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The New York Times, February 18, 1906

Plans to Commemorate the Invention of the Steamboat.

The Robert Fulton Memorial Association, which was organized recently to erect a suitable monument to the inventor of the steamboat, and possibly a tomb for him, in the centennial year of the first sailing of the Claremont, the pioneer steamer, has been incorporated at Albany. The incorporators are Samuel L. Clemens, R. Fulton Cutting, Andrew F. Burleigh, Gen. Frederick D. Grant, Col. H. O. S. Heistand, United States Army; Hugh Gordon Miller, and others.

Gen. Grant has consented to serve as temporary President of the association, but as he feels that his military duties would prevent him from devoting as much of his time to the work as he would wish he has asked that some one else be selected permanent President. The incorporators are now considering three men of National reputation for the office.

Mr. Miller said yesterday that as yet no site had been selected for the memorial, nor had its architectural features been determined upon. In a general way it is intended to have the monument erected on some suitable spot overlooking the Hudson.

"It is especially desired," said Mr. Miller, "to lay the cornerstone in 1907, if possible. That year will be the one hundredth anniversary celebration in honor of Henry Hudson."

Mr. Clemens, in accepting membership on the committee, wrote the following letter:

I am sure that but for his genious and energy steam navigation would have remained in the egg centuries longer than it did. He made the vacant oceans and the idle rivers useful after the unprejudiced had been wondering for a hundred million years what they were for. He found these properties a liability; he left them an asset. It is the peculiar honor and privilege of our commercializing age to estimate this majestic service at its splendid and rightful value. The monument is deserved, and it will be built.


Among those appointed to serve on the General and Executive Committees of the association are John Jacob Astor, William Bayard Cutting, Austen G. Fox, W. H. Fletcher, David H. Greer, Gov. Higgins, Admiral George W. Melville, John E. Parsons, E. E. Olcott, George L. Rives, James Stillman, Horace White, and George Foster Peabody.

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