The River Road of Sand, Part 2: Hard Work by beautymountainstudio published on 2012-09-25T12:52:02Z This year marks the 200th anniversary of Chief Justice John Marshall’s river expedition to survey a canal route over the Allegheny mountains. The boat that took he and his crew through the wilds of western Virginia was called a bateau — a flat-bottomed wooden boat like a long, skinny barge that could carry lots of cargo. We know that the men who labored to pole Marshall's batteau up river were black, as were most batteaumen. Yesterday, we heard about a group of Virginians who built a bateau of their own to retrace Marshall’s 1812 journey. In this installment of a 3-part series, “The River Road of Sand,” producer Catherine Moore talks to one Hinton native with a deep and personal interest in the history of bateau, and in the process learns more about the labor realities that made these boats run.