ebooks and download videos
Home / Magic & Conjuring / Biographies & History

Beyond the Mississippi
by Albert Deane Richardson

PDF | by download [48 MByte]  
Beyond the Mississippi by Albert Deane Richardson

Life and adventure on the prairies, mountains, and Pacific coast.

Beyond the Mississippi is a travel log of Albert Richardson from a few years before and after the American Civil War. As the title suggests, he traveled west of the Mississippi through states and territories such as Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, Iowa, Oregon, California, Nevada, etc. He describes nature, people, politics, and commerce. It includes exciting adventures as well as fairly dry facts such as how many bushels of grain a particular area produces. Overall it is quite readable and the more than 200 illustrations add to that.

The primary reason this book is interesting for magicians is that Richardson describes several encounters with gambling. They are detailed and well-described. In particular, he describes a Three Card Monte performance. For those who would like to perform this con game authentically, this is a very good resource. (All gambling sections are highlighted in yellow and bracketed in double-square brackets so that they can be easily found.)

Excerpt from the Prefatory:

TWENTY years ago, half our continent was an unknown land, and the Rocky Mountains were our Pillars of Hercules. Five years hence, the Orient will be our next-door neighbor. We shall hold the world’s granary, the world’s treasury, the world’s highway. But we shall have no Far West, no border, no Civilization, in line of battle, pressing back hostile savages, and conquering hostile Nature.

I have sought to picture a fleeting phase of our national life; not omitting its grotesque, lawless features; not concealing my admiration for the adventurous pioneers who have founded great States from the Mississippi to the Pacific, and made a new geography for the American Union.

  • CHAPTER I. Westward and Westward. American Wines of the West. The Great Muddy River. Scenes along the Missouri. Terrors of Missouri Navigation. A Story of Steamboat Racing. Stopping to ‘Wood Up.’ Oration by a Steamboat Gambler. All Varieties of Passengers. Arrival in Kansas City. Encountering an Old Acquaintance. Border Ruffians in Kansas.
  • CHAPTER II. A Glance at Wyandotte, Kansas. How Frontier Cities are Begun. A Romantic Indian Legend. A City among the Rocks. On the Rolling Prairies. Travelers along the Road. A Bit of Yankee Ingenuity. How Lawrence was Founded. And how it was Named. A Scene of Surpassing Beauty.
  • CHAPTER III. A War Reminiscence. Juries and Councils of War. Origin of the Kansas Troubles. Resistance to the Bogus Laws. Two Characteristics of the Struggle. Free State Convention at Topeka. Lane’s Power as an Orator. His Physical Endurance. His Speech in the Convention. Other Prominent Speakers. Reception of a Bogus Assessor. A Collection on First Principles. History repeating itself ‘Casting out the Vile Demon.’
  • CHAPTER IV. First Visit to Leavenworth. A Journey on Foot. A Night with a Kentucky Squatter. The First Landing at Sumner. Atchison, Doniphan and Geary City. A Mania for Speculation. Difference between Fact and Fancy. A Real Estate Reaction. Rivalry of American Cities. An Encroaching Element. Vagaries of the Missouri.
  • CHAPTER V. Deadly Affray at the Polls. A Kansas Temple of Justice. A Murder for Money. A Mob Administering Justice. ‘The Man with the Rope.’ An Exciting Night Scene. Mormons Escaping to Kansas. The Land Sale at Osawkee. Border Ruffian Courts of Justice. A Quasi Declaration of War. Treason to be Put Down. Fallacy of Human Testimony. Governor Extinguished by Ridicule.
  • CHAPTER VI. Wild Fruits of the Prairies.. An Emigrant Family in Camp. Rain Increasing with Civilization. A Shrewd; Speculator in Lumber. Within Prison Walls. Last Treason Trial in Kansas. Traveling to a Convention. Siege of HickoryPoint. A Declaration by Buchanan. The Ballot or the Rifle. Rupture in the Democratic Party. Fifteen Whisky Punches.
  • CHAPTER VII. Night Rides on the Prairies. Seeking Shelter among the Indians. A Night with a Delaware Family. Origin of Indian Appellations. The Delaware Baptist Mission. Another Night’s Lodging. Something about the Shawnees. Pottawatomie Funeral Rites. Origin of some Kansas Names. A Little Legendary Lore.
  • CHAPTER VIII. Governor Denver makes his Debut. And has a Spirited Reception. Wonderful Election Returns. To Vote or not to Vote. A Kansas Search-warrant. History of the Minneola Scheme. ‘Mightier than the Sword.’ General Lane receives his Friends. A Speech Nipped in the Bud. Governors plenty as Blackberries.
  • CHAPTER IX. An Imaginary City. ‘What are your Politics?’ Freaks of Political Highwaymen. Not much Room left. An Excitement at Lawrence. Jenkins killed by General Lane. An Adventurous Cat-fish. The Result of a Mis-step. Brave Father and Brave Son. A Most Inhuman Massacre. Le Marais du Cygne.
  • CHAPTER X. A Party of Peace-makers. Before a Comfortable Fire. A Night at Osawattomie. Both Sides of the Question. A Simple, Touching Story. The Great Guerrilla Chieftain. One of his Devoted Adherents. ‘Catching a Tartar’ Illustrated. A Moment of Excitement. Uniting to Keep the Peace. An Address by Montgomery.
  • CHAPTER XI. Feminine Smokers of Tobacco. Fever and Ague Experiences. Perplexing Usages of Words. Mysterious Slang Phrases Interpreted. Pearls and Returning Gold Seekers. Colonel Gilpin’s Early Predictions. Rattlesnakes as Bedfellows. Mysteries of Pre-empting Lands. Forms of ‘Duplicates’ and Patents. ‘Oaths are Words.’ Borrowing a Child. An Ingenious Runaway Husband. A Clever Stratagem Spoiled. Fertility of the Hemp Region. Republican versus Black Republican.
  • CHAPTER XII. A Bit of Legislative Fun. Cost of Kissing a Chamber-maid. Easy Divorce in New States. Prisoners brought to Lawrence. An Unfortunate Hamilton. A Hard Country for Governors. Kidnapping of John Doy. His Rescue by John Brown. Kansas Tapped by the Railway. The Luxuries of Modem Travel. A Little Trip to Kansas.
  • CHAPTER XIII. Great Stampede for the Mines. The Sufferings along the Route. ‘Concord Wagon’ or Stage Coach. St. Mary’s Catholic Mission. Horace Greeley Taking a Tour. A Limited Stock of Groceries. A Model Letter of Introduction. A Specimen of Editorial Penmanship. Among the Antelopes and Buffaloes. A Jovial Prairie Micawber. Pacts about the Buffalo. A Narrow Escape from Death.
  • CHAPTER XIV. Horace Greeley’s Wide-spread Fame. Half a Million of Buffaloes. The Curious Little Prairie-dog. Health and Strength of the Savage. Overturn of the Coach. A Night in a Cheyenne Village. Republican River under Ground. First View of Pike’s Peak. Inspiring Presence of the Mountains. Denver City in its Infancy.
  • CHAPTER XV. Starting for the Gregory Diggings. Our Weary and Winding Way. In the Heart of the Mountains. First Reliable Report of the Mines. First Mass Meeting at Pike’s Peak. Freaks of our Eccentric Mules. Our Most Extraordinary Landlord. ‘Our Best Society’ in Denver. A Finished Specimen of a Gambler. An Unfailing Supply of Victims. The Turns of Fortune’s Wheel. Almost one of Cooper’s Heroes. A Visit from the Arapahoe Chief. A Conversation with Little Raven.
  • CHAPTER XVI. Little Raven as a Devotee. Indian Signals—Peace or Hostility. Expressive Features and Gestures. Ho, for the Mountains again! Death from the Mountain Fires. Evening Scenes among the Miners. The Gregory Diggings on Sunday. Intellectual, Argumentative Miners. Predictions of Gold and Agriculture. A Shrewd California Emigrant. Beauty of our Indian Corn.
  • CHAPTER XVII. The Great Missouri Iron Mountains. Quarrying out the Iron Ore. Twenty-seven Hundred, Fahrenheit. Warsaw’s Last Champions—and Soap. Lynching in Springfield Missouri. Effect of the War upon Missouri. Conversations with the Settlers. The Great Neosho Lead Region. Subterranean Mining Scenes. Mode of Reducing Lead Ore. Villages in Southwestern Missouri.
  • CHAPTER XVIII. Life at Fort Smith Arkansas. Cotton Picking in Louisiana. The Tale of an Inkstand. Experiences in a Sick Chamber. Entering the Indian Territory. Among the Cherokees and Choctaws. Curious Hereditary Complexions. Novel Boarding School Freaks. Crinoline among Indian Women. The Chickasaws lose their laws,
  • CHAPTER XIX. News of Broderick’s Death. Frequency of Homicides in Texas. The Quaint Mexican Cart. Stopped by the Colorado River. The Fierce, Untamed Comanches. Signal Code among the Savages. A Plucky Little Texan Woman. On the Great Staked Plain. A Girl Stolen by Comanches. A Fatal Fondness for Pictures.
  • CHAPTER XX. Preaching Easier than Practice. The Colonel retires Disabled. First Line across the Continent. ‘Out West’ on its Travels. Peon Labor in New Mexico. A Kentuckian in Court. Street Pictures in Mexican Towns. A Native Meg Merrilies. An Aristocratic Castilian Gathering. Sunday Worship in the Cathedral.
  • CHAPTER XXI. From El Paso to Santa Fe. Adventures with the Apaches. Consumption of Red Peppers. Passing through Albuquerque. Arrival in Santa Fe. Highest Town in the Union. An Experience at Gambling. Curiosities and Horrid Trophies. Families of White Indians. Fascination of Border Life.
  • CHAPTER XXII. A Stray Printer and Journalist. A Ride with Kit Carson. His Hair-breadth ’Scapes. Hospitality of the Mexican. The Victim of a Biographer. All about Mexican Donkeys. The Rebellion of 1847. Curious Religious Customs of Natives. Mexican Peonage versus Slavery. Among the Pueblo Indians. Their Superstitions and Traditions. Strange Old Aztec Ruins. Geological Changes in the Country.
  • CHAPTER XXIII. From Taos to Denver, Colorado. A Polyglot Landlord. Before the Sutler’s Fire. Out-door Mountain Lodgings. Meeting a Plucky Pedestrian. An Unpleasant Sleeping Companion. A Herd of Spotted Antelopes. Offerings to an Invisible Deity. Another Old Friend. Climate and Pulmonary Complaints. A Report of John Brown. End of Summer Journeyings.
  • CHAPTER XXIV. A Night with a Squatter. Killed in the Darkness. Reminiscences of Old John Brown. Yankees, Missourians and ‘Cricks.’ A Letter from John Brown. One of John Brown’s Followers. An Extinguishing Retort. Along the Emigrant Road. Humors of Plains Travel. Our Pioneers and Self-government. An Illustration of Lynch Law. Gordon’s Capture, Trial and Death. Wonderful Tenacity of Life.
  • CHAPTER XXV. A Summer Day in Denver. Best House in the Neighborhood. A Breakfast Party of Rovers. Newspapers, Churches, Hotels, Stores. Mint, Express-office and Coach. Curious Characters from Everywhere. A Stroll down Blake Street An Editor and a Count. A Grand Mountain Panorama.
  • CHAPTER XXVI. Little Raven Loses a Treasure. A Dentist Practices Strategy. A Hard Country for Editors. A Night at Apollo Theater. Visit to Gregory Diggings. Punishing a Precocious Youth. In the Great South Park. A Memorable Summer Excursion. The Interesting Monument Region. Music in Underground Chambers.
  • CHAPTER XXVII. Starting up the Mountains. Scenes of Picturesque Beauty. Nature’s Terrible Convulsions. Dismal and Dreary Situation. Clouds Breaking once more. Fears of Fever and Delirium. All Vegetation 16 ft behind. On the Crest at last. An Indescribably Grand View. Four Territories—Four Great Rivers. Provisions Alarmingly Scarce. Effects of the Five-days’ Trip. Good Treatment for Invalids. The Trans-continental Pony Express.
  • CHAPTER XXVIII. Starting Westward again. Indian Murders and Depredations. Tornado near Fort Kearney. Press Dispatches on the Wing. One Dollar for a Newspaper. Grasshoppers Miraculously Destroyed. Ranch Eggs versus States Eggs. Lesson of Mountain Scenery. Gregory Diggings at Six Years Old. A Curious Claim Controversy. Growth and Resources of Colorado.
  • CHAPTER XXIX. Virginia Dale—Lover’s Leap. Smelling the Battle afar off. Indians a Little too Near. Wagon Three Inches too Wide. Chruch Butte and Fort Bridger. An Old Trapper’s Story. Three Mormon Wives—all Sisters. First View of Salt Lake Valley. Speeches and Responses—Hot Springs. Scenery of Wonderful Beauty. Eight Days among the Mormons. Miracles of the Telegraph. Frank Discussion with Brigham Young.
  • CHAPTER XXX. The City of the Future. All the Jews are Gentiles. Personal Description of Brigham. An Hour in Brigham’s School. Thirty Wives and Sixty Children. Great Salt Lake and the Dead Sea. Sunday Service of the Mormons. Brigham’s Great Theater. Dwellers among the Mountain-tops. Sagacity of the Mormon Leaders. Practical Workings of Polygamy. One Wife too many. Assassinations in Salt Lake City. Early Trials of the Pioneers. How the Problem will be Solved.
  • CHAPTER XXXI. From Salt Lake City Westward. Eight Miles in Thirty Minutes. Irrigating the Sandy Deserts. Hardships and Perils of Explorers. Features of Austin Nevada. First View of Sierra Nevadas. A City set upon a Hill. Excitements in Mining Stocks. Richest Silver Mine ever Found. Curious Inventions of Miners. Four Hundred Feet under Ground. Ores Sent Abroad for Reduction. Five Hundred Millions per Annum.
  • CHAPTER XXXII. Carson City and Carson Valley. Earliest Officers of Nevada. Lake Tahoe, on Sierra Nevadas. Seven Thousand Feet above Sea-level. A Legend of Stage Driving. Thrilling Ride down the Sierras. Reaching the Locomotive again. Sacramento—Arrival in San Francisco. A Startling Catalogue of Events. Delightful Days in Placerville. The Rare Charm of California. Chinamen on the Pacific Coast. Among the Hydraulic Miners. The Wonderful Power of Water.
  • CHAPTER XXXIII. Warm Climate of Pacific Coast. Scene of a California Story. The Widow of John Brown. Spelling ‘Yreka Bakery’ Backward. Reminiscences of General Grant. Noteworthy Points on the Road. Plentifulness of Babies. Portland Street and River Scenes. Excursion up the Columbia. Lincoln Grant and Sheridan. Curious Dalles of the Columbia. A Bit of Oratorical Fun. Northern Pacific Railroad wanted. A Couple of ‘Little Stories.’
  • CHAPTER XXXIV. A Frontier Supreme Court. Oregon Pioneers Govern Themselves. Terrible Revenge on the Savages. The Rich Resources of Oregon. A Little more Oregon Cider. Forests of Washington Territory. A Strange Forest Village. The America of the Future. Beautiful Scenery of Puget Sound. Under the British Flag. Features of Vancouver Island. American Rhetoric among the Britons. Fate of the Brother Jonathan.
  • CHAPTER XXXV. Discovery of Yosemite Valley. View from Inspiration Point. Riding down the Zigzags. Hutchings and his Household. Trees and Walls of the Valley. Yosemite Fall—Highest in the World. El Capitan; Mount King; Mount Colfax. Bridal Vail; Vernal; Mirror Lake. The Wonderful Round Rainbow. Grandest Scenery on the Globe. Eight Thousand Feet above Sea-level. Visiting the Mariposa Big Trees. Forty Feet in Diameter. A Forest Ingomar and Parthenia. Grizzly Giant—Thirty-four Feet in Diameter. A Grand National Summer Resort.
  • CHAPTER XXXVI. Invited to Celestial Hospitalities. Sitting down to the Banquet. More than Three Hundred Dishes. Extracts from the Bill-of-fare. ‘Wives won’t Come.’ Mr. Colfax and his Journey. My Friends Homeward Bound. California Politics as a Study. Features of California Society. American Wit and Humor. A String of California Stories.
  • CHAPTER XXXVII. The Raw Winds of San Francisco. A Climate Stimulating like Wine. Fires and Earthquakes Unavailing. Prejudice against the Chinese. Mission Mills; Church; Yosemite Views. California Quartz-mining and Farming. Grain, Vegetables and Fruit Trees. Mammoth Productions of California. Oranges, Vineyards and Wines. An Immense Private Enterprise. The San Francisco Newspapers. A Bit of Historical Record. Half an Hour in the Mint. The Great Pacific Railway.
  • CHAPTER XXXVIII. Excursion on the Pacific Railroad. Twelve Thousand Chinese Laborers. Horrible Fate of the Donner Party. Engulfed by a Snow-slide. Establishing the Railway Route. Empty Travelers Fearless of Robbers. Fellow Passengers on the Desert. Once more in Salt Lake City. A ‘Destroying Angel’ on Journalists. The Salt Lake Poetess. A Few of her Early Stanzas. Pah Ranagat Silver Region. Colorado River and Big Canyon. The Novelties of Arizona,
  • CHAPTER XXXIX. From Salt Lake to Montana. On Waters of the Pacific. Hanged upon his own Gallows. Virginia Montana, and Alder Gulch. Scenes during the Flush Times. An Hour in the Hurdy-gurdy. Standing Astride the Missouri. A Visit to Helena. Curious Painting of Fort Union. Pitched from a Stage Coach. Costly Newspaper Publishing. Quaint Indian Translations. Vigilantes Administering Justice. Quartz on the Brain. A Great Future for Montana.
  • CHAPTER XL. Lewis and Clark’s Great Expedition. Explorers given up as Dead. Build them a Monument! ‘Help yourself to the Mustard.’ Unerring Instinct of Beavers. Every Man’s House his Castle. A most Wonderful Mirage. Visiting Great Shoshonee Fall. Enormous Portals of Lava. Fascination of the Deep Gulf. A Bloodless Idaho War. Unattractive State of Society. The Chinook Jargon. Scenes in a Great Quartz Mill.
  • CHAPTER XLI. A Visit to Owyhee. Ruby City—War Eagle Mountain. Grinding Quartz versus Stamping. ‘Italian Summers and Syrian Winters.’ Into the Oro Fino Mine. The Poorman War. Capital Squandered. Agricultural Capacity of Idaho. Robberies of Mail Coach. The Blue Mountains. Meacham’s. Down the Columbia, Lewis and Clark’s Old Camping-ground. Our Quartz Regions.
  • CHAPTER XLII. The Telegraph a Miracle. Newspaper Strategy. Story of the Rebellion. Healdsburg and Foss-station. The Geysers. Pluton River and Devil’s Canyon. Devil’s Wash-bowl; Witches’ Caldron. California Wonders.
  • CHAPTER XLIII. Steamer-day. Finest Vessels in the World. Captains’ Wives not Admitted. Gull, Albatross, and Porpoise. A Lazy Existence. Acapulco. Earthquakes. A Droll War. No Wagon Roads. Wonderful Beauty of the Nights. Panama.
  • CHAPTER XLIV. Native Costumes. Old Cathedral. A Black Proverbial Philosopher. Lignumvitae Sleepers; Cement Poles. Rich Vegetation. Panama Railway. Aspinwall. On the ‘rolling deep.’ Heavy Gale. End of Eight Months’ Wanderings.
  • CHAPTER XLV. A Ride through Illinois. Atchison; Sumner; Leavenworth; Topeka. A Convention. Retributive Justice. Omnivorous Grasshoppers. Farming by Machinery. Women Voting. Lawrence; the Old Landmarks. Paola. One Cent per Year. Kansas Farming. Dwellings. Peace hath her Victories.
  • CHAPTER XLVI. From Saint Joseph to Omaha. Beautiful Town-site. Street Scenes. An Original American. Pacific Railroad. The Three Kansas Forks. Twenty- five Thousand Workmen. Lewis and Clark. A Trip across Iowa.
  • CHAPTER XLVII. Pandemonium on Wheels. Highest Railway Point in America. Manufactures. A Voyage without Parallel. Eleven Days of Horrors. Montana. American Breadstuff's for Asia. Humors of an Earthquake. California Life and Literature.
  • CHAPTER XLVIII. Comstock Lode. ‘Me Like Um Beans.’ White Pine. White Indians. A National School of Mines. Kansas and Missouri. Indian Territory. Sequoyah. ‘Uncle Sam’s Domain. A Man that Can Wait. De Vaca. Jonathan Carver.
  • CHAPTER XLIX. New Year’s Day. Nicknames. Origin of Pacific Railway. Its Beginning in California. A Military Necessity. The Terminal Station. Running Fight with Indians. Snow-Sheds. Average Cost Per Mile. Two More Roads. Uniform Time wanted. Distances across the Continent. Around the World.

1st edition 1867, second expanded edition 1869; 620 pages; PDF 494 pages.
word count: 185718 which is equivalent to 742 standard pages of text

This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic & Conjuring / Biographies & History

Magic & Conjuring / Published 1800-1899