These records are taken from Historical and Statistical Collections of Louisiana. Parish of Catahoula; DeBow's Review Vol 12, 1852. This has a lot of wonderful facts about Catahoula Parish from the beginning, until 1852, when this was written.
But I am only picking out items that will be truly interesting --- especially the ones that contain names of early settlers.
The first steamboat that ever ran up the Ouachitta River was called
the "JAMES MONROE," and was commanded by Captain Nancarrow, in 1819.
She was a rough piece of work, and had a mast and sails. She ran from New-Orleans
to Harrisonburg in twelve days, and great was the wonder of the people at her
astonishing speed, and they congratulated(
each other upon their being brought so very near to New-Orleans. The "James Monroe" ran on up to what was then called the " Post of Ouachitta," and her advent there created such great excitement, that the whole population made a general grand jubilee; and, as commemorative of the great event, and expressive of their joy on the occasion, they changed the name of their town from " The Post of Ouachitta" to that of "MONROE.
The second boat up this river was the " Independence," in 1820-21, commanded by Captain Rarich. This was the first steamboat that ever ran into Bayou and Lake Looah, which was the same winter, and before the Bayou was cleaned out.
The next boat was the "1 Leopard," in 1822-3, commanded by Captain Raspellier. This boat was rather an ungainly piece of work, and had a wooden main-shaft. She ran as far as Camtden, and made about two trips of a season, and seldom made the distance from New-Orleans up to Harrisonburg in less than twelve days.
_____ commanded by Capt. James Manning, first ran up Little River to Capt. G. Spencer's, in 1837.
Dr. Keep ran the steamboat" Rock River" up into Catahoula Lake in 1840, and went above Lacroix ferry.
In 1841, Capt. J. M. Philips took the " Hannibal" in the Catahoula Lake above Hiane's ferry.
Samuel Glenn, Sen., took the steamboat " Art" up to the lake for pine knots, and he may be considered really as the first who embarked in this business in earnest, although he was very unfortunate at it.
After him, in 1847-8, Capt. Francis Routh took the steamboat " Ellen" into the lake after pine knots, and has continued at the business up to this time.