Flatboats, Keelboats & Steamboats Books

Duane Huddleston, Sammie Rose, and Pat Wood
  Steamboats and Ferries on the White River: A Heritage Revisited.
125 black-and-white photographs, sketches, and maps illustrate the colorful text. Interwoven with the history of steamboats, this book detail the ferries, keelboats, flatboats, and Civil War tinclads, all of which plied the White River in the 1800s and early 1900s. A keenly researched regional study, this book is representative of conditions and activities on similar river systems in many parts of America during the same period. 
This book is broken down in 3 Parts:
                            Part 1 – History of Keelboats & Flatboats on the White River
  Part 2 – Steamboats on the White River:
          Part 3 – History of White River Ferries
                    List of Steamboats that plied the White Rive

  List of White River Ferries
               Glossary of Steamboat & Ferry Terms
  13 Page Index 


Myron J. Smith Jr.
 A Professional Librarian & a Naval, Civil War, River, and Steamboat Historian since 1966
 All Books are Heavily Noted & Indexed
*****Civil War Biographies from the Western Waters: 956 Confederate and Union Naval and Military Personnel, Contractors, Politicians, Officials, Steamboat Pilots and Others
Named Best Print Reference Title of 2015 by "Library Journal." 
This book may seem a bit pricey, but the book is a comprehensive A-Z biographical encyclopedia. It is the culmination of the author's notable contributions of over 40 years to Civil War maritime literature. If you are intrest is in the Western Theater of the Civil War, this book is a necessity & worth the investment.

The Fight for the Yazoo, August 1862-July 1864 : Swamps, Forts and Fleets on Vicksburg's Northern Flank 
Joseph Brown and His Civil War Ironclads: The USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia
Le Roy Fitch: The Civil War Career of a Union River Gunboat Commander

 Tinclads in the Civil War: Union Light-draught Gunboat Operations on Western Waters, 1862-1865

The Timberclads in the Civil War: the Lexington, Conestoga, and Tyler on the Western Waters

The USS Carondelet: A Civil War Ironclad on Western Waters


 Frederick Way  Jr.  
(February 17, 1901 – October 3, 1992)
 Fred Way was the world’s foremost authority on river life, and he was the youngest steamboat captain on the Ohio River and Mississippi River.
*****Way's Packet Directory, 1848-1994: Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System since the Advent of Photography in Mid-continent America
 This book is a 69-year labor of love. Way's 643-page book attempts to list the history of every packet. It contains almost 6,000 entries, the directory includes a majority of combination passenger and freight steamers, but includes in a broader sense all types of passenger carriers propelled by steam that plied the waters of the Mississippi System, which the White River is a part of.  Each entry describes its steamboat by:
•    Rig & Class
•    Engines & Boilers
•    Shipyards of Where & When built
•    Dimensions
•    Captains & Crew
•    Disasters, Demise & or its Conversion
•    Along with tidbits of historical interest on its use
Greg Hawley: member of the team who helped discover & excavate the Arabia.
Visit: www.1856.com
Treasure in a Cornfield: The Discovery & Excavation of the Steamboat Arabia
The Steamboat Arabia carried 130 passengers and 220 tons of precious cargo. On September 5, 1856, a submerged walnut tree pierced her hull, sinking the Arabia one-half mile below Parkville, Missouri. In time, the river changed course, leaving the Arabia and her priceless freight deep beneath a Kansas farm field...The Arabia and her treasure seemed lost forever. Then, in 1988, four men and their families dedicated themselves to achieve what others could not; to recover the treasure from the Great White Arabia. Treasure hunter Greg Hawley chronicles his amazing story of perseverance and discovery. Lavishly illustrated and carefully documented, this book is a page turning adventure that immerses the reader into the thrilling discovery of buried treasure. (1998)
 Leland Dewitt Baldwin
Eminent Pennsylvanian Historian
For historical context of Keelboat & Flatboat life and travel. (1980)
The Keelboat Age on Western Waters

William E. Lass
  Professor Emeritus of History at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
468 pages documenting the colorful saga of Steamboating on the Missouri River. (2008) 
  Navigating the Missouri: Steamboating on Nature's Highway, 1819––1935

Robert H. Gudmestad
304 page book examineing the wide-ranging influence of steamboats on the southern Antebellum economy. (2008)
Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom

Louis C. Hunter 
704 pages cover the Steamboat's development: its construction, equipment and operation; the organization and conduct of steamboat transportation as a business enterprise; the hazards and amenities of shipboard life; steamboat races on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers; collisions, explosions and fires; the rise of competition; the ultimate decline, and much more. (2012)
Steamboats on the Western Rivers: An Economic and Technological History

  Adam I. Kane
Kane works as a nautical archaeologist at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vermont. He holds a master’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M University. He has done extensive fieldwork at archaeological sites throughout the United States and has written numerous technical reports.
 Kane describes the importance and impact of the steamboat in American history and complements his historical analysis with clear, concise technical explanations of the construction and evolution of Western river steamboats. Using photographs, drawings, and charts to help readers visualize the early steamboats and the study of their remains by archaeologists, Kane explains how the rivers dictated the design of the hull, why stern wheels replaced side wheels, how hogging chains kept hulls from buckling, and why safety valves were of little use when engineers regularly overloaded them. (2004)
The Western River Steamboat
Paul F. Paskoff
Paul F. Paskoff , an associate professor of history at Louisiana State University, is the author of Industrial Evolution: Organization, Structure, and Growth of the Pennsylvania Iron Industry, 1750-1860, editor of Iron and Steel in the Nineteenth Century, and coeditor of The Cause of the South: Selections from "De Bow's Review," 1846-1867.
A comprehensive examination of the federal government's river improvements program, which aimed to reduce hazards to navigation on the great rivers of America's interior during the early and mid-nineteenth century. Danger on the rivers came in a variety of forms. Shoals, rapids, ice, rocks, sandbars, and uprooted trees and submerged steamboat wrecks lodged in river beds were the most common perils and accounted for the largest number of steamboat disasters. This daunting array of river hazards required a similarly broad range of efforts to remove or at least ameliorate them. Against a variety of obstacles -- natural, political, and technological -- the river improvements program succeeded in reducing the rate of steamboat loss, even as steamboat traffic dramatically increased. Its success, Paskoff argues, demonstrates that the federal government was far more active than generally thought in promoting economic growth and development in the years leading up to the Civil War. (2007)

Troubled Waters: Steamboat Disasters, River Improvements, and American Public Policy, 1821-1860

James T. Lloyd
According to James Lloyd, the 1856 publisher of this guide, "The price of this volume is so small, that every man, woman and child, should have a copy for reference..." 
 The largest portion of the book is taken up with detailed accounts of horrific steamboat accidents involving boiler explosions, collisions with other ships, capsizing, and damage from river detritus. 
It was the worst maritime disaster in American history. It claimed more lives in one night than "Titanic" did 47 years later. Yet, not only do few Americans know about the destruction of the "Sultana," we still don't know for certain why she exploded. 
Carrying as many as 2,400 passengers on a steamboat certified for 376, most of them were recently-released Union prisoners of war from Confederate prisons. They were emaciated, sick, and wounded. They were going home after years away—homes and families that 1,800 of them would never reach. Men, women, and children were all packed onto "Sultana" as she left the dock at Vicksburg on the Mississippi on April 24, 1865. In the middle of a dark night, a boiler exploded and thousands were cast into the icy river. The questions remain: what happened? Who was at fault? Why was no one ever punished? Together with scores of survivor accounts, this book has the official reports about the disaster. 
During the nineteenth century, more than three hundred boats met their end in the steamboat graveyard that was the Lower Missouri River, from Omaha to its mouth. Although derided as little more than an "orderly pile of kindling," steamboats were, in fact, technological marvels superbly adapted to the river's conditions. Their light superstructure and long, wide, flat hulls powered by high-pressure engines drew so little water that they could cruise on "a heavy dew" even when fully loaded. But these same characteristics made them susceptible to fires, explosions and snags--tree trunks ripped from the banks, hiding under the water's surface. Authors Vicki and James Erwin detail the perils that steamboats, their passengers and crews faced on every voyage

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