Ohio and Mississippi Boatmen and the Myth of the Alligator Horse

Western Rivermen, 1763-1861

  • Western Rivermen, the first documented sociocultural history of its subject, is a fascinating book. Michael Allen explores the rigorous lives of professional boatmen who plied non-steam vessels--flatboats, keelboats, and rafts--on the Ohio and lower Mississippi rivers from 1763-1861.


    Allen's comprehensive, highly informative study sheds new light on a group of men who played an important role in the development of the trans-Appalachian West and the ways in which their lives were transformed into one of the enduring themes of American folk culture.