THE STEAMBOAT MALTA
The steamboat Malta sank in late August 1841 while loaded with Indian trading supplies for the American Fur Company. Aboard the sidewheeled steamer was cargo for Peter Sarpy, Papin & Robidoux and other Chouteau trading posts and merchants along the Missouri River. Some of the freight was destined to unload in Independence, Missouri, for passage along the Santa Fe Trail to Bent’s Fort in Colorado’s southeast corner. There were no casualties when the Malta went down, but the boat and its cargo of trading supplies proved a valuable loss. Over time, the Missouri River cut a new channel and moved, leaving the boat buried deep under what is now a Missouri farm field near Malta Bend, Missouri.
Now, David Hawley, alongside Jerry Mackey and David Luttrell, are leading a new team of adventurers determined to unearth the sunken steamboat. Watch their journey below.