"Robt. E. Lee" Steamboat blank card, Les Thompson
Robert E. Lee, nicknamed the "Monarch of the Mississippi," was a steamboat built in New Albany, Indiana, in 1866. The hull was designed by DeWitt Hill, and the riverboat cost more than $200,000 to build. It was named for General Robert E. Lee, General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States. The steamboat gained its greatest fame for racing and beating the then-current speed record holder, Natchez, in an 1870 steamboat race. It usually ran between New Orleans and Natchez, Mississippi.
A native of Mobile, Alabama, Leslie Thompson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Auburn University. His first experience with art was in the second grade when his pastel drawing of a Gloucester Schooner was chosen for international exchange in the Jaycee Art Auction, which raised funds for the Mobile Museum of Art. The drawing eventually was exhibited in Paris, France. As a student at Auburn, Thompson travelled to Spain and attended the Universidad de Madrid.
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