Size: 7 x 10
Pages: 368
Illustrations: 18 color photos, 44 b&w halftones

Southern History
Maritime History
New in Paperback
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The Mobile River, updated edition

With a New Preface

updated edition

John S. Sledge

Published: Oct 15 2024






OA Ebook



The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

Winner of the Clinton Jackson Coley Book Award from the Alabama Historical Association

In the first-ever narrative history of this important American watercourse, John S. Sledge weaves chronological and thematic elements together with personal experiences for a rich and rewarding read. Illustrated with more than sixty color and black-and-white images, The Mobile River beautifully communicates a strong sense of place.

Beginning at Nannahubba, where the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers meet, the Mobile River serves as the outlet for the sixth largest river basin in the United States and the largest one emptying into the Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi. Sledge takes readers on a journey through history framed and sometimes directed by this expansive watershed. A tale spanning colonial forts, international treaties, and thundering naval battles, and populated by characters, including Indian warriors, European diplomats, cartographers, enslaved Africans, Civil War generals, hydraulic engineers, and "Rosie the Riveter" women workers, The Mobile River presents a pageant of conflict, struggle, and endless opportunity. In a new preface, Sledge addresses the 2018 discovery of the wreck of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to arrive in America.

John S. Sledge is maritime historian in residence for the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. He is the author of eight books, including The Gulf of Mexico: A Maritime History.

""[An] exciting narrative told by a master of the material and the moment.""—Alabama Review

""The book is military history, maritime history, a history of commerce, immigration and race relations, even agriculture. [One] comes away with a hugely enlarged appreciation for the dangers the river presents and with a new awareness of the complexity in the history of Alabama's Port City.""—Alabama Public Radio

""An eye-opening introduction to the waterways and people that have written the history of this underappreciated region of the United States.""—Lincoln Paine, author of The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World

"A fine, fascinating book. John S. Sledge introduces us to four centuries worth of heroes and rogues on one incredible American river."—Winston Groom

"This book is a must for those thirsty for knowledge."—Idgie

"Who would imagine a river only 45 miles long could encompass such a rich past - a 13th-century Mississippian chiefdom, a French-colonial counterpart to English Jamestown, the last ship carrying enslaved Africans to the US? In his evocative and well-written saga, John Sledge brilliantly explores the myriad ways human history has entwined with the Mobile River."—Gregory A. Waselkov, author of A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814

"We think of rivers as natural phenomena, but as John Sledge shows, the rivers we know by name and experience are human inventions. Brimming with anecdotes, 'The Mobile River' is an eye-opening introduction to the waterways and people that have written the history of this underappreciated region of the United States."—Lincoln Paine, author of The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World

"The Mobile River is the latest affirmation of John Sledge's extraordinary talent as a historical researcher and author. In this masterful, exquisitely crafted work, he takes us along and underneath the Mobile River and inland as well as he weaves his compelling narrative of over 300 years of our region's rich history. This book promises to be the definitive work on this topic."—David E. Alsobrook, director, History Museum of Mobile

2016 Clinton Jackson Coley Book Award

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