The Roosevelts' steamboat adventure
ended successfully when they steamed into New
Orleans on the evening of January 10, 1812. They
checked their logs and calculated that it had taken them only
259 hours to steam from Pittsburgh (not counting all their
delays along the way).
The steamboat underwriters' dreams
of profit were quickly realized: in the first year, the New Orleans made a $24,000
profit (a return of about 63% on their investment).
Unfortunately, steamboats' substantial profits came with
substantial risk of accident. The New Orleans sank less than
three years after it began regular service, but we still
remember her pioneering trip of 1811-1812, marking at turning
point in the Transportation
Revolution and in American history.