Minnesota Historical Society

Steamboat Hanks: 50 Years on the Upper Mississippi

$ 19.95

Travel upriver with Captain Stephen B. "Steamboat" Hanks, first cousin of Abraham Lincoln, to an earlier time.

Born on a Kentucky plantation to a family who owned slaves, Stephen Hanks was raised in the free state of Illinois where he was influenced by his first cousin, Abraham Lincoln. Hie first trip on the Mississippi River was aboard a logging raft in 1842 from Stillwater, MN to St. Louis, MO. In his long career as pilot and captain, he carried wealthy lumber tycoons and new immigrants from Europe, Southern planters and their slaves and a regiment of young Union soldiers on their way to fight in the Civil War.

Captain Hanks' own journals are combined with steamboat footage shot along 500 miles of river, 19th century paintings, photographs, and folk ballads to bring his fifty years on the Mississippi to life


  • By: Kristi Wheeler, Producer
  • Format: DVD 52 minutes

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