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The Mississippi River

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  • Captain James Bennett MacKay (1761 - 1822)
    James Mackay 1761-1822 was a major figure in the early fur trade, who wandered into the unexplored areas of South Western Canada and in North and Central Western U.S. He left his home on the Isle of Ar...
  • Edward Washington Moone, Sr. (1844 - 1925)
    Mechanical engineer and founder of the Moon elevator company. C.E.O. Otis Elevator company.Edward Washington Moon was a Mechanical engineer and founder of the Moon elevator company. Later C.E.O. Otis E...
  • James Buchanan Eads (1820 - 1887)
    James Buchanan Eads (May 23, 1820 – March 8, 1887) was a world-renowned American civil engineer and inventor, holding more than 50 patents.==============================================================...
  • Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976)
    Leroy Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an African-American concert singer (bass-baritone), recording artist, athlete and actor who became noted for his political radicalism and activism i...
  • Edna Ferber (1885 - 1968)
    Ferber (August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968) was an American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were especially popular and included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boa...

The "Mighty Mississipi", "Old Muddy", "Old Man River". The Ojibwa called it, "The Father of all Waters". One of Americas greatest geographical wonders. With a length of 2,350 miles long, From Lake Itasca slithering through the heartland and feeding into The Gulf of Mexico. The largest and longest river in North America and number 4 in length in the world. Resting in and created by an ancient faultline, fed by waters from all 31 states that encompass it, including 6 major rivers the most significant of which being the Missouri.

Constantly changing its course. Peppered with bridges, damns, ports, factories and other manmade architecture. In its heyday it was littered with busy and prosperous "river cities" most with the downfall of industry and creation of the automobile brought on the death of river trade. Cities like East St. Louis Illinois who's riverfront factories employed hundreds of people have now crumbled into dust highlighting the poverty and urban blight.

What was once one of Americas "Natural Highways". Granted with a uniquely American and magnificent nautical wonder. The ornately decorated steam driven paddle wheeled riverboat. Being the main source of transportation, bringing immigrants from the Port of New Orleans into the heartland. Those colorful, and mythical days, like most romanticized American tales and legends have faded away.

The river has inspired and made painters, songwriters, playwrights and authors, created and destroyed fortunes. Like the murky reflection that can be seen as one stares into those waters, it is much like a symbol of the creation of the United States, itself a powerful anthropological machine.

This project is to feature the women and men who's lives have shaped or been shaped by this grand phenomenon. From the extraordinary to the ordinary. Dockworkers, boat pilots, riverboat companies, painters, authors, singers, industrial mogols, military leaders....etc.