Petition from James Rumsey concerning a patent for a
mechanically powered boat
Rumsey, James, 1743?-1792
Volume 17, Pages 182-183
TO THE HONORABLE THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NORTH
CAROLINA IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MET.
Whereas, your petitioner has formed a plan for facilitating the navigation of
rapid rivers he therefore doth propose to construct a
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certain species of Boat of the burthen of ten tons which shall sail or be
propelled by the combined influence of certain mechanical powers thereto
applyed, the distance of between twenty-five and forty miles per day againt the
currant of a rapid river, notwithstanding the velocity of the water should move
at the rate of five miles per hour and upwards with the burthen of ten tons on
board, to be wrought at no greater expence than that of three hands; And as a
premium for so useful an invention, Your hon'b'l.
petitioner, prays for an act to pass this honorable house of Assembly, granting
to your Petitioner his heirs or assigns the sole and exclusive right of
constructing, navigating, employing Boats constructed upon his new invented
model, upon each and every Creek, river, Inlet, Bay and Harbor within the limits
and jurisdiction of this Commonwealth for and during the time and term of ten
years fully to be compleated and ended to be computed from the 1st day of Jan.
next; provided always that the Legislature of this Commonwealth shall have it in
their option at any time within the term of ten years as aforesaid, to abolish
the exclusive right herein prayed for, by the payment of ten thousand pounds in
Gold or Silver.
And your petitioner as in duly bound shall pray.
Richmond, November 18th, 1784.