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June 6

The Excursionists arrive in Galena in the forenoon. Some visit a lead mine. Following a picnic, the party departs for Dubuque, Iowa, arriving in the late afternoon. After a short rainy stay, the boats make a night passage to LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

"Perhaps you have beheld such sublimity in dreams, but surely never in daylight waking elsewhere in this wonderful world. Over one hundred and fifty miles of unimaginable fairy-land, genie-land, and world of visions, have we passed during the last twenty-four hours...Throw away your guide books; heed not the statement of travelers; deal not with seekers after and retailers of the picturesque; believe no man, but see for yourself the Mississippi River above Dubuque."
—New York Times

June 7

The Excursion stops in LaCrosse, Trempealeau, and Prescott, Wisconsin. In Trempealeau, Mary Abigail Fillmore, Millard Fillmore's 22 year old daughter, borrows a horse from one of the townspeople and rides to the top of the bluff. When she waved her handkerchief, the boats saluted her by blowing their whistles. The boats steam overnight to Saint Paul, Minnesota Territory.

"Miss Fillmore told me the sight from the top of the [Trempealeau] bluff was the finest she ever saw. She could see for many miles up and down the river and it seemed to her to be all islands and she did not see how in the world the pilots found their way through the myriad of channels, all seemingly alike."
—William Tibbals

"When Lake Pepin was reached at 11:00 on Wednesday night, four boats were lashed together and they proceeded upstream shooting brilliant shafts of light that dancedand streamed on the waters. The remainder of the night was spent in "dancing, music, flirtations, et cetera."
—Putnam's Monthly Magazine

June 8

The boats arrive at 8:00 a.m. in Saint Paul, one day ahead of schedule, leaving Saint Paul's plans for celebration unaccomplished. Excursionists visit St. Anthony Falls, Minnehaha Falls, Fort Snelling and Fountain Cave. A gala dinner is served in the Territorial Capitol and a dance is held in the Supreme Court. The boats depart at midnight.

"The position of St. Paul as you approach the town from below, is very admirable. The river bends there almost at right angles, and the town stands on the north bank...Though but six years old, it already has 6,000 people and looks like a long civilized city...There is a glorious, boundless country behind."
—New York Tribune

"One of our party...had brought with him a bottle filled with water taken from the Atlantic Ocean. The contents of this bottle, with appropriate ceremonies, was emptied into the river, just below the Falls [of St. Anthony], and thus the waters of the Atlantic and Mississippi were at length mingled together."
—Chicago Tribune

June 10

The Excursion boats arrive back in Rock Island. Some Excursionists make private arrangements to proceed on to St. Louis, others return home by rail, courtesy of the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad.


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