North River Steamboat

Many politicians have had greater success during their career than Robert Livingston, no question, however life after politics for Livingston was quite successful which is much more uncommon. Robert Livingston and Robert Fulton, whom Livingston met during his stint in France as Minister. Fulton was an avid inventor from the United States, and had similar ambition as the tireless Livingston. This match was destined for success, and eventually these two ended up monopolizing New York’s Hudson River.

Robert Livingston funded Fulton’s engineering of the North River Steamboat of Clermont, one of the first successful steamboat. Not only was the infrastructure in place to build a sound boat, but Livingston also had sole right to steam travel on the Hudson River. Thus, if the Clermont was not the first of its kind, it was certainly the first to capitalize and create an enterprise out of it. The Clermont once finished, was finished by Charles Brown and stretched nearly 150 feet spending its days shuttling customers from Albany to New York City. (Aeschbacher)

Although this is not prevalent to Robert Livingston’s diplomatic career, it shows the many talents the founding fathers possessed beyond the confines of an office. He provided a service to New York, while thrusting the American commercial economy forward.