1857. Vol. I No. 44
"Steamer COL. CROSSMAN, Aug. 29th, 1857".
On the 26th inst. we left our own beautiful City, Bellevue, on board
of the magnificent Steamer COL. CROSSMAN. She is a fine staunch new
boat, commanded by Col J. Cheever. The COL. CROSSMAN was built at
Pittsburg, expressly for the Missouri river trade, and finished last
February. She is complete in all her appointments, and her officers,
from Captain down to Steward, are gentlemen. In their intercourse
with passengers, they are kind and obliging -- and it makes one feel
at home to be on board.
We had the pleasure of forming the acquaintance of Maj. Johnson, of
the Council Bluffs Daily "Bugle" who is on an exploring expedition
down the "Big Muddy". We find him much of a gentleman-- and kind and
obliging in his manners -- and a good fellow generally, and the
'notes' which he sounds for the "Bulgle" are of the right sort.
At the mouth of the Platte river, we passed the Steamer OMAHA,
sticking fast on a sand-bar. She was loaded down to her guards, and
from appearances, had her full complement of passengers. She was
bound for Sioux City, and we hope will make a profitable trip --
but, owing to the very low stage of water, she will have a "hard
road to travel".
At Kenosha bar, two and a half miles below Rock Bluffs, we found the
DAN CONVERSE, high and dry on a sand bar, where she had remained
five days, unable to extricate herself from her unpleasant
situation. The hands had refused to do their duty and were in
mutiny. During the melee, the Engineer struck the Captain on the
head with a bar of iron, injuring his head severely, and had it not
been for the interference of Maj. Arnold, Indian Agent, who was on
board, he would have been murdered. Maj. Arnold and family, together
with all the other passengers, left her and came on board of the
The Major is as jolly a specimen of human nature, as we ever had the
pleasure to be acquainted with. He, with his family, had taken
passage on board of the CONVERSE at Omaha, for Kansas City,
intending to be absent from his post fifteen days -- the time for
which he received leave of absence from his post, and was cooped up
in the miserable concern over five days, subsisting on bread and
water, and fighting the mosquitoes -- a rather hard operation.
We learn that the Captain of the CONVERSE, is a good natured
Pennsylvania dutchman, unacquainted with the river, and having no
control over this hands. The Engineer and pilot know nothing about
their business and were constantly quarreling.
The boat had been in Sioux City, and meeting with accidents and
delays, she had lost over $1800 on the trip. On her return to Omaha,
(no boat having arrived for some time) a large number of persons
took passage on her, among whom was Maj. Arnold and family. The boat
being indebted at Omaha for provisions on her upward trip, she was
compelled to pay out all the money received from passengers, before
she left the port. The consequence was, the next morning they had
nothing to eat, and no money to buy provisions with -- and they
purposely run upon the first sand-bar that they could find, in order
to get rid of their passengers. No boat coming down to their relief,
Major Arnold in the goodness of his heart, proposed to the Capt.
that he would go ashore and buy a beef, and thus save all hands from
starving -- and actually did lay out for their benefit all the money
he had with him, so that he was compelled to borrow to pay his
passage on the CROSSMAN. He states that the mate do!
ne his duty, and exerted himself manfully in endeavoring to get off.
He also praises the Clerk, Mr. Porter, for his attention and
Mr. Porter, the clerk, is a healthy, fat, good natured sort of a
fellow, who hails from Omaha. For some time past he has been
luxuriating upon the grand idea of becoming a Clerk of a Steamer
upon the "Big Muddy" -- his rotundity of person, and good homored
phiz would no doubt have given him great popularity in that
responsible station. So, the gods would have it, the CONVERSE wanted
a clerk when she arrived at Omaha. Porter proposed and was accepted
-- but alas! how soon were the visions of his glory obscured by the
dark clouds of misfortune and adversity. He had scarcely entered
upon the arduous duties, when by a single puff of steam, he is
landed high and dry upon a sand-bar! "Sic transit gloria mundi." We
understand however, that Mr. Porter is an excellent man, and is
capable of taking charge as chief clerk, the largest Steamer on the
Missouri -- however complicated may be her books.
On the 27th, about 3 o'clock, we landed at White Cloud, Kansas. This
city is improving very fast, and already makes a beautiful
appearance. Messrs. Shreeve & Macy, formerly of Massillon, Ohio,
have located at this place. They are erecting a fine large building
in connection with another company, intended for a Hotel and Store.
They have also purchased a new steam saw-mill, and have it now in
successful operation -- their anticipations of the future are bright
You will hear from me again at St. Louis. --R. S. McE.