Southeast Missouri State University Press

New Madrid: A Mississippi River Town in History and Legend

Mary Sue Anton

Publication: May 2009
Pages: 328

New Madrid: A Mississippi River Town in History and Legend focuses on the hearts and minds of a restless population as it moved west into the Mississippi River Valley in the 1800s. The river-port town of New Madrid, Missouri, strategically located just below the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and destined to be the capital of “New Spain,” was en route for thousands of early Americans.

New Madrid’s pioneers reveal their past and their stories through letters, newspapers, official records, and other sources. The author takes the reader through the town’s history, recounting tales of legendary people whose lives crossed with those of area residents. Lively illustrations, photographs, and maps enhance the stories, a treasure for anyone whose ancestors experienced the westward movement, participated in the Civil War, were slave-owners, slaves, or American Indians, or for those who are curious about American life in earlier times.

“Mary Sue Anton’s research underlines the considerable care she employs in searching for the truth. Her research, which appears beyond reproach, explores the known possibilities of historical events in a singularly unbiased format and provides the reader with the latitude to judge on a very personal level what actually occurred. Refreshingly honest and delightfully readable, clearly, this is history as it needs to be revealed.” Allan W. Eckert, author of The Frontiersmen and That Dark and Bloody River

“Mary Sue Anton draws from a wide-ranging assortment of primary and secondary sources and a storehouse of local lore to fashion this lively and comprehensive portrait of her native New Madrid and its environs.” William E. Foley, author of The Genesis of Missouri

“Mary Sue Anton shows us in her superb New Madrid that New Madrid was and is a special town, sustained under five different flags over two difficult centuries by a very special people.” Dr. Arch C. Johnston, Director, Center for Earthquake Research and Information, University of Memphis

Mary Sue Anton, an alumna of Loretto Academy in Kansas City, Missouri, earned a BA in history at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1989, after which she wrote for the Houston Chronicle. Her interest in Missouri history was sparked upon learning that one of her ancestors came to New Madrid along with the founder George Morgan in 1789. Her previously published works include “Pioneers of New Madrid, Missouri, and Their Descendants.” Mary Sue has conducted workshops on genealogy.

Mary Sue was born during the Great Depression on a riverside farm near New Madrid and grew up in a large family. She lives in Seabrook, Texas. She and her late husband, Dr. Arthur Anton, and have three grown children and two grandchildren.

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Buy the New Madrid  audiobook here.


Trade paperback, $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-9822489-0-4

Out of Stock