CURRIER & IVES (publishers) - After Francis F. PALMER
High Water in the Mississippi
New York: Currier & Ives, 1868. Hand-coloured lithograph by James Merrit Ives after Fanny Palmer. Sheet size: 21 1/4 x 30 1/2 inches.
A poignant image, demonstrating the triumph of the human spirit, and depicting the twin stack steam paddle wheel and riverboat "Stonewall Jackson."
In the foreground, uprooted trees bob in the current, using a roof as a raft two men pole themselves and nine others to safety, one of their companions holds tight to reins of a mule swimming beside the roof, whilst two others rescue furniture and a barrel. In the mid-ground: a large white-painted house with second-floor balconies front and back, and a smaller cook-house off to the right side. Two men in a row boat approach the back of the house, a lady stands on the balcony speaking to the men; on the widow's walk on the roof a man and a woman stand: the man waves a handkerchief to the twin-stack riverboat. The riverboat, "Stonewall Jackson" is travelling at speed: the near-side paddle creates a substantial wake, the flags fly in the stiff breeze and the smoke from the stacks steams backwards: passengers line the rails attracted by the human drama they are passing. The overall impression is of a crisis that is being survived and dealt with by man's ingenuity, whilst life continues.
Conningham 2819; Gale 3057.