A summer in the wilderness; embracing a canoe voyage up the Mississippi and around Lake Superior
Charles Lanman (1819-1895) was a Michigan-born landscape painter, sportsman, and writer who studied under Asher Durand and published several books about his journeys through the wilderness and newly developing areas of the northern Midwest and Canada. This book shares highlights of his 1846 trip by steamship and canoe north from St. Louis to Rock Island, Nauvoo, Prairie du Chien and onward to Lake Pepin and the mouth of the St. Peter's (Minnesota) River. Lanman continued to Itasca and Elk Lake, which he considered to be the actual headwaters of the Mississippi, by way of Lake Winnipeg and Cedar Lake, eventually reaching Lake Superior after traveling along the St. Louis River to Fond du Lac. Lanman writes about nature from a romantic perspective, recreating woodland scenes with plunging cataracts, picturesque bluffs, and sparkling waters. He spends considerable time describing various Native American peoples and passes on some legends associated with the places he visited. As an artist, he was deeply impressed with Seth Eastman whom he met at Fort Snelling. He also devotes a few introductory pages to the artistic and architectural treasure of St. Louis, where his journey began. The last chapter is a nostalgic recollection of the author's childhood in an arcadian Michigan he sees receding into distant memory.
Also available in digital form.