McMahen's Steamboats Inc.

By:Ciearra McMahen


Steamboats were the most often thing used to be on the Missouri or Mississippi river. They also wanted a steamboat on the Red River too so they would pay anybody to 1000-2000 dollars on who ever shipped one there.Steamboats were still very useful for people even when they built the railroads but still struggled.Steamboats helped carry a lot of supplies back then such as corn, furs, flour, fruit, whiskey, vegetables, and pork. Steamboats made some people excited so when steamboats were out sometimes the people would have races and see whos steamboat is faster.Steamboats use to be a great transportation back then for everything.


  • Steamboats were faster and more efficient and also had advantages to going upstream.
  • The steam power on some was good meaning it made it smooth and easier traveling on water.
  • Steamboats could travel 5 miles per hour also.Some steamboats also had comfortable shelter in them.
  • Steamboats were a faster way for people and supplies to get around faster.And it could give people more job opportunities too.Certain areas in North Dakota's population increased because of the steamboats.


  • Some steamboats were often uncomfortable to some people.
  • The fundamental design the people gave some of the steamboats was bad, it made some of them shallow, flat which made it little bit hard for it to travel in the water.
  • It increased the drag making the steamboat's slower.
  • Also when they started to build more railroads the steamboats were getting less money meaning they were loosing there business.
  • Another was people had diseases so when they got on they gave it to so many other people.
  • The common disease back then was smallpox and cholera.


John Fitch invented 4 steamboats but they were all not successful. Then when Robert Fulton tried for his first time he successfully invented a steamboat.He named the steamboat Clermont. The longest Clermont went was 300 miles in 62 hours, he went from New York to Albany.Robert started being interested in engineering when he was 12 years old.He was born in a little town in pennsylvania and died in New York at the age of 60.

How it impacted North Dakota

Life before the steamboat was a little hard, but when steamboats came out they helped a lot with shipping goods and people to where they wanted to go. The only problem they had was when steamboats had to go on the Missouri river, they always struggled to go up that river. So it took some people days till they got to there place. The fastest the steamboat ever went back then was 200 miles in 14 hours.But it really did help North Dakota back then with shipping. Some of the steamboats could carry over 1000 pounds of supplies and food per ship.

Was it important

In 1872 to 1887 steamboats were a great transportation. The steamboats really helped North Dakota ship corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, and sunflowers. It also shipped over 1,500 pounds of liquor, and over 100 packs of beaver pelts and bison robes. It helped ship so many people to cites as well.Steamboats were just a great transportation in North Dakota they shipped so much things at a time and also shipped so many people.
The Steamboat - History Key Assignment - February 2014