: A photograph of a Currier and Ives Print which depicts the famous race of the steam boats, the Robert E Lee and the Natchez. This race took place from New Orleans, LA to St Louis in June of 1870. After the Natchez made the trip from New Orleans to St Louis in 3 day, 21 hours and 58 minutes, Captain John W Cannon of the Robert E Lee didn't want the Natchez success to go unanswered. While waiting for the Natchez to return to New Orleans, Captain prepared for the race. He stripped the steamboat of unnecessary weight and would not accept passengers or cargo.
Captain T. P. Leathers welcomed the challenge, but refused to lighten his load. Capt Cannon had arranged for barges to be floated alongside to hasten the refueling. Capt Leathers was forced to do the same.
The Robert E Lee won the race by several hours, but the Natchez had been stuck on a mudflat for six hours. If Capt Leathers had lightened the load, the Natchez might have won. View on Ohio Memory.
: SA1039AV_B03F10_014_1 Subjects
: Steamboats; Boat racing; Robert E. Lee (Steamboat); Natchez (Steamboat) Places