Mississippi River Ice
Winter ice added to the torment of removal as the Cherokee tried to cross the river. Many perished while waiting to cross the frozen river.
We fixed our tent on the bank of this great River, one of the wonders of creation. We have long been looking forward to this river; and numbers who crossed the Ohio with us have not lived to arrive at this.
Saturday. [January 26th 1839]
Through Divine Goodness, we were conveyed safely over the great river..."
Rev. Daniel Butrick
The Cherokee crossed the Mississippi River using both Willard's Landing (which crossed over to Green's Ferry at Moccasin Springs, Missouri) and Hamburg's Landing, located slightly south. They may also have utilized other landings as well. Willard's Landing was located just about due west of the village of Ware, in Union County.
Use of steam ferries was just beginning in the West, and ferryboats on large rivers were usually powered by horses walking on treadmills. Some treadmills were set up so the horses went in a circle, others on an incline so the horses had to walk uphill.
View across the Mississippi River from Missouri, of Willard's Landing, near the town of Ware in Illinois. Willard's Landing was one of the ferry landings used by the Cherokee as they passed from Illinois.
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