|ENGINEER, PAINTER (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)|
BORN 14 Nov 1765, Little Britain, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - DIED 24 Feb 1815, New York City, New York: Manhattan|
GRAVE LOCATION New York City, New York: Trinity Churchyard, Manhattan (Northern Section, Livingston family vault 1815-3B)
Robert Fulton worked as a portrait painter in Philadelphia. He went to England in 1786 to improve his painting capabilities. There he discovered that his engineering abilities outshone his talent for painting. He met James Watt, the inventor of the stream engine. In 1797 he went to France, where he met US Ambassador Robert Livingston. He married his niece Harriet Livingstone with whom he had four children.
In 1803 in France he build a steamboat that seemed to be usable. During it's first trial it sank, but it was rebuilt and steamed up the Seine later that year. But Napoleon wasn't convinced and called him a quack. In 1806 he returned to the USA where he built the first commercial steamboat in 1807, a passenger service between New York City and Albany.