Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Busy Cotton Season -- October 15, 2014

In this scene from The Picayune's Guide to New Orleans (1903) we see a Mississippi riverboat with a full load of cotton. 

The Port of New Orleans—Scenes along the Levee. The visitor to New Orleans will have missed the most interesting as well as important feature of this city should he fail to make a personal inspection of the magnificent harbor known as the Port of New Orleans. For a distance of fifteen miles along the city front there extends an almost unbroken line of wharves and docks, sufficient to accommodate a vast fleet. Owing to the great depth of the Mississippi River, ships are able to lie close alongside the bank and load cargoes through all hatches at once. There is an equal stretch of fifteen miles along the west bank of the river within the port limits, although as yet only a moderate portion of this space available for shipping is used.  Along the harbor front there are five great grain elevators, extensive railroad terminals, including the famed Stuyvesant Docks, belonging to the Illinois Central Railroad. There are several fruit docks, with covered sheds, for the handling of tropical fruit. Another conspicuous feature is the fine new coffee dock, with its immense iron shed to protect freight from the weather. Along the city's wharves will be seen some of the largest freight ships afloat.  The best way to see the river front is to walk along the levee. It is called the levee because it consists of a great bank of earth thrown up to protect the city from the invasion of the Mississippi, which at flood rises far above the level of the streets. For many years, however, the river along most of the front has withdrawn itself a good way from the original channel, so that many solid blocks of buildings now stand where the Mississippi flowed when Bienville first looked upon it. The constant additions made to the levee in consequence cause a gradual slope up to the river front. The slope begins at a considerable distance back, and the ascent up hill is so gradual as to be imperceptible.  Many interesting sights attract along the river front.  Near the foot of Canal Street is the
Steamboat Landing,
where boats of all sorts and sizes, from the stately river packets which trade up the river to Vicksburg, Memphis, Cairo and St. Louis, to the little sternwheelers which run up Red River and into Bayou Atchafalaya and along the lower Mississippi coast, are to be seen the year round.
Here the packets lie, busily receiving and discharging freight. The immense loads of cotton and sugar which they take on, make them especially interesting to the stranger. It is very picturesque to see the throngs of darkies handling these cargoes, and singing old plantation melodies or camp-meeting hymns as they work away. When the vessels are loaded to the guards and are ready to leave a great shout goes up from the throng of laborers and roustabouts. Then they turn their attention to the next big cargo.


The Giants beat the Cardinals 6-4.  The Giants lead the series 3-1.  Barry Bonds threw out the first pitch.  Vogelsong did not start well, but Yusmiero Petit picked up the game and carried it along. 

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