For millennia, humans well-knew that there was a force far more powerful than they upon the Earth, and that was Nature itself. They could only dream of overcoming its power, or try to believe in the myths and fables of others who supposedly had done so. Then, at the dawn of the 19th century, along came a brilliant, creative, controversial American by the name of Robert Fulton. In the late summer of 1807, he ran his experimental “steamboat” from New York City to Albany, not once, but repeatedly. With these continuing commercial trips, Fulton showed that it was possible to alter artificially both a person’s location and the amount of time it took to change it. In so doing, he also broke through an enormous psychological barrier that had existed in people’s minds; it was, in fact, possible to overcome Nature to practical effect. But running these steamboats on rivers, lakes and bays was one thing. Taking such a vessel on a voyage across the ocean was a different proposition altogether. Experienced mariners didn't think it could be done. These early steamboats were just too flimsy and unwieldy to withstand the dangers of the deep.
Yet there was at least one man who believed otherwise. His name was Captain Moses Rogers. He set out to design a steam vessel that was capable of overcoming the vicissitudes of the sea. This craft would be not a steamboat, but a steamship, the first of its kind. Finding a crew for such a new-fangled contraption proved to be exceedingly difficult. Mariners—conditioned as they were to “knowing the ropes” of a sailing ship—looked upon this new vessel, and its unnatural means of propulsion, with the greatest suspicion. To them, it was not a "Steam Ship"—instead, it was a "Steam Coffin." Hardcover 736 pages