nt, and Marquette the priest, crossed the country and reached the banks of the Mississippi. They went by way of the Great Lakes; and from Green Bay, in canoes, by way of Fox River and the Wisconsin. Marquette had solemnly contracted, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, that if the Virgin would permit him to discover the great river, he would name it Conception, in her honor. He kept his word. In that day, all explorers traveled with an outfit of priests. De Soto had twenty-four with him. La Salle had several, also. The expeditions were often out of meat, and scant of clothes, but they always had the furniture and other requisites for the mass; they were always prepared, as one of the quaint chroniclers of the time phrased it, to 'explain hell to the savages.'
On the 17th of June, 1673, the canoes of Joliet and Marquette and their five subordinates reached the junction of the Wisconsin with the Mississippi. Mr. Parkman says: 'Before them a wide and rapid current coursed athwart their way, by the
The book begins with some history of the Mississippi river regions and early explorers. It next moves on through the author's years as an apprentice and fully licensed steamboat pilot. Then following a 20+ year absence from the river, the remainder of the book covers the author's return to the river as a traveling journalist. At this point in the book the author writes about any and every topic that comes to his mind.
I can best sum up my opinion of this book by saying that almost everyone will find something of interest and enjoyment here, although almost no one will enjoy the entire book. Often the book is rambling, jumping wildly from subject to subject, and crammed full with excessive detail.
A cover to cover read of this book is probably best recommended for serious history or literature students. Others may want to skim through and focus only on chapters of interest.