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Rezin Jameson
From site visitor Scott M. Jameson "Below is an excert of my report on Rezin Jameson and the paddle wheel, Lucy Walker. Most of this came from The New Albany Press in which the reporter sat and interviewed Rezin, himself. I would like to know how I might be able to obtain more detail on some of the people involved in the steamboat era. For instance, Rezin's partner for many years, Christopher Damon, or Rezin Jones, his uncle, or his brother, William Jameson. Records must be kept on those who lived such a livlihood. Any ideas?" ...But it was Rezin, who brought the art of steam boating to some of its highest pinnacles. Before he reached the age of 21 he had worked his way up through the various ranks from laborer to second and first mate positions, until he was promoted in 1840 to pilot. Reckoned as one of the most capable navigators of the time he stood watch aboard all the finest of the old Louisville and New Orleans packets. Of fine temperament and even disposition he acquired a reputation of having "presence of mindand tremendous courage under the most stressful situations one could face. In such instance as a pilot for steamer, Lucy Walker, the ship had reached the mouth of Middle Creek, four miles below New Albany, IN. when the boilers exploded amidships. As the steamship floundered in the current, Rezin, amongst the conflagration of the burning ship and the groans of the dying and panic passengers, managed to pilot the Walker to shore. There, with others pitching in, aided and rescued his charges in a grand attempt to save everyone aboard. A few years later at the wheel of another steamboat, another fire broke out. Flames surrounded and leaped about the pilot, fairly engulfing the wheel house in a wall of burning devastation. After navigating the ship to shore and with only one way out, Rezin climbed out the window threading his way through the dancing fires. Upon reaching shore his clothes blazing and quickly extinguished he received the cheers and adulation of the thankful crew and passengers. His reputation and respect grew from these terrifying episodes retold up and down the waterfront towns that lined the banks of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. With that reputation came offers of employment as he worked for the best of the steamship lines in the years to come.
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