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Here, in a story of high adventure and unlikely romance, is an authoritative account of the first steamboat voyage on the Mississippi river. This hazardous three-month's long voyage changed the course of history. It is also the story of two fascinating people, Nicholas Roosevelt and his adventurous young wife, Lyola Latrobe, who together challenged the Mississippi ... and won.
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The New Orleans, first steamboat to go down the western rivers, set out on her maiden voyage in October 1811. The only passengers were Nicholas Roosevelt, the boat's mercurial builder; his twenty-year-old wife, Lydia; and their young daughter. Not even the boat's designer, Robert Fulton, would risk the hazardous twenty-five-hundred-mile voyage. By the time the boat docked in New Orleans in January 1812, the family had endured navigational perils, an earthquake, fire, and the birth of their son.
Mr. Roosevelt's Steamboat is a stirring adventure story, a narrative with a wealth of fascinating details about the people involved. It is also an authoritative account of a historic voyage that made an important contribution to the transportation revolution.
Mary Helen Dohan lives in Houston and is the author of Our Own Words, a study of the American language, called by the New York Times "an unusual and valuable book."
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