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Petition from James Rumsey concerning a patent for a mechanically powered boat
Rumsey, James, 1743?-1792
November 18, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 182-183

TO THE HONORABLE THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MET.

Gentlemen:

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.
JAMES RAMSEY.

Richmond, November 18th, 1784.