By THOMPSON WESTCOTT
"Sic vos non vobius." - Virgil.
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
CHAPTER I. INFANCY AND BOYHOOD.Reasons given by John Fitch for writing an account of his life Origin of the Fitch family Emigration of the ancestors of Jobn Fitch to AmericaThey settle in ConnecticutMarriage of Joseph FitchBirth of JohnIs sent to schoolDeath of his mother Second marriage of his father Heroism of the boy, and punishment therefore Is taken from school when ten years of ageHis progress in arithmeticStudies at home Procures a copy of Salmon's GeographyHis efforts to earn sufficient money to pay for it Assists Governor Wolcott in making surveys DisappointmentThe Governor and the road-menders Fitch hired out to a store-keeper Goes to seaReturnsCHAPTER II. APPRENTICESHIP MANHOOD MARRlAGE.Bound apprentice to Benjamin Cheany, to learn clockmaking and watch-makingCompelled to labor on the farmScarcity of foodThe story of the twelve days-old brothIs prevented from learning anything about the businessBadly treated by CheanyHis indentures cancelledGoes to Timothy CheanyStill deprived of opportunities of learning his trade Nearly starved- Leaves him, at length, at manhood, ignorant of the business Sets up brass-founding Is allowed to take a clock apart and put it togetherEngages in the manufacture of potashFailure in that speculationMarries Lucy Roberts Unhappy unionBirth of Shaler FitchDomestic dissensionsAbandons his wife and family.CHAPTER III. THE SILVERSMITH THE GUNSMITH.Fitch goes to Pittsfield, New York, and successively visits Albany and New YorkProceeds toward Elizabethtown, NewJersey Adventure with termagantSettles at Trenton, New JerseyIs aided by Matthew ClunnBecomes journeyman to a silversmith Makes buttonsTravels through the country to dispose of themBuys the tools of his former employer Gets into a prosperous business as a silversmithBreaking out of the RevolutionFitch elected a lieutenant in the New Jersey line Disputes about rankInjustice done himLeaves the serviceIs employed by New Jersey as armorer of the troopsHis services Approach of the British to TrentonRemoval to Bucks County, PennsylvaniaBecomes a member of the Hatborough Library CompanyCHAPTER IV. THE SUTTLER THE SURVEYOR.Fitch supplies the American army at Valley Forge with tobacco, beer, and other articlesBuries his gold and silver in Bucks CountyIt is discovered and stolenDiscovery of the thief, and partial restitution Commences work again as a silversmithGreat depreciation of Continental moneyDetermines to lay out his Continental money in Virginia land-warrantsIs appointed a deputy surveyor in KentuckyAdventures on the Ohio River Stirring fight with Indians, who capture a boatEscape from the enemyArrival in Kentucky Surveys of lands thereProfitable investmentsPatents for l600 acres of land.CHAPTER V. THE INDIAN'S CAPTIVE.Journey to Kentucky in the spring of 1782Buys flour at Pittsburg Voyage down the OhioBoat runs aground near the Muskingum RiverFlour taken out to set her afloatScouts sent out on the islandDo not return The parties in the boats attacked by IndiansTwo men killed ResistanceCapture by Indians Magee and Bradley scalpedBoat set adrift with a war-club tied to the steering-oarAttempt of Captain Buffaloe to tomahawk Fitch Interposition of Captain Crow Fitch, bareheaded, marches witb his companions through the wilderness toward Detroit Division of the prisoners among their captorsFitch becomes the property of Captain Buffaloe Manner of securing the prisoners by day and nightScarcity of food The pains of hungerThey reach a village of the DelawaresThe scalp hallooCeremony with the scalps of Bradley and Magee Williamson's massacre Of Moravian Indians on the Muskingum Consequences of that ruthless act to the prisonersMarch toward the principal town of the Delawares Preparations for running the gauntletThe flight toward the council-houseAssaults received by the prisoners on their way there The worst treatment from the womenThe council-house gained.CHAPTER VI. ADVENTURES AMONG THE SAVAGES.The Grand Council deliberate on the fate of the prisoners Preparations for a danceFires builtCurious steps and ceremoniesThe prisoners invited to joinRefusal of FitchOffer made to him by a chief for his breeches His refusalAnother prisoner more compliantThe prisoners suffered to proceedFour of them given up to the Delaware chiefFitch and six others marched to Captain Buffaloe's townSeparation from Captain Washington's partyThe prisoners set to house-building by BuffaloeScarcity of food Buffaloe and his handmaid The march resumed towards Detroit Meeting of Buffaloe with his wife and childTheir separationThe party proceedsBad weather Arrive at the trading-post of Cochran and Saunders, at an Ottawa town on the Maumee River Arrival of DelawaresMurder of a servant of Saunders by one of themFearful peril of the prisoners from the drunken IndiansThe scalp hallooThe Ottawa Indians take the part of the captivesThe Delawares retire Captain Buffaloe dooms the prisoners to destruction, and orders them to go to the Delaware camp Special protection accorded to FitchDanger of the others Narrow escape of Jarrad Interposition of Saunders on their behalfThey go with him in a canoe to DetroitCapture of Sturgeon, and great feast . . . . .CHAPTER VII. THE PRISONER OF WAR IN CANADA.Arrival at DetroitThey give the garrison the first information of the capture of CornwallisIncredulity of the officersThe prisoners are closely confined, to prevent them from spreading the newsMeans of evasion adoptedFitch earns money by engravingVoyage over the Lake Arrival at Niagara Departure, and final arrival at Prison Island, opposite Coteau de LacLarge number of prisoners thereOccupations of Fitch while on the island He cultivates a gardenMakes tools out of hoops and rough pieces of ironBuilds a furnaceMakes buttons and wooden clocksMakes his own charcoalTakes journeymen and apprentices from among the prisoners His workshop a favorite place of resort for the British officersJealousy of the other prisonersAttempts of prisoners to escapeCHAPTER VIII. THE EXCHANGE THE SEA VOYAGE.Exchange of the prisonersFitch sent to QuebecPlaced on board the cartel-ship Baker and Atly, bound to PhiladelphiaThe voyageA severe stormFears of shipwreckCurious preparation for the expected disaster Encounter of an American frigateThe South Carolina chased by three British men-of-warThe sea-fightCapture of the South CarolinaThe Baker and Atly steered for New YorkRelease of the prisonersFitch returns to Bucks CountyJoins a Masonic lodge . . . .CHAPTER IX. ADVENTURES IN KENTUCKY AND OHIO.A company formed to survey lands in OhioThe party go to that regionSurvey from the Hockhocking to Wheeling Island DifficultyFears of IndiansFitch goes with frontier men into the woodsRapid surveysReturn to Pennsylvania on footJourney to Ohio in the spring of 1785Survey in the neighborhood of the Muskingum and the Hockhocking Indian signsDivision of the partyNarrow escape of Fitch and his companionsSterrett and his associates capturedSurveys at the great Kanawha Return to Bucks CountyResolution of Congress for laying out new StatesAnother journey to OhioMore surveys Return to BucksPetition to Congress for the post of surveyor A map of the North-western Territory engraved by Fitch and printed on a press made by himCHAPTER X. THE INVENTION OF THE STEAMBOATJOURNEY TO VIRGINIA.First idea of steam land-carriages, April, 1785The idea given up for the plan of a steamboatTrial of a model with paddle-wheelsDaniel LongstrethHon. N. B. Boileau Application to CongressLetters of Dr. John Ewing, William C. Houston, and Provost Smith, of PrincetonFitch's letter to Congress, asking assistance Referred to a Committee, who make no reportApplication to the Spanish MinisterDraftings and model of the steam-boat laid before the American Philosophical SocietyApplication to Dr. FranklinAccusation that Dr. Franklin attempted to deprive Fitch of the honor of the invention Fitch sets out for Kentucky, to gain assistance Visit to William Henry, at LancasterInterview with Governor Johnson, of Maryland Interview with WashingtonJames Rumsey's pole-boat, working by mechanical powerPetition to the Legislature of Virginia for assistanceBond to Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, conditioned to apply the proceeds of the map of the North-western Territory to building a steam-boatPetitions to the Legislatures of Pennsylvania and Maryland Interview with FranklinInsulting conduct of the latterCHAPTER XI. THE STEAM-BOAT COMPANY THE SKIFF STEAM-BOAT, 1786.Proposal to Arthur Donaldson to build a steam-boatApplication to the State of New Jersey for an appropriation of loan-certificates refusedDonaldson pretends to be the inventor of a steam-boatFitch presents a petition to the Legislature of Pennsylvania for a law giving him an exclusive right to the navigation of vessels by fire and steamDonaldson contests his claimThe matter referred to a committeeLaw of New Jersey in favor of Fitch New petition to the Legislature of PennsylvaniaThe Steamboat Company formed Difficulty about getting a Steamengine madeSketch of Christopher Colles, who built the first steam-engine ever constructed in America, in 1773Introduction to Henry Voight, who is induced to interest himself in the scheme Working model of a steam-engine with one-inch cylinder made Failure Larger model (three-inch cylinder) madeTrial of a skiff with the screw of paddlesNot very successful Disheartened Invention of the mode of rowing by oars at the side of the boatTrial of the first skiff, moved by steam Success of the experiment, July 27, 1786 . .CHAPTER XII. ENCOURAGEMENT BY THE STATES-LARGE STEAM-BOAT COMMENCED.The Steam-boat Company resolve to build a large steamboat, to be moved by an engine with twelveinch cylinder Difficulty about getting the subscribers to contribute the required sumsIndifference of the shareholders Distress of the projectorApplication to the Legislature of Pennsylvania for the loan of £150 to build the boat and machineryFavorable report of CommitteeThe Assembly reject the propositionLetter to General Mifflin for assistanceThe controversy with DonaldsonThe latter meets with no favorLaws granting special rights to Fitch for fourteen years passed by Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware . . . . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER XIII. THE FIRST STEAM-BOAT FINISHEDSUCCESSFUL TRIAL EXPERIMENT, 1787.The company resolve to go on with the boatDescription of the steam-boat of 1786, with paddles at the sidesThe steam-engineDifficulties attending its construction Deed of reciprocal advantageNames of the members of the Steam-boat CompanyThe steam-engine completed, and found defective Taken out of the boat from the foundation and set up againThe condenser imperfectNew pipe condenser adopted on a plan of Henry Voight'sSteam-valves will not workDouble cock invented by VoightThe steam-boat propelled The engine brought to work briskly, but the boiler does not furnish enough steamShareholders discouraged Some abandon the projectAppeal to the public prepared by Fitch Effect of this paper on the stockholders More money furnishedSuccessful trial on the 22d of August, 1787 in presence of the members of the Convention to frame a Federal ConstitutionCertificates of Dr. Johnston, of Virginia, David Rittenhouse, John Ewing, and Andrew EllicottThe Company order a larger steam-engine to be constructed, with an eighteen-inch cylinderFirst information that James Rumsey, of Virginia, claimed to have invented a steamboatApplication by Fitch to the Legislature of Virginia for a law securing his rightsOpposition by the friends of RumseyRumsey's boat proved not to be a steam-boat Report in favor of Fitch, and passage of a law securing his rightsLaw in favor of Fitch asked of Maryland Resisted by Ex-Governor Thomas Johnston . . . . . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER XIV. APPLICATION TO CONGRESS JAMES RUMSEY'S STEAMBOAT.Return to PhiladelphiaPetition to Congress for assistance Congress not full enough to vote on the proposition Favorable report of the Committee of CongressA vote not pressedAppearance of Rumsey'a pamphlet upon the steam-boat Fitch's reply, " The Original Steamboat supported "The report on Fitch's proposition called up in Congress, and laid on the table Chagrin and mortification of the inventor . . . . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER XV. CONTROVERSY WITH RUMSEY.The controversy with RumseyThe allegations on each sideThe invention of the pipe or tubular boilerThe pamphlets by Rumsey, Fitch, and BarnesCollocation of proofsReasons for believing that Fitch was entitled to priority in actual experimentAction of Congress on the claims of Rumsey's heirs, 1837-8-9 . . . . . .CHAPTER. XVI. THE SECOND SUCCESSFUL STEAMBOAT OF 1788.Work on the boat continuedImprovements by Voight The pipe boiler put in useThe eighteen-inch cylinderCHAPTER XVII. NEW MACHINERYIMPERFECTION OF THE WORKDESTITUTION OF FITCH.
defectiveBroken up by the foundersDilemma of the CompanyResolve to procure a new boatAbandonment of the oars at the sides of the boatThey are placed at the sternThe steam-boat goes to Burlington, July, 1788The pipe boiler springs a leakThe boat boats back to PhiladelphiaVisit of Brissot
de Warville, and description of the steam-boatThe leak in the boiler repaired Frequent trips to BurlingtonThe great principle
made manifestCertificate of the services of the steam-boat, by Ewing, Rittenhouse, Ellicott, Matlack, Smilie, Captain Hart, and othersSpeed, four miles an hour Not fast enough for a
packet-boat- Several stockholders, disheartened, abandon the
CompanyWithdrawal of the assistance of VoightNew appeal
An auxiliary com pany proposedNames of the membersDistress and destitution of FitchInsults offered to him and suffered by himThe Rumseian SocietyDr. Franklin's conductBarnes and the Rumseian Society attack Fitch's law in PennsylvaniaArgument before the Committee of the LegislatureReport adverse to Rumsey, and failure of the effortAttempts made to procure
the repeal of Fitch's laws in Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware Second attempt in Pennsylvania also unsuccessfulFitch visits Shepherdstown, Virginia, in order to procure evidence in relation to Rumsey's experimentsAltercation and quarrels with the townspeople Fresh proofs procured, etc.The steam ice-boat . . . . . . .Work on the new boat resumed Eighteen-inch cylinder The boat ready for trial in August, 1789 Difficulties about the condenser Petition to Congress for a patent Hall's condenser taken out of the boat, and Thornton's put inThe latter crushed by atmospheric pressureThe new steam-boat tried with Ha11's condenserPropelled as swiftly as in the previous year The new Thornton condenser triedThe boat is propelled, but not fast enough Voight's pipe condenser triedVoight's forcingpump, to throw neater in the condenserConstant failures Attention turned to the air-pumpIt is enlargedThe engine works betterThe boat catches fireIt is sunk, to extinguish the fireThe damage repairedThe steam-boat tried again, and propelled with greater speed than hitherto obtainedThe boat laid up for the winterDistressing and destitute condition of FitchA new boiler to be put in the boatTrouble and disputes with the shareholders about a new condenserThe Directors order a very large oneA complete failureFitch's views of the difficulty A condenser obtained on his planVery successful result, April 16, 1790The steam-boat tried in a strong North-east storm Visit to BurlingtonTrip in the boat by the Governor and Supreme Executive Council of PennsylvaniaThey present the steam-boat with a suit of colors Speed of the boat, eight miles an hour at slack waterThe steamboat run as a passenger-boat on the Delaware to Burlington, Bristol, Bordentown, Trenton, Lambertville, Chester, Wilmington, and to Gray's Ferry, on the Schuylkill Advertisements of the trips Description of the steam-boat in the New York MagazineRembrandt Peale's accountThe steam-boat passes over two thousand miles Speed, seven miles and a half an hour Fulton's letter, denying the possibility of propelling a steamboat six miles an hour, 1811Dr. Thornton's replyCHAPTER XVIII. COMMENCEMENT OF THE STEAM-BOAT PERSEVERANCE.The Pro steam-boat companies consolidatedThe stockholders determine to build a new steamboat, to be named the Perseverance, to be sent to VirginiaA new levy made on the shareholders Difficulty of collecting the money Aid sought from members of the Pennsylvania Legislature from the western countiesGeneral Gibson requested to become a partner in building a boat at PittsburgA great stormThe Perseverance blown aground at Petty's Island Expiration of the time limited in the law of Virginia for the navigation of steam-boats on the waters of that StateThe old steam-boat and the Perseverance laid up for the winterFitch petitions for a patent under the laws of the United StatesLetter to Robert MorrisA trading-house proposed at New Orleans-Curious estimates of the cost of navigating the Mississippi, and of the great profit of steam-boats as compared with other boatsAddress to the stockholders of the Steam-boat companyFitch becomes interested in the doctrines of Socinianism, or UnitarianismFormation of the Universal SocietySubjects proposed for essays Dissolution of the Society . . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER XIX. DISASTERSLUKEWARMNESS OFTHE COMPANY UNITED STATES PATENT.Fitch petitions the Legislature of Pennsylvania for the appointment of Sergeant-at-Arms or Supervisor of Roads UnsuccessfulFitch and Voight petition General Washington for appointments in the Mint as Assay Master and Chief CoinerVoight appointed Chief CoinerFitch's application refusedDelay in obtaining a hearing before the Commissioners of PatentsEstimates and proposals submitted to Robert Morris and Oliver Pollock Agreement made with Aaron Vail to build steam-boats in France, Holland, Germany, Russia, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland Proceedings to obtain a patent Rumsey offers to submit his claims to arbitration, but afterwards refuses Patents finally granted to Fitch, and Rumsey, all bearing even date. . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER XX. WORK ON THE PERSEVERANCE ABANDONMENT OF THE SCHEME.A permit for the navigation of the Mississippi by steam granted by the Governor of New OrleansThe Company order the engine to be taken out of the old steam-boat, and direct the hull to be sold Resolution to finish the PerseveranceDelay about collecting moneyFitch draughts plans whereby the new boat may, in addition to the oars, be propelled by sucking in and voiding water, and by ejections of currents of air Distress of the projector for decent clothingWork on the boat resumed The Perseverance ready to be triedTrouble about the boiler-case and condenserNew air-pump and condenser exhaustedThe funds of the Company all spentDispute with Voight about the cattle-boatLetter to David RittenhouseNotice of the Savannah; the first steamship that ever crossed the AtlanticThe SiriusThe Great WesternThe shareholders in the Company will advance no more moneyEfforts by Fitch to raise money on the credit of his lands in Kentucky Final abandonment of the scheme by the Steam-boat CompanyCarnes and Blanchard's balloons Ambroise's gas-lightsRev. Nathaniel IrwinDistress of FitchThomas P. Cope's reminiscences of Fitch and the steam-boatFitch meditates suicideLetter to Jefferson Deposits his papers in the Philadelphia LibraryRecollections of a passage in the steam-boat by Samuel PalmerSale of the steamengine in 1795. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CHAPTER XXI. FITCH GOES TO FRANCEHlS RETURNGOES TO KENTUCKY SUICIDE.A new method of distillation inventedFitch sails to France The building of steam-boats prevented by the French RevolutionPublishes a pamphlet and tables in London, with an explanation of a ready way of keeping a ship's reckoning at sea Robert LeslieFitch returns to the United StatesLives with his brother-in-law, Timothy King, in Connecticut, for two yearsGoes to New York, and, by aid furnished by Chancellor Livingston, propels a steam-boat with a screw-propeller on the Collect, 1796Goes to PhiladelphiaEntertains the project of forming, a steam-boat company in Kentucky Goes thereSuits against trespassersReminiscences of his career at Bardstown, by Hon. Robert J. Wickliffe and Hon. Nathaniel Wickliffe, of KentuckyThe plan to form a steam-boat company failsA model steam-boat madeDeath of Fitch by suicide, 1798His will Proposition to erect a monument to his memory never carried out......CHAPTER XXII. STEAM-BOAT EXPERIMENTS IN EUROPE AND AMERlCA.Steam-boat experiments in Europe and America by other projectors Rumsey's boat in Virginia, December 1787, and on the Thames, February, 1793Patents in England for propelling boats by powers not describedBourne, 1578Ramsay, l630Grant, 1632Lin, 1637 Ford, l640Marquis of Worcester, 1667Twogood 1661 The Chatham horse-boat, with paddlewheels at the sides, 1682-Allen, 1730Hulls describes a plan for navigating a boat by steam, 1736 No boat built by himDifficulty in converting the vibratory rectilinear motion of the piston into a rotary oneWatt's double-acting steamengine Perrier and Count Auxiron's steam-boat experiments on the Seine, 1774 and 1775De Jouffroy's boat on the Saone, 1782John Fitch the first person who succeeded in making the steamboat of utility by using it for the transportation of freight and passengersExperiments, July 1786, 1787,1788,1780,1790, at Philadelphia, and at New York in 1796The first steam-boat propelled in Great Britain by Patrick Miller and William Symington, at Dalwinston, Scotland, October, 1788The first practicable steam-boat for useful purposes, the " Charlotte Dundas," built by Symington in 1803 Samuel Morey's steam-boats with paddle-wheels on the Connecticut, Hudson, and Delaware rivers, 1793,1794, and 1795Longstreet, of GeorgiaOliver Evans propels the Eruktor imphibolis, as a steamwagon on land and as a.steam-boat on the water, 1804Latrobe's opinions of the impossibility of steam navigation, 1803 Rooseveldt's steamboat experimentsJohn Cox Stevens' steam-boat on the Hudson, 1804 The Phoenix the first steam-boat navigating the oceanThe New PhiladelphiaRobert Fulton a resident of Philadelphia in 1785 and 1786, after Fitch's steam-boat scheme was made known, and the first experiment madeFulton visits Symington's steam-boat in Scotland, in 1801Is on board during a tripTakes drawings of the machineryAaron Vail lends Fulton, in France, all the papers, drawings, and specifications of John Fitch, which are retained for some monthsDr. Cartwright gives Fulton a plan of a steam-boat, 1799 Fulton's experiment at Plombieres, 1803Fulton's steamboat, the " Clermont," on the Hudson, 1807The claims of Fulton to originality considered His appropriation of the discoveries of othersLivingston procures an assignment, or re-transfer and extension, of the law of New York in favor of FitchThe steam-boat controversy between the citizens of New York and New Jersey, in consequenceA retaliation law passed in New JerseyEffort to repeal itThe prior invention of Fitch relied upon Evidence of the usefulness of his boatThe affair made a party questionRepeal of the New Jersey law Application made by Colonel Ogden, of New Jersey, to the Legislature of New York, to repeal the Fulton and Livingston Fitch steam-boat law Governor Bloomfield, of New Jersey, testifies to having been a frequent passenger in Fitch's boat on the DelawareThe Committee report in favor of repeal, and that the boat of Robert Fulton is in substance the invention of John FitchDuer's controversy with Colden in relation to this matter Law-suitsThe Supreme Court of the United States declares the New York law unconstitutional. . . . .CHAPTER XXIII. STEAM-BOAT AFFAIRS IN THE UNITED STATES AFTER FULTON'S EXPERIMENTSNew interest aroused in steamboatsDr. William Thornton's vindication of the claims of Fitch, 1810Reasons why Fitch rejected the use Of paddle-wheelsHenry Voight invents a new method of rowing a steamboat with three banks of oars or paddles, 1809Fernando Fairfax claims to have sole right to license the building of steamboats under John Fitch's patents, 1815 Rooseveldt builds the first steamboat to navigate the Ohio and Mississippi, 1811The eventful first voyage of the New Orleans The Comet, French's steam-boat The Vesuvius, Fulton's steamboatThe Enterprize, French's patent Captain H. M. Shreeve builds the Washington, 1816 Lawsuit with Fulton and LivingstonDecision in favor of ShreeveThe Western waters free to steam-boat navigationCHAPTER XXIV. Appearance of Fitchhis family emigrate to Ohio;Their descendantsDeath of Mrs. Lucy FitchConclusion. ....