Memphis In The Maritime

Join Mark, Joe and our guests as we take a look at Memphis during the heyday of streamboats, the riverport, and river traffic from the early 1800’s to today.

Our panel for this episode consists of the top river historians in the Memphis area.

James (Jim) Lee

James (Jim) Lee – Jim’s family has been in the riverboat and steamboat business since 1862. His knowledge of the steamboat business and history is unsurpassed in the Memphis and surrounding area. His website is a treasure trove of information, pictures and antidotes of life on the Mississippi River. 

Robert Cox

Robert Cox – Rob graduated from Christian Brothers High and in his junior year at Mississippi State University joined the US Coast Guard as a reservist Seaman Recruit in 1971. After graduating from Basic Training he was assigned his first duty station in Yorktown, Virginia to attend Boatswain Mate “A” school.

Rob has been awarded too many awards to list including the Coast Guard Achievement Medal with Operational Distinguishing Device and 2 gold stars,
Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon and the Secretary’s Outstanding Unit Award. He was also nominated for President Bush’s Thousand Points of Light Award.

Rob has saved numerous lives during his duty on America’s waterways as well as working major floods, waterside security for the space program and after being called back to active duty conducted threat assessment and counter terrorism duties along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. 

Carlyle Acosta
Bio coming Soon!

Research team: Joe V Lowry, Carlyle Acosta, Jim Lee
Moderator: Mark White
Editor: Trish Gully
Producer: Mark White 

11 thoughts on “Memphis In The Maritime

    1. Hi Barbara, we normally do our research using the library archives (microfiche versions of past newspapers, etc.) and by reading books on the subject we’re studying. For instance for the Memphis Italians podcast we used many books including Delta Italians by Monsignor Paul Canonici. Hope this helps.

  1. Dear Jim,

    I am a blues and hospel historian in the Netherlands. I am writing a book on blues singer Jazz Gillum.
    He sings about a historic race between the two riverboats the Jim Lee and the Kate Adam. Does that ring a bell”
    When did this happen and what were the circumstances?

    Thank you!

  2. Thank you for your interest in the Kate Adams James Lee friendly rivalry. Yes, there was a race between the two steamboats March 1883, more accurately it was not a head to head race but a time trial between Helena Arkansas and the Memphis Beale Street Landing. I will be glad to send you the historical account from the History of the Lee Line written in the 1970’s by Captain William Tippitt who was a pilot on the Mississippi.
    William Tippitt’s history is rather primitive by today’s publishing but still readable. I will be happy to email you jpgs from the pages of this history. You will see that the rivalry was a friendly one. The original Kate Adams twisted her hull when being launched and the Adams family refused to take possession of her where upon my great grandfather James Lee purchased the boat and renamed her the JAMES LEE. You will see that my great grandfather was quite a character by his reply to the question would the JAMES LEE challenge the KATE ADAMS winning time.

    Jim Lee

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