noise of the machinery and paddles was heard, the crews (if what was said in the newspapers of the time be true), in some instances, shrunk beneath their decks from the terrific sight, and left their vessels to go on shore; while others prostrated themselves, and besought Providence to protect them from the approach of the horrible monster which was marching on the tides, and lighting its path by the fires which it vomited."
91. Subsequently, Fulton built several steamers and ferry-boats, to ply about the waters of the States of New York and of Connecticut.
The Clermont was a boat of but 160 tons burden; the Car of Neptune, built in 1807, was 295 tons; the Paragon, in 1811, measured 331; the Richmond, 1813, 370 tons; and the Fulton, the first built in 1814-'15, measured 2,475 tons. The latter vessel, whose size was simply enormous for that time, was what was then considered an exceedingly formidable steam-battery, and was built for the United States Navy.
Before the completion of this vessel, Fulton died of disease resulting from exposure, February 24, 1815, and his death was mourned as a national calamity.
92. But Fulton had some active and enterprising rivals.
Oliver Evans had, in 1801 or 1802, sent one of his engines, of about 150 horse-power, to New Orleans, for the purpose of using it to propel a vessel, owned by Messrs. McKeever and Valcourt, which was there awaiting it.