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St. Louis, May 11 - High Waters
The Mississippi is at this time, considerably higher than it has been for many years. The water in many places is over the banks and the low lands for miles back entirely inundated. The inhabitants have been compelled to leave their homes and some of them after in vain waiting for the waters to subside, were forced to make their escape from the upper stories. By recent accounts from the Upper Mississippi and Missouri, we learn that both of those rivers are very high and still rising.
Great fears are entertained that the water will keep up until joined by the annual June fresh; in which event the safety of New Orleans and the country bordering on the Mississippi will be much endangered. As it is, the loss to individuals residing on the low lands will be very severe. Many of the farmers have had their fences swept away, their wheat fields entirely inundated and not a spot left to rear even the necessaries of life.
The Mississippi presents an aspect truly majestic. No barrier can be opposed to its progress: it mocks the feeble devices of man to stay its course. It presents an expanse of water on which whole navies might ride with perfect safety and now, most appropriately deserves the appellation of the “Father of Waters.”
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) June 14, 1826. Contributed by Nancy Piper


Missouri – Distressing.
The St. Louis Republican of the 1st of June says: “We are informed by gentlemen engaged in the Fur Trade, who have arrived from the establishments on the Missouri, within a few days past, that the late freshet has been very destructive; that nearly all the houses, boats and other property belonging to them have been washed away and the men in many instances, barely escaped with their lives.
“At the Mandan villages, the water rose seventeen feet perpendicularly in a few hours and at the Arrickara towns, fifteen feet in 2 hours, only. Such was its rapidity that everything on the low banks was either swept away or entirely inundated.
“A band of the Sioux were encamped some distance below the Arrickaras, when the waters suddenly coming upon them, between sixty and seventy of their number, men, women and children perished in its bosom. The scene as described to us was truly appalling. Some of the sufferers were seen in the attempt to swim, dashed by the resistless current and crushed to death amongst the drifting ice and timber. Others hung to the branches of trees until they became benumbed with the cold, gradually slackened their grasp and were borne down the stream. Several of the men succeeded in climbing trees, where they remained a considerable time in hopes of rescue – but their inevitable fate was only for a short time protracted. A sudden change in the atmosphere, accompanied with a heavy sleet deprived them of all feeling and they dropped senseless into the water below.
“The rise is attributed to the melting of the snow and ice at the heads of the Yellow Stone and Cheyenne Rivers. These streams flow from the sought and are generally the first in the spring to pay their annual tribute to the Missouri. At the commencement of the present freshet, the ice had not broken up in the Missouri, nor for many miles up the other rivers, but as the water rose, it forced its way down bearing everything before it and breaking loose with tremendous crashing, the thick-ribbed ice of the Missouri.
“A great many packs of Buffalo Robes were lost by the different traders and some of these enterprising men, we are sorry to say, have lost everything they possessed.”
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) July 5, 1826. Contributed by Nancy Piper

 



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