Monday, September 19, 2011

Larkin Edwards and Henry M Shreve: Two pioneers of NW La

A brief comparison of Larkin Edwards and Henry M Shreve. Here's a teacher's sample essay:

The Diplomat and The Engineer: a comparison of Larkin Edwards and Henry Miller Shreve

"Rnnnggg-rnggr," was the sound made by the winches on the work boat designed by Henry Miller Shreve. It was snagboat. Its task was to wrench giant logs from the muck of the Red River as Shreve led the clearing of the Great Raft. A few miles away another pioneer, Larkin Edwards, smoked a peace pipe with Tarshar, chief of the Caddo people.

By learning the language of the Caddo the thoughtful Edwards was able to help the tribe as their interpreter, says In the 1835 negotiations which led to the US take-over of the Caddo lands in the Red River Valley, Edwards was given a gift of one square mile of land. He sold that land to the speculators who founded Shreve Town.

Meanwhile, the clearing of the river channel by Shreve ensured that settlers would fill the North Louisiana river bottom. In the process of clearing the raft, Shreve happened to cut off the river bend in which Edwards had established a store and post office. Edwards' site, the Coates Bluff landing on Stoner Hill, lost its river traffic and business.

But the port of Shreve Town prospered.