Tallahatchie Steamboat Landing (Location Key)


In the early days of Yoknapatawpha, outsiders often reached the area by traveling by steamboat up the Tallahatchie River to a "landing" where the boats picked up and put down passengers and freight. The river is shallow, and risky for steamboats to navigate. "A Courtship" describes how laboriously they had to travel even when the water was "tall enough" - i.e. deep enough (366). In the earliest 'Indian stories' - "Red Leaves" and "A Justice" - a relic of this mode of travel sits some distance from the water as part of the 'big house' of an Indian chief. But while it seems in those early stories that this steamboat, stranded on a sand bar and abandoned to the ambitious chief's re-purposing, was the last one to try getting to Yoknapatawpha, later fictions have steamboats using the landing as late as the 1830s. In Requiem for a Nun, at least, the land at the landing is owned by Thomas Sutpen when the marble columns which the town imported from Italy for the new courthouse are unloaded there.

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