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James Rumsey vs. John Fitch

In reply to Rumsey, Fitch published, also in 1788, a pamphlet refuting Rumsey’s claim to having invented the steamboat: The Original Steam-boat Supported; or, A Reply to Mr. James Rumsey’s Pamphlet, Shewing the True Priority of John Fitch, and the False Datings, &c. of James Rumsey (N,387,F545). Fitch opens his reply thus:

Fitch's Reply to Rumsey
Fitch's reply to Rumsey's pamphlet

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“It is the duty of every man not only to avoid the commission of a crime, but so to conduct himself through life as to bear the strictest scrutiny. In a pamphlet published by Mr. James Rumsey and lately circulated in this City, as well as probably in other states, I am charged as the perpetrator of crimes attrocious [sic] in their nature, but of which my conscience fully acquits me. It is an exercise of malevolence in the extreme thus publicly to prefer charges against an innocent person without previously knowing or enquiring for the defence of the supposed offender, and shews an inability in the accuser to support his charges."