Rumseyan Society.

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The Rumseyan Society was founded in Shepherdstown, W. Va., in 1906, to honor James Rumsey (1743?-1792) as the inventor of the first steam-powered boat. Rumsey publically demonstrated his steam-powered vessel on the Potomac River at Shepherdstown in 1787, although documentation shows he had developed the concept several years earlier. In 1789 he went to Philadelphia to solicit support for his invention. There the first Rumsey Society was formed, with Benjamin Franklin as its president. In 1792 Rumsey went to London to demonstrate his invention before the Royal Society of Arts, but unfortunately suffered a stroke and died before the demonstration. After his death, John Fitch and Robert Fulton each claimed the idea of the application of steam power to navigation as his own. The Rumseyan Society was founded to create a fitting monument to Rumsey and to fix his place in history. A monument was erected at Shepherdstown in 1915.

From the description of Papers, 1783-1965. (Shepherd University Library). WorldCat record id: 30537058

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Rumseyan Society. Papers, 1783-1965. Shepherd University Library, Scarborough Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Beltzhoover, George M. person
associatedWith Campbell, William, 1863-1932. person
associatedWith Fitch, John, 1743-1798. person
associatedWith Fulton, Robert, 1765-1815. person
associatedWith Kenamond, A. D. person
associatedWith Lucas, Daniel Bedinger, 1836-1909. person
associatedWith McKeever, Kermit. person
associatedWith Moray, John, 1831- person
associatedWith Pendleton, Helen Boteler, 1867-1955. person
associatedWith Perry, Thornton Tayloe, 1892-1981, person
associatedWith Potts, Henry W., 1847-1931. person
associatedWith Rumsey, James, 1743?-1792. person
associatedWith Snyder, Harry Lambright, 1861-1935. person
associatedWith Virginia Historical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Wheatley, Henry Benjamin, 1838-1917. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Shepherdstown (W. Va.)
West Virginia--Shepherdstown
Historical markers

Corporate Body

Active 1783

Active 1965

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Ark ID: w6jf1xxx

SNAC ID: 75041912