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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Cairo in Alexander County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Meeting of the Rivers

 
 
The Meeting of the Rivers Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
1. The Meeting of the Rivers Marker
Inscription. Long known to the Indian who used the two great rivers as his highways for trade and war, this junction of the Ohio and the Mississippi was first sighted by Europeans when Marquette and Joliet glided past in 1673. Ten years later La Salle explored the area and established France's claim to the Mississippi Valley. From that time on this confluence was recognized as a strategic site for settlement and fortification. George Rogers Clark, following the capture of Kaskaskia in 1778, stationed armed boats at this junction to guard against attacks on the Illinois country by the British or Spanish. Here in 1811 the "New Orleans", first steamboat to navigate western waters, lay at anchor during three nights of the New Madrid earthquake. In April of 1861 Fort Defiance was established at the confluence to thwart Confederate invasion and blockade the trade of the South. From here was launched General Grant's great flanking movement of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, which began at Fort Henry and ended at Vicksburg, giving the Union complete control of the Mississippi.
 
Location. 36° 59.04′ N, 89° 8.391′ W. Marker is near Cairo, Illinois, in Alexander County. Marker is on Fort Defiance Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located in Fort
The Meeting of the Rivers Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
2. The Meeting of the Rivers Marker
The marker is mounted on one of the piers for the concrete observation platform.
Defiance Park, at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Marker is in this post office area: Cairo IL 62914, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Proceeding On" (a few steps from this marker); Cairo, Illinois (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lewis & Clark (approx. 0.6 miles away); Historical Survey Marker (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lewis and Clark in Illinois (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Ohio River Bridge (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Beginning of the Third Principal Meridian (approx. 1.2 miles away); Duncan Cannon (approx. 2.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cairo.
 
Categories. DisastersExplorationWar, US CivilWar, US Revolutionary
 
Observation Platform Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
3. Observation Platform
Three States and Two Rivers Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2009
4. Three States and Two Rivers
Looking southeast from the platform. The Ohio River (left) joins the Mississippi River (right and into the center distance) at this point. In the foreground is the southernmost tip of Illinois. Kentucky stands on the left and center, across the Ohio. Missouri is on the right, across the Mississippi River. The Mississippi passes through an "S" bend around Cairo and Bird Point, Missouri at the confluence.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,239 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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