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Thomas Paul Leathers, Sr
Birth: May 14, 1816
Death: Jun. 13, 1896

Owned and captained 8 different steamboats by the name of Natchez. Leathers was the captain of the famous steamboat Natchez which raced the steamboat Robert E. Lee in a race from New Orleans to St. Louis. Leathers and the Natchez lost the race by a little over 3 hours. Late in the morning of July 4, 1870, the Robert E. Lee landed in St. Louis. In only 3 days, 18 hours and 14 minutes, Captain John W. Cannon had powered his steamboat from New Orleans in a race against Captain Thomas Leathers' Natchez. Cannon's success can be partially attributed to his pre-race planning. Knowing that a lighter boat could travel faster, he ordered any unnecessary items for the trip to be removed. Even windows -- including those of the pilothouse -- doors and shutters were dismantled and left in New Orleans. These modifications made the Robert E. Lee a strange-looking steamboat when, carrying few passengers and very little cargo, it was cut loose from the shore at exactly 5:00 P.M. on June 30th, 1870. Instead of losing time docking for fuel, Cannon had another steamboat, the Frank Pargoud, waiting to meet the Robert E. Lee upriver. The two boats were tied together and continued to travel slowly against the current while fuel was loaded onto the Robert E. Lee. Although the Natchez had to stop for refueling, it was still very much in the race. When a dense fog settled on the river, Leathers stopped and waited for it to lift, assuming that Cannon would do the same. But, with the help of four pilots, Cannon continued progressing slowly, barely avoiding disaster several times. Fortunately for Cannon, the fog broke over the Robert E. Lee and he gained a considerable lead over Leathers, beating him to St. Louis by six and a half hours. (Bio by B. Plocharski) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Julia A. Bell Leathers (1827 - 1851)*
  Charlotte Celeste Claiborne Leathers (1832 - 1913)*
 
 Children:
  Francis S. Leathers (1848 - 1869)*
  Julia A. Leathers (1849 - 1852)*
  Courtenay Leigh Leathers Winchester (1854 - 1930)*
  Bowling Starke Leathers (1855 - 1919)*
  Claiborne Leathers (1857 - 1867)*
  Thomas Paul Leathers (1864 - 1909)*
  Celeste Leathers (1869 - 1870)*
  S. John Leathers (1875 - 1875)*
  Herbert Leigh Leathers (1876 - 1950)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: killed by a bicyclist on St. Charles Street in New Orleans
 
Burial:
Natchez City Cemetery
Natchez
Adams County
Mississippi, USA
Plot: On Steamboat Road
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Aug 06, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 11420
Thomas Paul Leathers, Sr
Added by: Bert Plocharski
 
Thomas Paul Leathers, Sr
Added by: Bert Plocharski
 
Thomas Paul Leathers, Sr
Added by: Bert Plocharski
 
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- Angel
 Added: May. 14, 2014

- Debbie Z*~
 Added: Jan. 12, 2014
REST IN PEACE
- Dolores
 Added: Dec. 1, 2012
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