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Yellowstone River Steamboats

Document Date: January 1, 2010

 

Webmaster’s Research Documents

Available for

GenWeb & YGF Researchers

The summary of the Josephine Riverboat explorations on the Yellowstone River and the local area extracted from the listed files is contained in e:\MT-Ygf\County\cochran.htm, 218,537, 04/26/2009. This file is also loaded onto the web in the YGF website at http://rootsweb.com/~mtygf/ County\cochran.htm. A summary of the riverboats adventures is defined in EEEE:\\Riverboats\riverboats.wpd (files listed below). A great many excursions were attempted to explore the Yellowstone River in the early 1800’s, but very few made the journey. These all had the tagging of “Yellowstone Expedition”, in their reports.

 

One of the more serious mistakes in identification of Josephine’s treks was made in May-June of 1875.

 

On 19 May, General Sherman ordered Col’s Forsythe and Grant, under direct orders from the War Department, to commandeer the for an Expedition up the Yellowstone to determine how far they could go, and to determine places for future military support to the army. The boat reached the end of clear-water on June 7th, about 1-1/2 mile west of Duck Creek Bridge, and then turned around[1]. No civilians, excepting for the boat’s crew, were permitted on board. Four mounted scouts were allowed. On the night of June 6th the boat tied up to two large trees (Cottonwoods) across from Belle Butte, after passing through a strong rapids area. [Belle Butte means “Beautiful Mountain” and is now called Sacrifice Cliff. The rapids was named Hell Gate by the crew, but was named Ramsey’s Rapids in 1878. This rapid started at the confluence of Bitter Creek, and it had about a 13 foot drop before reaching the north end of Belle Butte. The water flowrate was about equal to the forward speed of the boat. In the morning they continued on their westward journey. Many news articles confuse the 1875 journey with the 1877 one. The location they docked had was probably Josephine Park, as it had at the time many large trees (2-feet or so in diameter), and was the main site for docking after Coulson was established in 1878. This was located on Perry McAdow’s land, and he is the one who undoubtedly cut down most of the trees for lumber, leaving only stumps for later visitors to sit upon.

 

While the Josephine was en route on the Yellowstone in May-June under command of Col Forsythe, the War Department, Engineering Section, issued an order on June 14th, to commandeer the Josephine and make a trip up the Yellowstone. They actually meant, “to survey the headwaters of the Yellowstone River,” but it was called an “Expedition!” For this activity the Josephine traveled on the Missouri River and discharged its passengers near to what is now called Carroll, Montana, and then returned to Fort Buford on July 15th. The members of this survey crew (identified by numerous researchers) have mistakenly thought to be the voyage on its previous trip to Duck Creek. Captain Ludlow was the team leader who conducted this survey of the Yellowstone River from the Bozeman Pass to its headwaters. After departing the Missouri the team traveled cross-county to the Yellowstone. They returned on August 16th. This is the trip that carried four Smithsonian Scientists mentioned in Captain Grant Marsh’s 1907 letter to the President, and are listed in the “Conquest of the Missouri”, by Vestal, pgs 221-223. The commanding of the boat in 1873 by General Forsythe who supported the NPR survey team’s transport across the Yellowstone River also hindered researchers in their attempt to identify who was who. Many thought he and Col Forsythe was the same person.

 

In 1877 the Josephine was commissioned by Thomas McGirl, who homesteaded at what later became Huntley, to bring supplies for his trading post in May. After depositing the goods in early June, Captain Marsh continued upstream to locate the settlers in the Belle Butte area. Apparently Thomas told him of their existence. At that time none of the settlers were on the land. The only evidence of their existence was Joseph MV Cochran’s tent (Riverfronts Park). Captain Grant stopped there and tied up to a tree on June 7th. He then carved Josephine and the date into that Cottonwood tree. This information was recorded by Walter DeLacy in 1878 when he surveyed the land area; stating “the highest point reached by a riverboat in 1877.” The BLM and others have replaced that statement to mean 1875, causing many to think that this was the terminus of the 1875 journey. Col Grant’s description of that journey clearly identifies the location, as well as the diaries of the 1876 March of the Montana column enroute to join up with Custer’s command at the Big Horn.

 

The FY Batchelor, docked at Coulson 1882 before the NPR Bridge across the Yellowstone River was completed, was erroneously identified as being the Josephine.

 

File contents are listed as noted in the following example. When requesting a file, please provide full path.

 

Directory:\\Directory\Directory*\Document & type   Size (bytes)  Orig date & Time

EEEE:\\Explorers\Lewis & Clark signature trail.doc  1,562,624        10/17/2005 14:47

* There may be multiple sub-directories (eg, Folders)

 

 

EEEE:\\Riverboats\  DIR

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Fort Benton Steamer arrival lists.mht      261,711           11/15/2008 03:31        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\grant_marsh_ltr.doc         38,912 11/22/2007 05:35        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Key-West-1873-trip-bio.doc       24,064 11/22/2007 05:35        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\MISSOURI RIVER.doc 26,112 11/22/2007 05:35        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Montana Riverboat.doc   35,840 11/22/2007 05:35        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\riverboats.doc      1,014,272        11/22/2007 05:35        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\riverboats_list.doc           1,242,624        11/22/2007 05:35        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Western Engineer - description.JPG        442,309           01/22/2008 10:27        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\yellowstone river 1870 census.txt           12,682 11/22/2007 05:35        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Yellowstone River Steamers.mht            915,708           03/12/2008 13:28        -a--

 

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\         <DIR>            12/30/2008 07:45        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Beale-Family-diary_files\     <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Fort Union Trading Post NHS Historic Structures Report-Historical Data Section (Bibliography)_files\  <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Fort Union Trading Post NHS Historic Structures Report-Historical Data Section (Endnotes)_files\        <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine-riverboat_files\     <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Missouri and Steamboating_files\    <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\RIVERBOAT CAPTAINS STARTING WITH L_files\   <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\RIVERBOAT COMPANIES STARTING WITH A_files\           <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Riverboats Starting with the Letter C_files\            <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31   ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\STEAMBOATING ON THE MISSOURI_files\   <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31   ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats\   <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\      <DIR>            12/30/2008 07:45        ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\batchelor-1878.jpg            277,408           12/10/2005 07:21            -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\expansion-nara-1907.jpg   249,436           12/21/2005 08:47            -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\farwest_1876-EJDrown.jpg         84,533 12/23/2005 09:46            -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\filelist.xml 358      12/30/2008 07:45        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\header.htm            2,303   12/30/2008 07:45        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\image001.jpg        96,125 07/17/2006 13:52        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\image002.jpg        85,856 07/17/2006 13:52        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\image003.jpg        229,951           07/17/2006 13:52        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\image004.jpg        62,043 07/17/2006 13:52        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\image005.jpg        87,992 07/17/2006 13:52        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\image006.jpg        33,281 07/17/2006 13:52        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\image024.jpg        36,100 05/18/2003 23:00        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\independence.jpg  96,125 03/05/2006 06:51        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\josephine_river_boat.JPG 65,548 10/24/2005 05:19        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\josephine-1880.jpg            39,028 05/01/2004 15:43        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\josephine-1881-missouri.jpg         41,873 05/01/2004 15:43            -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\rosebud-1878.jpg  8,095   05/01/2004 15:49        -a--

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats_files\stanleys-stockade-1873.jpg          87,992 12/10/2005 07:25            -a--

 

 

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\The Riverboats of Capt_ Joseph LaBarge_files\      <DIR>            01/21/2008 09:31   ----

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\1875-jo.jpg   616,241           12/28/2002 06:31       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Acquisition_of_Oregon-Whitman.pdf         8,538,452        05/20/2007 06:20           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\batchelor-1878.jpg   277,408           12/10/2005 07:21       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\batchelor-buford-1878.psd  301,581           07/25/2006 12:30       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\batchelor-buford-1878 copy.jpg      158,337           07/25/2006 12:31       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Beale-Family-diary.htm       56,929 04/15/2004 06:20       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\benton.jpg    86,922 07/25/2006 12:43       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Benton Tickets.jpg   893,998           07/25/2006 11:31       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\billings_broncs.jpg   599,115           12/21/2005 08:34       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Breaking_the_Wilderness-1905.pdf            8,615,093        05/20/2007 06:31           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\buford_camp-1875.JPG       318,069           11/26/2005 11:46       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\butte-wrecked.jpg    243,321           07/25/2006 12:41       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\calhoun-1919.JPG    229,951           12/15/2005 07:05       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\cheyenne-1873.jpg   125,514           07/25/2006 12:39       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\dakotah.jpg  96,816 07/25/2006 12:32       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\desmet.jpg    181,810           07/25/2006 12:27       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Early_Western_Travels__1748_1846-1905.pdf      28,798,842      05/20/2007 07:00  

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\eclipse-1881-bismarck flood.jpg      132,275           07/25/2006 12:26       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\expansion-nara-1907.jpg      249,436           12/21/2005 08:47       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\expansion-Sidney.jpg           156,743           07/25/2006 12:23       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\far_west.jpg 43,924 04/08/2004 07:33       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\far_west0001.bmp   5,214,294        12/10/2005 08:02       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\far_west0001.jpg     217,600           12/10/2005 08:02       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\far_west-1876-bill.jpg          37,644 04/15/2004 05:46       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\far_west-caption.jpg            48,126 04/08/2004 07:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\farwest.jpg   9,580   01/29/2006 08:07       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\farwest_1876-EJDrown.jpg 84,533 12/23/2005 09:46       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Fifty_Years_on_the_Mississippi_by Gould.pdf      33,244,734      05/20/2007 06:18  

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Fort Union Trading Post NHS Historic Structures Report-Historical Data Section (Bibliography).htm     22,664 04/05/2004 05:48       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Fort Union Trading Post NHS Historic Structures Report-Historical Data Section (Endnotes).htm          40,834 04/05/2004 05:49       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\fy-batchelor-18760001.JPG 970,088           12/10/2005 07:15       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Grant_Marsh.jpg      4,884   04/08/2004 07:34       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\grant_marsh-conquest.psd   548,996           07/12/2007 06:10       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\indians-affairs with stanley.htm       14,875 04/16/2004 05:28       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Josephine_Powers.JPG        74,418 07/17/2006 08:55       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine_river_boat.JPG    65,548 10/24/2005 05:19       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine_river_boat-story-error.JPG          167,644           10/24/2005 05:26           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine-1880.jpg   39,028 05/01/2004 15:43       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine-1880.psd  921,315           07/12/2007 06:14       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine-1881-missouri.jpg 41,873 05/01/2004 15:43       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine-docked.jpg           197,011           07/25/2006 12:16       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\josephine-drydock.jpg          165,235           07/25/2006 12:18       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Josephine-lucy_painting.jpg 37,299 10/26/2005 08:16       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Key-West-1873-trip-bio.doc            24,064 04/15/2004 06:41       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Last Ferry at Niobrara-1980s.JPG   117,409           02/23/2007 08:22       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Little Pearl Ferry.JPG          112,054           02/23/2007 08:20       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Missouri and Steamboating.htm      79,963 04/05/2004 05:50       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\MISSOURI RIVER.doc     26,112 04/05/2004 15:38       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\ND Historical Center Steamboats.pdf         11,554,517      07/25/2006 12:43           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\nellie peck on track.jpg        277,587           07/25/2006 12:13       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\nellie_peck-1872.bmp          1,971,630        12/10/2005 08:06       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Newman School-First.jpg    69,732 04/25/2007 07:38       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Nez_Perce_Joseph-1881 Benton.pdf           4,657,195        05/20/2007 06:32           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\On-line Library - River Travels.htm 97,199 04/05/2004 05:56       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\RIVERBOAT CAPTAINS STARTING WITH L.htm      31,229 04/05/2004 05:44  

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\RIVERBOAT COMPANIES STARTING WITH A.htm 25,126 04/05/2004 05:44  

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Riverboats Starting with the Letter C.htm  60,372 04/05/2004 05:42       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\riverboats-archive.htm          38,669 01/17/2007 07:06       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\rosebud0001.JPG     1,481,272        12/10/2005 07:06       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\rosebud-1878.jpg     8,095   05/01/2004 15:49       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\rosebud-1898-ND.jpg          335,076           07/25/2006 12:10       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\rosebud-ft-benton.JPG         1,251,700        12/10/2005 07:10       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\rosebud-ft-benton-barry.jpg 1,302,022        07/26/2006 06:27       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\rosebud-nd.jpg         154,620           07/25/2006 12:01       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Rosebud-Schultz.tif 8,985,592        08/11/2005 10:18       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Selkirk-1871-Red River.jpg 74,950 11/22/2008 13:39       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Southwestern_Historical_Quarterly-1903.pdf         11,438,280      05/20/2007 06:26  

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\stanleys-stockade-1873.jpg  87,992 12/10/2005 07:25       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboat and stagecoach era in Montana and the Northern West.doc            98,304 01/27/2007 15:40       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboat landing at Glendive.jpg  9,065   01/25/2007 08:42       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboat_list.htm   147,292           12/19/2005 09:01       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboat_pics.htm  14,512 12/21/2005 08:58       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\STEAMBOATING ON THE MISSOURI.htm      30,526 04/05/2004 05:43           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats.htm        335,816           12/30/2008 07:45       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\steamboats.wpd       741,219           12/03/2005 08:25       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\stramboat history.ppt           15,544,832      08/01/2006 11:55       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\The Riverboats of Capt_ Joseph LaBarge.htm        14,873 04/15/2004 06:03           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\The_Magazine_of_American_History_1832.pdf    21,937,420      05/20/2007 06:23  

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\The_United_States_and_Mexico__1821_1848 pub 1913.pdf        18,479,160            05/20/2007 06:29       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Thumbs.db   188,928           09/17/2007 07:37        -ahs

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Union County-Dakota to 1880.txt   101,739           04/05/2004 05:54       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\western_engineer -calhoun-1919.JPG          699,304           12/15/2005 06:53           

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\wolf_rapids.JPG      57,692 11/30/2005 08:54       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\wolf_rapids-small.jpg           4,227   11/30/2005 08:56       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\wyoming.jpg            122,466           07/25/2006 12:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\Yellowstone Riverboat History[Extracted in part from the Daily Herald.wpd            742,649           12/03/2005 08:21       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\yellowstone-capt grayson.doc          27,136 01/27/2007 15:11       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Steamboats\yellowstone-lucy.bmp          337,734           07/17/2006 08:18       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Fort Benton Steamer arrival lists.mht      261,711           11/15/2008 03:31       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\grant_marsh_ltr.doc         38,912 11/22/2007 05:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Key-West-1873-trip-bio.doc       24,064 11/22/2007 05:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\MISSOURI RIVER.doc 26,112 11/22/2007 05:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Montana Riverboat.doc   35,840 11/22/2007 05:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\riverboats.doc      1,014,272        11/22/2007 05:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\riverboats_list.doc           1,242,624        11/22/2007 05:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Thumbs.db           5,120   04/15/2009 06:23        -ahs

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Western Engineer - description.JPG        442,309           01/22/2008 10:27       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\yellowstone river 1870 census.txt           12,682 11/22/2007 05:35       

EEEE:\\Riverboats\Yellowstone River Steamers.mht            915,708           03/12/2008 13:28        -a—

 

 

 

Cleve Kimmel – County Coordinator (mysterycleve@gmail.com)

Original Release Date: January 1, 2010
Refer to Montana State GenWeb Site for additional details on propriety rights.

Referenced documents that contain current copy rights cannot be copied and submitted in their entirety – only granted excerpts. No file that is downloaded to a recipient can be utilized in multiple-mailing lists; or for a fee or profit. Files downloaded are for the expressed usage by the recipient in pursuit of historical information or genealogical background.

 



[1] The biography reported in the Daily Herald, dated April 6, 1883 erroneously reported the location as being Huntley, and the date as June 15th.