare which practically ended, for this section, with the Black Hawk War.

SOURCE

MISSISSIPPI RIVER FACTS

FLOODS

Picture "Steamboats on the Mississippi

By Ferdinand Reichardt-1857

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois

Submitted by the Webmaster

 

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