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Black Shantyboat communities

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by archieclement, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. archieclement

    archieclement Sergeant Major

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    Have come across a few references Hannibal used to have one, seems a somewhat overlooked neglected part of history where one doesn't find a whole lot of detail. But apparently in river towns poor whites, free blacks, and ex slaves before/after the war could use cast off crates/packaging/pallets from the steamboat warehouses to build crude floating houseboats without having to buy property or pay taxes.

    Was curious if anyone else has come across the subject and has lore/stories or details.
     
    SWMODave, uaskme, leftyhunter and 3 others like this.

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  3. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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  4. mofederal

    mofederal Captain

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    I have heard to towns like Glasgow and St. Charles and others along both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers having shantytowns and shantyboats. I can name a few towns that had a shantytowns inside or at the edge of town.
     
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  5. archieclement

    archieclement Sergeant Major

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    I also found in reading about the river trade, after the advent of steamboats, keelboats were still used to move cargos down river but were somewhat expendable, if traveled quite a distance the keelboat was sold off when the cargo was and a riverboat used to return upriver.

    It would seem the better shantyboats were built probably on these and could move short distances upriver, or downriver freely.....the ones built entirely of scrap I doubt were very riverworthy and moved from where they were built.

    Edit- Note I live by Mississippi River so use that as my basis, on smaller rivers with less current, how far it would be realistically feasible to pole/pull a keelboat upriver would be somewhat further. although the convenience of a powered steamboat over a unpowered keelboat still made the keelboats to be considered more a one way craft
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  6. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    Don't forget flatboats.
    IMHO they would be rare by the time of the civil war due to steamboats and RR.
    See Decline
     
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