Edward Rumsey

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Edward Rumsey
Edward Rumsey.jpg
Edward Rumsey, circa 1845
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1837 – March 3, 1839
Preceded by Albert G. Hawes
Succeeded by Philip Triplett
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1796-11-05)November 5, 1796
Botetourt County, Virginia
Died April 6, 1868(1868-04-06) (aged 71)
Greenville, Kentucky
Resting place Old Caney Station Cemetery
Political party Whig Party (United States)
Spouse(s) Jane Merrihew Wing
Relations Nephew of James Rumsey
Profession Lawyer

Edward Rumsey (November 5, 1796 – April 6, 1868) was a United States Representative from Kentucky.


Rumsey was born to Dr. Edward Rumsey in Botetourt County, Virginia.[2]:p. 96 When the younger Rumsey was still a child, Dr. Rumsey moved the family to Christian County, Kentucky.[2]:p. 96 Studying under Daniel Barry, he completed preparatory studies in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.[3]:p. 82 He studied law under John J. Crittenden, with whom he became lifelong friends.[2]:p. 96 He moved to Greenville, Kentucky where he was admitted to the bar and practiced in Muhlenberg and surrounding counties.[2]:p. 96


Rumsey was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1822. The major questions during his tenure were those connected to the Old Court-New Court controversy.[2]:p. 96

On January 5, 1832, Rumsey married Jane Merrihew Wing. The couple had two children.[4]:p. 1834

Rumsey was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth Congress, serving from March 4, 1837 to March 3, 1839.[5] On February 9, 1839, he gave an impassioned speech on the House floor regarding a resolution to recognize his uncle, James Rumsey, as the inventor of the steamboat and to present a gold medal to his cousin, his uncle's only child.[2]:pp. 96–97 The resolution unanimously passed the House, but failed in the Senate.[3]:p. 83

In spring 1838, both Rumsey's young children contracted scarlet fever and died.[3]:p. 81 Overwhelmed with sorrow, he retired from public life at the end of his congressional term.[4] After leaving Congress, he again resumed the practice of his profession.[5] He died in Greenville, Kentucky in 1868 and was buried in the Old Caney Station Cemetery, near Greenville, Kentucky.[5]


According to historian Otto Rothert, the town of Rumsey in McLean County, Kentucky was to be named after Edward Rumsey. Out of modesty, Rumsey declined, after which the citizens agreed to a compromise whereby the town would be called Rumsey and officially be named in honor of James Rumsey.[3]:p. 81


  1. ^ Edward Rumsey at Find a Grave
  2. ^ a b c d e f Perrin, William Henry (1884). Counties of Christian and Trigg, Kentucky : historical and biographical. F.A. Battey. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d Rothert, Otto Arthur (1913). A History of Muhlenberg County. Louisville, Kentucky: J.P. Morton. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  4. ^ a b The Owl. 1916. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  5. ^ a b c
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Albert G. Hawes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1837 – March 3, 1839
Succeeded by
Philip Triplett