Press Guide - President Taft's 1909 trip down the Mississippi River

The excerpts from the pamphlet about the trip

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Schedule of President Taft's River Trip

From St. Louis to New Orleans, October 25-30

Accompanied by the Governors and the Congressmen, Under the Auspices of the St. Louis Business Men’s League and the Lakes-to-the Gulf Deep Waterway Association.

Monday, October 25, 1909.

Arrive St. Louis (Iron Mountain Railroad), 7:27 a.m.
Breakfast as guest of the Commercial Club In St. Louis Club 8:30 a. m.
Address in Coliseum to 15,000 people, 11 a. m.
President introduced by Governor Herbert S. Hadley.
Luncheon, Planters Hotel, as guest of Business Men’s League, 2 p. m. (No address.)
East St. Louis, dedication of Government building, 4 p.m.
Leave St. Louis at 5 p. m. by the steamboat Oleander.
Dinner at 7 p. m. with the Governors on board the steamboat St.. Paul, as guest of the Business Men’s League of St. Louis.

Tuesday. October 26. 1909.

Arrive Cape Girardeau 6 a. m. (Distance 120 miles, Average speed 18 miles an hour.)
Ride in automobile to State Normal School . Address by President. Ceremony of planting a tree on the campus and return to boat.
Leave Cape Girardeau 7 a. m,
Arrive Cairo, Ill., 12 noon. (Distance is 55 miles, Average speed 11 miles an hour).
Govemer Deneen Introduces the President, who makes an address,
Leave Cairo 1 p. m.
Arrive at Hickman, Ky., 4 p. m, (Distance 51 miles.
Average speed 11 2-3 miles an hour).
Governor Willson introduces the President, who makes an address.
Leave Hickman 5 p. m.

Wednesday, October 27, 1909.

Arrive Memphis, Tenn, 8 a. m. (Distance, 195 miles, Average speed 13 miles an hour.
President heads automobile parade to Y. M. C. A. building, which be dedicates.
Parade goes to Auditorium.
Governor Patterson introduces the President, who makes an address.
Leave Memphis 12 noon.
Arrive Helena, Ark., 6 p. m. (Distance 75 miles. Average speed 12½ miles an hour)
President in automobile escorted by military to Custom-house.
Introduced by Governor Donaghey. Address, and back to boat.
Electric light illuminations on entire way.
Leave Helena 7 p. m.
Dinner with the Congressmen on board the steamboat Quincy, as guest of the Lakes-to-the-Gulf Deep Waterway Association.

Thursday, October 28, 1909

Arrive Vicksburg, Miss., at 3 p.m.

(Distance 295 miles. Average speed 14 3/4 miles an hour.)
President visits the battleground and makes an address. Dinner at 7 p. m. at the Elks Club.
Leave Vicksburg 10 p. m.

Friday, October 29, 1909.

Arrive Natchez, Miss., 7 a. m. (Distance 100 miles. Average speed 11 1-9 miles anur.)
President is driven through the city and makes an address on the bluff.
Leave Natchez at 9

a. m.
Arrive Baton Rouge, La., 8 p. m. (Distance 133 miles. Average speed 12 1-11 miles an hour.)
President makes an address.
Introduced by Governor Sanders from the balcony of the Federal building.
Leave Baton Rouge 9 p. m.

Saturday, October 30, 1909.

Arrive New Orleans 8 a. m. (Distance 133 miles. Average speed 12 1-11 miles an hour.)
Lakes-to-the-Gulf Deep Waterway Convention opens at 10 a.m.
Address In Convention Hall, 2:30 p. m.

Sunday, October 31, 1909.

In New Orleans.

Monday, November 1, 1909.

Leave New Orleans (Illinois Central Railroad), 3 a. m.
(Distances from the record of the United States Engineers’ Office and the Mississippi River Commission.)



The presidential flotilla, escorting William Howard Taft, President of the United States, is bound for New Orleans where It is due October 30, on which on will open a convention of the Lakes-to the-Gulf Deep Waterway Association.
The trip downstream is expected to consume five days, and will cover approximately 1,200 miles. The various delegations and guests are numbered at 2,800 strong.
Details of the trip were arranged by the St. Louis Business Men’s League and the Lakes-to-the-Gulf Deep Waterway Association, membership in which extends from Chicago to New Orleans.
The start was made from St. Louis at 5 p.m., Monday, October 25, 1909.



The personally conducted journey of President Taft down the Mississippi River Is being made to call the personal attention of the President of the United States, members of Congress, army engineers and levee engineers of the various interested States to the commercial necessity and possibilities of deepening the Mississippi River.
It is expected there will be a general "round-up" of the deep waterway interests this winter, resulting in the passage of an adequate river and harbor bill that shall contain a paragraph carrying a sufficient appropriation by Congress to put the building of the deep waterway on a continuing basis, as the Panama Canal.
"Federal co-operation" Is wanted with the State of Illinois, the voters of which have authorized a bond issue of $20,000,000 to continue the deep waterway southward from Joliet, Ill., where it now terminates.



The present deep waterway movement dates from 1905, when United States Senator Thomas Carter, of Montana, committed the stupendous commercial crime of killing an entire river and harbor bill by an administration filibuster.
The blow awoke the Mississippi Valley, and from Chicago to New Orleans deep waterway associations were formed for the purpose of obtaining recognition of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
The first convention of the present Deep Waterway Association was held in St. Louis in 1906. One hundred of the most prominent businessmen of seven States were sent to Washington and a campaign if publicity was waged. As a result, the largest appropriation for river improvement in the history of the country went through that session of Congress.
The slogans have been "River regulation is rate regulation" and "River improvement will be railroad improvement." Campaigns of river education are waged unceasingly.
The first convention, held in St. Louis, had 1,100 delegates; Memphis, the second, had 2,300, representing nineteen States; Chicago last year had on its roster 3,517 delegates, from forty-four States. It is expected that New Orleans, holding the fourth convention, will surpass this record.

We find listed on the Steamer Quincy:


Captain Maurice Killeen.
Carrying Vice President James S. Sherman,
Speaker Joseph Cannon and 177 members of Congress.

Local committees as follows:

Joliet— Mayor John R. Cronin. Cliff. W. Jordan, president Commercial Club of Joliet. Kansas City— Walter S. Dickey. L. M. Jones. Hon. E. C. Ellis. Cairo— Mayor George Parsons. K. A. Smith, president Commercial Club. St. Louis— J. A. Lewis. Nathan Frank. Edward L. Preetorius. C. F. Beardsley. John L. Messmore. Paul W. Brown. Natchez— James K. Lambert. Simon Moses. Lenny Morest. Cape Girardeau— Fred Naeter. W. H. Harrison. E. F. Regenhardt. Memphis— Sidney M. Neely. W. H. Russe. Lewis T. Kavanaugh, James S. Warren. New Orleans— City Attorney H. Garland Dupree. Albert Godchaux. Judge I. D. Moore, City Attorney. Vicksburg— Lee Richardson. A. L. Fischel. John A. Hennessey. Chicago— T. Edward Wilder. Elmer H. Adams. C. N. Kimball. La Verne W. Noyes, president Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Hon. George B. Swift, former Mayor of Chicago.