discovery was disputed by a score of men,among them his fellow-citizens, John Fitch, Nicholas Roosevelt, and John Stevens, all of whom had built steamboats which had just not succeeded. But the fact remained that he was the first one to apply the principle successfully; and to him the credit belongs. Very soon there were a number of American steamboats in existence. In 1811 Nicholas Roosevelt introduced them on the Mississippi, while Stevens took his to the Delaware. During the War of 1812 Fulton planned and built at New York, under the direction of Congress, a great steam frigate, with cannon-proof sides and heavy guns; she worked well, but peace was declared just before she was ready, otherwise she would probably have anticipated the feats of the Merrimac by half a century.
It was a calamity to the city that this steam frigate was not ready earlier; for New York was blockaded closely throughout this war, which was far from popular with her merchants. Yet they ought to have seen that the war was most necessary to their commercial well-being, no less than to their honor and national self-respect; for the frigates of Britain had for a dozen years of nominal peace kept the city under a more or less severe blockade, in the exercise of the odious right of search. They kept a strict watch over all outgoing and incoming ships, hovering off the coast