From an 1826 publication at Pittsburgh, reports of commerce moving by steamer at the city’s wharves combined with the thriving boatbuilding industry in the area, paint this picture of unbounded optimism which is tinged with more than a hint of rivalry and fierce local pride.
“On this subject we cannot do more than recall to the recollection of our fellow citizens the unexampled bustle and activity exhibited on our wharves during the past spring, and the immense shipping business done by our commission merchants. It is probable our steamboat proprietors have never before had such a long series of profitable running in one season. In fact, the continued high waters – the immense quantity of freight daily arriving, and the numerous travellers that are ever passing and repassing, seems to have given a new and astonishing impulse to our navigation. From three to eight steamboats have been constantly in port, notwithstanding the head of navigation is 90 miles below us, as our Wheeling friends would have it.