Life On The Mississippi All Chapters By Mark Twain PDF

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Chapter 1: The River And Its History

THE Mississippi is well worth reading about. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary, is in all ways remarkable.

Considering Missouri its main branch, it is the longest river in the world—four thousand three hundred miles.

It seems safe to say that it is also the most crooked river in the world since in one part of its journey it uses up one thousand three hundred miles to cover the same ground that the crow would fly over in six hundred and seventy-five.

It discharges three times as much water as St. Lawrence, twenty-five times as much as the Rhine, and three hundred and thirty-eight times as much as the Thames.

No other river has so vast a drainage basin: it draws its water supply from twenty-eight States and Territories.

From Delaware, on the Atlantic seaboard, and from all the country between that and Idaho on the Pacific slope—a spread of forty-five degrees of longitude.

The Mississippi receives and carries to the Gulf water from fifty-four subordinate rivers that are navigable by steamboats, and from some hundreds that are navigable by flats and keels.

The area of its drainage basin is as great as the combined areas of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Turkey; and almost all this wide region is fertile; the Mississippi valley, proper, is exceptionally so.

t is a remarkable river in this: that instead of widening toward its mouth, it grows narrower; grows narrower and deeper.

From the junction of Ohio to a point halfway down to the sea, the width averages a mile in high water: thence to the sea the width steadily diminishes, until, at the ‘Passes,’ above the mouth, it is but little over half a mile.

At the junction of Ohio, the Mississippi’s depth is eighty-seven feet; the depth increases gradually, reaching one hundred and twenty-nine just above the mouth.

AuthorMark Twain
Language English
No. of Pages636
PDF Size48.8 MB

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