Chapter IX

Arrival in America, Torpedo experiments, Launch and trial trip of the steamboat, Steam ferry boats.

    FULTON left Falmouth at the end of October and H arrived in New York by
way of Halifax, N.S., on i December 13, 1806, after an absence of nineteen
years from his native country. He found himself eagerly awaited by his
friends, prominent among whom were Barlow, who had settled down in a house
which he had built for himself at Kalorama on the outskirts of Washington,
and Chancellor Livingston, whose country-seat was at Clermont, near Albany,
on the shores of the Hudson.
    Fulton was acclaimed by his countrymen as a prominent citizen, and what
honours a republic can bestow were showered upon him. He was elected a
Director of the American Academy of Fine Arts, a Fellow of the American
Philosophical Society and of the New York Historical Society, and assisted
in the foundation of the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York.
    The period that now ensued was one of greater activity than any that he
had previously known. As he was engaged concurrently on several different
enterprises it may be as well to depart from strict chronological order and
treat each one consecutively, leaving the greatest, i.e. the steamboat
enterprise, till the last.  Fulton had hardly been in the States a month
before he had proposed to the executive government a series of experiments
with torpedoes, undeterred by the fact that two foreign powers had already
rejected them. A demonstration was held in January at Kalorama, at which 206
James Madison, Secretary of State, and Robert Smith, Secretary to the Navy,
were present. Both were favourably impressed and permission to make the
experiments was readily granted. Although already fully engaged with the
preparation of plans for the machinery and with the superintendence of the
building of his steamboat, he found time to arrange for a demonstration of
blowing up a vessel by his torpedo in New York Harbour. This took place on
July 20, 1807, but established nothing new, being merely a repetition,
except that it was less successful, of that in Walmer Roads. Fulton thus
describes the experiment:
     "The brig was anchored, the Torpedoes prepared and put into the water .
. .; the tide then drove them under the brig near her keel, but in
consequence of the locks turning downwards the powder fell out of the pans
and they both missed fire. This discovery of an error in the manner of
fixing the locks to a Torpedo has been corrected. On the second attempt the
Torpedo missed the brig; the explosion took place about one hundred yards
from her and threw up a column of water 10 feet diameter, sixty or seventy
feet high. On the third attempt she was blown up.''
     On the day following this experiment Fulton addressed a letter to the
Governor and Magistrates of the city of New York, of which the following is
an extract: " Having now clearly demonstrated the great effect of explosion
under water, it is very easy to conceive that by organization and practice
the application of the torpedoes will, like every other art, progress in
perfection. Little difficulties and errors will occur in the commencement,
as has been the case in all new inventions: but where there is little
expense, so little risk, and so much to be gained, it is worthy of
consideration whether this system should not have a fair trial. Gunpowder
within the last three hundred years has totally changed the art of war, and
all my reflections have led me to believe that this application of it will
in a few years put a stop to maritime wars, give that liberty on the seas
which has been long and anxiously desired by every good man, and secure to
America that liberty of commerce, tranquillity, and independence which will
enable her citizens to apply their mental and corporeal faculties to useful
and humane pursuits, to the improvement of our country and the happiness of
the whole people."
     Fulton's operations attracted some little attention on this side of the
water and led to means being devised to counteract them. Lord Stanhope, on
I6th February 1807, in a patent (No. 3007) including some improvements in
shipbuilding provided means for " counteracting or diminishing the danger of
that most mischievous invention for destroying ships and vessels known by
the name or appellation of Submarine Bombs, Carcasses, or Explosions." This
can only have referred to Fulton's torpedoes.
    Not only so, but Commodore (subsequently Admiral) Sir E. W. C. R. Owen,
whose share in the operations against the Boulogne flotilla has already been
mentioned, thought it his duty to submit to the Lords of the Admiralty a
very detailed report, dated September 6, I807, on the construction,
operation, and means of defence against Fulton's torpedoes. The covering
letter is interesting and the memorandum itself so lucid that  give them
in full in an Appendix.'
    The document gives from an unbiassed source a full description of
Fulton's engines, and may therefore be relied upon. Commodore Owen's
suggestions for withstanding torpedo attack contain the germ of the present
generally adopted system of boom defence. The docket on the letter shows
that the information was duly transmitted to Admiral Berkeley in command on
the American station. Even had Fulton persuaded the U.S. Naval authorities
to adopt his plans he would have found the British ready for him and able to
outmanoeuvre him. No wonder that Britain remained Mistress of the Seas while
her navy was commanded by such officers as Owen !
    Fulton, in ignorance of this, continued his efforts to get his torpedo
adopted. He also made public, as he had long before promised, some of the
details of his torpedoes in his brochure, Torpedo War and Sgbjnasz;ze
Explosions, from which we have already quoted at some length; this was
published in January 1810, and bears evidence, as he himself confesses, of
having been hastily written, for it was meant more for the purpose of
influencing Congress than to redeem a promise. He gives a number of
different designs of torpedoes, but only one, i.e. that described by
Commodore Owen, was actually successful. This was the method adopted at
Brest, Dover, Boulogne, and New York.
    Congress were so favourably impressed that in March 1810 they made an
appropriation, for the purpose of carrying out experiments, of a sum of
$5000 to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, who
at once appointed Commodores Rogers and Chauncey to superintend the
    In September Fulton exhibited to them his models and plans as described
in his brochure, as well as a new apparatus for cutting the cables of
vessels at anchor. This was a very crude affair just a curved knife, the
haft of which was in the barrel of a gun. The whole was to be floated by a
buoy against the cable to be cut till the knife caught it, when it was to be
discharged by a gun lock ! ! A model, incomplete, however, is in possession
of the grandson of the inventor.  
    By the following month these officers were ready for the trials in the
Navy Yard at Brooklyn. Commodore Rogers must have been a sly old sea-dog,
for he had unknown to Fulton prepared the Argus sloop of war, Captain
Lawrence, to resist attack by chains lashed to the cable and booms
supporting netting extending down to the sea bottom. This is the first
instance of the actual employment of this now widely adopted means of
defence. Fulton was completely nonplussed and acknowledged defeat, although
confident he would find means to overcome the obstacle. He had to content
himself with trying his harpoon torpedo and cable cutter, neither of which
answered his expectations, although he did actually succeed later in cutting
a cable.
    The report, together with a letter from Fulton, was forwarded to the
Treasury. In the latter he observes, pertinently, that "an invention which
will oblige every hostile vessel that enters our parts to guard herself by
such means (i.e. torpedo netting) cannot but be of great importance in a
system of defence," and also that he had now discovered a means to render "
all such kinds of operations (he. protective means) totally useless."
    Fulton, however, does not appear to have carried the matter further, and
this is the last we hear of his torpedoes. Strictly speaking, they were
floating mines and not torpedoes at all; we can therefore hardly call them
the predecessors of the destructive weapon of to-day, but there was in them
the germ of the idea that of launching against an enemy's ship a missile
which would explode on reaching it and inflict injury and we must confess
that Fulton worked out his idea for all it was worth. It was reserved for a
later period, when the advance of mechanical science had made it possible to
accommodate its motive power within the body of the projectile itself, to
develop the germ into something formidable.  
    A matter which occupied some small amount of Fulton's attention was the
long-deferred publication in the spring of 1807 of his friend Barlow's poem,
the Columbiad to which we have already referred. There is good reason to
doubt whether, but for the good offices of Fulton, this epic would ever have
emerged from the MS. state; but having decided to do it, he did it well. It
was an edition de luxe in quarto form, embellished r with a portrait of
Barlow by Fulton and ten plates. The drawings for the latter had been made
by Robert Smirke, and Fulton had had them engraved and printed in London. He
also bore the cost of the typographical part, amounting in all to $5000, and
the work thus became his private property.  
    Long after the work had been issued to the public, he wrote on July 1,
1810, to Barlow drawing his attention to a belated review of the book 
    "Have you seen the Edinburgh Review of the Colombiad Their first
principle is that polished literature is not to be expected from America
more than from Manchester or Birmingham. The second position is that the day
for epic poetry is gone by; man cannot now take pleasure in poetic fiction;
the mere didactic is too dry. . . . However they call you a giant compared
to modern British bards, though not equal, they think, to Milton." 
     Another subject on which Fulton's services were in request was to
advise on the question of canals as a means of transport, a question that
was then uppermost in men's minds. Had it not been for the coming of the
steamboat, and, shortly after, of the locomotive engine, it is very likely
that a United States canal system not inferior to that established in Great
Britain would have been the outcome of the inquiries which were now being
set on foot. Fulton, however, was obliged to decline any offers in this
direction: Replying on March 20, 1807, to a letter from General Dearborn,
Secretary of War, he says:

     "I am infinitely obliged by the proposal of the President (i.e. Thomas
Jefferson) that I should examine the ground and report on a canal to unite
the waters of the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain, and am sorry I cannot
undertake a work so interesting and honourable. The reason is I now have
Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, and Carpenters occupied at New York in building
and executing the machinery of my Steam Boat, and I must return to that City
in ten days to direct the work till finished, which will probably require 4
months. The enterprise is of much importance to me individually and I hope
will be of great use in facilitating the navigation of some of our long
rivers. Like every enthusiast, I have no doubt of success. I therefore work
with ardor, and when adjusting the parts of the machine I cannot leave the
men for a day. I am also preparing the engines for an experiment of blowing
up a vessel in the harbour of New York this Spring. The machines for this
purpose are in great forwardness and I hope to convince the rational part of
the inhabitants of our cities that vessels of war shall never enter our
harbours or approach our Coasts but by our consent." 
     An inquiry was conducted by Mr. A. Gallatin, on behalf of the U.S.
Treasury, upon the subject of canals, and his report embodies an extremely
lucid statement by Fulton, dated December 8, I807, of the advantages to be
derived from small canals. He refers to his Treatzse on Canal Gastgation and
gives estimates to show that carriage on water by horse haulage would cost
less than one-tenth of that on the best roads then available.  
     While on the subject of internal communication we ought to mention that
early in 1811 Fulton WAS seriously entertaining the idea of steam locomotion
on rails as a rival to canals. He had an idea of building a railway at
Richmond, Virginia, for transporting coal. Chancellor Livingston, replying
on March I, 1811, to a letter of Fulton's of February 25 previous, says 
     "I had before read of your very ingenious propositions as to railway
communication. I fear, however, on mature reflection, that they will be
liable to serious objections, and ultimately more expensive than a canal."
Evidently Fulton had suggested the use of wood for rails, a material which
the Chancellor said "would not last a week." He also said that " the
carriage of condensing water would be very troublesome," showing that Fulton
had not proposed to use the high-pressure engine, so that evidently he had
merely touched the fringe of the subject. Still it is noteworthy, because
the steam locomotive had not yet come into commercial use in England much
less anywhere else.
     We must now turn to the crowning achievement of Fulton's life that of
the successful solution, on a commercial scale, of the problem of transport
on water by the power of steam. After many years of study, experiment, and
observation, the time for action had arrived, and he now proceeded to reduce
his ideas to practice in the construction of a practical steamboat.
     As we have endeavoured to show, Fulton's qualifications for the task
were of a high order. He had studied closely the failures and successes of
previous inventors, and analysed them as far as he could to find to what
their failure or partial success had been due; he had, moreover, studied
during the time he was staying in France, we can hardly doubt, the
theoretical works on the subject of ship resistance written by Bossut and
others; he had, above all, availed himself of the results of Colonel Mark
Beaufoy's Nautical Experiments on the resistance to propulsion through
water of variously shaped solids, carried out in Greenland Dock,
Rotherhithe, in 1793-8, under the direction of the Society for the
Improvement of Naval Architecture. In short Fulton had done what every
engineer would do in like circumstances he had availed himself of all
practical information that he could find bearing on the subject he was
dealing with and had applied also to it the results of theoretical
investigations. He was the first to treat the elementary factors in
steamship design: dimensions, form, horse-power, and speed in a scientific
spirit; to him belongs the credit of having coupled the boat and the engine
as a working unit. 
     We have already referred to the experiments of early inventors and to
Fulton's knowledge of them, and it only remains to give the deductions that
Beaufoy had made from his experiments. He showed that the important factors
in the total resistance of a solid were: 

     1. Skin friction, proportional to the wetted area and to the square of
the velocity.
     2. Bow and stern resistance, proportional to the square of the sine of
the angle of obliquity of the bow and stern.

     The first is substantially the result accepted to-day, as verified by
Froude, while the second is a partial recognition of the resistances due to
wave making and eddy making as we know them partial because the stream
line theory connoting the importance of length of entrance and of run aft
was not yet enunciated. As Beaufoy's experiments were made with solids of
prismatic shape, towed under still water by means of a pendulum apparatus,
they were for that reason not directly applicable to shipshaped solids
floating on the surface; although he brought them under the notice of naval
architects, it was without much success. Fulton, however, saw their value,
and to him belongs the credit of being the first to apply them practically;
indeed it is hardly too much to say that he was the first to apply
theoretical investigations to practical ship design, so entirely was the
latter at that time a question of " rule of thumb." 
     Fulton, in applying Beaufoy's results to his own case, adopted a
midship section as nearly as possible rectangular with bow and stern
wedge-shaped subtending an angle of 60 degrees. He calculated a table of
resistances for each speed from 1 to 6 miles an hour for (a) the skin
friction, and (b) the bow and stern resistance. To the bow resistance he
added what was called the " plus pressure," i.e " the additional pressure
against the bow while the boat moves forwards"; from the stern resistance he
deducted the " minus pressure occasioned by the fluid not pressing so
strongly against the stern when the boat moves forward as when at rest."
From this table the total resistance of a boat of any dimensions could
quickly be calculated. He then added " a like power for the propellers," and
this he considered to be the total power felt at the paddle-wheels. Piston
speed being practically constant, the gearing necessary between the engine
and propeller could be calculated and this would give the power that it
would be necessary to develop in the cylinder, whence a convenient diameter
and stroke could be deduced. The weight of engine and boiler could then be
calculated, and subtracting it from the displacement the tonnage the boat
could carry would be known.  
     All this is explained at very great length in Fulton's own words in the
specification which he enrolled in the United States Patent Office in I809,
and which is reproduced in an Appendix. 
     Even the calculations for the actual boat herself are given. The shape
of this boat was a decided departure from established practice, for she was
rectangular in crosssection for the greater part of her length; no wonder
therefore that her coefficient of fineness was nearly og. Unfortunately no
drawings of the boat have been preserved, although we may be certain that
such were made, even if only an outline, for this was always Fulton's
practice. A satisfactory reproduction and model have been made, however,
from what little details were in existence.  
     The construction of the boat was entrusted to Charles Browne, a
well-known shipbuilder, whose yard was at Corlear's Hook on the East River.
She was pushed forward rapidly during the spring of 1807, as is shown by a
letter to the Chancellor, dated March I6, in which Fulton says " The boat is
now building." When launched she was not christened, apparently, but was
known simply as "the steam boat." It was distinctive enough, too, for she
was the only one in the world. After launching she was taken over to Paulus
Hook Ferry (not Paulus Hook itself, now known as Jersey City), where Fulton
had secured some land for a workshop and was building the framing and
gearing for the Boulton tic Watt engine. After arrival it had remained for
some time in the New York Custom House, as it was not immediately wanted,
but it was eventually cleared and taken to a Mr. Barker's warehouse, whence
it was removed on April 23 to the boat.
     The difficulties that were encountered in the construction of the
gearing and paddle-wheels at a time when smiths and carpenters were the only
mechanics available were overcome, so that on the 4th of July Fulton was
able to tell the Chancellor that " I have all my wheels up; they move
admirably." But this was not the only hitch: the cost had already exceeded
Fulton's estimate, and it was necessary to seek for assistance. John
Stevens, as a politic stroke for he also had a steamboat project on hand,
was invited to join the enterprise, but he declined. Many racy stories are
told of the expedients that Fulton resorted to get money out of his
incredulous friends, a number of whom did advance small amounts on bills. 
     At length all was ready; the preliminary trials took place on Sunday,
August 9, just four years to a day since the trial trip on the Seine. Fulton
wrote an account of it, dated August 10, 1807, to the Chancellor, and from
it the following extract is taken : 

     "Yesterday about 12 o'clock I put the steamboat in motion first with a
paddle 8 inches broad 3 feet long with which I ran about one mile up the
East River against a tide of about one mile an hour, it being nearly high
water. I then anchored and put on another paddle 8 inches wide 3 feet long,
started again and then, according to my best observations, I went 3 miles an
hour, that is two against a tide of one: another board of 8 inches was
wanting, which had not been prepared; I therefore turned the boat and ran
down with the tide . . . and turned her round neatly into the berth from
which I parted. She answers the helm equal to anything that ever was built,
and I turned her twice in three times her own length. Much has been proved
by this experiment. First, that she will when in complete order run up to my
full calculations; Second that my axles, I believe, will be sufficiently
strong to run the engine to her full power; Third, that she steers well and
can be turned with ease."

     Fulton also mentions that " corrections, with the finishing of the
cabins will take me the whole week, and I shall start on Monday next at 4
miles an hour."
     The steamboat was not yet in a finished condition. The necessity for
providing guards to protect the paddlewheels from injury had not been
realised, nor were they boxed in. The engine also was exposed to view. She
was described, not without some point, as "an ungainly craft looking
precisely like a backwoods' sawmill mounted on a scow and set on fire."
     However, incomplete as she was, the trial trip took place on the day
Fulton had appointed Monday, August 17, 1807 a day to be kept in
remembrance. At one o'clock the boat left her moorings at a dock on the
North River near the State's Prison; on board were about forty guests,
almost wholly relatives or intimate friends. So quietly had everything been
done that only one paper, the American Citizen, announced the coming event;
nevertheless a large number of spectators were present. The excitement was
intense, the incredulity, scorn, and ridicule that had met him at every turn
while Fulton's Folly," for so the boat was nicknamed, was being built,
gave way perforce to silence first and then to shouts of applause and
     We cannot do better than give an account of the voyage in Fulton's own
words in a letter to Joel Barlow.

     "My steamboat voyage to Albany and back has turned out rather more
favourably than I had calculated. The distance from New York to Albany is
one hundred and fifty miles. I ran it up in thirty-two hours and down in
thirty. I had a light breeze against me the whole way both going and coming
and the voyage has been performed wholly by the power of the steam-engine. I
overtook many sloops and schooners beating to windward and parted with them
as if they had been at anchor.
     "The power of propelling boats by steam is now fully proved. The
morning I left New York, there were not perhaps thirty persons in the city
who believed that the boat would ever move one mile an hour, or be of the
least utility, and while we were putting off from the wharf, which was
crowded with spectators, I heard a number of sarcastic remarks. This is the
way in which ignorant men compliment what they call philosophers and
     "Having employed much time, money, and zeal in accomplishing this work,
it gives me, as it will you, great pleasure to see it fully answer my
expectations. It will give a cheap and quick conveyance to the merchants on
the Mississippi, Missouri, and other great rivers which are now laying open
their treasures to the enterprise of our countrymen; and although the
prospect of personal emolument has been some inducement to me, yet I feel
infinitely more pleasure in reflecting on the immense advantages that my
country will draw from the invention. . . ."
     The references to the Mississippi, Missouri, and " other great rivers
which are now laying open their treasures " is of course to the recent
purchase of Louisiana from France, and shows that Fulton had already
directed his attention to this very wide field for enterprise; he embarked
upon it shortly afterwards.  To correct erroneous impressions, Fulton, on
his return to New York on Friday, August 21, wrote the follow ing letter to
the editor of the American Citizen, giving what might be called a log of the
     "I arrived this afternoon at 4 o'clock in the steamboat from Albany. As
the success of my experiment gives me great hopes that such boats may be
rendered of much importance to my country, to prevent erroneous opinions and
to give some satisfaction to the friends of useful improvements, you will
have the goodness to publish the following statement of facts:
     "I left New York on Monday at 1 o'clock and arrived at Clermont, the
seat of Chancellor Livingston, at 1 o'clock on Tuesday; time 24 hours;
distance II0 miles. On Wednesday I departed from the Chancellor's at 9 in
the morning and arrived at Albany at 5 in the afternoon; distance 40 miles;
time 8 hours; the sum of this is 150 miles in 32 hours equal near 5 miles an
     "On Thursday, at 9 o'clock in the morning, I left Albany and arrived
at the Chancellor's at 6 in the evening; I started from thence at 7 and
arrived at New York at 4 in the afternoon; time 3o hours, space run through,
I50 miles equal to 5 miles an hour. Throughout my whole way, both going and
returning, the wind was ahead; no advantage could be derived from my sail.
The whole has therefore been performed by the power of the steam engine."
Another contemporary account which appeared in the English press is even
more interesting than the foregoing: 
     "I have now the pleasure to state to you the particulars of a late
excursion to Albany in the steam-boat, made and completed under the
directions of the Hon. Robert R. Livingston and Mr. Fulton, together with my
remarks thereon. On the morning of the 19th of August, Edward P. Livingston,
Esq., and myself were honoured with an invitation from the chancellor and
Mr. Fulton to proceed with them to Albany, in trying the first experiment up
the river Hudson, in the steam-boat. She was then lying off Claremont (the
seat of the chancellor), where she had arrived in twenty-four hours from New
York, being 11O miles. Precisely at thirteen minutes past nine o'clock A.M.
the engine was put in motion, when we made a head against the ebbtide and
head-wind, blowing a pleasant breeze. We continued our course for about
eight miles, when we took the flood, the wind still a-head. We arrived at
Albany about five o'clock P.M. being a distance from Claremont of forty-five
miles (as agreed upon by those best acquainted with the river), which was
performed in eight hours, without any accident or interruption whatever.
This decidedly gave the boat upwards of five miles an hour, the tide
sometimes against us, neither the sails nor any other implement but the
steam used. The next morning we left Albany with several passengers on the
return to New York, the tide in favour, but a head-wind. We left Albany at
twenty-five minutes past nine A.M. and arrived at Claremont in nine hours
precisely, which gave us five miles an hour. The current, on returning, was
stronger than when going up. After landing us at Claremont, Mr. Fulton
proceeded with the passengers to New York. The excursion to Albany was very
pleasant, and represented a most interesting spectacle. As we passed the
farms on the borders of the river, every eye was intent, and from village to
village, the heights and conspicuous places were occupied by the sentinels
of curiosity, not viewing a thing they could possibly anticipate any idea
of, but conjecturing about the possibility of the motion. As we passed and
repassed the towns of Athens and Hudson, we were politely saluted by the
inhabitants and several vessels, and at Albany we were visited by his
excellency, the governor, and many citizens. Boats must be very cautious how
they attempt to board her when under way, as several accidents had nearly
happened when boarding her: to board a-head will endanger a boat being
crushed by the wheels, and no boat can board astern.... The boat is 146 feet
in length and 12 in width (merely an experimental thing); draws to the depth
of her wheels two feet of water; 100 feet deck for exercise, free of rigging
or any encumbrances. She is unquestionably the most pleasant boat I ever
went in. In her the mind is free from suspense. Perpetual motion authorises
you to calculate on a certain time to land; her works move with all the
facility of a clock; and the noise when on board is not greater than that of
a vessel sailing with a good breeze." 

     After her return from her first voyage the steamboat was laid up for
more than a fortnight in order to complete her equipment and to carry out
the improvements that had suggested themselves. These are detailed in a
letter which Fulton wrote to the Chancellor from New York on August 29: from
this we make the following extract:
     " I have been making every effort to get off on Monday morning, but
there has been much work to do boarding all the sides, decking over the
boiler and works, finishing each cabin with twelve berths to make them
comfortable, and strengthening many parts of the ironwork. So much to do and
the rain which delays the caulkers will, I fear, not let me off till
Wednesday morning. Then, however, the boat will be as complete as she can be
made all strong and in good order and the men well-organized and I hope
nothing to do but to run her for six weeks or two months.... I will have her
registered2 and everything done which I can recollect. Everything looks well
and I have no doubt will be very productive." 
     In the postscript he says:
     "I think it would be well to write to your brother Edward to get
information on the velocity of the Mississippi, the size and form of the
boats used, the number of hands and quantity of tons in each boat, the
number of miles they make against the current in the hour, and the quantity
of tons which go up the river in a year."

      The steamboat was not ready, however, to start till Friday, Sept. 4,
as shown by advertisements in the Albany Gazette of Sept. 2 the first notice
to the public of the inauguration of the new method of transport. This,
which ran as follows, continued to appear for three weeks: 

Will leave Pauler's Hook Ferry on Friday the 4th of September at
6 in the morning and Arrive at Albany at 6 in the afternoon. Provisions,
good births and accommodations are provided."

     The announcement proceeds to say that she would then leave Albany twice
and New York once in the week following and vice versa in the succeeding
week, after which date (i.e. September 16) further arrangements would be
     True to promise the steamboat sailed on Friday morning from New York on
her first voyage as a commercial venture. She left at 6.42 A.M. Fulton
himself was a passenger as far as Clermont; besides him there were fourteen
others, who, before arriving at Albany, drew up and signed a short account
of the voyage. It was quite uneventful, the only thing to note being that it
was done in better time than on the occasion of the trial trip, the whole
distance to Albany having been accomplished in 28 hours 45 minutes. The
account concludes:
    "The subscribers, passengers on board of this boat on her first voyage
as a packet, think it but justice to state that the accommodation and
conveniences on board exceeded their most sanguine expectations." 1 The boat
did not adhere to her programme exactly on account of a mishap. One of the
sailing packets, whether by accident, or, as some people thought, by design,
came into collision with the steamboat and carried away one of her
paddle-wheels. The damage, however, was quickly repaired, and on September
23 the following advertisement as to her future sailings appeared:

     "THE STEAM BOAT being thoroughly repaired, and precautions taken that
injury shall not be done to her wheels in future, it is intended to run her
as a PACKET for the remainder of the season. She will take her departure
from New York and Albany at 9 o'clock in the morning, and always perform her
voyage in from 30 to 36 hours."

     Then follows the announcement of dates of sailing from September 25
till October 9.  Day by day the number of passengers who availed themselves
of the new and speedy mode of travel increased. On October I the steamboat
came from Albany in 28 hours with 60 passengers on board, and next day she
left New York with go people on boards showing what a favourite she was
becoming. The newspaper which gives this information pertinently remarks:
     "Would it not be well if she could contract with the PostmasterGeneral
to carry the mail from this city to Albany ? "
     It is instructive, as illustrating how events fraught with the greatest
import to the human race are ushered into the world almost without comment,
to observe the little impression made upon the public by the new mode of
transport judging by the notice taken of it in the press of the day.
Although New York then boasted a population of 83,000 souls, and possessed
at least twenty newspapers, half of them dailies, besides weekly papers and
magazines, yet, excepting the letters written by Fulton and some of the
passengers, there is only the barest mention of the steamboat outside the
advertisement columns.
     On October 9 Fulton wrote to Andrew Brink, the captain of the boat,
giving him instructions, decidedly of a hustling character, as to the
management of the boat and discipline to be observed on board, as follows
    "SIR, Inclosed is the number of voyages which it is intended the Boat
should run this season. You may have them published in the Albany papers.
     As she is strongly man'd and every one except Jackson under your
command, you must insist on each one doing his duty or turn him on shore and
put another in his place. Everything must be kept in order, everything in
its place, and all parts of the Boat scoured and clean. It is not sufficient
to tell men to do a thing, but stand over them and make them do it. One pair
of Quick and good eyes is worth six pair of hands in a commander. If the
Boat is dirty and out of order the fault shall be yours. Let no man be Idle
when there is the least thing to do, and make them move quick.
    Run no risques of any kind when you meet or overtake vessels beating or
crossing your way. Always run under their stern if there be the least doubt
that you cannot clear their head by 50 yards or more. Give in the account of
Receipts and expenses every week to the Chancellor.
					Your most obedient,

     All went well with the steamboat till November 13, when, just as she
was leaving New York, " one of the axletrees broke off short and she was
obliged to return." These shafts, it should be remembered, were only of cast
iron, so that the accident is not to be wondered at. Repairs were made in
the course of the day and she was again on her station by the morrow.
     By November 19, however, it was reported in the papers that the Hudson
from Albany as far down as Coxsackie was frozen across entirely, but this
did not interfere with the running of the boat, apparently, for in the
Evening Post appeared a letter, dated the Igth November, giving an account
of a very rough passage during which the boat had to ride at anchor for
seven hours. The passengers on this occasion, however, expressed their
approbation of the treatment they had received and their pleasure in being
able to report that no accident had happened.
     A few days later it was decided to lay up the boat for the winter, as
is clear from the following most interesting letter of Fulton to Livingston,
dated November 20:
     I have received your letter of the 12th inst. After all accidents and
delays our boat has cleared 5 per cent. on the capital expended, and as the
people are not discouraged, but continue to go in her at all risques and
even increase in numbers, I think with you that one which should be complete
would produce us from 8 to 10,000 dollars a year or perhaps more and that
another boat which will cost 15,000 dollars will also produce us 10,000
dollars a year; therefore, as this is the only method which I know of
gaining 50 or 75 per cent., I am, on my part, determined not to dispose of
any portion of my interest on the North River; but I will sell so much of my
funds as will pay my part of rendering this boat complete and for
establishing another, so that one will depart from Albany and one from New
York every other day and carry all the passengers. It is now necessary to
consider how to put our first boat in a complete state for 8 or I0 years and
when I reflect that the present one is so weak that she must have additional
knees and timbers, new side timbers, deck beams and deck, new windows and
cabins altered, that she perhaps must be sheathed, her boiler taken out and
a new one put in, her axels forged and Iron work strengthened. With all this
work the saving of the present hull is of little consequence particularly as
many of her Knees Bolts timbers and planks could enter into the construction
of a new boat. My present opinion therefore is that we should build a new
hull her knees and floor timbers to be of oak her bottom planks of 2 Inch
oak her side planks two Inch oak for 3 feet high. She to be I6 feet wide I50
feet long this will make her near twice as stiff as at present and enable us
to carry a much greater quantity of sail, the 4 feet additional width will
require 1146 Ibs. additional purchase at the engine moving 2 feet a second
or I5 double strokes a minute this will be gained by raising the steam 5
lbs. to the inch as 24 Inches the diameter of the cylinder gives 570 round
Inches at 3 lb. to the inch= 1710 lb. purchase gained to accomplish this
with a good boiler and a commodious boat running our present speed, of a
voyage in 30 hours, I think better and more productive to us than to gain
one mile on the present boat.  

	The new boat, Cabins and all complete,
	including our materials will cost perhaps       2000 dols. 
	Boiler 		                                 800 dols.
	Iron work in the best manner and men's		 200 dols.
	wages during the winter                         
							4000 dols.
	To meet this I find that our copper boiler 
	weighs 3930 Ibs. which at 40 cents all the 
	price paid by Government will produce  . . .	1570 dols. 
	Profits of this year 		       . . .	1000 dols.
							2570 dols.

     So that we shall have to provide about 1500 dols. added to 3000 Bills
against us in the Bank. With this arrangement we shall have one Boat in
complete play, producing about 10,000 dollars a year to enable us to proceed
with the second, to come out in the spring of 1809, and then our receipts
will be about 20,000 dollars a year. Please to think of this and if you like
it to try and contract with the carpenter at Hudson for the hull and let him
immediately prepare his timbers, knees, and planks.  She should be almost
wall-sided: if 16 feet at bottom she need not be more than 18 on deck.
Streight sides will be strong; it fits the mill work and prevents motion in
the waves.... It is now time to lay her up for the winter.
     Nothing should be risqued from bad weather the gain will be trifling,
the risque great. I cannot be with you before the first week in January.
Compliments to all friends. Write me again.
					     Yours truly,
					     R. FULTON.

     Do not risque the engine in the winds and waves of the season.

    It appears from this letter that the steamboat had, from start to
finish, cost 20000 dollars, of which sum 3000 had been borrowed on bills,
possibly the money that we have already mentioned as having been lent by
friends. The capital that Fulton had sunk must, therefore, have been 8500
dollars that is to say, it had not exhausted his resources; indeed, that is
clear from his remark, "I will sell so much of my funds."
     As usual Fulton 15 sanguine; the profit on the three months' working
had been 1000 dollars. For the following year he was reckoning on eight
times as much, although the period during which the boat could run would not
be as much as four times as long !
     Fulton's proposal about building a new hull of increased beam appears
to have been carried out and this will explain the fact that, while in his
patent specification 1 he gives the beam as 13 feet, in other places he
gives it as 16 or 18 feet. In her rebuilt state the steamboat might be said
to be like the Irishman's knife in which everything had been renewed at
different times, but it was still the same knife. In fact so great were the
changes in the steamboat that under the Act of Congress regulating such
matters a new registration at the Custom House became necessary. The
enrolment is dated May 14, 1808, and is as follows:
     "Robert R. Livingston of Clermont, Columbia County, State of New York,
having taken and subscribed to the Oath required by the said Act and having
sworn that he, together with Robert Fulton of the City of New York, are
citizens of the United States and sole owners of the ship or vessel called
the North River Steamboat of Clermont, whereof Samuel Wiswall is at present
master, and as he hath sworn he is a citizen of the United States and that
the said ship or vessel was built in the City of New York in the year 1807
as per enrollment 973 issued at this port on the 3d day of September 1807
now given up, the vessel being enlarged. And Peter A. Schenck, Surveyor of
the Port, having certified that the said ship or vessel has one deck and two
masts and that her length is 149 ft.; breadth I7 ft. 11 in.; depth 7 ft.,
and that she measures 182 48/95 tons. That she is a square sterned boat, has
square tuck; no quarter galleries and no figure head."
     Known for short as the North River, she started running in May, and in
June, Fulton in a letter to C. W. Peale says:
     "My steamboat is now in complete operation and works much to my
satisfaction, making the voyage from or to New York or Albany, 160 miles, on
an average in 35 hours. She has three excellent Cabins or rather rooms,
containing 54 births with kitchen, larder, pantry, Bar, and steward's room.
Passengers have been encourageing. Last Saturday she started from New York
with 7o, which is doing very well for these times when trade has not its
usual activity." A period of prosperity for the partners now began and
everything promised well. In the following year the forts River made upwards
of 50 trips of which complete passenger lists have been preserved.
    The time during which Livingston and Fulton had to produce proof of
their ability to propel a boat by the agency of steam had expired in April
1807, but in the session of 1808 the Legislature of New York passed a law to
prolong the exclusive privilege of Livingston and Fulton for 5 years for
each additional boat they should establish provided that the whole time
should not exceed 30 years; their original privilege was, it will be
remembered, for 20 years from 1803 i.e. to terminate in 1823. This therefore
was a very valuable concession because the prejudice against the new mode of
travel had disappeared and passengers attracted by its speed and punctuality
crowded to take passage in the forth River.  
    Naturally this success aroused the cupidity of those harpies who live by
preying on other people's labour and inventions. Unwilling to aid Fulton the
previous year when he was ready to part with one-third of his exclusive
right to lessen the pressure on his finances, they now prepared to wrest
from him the profits of his enterprise, with the result that will appear
later. Nor was this all, for the flyboat and scow owners were already
beginning to feel the effects of competition and began the short-sighted
policy of endeavouring to do malicious injury to the boat by collisions and
obstructions. So serious did this become that ha 1811 the New York
Legislature passed a supplementary Act giving summary remedies against those
who should be guilty of these malpractices.  
    But success also spurred on the partners to further efforts, and a
second steamboat, the CaY of Neptune, was planned. She was practically a
duplicate of the North River, being I75 feet long over all, 24 feet beam, 39
feet over the guards, and having the same draught of water. The whole of the
machinery appears to have been designed and executed by Fulton himself. This
boat was building during the summer of 1809, but was not ready till that
autumn or the spring of the following year in time for the season. It
appears to have cost about 25,000 dollars i.e. about 50 per cent. more than
he had estimated. With these two boats a service twice a week was run.  The
necessity having now arisen to give the older boat a more distinctive name
than she had had, it was at this juncture that she was calledl the CEermont,
undoubtedly after the residence of his associate and friend Livingston. 
Apparently success completely justified the enterprise, for the partners now
planned the construction of a third boat: not only so but they had already
extended their sphere of operations to the Mississippi, where, in the autumn
of 1810 having received an assurance of obtaining from the state of
Louisiana an exclusive privilege which was duly accorded on April 19th 1811
the New Ordeals was being built under the superintendence of Nicholas J.
Roosevelt. This boat occasioned a reduction of 25 per cent. as the cost of
freight between New Orleans and Natchez. The work that was crowding in upon
them must have decided Fulton that he could not do it all himself, and he
was therefore led to apply once more to Boulton, Watt & Co. for another
engine. The letter is as follows:

NEW SORES, September 15, 1810.

     GENTLEMEN, In 1804 YOU constructed for me a steam engine with a 24 Inch
Cylinder and a four foot stroke, which engine has for four years past been
driving a boat I66 feet long, 18 feet wide drawing 2& feet of water at the
speed of 5 miles an hour on the Hudson River; that is taking the tide for
and against the boat her average velocity is 5 miles an hour; This
application of your Invention to drive boats, has been, and will ever
continue to to (sic) be of great public Utility in this State, by carrying
passengers Between the Cities of New York and Albany distance 160 miles, the
profits have also been such as to induce me to form similar establishments
on some of our other rivers. I will therefore esteem it a favour if you will
have the goodness to make for me another engine as soon as possible, the
Cylinder to be 26 inches, the stroke as before 4 feet.


1st. A Steam Cylinder 26 inches diameter 4 feet stroke, with its top and
     plate, its bottom gland and brasses complete.
2d.  Piston, its cover, bottom plate and spanners.
3d.  Piston rod, its cap and cutters.
4.   Nozzles complete with Valves and Levers.
5.   Working gear Complete with brackets.
6.   Perpendicular steam and eduction pipe.
7.   Condenser Vessel with blow pipe and blowing Valve.
8.   Injection cock and handle not wanted as I shall have to arrange them 
     to a tube passing through the bottom of the boat. 
9.   Air pump its bucket and top and bottom Valves complete.
10.  Air pump bucket rod with cap and brackets. 
11.  Eduction pipe to Condenser. 
12.  Two boxes of Cement.

     This, gentlemen, has been copied from your original estimate and was to
be made for 380g delivered at Soho. I afterwards found it necessary to have
a brass air pump in consequence of working in salt water, that with altering
models, Packing cases, &c., &;c., brought your final bill to 548 pounds. In
this engine the Air pump may be Iron, and all the work as usual where fresh
water is used; The American Minister will obtain permission of the
Government to ship the engine to America. I wish it to be sent to the most
convenient port from Birmingham which I presume is Liverpool. I will write
to my Correspondent in London to take charge of the shipment and to settle
final accounts with you. Inclosed are the first Nos. of bills of exchange of
527g.1 You will have the goodness to let me know by the first packet if they
are accepted and if the engine will be ready to ship in February or March
next. In this, Gentlemen you will much oblige, 
					your most obedient, 

     P.S. Should there be any improvement in the manner of constructing
engines since I had the pleasure of seeing you, you will have the goodness
to make for me that which you conceive most perfect.

     A coloured sketch giving "the position and distances of a piston " must
have been enclosed, for one of the above date has been preserved among the
Boulton ; Watt MSS.
     This letter was despatched in triplicate; in the duplicate written on
December 4 he alters the diameter of the cylinder from 26 inches to 28
inches " if not already cast." Speaking of the air pump he also says:
    "In my letter of September I mentioned that it might be of Iron, but
having changed the destination of the engine to a place where it must work
in salt water it is necessary the air pump should be Brass and everything
about the Buckets and Valves either Brass or copper, as the Iron screws,
pins and nuts on your first engine rusted off in 6 months."
     The working drawing of this engine has been preserved. It is entitled
"Mr. R. Fulton, Inch to the foot, 23rd Febr. I8II "; the cylinder is marked
" 28 inside " and the stroke is 4 feet.
     Evidently the parts were taken from the firm's 30 H.P. engine.  
     From a subsequent letter it will be seen that the engine was not quite
complete in January 1812: apparently, however, the engine must have been
delivered soon after, for James Watt, writings from Heathfield on April I3
of the same year to a correspondent who had inquired about engines for canal
boats, explains that he had retired from business for many years, but that "
It is a Mr. Fulton who has constructed the steamboats in America; two of the
engines have been made by Boulton, Watt & Co., but the machinery has been
made entirely in America under his own direction." 
     He further mentions that the cylinders were 24-inch and 28-inch
diameter respectively by 4-feet stroke. It is not certain in which of the
boats this engine was fitted, the only one whose diameter and stroke agree
with it was the Washingtozz, I8I3, which, however, was not built to ply in
salt water. The next boat to be built after the Car of Neptune was the
Paragon. With her, Fulton was able to inaugurate a service three times a
week, as is shown by the following advertisement :


  The Paraagon, Capt. Wiswell, will leave New York every Saturday afternoon
  at five o'clock. The Car of Neptune, Capt. Roorbach, do do every Tuesday
  afternoon at five o'clock. The JVorth Rzvcr, Capt. Bartholomew, every
  Thursday afternoon at five o'clock. The Paragon will leave Albany every
  Thursday morning at nine o'clock. The Car of Ifeptnne do every Saturday
  morning at nin o'clock. The North River do every Tuesday morning at nine

                           PRICES OF PASSAGE

     From Aetzv York to Verplanck's Point $2; West Point $2 50; Newburgh $3;
Wappinger's Creek 83.25; Poughkeepsie 83 50; Hyde Park $4 ; Esopus 84.25;
Catskill $5; Hudson $5; Coxsachie $5 50; Kinderhook $5.75; Albany $7. From
Albany to Kinderhook $r 50; Coxsachie $2; Hudson $2; Catskill $2.25; Red
Hook $2.75; Esopus $3; Hyde Park 83.25; Poughkeepsie $3.50; Wappinger's
Creek 34; Newburgh $4.25; West Point $4 75; Verplanck's Point $5 25; New
York $7.
     All other passengers to pay at the rate of I dollar for every twenty
miles. No one can be taken on board and put on shore however short the
distance for less than I dollar.  Young persons from two to ten years of age
to pay half price; Children under two years one fourth price. Servants who
use a berth, two thirds price; half price if none."
    The boats are placed inversely in order of date of construction, being
that of general convenience and comfort showing that the Forth River was now
a " back number." The list of fares is interesting. The fare between New
York and Albany had been 7 dollars from the very first, while fares to and
from intermediate places had been reduced from time to time. The number of
places of call had increased and yet in spite of that the journey had been
gradually accelerated.  
    Meanwhile another application of the steamboat had been engaging
Fulton's active brain that of the possibility of improving the communication
between New York and Jersey City, where the Hudson is 11  miles across.
    Up to that moment the cities had been somewhat inefficiently served by
Ferry rowboats; their slowness and uncertainty were experienced by Fulton
every time  he had occasion to go from his home in New York to Jersey City.
    In 1809 a company was formed with a capital of $50,000. They acquired a
lease for nineteen years from the Corporation of New York and from the
proprietors of Jersey City of their respective rights, wharves, and boats at
New York and Paulus Hook respectively. Fulton was applied to to construct a
steam ferry-boat, the details being left entirely in his hands. 
    His plans for this, the first one of its kind, embodied, as might have
been expected from Fulton, novel features. With the idea of preventing
injury to the propelling machinery and of minimising rolling, he constructed
the boat with two ship-shaped hulls with a single paddlewheel in the space
between and the engine resting on the connecting beams. The fact that a
similar arrangement had been adopted by Patrick Miller in his doubled-hulled
boats of 1787 propelled by muscular power, may have been known to Fulton
and suggested the idea to him. Each hull was 80 feet long by 10 feet beam
and 5 feet deep in the hold the space between the hulls was 10 feet. This
gave a wide platform for carriage and passengers, and as the hulls were
double-ended putting about was obviated. At each side of the river was
moored the usual pontoon rising and falling with the tide. Fixed at its
shore end and sliding over the pontoon was the bridge. There were floating
timbers on either side of the pontoon to guide in the ferry-boat. To take up
the shock of impact there was a fender or buffer in front, connected by
chains over a pulley so as to raise buckets of water. These buckets had
holes in to let out the water so as to bring the whole to rest gradually. A
half-hourly service was instituted, the boat taking 15 to 20 minutes for
each trip.  " 
     She has had in her at one time 8 four-wheeled carriages 29 horses and
1OO passengers, and could have taken 300 more." So great was the success of
this boat that in 1811 she was followed by another and in 1812 by a third
over the East Hudson River.
     When in 1816 a thoroughfare between these two ferries was opened it was
nanled most appropriately in his honour Fulton Street.
     Before leaving the subject of steamboats a few words are desirable as
to the progress that was made during the remainder of Fulton's lifetime and
under his direction.  With this end in view a table of dimensions of
steamboats, whence many interesting comparisons emerge, has been compiled
from all available sources and is given in an Appendix.2 All the early boats
were built, like the Clermont, flatbottomed and wall-sided. The Fulton,
for navigating Long Island Sound, was the first made ship-shaped, and,
proving successful, all subsequent boats were so built. Fulton yielded in
this matter because of the increased strength given to the vessel by regular
curves in the moulds rather than from a conviction that the shape diminished
resistance. The ratio of length to breadth, which in the Clermont was about
1O: I, was reduced gradually till in the Chancellor Livingston (1816), also
a river steamer, the ratio was 4.7: 1. In the case of the Connectzczzt
(1816) which like the Fulton was for navigating Long Island Sound, really
an arm of the sea, the ratio was 4.I: I. This no doubt resulted from an
attempt to counteract the "hogging" and " sagging " which took place in the
early boats. Fulton's own evidence as to the Clermont on this point is
conclusive, and Marestier in 1824 notes that the deck of the Paragon was
sensibly undulating.
     The position of the paddle-wheels in the CEermont was halfway between
stem and stern; afterwards it was further forward, but there was never any
consensus of opinion on this point.
     The growth in tonnage and with it the increase of engine power due to
the growth of traffic was inevitable. The design of the engine was still
tentative. The unmechanical bell-crank engine of the Clermont was modified
by a reduction in the number of working parts. The flywheel was not done
away with till about 1815, although as early as 181O Fulton had realised
that the paddle wheels themselves gave a fly wheel effect. In the Chancellor
Livingston the square crosshead or steeple engine due to Stevens was
     No finality was reached in the type of boiler. It was generally of the
internally-fired, return tube type, but the details differed in nearly every
     As the Chancellor Livingston was the last and finest of Fulton's
vessels, a detailed description and drawing will be of interest.
     The paddle wheels were placed at the middle of the length of the boat
with the engine forward of them and the boiler forward of that again. The
paddle wheels were boxed in to obviate splashing. They were supported and
protected by sponson beams, over which extended a deck used for the stowage
of fuel and for latrines. Space around the engine was occupied by wood and
coal bunkers, the galleys and a bar where refreshments were sold. The boiler
and engine were covered by a casing open at the sides to allow free
circulation of air. The Chancellor Livingston was the first vessel to employ
coal as fuel.  
    The steering wheel was raised above the casing of the engine so that the
pilot might have an uninterrupted view forward. 
    The accommodation for passengers was liberal. The after end of the boat
was occupied by a large dining saloon, on each side of which were two tiers
of berths separated by curtains, and lockers or couches below on which beds
were placed when necessary. There was a side light to each of the upper
berths. It is interesting, as showing the points from which development
started, to note that this arrangement was adopted for the car for overland
travel on the advent of the railway, while in England the sub-division of
the railway coach by compartments was modelled upon stage coach practice. 
    On the maindeck above the saloon was a ladies' cabin similarly arranged,
access to the saloon being by a companion way aft. Forward was a second
class cabin with berths in two tiers as before and two similar rows back to
back along a partition down the middle line. The crew were accommodated in
the forecastle, while the captain's cabin, the purser's cabin, and the
baggage room were on the main deck. Nothing was spared to make the boat
superior in appointments to anything that had gone before. She cost over
25,000 pounds.  
    In 1823 the capital of the Hudson Steamboat Company invested in their
fleet Car of Neptune, Paragon, Firefly, Richmond, and Chancellor Livingston
including the value of the privilege was estimated at 132,000 pounds, the
gross annual receipts were 30,000 pounds, or 10,OOO pounds less working
expenses, equal to a return of about 8 per cent on the capital. It is quite
clear that after Fulton's death the policy of the Company was most
unprogressive, and that their whole aim was to make as much money as
possible while the privilege lasted.  
    It must not be imagined that other inventors had been idle while Fulton
had been so busy. On the contrary, had he not appeared at all on the scene
there is every probability that steam navigation would have arisen, not
quite so quickly perhaps, nor yet possibly so successfully, at the hands of
one of the most prolific American inventors we refer to Colonel John C.
Stevens of Hoboken. As early as 1803, although not versed in practical
engineering, he had constructed a remarkable twin screw steam launch, with a
not less remarkable high pressure tubular boiler, which are now safely
housed in the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. It was over this boiler
that Stevens came to grief he had in fact run up against a problem that,
with the mechanical knowledge and materials of construction of those days,
was not ripe for solution. Nothing daunted, however, Stevens tried along
another line that of Fulton himself low pressure and paddle wheels, and
built a vessel called appropriately enough the Phoenix, which was ready for
its trials only a month after the Clermont. Colonel Stevens, finding himself
debarred by Fulton's monopoly from navigating the Hudson, was compelled, in
order to make pecuniary use of the vessel, to transfer its services to
another quarter. In July 1809 the Phoenix was taken under her own steam
under the command of Robert L. Stevens, son of the Colonel, coastwise to
Philadelphia, whence she plied to Trenton on the Delaware River. Thus he was
the first to navigate the open sea by steam.

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