Rumsey, Edward, Congressman
The following data is extracted from Counties Of Todd And Christian, Kentucky - Christian.
A master spirit of the early bar of Christian County, whose reputation for candor and honesty, coupled with a clear sense of justice, won for him a name and fame untarnished by a single unworthy act-this was Edward Rumsey. He was born in 1800, in Botetourt County, Va., and was a son of Dr. Edward Rumsey, who came to Christian County when young Edward was but a child. He was educated under Barry, one of the famous classicists of Kentucky, and afterward studied law with Hon. John J. Crittenden, who became his life-long friend. He settled in Greenville, Ky., and practiced his profession in all the adjoining counties with eminent success. Mr. Rumsey was no less a statesman than a lawyer. His natural qualifications to' shine in public life were much impaired by his excessive diffidence and timidity, which at times rendered him almost morbidly sensitive. To this fact may doubtless be attributed the loss to the public service of one of the most refined and brilliant men of the times. At the earnest solicitation of his friends, he became a candidate for the Legislature in 1822, and though but twenty-two years of age was elected. During the session, which was a stormy one, involving the " relief " and " anti-relief " measures, he be-came a leader, and made a most favorable impression by his earnestness, modesty, and uncommon ability. He was elected to Congress, in 1837, by the almost unanimous vote of his district. While in Congress he made the famous speech on the resolution recognizing his uncle's claim (James Rumsey's) to the invention of the steamboat, and bestowing on his blind and only surviving son a gold medal, as a mark of such recognition. His two children died of scarlet fever while he was in Congress, and no argument of his friends and constituents could ever induce him to again enter public life. From this stroke to his domestic happiness he never fully recovered. The breaking out of the civil war brought with it new calamities. He loved his country next to his children, but he believed that the General Government had no right to coerce a State. He survived the war, but grief and apprehension aided greatly in breaking the thread of his life, and he died in April, 1868, deeply regretted.
No more gentle and fine strung nature than Mr. Rumsey's ever existed. He was brave and manly, but feminine in gentleness. He led a singularly pure and honorable life, and died universally esteemed and beloved by all who knew him. He was married, in 1832, to Miss Jane M. Wing, a lady of rare culture and refinement, and of the most gentle and unselfish nature.
Source: Counties Of Todd And Christian, Kentucky - Christian