Manuscript Letter Describing the Aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1882. MISSISSIPPI, FLOODING.

Manuscript Letter Describing the Aftermath of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1882

Two-page handwritten letter on lined paper (8" x 10"), approximately 500 words, dated March 16, 1882. Some staining, but fully legible; accompanied by original stamped envelope addressed to Cora L. Harris of Valley Hill, Mississippi. Intense spring rain storms beginning on February 19, 1882, and coming in a second wave late in the month led to flooding that left thousands homeless and has been described as "probably the most destructive flood in the recorded history of Mississippi River overflow." In this letter, written two weeks after the worst of it, John (apparently Cora's suitor) writes from Greenwood, Mississippi to report that he is unable to visit because everything is still under water: "I have been nearly crazy to come out & see you but it has been almost impossible for me to get off. I had to go up home last week. Found the place completely under water & I fear I will loose a good deal of our stock. Found several of the familes moved off the place but didn't better themselves much....Very little dry land to save the stock. A great many above shipped their horses & mules off on the boat & lost most of their cattle. The boat had about 300 head of mules & horses when it went down. Last I heard, up above, that it was 5 feet higher than ever known before. The water here is about 6 inches higher than ever known before. There is not a particle of land out in town. It likes about 6 inches of being in our house....Nearly everybody has moved from their houses. There is about 5 families in the court house & 20 head of cattle tramping around the court house." The scope of this flood resulted in new cooperation among various counties in the region to develop better flood control planning and led to the creation of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District.

Item #20839

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