First lead mine in Missouri was on the James River

In Schoolcraft’s 1819 account, A View of the Lead Mines of Missouri, he wrote, “On the immediate banks of James River are situated some valuable lead mines, which have been known to the Osage Indians and to some White River hunters, for many years.”

The young New York explorer repeatedly expressed astonishment at the clarity of Ozark streams. At his James River camp at the lead mine he observed lumps of ore “through the water, which is very clear and transparent.” 

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