• Return to the Pennsylvania

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    Steamboat: PENNSYLVANIA

    17 February - 5 June 1858

    ABOARD THE PENNSYLVANIA:

    February 6 Saturday – The Pennsylvania, now repaired and refitted, left New Orleans with William Brown as pilot, George Ealer as co-pilot, John Simpson Klinefelter (1810-1885) as Captain. Sam had procured a job for Henry as “mud clerk,” so called because the job required leaping to shore in places where there was no pavement or dock. The job did not pay, but was a way to rise in the ranks. Henry Clemens was nineteen, and would make six trips with his brother Sam [Powers, MT A Life 84].

  • February 6, 1858

    Submitted by scott on

    February 6 Saturday – The Pennsylvania, now repaired and refitted, left New Orleans with William
    Brown as pilot, George Ealer as co-pilot, John Simpson Klinefelter (1810-1885) as Captain. Sam
    had procured a job for Henry as “mud clerk,” so called because the job required leaping to shore in
    places where there was no pavement or dock. The job did not pay, but was a way to rise in the ranks.
    Henry Clemens was nineteen, and would make six trips with his brother Sam [Powers, MT A Life 84].

  • February 17, 1858

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    February 17 Wednesday – Pennsylvania left for New Orleans. The Mississippi was choked with ice,
    but Captain Klinefelter thought the boat could handle it. They went aground several times.

  • March 9, 1858

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    March 9 Tuesday – Pennsylvania arrived in St. Louis. Sam wrote to Orion and Mollie about the
    difficult trip of Feb. 17, which took twenty days, six or seven more than usual for the round trip.

  • March 19, 1858

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    March 19 Friday – Sam gave a deposition in a lawsuit (Klineflelter, et al, vs. Vicksburg) over the
    collision between the Pennsylvania and the Vicksburg on Nov. 26, 1857. See that entry. Sam was a
    steersman on the Pennsylvania at that time [Marleau, “Eyewitness” 18]

  • May 16, 1858

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    May 16 Sunday – Pennsylvania arrived in New Orleans. While there, Sam met fourteen-year-old
    Laura Wright (1845-1932). They spent most of the three days together. Sam was then twenty-two,
    but the age difference was not unusual in those days. Laura was with her father, Judge Foster P.
    Wright of Warsaw, Missouri, visiting her uncle, William C. Youngblood and her cousin Zeb
    Leavenworth on the John J. Roe. Sam went to visit Zeb and Beck Jolly, old mates from past trips. In
    his Autobiography Sam described Laura:

  • May 20, 1858

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    May 20 Thursday – Pennsylvania left for St. Louis. When the boat was backing out, Sam had to leap
    for the rail from the John J. Roe, ending his visit with Laura Wright. Years later he would send her a
    thousand dollars in response to a letter asking for help. The loves of Sam’s life were invariably put on
    haloed pedestals, none more so than Laura Wright [MT Encyclopedia Baetzhold 799; Powers MT A
    Life 82].