Courtesy of Library of Congress, Queen, James F., "From Grays Ferry looking south," 1858
This painting by James Queen shows a scene on the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania in 1858. The painting shows that many different types of boats could be used for transportation on rivers for different purposes. The painting shows two steamboats in the background and barges on the river. Sailboats also can be seen.
- What forms of river transportation do you see in this painting? What does the artist’s inclusion of so many types of river transportation tell you about the importance of rivers in moving people and things?
- Think about the importance of river transportation expressed by early Americans by their petition regarding the navigation rights of the Mississippi River. How does this painting help to illustrate the desires of the people who write the petition?
- Other people expressed desire to rid rives of obstructions, as discussed in "The Des Moines Rapids of the Mississippi River, and Its Improvements" essay and "A Great Work Completed" article. Imagine how the obstructions described in those articles might affect the methods of transportation in this painting.
Queen, James F., "From Grays Ferry looking south," 1858. Courtesy of Library of Congress