This documentary series is inspired by the Mississippi River itself, the very lifeblood of America in the 19th and 20th centuries, and encouraged by the journals and novels of a riverboat captain, journalist and novelist Samuel L. Clemens, better known to the modern world as Mark Twain.
In 1870, soon after the bloody Civil War and in the Reconstruction era for the nation, and as the new Industrial Revolution swept in, two great paddlesteamers raced 1,200 miles from New Orleans to St Louis, over five days finishing on July 4th.
It is known in the annals of the Mississippi River as ‘The Great Race’, between the ‘Natchez’ and the ‘Robert E. Lee’ – a story never recounted for the screen.
An event at the time that promoted the United States of America to a worldwide audience.
Dreams were the stuff of which the river’s world was made, dreams translated into designing, building, working and racing of the wondrous steamers. And the greatest event in that era was the race between the ‘Natchez’ and the ‘Robert E. Lee’.