Hamilton Fulton

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Hamilton Fulton (died 1834) was a British engineer who later emigrated to North Carolina.

He was born Great Britain, presumably of Scottish parentage, and had studied under the noted Scottish Engineer, John Rennie, the designer of London Bridge. He afterward worked under Thomas Telford, the designer and builder of many canals including the Gotha Canal between the Baltic and the North Sea. He had worked on his own for the British Admiralty for jetties and breakwaters in both Malta and Bermuda.

In 1818, he became acquainted with Peter Browne from North Carolina who was then in England in search of a Principal Engineer for the State. Fulton and Browne agreed, and Fulton came to North Carolina with his assistant Robert H. B. Brazier and signed a contract with the State on July 19, 1819. The two Engineers immediately set about their tasks. Fulton examined the coastal inlets, sounds and principal rivers with an eye toward practical improvements in navigation while Brazier conducted the surveys and made maps and plates thereof.

As Chairman of the commission, Murphy prepared a memoir of the situation in the state for the information and instruction of Fulton. The first object in view being to render the rivers navigable, not for steamboats, but for flat boats, carrying produce from river landings down the stream to some lower point for shipment. To this end, the Catawba and Yadkin were deemed navigable almost to the mountains. Ashe declares that Murphy’s notes to Fulton...
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