Response to the histarch LISTSERV posting by Geoff Carver, hyperlink to the review of the museum in the NY Times, March 10, 2007:
I'm not sure Jules Verne ("French writer who is considered the father of science fiction (1828-1905)") would agree with the author on the basis for writing "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea": "One of his teachers may have been the French inventor Brutus de Villeroi, professor of drawing and mathematics at the college in 1842, and who later became famous for creating the US Navy's first submarine, the USS Alligator. De Villeroi may have inspired Verne's conceptual design for the Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, although no direct exchanges between the two men have been recorded." - Wikipedia Also lost off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the US NOAA has an ongoing expedition to try to relocate it, which could be seen online.
The Appomattox River was too shallow to deploy it upriver and perhaps how the un-named became thus named, built as it were in Philadelphia, PA. Jules Verne also used the "West Point Foundry" to create the cannon that fired the "From Earth To The Moon" in 1865. I often felt he maybe had visited that site which I worked on relocating the R.P. Parrott "gun platform" used to create the then hence named "Swamp Angel" in incendiary bombardment of Charleston, South Carolina from a swamp, in 1862 that Melville also wrote about. We found either "it" or its prototype and over 680 used brass friction primers atop a wooden "grillage" in the Foundry Cove adjacent to the West Point Foundry and nearby Constitution Island in an EPA National Priority Superfund site in Cold Spring, NY on the Hudson River.
I'm currently reading Melville's "White-Jacket or The World in a Man-of-War (1850)" about life aboard a man-o-war of which copies were placed on the desk of every member of the US Congress by the publisher and is said to have stopped the practice of flogging or whipping of seaman aboard US ships. "Moby-Dick" was published the following year.