Meet the Pilot
My name is Philip Suiter and the river was my life. My greatest days were always spent along the banks of the river where I called home. In 1824, I was 26 years old when I handcrafted a boat from white oak strips a grapevines at my home in Lawrence County, Ohio. With my wife and 2 children in tow, we paddled down the Ohio River and then turned north for the slow trip up the Mississippi.
We landed in Illinois where we stayed for a few years. The locals quickly recognized my talents on the water. I spent so much time on the river, I knew by memory every twist in the bank, every line of rocks, every cross current that would be of danger to travelers on the water. In 1829, a young engineer by the name of Robert E. Lee requested my service. His charge was to map the currents and channels of the river. Using landmarks on the banks, I helped him to chart the mighty river and the workings of even the smallest flows.
Read more about the Pilot