Life On The Mississippi By Mark Twain




















































































































































 -  The belief of
the scientific people is, that the mouth used to be at Baton Rouge,
where the hills cease - Page 4
Life On The Mississippi By Mark Twain - Page 4 of 539 - First - Home

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The Belief Of The Scientific People Is, That The Mouth Used To Be At Baton Rouge, Where The Hills Cease, And That The Two Hundred Miles Of Land Between There And The Gulf Was Built By The River.

This gives us the age of that piece of country, without any trouble at all - one hundred and twenty thousand years.

Yet it is much the youthfullest batch of country that lies around there anywhere.

The Mississippi is remarkable in still another way - its disposition to make prodigious jumps by cutting through narrow necks of land, and thus straightening and shortening itself. More than once it has shortened itself thirty miles at a single jump! These cut-offs have had curious effects: they have thrown several river towns out into the rural districts, and built up sand bars and forests in front of them. The town of Delta used to be three miles below Vicksburg: a recent cutoff has radically changed the position, and Delta is now TWO MILES ABOVE Vicksburg.

Both of these river towns have been retired to the country by that cut- off. A cut-off plays havoc with boundary lines and jurisdictions: for instance, a man is living in the State of Mississippi to-day, a cut-off occurs to-night, and to-morrow the man finds himself and his land over on the other side of the river, within the boundaries and subject to the laws of the State of Louisiana! Such a thing, happening in the upper river in the old times, could have transferred a slave from Missouri to Illinois and made a free man of him.

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