A "MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT" TO CONSTRUCT THE FIRST STEAM-POWERED WARSHIP. A contract between Fulton, acting on behalf of "the Committee appointed by the Secretary of the Navy for constructing a steam Vessel of War," and the two Livingstons and Henry Mead; the agreement specifies that the Livingstons and Mead will supply Fulton "for the use of the United States, such copper boiler plates, and all other copper that may be wanted for the Engine and Machinery of said Steam Vessel of war and at the price of fifty cents per pound." They further agree to deliver a prescribed amount (not less than two tons per week), the boiler plates to each be "five feet long, three feet wide" and "of such thickness as said Fulton may order;" Fulton is granted the right to "reject any such plates or pieces or parcels of copper." The Livingtons and Mead agree to be liable to a penalty of $5,000 in the event they cannot fulfill the specified order "of a good quality and in the time mentioned," after which Fulton is free to order the armor plate copper elsewhere, "provided always that the works are not destroyed or any other unavoidable accident shall happen to the Machinery for manufacturing such plates of copper." An additional clause, evidently added by Fulton, specifies that "the sheets of copper must be trimmed or cut, exactly at right angles as wide at one end as at the other, and as long on one side as on the other. Otherwise they will have to be trimmed at my shop, to waste and expense." -- LIVINGSTON, John R. Two autograph letters signed ("J.R" Livingston"), TO ROBERT FULTON, New York, 30 June 1812 and 30 June 1814. Together 2 pages, folio, integral address leaf addressed to Fulton. Livingston, a principal of Livingston and Mead, metal founders, informs Fulton that "every possible exertion is making to complete the contract, both night and day," and discusses the size of plates, over which there has been some confusion: "I will immediately go out to Dr. Mead with your directions. I am confident that neither the blister or cracks which are hardly perceptible will injure the Boiler as they do not exceed the thickness of Paper. The cuts made with a cold chisel were not to conceal them but to find out how far they had entered." In the second letter, he complains that "we find many difficulties," and protests that some plates "are rejected for defects that appear to us very trifling;" and asking clarification of one aspect of their contract, vowing that the price charged for the copper plates "is much lower than they have ever been sold at." -- FULTON, Robert. Document signed ("Robert Fulton"), New York, 1 November 1814. 1 page, oblong 4to. Fulton certifies receipt from "Col. Henry Rutgers Chairman Coast & Harbor D.C. [Defence Committee]" of $7,000 "in Treasury Notes." With a related financial memorandum neatly attached to lower portion of the sheet. Together four items, all in very fine, crisp condition. FULTON GOES TO WAR: THE BUILDING OF THE FIRST STEAM-POWERED WARSHIP, THE FULTON I A fascinating archive exhibiting the financial arrangements and the considerable urgency behind Fulton's construction of the first steam-powered warship, the Fulton I, for the U.S. Navy. At the outset of the War of 1812, the American Navy was woefully inadequate to defend the nation against the large and well-equipped British Navy. Fulton, whose passenger steamboats had been in successful operation for several years, drew plans for a steam frigate and exhibited them in 1813 to Secretary of War Dearborn, Stephen Decatur and Oliver Hazard Perry (victor of the naval battle of Lake Erie). That vessel, christened the Fulton I, was launched on 29 October 1814 and Commodore David Porter was assigned command. The vessel, completed after Fulton's death in February 1815, never saw war service, and it not until 1837 that the American navy built a second steam-powered warship, the Fulton II. " /> FULTON, Robert (1765-1815). Document signed ("Robert Fulton on Behalf of the government of the United States "), JOHN R. LIVINGSTON ("John R. Livingston"), ROBERT M. LIVINGSTON ("Robert M. Livingston") and Henry Mead, n.p. [New York?], 3 June 1814. 2 pages, folio, text in a very clear secretarial hand. <span style='font-size:9'>A "MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT" TO CONSTRUCT THE FIRST STEAM-POWERED WARSHIP</span>. A contract between Fulton, acting on behalf of "the Committee appointed by the Secretary of the Navy for constructing a steam Vessel of War," and the two Livingstons and Henry Mead; the agreement specifies that the Livingstons and Mead will supply Fulton "for the use of the United States, such copper boiler plates, and all other copper that may be wanted for the Engine and Machinery of said Steam Vessel of war and at the price of fifty cents per pound." They further agree to deliver a prescribed amount (not less than two tons per week), the boiler plates to each be "five feet long, three feet wide" and "of such thickness as said Fulton may order;" Fulton is granted the right to "reject any such plates or pieces or parcels of copper." The Livingtons and Mead agree to be liable to a penalty of $5,000 in the event they cannot fulfill the specified order "of a good quality and in the time mentioned," after which Fulton is free to order the armor plate copper elsewhere, "provided always that the works are not destroyed or any other unavoidable accident shall happen to the Machinery for manufacturing such plates of copper." An additional clause, evidently added by Fulton, specifies that "the sheets of copper must be trimmed or cut, exactly at right angles as wide at one end as at the other, and as long on one side as on the other. Otherwise they will have to be trimmed at my shop, to waste and expense." -- LIVINGSTON, John R. Two autograph letters signed ("J.R" Livingston"), <span style='font-size:9'>TO ROBERT FULTON</span>, New York, 30 June 1812 and 30 June 1814. Together 2 pages, folio, integral address leaf addressed to Fulton. Livingston, a principal of Livingston and Mead, metal founders, informs Fulton that "every possible exertion is making to complete the contract, both night and day," and discusses the size of plates, over which there has been some confusion: "I will immediately go out to Dr. Mead with your directions. I am confident that neither the blister or cracks which are hardly perceptible will injure the Boiler as they do not exceed the thickness of Paper. The cuts made with a cold chisel were not to conceal them but to find out how far they had entered." In the second letter, he complains that "we find many difficulties," and protests that some plates "are rejected for defects that appear to us very trifling;" and asking clarification of one aspect of their contract, vowing that the price charged for the copper plates "is much lower than they have ever been sold at." -- FULTON, Robert. Document signed ("Robert Fulton"), New York, 1 November 1814. 1 page, oblong 4to. Fulton certifies receipt from "Col. Henry Rutgers Chairman Coast & Harbor D.C. [Defence Committee]" of $7,000 "in Treasury Notes." With a related financial memorandum neatly attached to lower portion of the sheet. Together four items, all in very fine, crisp condition. <span style='font-size:9'>FULTON GOES TO WAR: THE BUILDING OF THE FIRST STEAM-POWERED WARSHIP, THE FULTON I</span> A fascinating archive exhibiting the financial arrangements and the considerable urgency behind Fulton's construction of the first steam-powered warship, the Fulton I, for the U.S. Navy. At the outset of the War of 1812, the American Navy was woefully inadequate to defend the nation against the large and well-equipped British Navy. Fulton, whose passenger steamboats had been in successful operation for several years, drew plans for a steam frigate and exhibited them in 1813 to Secretary of War Dearborn, Stephen Decatur and Oliver Hazard Perry (victor of the naval battle of Lake Erie). That vessel, christened the Fulton I, was launched on 29 October 1814 and Commodore David Porter was assigned command. The vessel, completed after Fulton's death in February 1815, never saw war service, and it not until 1837 that the American navy built a second steam-powered warship, the Fulton II. | Christie's