Roosevelts on the Mississippi

The First Steamboat Voyage in 1811 Made by Nicholas J. Roosevelt

To the Editor of the New York Times:

It may be worthy of note, in connection with President Roosevelt's journey on the Mississippi, that the first steamboat voyage on that river was made by a Roosevelt -- Nicholas J. Roosevelt -- of New York, one of Fulton's most useful and gifted associates.  The steamboat was built at Pittsburg under Mr. Roosevelt's directions, and was ready for its journey in September, 1811.  Mr. Roosevelt was accompanied on the journey by his wife, to whom he had been recently married. The steamer was called New Orleans, and Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt were received at the different places along their route with an enthusiasm not less than that with which President Roosevelt has been greeted.  The pioneer steamer reached New Orleans safely, and ran for some years between that city and Natchez.  It was an enterprise that called for indomitable courage and energy, which Nicholas J. Roosevelt evidently possessed in no less a degree than his illustrious namesake.     

New York, Oct. 4, 1907

Made possible by the Rivers Institute and the
History Department of Hanover College.


How to cite this article:  Henry Mann, letter to the editor, New York Times, 7 Oct. 1907, available at