Detail View

A Midnight Race on the Mississippi
Date: 1860
Dimensions: image: 17 15/16 x 27 7/8 in. (45.6 x 70.8 cm) frame: 31 1/2 x 40 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (80 x 103.5 x 3.8 cm)
Medium: lithograph
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Donald S. Gilmore
Label Text: Recalling the epic days of steamboat traffic on the Mississippi River, this lithograph shows a nighttime race between the two sidewheelers, Natchez and Eclipse. Although such races are a part of the romantic history of riverboats, they were in fact dangerous events and sometimes ended in such disasters as exploding boilers, collisions, or grounding on one of the many mud flats along the river. While the captain of a steamboat was the chief officer, it was the riverboat pilot who knew the river and was responsible for negotiating its often treacherous waters. Among the hands on board, the pilot was recognized as the most important member of the crew.
Object Number: 1987/8.10
Currently not on view