Black Shantyboat communities

archieclement

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
2,750
Location
mo
#1
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.
 

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archieclement

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
2,750
Location
mo
#4
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
 
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