Robert Fulton
Burial Location Visited
New York, New York May 15, 2011


Esteemed inventor Robert Fulton is interred                                               Fulton gained fame for making 
in his wife's family's vault in the graveyard                                                the first commercially successful
at Trinity Church. England's King William III                                              steamboat, which was known as
granted the church a charter in 1697.                                                        the Clermont.


The engineer's name is not                                                                       A memorial to Fulton, which is
inscribed on the long slab that                                                                  located on the opposite side of
marks the Livingston vault, but                                                                the churchyard. On the back are
he does have his own marker,                                                                  the designs of the Clermont.
which honors his service during
the War of 1812.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* Robert Fulton was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on November 14, 1765. He married Harriet Livingston in 1806. She was the niece of Robert Livingston, who was a delegate to the Continental Congress and a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence.

* Using steam engine technology, Fulton was able to create the first successful commercial steam-powered boat. Called Clermont, it was first launched on August 17, 1807. According to a memorial to Fulton located in Trinity's churchyard, the ship's copper boilers would burn over thirty cords of wood when it made trips from Albany to New York City.

* Contrary to popular belief, Fulton did not create the first steam-powered boat. That honor belongs to John Finch, who launched a similar boat on the Delaware River twenty years prior.

* Fulton designed the first operational submarine during the 1790's. As he was living in France at this time period, he approached the French government several times about financing the structure, but was turned down twice before being accepted. Once the craft, known as the Nautilus, was constructed in 1800, it could go to depths as far as 25 feet below sea level. Napoleon had shown interest in the craft, but was stunned to find that it had been dismantled by Fulton. Outraged, the emperor exclaimed that Fulton was a swindler and did not allow any submarines to be constructed for the French navy.

* In honor of all of Fulton's accomplishments, the state of Pennsylvania donated a statue of him to the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue, sculpted from marble by architect Howard Roberts, was donated in 1889.

Spouse: Harriet Livingston Fulton (1786-1824)

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