The American Locomotive "DE WITT CLINTON," — Mr. DAVID MATTHEW, Engineer

The locomotive "De Witt Clinton " as ordered by John B. Jervis, chief engineer of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, and was the third locomotive built in America for actual service upon a railroad. The machine was made at the West Point Foundery Works in New York, taken to Albany in the latter part of June, 1831, and was put open the road and runn by David Matthew. The first experimental trial-trip was made on the 5th of July, and others at different times during that month. The first excursion-trip with a train of passenger-cars, was made from Albany to Schenectady on August 9, 1831, on which occasion on the author of this History of the Early Locomotives in America rode in one of the cars (only the first two are represented above), and before the train started made the sketch as it appears above, which was pronounaced a truthful representation of the locomotive, tender, and the first two of the number of cars in the train, and correct likeness of the engineer and passengers represented in the cars. Some of them are yet living, as their letters in this work will show. The picture was cut out of black paper with a pair of scissors, a peculiar art with which the author was gifted from his earliest boyhood. The original picture was presented by the author to the Connecticut Historical Society; it was about six feet in length, and is yet preserved by the society and highly valued for its antiquity and truthfulness. The names of the engineer and passengers are as follows, at the engine:
David Matthew, Engineer; first car, Erastus Corning, Esq., Mr. Lansing, ex-Governor Yates, J. J. Boyd, Esq., Thurlow Weed, Esq., Mr. John Miller, Mr. Van Zant, Billy Winne, penny postman; second car, John Townsend, Esq., Major Meigs, old Hays, High-Constable of New York, Mr. Dudley, Jos. Alexander, of the Commercial bank, Lewis Benedict, Esq., and J. J. Degraft. These likenesses were all readily recognized at the time they were taken—forty years ago. The outside seats were for the drivers when these cars had been drawn by horse-power, but on this occasion they occupied by the excursionists.

Prophecies in NY | New York | Early Railroad | Contents Page

Do you have any information you'd like to share on this subject? Please email me!
The Catskill Archive website and all contents, unless otherwise specified,
are 1996-2010 Timothy J. Mallery