Come aboard the steamboat New Orleans, and experience the real-life adventure of the first steamboat trip down the mighty Mississippi through the eyes of a young crewmember. Tim Collins is a fourteen-year-old orphan trying to get from Pittsburgh to Natchez in the year 1811. He signs on as a deckhand aboard the New Orleans, and meets Nicholas Roosevelt, the dynamic builder and owner of the vessel, and his wife Lydia, who braves the untamed river while pregnant. Defying the ridicule of critics who claim that no vessel can defy the current of the mighty Mississippi, the voyagers set off on their epic journey. Author George Fichter is a former editor of the Golden Guides series and the Golden Encyclopedia of Natural History..