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Two Letters Written by Robert Fulton in NYSL's Collection

Text of 1813 Letter, page 3:

granted to him, as gentlemen who know W. Stevens['s] misrepresentation of facts sympathize with him require a greater proof than this his conduct of his weakness could a man whose brain is so badly organized have invented a steam boat gentlemen do not know him his life has been a scene of obstinate absurdities. The Chancellor and myself, to repair his fortune, I believe humanely granted him a right to work under our patent on as many waters as will [indecipherable] have cleared him 20,000 a year on a capital of not more than 30,000. And now he neglects the Savanna, Santee and Connecticut rivers and the run from Newport to Providence - on these waters he has no boat nor preparing for any nor is his line finished on the Chesapeak. I cannot put boats on them because of the grant to him and he [indecipherable] that he may to place embarrassments in my way of carrying on a line from Washington to Charleston and [indecipherable]

Text of 1813 Letter, page 4:

which line is commenced by the Potommack and James river boats, does such a man [indecipherable] more sympathy than Mr. Chancellor who is his brotherinlaw and [indecipherable] does he not by his proceedings by neglecting the waters granted to him and which he picked out or selected of himself, and seeking for others where he has no claim injure the public [good – struck out] interest by then placing himself in the way of my operations? By which the public would be immediately benefited. Mr. Stevens is ever anxious to be thought an inventor of steam boats he writes and talks to that effect, he says he worked at them for 20 years before he succeeded. This is true he did not succeed until my boat had been running a year then he copied me and succeeded. This is the fact which he cannot deny, his contract with me is the proof which I give you to shew to gentlemen whom he may have taught to believe otherwise please to find me his proposals and law. Yours, R. Fulton
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