Some steamboats carried as many as 125 passengers and 2,000 bales of cotton. When they came up the river, they carried thousands of sacks of salt along with cargo of sugar, molasses, and dry goods, which they could trade in the backcountry, before loading up with cotton bales for the return trip. The steamer DeSmet was typical of river traffic in the 1870’s.
From Watson, Tim, and Elizabeth Jacoway. Newport and Jackson County. Arcadia Publishing, 2016