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When Was the Source of the Mississippi River Discovered?

The Mississippi River system is the fourth longest river in the world and passes through 10 US states on its path to the sea. The Mississippi was first documented by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541, although Native Americans had been living along the river for generations.

The headwaters of the Mississippi River originate in Lake Itasca. This lake was documented and named by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in 1832 who had been searching for the headwaters while treating with local tribes. Schoolcraft created the name Itasca from the Latin words for “truth” and “head”, intending the lake to be known as the “true head” of the Mississippi.

More about the Mississippi:

  • It is difficult to determine the exact length of a river, but the Mississippi is usually estimated to be between 2300 and 2500 miles long.

  • The Mississippi can only be considered the fourth longest river in the world if including the length of the Missouri River in the estimate. The Mississippi by itself is only the 20th longest river in the world and the third longest in the USA.

  • Lake Itasca is the narrowest point of the river, at around 20-30 feet wide. The Mississippi stretches to over 11 miles wide at Lake Winnibigoshish.

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anon992422
Post 4

Lake Itasca is in Minnesota.

anon992372
Post 2

And where is Lake Itasca?

anon992369
Post 1

What about the Yangtze? The Congo, The Yellow as well as the Nile and Amazon. It seems the Mississippi River is not fourth?

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