Synopses & Reviews
In 1925, Harold Speakman and his new wife, Frances "Russell" Lindsay Speakman, journeyed down the entire Mississippi River, from the headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, on a twenty-foot houseboat.
A classic American travel narrative that captures the soul of the river, Mostly Mississippi features lyrical descriptions of encounters with archetypal characters, landscapes, and experiences. The Speakmans meet lumberjacks in northern Minnesota and Mormons at Nauvoo, Illinois, as well as roustabouts, hoboes, farmers, drifters, Southern grandees, Native Americans, collegians thirsting for the real world, and convicts. They also meet William Alexander Percy, the "Poet of the Delta"; Laura Frazer, the inspiration for Mark Twain's Becky Thatcher; and the prototypical "lady from Dubuque" as described by the New Yorker.
Illustrated by Harold Speakman's paintings and sketches and Russell Speakman's delightful drawings, Mostly Mississippi captures the deepening emotional bond of a newly married couple embarked on a grand adventure.
Harold Speakman (1888--1928) was a writer, poet, and artist. He wrote eight books, including the travel narratives Hilltops in Galilee (1923), Beyond Shanghai (1922), and Here's Ireland (1925).