FIRST WESTERN STEAMBOAT.
paddles at the sides of the boat; while Rumsey said, By applying the old atmospheric engine, to pump up water at the bow, and force it out at the stern of your vessel, and so drive her by water acting upon water. Referring, therefore, to the authorities quoted below, relative to Fitch and others, it must be given up that all failed until Fulton, in 1807, launched his vessel upon the Hudson. Fitch's failure, however, was not from any fault in his principle ; and had his knowledge of mechanics equaled Fulton's, or had his means been more ample, or had he tried his boat on the Hudson, where coaches could not compete with him, as they did on the level banks of the Delaware, there can be no doubt that he would have entirely succeeded, twenty years before his plans were realized by another.
In the Columbian Magazine, published in Philadelphia, about the year 1786, is a plate showing the steamboat made by Fitch, with its paddles, and a description of its action, on the Delaware. If John Fitch had received the patronage necessary, it is probable his boat would have been successful.
"When Fulton had at length attained, by slow degrees, success upon the Hudson, he began to look elsewhere for other fields of action, and the west, which had attracted the attention of both of his American predecessors, could not fail to catch his eye. Mr. Latrobe, who spoke, as will be seen, by authority, says:
"The complete success attending the experiments in steam navigation made on the Hudson and the adjoining waters previous to the year 1809, turned the attention of the principal projectors to the idea of its application on the western rivers; and in the month of April of that year, Mr. Roosevelt, of New York, pursuant to an agreement with Chancellor Livingston and Mr. Fulton, visited those rivers, wdth the purpose of forming an opinion whether they admitted of steam navigation or not.
"At this time two boats, the North River and the Clermont, were running on the Hudson. Mr. R. surveyed the rivers from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, and as his report was favorable, it Was decided to build a boat at the former town.
"This was done under his direction, and in the course of 1811 the first boat was launched on the waters of the Ohio. It was called the "New Orleans," and intended to ply between Natchez, in the State of Mississippi, and the city whose name it bore.
"In October it left Pittsburgh for its experimental voyage. On this occasion no freight or passengers were taken, the object being merely to bring the boat to her station. Mr. R., his young wife