Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston , who owned extensive land on the Hudson River in New York, met in 1802 and drew up an agreement to construct a steamboat to ply a route between New York City and Albany, New York on the Hudson River . They successfully obtained a monopoly on Hudson River traffic after Livingston terminated a prior 1797 agreement with John Stevens , who owned extensive land on the Hudson River in New Jersey. The former agreement had partitioned northern Hudson River traffic to Livingston and southern to Stevens, agreeing to use ships designed by Stevens for both operations.  With their new monopoly, Fulton and Livingston's boat, named the Clermont after Livingston's estate, could make a profit. The Clermont was nicknamed "Fulton's Folly" by doubters. On Monday, August 17, 1807, the memorable first voyage of the Clermont up the Hudson River was begun. She traveled the 150 miles (240 km) trip to Albany in a little over 32 hours and made the return trip in about eight hours.