Northern Plains Steamboats

Making your travel on the river like home.


Steamboats began to pop up throughout America. 1778 John Fitch successfully created a trial of a 45ft steamboat on the Delaware River. Steamboats were created for an easier way to transport goods and a more luxurious way to make transport better and easier. Before the Steamboat, there were keelboats that were used to move goods but the speed of the boats depended on the river current; if the boat's men had to change direction they would have to pole the boats against the current up river. The more powerful steamboat could go up or down the river with no problem.


The steamboat allowed faster travel for passengers and goods.They were built with theaters, galleries, ballrooms, and saloons.


Even though, steamboats had many luxuries safety was a large problem. Two of the biggest problems were Indian attacks and boiler explosions. Indians would hide along the bank of the rivers and when the boat got close enough they would fire at it. They Biggest concern about steamboats was the boiler if it was not carefully watched and maintained the pressure would build up and cause it to explode killing many people and ruining cargo.


The creator of the steamboats was Robert Fulton. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1765 and died February 24th, 1815.

How Did it Impact ND

Traveling by steamboat was cheaper than other means of travel and when the steamboat came to ND it brought with it workers, then settlers, then the merchant. Soon enough communities developed along the red river and the steamboats route.

Importance to settling west

The steamboat provided an easier and faster way to move goods, livestock, and people. It also provided better access to markets at a lower cost and because of this it encouraged farmers to move west and move along the river banks.


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