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Capes on the Mississippi River facts for kids

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Carte de la rivière de Mississipi
Capes on the Middle Mississippi - Carte de la rivière de Mississippi, by Guillaume de L'Isle
Course of the Mississippi River from Balise to Fort Chartres
Map by Lieut. Ross - 1772

The term cape has a different tradition of usage in the American Midwest along the Mississippi River. The middle Mississippi River Valley once formed part of the French Colonies of Quebec and Louisiana, also referred to as Upper Louisiana (Haute-Louisiane) or the Illinois Country (Pays des Illinois). The Illinois Country also included the left bank of the Mississippi River in present-day Missouri.

The French explorers and mapmakers used the word cape (or in French, "cap") to describe the bluffs and promontories along the Mississippi River. A "cap" could sit next to any body of water, not just the ocean. Spanish authorities also used the term cabo (cape) for points on the Mississippi River. Along the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cairo there are a number of capes of French origin.

Capes on the Mississippi River and tributaries
Name Original French Name Translation State Location
Cape Cinque Hommes or

Cape St. Cosme

Cap des Cinque Hommes or

Cap St. Cosme

cape of five men or

cape of St. Cosme

MO 37°41′33.2″N 89°31′45.3″W / 37.692556°N 89.529250°W / 37.692556; -89.529250
Cape Creche Cap Crèche cape manger MO
Cape La Croix Cap de la Croix cape of the cross MO 37°14′53.51″N 89°28′05.76″W / 37.2481972°N 89.4682667°W / 37.2481972; -89.4682667
Cap à la Cruche Cap à la Cruche cape pitcher MO
Cape Fair -- -- MO 36°43′48″N 93°30′37″W / 36.73000°N 93.51028°W / 36.73000; -93.51028
Cape Garlick Cap à l'Ail cape garlic MO
Cape Girardeau Cap de Girardot cape of Girardot MO 37°18′21″N 89°31′05″W / 37.30583°N 89.51806°W / 37.30583; -89.51806
Cap au Gris Cap au Gris cape of gray MO 38°59′56″N 90°41′30″W / 38.99889°N 90.69167°W / 38.99889; -90.69167
Cape de la Grotte Cap de la Grotte cape of the caves MO
Cap aux Pistolets Cap aux Pistolets cape of the pistols MN
Cape La Roche Cap de la Roche cape of the rock MO
Cape de Roche Blanche Cap de Roche blanche cape of the white rock MO
Cape Rock -- -- MO 37°19′43″N 89°29′45″W / 37.32861°N 89.49583°W / 37.32861; -89.49583
Cape St. Anthony Cap de St. Antoine cape of Saint Anthony IL 37°37′57″N 89°30′7″W / 37.63250°N 89.50194°W / 37.63250; -89.50194
Cape Swallow Cap l'hirondelle cape swallow MO
Pointed Cape Cap de la Pointe cape of the point MO
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