ROBERT FULTON’S TORPEDOES TESTED!
The Universal Gazette, Washington, DC
Thursday, July 30, 1807
The inventor of the historic steamboat “Clermont” tests his latest creation in New York by placing explosives in the hull of a ship. The resulting explosions sank the 200-ton brig in just 20 seconds! The report is accompanied by Fulton’s letter to the Governor, Mayor, and corporation members of New York, in which he says his invention “will in a few years put a stop to maritime wars.” Fulton argues, “You have now seen the effect of the explosion of powder under the bottom of a vessel….for a right application of one torpedo will annihilate a ship of the line, nor leave a man to relate the dreadful catastrophe.” As a retired Naval officer myself, Fulton’s experiment represents an absolutely fascinating look into the future of naval warfare!
Latest bulletins from Napoleon’s army tell of an attempt to raise the siege of Dantsick by Emperor Alexander and the King of Prussia. The French forces under Marshal Lefebvre, however, routed the enemy chasing them back to a fort. “The field of battle was covered with dead bodies. Our loss amounts to 25 killed and 200 wounded; that of the enemy is 180 killed, 1500 wounded; and 20 prisoners.” Action reports like these from Napoleon’s Army were one of the reasons I became so excited about original historic newspapers–the books I was reading just couldn’t match the “on the spot” battle reports such as this long one. It’ll keep you up nights!
4 pp., complete as published, and in fine condition on nice quality rag paper. This is a superb early Washington newspaper.