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The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is the chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
drainage system.[13][14] The stream is entirely within the United States
United States
(although its drainage basin reaches into Canada), its source is in northern Minnesota
Minnesota
and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km)[14] to the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi
Mississippi
ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river in the world by discharge. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.[15][16] Native Americans
Americans
long lived along the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
and its tributaries. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.[17] The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States, and then as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi
Mississippi
and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country, which resulted in the river's storied steamboat era. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory due to the river's importance as a route of trade and travel, not least to the Confederacy. Because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that supplanted riverboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination. Since modern development of the basin began, the Mississippi
Mississippi
has also seen its share of pollution and environmental problems – most notably large volumes of agricultural runoff, which has led to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
dead zone off the Delta. In recent years, the river has shown a steady shift towards the Atchafalaya River
River
channel in the Delta; a course change would be an economic disaster for the port city of New Orleans.

Contents

1 Name and significance 2 Physical geography

2.1 Divisions

2.1.1 Upper Mississippi 2.1.2 Middle Mississippi 2.1.3 Lower Mississippi

2.2 Watershed 2.3 Outflow 2.4 Course changes

2.4.1 Prehistoric courses 2.4.2 Historic course changes

2.5 New Madrid Seismic Zone

3 Length 4 Cultural geography

4.1 State boundaries 4.2 Communities along the river 4.3 Bridge crossings

5 Navigation and flood control

5.1 19th century 5.2 20th century 5.3 21st century

6 History

6.1 Native Americans 6.2 European exploration 6.3 Colonization 6.4 Steamboat
Steamboat
era 6.5 Civil War 6.6 20th and 21st centuries 6.7 Future

7 Recreation 8 Ecology

8.1 Fish 8.2 Other fauna 8.3 Introduced species

9 Cultural references

9.1 Literature 9.2 Music

10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Name and significance[edit] The word Mississippi
Mississippi
itself comes from Messipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe ( Ojibwe
Ojibwe
or Algonquin) name for the river, Misi-ziibi (Great River). In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, and since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
has been widely considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern United States, and the Western United States. This is exemplified by the Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch
in St. Louis
St. Louis
and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. It is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi"[18] or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi".[19] The FCC also uses it as the dividing line for broadcast callsigns, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river. Physical geography[edit] The geographical setting of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
includes considerations of the course of the river itself, its watershed, its outflow, its prehistoric and historic course changes, and possibilities of future course changes. The New Madrid Seismic Zone along the river is also noteworthy. These various basic geographical aspects of the river in turn underlie its human history and present uses of the waterway and its adjacent lands. Divisions[edit] The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri
Missouri
River; the Middle Mississippi, which is downriver from the Missouri
Missouri
to the Ohio River; and the Lower Mississippi, which flows from the Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico. Upper Mississippi[edit]

The beginning of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
at Lake Itasca
Lake Itasca
(2004)

Mississippi
Mississippi
head of navigation, St. Anthony Falls

Confluence
Confluence
of the Wisconsin
Wisconsin
and Mississippi
Mississippi
Rivers, viewed from Wyalusing State Park
Wyalusing State Park
in Wisconsin

The Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri
Missouri
River
River
at St. Louis, Missouri. It is divided into two sections:

The headwaters, 493 miles (793 km) from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and A navigable channel, formed by a series of man-made lakes between Minneapolis
Minneapolis
and St. Louis, Missouri, some 664 miles (1,069 km).

The source of the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet (450 m) above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota. The name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth (veritas) and the first two letters of the Latin word for head (caput).[20] However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca
Lake Itasca
to St. Louis, Missouri, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis
Minneapolis
in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation. The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams significantly shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul, Minnesota, and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi
Mississippi
is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks. The head of navigation on the Mississippi
Mississippi
is the Coon Rapids Dam
Dam
in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could occasionally go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, Minnesota, depending on river conditions. The uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam
Dam
in Minneapolis. Above the dam, the river's elevation is 799 feet (244 m). Below the dam, the river's elevation is 750 feet (230 m). This 49-foot (15 m) drop is the largest of all the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
locks and dams. The origin of the dramatic drop is a waterfall preserved adjacent to the lock under an apron of concrete. Saint Anthony Falls
Saint Anthony Falls
is the only true waterfall on the entire Mississippi
Mississippi
River. The water elevation continues to drop steeply as it passes through the gorge carved by the waterfall. After the completion of the St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam
Dam
in 1963, the river's head of navigation moved upstream, to the Coon Rapids Dam. However, the Locks were closed in 2015 to control the spread of invasive Asian carp, making Minneapolis
Minneapolis
once again the site of the head of navigation of the river.[21] The Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
has a number of natural and artificial lakes, with its widest point being Lake Winnibigoshish, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, over 11 miles (18 km) across. Lake Onalaska, created by Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 7, near La Crosse, Wisconsin, is more than 4 miles (6.4 km) wide. Lake Pepin, a natural lake formed behind the delta of the Chippewa River
River
of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
as it enters the Upper Mississippi, is more than 2 miles (3.2 km) wide.[22] By the time the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
reaches Saint Paul, Minnesota, below Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 1, it has dropped more than half its original elevation and is 687 feet (209 m) above sea level. From St. Paul to St. Louis, Missouri, the river elevation falls much more slowly, and is controlled and managed as a series of pools created by 26 locks and dams.[23] The Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is joined by the Minnesota
Minnesota
River
River
at Fort Snelling in the Twin Cities; the St. Croix River
River
near Prescott, Wisconsin; the Cannon River
River
near Red Wing, Minnesota; the Zumbro River at Wabasha, Minnesota; the Black, La Crosse, and Root rivers in La Crosse, Wisconsin; the Wisconsin
Wisconsin
River
River
at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; the Rock River
River
at the Quad Cities; the Iowa
Iowa
River
River
near Wapello, Iowa; the Skunk River
River
south of Burlington, Iowa; and the Des Moines River
Des Moines River
at Keokuk, Iowa. Other major tributaries of the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
include the Crow River
River
in Minnesota, the Chippewa River
River
in Wisconsin, the Maquoketa River
River
and the Wapsipinicon River
River
in Iowa, and the Illinois River
River
in Illinois. The Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
is largely a multi-thread stream with many bars and islands. From its confluence with the St. Croix River
River
downstream to Dubuque, Iowa, the river is entrenched, with high bedrock bluffs lying on either side. The height of these bluffs decreases to the south of Dubuque, though they are still significant through Savanna, Illinois. This topography contrasts strongly with the Lower Mississippi, which is a meandering river in a broad, flat area, only rarely flowing alongside a bluff (as at Vicksburg, Mississippi).

The confluence of the Mississippi
Mississippi
(left) and Ohio (right) rivers at Cairo, Illinois, the demarcation between the Middle and the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River

Middle Mississippi[edit] The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is known as the Middle Mississippi
Mississippi
from the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River's confluence with the Missouri
Missouri
River
River
at St. Louis, Missouri, for 190 miles (310 km) to its confluence with the Ohio River
Ohio River
at Cairo, Illinois.[24][25] The Middle Mississippi
Mississippi
is relatively free-flowing. From St. Louis
St. Louis
to the Ohio River
Ohio River
confluence, the Middle Mississippi
Mississippi
falls 220 feet (67 m) over 180 miles (290 km) for an average rate of 1.2 feet per mile (23 cm/km). At its confluence with the Ohio River, the Middle Mississippi
Mississippi
is 315 feet (96 m) above sea level. Apart from the Missouri
Missouri
and Meramec rivers of Missouri
Missouri
and the Kaskaskia River
River
of Illinois, no major tributaries enter the Middle Mississippi River. Lower Mississippi[edit]

Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
near New Orleans

The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is called the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
from its confluence with the Ohio River
Ohio River
to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 1,000 miles (1,600 km). At the confluence of the Ohio and the Middle Mississippi, the long-term mean discharge of the Ohio at Cairo, Illinois
Illinois
is 281,500 cubic feet per second (7,970 cubic metres per second),[26] while the long-term mean discharge of the Mississippi
Mississippi
at Thebes, Illinois
Illinois
(just upriver from Cairo) is 208,200 cu ft/s (5,900 m3/s).[27] Thus, by volume, the main branch of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
system at Cairo can be considered to be the Ohio River
Ohio River
(and the Allegheny River
River
further upstream), rather than the Middle Mississippi. In addition to the Ohio River, the major tributaries of the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
are the White River, flowing in at the White River National Wildlife Refuge in east central Arkansas; the Arkansas
Arkansas
River, joining the Mississippi
Mississippi
at Arkansas
Arkansas
Post; the Big Black River
River
in Mississippi; and the Yazoo River, meeting the Mississippi
Mississippi
at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The widest point of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is in the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
portion where it exceeds 1 mile (1.6 km) in width in several places. Deliberate water diversion at the Old River
River
Control Structure in Louisiana
Louisiana
allows the Atchafalaya River
River
in Louisiana
Louisiana
to be a major distributary of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River, with 30% of the Mississippi flowing to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
by this route, rather than continuing down the Mississippi's current channel past Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
and New Orleans on a longer route to the Gulf.[28][29][30] Although the Red River
River
is commonly thought to be a tributary, it is actually not, because its water flows separately into the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
through the Atchafalaya River. Watershed[edit]

Map of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
watershed

Play media

An animation of the flows along the rivers of the Mississippi watershed

See also: List of drainage basins by area The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
has the world's fourth-largest drainage basin ("watershed" or "catchment"). The basin covers more than 1,245,000 square miles (3,220,000 km2), including all or parts of 31[31] U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The drainage basin empties into the Gulf of Mexico, part of the Atlantic Ocean. The total catchment of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
covers nearly 40% of the landmass of the continental United States. The highest point within the watershed is also the highest point of the Rocky Mountains, Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet (4,400 m).[32]

Sequence of NASA
NASA
MODIS images showing the outflow of fresh water from the Mississippi
Mississippi
(arrows) into the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
(2004)

In the United States, the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
drains the majority of the area between the crest of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
and the crest of the Appalachian Mountains, except for various regions drained to Hudson Bay by the Red River
River
of the North; to the Atlantic Ocean by the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River; and to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
by the Rio Grande, the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, the Chattahoochee and Appalachicola rivers, and various smaller coastal waterways along the Gulf. The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
empties into the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
about 100 miles (160 km) downstream from New Orleans. Measurements of the length of the Mississippi
Mississippi
from Lake Itasca
Lake Itasca
to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
vary somewhat, but the United States
United States
Geological Survey's number is 2,320 miles (3,730 km). The retention time from Lake Itasca
Lake Itasca
to the Gulf is typically about 90 days.[33] Outflow[edit] The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
discharges at an annual average rate of between 200 and 700 thousand cubic feet per second (7,000–20,000 m3/s).[34] Although it is the fifth-largest river in the world by volume, this flow is a small fraction of the output of the Amazon, which moves nearly 7 million cubic feet per second (200,000 m3/s) during wet seasons. On average, the Mississippi has only 8% the flow of the Amazon River.[35] Fresh river water flowing from the Mississippi
Mississippi
into the Gulf of Mexico does not mix into the salt water immediately. The images from NASA's MODIS (to the right) show a large plume of fresh water, which appears as a dark ribbon against the lighter-blue surrounding waters. These images demonstrate that the plume did not mix with the surrounding sea water immediately. Instead, it stayed intact as it flowed through the Gulf of Mexico, into the Straits of Florida, and entered the Gulf Stream. The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
water rounded the tip of Florida and traveled up the southeast coast to the latitude of Georgia before finally mixing in so thoroughly with the ocean that it could no longer be detected by MODIS. Before 1900, the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
transported an estimated 400 million metric tons of sediment per year from the interior of the United States
United States
to coastal Louisiana
Louisiana
and the Gulf of Mexico. During the last two decades, this number was only 145 million metric tons per year. The reduction in sediment transported down the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is the result of engineering modification of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers and their tributaries by dams, meander cutoffs, river-training structures, and bank revetments and soil erosion control programs in the areas drained by them.[36] Course changes[edit] Over geologic time, the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
has experienced numerous large and small changes to its main course, as well as additions, deletions, and other changes among its numerous tributaries, and the lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
has used different pathways as its main channel to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
across the delta region. Through a natural process known as avulsion or delta switching, the lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
has shifted its final course to the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
every thousand years or so. This occurs because the deposits of silt and sediment begin to clog its channel, raising the river's level and causing it to eventually find a steeper, more direct route to the Gulf of Mexico. The abandoned distributaries diminish in volume and form what are known as bayous. This process has, over the past 5,000 years, caused the coastline of south Louisiana
Louisiana
to advance toward the Gulf from 15 to 50 miles (24 to 80 km). The currently active delta lobe is called the Birdfoot Delta, after its shape, or the Balize Delta, after La Balize, Louisiana, the first French settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi. Prehistoric courses[edit] The current form of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
basin was largely shaped by the Laurentide Ice Sheet
Laurentide Ice Sheet
of the most recent Ice Age. The southernmost extent of this enormous glaciation extended well into the present-day United States
United States
and Mississippi
Mississippi
basin. When the ice sheet began to recede, hundreds of feet of rich sediment were deposited, creating the flat and fertile landscape of the Mississippi
Mississippi
Valley. During the melt, giant glacial rivers found drainage paths into the Mississippi watershed, creating such features as the Minnesota
Minnesota
River, James River, and Milk River
River
valleys. When the ice sheet completely retreated, many of these "temporary" rivers found paths to Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
or the Arctic Ocean, leaving the Mississippi
Mississippi
Basin with many features "oversized" for the existing rivers to have carved in the same time period. Ice sheets during the Illinoian Stage about 300,000 to 132,000 years before present, blocked the Mississippi
Mississippi
near Rock Island, Illinois, diverting it to its present channel farther to the west, the current western border of Illinois. The Hennepin Canal roughly follows the ancient channel of the Mississippi
Mississippi
downstream from Rock Island to Hennepin, Illinois. South of Hennepin, to Alton, Illinois, the current Illinois
Illinois
River
River
follows the ancient channel used by the Mississippi River
River
before the Illinoian Stage.[37][38]

View along the former riverbed at the Tennessee/ Arkansas
Arkansas
state line near Reverie, Tennessee
Tennessee
(2007)

Timeline of outflow course changes[39]

c. 5000 BC: The last Ice Age
Ice Age
ended; world sea level became what it is now. c. 2500 BC: Bayou
Bayou
Teche became the main course of the Mississippi. c. 800 BC: The Mississippi
Mississippi
diverted further east. c. 200 AD: Bayou
Bayou
Lafourche became the main course of the Mississippi. c. 1000 AD: The Mississippi's present course took over. Before c. 1400 AD: The Red River
River
of the South flowed parallel to the lower Mississippi
Mississippi
to the sea 15th century: Turnbull's Bend
Turnbull's Bend
in the lower Mississippi
Mississippi
extended so far west that it captured the Red River
River
of the South. The Red River
River
below the captured section became the Atchafalaya River. 1831: Captain Henry M. Shreve
Captain Henry M. Shreve
dug a new short course for the Mississippi
Mississippi
through the neck of Turnbull's Bend. 1833 to November 1873: The Great Raft (a huge logjam in the Atchafalaya River) was cleared. The Atchafalaya started to capture the Mississippi
Mississippi
and to become its new main lower course. 1963: The Old River
River
Control Structure was completed, controlling how much Mississippi
Mississippi
water entered the Atchafalaya. Cahokia's rise and fall linked to river flooding (article in Popular Archaeology
Archaeology
periodical)

Historic course changes[edit] In March 1876, the Mississippi
Mississippi
suddenly changed course near the settlement of Reverie, Tennessee, leaving a small part of Tipton County, Tennessee, attached to Arkansas
Arkansas
and separated from the rest of Tennessee
Tennessee
by the new river channel. Since this event was an avulsion, rather than the effect of incremental erosion and deposition, the state line still follows the old channel.[40] The town of Kaskaskia, Illinois
Illinois
once stood on a peninsula at the confluence of the Mississippi
Mississippi
and Kaskaskia (Okaw) Rivers. Founded as a French colonial community, it later became the capital of the Illinois
Illinois
Territory and was the first state capital of Illinois
Illinois
until 1819. Beginning in 1844, successive flooding caused the Mississippi River
River
to slowly encroach east. A major flood in 1881 caused it to overtake the lower 10 miles of the Kaskaskia River, forming a new Mississippi
Mississippi
channel and cutting off the town from the rest of the state. Later flooding destroyed most of the remaining town, including the original State House. Today, the remaining 2,300 acre island and community of 14 residents is known as an enclave of Illinois
Illinois
and is accessible only from the Missouri
Missouri
side.[41] New Madrid Seismic Zone[edit] The New Madrid Seismic Zone, along the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
near New Madrid, Missouri, between Memphis
Memphis
and St. Louis, is related to an aulacogen (failed rift) that formed at the same time as the Gulf of Mexico. This area is still quite active seismically. Four great earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, estimated at approximately 8 on the Richter magnitude scale, had tremendous local effects in the then sparsely settled area, and were felt in many other places in the midwestern and eastern U.S. These earthquakes created Reelfoot Lake
Reelfoot Lake
in Tennessee
Tennessee
from the altered landscape near the river. Length[edit] When measured from its traditional source at Lake Itasca, the Mississippi
Mississippi
has a length of 2,320 miles (3,730 km). When measured from its longest stream source (most distant source from the sea), Brower's Spring in Montana, the source of the Missouri
Missouri
River. it has a length of 3,710 miles, making it the fourth longest river in the world after the Nile, Amazon, and Yangtze.[42] When measured by the largest stream source (by water volume), the Ohio River, by extension the Allegheny River, would be the source, and the Mississippi
Mississippi
would begin in Pennsylvania.[citation needed] Cultural geography[edit] State boundaries[edit] The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
runs through or along 10 states, from Minnesota to Louisiana, and is used to define portions of these states' borders, with Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi
Mississippi
along the east side of the river, and Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas
Arkansas
along its west side. Substantial parts of both Minnesota
Minnesota
and Louisiana
Louisiana
are on either side of the river, although the Mississippi
Mississippi
defines part of the boundary of each of these states. In all of these cases, the middle of the riverbed at the time the borders were established was used as the line to define the borders between adjacent states.[43][44] In various areas, the river has since shifted, but the state borders have not changed, still following the former bed of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
as of their establishment, leaving several small isolated areas of one state across the new river channel, contiguous with the adjacent state. Also, due to a meander in the river, a small part of western Kentucky
Kentucky
is contiguous with Tennessee, but isolated from the rest of its state.

Lake Pepin, the widest naturally occurring part of the Mississippi, is part of the Minnesota– Wisconsin
Wisconsin
border.

The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
in downtown Baton Rouge

Communities along the river[edit]

Metro Area Population

Minneapolis-Saint Paul 3,615,901

St. Louis 2,916,447

Memphis 1,316,100

New Orleans 1,214,932

Baton Rouge 802,484

Quad Cities, IA-IL 382,630

St. Cloud, MN 189,148

La Crosse, WI 133,365

Cape Girardeau–Jackson MO-IL 96,275

Dubuque, IA 93,653

In Minnesota, the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
runs through the Twin Cities (2007)

Community of boathouses on the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
in Winona, MN (2006)

The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
at the Chain of Rocks just north of St. Louis (2005)

Many of the communities along the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
are listed below; most have either historic significance or cultural lore connecting them to the river. They are sequenced from the source of the river to its end.

Bemidji, Minnesota Grand Rapids, Minnesota Jacobson, Minnesota Palisade, Minnesota Aitkin, Minnesota Riverton, Minnesota Brainerd, Minnesota Fort Ripley, Minnesota Little Falls, Minnesota Sartell, Minnesota St. Cloud, Minnesota Monticello, Minnesota Anoka, Minnesota Coon Rapids, Minnesota Brooklyn Park, Minnesota Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Saint Paul, Minnesota Nininger, Minnesota Hastings, Minnesota Prescott, Wisconsin Prairie Island, Minnesota Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin Red Wing, Minnesota Hager City, Wisconsin Maiden Rock, Wisconsin Stockholm, Wisconsin Lake City, Minnesota Maple Springs, Minnesota Camp Lacupolis, Minnesota Pepin, Wisconsin Reads Landing, Minnesota Wabasha, Minnesota Nelson, Wisconsin Alma, Wisconsin Buffalo City, Wisconsin Weaver, Minnesota Minneiska, Minnesota Fountain City, Wisconsin Winona, Minnesota Homer, Minnesota Trempealeau, Wisconsin Dakota, Minnesota Dresbach, Minnesota La Crescent, Minnesota

La Crosse, Wisconsin Brownsville, Minnesota Stoddard, Wisconsin Genoa, Wisconsin Victory, Wisconsin Potosi, Wisconsin De Soto, Wisconsin Lansing, Iowa Ferryville, Wisconsin Lynxville, Wisconsin Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin Marquette, Iowa McGregor, Iowa Wyalusing, Wisconsin Guttenberg, Iowa Cassville, Wisconsin Dubuque, Iowa Galena, Illinois Bellevue, Iowa Savanna, Illinois Sabula, Iowa Fulton, Illinois Clinton, Iowa Cordova, Illinois Port Byron, Illinois LeClaire, Iowa Rapids City, Illinois Hampton, Illinois Bettendorf, Iowa East Moline, Illinois Moline, Illinois Davenport, Iowa Rock Island, Illinois Buffalo, Iowa Muscatine, Iowa New Boston, Illinois Keithsburg, Illinois Oquawka, Illinois Burlington, Iowa Dallas City, Illinois Fort Madison, Iowa Nauvoo, Illinois Keokuk, Iowa Warsaw, Illinois

Quincy, Illinois Hannibal, Missouri Louisiana, Missouri Clarksville, Missouri Grafton, Illinois Portage Des Sioux, Missouri Alton, Illinois St. Louis, Missouri Ste. Genevieve, Missouri Kaskaskia, Illinois Chester, Illinois Grand Tower, Illinois Cape Girardeau, Missouri Thebes, Illinois Commerce, Missouri Cairo, Illinois Wickliffe, Kentucky Columbus, Kentucky Hickman, Kentucky New Madrid, Missouri Tiptonville, Tennessee Caruthersville, Missouri Osceola, Arkansas Reverie, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee West Memphis, Arkansas Tunica, Mississippi Helena-West Helena, Arkansas Napoleon, Arkansas
Arkansas
(historical) Arkansas
Arkansas
City, Arkansas Greenville, Mississippi Vicksburg, Mississippi Waterproof, Louisiana Natchez, Mississippi Morganza, Louisiana St. Francisville, Louisiana New Roads, Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana Donaldsonville, Louisiana Lutcher, Louisiana Destrehan, Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Pilottown, Louisiana La Balize, Louisiana
Louisiana
(historical)

Bridge crossings[edit] See also: List of crossings of the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
and List of crossings of the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River

The Stone Arch Bridge, the Third Avenue Bridge and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis
Minneapolis
(2004)

The road crossing highest on the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
is a simple steel culvert, through which the river (locally named "Nicolet Creek") flows north from Lake Nicolet under "Wilderness Road" to the West Arm of Lake Itasca, within Itasca State Park.[45] The earliest bridge across the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
was built in 1855. It spanned the river in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota
where the current Hennepin Avenue Bridge is located.[46] No highway or railroad tunnels cross under the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi
Mississippi
was built in 1856. It spanned the river between the Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island Arsenal
in Illinois
Illinois
and Davenport, Iowa. Steamboat
Steamboat
captains of the day, fearful of competition from the railroads, considered the new bridge a hazard to navigation. Two weeks after the bridge opened, the steamboat Effie Afton rammed part of the bridge, setting it on fire. Legal proceedings ensued, with Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
defending the railroad. The lawsuit went to the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled in favor of the railroad.[47] Below is a general overview of selected Mississippi
Mississippi
bridges which have notable engineering or landmark significance, with their cities or locations. They are sequenced from the Upper Mississippi's source to the Lower Mississippi's mouth.

Stone Arch Bridge – Former Great Northern Railway (now pedestrian) bridge at Saint Anthony Falls
Saint Anthony Falls
connecting downtown Minneapolis
Minneapolis
with the historic Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. I-35W Saint Anthony Falls
Saint Anthony Falls
Bridge – In Minneapolis, opened in September 2008, replacing the I-35W Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
bridge which had collapsed catastrophically on August 1, 2007, killing 13 and injuring over 100. Eisenhower Bridge ( Mississippi
Mississippi
River) – In Red Wing, Minnesota, opened by Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
in November 1960. I-90 Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Bridge – Connects La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Winona County, Minnesota, located just south of Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 7. Black Hawk Bridge – Connects Lansing in Allamakee County, Iowa and rural Crawford County, Wisconsin; locally referred to as the Lansing Bridge and documented in the Historic American Engineering Record.

The Dubuque- Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Bridge (2004)

Dubuque- Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Bridge – Connects Dubuque, Iowa, and Grant County, Wisconsin. Julien Dubuque Bridge – Joins the cities of Dubuque, Iowa, and East Dubuque, Illinois; listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Savanna-Sabula Bridge – A truss bridge and causeway connecting the city of Savanna, Illinois, and the island city of Sabula, Iowa. The bridge carries U.S. Highway 52
U.S. Highway 52
over the river, and is the terminus of both Iowa
Iowa
Highway 64 and Illinois
Illinois
Route 64. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge – A 4-lane steel girder bridge that carries Interstate 80
Interstate 80
and connects LeClaire, Iowa, and Rapids City, Illinois. Completed in 1966. I-74 Bridge – Connects Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois; originally known as the Iowa- Illinois
Illinois
Memorial Bridge. Government Bridge – Connects Rock Island, Illinois
Illinois
and Davenport, Iowa, adjacent to Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 15; the fourth crossing in this vicinity, built in 1896. Rock Island Centennial Bridge – Connects Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa; opened in 1940. Sergeant John F. Baker, Jr. Bridge – Connects Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa; opened in 1973.

Norbert F. Beckey bridge at Muscatine, Iowa, with LED
LED
lighting

Norbert F. Beckey Bridge – Connects Muscatine, Iowa, and Rock Island County, Illinois; became first U.S. bridge to be illuminated with light-emitting diode (LED) lights decoratively illuminating the facade of the bridge. Great River
River
Bridge – A cable-stayed bridge connecting Burlington, Iowa, to Gulf Port, Illinois. Fort Madison Toll Bridge – Connects Fort Madison, Iowa, and unincorporated Niota, Illinois; also known as the Santa Fe Swing Span Bridge; at the time of its construction the longest and heaviest electrified swing span on the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
since 1999. Keokuk–Hamilton Bridge – Connects Keokuk, Iowa
Iowa
and Hamilton, Illinois; opened in 1985 replacing an older bridge which is still in use as a railroad bridge. Bayview Bridge – A cable-stayed bridge bringing westbound U.S. Highway 24 over the river, connecting the cities of West Quincy, Missouri, and Quincy, Illinois. Quincy Memorial Bridge – Connects the cities of West Quincy, Missouri, and Quincy, Illinois, carrying eastbound U.S. 24, the older of these two U.S. 24 bridges. Clark Bridge – A cable-stayed bridge connecting West Alton, Missouri, and Alton, Illinois, also known as the Super Bridge as the result of an appearance on the PBS program, Nova; built in 1994, carrying U.S. Route 67
U.S. Route 67
across the river. This is the northernmost river crossing in the St. Louis
St. Louis
metropolitan area, replacing the Old Clark Bridge, a truss bridge built in 1928, named after explorer William Clark.

The Chain of Rocks Bridge
Chain of Rocks Bridge
at St. Louis, Missouri

Chain of Rocks Bridge – Located on the northern edge of St. Louis, notable for a 22-degree bend occurring at the middle of the crossing, necessary for navigation on the river; formerly used by U.S. Route 66 to cross the Mississippi. Replaced for road traffic in 1966 by a nearby pair of new bridges; now a pedestrian bridge. Eads Bridge – A combined road and railway bridge, connecting St. Louis
St. Louis
and East St. Louis, Illinois. When completed in 1874, it was the longest arch bridge in the world, with an overall length of 6,442 feet (1,964 m). The three ribbed steel arch spans were considered daring, as was the use of steel as a primary structural material; it was the first such use of true steel in a major bridge project. Chester Bridge – A truss bridge connecting Route 51 in Missouri with Illinois
Illinois
Route 150, between Perryville, Missouri, and Chester, Illinois. The bridge can be seen in the beginning of the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night. In the 1940s, the main span was destroyed by a tornado. Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge—Connecting Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Missouri
and East Cape Girardeau, Illinois, completed in 2003 and illuminated by 140 lights. Caruthersville Bridge – A single tower cantilever bridge carrying Interstate 155 and U.S. Route 412
U.S. Route 412
across the Mississippi River
River
between Caruthersville, Missouri
Missouri
and Dyersburg, Tennessee.

The Hernando de Soto Bridge
Hernando de Soto Bridge
in Memphis, Tennessee
Tennessee
(2009)

Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto
Bridge – A through arch bridge carrying Interstate 40
Interstate 40
across the Mississippi
Mississippi
between West Memphis, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee. Harahan Bridge – A cantilevered through truss bridge, carrying two rail lines of the Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
across the river between West Memphis, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee. Frisco Bridge – A cantilevered through truss bridge, carrying a rail line across the river between West Memphis, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, previously known as the Memphis
Memphis
Bridge. When it opened on May 12, 1892, it was the first crossing of the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
and the longest span in the U.S. Listed as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Memphis
Memphis
& Arkansas
Arkansas
Bridge – A cantilevered through truss bridge, carrying Interstate 55
Interstate 55
between Memphis
Memphis
and West Memphis; listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Helena Bridge Greenville Bridge

Vicksburg Bridge

Old Vicksburg Bridge Vicksburg Bridge Natchez-Vidalia Bridge John James Audubon Bridge – The second-longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere; connects Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana Parishes in Louisiana. It is the only crossing between Baton Rouge and Natchez. This bridge was opened a month ahead of schedule in May 2011, due to the 2011 floods. Huey P. Long Bridge – A truss cantilever bridge carrying US 190 (Airline Highway) and one rail line between East Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
and West Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
Parishes in Louisiana. Horace Wilkinson Bridge – A cantilevered through truss bridge, carrying six lanes of Interstate 10
Interstate 10
between Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
and Port Allen in Louisiana. It is the highest bridge over the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. Sunshine Bridge Gramercy Bridge Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge Huey P. Long Bridge – In Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, the first Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
span built in Louisiana. Crescent City Connection – Connects the east and west banks of New Orleans, Louisiana; the fifth-longest cantilever bridge in the world.

Navigation and flood control[edit] Main article: List of locks and dams of the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River

Towboat and barges at Memphis, Tennessee

Ships on the lower part of the Mississippi

A clear channel is needed for the barges and other vessels that make the main stem Mississippi
Mississippi
one of the great commercial waterways of the world. The task of maintaining a navigation channel is the responsibility of the United States
United States
Army Corps of Engineers, which was established in 1802.[48] Earlier projects began as early as 1829 to remove snags, close off secondary channels and excavate rocks and sandbars. Steamboats entered trade in the 1820s, so the period 1830–1850 became the golden age of steamboats. As there were few roads or rails in the lands of the Louisiana
Louisiana
Purchase, river traffic was an ideal solution. Cotton, timber and food came down the river, as did Appalachian coal. The port of New Orleans
New Orleans
boomed as it was the trans-shipment point to deep sea ocean vessels. As a result, the image of the twin stacked, wedding cake Mississippi
Mississippi
steamer entered into American mythology. Steamers worked the entire route from the trickles of Montana, to the Ohio River; down the Missouri
Missouri
and Tennessee, to the main channel of the Mississippi. Only with the arrival of the railroads in the 1880s did steamboat traffic diminish. Steamboats remained a feature until the 1920s. Most have been superseded by pusher tugs. A few survive as icons—the Delta Queen
Delta Queen
and the River Queen for instance.

Oil tanker on the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
near the Port of New Orleans

Barge
Barge
on the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River

A series of 29 locks and dams on the upper Mississippi, most of which were built in the 1930s, is designed primarily to maintain a 9-foot-deep (2.7 m) channel for commercial barge traffic.[49][50] The lakes formed are also used for recreational boating and fishing. The dams make the river deeper and wider but do not stop it. No flood control is intended. During periods of high flow, the gates, some of which are submersible, are completely opened and the dams simply cease to function. Below St. Louis, the Mississippi
Mississippi
is relatively free-flowing, although it is constrained by numerous levees and directed by numerous wing dams. On the lower Mississippi, from Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
to the mouth of the Mississippi, the navigation depth is 45 feet (14 m), allowing container ships and cruise ships to dock at the Port of New Orleans and bulk cargo ships shorter than 150-foot (46 m) air draft that fit under the Huey P. Long Bridge to traverse the Mississippi
Mississippi
to Baton Rouge.[51] There is a feasibility study to dredge this portion of the river to 50 feet (15 m) to allow New Panamax
New Panamax
ship depths.[52] 19th century[edit]

Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 11, north of Dubuque, Iowa
Iowa
(2007)

In 1829, there were surveys of the two major obstacles on the upper Mississippi, the Des Moines Rapids
Des Moines Rapids
and the Rock Island Rapids, where the river was shallow and the riverbed was rock. The Des Moines Rapids were about 11 miles (18 km) long and just above the mouth of the Des Moines River
Des Moines River
at Keokuk, Iowa. The Rock Island Rapids were between Rock Island and Moline, Illinois. Both rapids were considered virtually impassable. In 1848, the Illinois
Illinois
and Michigan Canal was built to connect the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
to Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
via the Illinois
Illinois
River
River
near Peru, Illinois. The canal allowed shipping between these important waterways. In 1900, the canal was replaced by the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The second canal, in addition to shipping, also allowed Chicago to address specific health issues (typhoid fever, cholera and other waterborne diseases) by sending its waste down the Illinois
Illinois
and Mississippi
Mississippi
river systems rather than polluting its water source of Lake Michigan. The Corps of Engineers recommended the excavation of a 5-foot-deep (1.5 m) channel at the Des Moines Rapids, but work did not begin until after Lieutenant Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
endorsed the project in 1837. The Corps later also began excavating the Rock Island Rapids. By 1866, it had become evident that excavation was impractical, and it was decided to build a canal around the Des Moines Rapids. The canal opened in 1877, but the Rock Island Rapids remained an obstacle. In 1878, Congress authorized the Corps to establish a 4.5-foot-deep (1.4 m) channel to be obtained by building wing dams which direct the river to a narrow channel causing it to cut a deeper channel, by closing secondary channels and by dredging. The channel project was complete when the Moline Lock, which bypassed the Rock Island Rapids, opened in 1907. To improve navigation between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, the Corps constructed several dams on lakes in the headwaters area, including Lake Winnibigoshish and Lake Pokegama. The dams, which were built beginning in the 1880s, stored spring run-off which was released during low water to help maintain channel depth.

Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 2, near Hastings, Minnesota
Minnesota
(2007)

Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 15, is the largest roller dam in the world Davenport, Iowa; Rock Island, Illinois. (1990)

20th century[edit] In 1907, Congress authorized a 6-foot-deep (1.8 m) channel project on the Mississippi, which was not complete when it was abandoned in the late 1920s in favor of the 9-foot-deep (2.7 m) channel project. In 1913, construction was complete on Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 19 at Keokuk, Iowa, the first dam below St. Anthony Falls. Built by a private power company ( Union Electric Company
Union Electric Company
of St. Louis) to generate electricity (originally for streetcars in St. Louis), the Keokuk dam was one of the largest hydro-electric plants in the world at the time. The dam also eliminated the Des Moines Rapids. Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 1 was completed in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnesota
in 1917. Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 2, near Hastings, Minnesota, was completed in 1930. Before the Great Mississippi
Mississippi
Flood of 1927, the Corps's primary strategy was to close off as many side channels as possible to increase the flow in the main river. It was thought that the river's velocity would scour off bottom sediments, deepening the river and decreasing the possibility of flooding. The 1927 flood proved this to be so wrong that communities threatened by the flood began to create their own levee breaks to relieve the force of the rising river. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1930 authorized the 9-foot (2.7 m) channel project, which called for a navigation channel 9 feet (2.7 m) feet deep and 400 feet (120 m) wide to accommodate multiple-barge tows.[53][54] This was achieved by a series of locks and dams, and by dredging. Twenty-three new locks and dams were built on the upper Mississippi
Mississippi
in the 1930s in addition to the three already in existence.

Formation of the Atchafalaya River
River
and construction of the Old River Control Structure.

Project design flood
Project design flood
flow capacity for the Mississippi
Mississippi
river in thousands of cubic feet per second.[55]

Until the 1950s, there was no dam below Lock and Dam
Dam
26 at Alton, Illinois. Chain of Rocks Lock
Chain of Rocks Lock
(Lock and Dam
Dam
No. 27), which consists of a low-water dam and an 8.4-mile-long (13.5 km) canal, was added in 1953, just below the confluence with the Missouri
Missouri
River, primarily to bypass a series of rock ledges at St. Louis. It also serves to protect the St. Louis
St. Louis
city water intakes during times of low water. U.S. government scientists determined in the 1950s that the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
was starting to switch to the Atchafalaya River channel because of its much steeper path to the Gulf of Mexico. Eventually the Atchafalaya River
River
would capture the Mississippi
Mississippi
River and become its main channel to the Gulf of Mexico, leaving New Orleans on a side channel. As a result, the U.S. Congress authorized a project called the Old River
River
Control Structure, which has prevented the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
from leaving its current channel that drains into the Gulf via New Orleans.[56] Because the large scale of high-energy water flow threatened to damage the structure, an auxiliary flow control station was built adjacent to the standing control station. This $300 million project was completed in 1986 by the Corps of Engineers. Beginning in the 1970s, the Corps applied hydrological transport models to analyze flood flow and water quality of the Mississippi. Dam
Dam
26 at Alton, Illinois, which had structural problems, was replaced by the Mel Price Lock and Dam
Dam
in 1990. The original Lock and Dam
Dam
26 was demolished.

A low-water dam deepens the pool above the Chain of Rocks Lock
Chain of Rocks Lock
near St. Louis
St. Louis
(2006)

Soldiers of the Missouri
Missouri
Army National Guard sandbag the River
River
in Clarksville, Missouri, June 2008, following flooding.

21st century[edit] The Corps now actively creates and maintains spillways and floodways to divert periodic water surges into backwater channels and lakes, as well as route part of the Mississippi's flow into the Atchafalaya Basin and from there to the Gulf of Mexico, bypassing Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
and New Orleans. The main structures are the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway in Missouri; the Old River
River
Control Structure and the Morganza Spillway in Louisiana, which direct excess water down the west and east sides (respectively) of the Atchafalaya River; and the Bonnet Carré Spillway, also in Louisiana, which directs floodwaters to Lake Pontchartrain (see diagram). Some experts blame urban sprawl for increases in both the risk and frequency of flooding on the Mississippi
Mississippi
River.[57] Some of the pre-1927 strategy is still in use today, with the Corps actively cutting the necks of horseshoe bends, allowing the water to move faster and reducing flood heights.[58] History[edit] Native Americans[edit] Main articles: Woodland period, Hopewell tradition, and Mississippian culture

Monks Mound, a platform mound at the site of the Mississippian city of Cahokia.

The area of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
basin was first settled by hunting and gathering Native American peoples and is considered one of the few independent centers of plant domestication in human history.[59] Evidence of early cultivation of sunflower, a goosefoot, a marsh elder and an indigenous squash dates to the 4th millennium BCE. The lifestyle gradually became more settled after around 1000 BCE during what is now called the Woodland period, with increasing evidence of shelter construction, pottery, weaving and other practices. A network of trade routes referred to as the Hopewell interaction sphere was active along the waterways between about 200 and 500 CE, spreading common cultural practices over the entire area between the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. A period of more isolated communities followed, and agriculture introduced from Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
based on the Three Sisters (maize, beans and squash) gradually came to dominate. After around 800 CE there arose an advanced agricultural society today referred to as the Mississippian culture, with evidence of highly stratified complex chiefdoms and large population centers. The most prominent of these, now called Cahokia, was occupied between about 600 and 1400 CE[60] and at its peak numbered between 8,000 and 40,000 inhabitants, larger than London, England of that time. At the time of first contact with Europeans, Cahokia
Cahokia
and many other Mississippian cities had dispersed, and archaeological finds attest to increased social stress.[61][62][63] Modern American Indian nations inhabiting the Mississippi
Mississippi
basin include Cheyenne, Sioux, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, Fox, Kickapoo, Tamaroa, Moingwena, Quapaw
Quapaw
and Chickasaw. The word Mississippi
Mississippi
itself comes from Messipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe ( Ojibwe
Ojibwe
or Algonquin) name for the river, Misi-ziibi (Great River).[64][65] The Ojibwe
Ojibwe
called Lake Itasca Omashkoozo-zaaga'igan (Elk Lake) and the river flowing out of it Omashkoozo-ziibi (Elk River). After flowing into Lake Bemidji, the Ojibwe
Ojibwe
called the river Bemijigamaag-ziibi ( River
River
from the Traversing Lake). After flowing into Cass Lake, the name of the river changes to Gaa-miskwaawaakokaag-ziibi (Red Cedar River) and then out of Lake Winnibigoshish as Wiinibiigoonzhish-ziibi (Miserable Wretched Dirty Water River), Gichi-ziibi (Big River) after the confluence with the Leech Lake River, then finally as Misi-ziibi (Great River) after the confluence with the Crow Wing River.[66] After the expeditions by Giacomo Beltrami
Giacomo Beltrami
and Henry Schoolcraft, the longest stream above the juncture of the Crow Wing River
River
and Gichi-ziibi was named "Mississippi River". The Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Band of Chippewa Indians, known as the Gichi-ziibiwininiwag, are named after the stretch of the Mississippi River
River
known as the Gichi-ziibi. The Cheyenne, one of the earliest inhabitants of the upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River, called it the Máʼxe-éʼometaaʼe (Big Greasy River) in the Cheyenne
Cheyenne
language. The Arapaho name for the river is Beesniicíe.[67] The Pawnee name is Kickaátit.[68] The Mississippi
Mississippi
was spelled Mississipi or Missisipi during French Louisiana
Louisiana
and was also known as the Rivière Saint-Louis.[69][70][71] European exploration[edit]

Discovery of the Mississippi
Mississippi
by De Soto A.D. 1541 by William Henry Powell depicts Hernando De Soto and Spanish Conquistadores
Conquistadores
seeing the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
for the first time.

Ca. 1681 map of Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 expedition.

Route of the Marquette-Jolliete Expedition of 1673

On May 8, 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto
became the first recorded European to reach the Mississippi
Mississippi
River, which he called Río del Espíritu Santo (" River
River
of the Holy Spirit"), in the area of what is now Mississippi. In Spanish, the river is called Río Mississippi.[72] French explorers Louis Jolliet
Louis Jolliet
and Jacques Marquette
Jacques Marquette
began exploring the Mississippi
Mississippi
in the 17th century. Marquette traveled with a Sioux Indian who named it Ne Tongo ("Big river" in Sioux
Sioux
language) in 1673. Marquette proposed calling it the River
River
of the Immaculate Conception. When Louis Jolliet
Louis Jolliet
explored the Mississippi
Mississippi
Valley in the 17th century, natives guided him to a quicker way to return to French Canada via the Illinois
Illinois
River. When he found the Chicago Portage, he remarked that a canal of "only half a league" (less than 2 miles (3.2 km), 3 km) would join the Mississippi
Mississippi
and the Great Lakes.[73] In 1848, the continental divide separating the waters of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
and the Mississippi
Mississippi
Valley was breached by the Illinois
Illinois
and Michigan canal via the Chicago River.[74] This both accelerated the development, and forever changed the ecology of the Mississippi
Mississippi
Valley and the Great Lakes. In 1682, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
and Henri de Tonti claimed the entire Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Valley for France, calling the river Colbert River
River
after Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
and the region La Louisiane, for King Louis XIV. On March 2, 1699, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville rediscovered the mouth of the Mississippi, following the death of La Salle.[75] The French built the small fort of La Balise there to control passage.[76] In 1718, about 100 miles (160 km) upriver, New Orleans
New Orleans
was established along the river crescent by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, with construction patterned after the 1711 resettlement on Mobile Bay of Mobile, the capital of French Louisiana
Louisiana
at the time. Colonization[edit] See also: Flood of 1851

A Home on the Mississippi
Mississippi
(1871)

Following Britain's victory in the Seven Years War the Mississippi became the border between the British and Spanish Empires. The Treaty of Paris (1763) gave Great Britain rights to all land east of the Mississippi
Mississippi
and Spain rights to land west of the Mississippi. Spain also ceded Florida to Britain to regain Cuba, which the British occupied during the war. Britain then divided the territory into East and West Florida. Article 8 of the Treaty of Paris (1783)
Treaty of Paris (1783)
states, "The navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United States". With this treaty, which ended the American Revolutionary War, Britain also ceded West Florida
West Florida
back to Spain to regain the Bahamas, which Spain had occupied during the war. In 1800, under duress from Napoleon of France, Spain ceded an undefined portion of West Florida
West Florida
to France. When France then sold the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. in 1803, a dispute arose again between Spain and the U.S. on which parts of West Florida
West Florida
exactly had Spain ceded to France, which would in turn decide which parts of West Florida
West Florida
were now U.S. property versus Spanish property. These aspirations ended when Spain was pressured into signing Pinckney's Treaty
Pinckney's Treaty
in 1795. France reacquired 'Louisiana' from Spain in the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1800. The United States
United States
then secured effective control of the river when it bought the Louisiana
Louisiana
Territory from France in the Louisiana
Louisiana
Purchase of 1803. The last serious European challenge to U.S. control of the river came at the conclusion of War of 1812
War of 1812
when British forces mounted an attack on New Orleans
New Orleans
– the attack was repulsed by an American army under the command of General Andrew Jackson. In the Treaty of 1818, the U.S. and Great Britain agreed to fix the border running from the Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods
to the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
along the 49th parallel north. In effect, the U.S. ceded the northwestern extremity of the Mississippi
Mississippi
basin to the British in exchange for the southern portion of the Red River
River
basin. So many settlers traveled westward through the Mississippi
Mississippi
river basin, as well as settled in it, that Zadok Cramer wrote a guide book called The Navigator, detailing the features and dangers and navigable waterways of the area. It was so popular that he updated and expanded it through 12 editions over a period of 25 years.

Shifting sand bars made early navigation difficult.

The colonization of the area was barely slowed by the three earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, estimated at approximately 8 on the Richter magnitude scale, that were centered near New Madrid, Missouri. Steamboat
Steamboat
era[edit] Main article: Steamboats of the Mississippi Mark Twain's book, Life on the Mississippi, covered the steamboat commerce which took place from 1830 to 1870 on the river before more modern ships replaced the steamer. The book was published first in serial form in Harper's Weekly
Harper's Weekly
in seven parts in 1875. The full version, including a passage from the then unfinished Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and works from other authors, was published by James R. Osgood & Company in 1885. The first steamboat to travel the full length of the Lower Mississippi from the Ohio River
Ohio River
to New Orleans
New Orleans
was the New Orleans
New Orleans
in December 1811. Its maiden voyage occurred during the series of New Madrid earthquakes in 1811–12. The Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
was treacherous, unpredictable and to make traveling worse, the area was not properly mapped out or surveyed. Until the 1840s only two trips a year to the Twin Cities landings were made by steamboats which suggests it was not very profitable.[77] Steamboat
Steamboat
transport remained a viable industry, both in terms of passengers and freight until the end of the first decade of the 20th century. Among the several Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
system steamboat companies was the noted Anchor Line, which, from 1859 to 1898, operated a luxurious fleet of steamers between St. Louis
St. Louis
and New Orleans. Italian explorer Giacomo Beltrami, wrote about his journey on the Virginia, which was the first steam boat to make it to Fort St. Anthony in Minnesota. He referred to his voyage as a promenade that was once a journey on the Mississippi. The steamboat era changed the economic and political life of the Mississippi, as well as the nature of travel itself. The Mississippi
Mississippi
was completely changed by the steamboat era as it transformed into a flourishing tourists trade.[78] Civil War[edit]

Battle of Vicksburg (ca. 1888)

Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
from Eunice, Arkansas, a ghost town. Eunice was destroyed by gunboats during the Civil War.

Control of the river was a strategic objective of both sides in the American Civil War. In 1862 Union forces coming down the river successfully cleared Confederate defenses at Island Number 10 and Memphis, Tennessee, while Naval forces coming upriver from the Gulf of Mexico captured New Orleans, Louisiana. The remaining major Confederate stronghold was on the heights overlooking the river at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the Union's Vicksburg Campaign
Vicksburg Campaign
(December 1862 to July 1863), and the fall of Port Hudson, completed control of the lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River. The Union victory ending the Siege of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, was pivotal to the Union's final victory of the Civil War. 20th and 21st centuries[edit] See also: Great Mississippi
Mississippi
Flood of 1927, Great Flood of 1951, and Great Mississippi
Mississippi
and Missouri
Missouri
Rivers Flood of 1993 The "Big Freeze" of 1918–19 blocked river traffic north of Memphis, Tennessee, preventing transportation of coal from southern Illinois. This resulted in widespread shortages, high prices, and rationing of coal in January and February.[79] In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its banks in 145 places, during the Great Mississippi
Mississippi
Flood of 1927 and inundated 27,000 sq mi (70,000 km2) to a depth of up to 30 feet (9.1 m). In 1962 and 1963, industrial accidents spilled 3.5 million US gallons (13,000,000 L) of soybean oil into the Mississippi
Mississippi
and Minnesota
Minnesota
rivers. The oil covered the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
from St. Paul to Lake Pepin, creating an ecological disaster and a demand to control water pollution.[80] On October 20, 1976, the automobile ferry, MV George Prince, was struck by a ship traveling upstream as the ferry attempted to cross from Destrehan, Louisiana, to Luling, Louisiana. Seventy-eight passengers and crew died; only eighteen survived the accident. In 1988, the water level of the Mississippi
Mississippi
fell to 10 feet (3.0 m) below zero on the Memphis
Memphis
gauge. The remains of wooden-hulled water craft were exposed in an area of 4.5 acres (18,000 m2) on the bottom of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
at West Memphis, Arkansas. They dated to the late 19th to early 20th centuries. The State of Arkansas, the Arkansas
Arkansas
Archeological Survey, and the Arkansas
Arkansas
Archeological Society responded with a two-month data recovery effort. The fieldwork received national media attention as good news in the middle of a drought.[81] The Great Flood of 1993 was another significant flood, primarily affecting the Mississippi
Mississippi
above its confluence with the Ohio River
Ohio River
at Cairo, Illinois. Two portions of the Mississippi
Mississippi
were designated as American Heritage Rivers in 1997: the lower portion around Louisiana
Louisiana
and Tennessee, and the upper portion around Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota
Minnesota
and Missouri. The Nature Conservancy's project called "America's Rivershed Initiative" announced a 'report card' assessment of the entire basin in October 2015 and gave the grade of D+. The assessment noted the aging navigation and flood control infrastructure along with multiple environmental problems.[82]

Campsite at the river in Arkansas

In 2002, Slovenian long-distance swimmer Martin Strel
Martin Strel
swam the entire length of the river, from Minnesota
Minnesota
to Louisiana, over the course of 68 days. In 2005, the Source to Sea Expedition[83] paddled the Mississippi
Mississippi
and Atchafalaya Rivers to benefit the Audubon Society's Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Campaign.[84][85] Future[edit] Geologists believe that the lower Mississippi
Mississippi
could take a new course to the Gulf. Either of two new routes—through the Atchafalaya Basin or through Lake Pontchartrain—might become the Mississippi's main channel if flood-control structures are overtopped or heavily damaged during a severe flood.[86][87][88][89][90] Failure of the Old River
River
Control Structure, the Morganza Spillway, or nearby levees would likely re-route the main channel of the Mississippi
Mississippi
through Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin
Atchafalaya Basin
and down the Atchafalaya River
River
to reach the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
south of Morgan City in southern Louisiana. This route provides a more direct path to the Gulf of Mexico than the present Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
channel through Baton Rouge and New Orleans.[88] While the risk of such a diversion is present during any major flood event, such a change has so far been prevented by active human intervention involving the construction, maintenance, and operation of various levees, spillways, and other control structures by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Old River
River
Control Structure complex. View is to the east-southeast, looking downriver on the Mississippi, with the three dams across channels of the Atchafalaya River
River
to the right of the Mississippi. Concordia Parish, Louisiana
Louisiana
is in the foreground, on the right, and Wilkinson County, Mississippi, is in the background, across the Mississippi
Mississippi
on the left.

The Old River
River
Control Structure, between the present Mississippi
Mississippi
River channel and the Atchafalaya Basin, sits at the normal water elevation and is ordinarily used to divert 30% of the Mississippi's flow to the Atchafalaya River. There is a steep drop here away from the Mississippi's main channel into the Atchafalaya Basin. If this facility were to fail during a major flood, there is a strong concern the water would scour and erode the river bottom enough to capture the Mississippi's main channel. The structure was nearly lost during the 1973 flood, but repairs and improvements were made after engineers studied the forces at play. In particular, the Corps of Engineers made many improvements and constructed additional facilities for routing water through the vicinity. These additional facilities give the Corps much more flexibility and potential flow capacity than they had in 1973, which further reduces the risk of a catastrophic failure in this area during other major floods, such as that of 2011. Because the Morganza Spillway
Morganza Spillway
is slightly higher and well back from the river, it is normally dry on both sides.[91] Even if it failed at the crest during a severe flood, the flood waters would have to erode to normal water levels before the Mississippi
Mississippi
could permanently jump channel at this location.[citation needed] During the 2011 floods, the Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza Spillway
Morganza Spillway
to 1/4 of its capacity to allow 150,000 ft3/sec of water to flood the Morganza and Atchafalaya floodways and continue directly to the Gulf of Mexico, bypassing Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
and New Orleans.[92] In addition to reducing the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
crest downstream, this diversion reduced the chances of a channel change by reducing stress on the other elements of the control system.[93] Some geologists have noted that the possibility for course change into the Atchafalaya also exists in the area immediately north of the Old River
River
Control Structure. Army Corps of Engineers geologist Fred Smith once stated, "The Mississippi
Mississippi
wants to go west. 1973 was a forty-year flood. The big one lies out there somewhere—when the structures can't release all the floodwaters and the levee is going to have to give way. That is when the river's going to jump its banks and try to break through."[94] Another possible course change for the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
is a diversion into Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain
near New Orleans. This route is controlled by the Bonnet Carré Spillway, built to reduce flooding in New Orleans. This spillway and an imperfect natural levee about 4–6 meters (12 to 20 feet) high are all that prevents the Mississippi
Mississippi
from taking a new, shorter course through Lake Pontchartrain
Lake Pontchartrain
to the Gulf of Mexico.[95] Diversion of the Mississippi's main channel through Lake Pontchartrain would have consequences similar to an Atchafalaya diversion, but to a lesser extent, since the present river channel would remain in use past Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
and into the New Orleans
New Orleans
area. Recreation[edit]

Great River
River
Road in Wisconsin
Wisconsin
near Lake Pepin
Lake Pepin
(2005)

The sport of water skiing was invented on the river in a wide region between Minnesota
Minnesota
and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
known as Lake Pepin.[96] Ralph Samuelson of Lake City, Minnesota, created and refined his skiing technique in late June and early July 1922. He later performed the first water ski jump in 1925 and was pulled along at 80 mph (130 km/h) by a Curtiss flying boat later that year.[96] There are seven National Park Service
National Park Service
sites along the Mississippi River. The Mississippi
Mississippi
National River
River
and Recreation Area is the National Park Service
National Park Service
site dedicated to protecting and interpreting the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
itself. The other six National Park Service sites along the river are (listed from north to south):

Effigy Mounds National Monument Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch
National Park (includes Gateway Arch) Vicksburg National Military Park Natchez National Historical Park New Orleans
New Orleans
Jazz National Historical Park Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Ecology[edit]

The American paddlefish
American paddlefish
is an ancient relict from the Mississippi

The Mississippi
Mississippi
basin is home to a highly diverse aquatic fauna and has been called the "mother fauna" of North American fresh water.[97] Fish[edit] About 375 fish species are known from the Mississippi
Mississippi
basin, far exceeding other North Hemisphere river basin exclusively within temperate/subtropical regions,[97] except the Yangtze.[98] Within the Mississippi
Mississippi
basin, streams that have their source in the Appalachian and Ozark
Ozark
highlands contain especially many species. Among the fish species in the basin are numerous endemics, as well as relicts such as paddlefish, sturgeon, gar and bowfin.[97] Because of its size and high species diversity, the Mississippi
Mississippi
basin is often divided into subregions. The Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
alone is home to about 120 fish species, including walleye, sauger, large mouth bass, small mouth bass, white bass, northern pike, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, common shiner, freshwater drum and shovelnose sturgeon.[99][100] Other fauna[edit] In addition to fish, several species of turtles (such as snapping, musk, mud, map, cooter, painted and softshell turtles), American alligator, aquatic amphibians (such as hellbender, mudpuppy, three-toed amphiuma and lesser siren),[101] and cambarid crayfish (such as the red swamp crayfish) are native to the Mississippi basin.[102] Introduced species[edit] Numerous introduced species are found in the Mississippi
Mississippi
and some of these are invasive. Among the introductions are fish such as Asian carp, including the silver carp that have become infamous for outcompeting native fish and their potentially dangerous jumping behavior. They have spread throughout much of the basin, even approaching (but not yet invading) the Great Lakes.[103] The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has designated much of the Mississippi River
River
in the state as infested waters by the exotic species zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil.[104] Cultural references[edit]

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Literature[edit]

Herman Melville's novel The Confidence-Man
The Confidence-Man
portrayed a Canterbury Tales-style group of steamboat passengers whose interlocking stories are told as they travel down the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. The novel is written both as cultural satire and a metaphysical treatise. Many of the works of Mark Twain
Mark Twain
deal with or take place near the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. One of his first major works, Life on the Mississippi, is in part a history of the river, in part a memoir of Twain's experiences on the river, and a collection of tales that either take place on or are associated with the river. Twain's most famous work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is largely a journey down the river. The novel works as an episodic meditation on American culture with the river having multiple different meanings including independence, escape, freedom, and adventure. William Faulkner
William Faulkner
uses the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
and Delta as the setting for many hunts throughout his novels. It has been proposed that in Faulkner's famous story The Bear, young Ike first begins his transformation into a man, thus relinquishing his birthright to land in Yoknapatawpha County through his realizations found within the woods surrounding the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. Much of Edna Ferber's 1926 novel Show Boat
Show Boat
takes place on the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. The novel is the basis for the 1927 musical play of the same title by Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
and Oscar Hammerstein II. Jonathan Raban's Old Glory: An American Voyage, a 1981 travel book describing the author's single-handed journey by boat down the river, was the winner of The Royal Society of Literature's Heinemann Award and the Thomas Cook Travel Book
Book
Award.

Music[edit]

On The Mississippi, music sheet cover for a 1912 song

The song "When the Levee
Levee
Breaks", made famous in the version performed by Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
on the album Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
IV, was composed by Memphis Minnie McCoy in 1929 after the Great Mississippi
Mississippi
Flood of 1927. Another song about the flood was " Louisiana
Louisiana
1927" by Randy Newman
Randy Newman
for the album Good Old Boys. Ferde Grofé
Ferde Grofé
composed a set of movements for symphony orchestra entitled " Mississippi
Mississippi
Suite", based on the lands the river travels through. The stage and movie musical Show Boat's central musical piece is the spiritual-influenced ballad "Ol' Man River". Its composer, Jerome Kern, also composed an orchestral piece entitled " Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Suite". The musical Big River
River
is based on the travels of Huckleberry Finn down the river. The Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
song "Big River" is about the Mississippi
Mississippi
River, and about drifting the length of the river to pursue a relationship that fails. The places mentioned in the song are Saint Paul, Davenport, St. Louis, Memphis, Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
and New Orleans. " Louisiana
Louisiana
1927" is a 1974 song written and recorded by Randy Newman on the album Good Old Boys. It tells the story of the Great Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Flood of 1927 which left 700,000 people homeless in Louisiana
Louisiana
and Mississippi. Illinois-born singer Lissie
Lissie
has a song called Oh Mississippi
Mississippi
dedicated to the river. "Roll On Mississippi" and " Mississippi
Mississippi
Cotton Picking Delta Town" are two classics from Charley Pride
Charley Pride
that refer to the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. The late Conway Twitty
Conway Twitty
and Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn
collaborated on the song " Louisiana
Louisiana
Woman, Mississippi
Mississippi
Man". Paul Simon
Paul Simon
mentions the river and the Mississippi
Mississippi
Delta in his song "Graceland".

See also[edit]

Atchafalaya Basin Capes on the Mississippi
Mississippi
River Chemetco Great River
River
Road List of crossings of the Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
River List of locks and dams of the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River List of longest rivers of the United States
United States
(by main stem) Lists of crossings of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River Mississippi
Mississippi
embayment Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
floods The Waterways Journal Weekly Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

Ambrose, Stephen. The Mississippi
Mississippi
and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana
Louisiana
Purchase to Today (National Geographical Society, 2002) heavily illustrated Anfinson, John O.; Thomas Madigan; Drew M. Forsberg; Patrick Nunnally (2003). The River
River
of History: A Historic Resources Study of the Mississippi
Mississippi
National River
River
and Recreation Area. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District. OCLC 53911450.  Anfinson, John Ogden. Commerce and conservation on the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
(US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, 1994) Bartlett, Richard A. (1984). Rolling rivers: an encyclopedia of America's rivers. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-003910-0. OCLC 10807295.  Botkin, Benjamin Albert. A Treasury of Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
folklore: stories, ballads & traditions of the mid-American river country (1984). Carlander, Harriet Bell. A history of fish and fishing in the upper Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
(PhD Diss. Iowa
Iowa
State College, 1954) online (PDF) Daniel, Pete. Deep'n as it come: The 1927 Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
flood (University of Arkansas
Arkansas
Press, 1977) Fremling, Calvin R. Immortal river: the Upper Mississippi
Mississippi
in ancient and modern times (U. of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Press, 2005), popular history Milner, George R. "The late prehistoric Cahokia
Cahokia
cultural system of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
valley: Foundations, florescence, and fragmentation." Journal of World Prehistory (1990) 4#1 pp: 1–43. Morris, Christopher. The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi
Mississippi
and Its Peoples From Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto
to Hurricane Katrina (Oxford University Press; 2012) 300 pages; links drought, disease, and flooding to the impact of centuries of increasingly intense human manipulation of the river. Penn, James R. (2001). Rivers of the world: a social, geographical, and environmental sourcebook. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-042-5. OCLC 260075679.  Smith, Thomas Ruys (2007). River
River
of dreams: imagining the Mississippi before Mark Twain. Baton Rouge: Louisiana
Louisiana
State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8071-3233-3. OCLC 182615621.  Scott, Quinta (2010). The Mississippi: A Visual Biography. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri
Missouri
Press. ISBN 978-0-8262-1840-7. OCLC 277196207.  Pasquier, Michael (2013). Gods of the Mississippi. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-2530-0806-0. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mississippi
Mississippi
River.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mississippi
Mississippi
River.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Mississippi
Mississippi
River.

Mississippi
Mississippi
River, project of the American Land Conservancy Flood management in the Mississippi
Mississippi
River Friends of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River

Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Challenge – annual canoe & kayak event on the Twin Cities stretch Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Field Guide

Mississippi
Mississippi
National River
River
and Recreation Area (MN) from the NPS

Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Facts from the NPS

"Mark Twain's Mississippi", from the digital library of Northern Illinois
Illinois
University Interactive detailed satellite photos and zoomable USGS topographic quad maps of the lower Mississippi, the alternative course for the river, and the various control structures and floodways Lower Mississippi
Mississippi
Valley – Engineering Geology Mapping Program – PDF files of publications about and maps of the geology of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
Valley and its tributaries. Ecoregions of the Mississippi
Mississippi
Alluvial Plain Map "Old Man River
River
Loses His Kinks" , April 1942, Popular Science article on 1930-40s project to improve barge navigation between Helena and Natchez The short film "The River
River
(1938)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive The short film "The River
River
(Part II) (1937)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive The short film "The Valley of the Giant: Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
story" is available for free download at the Internet Archive Geographic data related to Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
at OpenStreetMap Roundtable discussion on Imagining the River, University of Minnesota, 2009 MRTIS – Mississippi
Mississippi
River
River
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