Friday, January 18, 1878
The Mississippi Monster
It Attacks a Produce Boat and Frightens
A few weeks ago, we published the particulars
of a sea monster, as related by a
tow-boat Captain. The Captain of the
tow-boat described the monster as resembling
an immense snake, with bull-dog
head and a pelican bill ten feet long. It
lashed the water into foam with its tail,
and spurted oblique streams of water forty
feet high. The monster attacked the
barge which the tow-boat had in tow. After
it disappeared the Captain examined
the barge, and found a splinter from its
bill imbedded in the timber, which he said
resembled, ivory. '’
At the time of publishing the above we
felt a little inclined to doubt the monster
story, but now, after having ourselves interviewed,
two gentlemen who have seen
it, we really think there is a big sea monster
in the Mississippi River.
The gentlemen whom we interviewed
say that on the night of the 9th inst.,
while floating down the Mississippi. River
on Capt. Ed.. Baker's produce boat, when
near Island No. 95, they were startled by
a very loud splash in the water, and as
they had heard of the great monster, they
were very much frightened. They saw .a
dark object not more than 80 yards from
the boat, and for the first time saw the
huge monster. It was. swimming at a
pretty fast rate toward the boat, and it
made as much noise as the steamer R. E.
Lee. It came on, and as it neared the
boat it suddenly turned to the right, striking
the stern oar and knocking it overboard.
John Caughlin and Dud Kelly
alone remained on the roof, the balance of
the crew taking refuge in the cabin. The
monster came near enough to enable these
two gentlemen to get a full view of him.
They judged him to be about 65 feet in
length. His body was shaped like a
snake, his tail forked like a fish, and he
had a bill like that of a pelican. His bill
was fully, six feet in length. He had a
long flowing black mane like a horse.
When he swam his head was eight, feet
above the water. It was a grand sight to
see him move down the river. Messrs.
Caughlin and Kelly tell us that it was impossible
to induce the crew to come out
that night. . The pilot, Mr. McCune
George, was finally, lead out by his wife,
she assuring him that the great monster
had departed; .
Capt. Baker's boat is now moored at
our landing, at the foot of Main street.
All of his crew, except one man, have
abandoned her, and Capt. Baker says it is
impossible to get a crew, as the men think
the monster is still-following her.
–Natchez (Miss.) Democrat
The Rome Citizen newspaper published
From 1840-1888; in Rome, N.Y.
Now a defunct paper with no known copyright.