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Jones, a former slave and Underground Railroad conductor who aided hundreds of escaped slaves on their flight north. He revved the outboard, looked back at the carp leaping in our wake, and grinned.

THE “BODY OF THE NATION”

The next day I visited Hannibal, a town that will always feel as small as it was when Clemens grew up, bounded as it is by a bluff on its north side, another bluff just 12 blocks to the south, and the river to the east. Orion was a bumbler with a disastrous career record, but he was earnest and good-hearted. Sam, in adulthood, showed an anger toward him that had always seemed excessive to me.

I next went to the boyhood home, sliced down one side from front to back like a dollhouse, its three rooms on each of its two levels protected by glass but still allowing an intimate view. On the wooden floor of the kitchen lay a thin rug with a sign explaining that a slave would have slept here, rising early to light the fire for the household. This pallet was installed at the suggestion of Terrell Dempsey, who has agitated over the years for the museum to give more attention to slavery. Before him, in the s, Mark Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin made a similar appeal, and the museum indeed now does the subject justice.

While I was in her office, curator Henry Sweets looked in on us long enough to hear me express delight in the exhibits before he hurried off to attend to his many duties, as he has done since The two of them are Twainiacs even beyond what you would expect from their positions.

She will finish the quotation—with corrections—and extend it beyond your intentions. Florida has the family carriage! I imagined a coordinated multi-party swap happening, like a kidney exchange, where each museum received the goods that suited it. Cindy told me of her fondness for bringing school-age writers to the cemetery at night and reading that passage to them by candlelight. They huddle close. Alas, no more.

Orion moved to this Iowa river town just across the border from Missouri, and although he characteristically struggled as a newspaper editor, he succeeded in becoming an opponent of slavery, much to the chagrin of young Sam. In the morning, two bright-eyed, white-shirted couples joined me at the breakfast table. They asked about my travels, and I mentioned Mark Twain. Where was Cindy when I needed her? I wanted to ask about their pilgrimage, but I hung fire on the phrasing. My every thought seemed rooted in stereotype.

The sole coffee drinker at the table, I felt like an alcoholic with each sip.

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But these piles, unlike the Quincy houses I had admired, did not suggest a neighborhood as much as isolated testaments to an earlier prosperity. The road dropped down, wound along the river and then delivered me without fanfare into the tranquil village of Montrose, with churches sized to match its population. Across the river in Nauvoo, Illinois, beginning in , Mormon settlers cleared swamps and established a town that swiftly grew into the largest in the state.

The first to flee crossed the river on ice in February, though many perished, and, at the site where I now stood, the survivors huddled and looked back on the temple and the town they had lost. On the trip so far I had passed several crossings along routes once traveled by Native Americans being forcibly relocated to Indian Territory.

This place too, I thought, is a Trail of Tears. I needed to see it for myself. The next day, I headed out from Dubuque before dawn, crossed into Wisconsin and panicked when the highway seemed to take me at right angles away from the river. But the pilot-wheel signs reassured me and steered me through rolling farmland back to the river. These begin to appear about 50 miles north of Dubuque. The bluffs are one of two surprises in the driftless area. The other is that the river sometimes becomes a lake. Locks and dams are often the cause, flooding upriver sloughs and bottomlands.

But Lake Pepin, 21 miles long and so wide that the sight of it is initially disorienting, has a natural origin. Clemens passed by here in —new territory for him, having plied the St. Louis-New Orleans line—and in Life on the Mississippi he tells the tale of Maiden Rock, not in his language but in the inflated style of a professional tour guide who has happened onto the steamboat.

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The unorthodox denouement, though ostensibly spoken by the humorless guide, is pure Mark Twain. At one point on the Wisconsin stretch I pulled over to watch a tow approach. I counted the barges: 15, three across and five long, the maximum on the upper river; south of St. Louis, up to 25 barges can be combined. Since the tow was going downriver, it was probably carrying corn or soybeans; upriver loads are more likely to be coal or steel.

At a museum at the Alton, Illinois, lock and dam, I had entered a pretend pilothouse and bravely manned a panoramic simulator to pilot a tow along a digital St. Louis riverfront—a challenging stretch because of its many bridges with nonaligned pilings. In short order I crashed into the Eads Bridge, but mainly because I was distracted by the anachronistic Admiral I saw moored on the riverfront, a bygone restaurant boat where my wife once had some really bad fish.

Animals sometimes end up in the pipes—deer, pigs, cattle—and wash into the lock. No human bodies though—I asked. A nice first chapter for a mystery novel, I would think. As a young woman, Vicki interviewed for her first job in Louisiana, Missouri. Coming from St. After a year, what seemed like a better job opportunity arose in Clinton, Missouri. They moved to Hannibal, to a house three blocks up Hill Street from the Clemens home, and they have lived on the Mississippi ever since. I met many lovers of the river.

In Dubuque, where I toured an old dredge boat called the William M. Black , the amiable guide, Robert Carroll, told me he grew up in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, to the grinding roar of dredge boats cleaning out the river channel. He spoke so authoritatively about the William M. Black that I had taken him for a former deckhand. But no—he had spent his adult life as a court reporter in landlocked Cedar Rapids. He moved to Dubuque after he retired.


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Carroll now spends his days happily introducing visitors to every rivet on a boat much like the one he heard as a boy. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up. SmartNews History. History Archaeology. World History. Science Age of Humans. Future of Space Exploration.

Life on the Mississippi, Part 10. by Mark Twain

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Video Contest. Games Daily Sudoku. Universal Crossword. Daily Word Search. Mah Jong Quest. Magazine Current Issue. Give a Gift. Subscribe Top Menu Current Issue. Dave Anderson. Kris Zapalac , on the Mississippi near the site of the Underground Railroad route that she discovered. Cindy Lovell, former Executive director of the Mark Twain home and museum, brings school-aged kids to the Mount Olivet Cemetary for candlelight readings of Twain works.

Tom and Becky look alike contest in Hannibal in This facility provides several amenities including the main lodge, medical services facility, patient cabins, fitness center, equestrian center, and outdoor pavilions all situated around a private lake. While in treatment, men and women will reside in separate cabins to minimize distraction and promote a recovery that will last a lifetime.

Residents will also enjoy three meals a day prepared by culinary staff. After completing the medical detoxification program, each patient will receive a personalized daily schedule and treatment plan created by the treatment team. While each schedule is tailored to the individual, residents will participate in 4 to 6 hours each day of individual, group, and therapeutic recreation activities. Here, become part of a community with those around them and learn the skills necessary to overcome addiction and live a successful life of sobriety.

Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Biloxi, Mississippi is an addiction treatment facility where individuals will reside throughout the treatment process. Patients will have access to medical and mental care around the clock to ensure a safe recovery for everyone.

Treatment at this facility typically lasts between 30 and 90 days, but depends on the needs of each individual and how severe their addiction is. Upon admission to the program, each resident will undergo a comprehensive assessment to determine the best treatment methods. Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center offers a safe haven for those seeking a successful recovery.

Home of Grace in Vancleave, Mississippi is a Christ-centered residential recovery center for adults looking for a higher power to help them overcome their addiction. This facility offers a three-month program that consists of an orientation and two distinct phases. Each phase has a specific focus, established goals, and requirements for individuals to meet in order to move onto the next one.

While in treatment, individuals will participate in group and individual counseling with highly trained and qualified addiction counselors, attend worship services and special ministry events, receive classroom instruction Biblical life application and recovery skills, and have the opportunity to receive their GED through the partnership with educational providers.

Home of Grace provides individuals with a chance to recover and build their spiritual relationships. Clearview Recovery Center in Moselle, Mississippi is a residential treatment facility for those seeking to overcome their addiction to drugs or alcohol.


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Patients who complete a medical detox may enter into the residential program for 30 to days depending on how severe their addiction is. Residents are also assigned two masters-level clinicians, one for individual counseling and the other for group work, to help facilitate the treatment process. Clearview Recovery Center focuses mainly on the step recovery process found in tradition alcoholics and narcotics anonymous programs.


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  • The step program combined with addiction education is designed to help individuals understand their addiction and learn how to have a successful and fulfilling life without the use of drugs or alcohol. Recovery House in Columbus, Mississippi offers individuals struggling with addiction and day residential treatment program. Recovery House is a place for individuals to escape the daily pressures and stress that lead to substance abuse and learn how to make addiction a part of their past.

    Sunflower Landing in Tutwiler, Mississippi is a long-term residential treatment facility for adolescents dealing with substance abuse or addiction. This facility is located in a rural environment that allows individuals the opportunity to recover in a safe and supportive environment away from the hassles of everyday life.

    The treatment approach at Sunflower Landing focuses on healing the whole person through holistic recovery methods that heal the mind, body, and spirit of each individual. In order to heal the body, patients learn about the neurochemical roots of addiction and how to control it through diet, exercise, therapy, and medication if necessary. The mind is healed through cognitive behavioral therapy where patients learn how to overcome destructive thoughts.

    Finally, the spirit is addressed through a spiritually based step program. By healing all aspects of addiction, each individual has the best possible chance for a successful recovery. The experienced staff at this facility combines medical, psychiatric, evidence-based therapies, and step philosophies to help patients begin their journey towards a long-lasting recovery.

    The multidisciplinary team made up of a clinical director, a board-certified psychiatrist is both adult psychiatry and addiction medicine, nurses, clinical therapists, counselors, a certified dietician, and recreational professionals, helps to ensure that everyone gets the care and treatment that they need for a successful recovery. New Life, located in Oxford, Mississippi, is dedicated to providing residential treatment for men and women at an affordable price. This facility offers separate programs for men and women who would like to make addiction a part of their past. While in treatment, residents will attend daily devotions and weekly church meetings along with individual and group therapy to learn how to overcome addiction with help from a higher power.

    Treatment is facilitated by licensed professionals who work with patients on an individual basis to set goals and treatment expectations. New Life believes that everyone deserves a chance at a life free from the harm of drugs and alcohol. All Addiction Resource content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

    We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact at info addictionresouce. Evidence Based. Table of Contents 1. Extra Mile Recovery 2.