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Mississippi Steamboats

The Internet Cardrooms of 1814

by James McManus |  Published: Mar 14, 2007

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Steamboats now strike us as quaint curiosities, things only children or unadventuresome nostalgia buffs can get much of a charge from. But when ships with no sails first appeared, decked out instead with smokestacks and paddlewheels, not to mention promenades, cattle pens, and three-story hotel-casinos, these bellowing steam-powered extravaganzas were as colossally strange to the ears, eyes, and dreams of antebellum America as any Spielbergian starship.


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