The steamboat trade was vital to inland towns like Newport and the surrounding countryside.  Steamers from Newport had clear passage to New Orleans, Memphis and even St. Louis via the White and Mississippi Rivers, which provided ready markets for cotton and timber from Jackson County and access to finished products from around the world.  One such product, barrels of fresh oysters from New Orleans, was a luxury many in Jackson County enjoyed.

From Watson, Tim, and Elizabeth Jacoway. Newport and Jackson County. Arcadia Publishing, 2016