Family responsibilities are keeping from writing a new post today, so I am re-posting this article from New Year’s Eve in 2016, the first year this blog existed. New Year’s Days is an important date in our history because the first ship from Germany landed in America on that day in 1838.
The first ship that was part of the Gesellschaft, the Copernicus, arrived in New Orleans on December 31, 1838. What they would experience there would both amaze them and disgust them. Arriving on New Year’s Eve would add to that experience.
As a result of the Louisiana Purchase, the American flag would first be flown over the port city of New Orleans on December 20, 1803. Here is an artist’s rendition of that time period.
Although you can see several oceangoing sailing ships in the painting, you do not see any steamboats. The era of steamboat use on the Mississippi River did not begin until 1811-1812 with the maiden voyage of Robert Fulton’s steamship, the New Orleans. Interestingly, that voyage almost ended in tragedy. After entering the Mississippi River and traveling down the Mississippi, the massive New Madrid Earthquake took place on December 15. By all accounts, it was…
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