Excerpt from Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, Vol. 14: A Series of Annotated Reprints of Some of the Best and Rarest Contemporary Volumes of Travel; Part I of James's Account of S. H. Long's Expedition, 1819-1820
Atkinson,' was set in motion in the autumn of 1818, and a cons... iderable body of troops passed the following winter near the present site of Leavenworth, Kansas. In the spring of 1819, however, defects in the plans began to hamper the execution of the enterprise. Those were the early days of steam navigation, and the waters of the Mis souri had not yet been stirred by paddle-wheels. Pru dence counselled that the success of the movement should not be staked on the behavior of steamboats in untried waters. Nevertheless, the authorities decided against the old-fashioned keel - boats recommended by Atkinson 5 in arranging for transportation, a further blunder was made in engaging a contractor without competition or adequate securities. The service proved entirely ineffi cient, and it was not until late in September of 1819 that the troops were concentrated at Council Bluffs, where, perforce, a halt was made for the winter.
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