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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Amherst in Amherst County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

James River Batteau

 
 
James River Batteau Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 9, 2011
1. James River Batteau Marker
Inscription. Near here lived Anthony and Benjamin Rucker, inventors of the James River batteau, which superseded the double dugout canoe and rolling road for transporting tobacco hogsheads. These long (about 50 or 60 feet), double-ended vessels dominated the commercial traffic on the James River and other Southern upland waterways between the 1770s and 1840s. A dispute arose in 1821 when the Rucker brothersí heirs sought to patent the design. A letter from Thomas Jefferson testifying to his presence at the first batteauís launch resolved the matter in the Ruckersís favor.
 
Erected 1993 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number R-22.)
 
Location. 37° 31.855′ N, 79° 6.119′ W. Marker is near Amherst, Virginia, in Amherst County. Marker is on South Amherst Highway (Business U.S. 29) south of North Coolwell Road (County Route 663). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Amherst VA 24521, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ruckerís Chapel (here, next to this marker); Sweet Briar College (approx. 2.3 miles away); Bear Mountain Indian Mission School (approx. 3.2 miles away);
James River Batteau and Ruckerís Chapel Markers image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 9, 2011
2. James River Batteau and Ruckerís Chapel Markers
Amherst County Confederate Soldiers Monument (approx. 4.7 miles away); The Courage of Frank Padget (approx. 4.7 miles away); Packet Boat Marshall (approx. 7.2 miles away); Hull of the Packet Boat Marshall (approx. 7.2 miles away); Miller-Claytor House (approx. 7.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amherst.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia Entry. “The James River Bateau was a shallow draft river craft used during the period from 1775 to 1840 to transport tobacco and other cargo on the James river and its tributaries in the state of Virginia. It was flat bottomed and pointed at both ends. The length of the bateau varied greatly, 58 feet (17.5 m) being a common length. The bateau was propelled by bateaumen pushing with long sturdy poles. Alternate spellings of bateau include batteau, batoe and the plurals bateaux, batoes, and batteaux. Bateau is the French word for boat. In the colonial days, bateaus were used extensively in rivers throughout the eastern part of the United States” (Submitted on August 21, 2011.) 

2. James River Batteau Festival. This website
The James River Batteau Edward Scott image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 8, 2009
3. The James River Batteau Edward Scott
The boat is missing its canopy and other furnishings. It is on display in Scottsville at Canal Basin Square.
includes photographs of batteaux on the river. (Submitted on August 21, 2011.) 
 
Additional keywords. batteau, batoe, bateaux, batoes, batteaux.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 21, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 497 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 21, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
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