Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Late Steam-Boat Excursion

American Friend, January 29, 1824

We have been requested by one of the party on board the steam boat Rufus Putnam, in her late trip to Zanesville, to insert the following communication.

On Friday morning, the 9th of January, the steam boat Rufus Putnam, Capt. John Green, left Marietta for Zanesville, with a large party of Ladies and Gentlemen.  The morning was fine, the passengers cheerful, and the boat steamed the current of the Muskingum to admiration.  The following night was dark and rainy, & the boat brought to till Saturday morning, when she started early, stemmed a more rapid current, and arrived at Zanesville before ten o'clock in the evening, too late for the inhabitants to witness the novel scene; but after a few salutations, with interest the hills and vallies echoed the salutation.

Sunday morning was fine, and little was done but to view the boat and attend divine service with the various denominations.

Monday morning was a scene of mutual speculation and gratulation, and all seemed eager to see and take a part in the pleasure party that went on board and descended the river a few miles.  Each town seemed to vie with the other to show most respect to the occasion.

A very large and respectable party were invited at Judge Buckingham's in Putnam; and a respectable number of gentlemen, with their usual liberality, invited Capt. Green to join them at a supper provided at Hughs' hotel, in Zanesville.

A president and vice president were chosen, and among others, the following toasts were drank:

     By the President.  Gentlemen, We have met together to show our gratification at the unexpected arrival at this place, of the steam boat Rufus Putnam, Capt. John Green, of Marietta.  This is the first steam boat that ever was built on the Muskingum river - named after the first permanent settler on the Muskingum, and the first that ever steamed the current to this place.  I will therefore give you Capt. John Green, and the steam-boat Rufus Putnam (Capt. Green being absent,) - May we never want for men of like enterprise, or a steam boat to perform like the Rufus Putnam.

     By the Vice President, -The memory of Gen. Israel Putnam.

     By Mr. I. Putnam. -The citizens of Zanesville and Putnam - Enterprising, and patterns of Enterprise.

     By ____  The Mississippi and its branches -- An extensive field for Steam.

The company separated at an early hour, after an evening spent in hilarity and good feeling.

Tuesday morning was delightfully pleasant - after taking leave of friends, at half past ten got under weigh & left the banks at Zanesville and Putnam, lined with citizens, whose cheers rent the air.

The return of the boat down the river was like a Meteor to Marietta, where she arrived at twilight, all well, without the least accident to mar or hinder.

Thus a steam boat has performed a trip up the Muskingum, hitherto thought impracticable by those unacquainted with the power of steam engines, and by the novelty of it rendered profitable as well as gratifying to Capt. Green.

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