<Author>Clemens, Samuel Langhorne; Mark Twain</Author>
<Title>Life on the Mississippi</Title>
<Edition>[Prose Works. Selections.] Library of America. New York: Literary Classics of the U.S., 1985</Edition>
The "Body of the Nation"
<p><i>But the basin of the Mississippi is the</i> BODY OF THE
NATION. All the other parts are but members, important in
themselves, yet more important in their relations to this.
Exclusive of the Lake basin and of 300,000 square miles in Texas
and New Mexico, which in many aspects form a part of it, this
basin contains about 1,250,000 square miles. In extent it is the
second great valley of the world, being exceeded only by that of
the Amazon. The valley of the frozen Obi approaches it in
extent; that of the La Plata comes next in space, and probably in
habitable capacity, having about 8/9 of its area; then comes that
of the Yenisei, with about . . .