Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Waterproof, Louisiana/Ashland Landing, Mississippi
Panel # 27
A. Waterproof, Louisiana
Mile 381.0 AHP
This small community was moved four times due to floods and the towns caving banks. The original location is now said to lie in the Mississippi River. During its third washout, a newspaper reported the entire town was under water, except for “one waterproof knoll.” After the flood subsided, the community rebuilt on the spot and was named Waterproof. At that time the community was located just above and eastward bend in the Mississippi. The straight channel that now stretches downstream, known as Waterproof Cutoff, opened in 1884.
B. Ashland Landing, Mississippi
Mile 381.0 AHP
Zachary Taylor planned a triumphal tour up the Mississippi River after he was elected President of the United States in 1848. Taylor owned a plantation in the vicinity of Ashland Landing, and the elegant steamboat Tennessee was to pick him up there on January 31, 1849, to begin the tour. Just before dawn, a boat pulled up and Taylor boarded the vessel. The President retired to his stateroom as the steamer began its journey upriver. Sometime later, an aide discovered they were on the wrong boat. The vessel was not Tennessee but the Saladin. The deception had been carried out by the Saladin’s young captain, Tom Coleman. A friend of the Taylor family, Coleman wanted to have the honor of caring the President-Elect on the first leg of his journey to Washington. When President Taylor awoke and was told of the trick, he only laughed and stated that Tennessee could catch up with them in Vicksburg, MS.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #12 Zachary Taylor series list.
Location. 35° 8.968′ N, 90° 3.507′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on Island Drive. Mud Island Mississippi Riverwalk. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 N Front St, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Mississippi Riverwalk (here, next to this marker); Ohio River (here, next to this marker); Cairo, Illinois (here, next to this marker); Islands No. 2, 3, and 4 / Fort Jefferson, Kentucky / Bird’s Point, Missouri (here, next to this marker); Island No. 5 (Wolf Island)/Belmont, Missouri/Columbus, Kentucky (here, next to this marker); Donaldson Point, Missouri/Island No. 8/Hickman, Kentucky/Dorena Crevasse (here, next to this marker); New Madrid, Missouri/Cates Casting Field/Island No. 10 (here, next to this marker); Tiptonville, Tennessee/Bixby Towhead (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Also see . . .
1. Waterproof, Louisiana. During the American Civil War, a garrison of three hundred African-American Union troops (United States Colored Troops) based in Waterproof was attacked on February 13, 1864, by eight hundred Confederates under Captain Eli Bowman. The Federal gunboat Forest Rose opened fire from the Mississippi River and drove back Bowman's men. (Submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
2. Ashland, Jefferson County, Mississippi. Ashland was located near Cypress Grove Plantation, purchased in 1840 by future United States president Zachary Taylor. After being elected president in 1849, the large and elegant steamer Tennessee was sent to pick Taylor up at Ashland Landing and transport him to Vicksburg to attend several receptions. It went unnoticed in the pre-dawn hours that the steamer Saladin had arrived in Ashland Landing before the Tennessee. Tom Coleman, Saladin's 24-year-old captain, was a Taylor family friend who wanted the honor of transporting the president-elect to Vicksburg. When aides discovered the deception, they woke Taylor, who had been sleeping in Saladin's stateroom. Taylor laughed and stated that the Tennessee would catch up at Vicksburg and he could transfer there. (Submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
3. Zachary Taylor. He also bought a plantation in Louisville for $95,000, as well as the Cypress Grove Plantation near Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi. These acquisitions included slaves, rising in number to over 200. In July 1811 he was called to the Indiana Territory, where he assumed control of Fort Knox after the commandant fled. In only a few weeks, he was able to restore order in the garrison, for which he was lauded by Governor William Henry Harrison. Taylor was temporarily called to Washington to testify for Wilkinson as a witness in a court-martial, and so he did not take part in the November 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe against the forces of Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief. (Submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 23, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 77 times since then and 15 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on March 18, 2018, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.