What river does up the river refer to?
Up the river means: To, in, or at prison. E.G. They sent him up the river for 5 years. It originally referred to Sing-Sing Prison, on the Hudson River about 30 miles north of NewYorkCity. Used from about 1890 on, it was broadened to apply to any prison by the early 1900s. PerFreeDictionary.com
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