John Fitch (1743–1798):
This metal craftman and inventor was born in Connecticut. He constructed four different steamboats between 1785 and 1796, demonstrating, in part, the feasibility of using steam to propel boats in water. In 1787, from New York, he obtained the exclusive privilege, for 14 years, of building and operating steamboats on all the waters of the state.
He published published a description of his steamboat in the December 1788 issue of The Columbian.
See: excerpt from Laws of New York, 1787
* BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION from:
Dictionary of American Biography,
New York State Library call number: A,920.073,qD55a