Near here lived Anthony and Benjamin Rucker, inventors of the James River batteau, which superseded the double dugout canoe and rolling road for transporting tobacco hogsheads.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 brothers' heirs sought to patent the design. A letter from Thomas Jefferson testifying to his presence at the first batteau's launch resolved the matter in the Ruckers's favor. Error: Note that the last sentence on the marker is incorrect, and should read: A letter from Thomas Jefferson testifying to his presence at the first batteau's launch resolved the matter in the Ruckers' favor.
Geographic Location: Amherst County
Physical Description of Location: Amherst, VA 24521. Located on South Amherst Hwy (Rt. 163), 3 miles southwest of the intersection of South Amherst Hwy (Rt. 163) and South Amherst Hwy (Rt. 29). Marker is on the right when traveling southwest on South Amherst Hwy (Rt. 163).
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