“First up the River-1819” is an historical-fiction novel based on an expedition that ascended the Missouri River in 1819. I used the actual journal of the Stephen Long expedition to the Yellowstone as much of the basis for my writing. Though my book is a novel, many of the events in it actually happened. I added narrative and characters to these. Other events weren’t recorded to have happened, but could have. I made these up and they became part of the story.
In 1819, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun sent the expedition up the Missouri to gather scientific information and establish a fort at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Major Stephen Long led the science part of the expedition, accompanying the Atkinson military expedition, whose mission was to build forts, pacify the Indians, and rid the upper Missouri of English and French influence.
Jake Murphy joins the expedition with the first steamboat to ascend the river, the Western Engineer. Settlers are fast moving up the Missouri…threatening the lands of the Indians along and near the river.
Did the Western Engineer reach its hoped-for destination?. And, what happened on the way? Read on to find the answer. The Western Engineer was the “First Up the River, 1819”.
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