"Next morning we learned that the Ohio had frozen below as well as above the point where we were, and that we would have to set up winter quarters in Louisville if we did not prefer to turn around and retrace our steps. There was a third alternative to be taken, however. On the banks of the Mississip[p]i, in the State of Tennessee, we were told that there was a small town, called Memphis, where all the steamboats going up or coming down the river stop to take on wood. If we could reach this place we would be sure to resume our navigation, as the Mississip[p]i never freezes.
Tocqueville (Pierson 577)
"The seventeenth, arrival at Memphis. Alas! The Mississip[p]i also is covered with ice and navigation suspended.
Memphis! large as Beaumont-la-Chartre, what a fall! Nothing to see, neither men nor things. . . ."
Beaumont (Pierson 580)
"On finally arriving in Memphis we found that, several miles above, the Mississip[p]i itself was frozen over; several steamboats were caught in the ice; you could see them but they were as motionless as rocks."
Tocqueville, letter to his father (Pierson 581)
"Within the memory of man nothing like it has ever been seen: for the inhabitants of the South it's a subject of stupefaction. However, the weather has moderated to-day and we are hoping for the thaw, which would soon start navigation again. We are resolved to await it a week. If it doesn't come in that interval, we shall leave for Washington by retracing our steps. . . ."
Beaumont, letter to his family (Pierson 581)