Steamboat competition was about more than speed.
Flowing from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound, nourishing both industry and agriculture, and carrying on its back sailing sloops, steamships, and pleasure craft, the Connecticut River has been for three hundred years.
Nineteenth-century American courage and resourcefulness carried our merchant flag to the world's harbors and our nation to world prominence. The proud affection of a sea-conscious nation is reflected in our portfolio of ships by artists of three continents. Our essay, by C. Bradford Mitchell, former editor of Steamboat Bill and information director of the Merchant Marine Institute, charts the curious historic twists of public attitude and official policy that have alternately fostered and stunted our merchant navy.