Steamboating in the Ohio Valley Collection


Steamboating in the Ohio Valley Collection


Ohio River - Pictorial works


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Collection Items

Letter from Samuel Sevey, Jr. to E. Smith, 2 February 1819
Sevey reports to his uncle on health, education, business, hunting, family and steamboats from both a personal and general perspective. Speaks specifically of personal business and profits, number of steamboats built in town and misfortunes and death…

Letter from Richard Taylor to Edmund Taylor, 15 November 1834
A letter of 15 November 1834 from Richard Taylor to Edmund Taylor describing the escape of John Taylor and an enslaved man named Toney from the steamboat accident involving the Missouri Belle and Boones Lick.

Letter from D. McNaughtan to John Brunton, 24 March 1840
Letter to John Brunton. On page 1 is a unique pencil sketch of the Louisville waterfront, head of the Portland Canal, and the steamboat Louisville drawn and described by McNaughtan.

Letter from Samuel Wigglesworth to Thomas Wigglesworth, 17 July 1839
Letter from Samuel Wigglesworth, a physician from Boston, to his father Thomas Wigglesworth of Boston, written at Cleveland, Ohio, Cincinnati, on board Steamer "Elk" near Louisville and St. Louis. Wigglesworth travelled from Boston to Buffalo, then…

Letter from W. N. Carroll to Jane Carroll, 9 December 1838
Letter from W. N. Carroll to his mother Jane Carroll from the steam boat Campte, which is "hard and fast aground" at Flint Island, located on the Ohio River in far western Meade County, approximately 45 miles southwest of Louisville. He reports that…

Captain Madison Dugan Certificate, 22 May 1888
Inspectors Certificate of Captain Madison “Big Matt” Dugan (1860-1917). Dugan lived in Jeffersonville, Ind., and came from a steamboating family. He captained the ferries City of Jeffersonville and Gen. George Rogers Clark between Louisville and…

Johnathan Clark Steamboat Ride Diary Entry, 9 November 1811
Shortly before his death, on 9 November 1811, Jonathan Clark recorded in his diary his ride on the first steamboat on western waters, the New Orleans. He rode from Louisville upstream to Diamond [Eighteen Mile] Island and back.

Where the River Winds Along Kentucky’s Shore Sheet Music Booklet, 1911
Cover of sheet music booklet by Leo Friedman and Herman Kahn.

Over On the Old Kentucky Shore Sheet Music Booklet, 1920
Sheet music booklet written by Charles F. Harrison and Cal De Voll. The Ohio and other rivers served as inspiration for singers and songwriters throughout the steamboat era.

Oil painting of the steamboat Fleetwood, 1940
Oil painting of the steamboat "Fleetwood" by Harlan Hubbard. Kentucky writer and artist Harlan Hubbard (1900-1988) recorded his and wife Anna’s lives on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in words and images. They traveled the rivers on a shantyboat and…
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