31st Congress, 2nd Session, Ex Doc No 32
House of Representatives

Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the year 1850
Report of the Commissioner of Patents
United States Patent Office
January 1851

Sir: -- I have the honor to submit the Report of the proceedings of this bureau for the year 1850. [Part I., Arts and Manufactures}

Most respectfully,
Your obedient servant
Thomas Ewbank

To Hon. Howell Cobb
Speaker of the House of Representatives

I. Financial, Statistical, etc.

The number of applications for patents received during the year ending December 31st, 1850, is twenty-one hundred and ninety-three; the number of caveats filed during the same period is six hundred and two.

The number of patents issued during the year 1850, is nine hundred and ninety-five; including twenty-seven re-issues, three additional improvements, and eighty-six designs. Three disclaimers have been entered during the year.

Within the year 1850, six hundred and eighty-four patents have expired, a list of which is annexed marked F. There were seventeen applications to extend patents, the terms of which were about to expire; seven of which were granted, and five rejected. Five are still pending. None have been extended by act of Congress within the year.

The receipts of the Office for the year 1850, on account of applications for patents, caveats, additional improvements, re-issues, extensions, recording assignments, powers of attorney, etc., and for copies, amount to $86,927.05, as per statement marked A. The expenses of the Office for the year 1850, are as follows, viz:

For salaries $29,260.94; contingent expenses $13,430.19; books for the library, $767.47; temporary clerks, $13,361.67; agricultural statistics, $3,859.35; refunding money paid by mistake, $258.00; analysis of breadstuffs, $500.00; compensation of librarian, $500.00; Chief Justice of District of Columbia, sitting on appeals from Commissioner of Patents, $100; on applications withdrawn, $18,013.33; and restoring models, $50; amounting in the whole sum to $80,100.95, as per statement marked B: -- leaving a balance to be carried to the credit of the Patent Fund of $6,826.10 as per statement C.

On the first day of January, 1850, the amount of money in the Treasury to the credit of the Patent Fund was $169,505.17. Of this sum, $90,000 was appropriated by Congress by the act approved May 15th, 1850, "towards the completion of the east wing of the Patent Office," which has been drawn out and expended. By the act of Congress approved September 30th, 1850, the further sum of $110,000 was approved "for completing the east wing of the Patent Office building, etc., to be paid out of the Patent Fund, if so much of said fund remains unappropriated, and if not, the excess out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated." Of the amount last appropriated, $71,000 has been drawn from the Patent Fund, leaving a balance in the Treasury to the credit of the Patent Fund on the first day of January, 1851, of $15,331.27, as per statement D.

There were nine cases on the examiners' desks January 1st, 1850; the number of applications received during the year, twenty-one hundred and ninety-three; making the whole number of applications before the Office during the year, twenty-two hundred and two. Of this number, one hundred and sixty-nine cases remained unexamined on the 1st day of January, 1851.

The business of the Office for the past year shows the examination of two thousand and thirty-two applications, resulting in the issue of nine hundred and ninety-five patents, and ten hundred and thirty-eight rejections and suspensions as exhibited per statement E.

A statement is also appended showing the amount of fees received, applications and caveats filed, during each month of the year, marked F.


Statement of receipts for patents, caveats, additional 

improvements, recording assignments, etc., and for copies

Amount received for patents, caveats, re-issues, and 

  additional improvements                              $80,750.00

Amount received for recording assignments, etc., and 

  for copies                                             6,177.05


    Total                                              $86,927.05


Statement of expenditures and payments made from the Patent Fund 

by the Commissioner of Patents from January 1st, 1850 to December 

31st, 1850 inclusive, under the act of March 3d, 1837, and 

subsequent acts of Congress making provision for the expenses of 

the Patent Office, viz:

For salaries                            $29,260.94

For contingent expenses                  13,430.19

For books for Library                       767.47

For temporary clerks                     13,361.67

For agricultural statistics               3,859.35

For refunding money paid by mistake         258.00

For withdrawals                          18,013.33

For compensation of librarian               500.00

For compensation of District Judge          100.00

For analysis of breadstuffs                 500.00

For restoring models                         50.00




Statement of Receipts and Expenditures of the Patent Office for 

the year 1850

Amount received from all sources        $86,927.05

Amount of expenditures of all kinds      80,100.95


Amount carried to the credit of the 

  Patent Fund for 1850                   $6,826.10


Patent Fund, January 1st, 1850

Amount of fund January 1st, 1850       $169,505.17

Amount drawn out per acts of Congress 

  approved May 15th, and September 

  30th, 1850                            161,000.00

                                        ___________  $8,505.17

Amount carried to the credit of the 

  Patent Fund for 1850                                6,826.10

Amount remaining in the Treasury to 

  the credit of the Patent Fund, 

  January 1st, 1851                                 $15,331.27

    The books of the Treasury show the balance to the credit of 

the Patent Fund, January 1st, 1851, to be somewhat less, which is 

explained by the following letter received from the 1st 

Comptroller, viz:

                      Treasury Department

                      Comptroller's Office, January 21st, 1851

Thomas Ewbank, Esq., Commissioner of Patents

    Sir: -- In answer to your letter of inquiry of the 16th 

inst., I state that the balance in the Treasury to the credit of 

the Patent Fund at different periods has been as follows:

    On the 31st December, 1842                  $170,559.39

    On the 30th June, 1849                       210,315.05


    On the 30th June, 1850                       106,224.89

    There has come into the Treasury, funds 

deposited between the 1st July and 31st 

December, 1850, amounting to                      40,807.22


Amount drawn out from 1st July to 31st 

  December, 1850                                 131,925.00


Balance due the Patent Fund December 31st, 1850  $15,107.11

as appears now by the books of the Treasury.  It is very likely, 

however, that some of the deposits made with depositories 

previous to December 31st, have not come in yet, which may, when 

they come in, swell the balance belonging to that fund on the 

31st of December last, an hundred or two dollars, and possibly 

more than that.

    Most sincerely yours

                            Elisha Whittlesey


Statement of applications on hand January 1st, 1850, and number received 

during the year and acted upon.

No. of cases on examiner's desks January 1st, 1850      9

No. of applications received in 1850                2,193


No. before the Office during the year               2,202

No. of Patents issued during the year                 995

No. of applications remaining unexamined              169

No. of rejections and suspensions                   1,038

                                                    _____  2,202


Statement showing amount of fees received, and number of 

applications and caveats filed during each month of the year 1850

1850       Cash     Certifi- Small     Total    Applica-  Caveats

           Received  cates   Fees     Received   tions     Filed

                    Received Received           Filed

January    $3,780    $4,595   $402.47   $8,777.47    239    60

February    3,705     3,070    464.26    7,239.26    176    60

March       2,765     4,895    459.43    8,119.43    196    38

April       2,990     3,095    598.72    6,783.72    177    48

May         3,465     3,450    674.43    7,589.43    196    60

June        3,515     4,890    442.88    8,847.88    191    44

July        2,820     2,695    673.23    6,188.23    161    31

August      2,835     2,910    542.93    6,287.93    174    49

September   2,375     4,065    544.00    6,984.00    151    34

October     2,615     3,000    480.57    6,095.57    166    61

November    3,060     2,865    467.81    6,392.81    165    52

December    2,840     4,455    426.32    7,721.32    199    65

           ______   _______  ________   _________  ____    ___

          $36,765   $43,985 $6,177.05  $86,927.05  2,193   602

Table exhibiting the business of the Office for the last ten 

years, and the necessity of an increase of clerical force

Years Applications Caveats Patents Amount of Cash Amount of Cash

         Filed      Filed  Issued     Received       Received

1841      847        312     495      $40,413.01    $23,065.87

1842      761        291     517       36,505.68     31,241.48

1843      819        315     531       35,315.81     30,776.96

1844     1045        380     502       42,509.26     36,344.73

1845     1246        452     502       51,264.16     39,395.65

1846     1272        448     619       50,264.16     46,158.71

1847     1531        533     572       63,111.19     41,878.35

1848     1628        607     660       67,576.69     58,905.84

1849     1955        595    1076       80,752.78     77,716.44

1850     2193        602     995       86,927.05     80.100.95

During the first entire year (1840) after two assistants were added to the examining force (previously consisting of two examiners) the number of applications received was 765, and of caveats 228. By the act approved May 27th, 1848, two more examiners and two assistants were added to the corps, based upon the business of the Office for the year 1847, during which year there were 1531 applications and 533 caveats received.

Thus the present examining force of the Office was deemed necessary for the transaction of that amount of business.

From the foregoing table it will be observed that in 1848 there were received 1628 applications and 607 caveats; in 1849, 1955 applications and 595 caveats; and in 1850, 2193 applications and 602 caveats; an increase over 1847 of six hundred and sixty-two applications for Patents and sixty-nine caveats; and an increase over 1840 of fourteen hundred and twenty-eight applications and three hundred and seventy-four caveats. Thus the business of the Office has nearly trebled within the last ten years, while the corps of examiners has only been doubled during that period.

The foregoing facts clearly indicate that two chief and two assistant examiners are necessary to meet the present demands of the Office, and prevent the business, now two months behindhand, from falling still further in arrears.


January 1st, 1851

Hon. Thomas Ewbank
Commissioner of Patents

Sir: -- In conformity with your requisition, I have the honor to submit to you the following report in relation to the condition of the model department, which you were pleased to place under my charge in November last, and also the number of models received each year, for the past fourteen years; the space occupied by them, and the room necessary for their proper exhibition.

It would be very inconvenient, if not impossible, to allow a free access to visitors, to see the drawings and records in the Patent Office, but not so with the "models;" they should be accessible to all, and particularly to inventors, who should be at liberty to see them without the aid of the machinist, or his assistant.

To carry out the requirements of the office, every model of rejected applications, as well as patented inventions, should be placed under glass, distinctly labelled, and classed according to the arrangement adopted in the published reports, and according to their dates. This was contemplated, and provided for in the 20th section of the act of July 4th, 1836 -- [Sec. 20. "And be it further enacted, that it shall be the duty of the Commissioner to cause to be classified and arranged, in such rooms or galleries as may be provided for the purpose, in suitable cases, when necessary for their preservation, and in such manner as shall be conducive to a beneficial and favorable display thereof, the models of specimens of compositions and of fabrics, and other manufactures and works of art, patented, or unpatented, which have been, or shall hereafter be, deposited in said office. And said rooms or galleries shall be kept open during suitable hours, for public inspection"] but has never been fully carried out, in consequence of the insufficiency of room. A printed catalogue, or index, should then be prepared, the cost of which would be trifling compared with its advantage to the office, as well as to inventors.

The average space required for the exhibition of the models, may be set down as about one square foot for each. The number now in the office is as follows:

    Of patents granted          8524

    Of applications rejected    7890

    Of applications pending      170

    Of applications suspended    673


    Total                      17257

The models of patented inventions are now crowded into 22 cases, capable of holding for exhibition but 2720, (one model should never be placed before, or on top of another,) consequently they occupy less than one-third of the space required for their proper exhibition.

The models of rejected applications are now stored in the west basement of the building; and not being arranged in cases, they cannot be opened to the inspection of the public; this is contrary to the spirit of the law, which requires that they shall be open for public inspection.

As shown above, the cases now in use for the exhibition of models, measure but 2720 feet of available surface, while 16414 feet are required, not including room for models of pending and suspended applications.

The great hall on the upper floor, containing the collections of the late exploring expedition, also the collection of the National Institute, etc., in 62 cases constructed for the Patent Office, has not been used for the reception of models. These 62 cases are capable of holding 128 models each, or 7936 in all; which, added to those in the model room now in use, would give room for 12352 models; leaving 4062 without a place, unless they should be improperly crowded, as they are at present.

The number of models received during the past year was 2140, consequently, without calculating for any increase in the present year, over the last, we will have, in December, 1851, 6372 models unprovided for; they would nearly fill the hall of the east wing, which will be capable of accommodating about the same number estimated for the main hall, viz: 7936. The increase over former years, will certainly be sufficient to fill it, as soon as it is finished to receive them.

The following list of models received since the burning of the Patent Office in 1836, exhibits an increase annually, of about 225 in the past few years; the three first years being swelled by the models of restored patents, which had been destroyed by fire.

Year 1837, models received     1069

Year 1838, models received     1263

Year 1839, models received     1189

Year 1840, models received      740

Year 1841, models received      773

Year 1842, models received      808

Year 1843, models received      869

Year 1844, models received      963

Year 1845, models received     1149

Year 1846, models received     1215

Year 1847, models received     1472

Year 1848, models received     1698

Year 1849, models received     1909

Year 1850, models received     2140


  Total now in the office     17257

If this rate of increase should continue ten years, we may calculate on the reception of 33775 models; and by adding this to those already deposited, it will be seen that in the year 1860, inclusive, we shall have 51032; a number quite sufficient to fill, under proper classification, all the halls on the upper floor, including the north front and west wing of the building, supposing it to be finished for their reception, as originally designed; besides the hall designed for the same purpose, on the second floor of the west wing.

A room is indispensable for the models of pending applications, which require to be guarded from public view; it should be at least 20 x 40 feet square. These models are now kept in the machinist's room, where boxes are unpacked, and where applicants daily present their models in person. It is difficult, if not impossible, to prevent such applicants from seeing the models of other applicants, which have to remain sometimes thus exposed for months before the completion of their papers. A private room, of at least 20 feet square, with proper shelving, should also be provided for "caveated models," which have not, as yet, had a special place provided for them; a somewhat remarkable fact, as they are considered as belonging to the "secret archives" of the office.

A workshop is much wanted, where damaged models may be repaired; many of them being of delicate structure, are liable to injury in transporting them to the office, and afterwards subject to various accidents during their examination. A model maker should be employed, under the direction of the machinist, to perform this work, as well as to supply duplicates when required.

Here it may be well to remark, that models must be regarded as part of the original records of a patent, and on no occasion should they be allowed to be removed from the office. Cases have occurred, when it was suggested that they were altered after they had been taken out of the office to be used in court as evidence, in cases of appeal; certified copies, in such cases, would answer the purpose better.

Workmen not belonging to the office, are engaged when duplicate models are wanted, who, from necessity, are admitted to the machinist's room, to take dimensions, while models of new applications are constantly being exposed to their view. This would be entirely prevented by having a suitable workshop, and a model maker under the control of the office, and in the same building. Two rooms of 20 feet square each, (one for working metals, and the other for woodwork,) now occupied by clerks in the basement, should be restored for this purpose. They could be better accommodated on the second floor of the east wing.

Other matter might be offered for your consideration, but for the present, the more important, above stated, it is believed, will be sufficient.

Respectfully submitted by,
Your obedient servant
Samuel P. Bell



James Rumsey

The preface to Mr. Fitch's "Original Steamboat," (see last year's Report,) is dated May, 1788. The patent purports to be a reply to one by James Rumsey, of which a second edition had just appeared, entitled "A short Treatise on the application of Steam; whereby, is clearly shown from actual experiments, that steam may be applied to propel boats or vessels of any burthen against rapid currents with great velocity. The same principles are also introduced with effect, by a machine of simple and cheap construction, for the purpose of raising water sufficient for the working of grist mills, saw mills, etc., and for watering meadows, and other purposes of agriculture. By James Rumsey, of Berkely County, Virginia. Philadelphia: Printed by Joseph James, Chestnut st., 1788" [From a copy in the library of Colonel Force.]

This treatise on steam, constitutes House Doc, No 189, 27th Congress, 2nd Session, and therefore, need not be reprinted here. Soon after the second edition appeared in 1788, Mr. Rumsey sailed for Europe, and his friend Mr. Joseph Barnes, "a very ingenious mechanic, employed by James Rumsey, in constructing his several machines," undertook to defend him from the charges contained in Fitch's "reply." Mr. Barnes' pamphlet, now rare, is annexed.


Remarks on Mr. John Fitch's Reply to Mr. James Rumsey's Pamphlet
by Joseph Barnes, Formerly Assistant, and now Attorney in Fact
to James Rumsey
Printed by Joseph James, Chesnut Street, MDCCLXXXVIII [1788]

Remarks, etc.

Mr. Rumsey, before his late departure for England, by an advertisement, begged the candid public to suspend their opinion, respecting the controversy between him and Mr. Fitch, until time should be afforded to state his claim, and answer such objections as should occur, from a pamphlet which Mr. Fitch then had in the press, but had not appeared before he left this city.

Since that time Mr. Fitch has been busily employed in traducing Mr. Rumsey's character, and endeavoring to establish, in the public mind, an opinion, that Mr. Fitch was the first person who actually attempted to apply the force of steam to the purposes of navigation. If this assumption was admitted, which, however, will be fully disproved, nothing would thence follow prejudicial to Mr. Rumsey's claims; for it will appear from a cloud of testimony, that although both of them entertained the idea of applying the force of steam to the purposes of navigation, their modes of effecting it were as different from each other as possible. Mr. Fitch proposed to apply the action of steam by a number of cranks to oars or paddles; Mr. Rumsey thought the force of reaction on the fore part of the boat, by a column of water forced through a trunk in the body of it. That Mr. Fitch originally entertained no other idea, than applying the force of steam to the working of paddles, will abundantly appear from his repeated models and experiments; from the plan published in the magazine, taken from a draught sent to the proprietors of that publication by Mr. Voight; and from his public declarations, that Mr. Rumsey's scheme could not be made effectual. That Mr. Rumsey had a different mode of applying the force of steam to navigation, is sufficiently apparent, not only from his publications on the subject, but from his apparatus now in this city, which was fitted between two and three years ago, and was last year actually applied to the purpose on the river Potowmac, and produced the desired effect, by propelling a boat, with a burthen of three tons on board, at the rate of four miles an hour, against the stream of that river.

In order to destroy Mr. Rumsey's character and views, which Mr. Fitch has thought dangerous to his interests, (although fortified by an extraordinary act of assembly,) he has published a pamphlet, containing a variety of depositions and certificates, tending to shew that Mr. Rumsey has anticipated a whole year, and by an attempt at witticism, has acknowledged his powers of condensation in this respect. That Mr. Rumsey's narration of facts is true, will be proved (if further proof was necessary,) by the several certificates and depositions hereto annexed, to which the reader is referred; but this is not the immediate object of the present publication. Mr. Rumsey had in the year 1785, prepared a steam engine upon the plan used and improved in Europe, to propel his boat, but was prevented by the frost from exhibiting it that fall; being thus prevented, he employed himself during the ensuing winter, in projecting more easy methods of producing the like effects; and by experiment, he discovered a mode of generating steam, so effectual, as to promise very great advantages to the inventor. To bring this invention to act on his former machinery, required some time, which was employed in perfecting it; several experiments were accordingly made, and in the end Mr. Rumsey's principles were proved to be good. During this time, Mr. Arthur Donaldson, a very ingenious mechanic, (whether from the strength of his own genius, or from hearing something of Mr. Rumsey's scheme, is not material in this dispute with Mr. Fitch, to ascertain) took up the idea, and made several experiments, which fully proved that the re-action of a column of water, forced with rapidity from the stern of a boat, would propel her forward so as to answer the end, required for navigation. Mr. Donaldson communicated his ideas and experiments to many gentlemen in Philadelphia, who were satisfied of his principles, but they doubted whether the size of a boiler, and the quantity of fuel necessary to keep it heated, would not occupy so large a part of a boat, as to render her freight of no value; to reduce this to a certainty, gentlemen acquainted with steam engines in Europe, were consulted, and their opinions confirmed the doubts entertained, so that Mr. Donaldson gave up the idea of prosecuting his scheme.

While Mr. Donaldson was employed in experiments, Mr. Fitch had applied to the assembly of Pennsylvania, for the exclusive privilege of navigating by the force of steam, and was opposed before a committee of the house by Mr. Donaldson, when Mr. Fitch claimed all possible modes whether invented or to be invented by himself, or others, of using steam for that purpose, and as Mr. Donaldson, before a report was made by the committee to the house, was convinced by his friends that no boiler then known would generate steam in a sufficient quantity, and at a cheap rate, to answer the end, he declined his opposition, and a grant was made to Mr. Fitch, of the exclusive use of steam for navigation, in very large and comprehensive words. Since this grant, Mr. Fitch, and a large company, who associated with him, have made many experiments to reduce their boat to practice; all of which were to apply the force of steam (generated in a large boiler, agreeably to the old practice, long used in Europe,) to the working of a number of paddles, on the sides of the boat, the abortive events of which have been too public to need repetition.

But about the month of January last, Mr. William Askew, of Berkeley county, who had been long acquainted with Mr. Rumsey, and had seen his apparatus, came to this city, and stimulated by curiosity, went to see Mr. Fitch's preparations, and there fell into conversation with Mr. Voight, Mr. Fitch's partner, and operator, and communicated to him such an idea of Mr. Rumsey's new invented boiler, as enabled him to form a plan of one upon the same principles. In the month of April last, Mr. Rumsey came to this city, and exhibited with little or no caution, a draft of his boiler, to a number of persons, and after some time laid it before the Philosophical Society, and was not a little surprised to find that Mr. Voight produced a draft of a boiler, upon the same principles, though a little differing in its form, before the society, the same evening. The several contrivances by which his contemporaneous production of Mr. Rumsey's original invention, and a surreptitious copy from it was effected, are well known, and will be proved upon a proper occasion; it is sufficient for the present, to inform the public, that Mr. Rumsey's original boiler is now in this city, and may hereafter be exhibited to them; that a new one with great improvements, is making, with all possible dispatch; that its efficacy in producing steam with vastly less expense, and yet in greater quantities than any mode yet practiced in Europe, will be proved; that Mr. Rumsey is gone to England, to prevent a surreptitious copy of his first invention (which there is reason to believe was sent thither with great secrecy) from being there palmed on the public as an original, and to claim to himself the rights of an inventor.

About three weeks ago I came to this city, and brought with me most of the following depositions and certificates, the publication of which will, I have no doubt, establish all the facts asserted by Mr. Rumsey in his pamphlet. The circumstances of my superintending the different mechanics who worked for Mr. Rumsey, gave me the advantage of being competent to the explanation of the subject, and I can assure the public that Mr. Fitch has not got a single affidavit or certificate from Frederick Town or Baltimore, that has any relation thereto, except Mr. Christopher Raborg's, the cooper-smith, No. 21 in his pamphlet.

The certificates and affidavits Mr. Fitch obtained in Frederick Town, Nos. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, allude to an eight foot tube, which Mr. Rumsey had made in the year 1786, for a second machine fitted on the boat in the fall; which was actually ready for experiment, and prevented by the ice in December, 1785. And from those certificates and affidavits, Mr. Fitch endeavors to prove, that this work was done for Mr. Rumsey in the year 1786, therefore it follows, that no other work could have been done for him, by any mechanic whatever, before that period; according to this kind of logic, it could be proved, that Mr. Fitch never can possibly invent a steamboat to answer any useful purpose; for instance, because after sundry fruitless experiments with his crank boat machinery; he has not yet been able to accomplish this purpose; therefore it follows, from the nature of things, that he never can invent a steamboat, probatum est.

I have introduced in the following pages, certificates and depositions, which I trust will be satisfactory to the public. No. 1, 3, 5 and 7, prove the priority of Mr. Rumsey to the pipe boiler.

The silver-smith, or watch maker mentioned in Mr. Askew's deposition, No. 3, is Mr. Henry Voight, a partner in Mr. Fitch's intended steamboat, whose name Mr. Askew (being a stranger) did not recollect at the time his deposition was taken, but whose residence and occupation are therein sufficiently described; from which it appears what were Mr. Voight's sentiments of Mr. Rumsey's boiler for generating steam, at that time; his doubts concerning its efficacy, might either arise from the novelty of the idea, a want of a thorough knowledge of its principles, or from a desire to draw from Mr. Askew a more full explanation thereof; otherwise he would not have waited from that time until several weeks after Mr. Rumsey came to this city, and had more fully explained the principles of his boiler to many characters here, previous to his sending a plan thereof to the Philosophical Society, and (as it is said) to Europe, and that nearly in the same form, and exactly on the principles of the boiler made by Mr. Rumsey some years ago, and this before he had himself made such a boiler, with the necessary apparatus, or tried any experiment of its efficacy.

Certificate No. 2, and the depositions 4 and 6, are pointed to the proof of the time when the cocks were actually made. No. 8, is an additional proof of the time, that the steamboat with her machinery, was brought down to the Shenandoah Falls, in the month of December, 1785. No. 9, 15, and 16 prove that Mr. Rumsey's ideas and experiments of a steamboat, were prior to any theretofore. suggested by Mr. Fitch. No. 10, is Mrs. Zimmer's deposition, upon whose certificate of the particular workman, who turned some of the works, Mr. Fitch lays so much stress, which is explicit as to the time when the first machinery was made, agreeably to Mr. Rumsey's assertions.

No. 11 is Mr. Raborg's deposition, who had been more clear and explicit on this subject, than even Mr. Fitch would have wished; as in Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, No. 21, Mr. Raborg has given his belief of the time, which in this deposition is fully confirmed by circumstances since discovered by him.

No. 12 and 17, are also important, the first being Mr. Weir's deposition, proves that he was mistaken in the time he mentions (as to the making of the four brass cocks) in the certificate given to Mr. Fitch, and published in his pamphlet NO. 22.

I consider myself happy, that Mr. Fitch, by a serious acknowledgement, has acceded to the merit of Mr. Weir, whose character as a man of honor and integrity, I am fully convinced of, and beg leave to mention, that the certificate he gave Mr. Fitch, No. 22, introduced in page 28, of Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, was from the best recollection he then had on the subject, and that this was from memory only; but upon his discovering a receipt, he candidly and ingeniously first informed Mr. Fitch of the mistake, and afterwards, gave an explicit deposition, which we presume will satisfy the public. The certificate No. 17, will explain how unhappy Mr. Fitch has been, in his mode of attempting to invalidate Mr. Rumsey's statement of facts, as it retorts the charges of encouraging perjury, upon Mr. Fitch with the additional turpitude of soliciting the commission of so heinous a crime by the offer of a bribe. How far this conduct will comport with the introductory declaration of Mr. Fitch, in his pamphlet, where he says: "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," I shall not at present comment on.

Certificates No. 18 and 19 corroborate the above fact, and introduce a further proof of Mr. Fitch's conduct in procuring certificates, by an actual commission of bribery being proved against him.

No. 13 proves the fact, which Mr. Weir's deposition No. 12 is adduced to authenticate, which is likewise stronger than memory, from which alone, he gave Mr. Fitch the certificate No. 23, in his pamphlet.

Having now made a short reference to the depositions and certificates annexed, it may be proper to reply to Mr. Fitch's remarks on Governor Johnson's friendship towards him, when he disingenuously calls in question the Governor's memory of candor, though he seems modestly to acquit the latter. Whether Mr. Fitch's gratitude appears to advantage in this illiberal attack on so respectable a character, after such an instance of patronage and friendship, is easily decided. I shall take the liberty of stating, that, although precious to Mr. Fitch's application to Governor Johnson, Mr. Rumsey had in confidence, mentioned to him his idea of applying steam to the purposes of navigation, and bespoke some of the boat machinery at his iron works; yet Governor Johnson, not expecting, that either Mr. Rumsey or Mr. Fitch, had an exclusive right in the power of steam, as applied to navigation, or any other purpose; and taking it for granted, that their modes of application might be different, held himself at liberty to patronize both Mr. Rumsey and Mr. Fitch, not knowing which might produce the most approved plan, and succeed in so desirable an object. This line of conduct is consistent with the practice of the most enlightened characters in the philosophical world.

In pages 14 and 15 of Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, he says, "I have been greatly indebted to the assistance of my ingenious friend, Mr. Henry Voight, of this city; who has uniformly from my first undertaking to build a boat, afforded me valuable hints; and has united with me in perfecting my plans; to his inventive genius alone, I am indebted for the improvement in our mode of creating steam, a thought which struck him above two years ago; the drawings having been shewn to several persons, for we never made a secret of any part of our works; but a fear of departing from old established plans, made me fearful of adopting it, until I had found by his invention of creating steam, that a condenser might be constructed on the same principles, (viz: a spiral pipe or worm,) only by reversing the agent, for the best way of applying fire to evaporate water into steam, must also be the best way of applying cold water to condense steam, that is the bringing the greatest quantity of fire into action upon the greatest surface of water, or the contrary. And we had an additional inducement to study this subject, because the common way of fixing boilers, required so great a load of brick work, that it overloaded out boat; therefore, the first thought that must occur to every man attempting to raise steam on board a boat, must be to acquire that method which would require the least weight." A few remarks on this extraordinary paragraph are subjoined; first, as it appears from his own words, "we never made a secret of any part of our works." If such a boiler had actually been invented, the public would have heard of it long before Mr. Rumsey's arrival in Philadelphia, last April; and a fear of departing from old established plans, it is presumed would not have prevented his making use of it in some of his experiments, had he understood the principles, because the common way of fixing boilers required so great a load of brick work, that it overloaded our boat, more especially, as the first thought which must occur to every man attempting to raise steam on board a boat, must be to acquire that method which would require the least weight. How unhappy it is for Mr. Fitch, not to have attended to the first thought, which must have occurred to every man on the subject, until he actually was acquainted with the experiments made by Mr. Rumsey; however, we confess this is not much to be wondered at, when he says, he found that from what he calls Mr. Voight's invention of creating steam, a condenser might be constructed on the same principles, viz: a spiral pipe or worm, only by reversing the agent, which is a true definition of every worm of a common still, and which Mr. Fitch claims as an original invention, though we presume his claim to this invention, will scarcely be acceded to, by those who have even seen a distillery, and only shews how far he can carry his bold attempts to deprive others of their rights. This same wonderful spiral pipe or worm, Mr. Fitch has made use of to prove, that the thought of creating steam by reversing the agent, must be known to every man who did but consider the subject, and had seen a pipe used in condensation; if so, the common worm of a still must have suggested the idea to every man, who considered the subject from the earliest period. That this is not a truth, facts unquestionably declare.

It may not be improper to remark here, that when Mr. Rumsey applied to the different legislatures, it was in order to obtain an exclusive right to his boat exhibited at Bath, in 1784, although previous to that time, he had actually conceived the idea of applying steam to the purposes of navigation, but not having fully perfected the most advantageous mode of application, he did not think himself authorized to introduce to the committees of the assemblies an immatured subject, which it appears Mr. Fitch's modesty permitted him to do, for from his own pamphlet, it is evident he has not yet brought his plans to any maturity. This will reconcile what was said in General Washington's letter to Governor Johnson, of Mr. Rumsey's idea of steam, being in his opinion at that time an immatured idea. As to Mr. Rumsey's assertion in his letter to the General, 10th March, 1785, as mentioned in Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, page 13, "that he was not less sanguine in his boat projects, than when the General saw him at Richmond, and that he had made such further discoveries as would render them more extensively useful than was at first expected;" this can only apply to the machinery of the steamboat, as the use of the pole boat could not be extended so far as Mr. Rumsey in that letter has suggested his improvements would reach. See No. 19, in Mr. Rumsey's pamphlet in which are these words:

After mentioning that kind of machine for propelling boats which the General had seen a model of, I proceed to say -- "I have taken the greatest pains to perfect another kind of boat, upon the principles I mentioned to you in Richmond, in November last, and have the pleasure to inform you that I have brought it to great perfection; it is true, it will cost something more than the other way, but, when in use, will be more manageable, and can be worked with as few hands; the power is immense -- and I have quite convinced myself that boats of passage may be made to go against the current of the Mississippi or Ohio rivers, or in the Gulf Steam (from the Leeward to the Windward Islands) from sixty to one hundred miles per day. I know this will appear strange and improbable to many persons, yet I am very certain it may be performed, besides, it is simple (when understood) and is also strictly philosophical."

What can we think of Mr. Fitch's candor after this ungenerous violation of it, by alleging that these further discoveries could only allude to the pole boat, notwithstanding this letter is published unmutilated in Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, and Mr. Fitch must be sensible that Mr. Rumsey therein mentions another kind of boat; and that poles could not be used in the Gulf Stream, and from the Leeward to the Windward Islands.

Mr. Fitch goes on to say, that the further discoveries mentioned in General Washington's letter to Mr. Rumsey, will not apply to steam, because steam could be no new discovery; from this mode of reasoning, it will appear, that not only Mr. Fitch himself has made no new discoveries, nor even had a new idea on the subject of steam, (which will be readily granted by any candid man who is acquainted with him) but that no such new idea or discovery has ever been suggested to him by his friends, because as they related to steam, and that being no new idea or discovery, from Mr. Fitch's own relation of the subject, therefore as he has applied the conclusion to Mr. Rumsey, it is fair to hand it over to himself. Mr. Fitch, it seems, could not comprehend that the discoveries mentioned in the General's letter, could allude to the mode of applying steam to the purposes of navigation. This however is of a piece with the rest of the false reasoning which spreads very generally through Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, in order if possible, to evade the stubborn facts Mr. Rumsey has adduced. Mr. Fitch, when he finds himself hard pressed in the right of priority, says such a claim is entirely useless, as others "projected it before him, and if bare projections were sufficient to build a claim on, I have no doubt but there are people now in their graves, whose heirs may set up more early claims than either of us." On the contrary, when it is proved that Mr. Rumsey has succeeded earliest in this business, he then says it is shifting the ground, which sentiment will not be strenuously opposed, as it appears clearly to be the true ground on which the dispute will in all probability, eventually be determined; or lastly, he entrenches himself behind what he with great propriety calls "my laws," which were obtained, not because he was the first man who thought of steam in its application to nautical purposes, nor because he first accomplished so desirable an object, but as being the first person who applied to different legislatures, in order to obtain an exclusive right to his own immatured ideas, or an exclusive right to exercise the faculties of the human mind, as far as they relate to steamboats, insomuch that Mr. Fitch has repeatedly in conversation alleged, that if any person in Pennsylvania should invent a steamboat, upon different principles, and far superior, either to his own or Mr. Rumsey's the inventor dare not produce it to the public without being liable to the full penalties of his law; and it is alleged that should even a vessel owned and navigated by the citizens of any of the United States, or by the citizens of any foreign state, arrive at Philadelphia, propelled by the force of steam, however, applied, such vessel would be liable to the penalties of his law. If this be really the case, the candid public will determine how far the principles of this law can be reconciled to the liberties of a free people, or to that encouragement which all enlightened states afford to every useful discovery in the arts and sciences.

In page 23 of Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, after some remarks on the principles on which exclusive privileges are founded in justice and policy, he proceeds in an uncandid manner to state the modes established in England, by which an inventor may claim the full benefit of what he had already invented; and endeavors to give so specious a turn to the period, as though a patent obtained in England, would give a person the exclusive privilege to things invented, or to be invented.

Should any one in England make application for an exclusive right in a steamboat, he must of necessity, first file or record a plan or model of the machinery by which she was to be propelled, in which alone he could have an exclusive right; and should he afterwards make further improvements therein, it would be necessary for him to apply for a patent for those second improvements, as has been the case in other instances; and should a person applying allege (agreeable to Mr. Fitch's ideas) that although he might not be the first person who thought of steamboats, neither had yet perfected any thing effectual, but that he was uncertain whether he should not try twenty different modes of obtaining some one useful model, and that he would therefore wish an exclusive right in any or all of them when invented; and that as a reward for his being the first person who had applied thus to register his thoughts on the subject, he considered that he ought in justice to be legally invested with the right of invention, to the exclusion of all others; the officer to whom such an application should be made (if persisted in) would require no other mark of the applicant's insanity. As a proof that Mr. Fitch's idea on the subject were not so matured as to authorize him, in justice, to apply to the legislature, it is sufficient only to add, that he repeatedly shifted the machinery of his steamboat, since he exhibited the model before the Philosophical Society, in the year 1785, and that he at length made an experiment in the river Delaware, with a boat moved by paddles and cranks, which, notwithstanding his various accounts of her wonderful performance, he has since deserted, as totally incompetent to any useful purpose, and it is said he is now about making an experiment with another boat, wherein it has been suggested that he designs using a boiler nearly in the form, and exactly on the principles of the one invented by Mr. Rumsey, but still paddles and cranks are introduced. Should this plan not succeed, Mr. Fitch says in his pamphlet, page 22, "I am now trying an experiment, and the machine is nearly finished, to propel a boat, not by expelling water, but air, and I hope Mr. Rumsey will allow that this is a mode peculiar to myself." From this, one would suppose, that Mr. Fitch is not content with the exclusive privilege already obtained by a law, constituting him prince of the power of water or steam, but is desirous of being also created prince of the power of the air; and when this title is extinct in the present possessor, Mr. Fitch may step forward, it is presumed, upon clear and indisputable grounds, and his right of succession will not be disputed by Mr. Rumsey; but in the meantime, should this air boat fail, he may at length resort to Mr. Rumsey's plan of a trunk, etc., (in which he will meet with more difficulties than he may expect, although well described by Mr. Rumsey in his pamphlet) for which he appears to be paving the way, by introducing Mr. Clymer's certificate, No. 13, which he will say was originally Dr. Franklin's plan. Mr. Rumsey, to whom Mr. Fitch had read the whole or part of his pamphlet previous to its publication, conceived that it implied an accusation that he had taken his ideas from the Dr.'s communication of such a plan to the Philosophical Society, to which it is supposed Mr. Fitch must allude in page 22 of his pamphlet, where he also says the thought came originally from France, but by whom brought, or how communicated, he does not tell us; Mr. Rumsey, therefore, before his departure for Europe, (as I am informed) waited on Dr. Franklin and mentioned that his plan of a steamboat was, as to him, an original invention, and assured him that before he came to this city, he had neither seen nor heard of his communication to the Philosophical Society; when the Dr., with his usual candor and politeness, presented him with one of his pamphlets written on this subject.

Mr. Fitch's assertion relative to the mode of drawing water in at the bottom, and pushing it out at the stern, and his contending the right of using it with Arthur Donaldson, before the assembly of Pennsylvania, in the beginning of 1786, is altogether false, as Mr. Donaldson was desirous that Mr. Fitch should only have an exclusive right to his own particular inventions, and not avail himself of the privilege of using any discovery or improvement invented, or to be invented, by others; Mr. Fitch contended for the exclusive right of applying the agency of steam to the purposes of navigation in every possible mode, and alleged that he did not know but he might try twenty methods of effecting this object. This vague manner of application, if it means any thing, certainly amounts to a desire to engross, not only the right of inventing, to the exclusion of all others, but to a claim of property in their inventions. Notwithstanding, at the time Mr. Donaldson and Mr. Fitch were before the committee of assembly, the latter appeared acquainted with the principles of a steamboat, as laid down by Mr. Donaldson, as Mr. Clymer expresses himself in No. 13, page 22, or Mr. Fitch's pamphlet; this only proves what otherwise might have been doubted, that Mr. Fitch is capable of understanding the principles of a thing, when communicated to him, which communication can be proved to have been made to him previous to this period -- though this was long after Mr. Rumsey had bespoke some of his works for his steamboat, as will appear from the various certificates on this subject.

It may be necessary now to add that the heavy charges of perjury, falsehood, want of memory or candor, which are so illiberally brought by Mr. Fitch, against the fairest characters, were made by a man, who not only attempted to bribe a gentleman of character to swear to a falsehood, but who actually committed this heinous offense, in order either to avail himself of Mr. Rumsey's invention, or to prevent him from deriving the emoluments due to his ingenuity. How Mr. Fitch can, after this instance of flagitious conduct, expect the patronage of any honest man, I am at a loss to determine.

The depositions and certificates which follow, will, it is hoped, be sufficient to establish the principal facts stated by and in behalf of Mr. Rumsey, until a competent jurisdiction shall require a more full and pointed state of the case. Whether Mr. Rumsey's or Mr. Fitch's patrons have committed themselves to unreservedly to strangers, time alone will determine; but as Mr. Rumsey has been happy enough to cultivate and possess the friendship and esteem of some of the most eminent characters in the Untied States, so he has expressed the highest sense of gratitude for the honorable patronage afforded him, though a stranger, by a number of respectable characters in Philadelphia; and I am well assured, he will so conduct himself in the new and untried scenes of life, into which he is now about to enter, as not to cause a blush in the countenance of one of his friends, either in Europe or America; and he will expect the patronage of those friends, no longer than he shall himself support the character, not only of an ingenious, but an Honest Man.

Joseph Barnes
July 7th, 1788


Proofs, etc.

Virginia, Berkeley County, ss
[L.S.] I, Moses Hunter, Clerk of the said county, do certify, that the following certificates, to wit, No. 1, signed by John Ritchie, No. 2, signed by John Mark and Abraham Shepherd, and the following depositions, William Askew, No. 3, taken by John Kearsley; Charles Morrow, No. 4, taken by Cato Moore; Michael Entler, No. 5, taken by John Kearsley; Conrad Byers, No. 6, taken by Cato Moore; Jonathan Osborn, No. 7, taken by John Kearsley; Francis Hamilton, No. 8, taken by John Kearsley. I do certify, that the above named John Kearsley and Cato Moore, gentlemen, were at that time, and still are justices of the peace for the said county, and that all due faith and credit is, and ought to be given to all probates by them signed, as well as in justice courts, as thereout.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the seal of the said county this 19th day of May, 1788.
Moses Hunter

[No. 1]
Antietam Iron Works, Maryland, May 15th, 1787

At the request of Capt. Charles Morrow, I have examined the books of Richard Henderson & Co., respecting the time when Capt. James Rumsey had some iron bars drawn here, in the shape, and about the size of gun-scalps. I find accordingly, that he had

     1786, January 26th     2 scalps, weigh  27 1/4 lb. 

     1786, February 1st        do       do   84 

     1786, February 4th     6  do       do   67

At the time Mr. Rumsey applied for the above, I understood he wanted it for some of the purposes of his machinery. Given under my hand, the date above.
John Ritchie

We do certify that Mr. John Ritchie, manager of the Antietam iron works, in a letter to us directed, set forth the very same facts, which are stated above on this paper, in his handwriting, and mentioned to us in his letter, that if necessity required, he would come into this county to acknowledge the same. Given under our hands, date above.
John Kearsley
Cato Moore

[No. 2]
We, the subscribers, were at Capt. Charles Morrow's house at the time he received a letter from Mr. James Rumsey, dated at Philadelphia, 8th day of May, 1788, wherein he informed the said Morrow, that Mr. Fitch had obtained an affidavit from the founder that cast some large cocks for Rumsey, setting forth that they were cast in March, 1786; said Morrow then produced his books, and turning to Mr. Rumsey's account, in which said Rumsey was charged with nine pounds, sixteen shillings, paid Mr. Raborg for cocks, the 29th of October, 1785.
John Mark
Abraham Shepherd

I certify that the above signers are men of good fame; that they are personally known to me, and acknowledged their signature before me, this 17th day of May, 1788.
Cato Moore

[No. 3]
Berkeley County, ss.
This day, William Askew, of the county aforesaid, came before me, John Kearsley, one of the justices of the peace of the said county, and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that he was in the city of Philadelphia, in the month of September, 1787, when he had an opportunity of seeing the steamboat, (said to be constructed by Mr. Fitch,) which boat was shewn to this deponent by a gentleman, a silver smith, a German; who said, he was in connection with Mr. Fitch, in the undertaking of the boat aforesaid, and was so obliging as to invite the deponent to see the performance of said boat; the external encumbrance of the boat, the weight of the boiler, and the necessary quantity of wood, this deponent conceived, would render Mr. Fitch's boat of little utility, as he has endeavored to set forth in his deposition, No. 6, in Mr. Rumsey's pamphlet. The gentleman alluded to as aforesaid, Mr. Fitch's partner, the silver smith or watch maker, in Second street, on the opposite side of the way from Messrs. Wager & Hawbacher, wine merchants, whom this deponent had a considerable discourse with, on the subject of Mr. Rumsey's steamboat; the said silver smith or watch maker, seemed to be of opinion, that Mr. Rumsey had borrowed his knowledge of the steamboat from Mr. Fitch; this deponent then informed said silver smith or watch maker, partner to Mr. Fitch, that he personally knew Mr. Rumsey, and been about three years before that time at work at said steamboat, and that he had been endeavoring to perfect said boat since that period, under a variety of difficulties, for the want of mechanics, resources, etc. This deponent further saith, that he was again in the city of Philadelphia, in January and February last past, and that he then told the said silver smith or watch maker, that the boiler in the said Fitch's boat was of such weight, and would require so much wood to boil the same, that of course, it would be of little or no use. This deponent drew the model of Mr. Rumsey's pipe boiler, and explained the manner of its working, and advised them to adopt a similar mode of making steam, and lay aside the mode of making steam in their way, which form said silver smith or watch maker seemed to be an entire stranger to. After a day or two spent, and after talking on the subject of steam, the silver smith aforesaid, endeavored to convince this deponent, that a pipe boiler could never be of any use and argued the impossibility of its answering the least good purpose; this deponent as strictly urged the practicability of the advantages of the pipe boiler, and said their boat, in his opinion, would be more perfect, if they would adopt Mr. Rumsey's new invented mode of making steam, which mode the said silver smith or watch maker reprobated, and said it would not answer the purpose, and shewed this deponent several modes of making steam, as practiced in Europe, and said they were preferable to the pipe boiler. And further, this deponent saith not.

This 15th day of May, 1788, William Askew, the above deponent, came before me, and made oath according to law, that the above deposition, is just and true, according to the best of his knowledge and belief.
John Kearsley

[No. 4]
Berkeley County, ss
This day, came Charles Morrow, before me, Cato Moore, one of the justices of the peace, for said county, and made oath, that to the best of his memory, Mr. Joseph Barnes, returned from Baltimore, early in the month of October, 1785, where he had been sent by Mr. Rumsey, to get some parts of the machinery cast for his steamboat, that the said Barnes on his return, told this deponent, that he had got four large cocks cast, that he had been disappointed in procuring money that he expected to receive in Baltimore, had therefore, left the cocks with Mr. Raborg, (the gentleman who had got the founder to cast them,) that they should be sent for the first opportunity, that he imagined they would cost about ten pounds; and this deponent further saith, that shortly after Mr. John Thornbury was going to Baltimore with his own wagon, that this deponent wrote to Mr. Raborg, (Mr. Barnes being absent) either in his own or in Mr. Barnes name (he is not certain which) for the cocks, and sent the money by said Thornbury; and this deponent further saith, that upon examining his books, he finds Mr. Rumsey charged the 29th October, 1785, with £9 16s 0p paid Mr. Raborg for cocks, which entry this deponent is persuaded, must have been after the said Thornbury returned with the cocks, as the sum they cost, could not have been ascertained until then; and further this deponent saith not.

Sworn to before me, this 16th of May, 1788.
Cato Moore

These are to certify, that the within named Capt. Charles Morrow, has lived in Shepherd's Town many years, great part of his time has been spent as a merchant, and has served in the offices pertaining to the public. We believe, in every one of his employments, (and as a citizen,) he has distinguished himself as a gentleman of strict honor and veracity. Given under our hands, this 17th day of May, 1788.

    Thomas White       John Mark           Cato Moore

    John Kearsley      Smith Slaughter     Henry Bedinger

    Daniel Bedinger    Francis Hamilton    John Keyes

    Abraham Shepherd   William Spalding    Cornelius Wynkoop

    William Morgan     Adam Stephen        Horatio Gates

    Moses Hunter

I certify, that the above signers are personally known to me, are men of good fame, and acknowledged their signatures before me, this 17th of May, 1788.

[No. 5]
Berkeley County, ss.
This day, came Michael Entler, before me, John Kearsley, one of the justices of the peace for said county, and made oath, that as well as he remembers, about the beginning of February, 1786, he and Jonathan Osborn, began to weld some pipes for Mr. James Rumsey; the pipes were about the size of gun barrels, and he well remembers, that at the time the last six scalps were brought to him from the forge, that he and said Osborn, were at work at the first brought scalps; they, after they were welded, he and said Osborn cut the male screw on one end, and a female screw on the other end of each barrel, in order that they might be all screwed together; that after they were so far finished, they lay in my shop six months, or perhaps longer; after which, Mr. Joseph Barnes came to me, and told me he wanted them put together; said Barnes then prepared a block, and assisted me to screw them together, and bend them, they were bended nearly in the shape of a worm of a still, with this difference, that the rounds were placed so close, as nearly to touch each other; and this deponent further saith, that he understood that the above pipes were for the use of the steamboat, and further this deponent saith not.

Sworn before me, May 16th, 1788
John Kearsley

We, the subscribers, have been long acquainted with the above named Michael Entler, and have found him a worthy, honest, sober man, and a man of truth.

    Thomas White        John Mark          Henry Bedinger

    Cornelius Wynkoop   William Spalding   William Morgan

    Abraham Shepherd    Thomas Shepherd    John Keyes

    John Morrow         Cato Moore

I certify, that these signers acknowledged their signatures before me, this 17th of May, 1788.
Cato Moore

[No. 6]
Berkeley County, ss.
This day came Conrad Byers, before me, Cato Moore, one of the justices of the peace for this county, and made oath, that bout the latter end of October, or beginning of November, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, Mr. James Rumsey, or Joseph Barnes, brought to my shop two large brass or copper cocks, and requested that handles might be made for them, which the said Byers, assisted by Philip Strider, did make; they also made two springs, which the deponent understood was for the opening and shutting the same; and this deponent further saith, that toward the latter end of November aforesaid, he made (being assisted by said Philip Strider) two pistons of about thirteen inches diameter, to which he brazed flanches, about one and a half inch broad; and this deponent further saith, that he made sundry other things, which he understood were all of them parts of the machinery for Mr. Rumsey's steamboat.

Sworn before me this 16th of May, 1788.
Cato Moore

We, the subscribers, have been long acquainted with the above mentioned Conrad Byers, and certify that he has supported the character of a worthy, honest man, and a man of truth.

    Thomas White         John Mark          Henry Bedinger

    Cornelius Wynkoop    William Morgan     Abraham Shepherd

    Thomas Shepherd      John Keyes         John Morrow

    John Kearsley        William Spalding

I certify that these signers are personally known to me; that they are men of good fame, and acknowledged their signatures before me, this 17th of May, 1788.
Cato Moore

[No. 7]
Berkeley County, ss.
This day came Jonathan Osborn before me, John Kearsley, one of the justices of the peace for said county, and made oath, that as well as he remembers, about the first day of February, seventeen hundred and eighty-six, this deponent and Michael Engler, began to weld some pipes for Mr. James Rumsey, they were about the size of gun barrels, and this deponent well remembers that at the time the last six scalps were brought to them from Anteitam forge, they were at work at the scalps that were first brought to them; that after they were welded they cut a male-screw on the one end, and a female screw on the other end of each pipe, as they were all to be screwed together; that after this was done, they were left in said Michael Entler's shop six months of upwards; that after this, Mr. Joseph Barnes and said Engler put them together and bended them round a block, in shape resembling the worm of a still; this deponent understood that these pipes were for some of the purposes of said Mr. Rumsey's boat machine, and further this deponent saith not. Sworn to before me, this 16th day of May, 1788.
John Kearsley

We, the subscribers, have been long acquainted with the above named Jonathan Osborn, and certify that he supports the character of an honest man.

    John Morrow       Thomas White         John Mark

    Henry Bedinger    Cornelius Wynkoop    William Spalding

    Cato Moore        William Morgan       Abraham Shepherd

    Thos. Shepherd    John Keyes

I certify that the above signing was acknowledged before me, this 17th day of May, 1788.
Cato Moore

[No. 8]
Berkeley Co., ss.
This day came Francis Hamilton before me, John Kearsley, one of the justices of the peace for said county, and made oath, that as by a review of his, the said Francis' day book, it appears that in the month of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty five, Mr. Joseph Barnes and James McMechen brought down the river Potowmac, to the Shenandoah Falls, a boat of about six tons burthen, with a variety of machinery on board, amongst which were two cylinders of copper, about thirteen inches in diameter, and near three feet long, a copper boiler, four large brass or copper cocks, pumps, etc., where the said Barnes and McMechen, under the direction of Mr. James Rumsey, continued adapting and suitably fixing said machine to said boat, until the seventh of January, 1786, when the ice driving in the river, obliged them to desist proceeding further for that season, and they accordingly, that same day, drew the boat in the mouth of the run, took off the machinery, and laid it in my cellar for and during the winter. Further, that on the fourteenth day of March, a trial was made for the same, with some alteration in the machinery; that she moved against the current some distance, though not to much satisfaction, owing to the imperfection of the machinery. Furthermore, that said Barnes and McMechen were on board, likewise Captain Charles Morrow, and I myself, steered -- and further saith not. Sworn to before me, May seventeenth, 1788.
John Kearsley

We the subscribers, have been long acquainted with the above named Francis Hamilton, and have ever found him a gentleman of strict honor and veracity.

    Thomas White       John Keyes         Abraham Shepherd

    Daniel Bedinger    Henry Bedinger     Cornelius Wynkoop

    Cato Moore         Smith Slaughter    John Mark

    John Morrow        William Morgan

I have been acquainted with Mr. Francis Hamilton twenty-six years, and found him a person of veracity and respectable character.
Adam Stephen

I am of the same opinion
Horatio Gates

I certify that the above signers are personally known to me, that they are men of good fame, and acknowledged their signatures before me, this 17th day of May, 1788.
Cato Moore

[No. 9]
I do hereby certify, that in November, 1784, being at Richmond, attending the assembly as a representative from the county of Berkeley, I was in company with Mr. James Rumsey, he being an acquaintance, and from the same county, and that he then informed me (as I understood, in confidence) that he intended to construct a boat which was to be wrought altogether by steam; that he had tried the principles, some of which he mentioned, but I cannot ascertain the particulars; upon the whole of our conversation, I understood from him at that time, that his principle dependence, in the operation of his boat, was upon steam. Given under my hand, in Berkeley county, this 19th day of May, 1788.
Moses Hunter

Witness present at signing
John Morrow
Abel Westfall

[No. 10]
This day came before me, Jacob Young, justice of the peace in and for this county of Frederick, and State of Maryland, Elizabeth Zimmer, and being duly qualified on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God, declared and said, that one week before the twenty-third of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, Mr. James Rumsey engaged my husband to make a quantity of copper work, among which was two round copper things of about three feet long, and better, and one foot wide, and may be better, all which parcel of work was finished before Christmas of the same year, and taken away. This deponent also well remembers of a certain John Peter, an artificer in tin work, to have been engaged to do some tin work, relative to the same machine, at the same time, and which was likewise finished before Christmas of the same year. This deponent likewise remembers to have seen three or four large cocks of metal, the same as still cocks, fixed to the same machine before it was taken away, and further this deponent understood, that the machine was to drive a boat, and that the round things was to raise water; this deponent likewise remembers of a certain gentleman, of a certain spare, thin complexion, and black hair, some time in April last, of this year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, asked her, relative to the above subject, to which I answered in manner as herein recited, and further saith not. Sworn before
May the 16th, 1788.
Jacob Young

I certify being present, when the above deposition was taken.
Thomas Price

Maryland, Frederick Co., to wit:
I do hereby certify, that Jacob Young, Gentleman, before whom the within deposition was made, and who hath thereunto subscribed his name, was at the time thereof, one of the justices of Frederick County Court, duly authorized and qualified, etc.
In testimony, whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name,and affixed the public seal of Frederick County Court, the 16th day of May, 1788.
William Ritchie, Clk.

[No. 11]
State of Maryland, Baltimore County, ss.
On the 9th day of June, 1788, came Christopher Raborg, of Baltimore Town, coppersmith, before me the subscriber, one of the justices of the peace for the county aforesaid, and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that when he gave his certificate to Mr. John Fitch, on the 26th of April last past, that he the said Christopher, had got four brass cocks made by Mr. Charles Weir & Co., in the Fall, 1785; but not having made any charge thereof, to ascertain the time exactly, could not be more particular, but that he, the said deponent, hath since been able to ascertain the time when the said four cocks were made, for Mr. James Rumsey, by order of Mr. Joseph Barnes, and doth swear and declare, that the said four brass cocks were made some time in the months of September or October, of the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five; and it hath since appeared to this deponent, that the said four brass cocks were for the use of Mr. Rumsey, to be employed in his steamboat, and further this deponent saith not.
Sworn to before me
George Gould'th Presbury
Baltimore County, to wit:
I do hereby certify to all to whom it doth or may concern, that George Gould'th Presbury, gentleman, before whom the within deposition was taken, and who hath thereto subscribed his name was at the time of the taking and signing thereof, and still is one of the justices of the peace, in and for the county aforesaid, and to all certificates by him given as such, due faith and credit is, and ought to be given, as well in courts in justice as thereout.
In testimony whereof, I have hereto set my hand, and affixed the seal of my office, this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and eighty-eight.
William Gibson
Clerk, Baltimore County

[No. 12]
State of Maryland, Baltimore County, ss.
On this 9th day of June, 1788, came Charles Weir, of Baltimore town, founder, before me, the subscriber, one of the justices of the peace for the county aforesaid, and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that when he gave his certificate on the twenty-sixth day of April last past, of having made four brass cocks to Mr. John Fitch, he could not then recollect the exact time when; but that he, this deponent, by means of a receipt for money paid by him, which he has since found, can declare the time with precision, and doth positively make oath as aforesaid, that he made the four brass cocks by the direction of, and for Mr. Christopher Raborg, (for the use of Mr. Rumsey's steamboat, as he has since learnt,) and delivered the same four cocks to said Christopher Raborg, on our about the 15th day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty five, and this deponent further saith, the money mentioned to be received in the receipt above alluded to, and dated the seventeenth day of October, seventeen hundred and eighty five, was money received by this deponent, of said Christopher Raborg, for the said four brass cocks; and further this deponent saith not.
Sworn before me.
George Gould'th Presbury
Baltimore County, to wit:
I hereby certify to all whom it doth or may concern, that George Gould'th Presbury, gentlemen, before whom the within deposition was taken, and who hath thereto subscribed his name, was at the time of taking and signing thereof, and still is one of the justices of the peace, in and for the county aforesaid, and to all certificates by him as such, due faith and credit is, and ought to be given, as well in courts of justice as thereout.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the seal of my office, this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord, seventeen hundred and eighty eight.
William Gibson
Clerk, Baltimore County

[No. 13]
State of Maryland, Baltimore County, ss.
On this 10th day of June, 1788, came Isaac Cursten, of Baltimore town, founder, before me, the subscriber, one of the justices of the peace, for the county aforesaid, and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that the certificate this deponent gave Mr. John Fitch, respecting four brass cocks made 29th March, 1786, by the deponent and Co. for Christopher Raborg, could not be the cocks alluded to, for, on further examination of my books, I find the price charged does not agree with the amount ascertained of the cocks made for Christopher Raborg, at the time he was employed by Mr. Joseph Barnes, neither does the time; for I am now satisfied, and do positively declare, and make oath as above, that the cocks were made some time at or about the 14th of October, 1785, that was for the use of Mr. Joseph Barnes, as we then thought; but have since learned, it was for the use of Mr. James Rumsey's steamboat, and from every circumstance, I find they have never been charged or booked, as it appears the cash was received at the delivery of said cocks; and further this deponent saith not.
George Gould. Presbury
Baltimore County, to wit:
I hereby certify to all whom it doth or may concern, that George Gould'th Presbury, gentleman, before whom the within deposition was taken, and who hath thereto subscribed his name, was at the time of the taking and signing thereof, and still is, one of the justices of the peace, in and for the county aforesaid, and to all certificates by him given as such, due faith and credit is and ought to be given, as well in courts of justice, as thereout.
In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office, this tenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.
William Gibson
Clerk, Baltimore County

[No. 14]
Berkeley County, ss.
I do hereby certify, that having an occasion of boarding with Mr. James Rumsey, in the month of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, where, amongst many of his curious experiments, one I remember very particularly, which was, he caused to be made a hollow square tube (made of pine boards) about eight feet long, and about one inch and a half diameter in the cavity of the tube, which he suspended upon fine cords, and having a common gimlet hole bored at the end of said tube, and on the one side of the same, and hanging some weights over a small pulley, by a thread tied to the end of said tube, whereupon pouring water by hand into said tube, it drew up a certain weight; which being repeatedly tried, I asked Mr. Rumsey what he meant or intended by this experiment, to which he made answer, that by his principle he would make the boat go, and after some small matter of conversation, he took his pen and ink, and retired to make his calculations, as was his custom after experiments made, many of which he made during the winter; in testimony of which I have hereunto set my hand, this 19th day of May, 1788.
Nicholas Onick
We the subscribers to these presents, do hereby certify, that we have been long acquainted with the within mentioned Nicholas Onick, and have every reason to believe him to be a gentleman of strict honor and integrity.

    Adam Stephen       Horatio Gates        Moses Hunter

    George Roots       Philip Pendleton     John Morrow

    John Mark          John Cook            David Gray

    Cornelius Wynkoop

Berkeley County, ss.
We do certify, that we received a letter from Nicholas Onick, saying that he drew the within certificate himself, and that if called on he would make oath to the same. Given under our hands this 19th of May, 1788.
Cato Moore
John Kearsley

[No. 15]
I do certify, that Mr. James Rumsey, of Berkeley County, Virginia, in a conversation I had with him at the Warm Springs, in the latter end of July, or beginning of August, 1783, told me that he intended to construct a boat to go by the power of steam, and pointed out the great expenses it would save in water carriage.
John Wilson
Philadelphia, July 4th, 1788

[No. 16]
I do certify that John Wilson, of Philadelphia, on his return from the Warm Springs, in the summer of 1783, told me that Mr. James Rumsey was to construct a boat that would go by strength of fire and steam, which the said Rumsey intended to have completed soon.
Juliana Stewart
Philadelphia, July 4th, 1788

[No. 17]
This is to certify, that at the time I gave my certificate to Mr. John Fitch, in April last past, respecting having made four brass cocks, as per my certificate in Mr. Fitch's pamphlet, No. 22, and page 28; that the said Fitch then urged me to prove what I had therein certified. I told said Fitch that I was not then positive of the time they were made, therefore could not prove it. Said Fitch persisted in soliciting of me, and said he would give me any thing I would ask, only to prove it, and I should be handsomely rewarded; but I positively refused. And further, that at the time Mr. Fitch called on me on his way to Annapolis, in May or June last, that I then showed him a receipt I had found since he had my certificate, that enabled me to be positive as to the time said cocks were made, and said he was very sorry for it, that they would make a handle of it, and asked if they had called on me respecting it. I told him not.
Charles Weir
This certificate was voluntarily subscribed, and acknowledged in our presence, this fourth day of July, 1788.

Alice X Weir

John Linoild

Baltimore, July 4, 1788

[No. 18]
I certify, that Mr. Fitch came to our shop to get John Frymiller, an apprentice of Mr. Raborg's, to swear about something concerning a steamboat that Mr. Rumsey erected, for which he gave him, to the best of my knowledge, half a dollar, and treated him well, as the said Frymiller said; and after he had been gone the best part of the afternoon, he returned to the shop again, when he appeared to me to be somewhat in liquor, and said he would not care to swear in the same manner oftener, if he could be always so treated.
Christopher Brudenhart
Baltimore, July 4, 1788

[No. 19]
I also recollect well of John Frymiller being groggy, when he returned from the magistrate in the evening, where he had been to swear for Mr. Fitch, as per his pamphlet, No. 19, page 26. Given under my hand, this fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.
Christopher Raborg


[William Thornton's Short Account of the Origin of Steamboats, printed in 1814 by Rapine and Elliot, is included in this annual report. A more complete copy of this work, printed in 1814 by Elliot's Patent Press, is available on this website. KWD]


Papers and Abstracts relating to Early American Inventions from the Archives of States

The following interesting facts have been brought to light by the papers under this head in the last report. Some of them cannot fail to surprise inventors of the present day.

Steel Making: in 1728, in Connecticut

Attempt at increasing speed of vessels in 1693, in New York[The device not described.]

Tide Mills: "of such a nature as hath not yet been used."New York; by the same inventor as the above.

Heating the supply water of steam boilers, by passing the feed pipe through the furnace -- by Fitch, in 1785.

Pipe Boilers: proposed the Henry Voight, of Philadelphia, in 1788, and adopted by Fitch.

Raising water by steam acting on two pistons -- by Rumsey

Tubular Boilers -- by Rumsey

Propelling Vessels by reaction of a stream of water -- by Rumsey

Improvement of Savery -- by Rumsey

Reacting Water Mill -- by Rumsey

Cylindric Saw Mill -- by Rumsey, et seq.

Card Making Machine -- by Oliver Evans

Improvements in Milling -- by Oliver Evans

Steam Carriage, or Locomotive -- by Oliver Evans

Carding and Spinning Machines -- by Robert Lemmon, in 1786 (in Maryland)

Printing Press -- by Benjamin Dearborn, New Hampshire, 1787

Balances, or Scales -- by Benjamin Dearborn

Hand Fire Engines -- by Benjamin Dearborn

Improvements on Chimneys

Preparing Indian Corn}
Straw and Chip Hats } patents granted in 1717

In the hope of eliciting further information, circulars were addressed to the State Departments of such States as had not been heard from; the following replies have been received. For the copious and characteristic extracts from the State papers of Connecticut, the office is indebted to the interest taken in the subject by Hon. L.P. Waldo, of the House of Representatives. In these will be found information on Iron Works: -- Furnaces, Pig-iron, Slitting Mills, Kettles, etc., Iron Wire, Steel, Nails, etc.

Bell Founding
Polishing Crystals
Type Founding
Pin Making
Clock (winding itself up)
Drill Plough
Water Mills
Perpetual Motion
Cloth Making
Stocking Weaving
Flax and Woolen Manufacture
Silk Raising
Linseed Oil
Sugar Refining
Cloth Dyeing, etc.


New Jersey

State of New Jersey
Department of State
Trenton, December 24, 1850

Hon. Thomas Ewbank,
Commissioner of the Patent Office

Sir: -- Your Circular of the 6th inst., directed to His Excellency the Governor of this State, has been referred to this Department, and at his request, diligent search has been made among the records, but no evidence has been discovered that Patents have ever been granted either by the Provincial, Colonial, or State governments of New Jersey.

I have the honor to be sir,
Your obedient servant,
Thos. S. Allison
Secretary of State



Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Secretary's Office, Boston,
December 17th, 1850

Sir: -- Accompanying this, you will find a memorandum of such matters as are found in the records of this department concerning patents or privileges.

We find no documents of which we can send you copies, which we would gladly do, if in our power. Should we find anything more on the subject, we will transmit it to you at once.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. B. Calhoun

Hon. Thos. Ewbank

1652 -- John Clark allowed by General Court, 10s, for three years, from every family who should use his invention for saving wood and warming houses at little cost. After trial for this period, he was granted the same privilege during his life.

1641 -- General Court Records: Samuel Winslow had invented a method of manufacturing salt. None are to make this article for ten years, except in a manner different from his -- provided he set up his works within a year.

1656 -- John Winthrop, son of the Governor, granted the sole privilege of making salt for twenty years in Massachusetts, after his particular method.

1671 -- Richard Wharton, a lawyer of Boston, and Company, have certain special privileges from the legislature for the manufacture of tar, pitch, turpentine, etc.

1672 -- General Court reply to several hatters, who wished to have as a Company, peculiar privileges, that there should be granted to them when they should make as good hats, and sell them as cheap as those imported were.

1722 -- The Legislature offer, by an act passed, a premium for duck and linen made in the province, of domestic material.

1640 -- The General Court offered 3d. on every 1s. worth of linen and cotton cloth made in the colony; but this was repealed in the same year, because of the public burdens.

1701 -- The Legislature to encourage the sowing and manufacture of hemp, raised in the Province, engage to pay to any Company who purchase this article at 4 1/2 d. a pound, 1/4 d. on each pound so purchased.



Milford, Delaware
December 12th, 1850

Sir -- Yours of the seventh instant came to hand today, to which I hasten to reply, that I have directed a search to be made in the public archives of the state for the information desired.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
William Tharp

Hon. Thos. Ewbank
Commissioner of the United States Patent Office


Secretary's Office, Dover
January 3rd, 1851

Sir -- His Excellency, the Governor, directs me to say in reply to your circular of the 7th December, that there are no records or documents in the State Department of this State relating to the subject of patents, or which would furnish any information of the kind desired by you -- nor can he obtain such information by inquiry. It is not known that any patents were granted under the Colonial Government of this State. The evidences of such grants, if any there were, would more likely be found at Harrisburg. No patents are known to have been granted by the State Government, prior to the confederation of the States.

I have the honor to be, with great respect,
Your obedient servant
D.M. Bates
Secretary of State

Hon. Thos. Ewbank
Commissioner of Patents



Extracts from Colonial and State Papers, in the Office of the Secretary of State, Hartford

Early Acts of the Colony to Encourage Discoveries and Inventions

At a session of the General Assembly, at Hartford, March 10th, 1663 [4]

"The court for the encouragement of any person that will lay out himself for the discovery of any mines and minerals, etc., do order that whosoever shall make such discoveries, and purchase it for the country, he shall be honorably rewarded out of what he doth discover, as aforesaid (Colony Records, II, 193)

In the printed statutes of 1672, the laws state -- For the encouragement of such as will lay out themselves upon the discovery of mines or minerals, for the public good:

It is ordered, by authority of this court, that whosoever shall expend their time or estate upon such discoveries, and purchase them for the country, he shall be honorably rewarded out of what he doth discover, for the same. (p. 52)

It is ordered that there shall be no monopolies granted or allowed amongst us, but of such new inventions as shall be judged profitable to the country, and for such time as the general court shall judge meet. (p 52)

And to the above was subsequently added, "An Act for Encouraging Adventurers in Discovering Commodities"

Be it enacted, etc. That if any person or persons shall set themselves on work to discover any commodities that may be of use for the country, for the bringing in a supply of goods from foreign parts, that is not as yet of use among us; he that discovers it, shall have due encouragement granted to him, and the adventurers therein. (Statutes of 1715, p 5)


The following paper, designed to be presented to the Parliament of Great Britain, being preserved on file, would indicate that it originated in the colony.

"Reasons against a general prohibition of the iron manufacture in his Majesty's plantations, intended by a clause in the bill now depending, entitled -- A Bill for Encouraging the Importation of Naval Stores from America."

I. If the clause be taken in a strict sense, all iron work for building ships, houses, mills, and even what is necessary for instruments to till the ground, will be forbid to be made there; whereby it will become impracticable to live in the plantations, because this sort of iron manufacture must be made on the spot, that it may be framed and fitted to the size of the work.

II. To forbid his Majesty's subjects the making any sort of iron wares, when its for their own necessary use, and not for exportation, seems to bear hard on the common rights and liberties of mankind; especially when the ore is what their own soil yields, and what is found but in small quantities, comparatively, in the mother kingdom.

III. If such a prohibition be thought just, to prevent the plantations from interfering with the iron workers in this kingdom, all other tradesmen may expect, in their turns, to be forbid working at their respective callings; for by the same reason, the people may be forbid making cheese or cider, for fear of prejudicing the manufactures in Cheshire and Herefordshire.

IV. It is humbly conceived, there is no occasion for this clause. All labor is so excessively dear in the plantations, that no manufacture of the lesser iron wares can vend, or ever does there, but when it happens by accident that there is a great scarcity of the same commodity made in Great Britain.

V. The encouragement given by the bill for the importation of bar iron from the plantations, by taking off the duty, which is two pounds per ton, is not sufficient to bring it in; of which there needs no other proof, than that a ton of iron is worth sixty pounds in New England, their money, and but twenty pounds here, to say nothing of the chargeable freight thence; so that if the clause pass, the iron ore in the plantations will be of use neither there nor here.

VI. It seems a further hardship, that the subjects abroad should be permitted to forge their iron into bars, but not to run or cast it into pots, and other implements, because the same fire, and even the same heat, will suffice for both.

It is therefore humbly prayed, that the clause prohibiting any kind of iron wares to be made in the plantations, though for their own use, and not exportation, be left out of the bill (Industry I. 98)

Iron Works in Lyme

To the Honorable General Assembly, etc.

The memorial of Samuel Southworth, of Lyme, in the county of New London, humbly sheweth --

That he hath lately, at great cost and charge, built an iron work, and hath made considerable quantity of iron, and hath also built a refinery to refine pig iron, which is to be had plentifully at Philadelphia, which iron when refined, is as good for any use as Swedes or Spanish; which if the same could be carried on to good purpose, would be a great advantage to the country in general, and hinder the importation of great quantities of iron. And your memorialist, being much reduced by his great cost in building said works, is unable to carry it on to good purpose, and the same will unavoidably sink and come to nothing, unless your honors will, in your wonted goodness to relieve the distressed, relieve your memorialist by loaning him some money out of the public treasury, to the quantity of £2000. Which your memorialist humbly prays that your honors would, (loan) and that upon good land security or bond to your honors' or committee's acceptance; and that he may pay in interest and principal in iron, at as much less than the market price, as your honors judge reasonable. But if that cannot, by your honors, be complied with, then that he may have it on good security as above, on moderate interest, to be paid in some convenient time. And your memorialist, as in duty bound, etc.
Sam'l Southworth
Lyme, May 15th, 1741

(Industry I. 132)

No legislative action on petition.

General Assembly appointed a "committee to make a proper inquiry for obtaining an account of the quantity of iron made in this colony, as required in a letter from the Lords of the board of trade, dated June 9th, 1757, to the Governor and Company of this colony, and make report, etc., to this present Assembly."

(Industry I. 174)

Iron Works at Derby

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Ebenezer Keny, Joseph Hull, Jr., and John Wooster, all of Derby, etc., and Thomas Pirkins, of Enfield, etc., humbly showeth --

That your honors' memorialists, being desirous of erecting and setting up iron works, on the falls of Nangatuck river, in said Derby, where there is a proper and convenient place therefor; and the Indians of said Derby, whereof John Howdee and Joseph Chuse are the head or chief men, [and] own about 40 acres of land, bounded west on said river, south on said falls, and running so far north as the head of said falls, which will impede the setting up said iron works, unless liberty can be obtained for purchasing the privilege of a highway by the river side, etc.

Whereupon your memorialists humbly pray, etc.
Dated at Hartford this 12th day of May, 1760.
Ebenezer Keny et al

Petition granted by Assembly

(Industry I. 180)

Iron Works at Cornwall

To the Honorable General Assembly of the English Colony of Connecticut, in New England in America, now sitting, etc. Oct 1761

The memorial of John Patterson, Ephraim Patterson, and Thomas Russell, all of Cornwall, in the county of Litchfield, humbly sheweth --

That your honor's memorialists are owners of a tract of land lying on the east side of Owesatunnuck river, and adjoining tract thereto, in said Cornwall, in which is a proper place for building a furnace for running iron ore into pigs for refinery, and are owners of land stocked with wood for coal, and have a good sufficiency of ore to supply said furnace; and being sensible of the great advantage it would be to the interest of people of this colony, and being advised that it will, in process of time, be somewhat profitable to the undertakers, are zealously inclined to set up such furnace, but have not personal interest enough at present, to carry it on to effect; therefore pray your honors to grant us the liberty of taking out of the public treasury of this colony, £1200, in bills of credit on this colony, and that we may have it for the term of four years, upon our giving land security double the value of said sum, or bonds with sufficient security, payable at the end of said time, with the lawful interest; said security to be according to the judgment of such committee as your honors shall appoint; said money to be taken out of the treasury, in case your memoria. go on and get such furnace at work within two years. And your, etc.

Dated in Cornwall, this 10th day of October, 1761
John Patterson
Eph'm Patterson
Thos. Russell

(Industry I. 204)

Assembly continued petition to May next

To the Honorable, etc.

The memorial of William Tanner, Benoni Peck, Elijah Steel, Heman Alling, all of Cornwall, etc., humbly sheweth --

That your memorialists have purchased the one-eighth part of the great ore bead in Salisbury, in the county of Litchfield; and that your memorialists have in Cornwall, a very convenient and suitable place, on the Housatonuck river, to set up a furnace for the making of iron; which place is abundantly furnished with wood for the said purpose; and it is about nine miles distant from said orebed, whereof four miles is good water carriage. And your memorialists have made preparation for erecting a furnace in said place, for the making of iron, and therein expended about £100 lawful money; and your memorialists beg leave to inform your honors, that they have been disappointed of a large sum of money, or which they were assured and depended thereon, at their entrance upon this design; which disappointment they have been unable to retrieve, and thereby they are rendered wholly unable to prosecute said design, which your memorialists really believe would be very beneficial to this colony, by supplying the inhabitants thereof with iron made in the colony, and preventing the exportation of moneys therefor. And your memorialists could easily carry on and execute said design with £1000 cash, which they have been unable to procure, unless they join with persons out of this colony; although they are willing to give interest and land security worth double the principal sum and interest.

Wherefore your honors' memorialists pray your honors to loan, out of the public treasury of this colony, to your memorialists, the sum of £1000 to enable them to set up a furnace for making iron, as aforesaid, on their securing principal and interest as aforesaid. And your honors' memorialists, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, etc.

Dated at New Haven, the 11th day of March, A.D. 1762

(Industry I. 205)

William Tanner
Benoni Peck
Elijah Steel
Heman Alling

No action by Assembly on petition.

Iron Works in Lyme

The papers relate to a controversy about the use of water wanted for a gristmill. Extracts follow:

"That it is of much greater consequence to the public, that a gristmills should be kept going, than that said iron works should; yet your memorialists apprehend, that if said water, preserved in such large ponds, was prudently used, said iron works might go, without hurting the gristmills, many more months in each year, than they have ever done in any one year since they were erected; for that they, for many years now last passed, have been kept going but very little in the winter season, when there is water, etc., and have been kept going in the summer, or dry season of the year, when there is not water, etc.

And they petition General Assembly to regulate the matter.

Petition is negatived.

(Industry I. 202)

Slitting Mill in Suffield

Whereas, Mr. Ebenezer Fitch has represented to this court, that divers gentlemen, in company with himself, are willing and desirous to set up a slitting mill upon the river called Stony Brook, within the bounds of Suffield, [fn.: Then claimed by Massachusetts] in the county of Hampshire, or elsewhere in the county of Hartford, within this colony, to slit and draw out iron rods for nails and other artificers in iron, their work and use; and since the charge and adventure of the first undertakers of such an affair must be considerable, hath therefore prayed this court for a private act in favor of himself and company, to grant them the sole privilege of such a mill for some time, in recompense of their expenses and adventure; and the court, considering the great advantage such a mill will be to this government, as well as the neighboring, have therefore thought fit to encourage the same.

Now, therefore, for the encouragement of said Ebenezer Fitch, and such as shall join with him in the said undertaking: -- Be it enacted, etc., that no other person or persons whatsoever, shall or may erect any slitting mill or slitting mills in any part or place within this, his Majesty's colony of Connecticut, upon any pretense whatsoever, at any time during the space of 15 years, from and after this present session of this general court, upon pain and penalty of £10 per month, for every month that any such slitting mill shall stand within this colony, within the time aforesaid, to be recovered, etc.

Provided that the said Ebenezer Fitch, and company shall, within three years, etc., erect and set up a good sufficient slitting machine, etc.

Passed General Assembly, May 1716.

(Industry I. 101)

Enfield Iron Works

To the Honorable, etc. -- The Petition, etc.

That Joseph Webb, of Wethersfield, in his life time, to wit, on the 19th day of September, A.D., 1759, bargained and agreed with Col. Timothy Dwight, of Northampton, etc., and Captain Samuel Dwight, of Enfield, to purchase of them one fourth part of their Iron Works, at said Enfield, together with one fourth part of the land in said Enfield, granted for building said iron works, and one fourth part of the dam, implements, etc., at the great importunity of said Timothy and Samuel, and upon their representation that the same might be paid for, and they would take their pay for the same in bar iron, manufactured in said works; whereupon the said Joseph was induced to agree and did agree to buy the fourth part of said works, etc., at the price of £100 money, to be paid in bar iron of that value at said works, etc.

(The remainder of the petition relates solely to the fulfillment of the terms of the contract. Mehetabel Dean was the widow of said Webb.)
Silas Dean
Mehetabel Dean
Wethersfield, January 28, A.D. 1767

(Industry II. 129)

Salisbury Mines and Iron Works

A Court of Election held at Hartford, May 14, 1674.

The Court grants John Bissell 100 acres of land, provided he take it up where it may not prejudice any former grant. (Town and Lands VI. 82)

At a General Assembly holden at Hartford, to survey and lay out said 100 acres of land, in any of the ungranted lands of this colony, according to said grant. (Towns and Lands VI. 82)

To the Honorable the General Assembly, sitting at Hartford, May 9, 1734.

The memorial of Jared Eliot, of Killingworth, Elisha Williams, of New Haven, Martin Kellogg, of Wethersfield, Robert Walker, Jun., of Stratford, John Ashley, of Westfield, Philip Levingston of Albany, and Ezekiel Ashley of Sheffield, humbly sheweth:

That this Honorable Assembly at their session on May 14, 1674, granted 100 acres of land to John Bissell, late of Windsor, deceased; and at your session on May 12, 1726, ordered the surveyor of the county of Hartford, to survey and lay out said 100 acres in any of the ungranted lands of this Colony. In pursuance whereof, Jonathan Burnham, surveyor of lands for the county of Hartford, laid out said lands, as followeth, that is to say: -- To begin at a stake and heap of stones west of Ousatonock river, and westerly of a large pond known to the Indians by the name of Wonoikopozo pond, said pond lyeth easterly of the road leading from Weatauge to Sackett's farm, and from thence measured south 13� 30' west, 120 rods, to a stake and heap of stones; then measured east 13� 30' south to a stake and heap of stones, 33 chains, 33 links and one third of a link, to a large black oak tree marked, and with stones about it; from thence measured north 13� 30' east, 30 chains, to a stake and heap of stones, then measured west 13� 30' north, 33 chains, 33 links, and one third of a link, to the place where it begins; and marked trees in the line between each monument: -- Which said 100 acres of land laid out as aforesaid, is now by mean conveyances become the estate of your memorialists, and there being found in said lands, a bed of iron ore, we have advanced considerable sums to set up iron works for the improvement of it: Whereupon your memorialists humbly pray that this assembly, would allow us to take out a patent under the seal of the corporation, for the confirmation of our title to said land; and your memorialists as in duty bound, etc.

(Towns and Lands VI. 83)

Jared Elliot, et al

Upon the memorial etc. .... Wonokopoiko pond, which said 100 acres of land was surveyed and laid out by Jonathan Burnham, etc., unto John Pell and Ezekiel Ashley, as is set forth in the survey of said Jonathan Burnham, dated Oct. 27th A.D., 1731:

It is Resolved, That the memorialists have a patent as prayed for, provided they shew to the acceptance of the Governor and Secretary, that the right to the remainder of the 100 acres of land, (which is not yet made out) is well vested in said Philip Levingston, by lawful conveyance, before the said patent be executed. May 1734. (Towns and Lands VI. 83)

Ore Bed

To the Honorable, etc., May 1784

The memorial of Samuel Forbes, Henry Levingston and Nathan Hall, in behalf of themselves and the rest of the proprietors of the iron ore bed in Salisbury, etc., humbly sheweth:

That your memorialists, being owners of said ore bed, with the right only of digging and raising the same, have found, by long experience, that valuable body of minerals is constantly wasting by the irregular method of raising the same, in that the canals or water courses (are stopped) which increase the quantity of ore, and care is not taken to keep them open, after the mines have exhausted a vein of the bed of ore, or from some other cause which your memorialists are convinced is occasioned by the irregular conduct of the miners, who are not under the possible control or direction of the proprietors, as each one digs and raises for himself, and strangers are constantly trespassing with impunity, whereby great injustice is done, not only to your memorialists in general, but to individual proprietors, who cannot derive the avails of their proportions of ore raised from said bed, and the public are in danger of losing that valuable resource of the most useful and necessary manufactures of this State. And your memorialists would observe, that in their present situation, a recovery at law for any trespasses is impracticable, being tenants in common, all suits for trespass must be brought in the name of all the proprietors, three eights of which proprietorship is divided amongst near 100 persons, and is continually changing, whereby suits abate before any trial or judgment can be had thereon; and for each proprietor to commence a suit for his share or moiety of the ore raised by any of his fellow commoners, is attended with more expense than the avails are worth. Neither can your memorialist adopt any efficacious method of raising the ore, to prevent the injuries aforesaid, and many other inconveniences and losses which unavoidably attend their present tenancy, which your memorialists are confident can be provided against, were they properly incorporated, with power to appoint an agent or committee to superintend the raising of the ore, and employing miners according to the directions of the major part of the proprietors, at an annual meeting, with power of suing and being sued, by their agent or committee, and also the power of making and carrying into execution necessary by-laws for the benefit of the proprietors.

Whereupon your memorialists pray your Honors to take their case into your wise consideration, and grant them a Charter of Incorporation, thereby enabling the proprietors of the iron ore bed in said Salisbury, to regulate the raising said ore, and appointing an agent or committee to superintend and regulate the same according to the directions of the proprietors, at their annual meeting, and a power of making necessary by-laws, and of suing and being sued, by their agent or committee. And your memorialists, etc.
Samuel Forbes
Henry Livingston
Nathan Hale
Dated at Salisbury, the 26th day of April 1784

(Industry II. 184)

Act of Incorporation granted (186)

In a petition for town privilege, May 13, 1736, petitioners of Salisbury say:
"We ... are building iron works, and have plenty of ore, etc.(Towns and Lands VII 232)

To the Honorable General Assembly, etc.

The memorial of Charles Caldwell, of Hartford, etc., and George Caldwell, of Salisbury, etc., humbly sheweth:

That your Honors' memorialists have purchased the principal part of the furnace at Salisbury, aforesaid, for the making pig iron, potash kettles, and common pots and kettles of iron, etc., which cost them a very great sum of money; and that for sundry years last past, they have vigorously carried on the business of making pig iron, etc., to the very great advantage of the colony, as well as to their own private benefit, and have supplied many forges in this colony with pig iron, etc., to the very great advantage of the colony, as well as to their own private benefit, and have supplied many forges in this colony with pig iron to be made into bars, and have, over and above that, exported and sold abroad pig iron, and pots and kettles, annually to a large amount. And your memorialists have also erected a good new forge within 15 miles of the town of Hartford, [at Simsbury] for the making of bar iron out of pigs. And your memorialists would further observe to your Honors, that while they are pursuing that business with satisfaction to their own benefit, they also find by constant experience that it is of vast public advantage to the colony, as every bar of iron produced thereby is a saving of so much cash to the government, and keep that cash among ourselves which used to be sent abroad, for the purchase of iron, which is an article that the colony cannot subsist without, and which costs them annually about £20,000, a very large sum to be sent yearly out of the colony, which your memorialists suppose they have already put a great stop to, by means of said furnace, and suppose themselves fully able to supply the colony entirely with pig iron, which is easily wrought into bars fit for use by their own as well as the various other forges in this colony. 'Tis not unusual that matters of such public benefit and utility should meet with obstruction from those who find their advantage in keeping the colony dependent on foreign markets for their supply of such a valuable article. We, your memorialists, have met with and experienced very great hindrances, troubles and difficulties from persons of that character, many times to very great loss, though we have constantly kept our works in order and under improvement, at a vast expense, being obliged constantly to retain in our service for carrying on the business, about 50 hands, who are all employed in the different branches of the business, and we now have as large a stock on hand to be wrought up into iron, as we ever had since we owned those works, but find ourselves not able to make those works so extensively useful to the public as well as beneficial to ourselves as we might do, could we command somewhat more of the ready cash in this season of the great scarcity of money. And knowing your Honors' strict attention to whatever is for the public benefit of the colony; we your Honors' memorialists do thereupon humbly pray this Honorable Assembly to take the matters aforesaid into your serious consideration, and that your honors would be pleased to order and enact that your memorialists may and shall have the sum of £1,200 on loan, out of the public treasury, at the end of 2 years, on your memorialists procuring and giving good and sufficient security, that shall be approved of for the repayment thereof, in order that we may the more advantageously carry on said works; and we, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
George Caldwell
Charles Caldwell
Dated in Hartford, this 7th day of Oct. A.D. 1767

(Industry II. 132)

Loan is so made, and committee is appointed to execute the bonds (131)

To the Honorable General Assembly, etc.

And now your memorialists beg leave to represent to this Honorable Assembly, that they conceive themselves obliged, out of gratitude to your honors, and loyalty and friendship to the true interests and weal of this colony, to inform, that, notwithstanding the moneys graciously granted to your memorialists aforesaid, and received by them under the disadvantages it was, they find they cannot hold and carry on said furnace to advantage to the public or themselves; -- for that some years past your memorialists were necessitated to hire £1,500 of lawful money in New York government, for which one Mr. John Rutsen was bondsman, to whom your memorialists were obliged to mortgage said furnace and bed of ore, etc. And that said Rutsen is sued and has judgment against him for said money by means of, and at the instigation of those who are seeking to engross said works and ore into their own hands, out of this colony, whereby said Rutsen must and will (notwithstanding the utmost endeavors of your memorialists and the helps already afforded them) recover said furnace, and your memorialists's whole interest in said ore from your memorialists, for the sum aforesaid with the addition of about two years interest, not half the sum it cost your memorialists, whereby the whole interest of said ore bed and furnace will go from your memorialists, and fall into the hands of people living in the province of New York -- whereby this colony will be deprived of the only means of supplying and carrying on the iron manufactory within themselves, which is of the greatest necessity and importance in almost every business of life. [Petition is here mutilated.] General Assembly to appoint a [committee to look into the] affair, or contrive some other way whereby said [ ] may be cleared from said ore and furnace by the colony, and to take a conveyance of said ore bed and furnace to the Governor and Company of this colony, in security, which your memorialists are willing to give, asking only that they may have the use and improvement of said furnace and ore bed for the space of four years; and till then allowed them to redeem said furnace and ore bed from said Governor and Company; or some other way devise means effectually to prevent the loss of so great, necessary and lasting advantage of furnace and ore bed to the colony, which your memorialists imagine can be done without advancing any money, by turns, orders, etc. And your memorialists etc.
Charles Caldwell
George Caldwell

(Industry II. 134)

Dated at Hartford, May 16th, A.D., 1768

Referred to a committee

The following is but a synopsis of papers:

Richard Smith of Boston, in the spring of 1768, was induced to supply Nathaniel Porter of Lebanon, with goods to the value of £862 for stores in Simsbury and Salisbury, to be vended to workmen in the iron works, and in the purchase of stock for the same, for which he was to receive pay in pig and bar iron of Charles & George Caldwell. In the fall, said Smith came into Connecticut, to see if it would be prudent for him to furnish said porter more goods on the same account; When he was induced by the false representations of said Caldwells, to become a partner in said iron works at Simsbury and Salisbury, (at which time their affairs were in a most perplexed situation, and the furnace and premises were mortgaged to John Rutsey of Albany,) for half of which property said Smith agreed to give said Caldwell, £1,000 cash to clear Rutsey's mortgage, and £100 to be furnished in goods. But on a subsequent visit to Connecticut, Smith was surprised, that the fee of said property was vested in the Sheriff, Ezekiel Williams, by a dead of Caldwell's of anterior date to secure a debt in his hands; And to clear the same and claims of sundry other creditors, Smith was obliged to advance £1,200 L.M. additional. Finding himself thus deceived and traduced, he offered Caldwells a release, on giving him security for what he had advanced; as they were unable to do so, he contracted to purchase all their interest in the iron works, for which he was to allow them £4,213 15s. He then, December 20th, entered into partnership with George Caldwell, in trade and the manufacture of iron; said George to take the oversight and management, and be at one-third of the expense, and share one-third of the profits. But at the earnest request of said George, on February 19. 1769, Smith contracted to restore the whole works to him on his entering into bond to pay said Smith, £8,663 9s 5d. in three yearly installments; which said Caldwell, utterly neglected to fulfill. Smith accordingly, in January, 1770, proceeded to oust said Caldwell and took possession. (The forge at Simsbury, had been carried away by a flood.) As said Caldwells continue to harass him in every possibly manner, Smith prays the General Assembly, April 21, 1770, to grant him a committee to settle their claims in equity, that he may be quieted in possession. (Miscellaneous III, 234)

George Caldwell gives another version of the transactions, viz: That in view of the profitable investment, Smith offered to become a partner, with the ulterior design of getting the works out of their hands. That he promised on said Charles Caldwell's retiring from the concern, to set him up in trade to gain a livelihood; and that George Caldwell was forced to enter into a bond, to release the property to Smith. And on July 3d, 1769, Smith's agent with others, forcibly made an attack upon said George, in Salisbury, took away his books and papers, put a stop to the works; and on the entrance of said George with John McAlpin, on the premises, January 4, 1770, Smith entered a complaint against them for disturbing the peace; and on warrant, said Caldwell was thrown into prison, and on trial, he was found guilty and fined; and on February 7, 1770, he was ordered by the court, to surrender the premises to Smith. Caldwell avers that said judgment was erroneous, and prays the General Assembly to set the same aside, and to restore him the property, and allow him £2,000 damages, April 28, 1770. (Miscellaneous III, 236 to 242)

Caldwell's petition is rejected, and that of Smith's is referred to a committee, May, 1770; who, in October, 1770, report that no settlement can be made with Smith, but by assigning to him the debts. And the Assembly order said committee to proceed and finish a settlement with him. (Miscellaneous III, 235)

Richard Smith carried on the iron works, under the agency of Col. Joshua Porter; but on the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, Smith not proving to be a friend to his country, his property was seized upon, and improved by the government of Connecticut. (See below.)

At a meeting of the Governor and Council of Safety, Tuesday, 9th January, 1776.
On representation to this board, that the iron furnace at Salisbury, belonging to Mr. Richard Smith, now in Boston, is in good repair, and capable of being improved to great advantage for the public by manufacturing iron, casting cannon, cannon balls, etc. On consideration thereof, it is voted and resolved, That Col. Jedediah Elderkin, be and he is hereby appointed a committee to repair forthwith to said furnace, and to the iron works of said Smith, at Sufferage, [Canton,] or higher up, and find the true state and circumstances of said furnace, and how they may be improved for the benefit of the colony, in either of the ways aforesaid, consult and advise in the best manner he can, as to the propriety of immediately improving and setting said works agoing for any or either of the purposes aforesaid; and make the best estimate he shall be able; and with his best discretion, if he shall find it expedient, give proper orders for executing any or either of said designs; and make report of his doings and opinion in the premises. (Council of Safety I, 59)

At a meeting, etc., January 29, 1776.
Col. Elderkin, gave in his account and report of the circumstances, etc. of the furnace, etc. at Salisbury, and the works thereabouts, Colebrook, etc. Among other things, that a lot of about 200 acres of land lies near the furnace with about 150 acres of wood upon it, and may be bought in order for coal, and very difficult to get it in any other way. (Council of Safety I, 65)

Governor and Council appoint a committee to purchase, etc. (65)

At a meeting, etc., February 2, 1776.
Col. Elderkin is hereby appointed a committee to repair forthwith to Salisbury, and give proper orders and directions for procuring every necessary material for setting forward and promoting said business, and getting everything into the best readiness to carry on the same. (Council of Safety I, 74)

Third February, 1776, etc., voted and ordered, that the committee of the pay-table draw on the treasurer in favor of Col. Elderkin, for the sum of £100, to enable him to do the necessary to forward the works to be done at the furnace in Salisbury, whither he is going by order to prepare said furnace for the casting of cannon, etc. 'Tis done! and the Governor lent him the money, and his order is endorsed. (Council of Safety I, 76)

16th February, 1776, etc. Voted, that Lemuel Bryant of Middleborough, as a cannon founder of Salisbury, and David Cawer, Zebulon White and David Oldman, in those parts as moulders, and that said Bryant, procure four moulders for shot, and he, to come by 15th March, and the rest by 1st April. (Council of Safety I, 86)

18th March, 1776, etc. Lemuel Bryant and Zebulon White were present, who had been sent for, near Middleborough, etc., as cannon founder, moulder, etc. The first demands two dollars, and the other one and one-third dollars per day, and to be supported. And having great necessity of them, and they affirming that they have had and are offered the same near home; it is, therefore, and on that ground, agreed to allow them that pay and support; but it is agreed and understood, that if said Bryant does not succeed, he is to have no other allowance than his support. And they are desired and sent forward to Salisbury, for the purpose of pursuing the business of making cannon, etc.

It is voted, that Col. Joshua Porter be and he is hereby appointed chief provider and overseer of the works at the furnace in Salisbury, and to do whatever shall be needful and proper to promote the public service at that place, observing such orders as shall be given to him from time to time, by His Honor the Governor, and this Council or the General Assembly of this colony, and keep proper accounts to be rendered when required. And this sent in a letter to said Porter, by said workmen. (Council of Safety I, 960

To the Honorable General Assembly, etc.

The memorial of Joshua Porter of Salisbury, etc. humbly sheweth, That in March last, he was appointed overseer and manager of the furnace at Salisbury, for the purpose of casting cannon, shot, etc., by his Honor the Governor and his Council; that he immediately entered upon the business, went to procuring coal and ore, and putting in repair the furnace, and for that end, drew out of the colony treasury about £550 L.M., which money is all expended; and your memorialist wants about £800 more, to enable him to carry on said business with vigor and to the best advantage, which he will receive to be accountable for. Whereupon, etc.
Joshua Porter
May 14th, A.D. 1776.

(Revolutionary War VII, 374)

Allowed £800 on giving his receipt

Committee is appointed to take into consideration the matter relative to the foundry at Salisbury, and to consider what is best to be done relative to the continuing and carrying on the same; and also to take into consideration Mr. Paine's letter respecting the same, and report make, Oct. 1776.

(Revolutionary war VII, 376)

We, your honors' committee, etc.
Having considered the great utility and public benefit, which has already accrued by the foundry of cannon at said Salisbury furnace, in the summer past, and the great advantage which may hereafter arise by pursuing the same, notwithstanding we are apprehensive, that the cost may increase in procuring coal; yet, we are of opinion that every effort and exertion ought to be used to continue the present blast as far into winter as is possible, considering the season, and that every preparation ought to be made this winter, of provisions and all proper materials, for carrying on the foundry of cannon for the next season under the general direction of the Governor and his committee of safety, as has heretofore been. And as to the subject of Mr. Paine's letter referred to, we are of opinion, that it will not be practicable to add another furnace to the present, for the casting of large cannon; that the water would not be sufficient, and on many other accounts very inconvenient.
Signed per order,
Eliph't Dyer

(Revolutionary war VII. 377)

Whereas, the public safety makes it necessary still to continue the cannon foundry at Salisbury in blast, for the purpose of making a sufficient quantity of cannon, etc., for the public defense, etc.

Therefore resolved, etc. That Joshua Porter, Esq., who has the charge of the foundry, be empowered, etc. (378)

Committee is appointed to consider what other and further measures it may be expedient to take, to continue the furnace at Salisbury in blast, and the foundry of field pieces and other cannon, so much needed for the use and defense of this and the other American states in the present war, and make report as soon as may be, December, 1776. (Revolutionary war VII. 379)

The state continued to sustain the furnace, appoint managers, etc., for some years. (Revolutionary war VII, 380, etc.)

May, 1777. The overseers petitioned the Assembly, that the workmen might be exempted from liability to be drafted into the public service. (Revolutionary war VII. 387)

The classes of men which must necessarily be exempted from military calls, which may impede the cannon foundry, are --

    The managers and clerk                    3

    Draughtsman of patterns and turners       3

    Founder, firemen and moulders            10

        Other workers at the furnace, viz:

    Borers of cannon                          2

    Dressers of cannon                        2

    Clay Spanker                              1

    Gutterman                                 1

    Filers                                    2

    Banksman                                  1

    Ore burner                                1

    Ore pounder                               1

    Ore wheeler                               1

    Carpenter                                 1

    Colliers and ore diggers                 20


(Revolutionary War VII. 389)                 59

Assembly exempt 50 men necessarily employed. (388)

The following are more abstracts:

April, 1779. Governor and Council of Safety are authorized to lease the furnace for one year. (Revolutionary war, XIV. 281)

William Whiting having leased the same, petitions the General Assembly to exempt workmen from draft, (284) and they exempt 40 men. (285)

Committee to take into account the circumstances of the furnace, April 1780 (Revolutionary war, XVIII. 105)

Report -- Governor and Council of Safety, leased the furnace and lands of Richard Smith to Wm. Whiting, to pay two tons of pig iron per month while in blast, etc., and Whiting proposes conditions for continuing. The wants of the state require that the furnace be kept in operation. (104)

Joshua Porter, says, he was appointed agent, March, 1776, and served 11 months, cast 300 tons of iron, and saved the state £8.306. His accounts were put into the hands of Wm. Whiting, his clerk; and he is surprised to learn that a committee have found him in arrears. He has in his hands £333 state money, but he has received no pay for his services, etc.

On report of committee, he is allowed said £333 as compensation, and commended for his faithful services, May, 1780. (Revolutionary war, XX. 294 to 297)

Richard Smith, late of Boston, now of Hamburgh, Germany, owner of the furnace and of large tracts of land, committed them to the care of Colonel Joshua Porter, Feb. 28, 1775, to lease and improve for said Smith's benefit. Since Col. Porter improved the premises for one year for the state, he says, they have been improved and leased to little advantage. The works are impaired and the utensils lost. He thinks, after the present lease of Mr. Whiting expires, it will be better for the state to relinquish all control -- as was done with Smith's refinery at Colebrook, -- and leave the whole to private improvement. Oct. 16, 1780 (Rev. war XX. 298)

Col. Porter and Mr. Whiting both petition for a lease of the furnace etc. Nov. and Dec. 1780 (Rev. war XX. 302 and 299)

General Assembly negative both petitions, and order governor and council to lease to the highest bidder, for one year, the furnace and lands at Salisbury, and the refinery at Colebrook, and take measures to have the iron at Salisbury refined. Nov 1780.

(Rev. war XX. 303, 306)

Sheriff Lord reports, that he attempted to lease the premises, for which £321,000 state money was bid; but becoming embarrassed, he stopped the vendue, and asks for instructions. Feb 27, 1781. (Rev. war XX. 309)

Referred to a committee, who report that Smith joined the enemy, and his estate should be confiscated. March 3, 1781. (309)

Ordered, that all persons holding property of said Smith, appear before the next assembly, to give reasons why his estate should not be confiscated.

Col. Porter and Jared Lane, each representing that they are attorneys, agents and factors of Richard Smith, petition general assembly, that after the expiration of the present lease, each of them may have liberty to improve the works for the owner.

Referred to a committee, who report that Smith went off from Boston with the British troops in 1775, and is a prescribed person in Massachusetts; and recommend that the furnace, etc., be improved by the state, until Smith's political character can be further investigated; and that taxes paid by said Lane, as agent, be refunded. Feb. 1781 (Rev. war XX. 307) Approved (308)

Richard Smith states, that he left the country in 1775, on his private business, and was unable then to return. He petitions the assembly for liberty to return and possess his estate; the use of which he will lay no claim to, and will loan the state £1000 from the avails of goods he wishes to introduce. Jan. 1783. (Rev. war XXIV. 101 to 103)

He is so admitted a member of the state, on taking the prescribed oaths, etc. (104)

Colebrook Iron Works

Committee to call Mr. Ogden to account, Nov. 1780 (Rev. war XX. 303)

To the Honorable, etc.

The memorial of Jacob Ogden, of Colebrook, in the county of Litchfield, humbly sheweth --

That in the night of 30th day of August last, the iron works in the occupation of your memorialist, at said Colebrook, by some means, unknown to your memorialist, took fire and burnt to ashes, with the bellows and all the utensils thereto belonging; that your memorialist had laid out his own money, in repairs from time to time, to the amount of about £200 L.M. which is now all lost; and the business of manufacturing iron and steel at said works, is at an end for the present. And your memorialist is willing and desirous of erecting a new forge in the same place where the old one stood, and of carrying on said business, providing he can be properly encouraged; and has already proceeded so far in said business, as to have set up a new frame; but from the difficulty of the times, and lowness of his finances, he finds himself perplexed in getting forward with the dispatch he could wish, and that the public exigencies seem to require. He flatters himself that the utility of the business to the public, the acceptable manner in which he has performed it heretofore, and his determination to render it as useful as possible in future, will entitle him to the favor and patronage of your honors. [He then prays for a lottery to raise £300, or $1000, and adds] and he be enabled thereby to go on with dispatch in completing said works, and have them a going in about five or six weeks, and be able to work up his stock on hand, of which he has a large quantity provided, in the course of the year, which will furnish a large supply of iron and steel, for the use of the citizens of this state, and ten to render those articles plenty and cheap. Or that, etc., in some other way, etc.
Jacob Ogden
Dated in Hartford, Oct. 19, A.D. 1781

(Industry II. 175) Negatived

Iron Wire

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Nathaniel Niles, of Norwich, in New London county, humbly sheweth --

That by reason of the present unhappy controversy between Great Britain and British America, and the consequent interruption of trade, it is become of very interesting importance to these colonies, that the article of iron wire on which the woolen and cotton manufactory so greatly depends, should be manufactured in these colonies, which hitherto hath not been done; and that it is of importance this should be gone into with the greatest expedition, since the makers of wool cards, quite from Philadelphia to Nova Scotia, are at present wholly out of employ. That your memorialist, desirous to serve his country in so important an article, has been at considerable expense of time, pains and cash, in acquiring the practical knowledge of this business; for which purpose he has attended, as far as he could gain advantage, either by men or books, to the European method; which he finds to be very tedious, it being necessary to carry each bar of iron through about 200 holes in a steel plate, before it is reduced to the size of card wire, and it being difficult and considerably expensive, and at the same time absolutely necessary to take the scale from the wire that is raised by heating, which operation must necessarily be frequent, in order to preserve the ductility of the metal. That in order to this article being afforded at the rate at which it has usually been sold by the importer, the apparatus must be very complicate, various and expensive, your memorialist apprehending the whole will amount to not less than £300. That your memorialist, considering the burdens that lie on the public at present, would undertake the business wholly on his own risque, notwithstanding the dangers into which his interest would, by this means, be thrown; had he a sufficiency first to make suitable preparations, and then to carry on this branch of manufacture, without involving himself in inextricable embarrassments. That not being able to do this, your memorialist, confiding in the zeal of this honorable assembly to promote American manufactures, humbly begs the grant of a lottery to raise £300, for the purpose aforesaid, not desiring, however, that the moneys so raised should be committed to him, to be applied by him at pleasure, any farther than such managers of said lottery, or such other persons as this honorable assembly shall see fit to appoint for that purpose, shall find evidence that the several sums they imburse have, bona fide, been applied to the single purpose of preparing to manufacture iron wire. The remainder of the proceeds of said lottery, if any there be, to be applied as this honorable assembly shall be pleased to direct. That your memorialist apprehends he can, on such a grant being made, afford the several sizes of iron wire at the several rates at which they have most usually been vended in this and the neighboring colonies, by the importer. That if your memorialist finds, on experience that he cannot afford it at such a rate, he will be holden to such prices as any committee appointed from honorable assembly shall judge reasonable, after an examination of the expense of making.

That if this honorable assembly shall not see fit, in their wisdom, to grant such a lottery, your memorialist begs such assistance as shall enable him to prosecute this business, either by a loan of money from the public treasury, or such other way as your honors, etc.
Hartford, May 17, 1775
Nathan'l Niles

(Industry II. 151)

On the memorial, etc.
Resolved by this assembly, that ------------ be and they are hereby appointed a committee to examine into the matters contained in said memorial, and the necessary expense of erecting the proper works for the manufacturing of iron wire, and what encouragement may be properly given the memorialist therefor. And if said committee, upon due examination, shall judge it reasonable and expedient, they are hereby empowered to draw their order on the colony treasurer for any sum not exceeding £300, to be paid by said treasurer, who is hereby directed to pay the same to the memorialist, upon his giving good security, to the acceptance of said committee, that such sum shall be improved solely for the setting up and carrying on said manufactory, and that the principal sum so received, shall be repaid at the expiration of four years after received, without any interest thereon.

May 1775 (Industry II. 152)

Niles continued the manufacture of wire through the war.

(See snuff)

To the Honorable, etc.

The memorial of Samuel Bull, of Middletown, etc., humbly sheweth: --

That your honors' memorialist, being about to set up the manufacture of wire, hath turned his attention to the building and works erected at Middletown, etc., for the refinery of lead; which buildings and works, your memorialist is informed, by men skilled in the trade of drawing wire, would answer his purpose exceedingly well, etc. The zeal which your honors have at all times, and especially since the commencement of the present war, shown to encourage and promote home manufactures, has induced your memorialist confidently to hope for your honors' patronage, in a branch of business which is likely to be very useful to the public. His only request is, that your honors would permit him to take said buildings and works, and sue them for the purpose aforesaid, for the space of seven years, etc.

Dated at Middletown 28 May, 1782

Samuel Bull

(Industry II. 176)

Referred to a committee; on whose report a committee is appointed, to view the buildings and works at Middletown, and agree with said Bull for their use, etc. (177, 178)


An Act for the Encouragement of Manufacturing Nails

Be it enacted, etc. That there shall be paid out of the treasury of this state, a premium on nails manufactured in this state, of the following dimensions, viz: on all nails that shall weigh not more than 13 lbs, nor less than 10 lbs. per 1000, three-eights of a penny; on all nails that shall weigh not more than 10 lbs, nor less than 4 lbs per 1000, two farthings on the pound; and on all nails of less dimensions, a premium of one penny per pound; -- from and after the first day of October next, for the term of 3 years. May 1786.

(Industry II. 215) Negatived in the upper house.


To the Honorable, etc. -- May 1728

The humble memorial and request of Samuel Higley, of Simsbury, and Joseph Dewey, of Hebron, etc., sheweth --

That the said Higley hath, with great pains and cost, found out and obtained a curious art, by which to convert, change and transmute common iron into good steel, sufficient for any use; and was the very first that every performed such an operation in America, having the most perfect knowledge thereof, confirmed by many experiments; and hath communicated the same to the above named Joseph Dewey, and jointly with him, have made further experiment and improvement, with considerable cost and labor; and we are thereby well assured, that this art, by good improvement, may redound to the public benefit and advantage of this colony, in that we have good reason to hope that we shall produce as good, or better steel than what comes from over seas, and at considerable cheaper rate. And that the affair be set forward with the great expedition and certainty, we propose to take into our company and assistance, four men, more able and of greater ability than ourselves to promote and set forward, to the honor of the British nation and prosperity of this colony.

Therefore we, the said Higley and Dewey, humbly pray this honorable assembly would be pleased to grant to us, your honors' humble petitioners, our heirs and assigns, free liberty to set forward said art, and practice the business or trade of steel making, for the space of twenty years next coming, and prohibit all others that we may pretend thereto, within this colony, without our consent; provided we, your petitioners, or any under us, improve the said art to any good and reasonable perfection, within two years from the date of the date hereof, and so long as we shall well prosecute the same as above, and no longer, and your memorialists, etc.
Samuel Higley
Joseph Dewey

(Industry I. 118)

This may certify to all concerned, that Samuel Higley, of this town of Simsbury, came to the shop of us, the subscribers, being blacksmith, sometime in June, 1725, and desired us to let him have a pound or two of iron, made at the new works near Turkey Hills, which we, according to his desire, let him have, shaping several pieces according to his order. He desired that we would take notice of them, that we might know them again; for, said he, I am going to make steel of this iron, and shall in a few days, bring them to you to try for steel. Accordingly he brought the same pieces which we let him have, and we proved the, and found them good steel, which was the first steel that ever was made in this country, that we ever saw or heard of. Since which he hath made further experiments, taking from us iron, and returning it good steel. As witness our hands, this 7th day of May, 1728.
Timothy Phelps
John Drake

(Industry I. 120)

Whereas, etc.

We, being willing to give all due encouragement to works of this nature, are pleased to condescend to their request; and do therefore by these presents grant to them, the said Samuel Higley and Joseph Dewey, our license and liberty for the sole practising of the said art of steel making, to be and remain to said Higley and Dewey, etc. for and during the space of 10 years, next ensuing this date, strictly forbidding all persons practising the same within this colony, etc., without the consent and approbation of the said Samuel Higley, etc., under their hands and seals, as they will answer the country at their peril; the said Higley having power to take into their company, in and of himself, etc., three partners, and the said Dewey, in like manner, one partner.

Provided, always, that the said Higley and Dewey, etc., improve the art as above, to any good and reasonable perfection, within two years, etc., and so long as they shall prosecute the same, and no longer. May 1728

(Industry I. 119)

To the Honorable, etc. Oct 1740

The memorial of Thomas Fitch, George Wyllys and Robert Walker, Jr., all of said colony, most humbly sheweth: --

That your memorialists have been at the pains and expense of procuring the art and skill of making and converting iron into steel, and do judge it would be of very considerable advantage to this colony if the same be suitably encouraged and well performed in the same; and that your honors' memorialists are desirous to undertake the business aforesaid, if they may be suitably encouraged therein.

Whereupon, your memorialists most humbly move and pray this honorable assembly to grant us the sole liberty and privilege of performing the said manufactory of making and converting iron into steel, for the space of twenty years; and that your honors may more fully see the thing we desire, and the easier to make the said grant, we have drawn a bill for an act for the purpose aforesaid, which we herewith present, and pray your honors to pass the same into your act, or something equivalent thereto. And your memorialists, etc.
New Haven, Oct 1740
Thomas Fitch
George Wyllys
Robert Walker, Jr.

(Industry I. 137)

Granted for fifteen years, on condition that the said Fitch, Wyllys and Walker, etc., shall neglect to begin and perform said work, within two years after this date, and shall at any time after said two years, neglect to make half a ton of such steel in any one of the years within said term, then this grant and act, in every part thereof, shall be void. (138)

To the Honorable, etc.
October 1743
Messrs. Fitch, Wyllys & Walker, in their petition, add, -- Whereupon, we with our assigns, one of which was the Rev. Mr. Timothy Woodbridge of Simsbury, now deceased, expended a considerable sum of money in making a furnace, and providing other materials, in consequence of said grant, and in pursuance of said design, and had agreed to have made an experiment before the expiration of the said two years; but while we were preparing and before we had got ready, Mr. Woodbridge, on whom our dependence was to prepare and make the experiment, was removed by death, and thereby we [were] prevented doing what we intended, within the limitation aforesaid; And as we are now got in readiness to make the experiment in a short time, and are willing to have the advantage of our risque and expense, and having been disappointed as aforesaid, -- we pray your honors to renew the said grant to us and our assigns for the remaining 12 years, on the conditions before made upon, only we are willing that instead of two should be one year to effect the work in, etc.
New Haven, Oct. 18, 1743
signed as above

(Industry I. 139)

Assembly so renew the grant (140)

To the Honorable General Assembly

Whereas, the General Assembly were pleased by an act bearing date, October 1740, to grant to Messrs. Fitch, Wyllys & Walker, the sole privilege of making steel, for the term of 15 years, upon this condition, that they should, in the space of 2 years, make half a ton of steel: The aforesaid 2 years being expired, and the condition not complied with, -- application being made to the General Assembly in October last, they were pleased to renew the grant, upon condition that half a ton of steel should be made before the setting of the Assembly in October, 1744.

These are to certify and inform your honors, that after many expensive and fruitless trials, with which sundry of the owners were discouraged, the affair being still pursued by others of them, it has so far succeeded, that there has been made more than half a ton of steel at the furnace in Simsbury, which was erected for that purpose by the gentlemen to whom the aforesaid grant was made.
Aaron Eliot
Ichabod Miller

(Industry I. 141)

To the Honorable, etc.

They add -- And as a specimen of the goodness thereof, to answer the intentions of German steel, I, the said Aaron Elliot, who have had the care and oversight of said business, and performed said work, do herewith present to your honors for examination, instruments made with the said steel, made at Simsbury, aforesaid: And pray in behalf of said grantees and their assigns, that this Assembly would order a record to be made, that the condition of said grant appears to have been fulfilled to the satisfaction and acceptance of this Assembly: which will greatly oblige, etc.
Aaron Eliot, in behalf, etc.

(Industry I. 142)

Assembly so declare and order, Oct. 1744 (143)

To the Honorable, etc.
May, 1772
The memorial of Aaron Eliot, of Killingworth, humbly sheweth:

That your memorialist has, for a number of years, carried on the steel manufactory in this colony, and has made very large quantities, sufficient to supply all the necessary demand of that article in this colony, as well as to export large quantities for supplying the neighboring governments; and that the fortune of your memorialist has not been large enough to supply himself with a sufficient stock to carry on the business; and has therefore hitherto been obliged to procure his stock of iron at New York, on credit, and pay for the same in his steel when made, at the moderate price of £56 the ton, from whence it has been again purchased in this colony at the price of £75 and £80 the ton. And for several years past, almost the whole supply of steel in this colony has been from New York, of the manufacture of your memorialist at the aforesaid enormous advance; and your memorialist himself conceives, that the interest of the colony is to encourage necessary and advantageous manufactories within this colony, not only for the necessary consumption of the colony, but for export, which your memorialist will be able to effect, in the aforesaid article of steel, with some small assistance from your honors, to procure him a sufficient stock, and thereby save large sums of money within this colony which is annually paid to New York for the steel manufactured in this colony.

Wherefore your memorialist humbly prays your honors to loan him £500 out of the public treasury, for three years, without interest, whereby he will be enabled to carry on the aforesaid business to considerable public advantage. And he, etc.
Aaron Eliot
(Industry II. 144)

Assembly granted him said loan, May 1772 (145)

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial, etc.
Your memorialist further shews, that at present it will be very inconvenient for him to repay said sum, as he hath lost a large quantity of his steel in a store at Boston, where it was deposited for sale; his market at New York is interrupted, and he hath exerted himself to lay in a large stock to supply the demand for steel in this colony, which, in the course of the last summer, is greatly increased; and from the particular situation of public affairs, and from the great difficulty of procuring foreign supplies.

And therefore he humbly prays that the loan of said money may be continued to him for the space of two years longer, or such lesser term as to your honors shall seem meet: And that a suit which the treasurer hath commenced against him and his surety, upon your memorialist paying the cost that hath arisen, may be discontinued; And your memorialist, if required, is ready to give any further security that may be demanded.
Dated at New Haven, Dec 21st, A.D. 1775
Aaron Eliot

(Industry II. 146)

Assembly extend the time of payment two years (146)


To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Abel Parmele, of New Haven, humbly sheweth:

That, whereas your memorialist has been at great expense of both time and money, in order to gain the art and skill of casting large bells for the use of churches, schools, etc., and hath made such experiments as that your memorialist is well assured that he can perform, to good acceptance, and much for the public advantage of the government: Considering, --

1. Your memorialist can perform the work cheaper, allowing the discount of our currency with that of Great Britain, than it can be brought from foreign parts.

2. The best and principal product of our land will scarce, at any rate, make returns.

3. A great part of the materials of which such large bells are made, are the product of our country, and almost useless for any other service.

4. If a bell should happen to be split, as many are, the recasting again here will save the great expense of transportation, the risque of the seas, etc.

And now your memorialist begs leave to remind this Honorable Assembly, that the performance of such as hath not been attempted, as yet, in the country, and the charge and expense of an undertaking so great; and calling to mind how ready your honors have been duly to encourage such undertakings, and your unwillingness that any suffer thereby; and your memorialist being desirous of reaping the benefit of his own study and industry, humbly requesteth of this Honorable Assembly, that he may have the whole profit and management of said affair of making and vending large bells within this colony of Connecticut, for the space of 20 years next coming; And for the term aforesaid, no other person without the license of your memorialist, shall, within this colony, presume to set or make any bell of a larger size than 10 inches diameter, or for some shorter term, or some other way, as you, in your great wisdom think best, to encourage your humble memorialist. And your memorialist, as in duty bound, etc.
New Haven, Oct 19, 1736
Abel Parmele

Negatived in both Houses

(Industry I. 129)

Polishing Crystals

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Abel Buell, of Killingworth etc., humbly sheweth:

That your memorialist having been convicted, etc., of being guilty of altering the bills of public credit of this colony, etc. And whereas, this Honorable Assembly did so far compassionate the youthful follies of your memorialist as to give him enlargement from prison, where, by the laws of this colony, he was sentenced during life, and permitted him to dwell with his family in Killingworth, etc. Since which; duly sensible of his past error and offense, for which he justly suffered, he has with diligence applied himself to industry for the support of his family. And your memorialist would humbly beg leave to inform your honors, that in prosecuting the business of his calling, he hat discovered a method of grinding and polishing crystals and others stones of great value, all of the growth of this colony, and that without the aid or direction of any person skilled in the art, by which discovery, a great saving and advantage will accrue to this colony, by preventing the importation of such stones from abroad; And whereas, by the late laws of this colony, this Honorable Assembly were pleased to offer a premium to any person who should make any useful discovery for the advantage of this colony; your memorialist relying on the mercy and clemency of this Honorable Assembly in forging offenses, on proper evidence of repentance and reformation, is encouraged to implore their gracious interposition, and that your honors would restore your memorialist to those liberties and privileges which he has justly forfeited, at least so far as may enable him to carry on the business, in all its branches, of so useful a discovery made by your memorialist, so as to render the same extensively advantageous to the colonies in general, and to this government in particular. And your etc.
Abel Buell
Dated in Killingworth, 8th day of Oct. A.D. 1766

(Industry II. 126)

Certificate of justice of peace and townsmen, to his good behaviour, Oct. 8, 1766 (128)

He is restored to all those liberties and privileges by him forfeited, on giving bonds, etc. (127)

[See the following memorial.]

Type Founding

To the Honorable, etc., October, A.D. 1769
The memorial of Abel Buell of Killingworth, etc. humbly sheweth:

That your memorialist having experienced the great goodness of this Honorable Assembly, for which he begs leave to render his most grateful tribute of thanks, and to assure them from a grateful sense of their clemency, he has made it his unwearied study to render himself useful to the community in which he lives, and the American colonies in general; and by his unwearied application for a number of months past, has discovered the art of letter founding. And as a specimen of his ability, presents this memorial impressed with the types of his own manufacture; And whereas, by an ancient law of this colony, this Assembly were graciously pleased to enact, that any one who should make any useful discoveries, should receive an encouragement therefor, from this Honorable Assembly; and as the manufacture of types is in but few hands, even in Europe, he humbly conceives it to be a most valuable addition to the American manufacture; and as the expense of erecting a proper foundry will be great, and beyond the abilities of your memorialist, he humbly hopes for encouragement from this Assembly, either by granting him the liberty of a lottery for raising a sum sufficient to enable him to carry on the same, or in some other, etc.
Abel Buell

(Industry II. 137)

[The type, about Brevier with Bourgeois body, is more beautiful than any specimen we have seen of that period, and the impression better than the present average of Congressional Documents.]

Referred to a committee who report (138)

We have conferred with said Buell, etc., and are fully convinced that he hath discovered the art of letter founding; and that he is capable of making instruments necessary for the proper apparatus of letter founding, etc.

And on their recommendation the Assembly resolve, That the treasurer of the colony be, and he is hereby directed to pay out of the public treasury to said Buell, £100, upon his giving bond, etc. in the sum of £200 condition, that he set up and pursue within one year next after the receipt of said £100, the art of letter founding in this colony, and not depart therefrom to reside in any other province or colony within seven years next after the receipt of said money, and repay said £100 at the end of seven years; and that in case said Buell pursues said business in this colony, the space of 12 months after receiving said £100, the treasurer is hereby further directed to pay said Buell one other £100, (payable as above,) etc. (139)

Sir: -- The long absence of my husband, make me almost despair of ever seeing him again, etc. When he left me, it was unknown to me that he was so much involved as he was; and in a very few days, every thing was seized from me. I have by dint of industry got together so much, that I can now refund the money which he had of the state, etc. If, therefore, the £100 can be accepted in full for the demand against us, I am ready to pay it, etc.

I am, etc.
Aletta Buell
New Haven, August 8, 1777

(Industry II. 158)

Assembly ordered the bond to be given up on the payment of said £100, August 1777. (157)

(Abel Buell's name again appears among the petitioners of New Haven, for a tariff of duties on imports, October 12, 1785.)(Industry II. 201)

Pin Manufacture

To the Honorable, etc.
The petition of Leonardus Chester of Wethersfield, etc., humbly sheweth:

Whereas, we are obliged totally to withdraw commerce from the parent state, and we have wantonly and negligently been dependent on them for most of the ornamental, as well as useful articles of life, to the almost entire neglect of manufactures and arts, -- those stabilities of wealth and affluence -- esteeming it a surer and easier method to gain wealth and riches by agriculture, yet drove to the last resource of breaking off all connection, which has, to mutual advantage, so long subsisted, we find that our dependence has been so great and universal, that we sensibly feel it in the minutest trifles. And to avoid the discomfitures and sufferings, we might otherwise subject ourselves to, it behooves every well disposed mind to parry the thrust by every lawful method in his power, as well individuals as societies of men.

Actuated by these principles, your petitioner has turned his attention to arts and manufactures, and while others have been industriously busied investigating some method to end the present grand dispute, your petitioner has been engaged as far as in him lay, and perhaps as far as any individual in this colony, to make provision for an easy contest, and has with great expense, erected a manufactory house, and engaged a number of useful and necessary manufacturers in various branches in a particular manner. The pin manufactory never before attempted in this colony, which at first blush to a person unacquainted with the work, would seem so diminutive and trifling as to the expense, that any person of a moderate fortune, might attempt and execute within himself; yet your petitioner begs leave to acquaint this Honorable House, that although he did most minutely and critically sit down and count the cost, it has, owing to innumerable embarrassments and difficulties, surpassed his calculation. Under all embarrassments, he has, however, thus far completed the works, that he can by samples, demonstrate, that they can be made as well as in London, and upon as fixed principles, saving the prime cost and charges of the wire; which to carry into an extensive execution, will demand a larger capital than your petitioner, exclusive of his other business is able to advance, especially at the dead crisis of collecting debts.

Your petitioner, therefore, by advice of his friends, and numbers of well disposed persons of worth, has taken this method, and humbly prays that this Honorable House will be pleased to look into the premises, and appoint a committee to inspect the works, and report the practicability of its execution, and certainty of an easy supply of that article, though trifling at first view, yet essentially necessary to the community, and on that principle important, as every individual will be affected by the want, which said committee may be vested with such power as to advance such a sum of money from the public treasury upon good security, as shall execute the design: Or, as the call is at present so loud, and a considerable sum of money might profitably be advanced for wire, which might immediately be worked to advantage, judging, that at this time of stagnation of cash, your petitioner as aforesaid, not being able to collect his dues, this House would not wish that your petitioner should be obliged to part with his paternal interest for the service of his country; that they would encourage him by bounty, or a loan of a certain sum for a certain time, interest free; the way your Honors shall think most eligible, will confer a favor and advance the public good. And your petitioner, etc.

Leonardus Chester
Wethersfield, December 21st, 1775

(Industry II. 153)

Referred to a committee who report: --
That one method of encouraging said manufacture may be by premium or bounty.

... That a bounty or premium of 3d on the pound may be proper to be given for every pound of good merchantable pins that shall be made in this colony within one year, etc.; and 1d on the pound, etc., the next year after, etc.

We beg leave further to report, that Mr. Leonardus Chester, appeared before us, and represented that he had contracted with, and hired a workman and five hands well skilled in the pin manufactory, and hath already advanced £1700 towards providing buildings, tools, machines, and materials for carrying on the manufactory aforesaid. That the expense of setting up the same greatly exceeds his expectations. That his stock is so far exhausted in preparations, that he is not able to procure stock to employ said workman. And that in case he could be indulged with a sum of money for a term, interest free, he would be willing to submit to the following conditions, to wit: that his manufactory should be open to the inspection of the General Assembly, that he would be laid under obligation to sell his pins at a reasonable profit, to be determined by the General Assembly, and give security to apply the money received wholly to carry on said manufactory under penalty, etc. Whereupon, etc., a loan of money, without interest, to said Chester, is another method by which said manufactory may be encouraged, etc. (154)

After disagreeing votes, the Assembly order a continuance to the next session. So it ended.

Clock that Shall Wind Up Itself

To the Honorable, etc.
The petition of Benjamin Hanks of Litchfield, humbly sheweth to your Honors: --

That your petitioner after unwearied trouble, pains, and study for a number of years now last past, in search of mechanical knowledge, not only for his own pleasure and amusement, but for the benefit of mankind, has made a large improvement, by inventing, contriving and executing a clock or machine that winds itself up by help of the air, and will continue so to do without any other aid of assistance, until the component parts thereof are destroyed by friction; which will keep the most regular time of any machine yet invented, as it is ever wound without any variation or stop to her motion, and consequently not only a great ornament, but improvement in mechanism, which your Honors' petitioner will submit to your Honors, and beg them to take the matter into their wise consideration; and as he has been at great pains, trouble and expense, in accomplishing the same, that they would graciously grant unto your petitioner, the sole and exclusive right and privilege of making and vending said kinds of clocks for the term of 14 years, or some other way, etc.
Benjamin Hanks
Dated at Litchfield, this 6th day of October, A.D. 1783

(Industry II. 181)

Lower House at first negative his petition; but finally, such exclusive privilege is granted. (182)

Steam Engine

To the Honorable, etc.
The petition of Barnabas Deane humbly sheweth: --

That your petitioner, for valuable considerations given to certain ingenious persons in Great Britain, the first and original inventors of the new improved steam engine, (who, by act of Parliament of Great Britain, have an exclusive right to construct and use the same within that kingdom, for the space of 25 years;) your petitioner has acquired a perfect knowledge of the construction thereof, with new improvements, and the application thereof to a great variety of important purposes; such as the raising of water, the manufacturing of iron, and to the working of corn mills, saw mills, and of mills of every kind. Your petitioner, therefore, humbly prays that an act of assembly may be passed, to give and grant to your petitioner, and to his heirs and assigns, the sole and exclusive right and privilege of erecting and making use of the aforesaid steam engine, for the purpose of manufacturing of iron, and of working of corn mills, saw mills, and mills of every other kind, for and during the term of 20 years from the date of such act or grant, in and throughout this state. And your petitioner, etc.
Barnabas Deane
Dated in Hartford, May 27th, 1786


(Industry II. 213)

John Fitch, the inventor of the Steamboat, was a native of Connecticut, and it is said, made his first experiments in the Connecticut river.

Ship Building has ever been carried on from the earliest period in Connecticut, but no special privileges were ever granted.

Drill Plough

To the Honorable, etc.
Oct. 1771
The petition of Benoni Hilliard, of Saybrook, humbly sheweth: --

That the society established in London, Anno Domini, 1753, for Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, in order to incite and stimulate persons to make improvements in the arts and in manufactures, and to the discovery of further advantages in commerce and agriculture, and every useful part of learning, from time to time, have given praemia on new inventions, proving useful either in the culture of lands, or in further promoting and advancing the arts, manufactures or commerce; and more especially, on the 10th of April, A.D., 1765, at a meeting of members of said society, in the Strand, in London, duly convened according to the rules and orders of said society, they voted a premium of fifty pounds sterling for the best drill plough that should drill, sow and cover the corn or seed at the same time, being an improvement upon such drill ploughs as were then already known or in use. And said society, on the 30th of May, A.D., 1764, resolved, that no member of said society should thereafter be a candidate for, or entitled to receive any premium, bounty or reward whatsoever, except the honorary medal of said society. And your petitioner, being under low circumstances, was moved and induced by the said offer of the premium of fifty pounds, as aforesaid, to undertake to make a drill plough, such as should be an improvement on all drill ploughs at that time known and in use; and after much time, study and perplexity of mind, effected the same, and constructed a drill plough, such as he judged would merit the premium offered as aforesaid. And your petitioner being a person of obscure life, and little acquainted with persons of rank and figure, in order to obtain said premium, applied to Benjamin Gale, Esq., of Killingworth, etc., a neighbor to your petitioner, and who was also a corresponding member of said society, to advise and assist him in procuring said bounty and premium. And said Gale undertook to negotiate and transact said business for your petitioner, so as to obtain said premium; and in consideration thereof, your petitioner was to give said Gale one-half said premium when received, as a reward for his services in procuring the payment thereof; and as it is contrary to the rules and orders of said society, for any member to receive a bounty; and also by the rules and orders of said society, if any person should be detected in any disingenuous methods to impose on the society, such person shall forfeit the bounty for which he is a competitor, and be deemed incapable of obtaining any premium thereafter; It was therefore agreed between said Gale and your petitioner, to keep secret the aforesaid bargain respecting the division of said premium, and that said Gale should solely transact all matters relating to the obtaining of the premium aforesaid. And your petitioner, confiding in the honor and fidelity of said Gale, in the matters aforesaid, sometime in the year 1765, delivered the said drill plough, by him solely invented and constructed, unto said Gale, that he might transmit the same to said society, and obtain the premium therefore, if the same should be judged to merit the offered bounty, to be divided as aforesaid. And said Gale received the said plough for that purpose; and said Gale having so gotten said plough into his possession, in order to procure a great name and character of a person of skill and ingenuity, and to spread abroad his fame and reputation, did most unjustly and falsely write and declare to said society that he, said Gale, was the sole inventor and constructor of said plough; and said society having received said plough, adjudged the same to merit the offered premium, as aforesaid, and to be a great and valuable improvement on all drill ploughs before known and in use. But the said Gale being a corresponding member, by the rules and orders aforesaid, could not receive the bounty aforesaid (he being supposed to be the inventor and constructor of the aforesaid plough) and therefore said society struck a golden honorary medal for said Gale, to perpetuate his fame and reputation as a gentleman of a fruitful invention, and very useful to his fellow men in his day and generation; which medal said Gale has received, and the same is in value, in money, worth £7 10s L.M. By all which misrepresentations and fraudulent transactions of said Gale, your poor petitioner has lost the benefit of the premium aforesaid, is defeated in his expectations, by the fallacious and fraudulent doings of said Gale as aforesaid, and said Gale refuses to pay and satisfy your petitioner any part of said £50. Your petitioner would further represent to your honors, that as said Gale is and was a gentleman intrusted in many and important places of public trust, the execution of which, your petitioner conceived, would never be committed to any but such as your honors esteem to be persons of fidelity and virtue, he in his humble station was induced, by the public character of said Gale, to put great confidence and trust in him, and thereby, in some parts of the aforesaid representation, may not be able fully and clearly to evince the same, without the testimony of said Gale, or of your petitioner; although he is able, he conceives, to render the same highly probable in every part thereof, by other and disinterested witnesses, and in many of the material parts thereof, fully to evince the same.

Wherefore, your petitioner humbly prays your honors, by yourselves or a committee, to inquire into all the aforesaid matters, by the oaths of the parties, and other evidence, or otherwise, as shall be thought fit; and that said Gale may be, by your honors' decree, held to pay and satisfy your petitioner the sum of £50 sterling, or such part thereof as your honors shall think just and reasonable, or in some other way, etc.
Dated in Saybrook, August 22, A.D., 1777
Benoni Hilliard

(Industry II. 148)

Petition was withdrawn.


To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Samuel Dennis, of New Haven, humbly sheweth:

That he is acquainted with the potter's business, and is about to erect a stone pottery; and there is in this country a plenty of clay, which he presumes of the same kind with that from which the queens-ware of Staffordshire is usually made; and that he wishes to erect a pottery for the purpose of manufacturing the finer kinds of ware usually made in Staffordshire, particularly the queens-ware; that the expense of this undertaking, of procuring the requisite information, and the workmen acquainted with the business, is too great for his property. Your memorialist conceives that the public would be so greatly benefited by a work of this nature, and particularly by obtaining and diffusing the knowledge of the business, that your honors will readily afford him some assistance. The manufacturing of those articles would be attended with not only the advantage of saving the expense of the country, but would probably, in a short time, very greatly reduce the price of them, as they now come to the consumer at two or three times the original cost, by reason of the high freight and other charges. Your memorialist thinks, that by the aid of £250 or £300, he could complete the business, and he would give sufficient security to lay out the money for the aforesaid purpose, and to repay the sum within three years. Your memorialist, therefore, prays your honors to loan him that sum without interest, for said three years, on those conditions, etc.
Samuel Dennis
New Haven, October 9, 1789

Negatived. (Industry II. 242)


To the Honorable, etc. May, 1747
The memorial of Thomas Darling of New Haven, in the county of New Haven, humbly sheweth to this Honorable Assembly:

That whereas, your memorialist has taken pains to inform himself in the art and mystery of making glass, and is persuaded that, by your Honors' leave and with proper encouragement, he can carry on the affair, so as to be beneficial both to himself and this government. The charge for setting up works for that business being great, and some considerable length of time required before they can be profitable -- For

First -- He may be obliged to send to England for workmen, not being able to procure them at Philadelphia, they main't be able to get here in a year or two, by reason of the difficulty occasioned by the war.

Secondly -- It will take considerable time to build the furnace, for it is dubious, whether the clay may be found here, either to build the furnace of, or to make the pots that contain the metal.

Thirdly -- There may be much time spent in experiments upon sand: for though all sand contains a glass, yet it may not answer either as to the quantity or quality; for some sand yields so little, that costs of fluxing and blowing could never be answered; and other sand, though it may yield in good proportion, yet it main't be sufficiently transparent, which is the peculiar excellency of glass.

Many other difficulties your Honors can easily perceive, may arise in an affair so great with so many dependencies, so that your memorialist main't be able to carry on the affair, either for his own benefit, or the public's in 4 or 5 years.

Whereupon, he humbly prays this Honorable Assembly, would grant your memorialist and his assigns, by your Honors' patent, the sole liberty and privilege of manufacturing and making glass with in this government, for the space and term of 25 years next coming, or as long as your Honors shall think fit. And yours, etc.
Thomas Darling
Hartford, May 1747

(Industry I. 159)

On the memorial, etc.
It is resolved by this Assembly, That the memorialist and his assigns, shall have the sole liberty and privilege of making and manufacturing glass in this colony, etc., for the space of 20 years from this time; and all and every other person or persons are hereby forbid and prohibited setting up, erecting, and carrying on any works, buildings, or materials for carrying on the business of making glass as aforesaid, in this colony for the space of 20 years next coming, without the liberty of the memorialist or his assigns, on penalty that every such person or persons so doing, shall forfeit the sum of £1,00 money, to be recovered, etc.

Provided, nevertheless, that if the memorialist and his assigns shall neglect or fail to erect, set up and prepare suitable works and materials for the making of glass, as aforesaid, for the space of 4 years, or shall fail of making the quantity of 500 feet of good window glass, in any one of the remaining 16 years, after the aforesaid 4 years, that then this grant and every part thereof shall be void, etc.
May 1747

(Industry I. 160)

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Elijah Hubbard of Middletown, Isaac Moseley of Glastenbury, Wm. Little, Jr. of Lebanon and Pickett Latimer of New London, etc., humbly sheweth:

That they are desirous to erect a glass house, and set up and carry on the manufacture of glass of various kinds within this state. That upon inquiry, they find the introducing this manufacture into the state, will be attended with great expense and risque; and in case of success, will not be attended with sufficient profit to compensate the trouble and expense, if others availing themselves of the labors and experience of the first adventurers should establish rival works, as soon as they have collected workmen, and overcome the difficulties of a new adventure, in a manufacture hitherto unknown in this state.

Whereupon, they humbly pray your Honors to extend your gracious encouragement and protection to them; and upon condition, that they do within one year erect a glass house, and begin manufacturing glass within this state, for and during the term of 20 years next ensuing, -- or for and during such term as to your Honors shall seem meet. And they, etc.
Elijah Hubbard, et al
Dated at Hartford, this 18th day of October, A.D. 1779

(Industry II. 169)

Granted during the pleasure of the Assembly (168)

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Isaac Moseley and William Little, Jr., etc., humbly sheweth, etc.

.... That the said Hubbard and Latimer, upon consideration of the great expense and risque to be incurred, have declined to proceed further in said business; and that your memorialist, earnest desirous to proceed in said business, have, at much expense of time and money, endeavored to inform themselves of the necessary cost of works, utensils and lands, will amount to about £3,000 L.M. as in 1774: That a number of able and experienced workmen may be obtained at a great expense, who are, nevertheless, slow to engage upon account of the expense and damage arising to them, by removing their families, etc. Your memorialists are willing yet to risk their time and fortunes in an attempt to introduce so useful and necessary a manufacture, but do not think themselves able to do it without some further encouragement from the public.

And therefore, they humbly pray your Honors to grant them liberty [to raise] £2,000 in good and lawful money, or the value thereof in bills by lottery, as your Honors shall think meet, under such restrictions and regulations as may be judged proper, to enable them the better to set up and introduce said manufacture, or in some other, etc.
Isaac Moseley
William Little, Jr.
Dated in Hartford, the 8th day of June, A.D. 1780

(Industry II. 173)

Upon the memorial, etc.
As a further encouragement to their undertaking and carrying on so useful and necessary a manufacture, [they] shall have and enjoy the sole and exclusive right of manufacturing glass within this state for 15 years, from and after the 1st day of July, 1780, upon conditions that they establish such manufactory as aforesaid, by the 1st day of November, 1781, and that, from that day forward, during the continuance of this grant, carry on in a regular manner, the business of such manufactory, so as to furnish for sale the usual quantities of glass, which are common made and sold at such manufactories. (Industry II. 174)

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Wm. Pitkin, Samuel Bishop and Elisha Pitkin, humbly propose to your Honors --

Whether manufacturing glass in this state will not be for the public emolument of the same; and if it be thought an object worthy the attention of your Honors, they will, if properly encouraged, erect works and pursue said business. Money out of the public treasury in this distressing day, we do not expect; but an exclusive right to such manufacture, such length of time as may be thought proper to save them the great expense that will be necessary in buildings, etc. for said purpose, etc. And if the proposal meets your Honors' approbation, we pray a committee to hear your memorialist in the premises, and report, or any other way, etc.
Wm Pitkin
Samuel Bishop
Elisha Pitkin
Hartford, January 28th, 1783

(Industry II. 179)

Referred to a committee, who report (179)
It will be a benefit to this state, to grant to the memorialists an exclusive right of manufacturing glass, for the term of 25 years, from and after the time they shall begin the first blast. And that the memorialists ought to be exempted from all assessments on account of the profits which may arise by manufacturing glass for the term of 10 years, from the rising of this Assembly.

Granted, on condition they begin manufacturing within three years.

(Industry II. 180)

To the Honorable, etc. Oct 1789
The memorial of George Pitkin, Richard Pitkin, Wm. Pitkin, Jr., George Pitkin, Jr., and Richard Pitkin, Jr. of East Hartford, etc.; Aaron Bissel, Epaphias Bissel, and Daniel Ellsworth of East Windsor, and George Hale of Glastenbury, etc., humbly sheweth:

That your memorialists, conceiving that the erecting of glass works would be of public utility, and hoping they would prove to be of private advantage, have been at great expense in erecting buildings and furnaces, and providing materials, and procuring workmen for the purpose of establishing and carrying on a glass factory. That besides, etc., they have been subjected to great losses and disappointments, by means of one Robert Hughs of Boston, who entered into partnership with the memorialists, and engaged to furnish a large proportion of the stock for carrying on said factory; and who having induced your memorialists to believe, that he was a person well skilled in the aforesaid manufactory, was by them appointed and employed to superintend, and direct the business of their glass works; but the said Hughs utterly failed of furnishing stock, and also proved by his subsequent conduct, to be totally unskilled in the business of said factory. And the memorialists would further represent to your Honors, that the expense of carrying on said factory is greater than they expected, etc. That notwithstanding the aforesaid losses and disappointments, as the memorialists possess buildings, and have considerable stock on hand, to be employed in said factory, they have proceeded to engage a number of workmen, and with such encouragement as might be afforded by the Legislature, without being burdensome to the public, they think they might prosecute their undertaking with success. The memorialists conceiving that the prosperity of the State is intimately connected with the introduction and improvement of manufactures, and that the making of glass is one of the most important manufactures that can be introduced among us, etc., pray your Honors to interpose and grant them a lottery for the purpose of raising the sum of £400, etc.
George Pitkin, et al
East Hartford, Oct 6, 1789

(Industry II. 239)

Lottery so granted, and managers appointed. (240)


Upon the memorial of Christopher Leffingwell, of Norwich, etc., preferred to this Assembly, etc., May, 1768, and by continuance comes to this Assembly, shewing that he hath, at great expense, erected a paper mill in said Norwich, and procured workmen for the making and manufacturing various kinds of paper, etc., praying that a bounty may be granted him, on all paper made and manufactured in his said paper works, etc. And farther, it appearing to this Assembly that sufficient materials for making paper are and may be had in this colony.

Resolved by this Assembly, that the said Christopher Leffingwell be allowed and paid out of the treasury of this colony, two pence the quire on all good writing paper, and one penny the quire on all printing and coarser paper, that shall be made and manufactured in said paper mill, during the pleasure of this Assembly.

And it is further resolved, that the said Christopher Leffingwell shall render an account annually, to the treasurer of this colony, of the quantity and kinds of paper made and manufactured in said paper mill in each year, duly attested upon oath, and upon his producing such account duly attested as aforesaid to the treasurer of this colony, the said treasurer is hereby directed and ordered to pay the said bounty as above stated, annually, at the expiration of each year, from and after, etc. May 1769. (Colony Records X. 439)

At the end of the first year, May 1770, Leffingwell presented his affidavits and bill for manufacturing

    4,020 quires of writing paper at 2d        £33 10s 0p

   10,600 quires printing etc. paper at 1d     £48  6s 8p

Which was paid him, and bounty discontinued.

(Industry II. 140 to 142)

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Hannah Watson and Sarah Ledyard, of Hartford, humbly sheweth:

That their lately deceased husbands, Ebenezer Watson and Austin Ledyard, in their lifetimes, and few years since, had jointly, and at great expense, erected a paper mill in East Hartford, complete and excellent as any one upon the continent, and which had now begun to be of advantage to the owners, and great utility to the public, as it wholly supplied the press of Hartford, (from whence issue weekly more than 8,000 newspapers) a great part of the writing paper used in the state for one year past, and had supplied large quantities for the use of the continental army, and officers: but most unfortunately for the memorialists, on the night after the 27th inst., in a manner to them unknown, (though suspected to be by means of some evil minded person) took fire and was wholly consumed, with all the effects therein, being about 20 reams of paper, and materials for 300 more, etc. Capital loss of more than £5,000, etc.

Dated at Hartford, Jan. 28, 1778
Hannah Watson
Sarah Ledyard

(Industry II. 159)

Assembly grant them a lottery to raise £1,500 (160)


(Of this important invention to destroy an enemy's shipping, but little appears on the files and records.)

At a meeting of the Governor and Council of Safety, Feb. 2, 1776 --

Mr. [David] Bushnell was here by request of the Governor and Council, etc., and gave an account of his machine contrived to blow up ships, etc., and was asked many question about it, etc., etc.

Voted, That we hold ourselves under obligations of secrecy about it. And his Honor the D. Governor is desired to reward him for his trouble and expenses in coming here, and signify to him that we approve of his plan, and that it will be agreeable to have him proceed to make every necessary preparation and experiment about it, with expectation of proper public notice and reward. (Council of Safety I. 73)

Feb. 3, 1776 -- Moved by the Governor, by motion to him from Governor Griswold, that some encouragement should be given to enable Mr. Bushnell to pay expenses incurred in preparing his machine for the design projected, etc., and to carry forward the plan etc., etc., it appearing to be a work of great ingenuity, etc., etc., a prospect that it may be attended with success, and being undertaken merely to serve the public, and of considerable expense and labor, etc. It is thought reasonable that something should be done, etc.

Voted and ordered, That the treasurer pay and deliver to his Honor, the Deputy Governor, the sum of £60, to be by him improved for the use of the colony and public, according to instruction from the board.

(Council of Safety I. 76)

Water Mills

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of David Bushnell, of Saybrook, in New London county, humbly sheweth --

That your memorialist, after long application to mathematical and philosophical studies and frequent and expensive experiments on mechanical improvements, hath discovered a new method of constructing water mills in such a manner, -- by projecting the flume under the water wheel, so that the aperture through which the stream flows against the wheel, shall be advanced beyond a line let fall perpendicular from the extremity of that part of the wheel which is nearest to the pond, and by placing the buckets of the water wheel obliquely to the radii of the wheel, and perpendicular to the stream which turns it, -- that the force, action and impression of the same stream in turning the mill will be greatly increased, and in many cases, trebled beyond what it can be in mills of the usual construction: And has also discovered a further valuable improvement in grist mills, by fixing the rounds or leaves of the trundle head, so as to swivel or turn in the trundle head, whereby the friction in turning the mill will be greatly diminished: Which improvements, the memorialist conceives, will be of general utility to the public. And whereas, for perfecting and completing said invention and improvement, the memorialist finds it necessary to put himself to considerable additional expense, and employ his time and attention for a considerable period.

Wherefore, your memorialist humbly prays this Honorable Assembly to grant him the sole right of constructing, altering and repairing water mills in the State, in the manner and according to the improvements above described, for such term as shall be adjudged reasonable, as a compensation to the memorialist; and further order and enact, that whoever, within this State, shall during such term, construct, alter or repair any water mill, in the manner and according to the improvements aforementioned, either in part of in the whole, without license from the memorialist first had and obtained, shall forfeit and pay to the memorialist such penalty as your honors, in your wisdom shall judge proper. And your memorialist, etc.
Daniel Bushnell
Dated at New Haven, this 28th of Oct. 1784


(Industry II. 189)

Perpetual Motion by Water

To the Honorable, etc.
The petition of Harris Ransom, of Colchester, in said State, humbly sheweth:

That your petitioner, at great expense, with much pains, labor, and study, has obtained the art or mystery of making a perpetual motion of water, whereby he is able and can raise the water from any river, pond, spring or fountain, to the height of 30 feet perpendicular, and convey the same to any parts of any towns or cities, or return the same to the original fountain or head, which said performance will be of great advantage, not only to the petitioner, but to the public in general, by affording them at all times, good and wholesome water at a very trifle of expense; and also will provide all towns and cities with constant and unfailing streams, sufficient for the carrying any iron works and mills of all kinds:

Wherefore your petitioner humbly prays this Assembly to grant unto him and his heirs, a full power and license, under certain restrictions, to set up and erect his said works within this State, and that no person shall be allowed to set up any such works after the pattern of those by your petitioner so set up, within the term of 20 years, without a license first had and obtained from your petitioner; and that all such machines, mills, , etc. set up by your petitioner for his own improvement, shall be free from all taxes and assessments for the term of 100 years, and that all such works set up by others licensed by the petitioner's license shall be free from all such taxes for the term of two years after erected. The petitioner being restricted in setting up his said works, not to obstruct any water to the damage of any individual person, or to the public in general. No action by Assembly.

(Industry II. 216)

Filed -- "Prisoner in gaol, memorial."

To the Honorable, etc.

As there is a new discovery of raising the water up, so as to turn it out of the valleys, and turn it into the hills to water the dry land, and to carry mills or to carry iron works or any other water craft, to water cities and towns, to drain dead swamps and ponds -- since the thing is so profitable to this State, 'tis the earnest request of us all as one, that this petitioner's petition may be heard and granted him.
Signed by
Israel Newton and 8 others

(Industry II. 217)

Tide Mills

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of John Shipman, of Saybrook, in New London county, humbly sheweth:

That by reason of extreme drought, the inhabitants of sundry towns in this colony, have been greatly distressed, as well for want of grinding grain, as in other respects; an instance of which is in the town of Saybrook, especially the first parish, where there hath not been, for four months next before the 18th inst., twenty bushels of grain ground in said parish; and the inhabitants have been obliged to carry all their grain out of town, in order to have it ground, and great part of it more than twenty miles, at great expense of time and money, and are now reduced to the necessity of carrying it to Long Island, and have been sundry times obliged to leave it, for want of wind to carry the wind mills, and the inhabitants in the meantime distressed, for want of bread; by which your honors' memorialist hath been induced to turn his mind much on the subject of mills, especially such as might be made by salt water. And as the tides in the salt water creeks towards the eastern part of the colony, especially where they run near the uplands, don't ordinarily ebb and flow more than two feet and a half, it renders the use of salt water for the purpose aforesaid, very difficult. Yet your honors' memorialist is confident that by close application and hard study, he has been so happy, though master of but a little philosophy, as to hit on a plan on which he can build a gristmill, though with something more than the ordinary expense, that will grind well and to good purpose, 12 hours in 24; and he verily believes, may be so constructed as to go continually, as long as wood and iron will last, without exhausting any considerable part of the water; and as such a discovery, if he should succeed, would be more beneficial to the people in general, especially on the sea shore, than to the particular owner, your honors' memorialist is encouraged to hope that your honors will do something to encourage him in such an undertaking. Therefore, your honors' memorialist, believing in your honors' good disposition to promote a design of such public utility, humbly prays your honors to grant him proper encouragement, either by way of a lottery to raise such sum as your honors shall think best, or a sum by way of premium, to be advanced on the completion of the proposed machine, in case he should succeed; and previous to the undertaking advance £100, or such greater or lesser sum as your honors shall judge fit, by way of loan without interest, for such number of years as your honors shall judge fit; or grant him the privilege of such a constructed mill, to the exclusion of other persons; or in such other manner as your honors, in your great wisdom shall devise. And your, etc.
John Shipman
Dated at Saybrook, the 19th day of October, A.D., 1773

Referred to a committee (Industry II. 149)

Upon the memorial, etc.
Resolved by this assembly, that the memorialist, etc., have the full and exclusive privilege of constructing, erecting and improving a tide grist mill, on the plan and construction proposed, for the term of forty years, at all places within said town of Saybrook, and within ten miles westward of Connecticut river; providing the memorialist, etc., do erect such mill within the term of five years next ensuing, and constantly keep up the same fit for use and improvement, so as to be beneficial to the public. And all persons are hereby prohibited from erecting or improving any tide grist mill, for the term aforesaid, within the limits aforesaid, without the liberty of the memorialist, etc., on the penalty of £50, L.M.
January 1774

(Industry II. 150)

Cloth Manufacture

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Samuel Loomis, of Colchester, etc., humbly sheweth:

That he has by great labor and pains, acquired a knowledge of erecting works for the manufacturing of wool, cotton, hemp, flax and silk, upon a new constructed plan, according to certain plans herewith exhibited, which may be done by hand or by water works; and that he can, by such machinery, perform the whole process of taking the aforesaid articles in raw materials, and making them into cloth, in a much easier manner than any now in practice, by which our manufacturers may be encouraged, the price of such cloth lessened, and vast sums of money saved in the state. And your memorialist would represent, that in case the raising of hemp in this state should succeed according to the encouragement given, that he should, by the aforesaid works, be able to manufacture a sufficiency of duck to supply a considerable part of the shipping of the state.

Your memorialist further represents, that said works cannot be erected without the expense of about £2000 L.M.; and that no individual will venture upon so great an undertaking without the public encouragement and security of enjoying the exclusive right and privilege of taking the profits resulting from such an enterprise, until he has reimbursed to himself the expense of erecting such works.

Your memorialist, therefore, prays your honors to take this matter into your consideration, and to grant to him the sole and exclusive right and privilege of erecting machines and works for the purpose of manufacturing the articles of wool, cotton, hemp, flax and silk, in the manner aforesaid, within this state for the term of fourteen years; and also grant to your memorialist the sole and exclusive right and privilege of manufacturing the aforesaid articles in such works by him erected, for the term aforesaid; or in some other way grant to your memorialist such public encouragement as the importance of the undertaking justly admits. And your petitioner, etc.
Dated at Hartford, May 28, 1787
Samuel Loomis

(Industry II. 218)

Plans or diagrams presented by petitioner

    For spinning cotton and wool      (219)

    For Loom                          (220)

    For Carding                       (221)

    For spinning flax and hemp        (222)

Referring to a committee, who report: -- The committee conceive that the interest of this state is concerned to promote various manufactures, and particularly of this kind, as this will find useful employment for many who might otherwise be idle, give spring to industry and improvement, lessen importations from abroad, gradually turn the balance of trade in our favor, and eventually be the source of wealth and respectability, and therefore every attempt towards improvement in this respect, ought to be regarded in a favorable light.

It cannot be expected that any person would be at the expense and hazard of erecting works of this kind, which will probably cost not less than £2000, and be liable to be defeated of all prospect of advantage, by others who may think proper to do the same after him, but have not courage enough to begin the attempt.

In this view of the matter, the committee beg leave to give it as their opinion, that Mr. Loomis be allowed, for the term of seven years, the exclusive right and privilege of erecting machines and works for the purpose prayed for in his memorial, on the east side of the Connecticut river, or within ten miles west of said river, and of using and improving the same for that term; and that for the second term of seven years next following, if he shall so long improve the said works, no person shall be allowed the privilege of erecting similar works within thirty miles of the works he shall so erect within the aforesaid limits.

Provided, that no privilege granted the present sessions of assembly, to promote the manufacture of wool,be affected thereby.

All of which is submitted, etc.

Signed per order
John Treadwell

(Industry II. 223)

Corresponding act was passed May 1787 (224)

Stocking Looms

To his Excellency, etc. May 1776
The memorial of James Wallace, stocking maker, sheweth:
That your memorialist has been in Wethersfield since December last, during which time he has exercised his trade of stocking making, which he professes himself master of, both in the silk, cotton, thread and worsted way, in all their different branches. That from a desire of serving this province, and settling therein, he prays your honors to lend him £100, to enable him to extend and carry on his trade, so that it may be of use to the public in general. He further intends, if encouraged, to erect an engine for the purpose of spinning cotton and woolen yarn, which will be of infinite service to several branches of the weaving business, and enable them, in a short time, to bring their goods to market, as cheap as they can in the old country. And as a security for the payment of the same, at such time as your honors shall think fit to lend it, he proposes to give a security on his frames, to any one or more gentlemen that will be good enough to take the trouble of the same. And your, etc.
James Wallace

Negatived (Industry II. 155)

To the Honorable, etc.
The representation and memorial of Benjamin Hanks, of Windham, etc. humbly sheweth:

That he, relying upon a belief that your honors are ever desirous to promote and encourage every useful manufactory within this state, he hath taken encouragement to address to your honors upon the subject of fabricating stocking looms; to perform and effect which, he conceives that he is sufficiently skilled; that he, your memorialist, has been much used to and acquainted with laboring in iron, brass and steel, and every other material necessary to construct the proposed machine; that he is fully persuaded that he could, with some small encouragement, soon construct and finish a number of such looms, to the satisfaction of the public, and every skilled weaver therein; that he conceives that having completed his desires in that particular, that the public would be greatly benefited thereby, not only in more readily and cheaply supplying the soldiery with that necessary part of clothing, viz: stockings, but also the inhabitants of the state. But your memorialist being young, and not of sufficient cash to procure those materials which are necessary for the desired purpose, he is thereby unable and prevented from making the attempt. Whereupon, he humbly prays your honors to take the matter into your just consideration, and grant him such premium as your honors may think proper, upon his having completed a good and sufficient stocking loom, and upon such other conditions as are fit and suitable; and, in the meantime, entrust him, upon proper security, with a sum sufficient for the purpose. Or otherwise, etc.
Benjamin Hanks
Dated at Windham, this 14th day of August, 1777

(No action on it.) (Industry II. 156) See clocks

Stocking Weaving

To the Honorable, etc.
The petition of Thomas Hubbard and Christopher Leffingwell, both of Norwich, etc., humbly sheweth:

That your memorialist have, at very great expense and cost, procured 8 stocking frames for the weaving of stockings, and have endeavored to procure workmen to make use of said frames, to prevent, if possible, the necessity of sending away such large sums of specie to procure these articles, in hopes that by said business to make a reasonable profit to themselves. But their workmen prove very unsteady and idle; Therefore your memorialists are constrained to take apprentices to find employment for said frames, which have not as yet, borne any profit to them, as they are assessed for said business, and said apprentices are rated for their polls in your memorialist's list, which has so discouraged your memorialists, that they must lay aside business, without the favorable interposition of your Honors. And your memorialist pray your Honors to patronize and encourage them by relieving them from any assessment on said trade, for the term of five years, and likewise release and exempt all persons that shall be, by your memorialist, constantly employed in said trade and business, from being rated for their polls, for the term of two years next coming. Or otherwise, etc.
Thomas Hubbard
Chris't Leffingwell
Dated in Norwich, the 20th day of May, 1789

Granted in lower House. Negatived in upper.

(Industry II. 238)

Woolen Manufacture

To the Honorable, etc. Oct 1736
The memorial of John Davis, of Lyon's Hall, in the county of Hereford, in Great Britain, now resident in Litchfield, etc., clothier, humbly sheweth:

That your memorialist, about 13 months since, came over into New England from said Lyon's Hall, where he had practiced and improved himself in the art and mystery of a clothier, for the full space of 30 years and upwards, and then brought with him a considerable quantity of full cloths to the value of £300 or £400 sterling M. to sell and vend in this country, all of your Honor's memorialist's own manufacturing, which cloth well suited the country, and sample and specimen, thereof your memorialist has here to shew your Honors. And your memorialist designing to have returned, but upon observation of the country, and view of the woolen manufactory, finds the poorness of the cloth is chiefly owing to the unskillfulness of the inhabitants in the art aforesaid, whereby much good wool is in a great measure lost, and cloth confounded and rendered much less serviceable as well as fashionable for the people; which your memorialist humbly thinks your Honors are well aware is occasioned by the unskillful management of the wool, in mixing and preparing the same for ---------- as well as the unqualified practitioners in the mystery aforesaid; a due encouragement whereof under the present and prevailing extravagance of the price of cloths of the English manufactory at home, your Honors doubtless are sensible would commode and benefit the country in a very material article.

Thinking, therefore, there might be a disposition in this Honorable Assembly to give a proper encouragement to some private person that should appear, to set up the same for the cultivation of a trade so very necessary to the country (as far as may be consistent with the country's safety therein) would take leave hereby humbly to propound to this Honorable Assembly, that your memorialist would gladly set up the trade in such place as might best accommodate the people, if therein he might have the countenance and encouragement of this Honorable Assembly; and also, that his knowledge, practice and improvement in his said trade, which he has so long been improving himself in, might be extensively beneficial to the people of this government, (where he is minded to make his abode,) your Honor's humble memorialist would willing communicate his skill and experience to the people, as to mixing their wool and preparing and qualifying the same for the wheels, by suitable cards for the country's wool; and the country's improving such wool cards as are altogether unsuitable for the same, is a great means of spoiling the cloth, as well as to its decency as duration; and the unskillfulness of the women, in their carding, chops the wool and breaks the staple of it.

Which your memorialist could abundantly satisfy those in the least measure acquainted therewith, and could afford such directions as would facilitate the labor and pains in preparing their wool, with 4 times the ease at least, besides the vastly greater benefit of the cloth; and would instruct the people in such and so many places and towns and counties in the government, as your Honors in wisdom should direct, in any method that your Honors should think best, by public advertisements, and especially by personal instructions in mixing their wool, coloring, fulling, pressing and shearing their cloth.

And your memorialist's request is, as an encouragement thereunto, that he may have, by this Assembly, a grant of such a sum of money of the public treasury, and thereby he may be able to procure such utensils to use and improve in the directions of the people in the premises, and be under advantages to give his instructions to the country in such places, ways and methods as this Honorable Assembly shall prescribe, or of such a tract of the colony's land as may be a meet compensation to your memorialist, for so profitable an undertaking. Or some other way, etc.
John Davis
Hartford, May 20, 1736

Negatived (Industry I. 128)

Your Honor's committee appointed to take into consideration the subject matter the memorial of William Crandall, and report what is expedient to be done, etc., beg leave to report,

That a woolen manufactory, in all its branches, would be very important to this State: but the sum proposed by the memorialist to be raised by a lottery, etc., being £6,000 L.M., is too large to be raised by said lottery: and your Honor's committee have not been able to devise any mode which they can with confidence recommend to your Honors for the purpose of introducing the woolen manufactory proposed by the memorialist. All which, etc.

Signed per order
Wm. Hillhouse

(Industry II. 214)

The committee appointed to take into consideration what further encouragement might be given to manufactures and agriculture in this State,

Report, That in a general view of the subject as relative to manufactures, the most direct and proper means of promoting them that occurred to the committee were by levying and collecting duties on imports, particularly on such articles as might, with great advantage, be manufactured in this State; but as a regulation of this kind might probably be superseded by the federal government before it could operate to effect, it appears to the committee, improper to adopt a system on this ground. In this view of the subject, the committee have thought proper to report only a temporary provision for the encouragement of the woolen manufactory, which more than any other at present, appears to merit particular attention.

The company formed by gentlemen in this city [Hartford] and its vicinity for this laudable purpose, appears to be actuated by generous motives in the undertaking, though not without a reasonable prospect, in the ultimate progress of the business, of deriving profit to themselves. But as the first attempt to establish this manufactory must be attended with great expense, and the profits must be, at first, very precarious, the committee think proper to recommend the following encouragements, etc. (230)

And on their recommendation, the buildings of the company are exempted from taxation, and also the polls of the workmen; and a bounty is granted of one penny a lb. on all woolen yarn that shall be spun and made into cloth at said manufactory before June, 1789.

May 1788

(Industry II. 231)

To the Honorable, etc.
The petition of Jeremiah Atwater, Jr., and William Lyon, of New Haven, humbly sheweth:

That your petitioners, being desirous of promoting the manufactures of this State, have, in the course of the preceding summer, procured a large quantity of sheep's wool, and have also built at a considerable expense, machines and implements for manufacturing the same into woolen cloths of various kinds. That by this manufacture, they have given employment to more than 30 persons, male and female, and hope to be able to continue and augment the business. But as your petitioners are alone in the expense of this undertaking, and as a manufacture of this kind carried on in anywise extensively, is entirely new in this part of the country, and your petitioners find many difficulties therein, and as they conceive that if it be prosecuted, it must be beneficial to the community, they request some encouragement of your Honors, that you would be pleased to grant them some bounty on the wool they have and may manufacture, or such other encouragement as to your Honors may seem just. And your, etc.
New Haven, Jan. 5, 1789
Jeremiah Atwater, Jr.
William Lyon

(Industry II. 234)

Lower House refer to a committee. Jan 1789

Linen (See Hemp Below)

And further be it enacted, For the encouragement of making fine linen cloth, that whosoever shall bring to the county court, in the county in which he dwells, any linen cloth which in the judgment of said county court, shall be in goodness equal to Garlick's of six or seven shillings per yard, according to the usual price thereof in our shops; and will make oath before the said court, that the said linen cloth was made in the said county, by their own industry or their proper charge, shall receive for their recompense, one quarter part of the value thereof, which shall, by their order, be drawn out of the public treasury of the colony. This act to continue in force seven years. Oct. 11732. (Industry I. 48)

(No vote on it.)

Committee to confer, consider and draw up, what may be proper to be enacted by this Assembly, relating to premiums on the manufactures and husbandry of this government. May 1735.(Industry I. 125)

An act, etc. Be it enacted, etc. That there by paid out of the public treasury of this colony, a premium of one-sixth per yard, for all fine linen cloth made of yarn of six run to the pound and upwards to eight run, being full yard wide; and one-third for cloth of seven-eights of a yard wide, made of yarn of the size above said; and one-quarter for cloth three-quarters of a yard wide being well whitened; and for such cloth as above said being unwhitened, the same premium shall be paid, except three pence on each yard to be abated. And for all linen cloth upon which the premium is allowed in said act to be well whitened, being made of yarn, eight run to the pound and upward, the same premium shall be allowed for unwhitened cloth, except four pence per yard to be abated, as is there allowed for well whitened cloth, etc. May 1735. (Industry I. 126) Not passed.


To the Honorable, etc.
The petition of Richard Rogers of New London, humbly sheweth:
That your petitioner having insight in the trade of making canvas for shipping, and having expended near £140 for setting up the trade; and hath made of the cloth of good acceptance of those that understand the same. That your petitioner taking encouragement by the law, page 86, (see page 1 above) to venture upon so great an expense; and considering that the trade being set up, a market will much advance trade, in that so considerable a sum is expended to other governments to purchase of that manufactory, which might be improved in other trading, a market ourselves, as it will advance our own people, being improved in the raising of hemp and flax, and spinning the same; also bring into the government a considerable trade to have it made a market; and said canvas can be made much cheaper than it is now brought, coming from England and Holland.

That your petitioner doth humbly pray your Honored Assembly, that they would be pleased to grant the sole making of it to your petitioner, for fifteen years in this government. He keeping said trade going forward, for which he hath eight looms already set up, with what other encouragement your Honors will be pleased to grant. And your petitioner, etc.
Richard Rogers

(Industry I. 106)

We, the underwriters, having viewed a certain piece of duck designed for the making sails for shipping, made by Mr. Richard Rogers, of New London, do adjudge the same to be very good and substantial cloth for that use; and that he having advanced a very considerable interest for the promoting this design, -- it is our opinion, he well deserves all proper encouragement in that affair.
Signed by twenty-eight leading men in New London, etc.
New London, 20th May, 1724

(Industry I. 105)

We, the subscribers, being weavers, and work in Richard Rogers, his shop, in New London, and we do declare, that a certain piece of duck, marked No. 4, RRER was wove in said Rogers, his shop, and do further declare, that it is good merchantable cloth, and of the best cloth that is made of that sort of duck.
Signed by six weavers

(Industry I. 107)

Lower House grant petition.
Negatived in Upper.
The next year, he renewed his petition at greater length.

(Industry I. 109)

And was allowed the exclusive privilege of manufacturing duck for seven years. Oct. 1725. (110)

To the Honorable, etc. May 1741
The petition and memorial of Samuel Judson of Stratford, etc., humbly sheweth:

That your Honors' memorialist did, some years since with considerable cost, set up and carry on the trade of weaving duck and canvas; and having made and vended about sixty or seventy bolts, the buyers and all others who saw the same, commended the same for good. But having had the misfortune in the affair, to sell to some persons out of this government, who have not to this day, made payment, for which reason, chiefly, I, for three years last past, laid aside the trade. But now, conceiving the carrying on the trade might be of advantage to myself, and much to the advantage of this government, had I a stock to carry on the same with, and being unwilling to break my landed estate to raise a fund, and having my looms and tackling by me, I have taken encouragement from the generous disposition your Honors have frequently discovered for promoting of this branch of manufacture in particular, -- to pray that your Honors, would grant that I may, for the carrying on said trade of duck or canvas, draw out of the treasury of this colony, the sum of £150 of new tenor bills of credit of this colony, upon my giving security, etc., with the interest, at three per cent, etc. And your, etc.
Samuel Judson
Stratford, May the 12th, A.D. 1741. Negatived

(Industry I. 131)


An Act for the Encouragement of raising Hemp and Silk, and of making fine Linen. Oct 1732. (See Silk and Linen)

Be it enacted, etc. That it shall be lawful for any and every town in this colony, annually to choose three discreet men in their town, to be surveyors of hemp. And it is hereby provided, that whosoever in the town where such surveyors are appointed as aforesaid, shall produce 100 lbs. of hemp as shall be bright, well cured and water rotted, of four feet at least in length, and well cleansed, fit for use, etc., shall have a certificate thereof to the treasurer of the colony, of the quantity of hemp so raised and manufactured as aforesaid. The said treasurer is hereby ordered to pay out to him 2s. for every 100 weight, certified as aforesaid; and so pro rata for greater or lesser quantities. (Industry I. 48) No action was had thereon.

An Act for the Encouragement of raising Hemp, making Canvas of Duck, and also for making fine Linen May 1734

This assembly considering the great profit and advantage that might in time accrue to his Majesty's people in this government, by the raising of hemp, making canvas and fine linen, etc., if the same may be sufficiently encouraged and promoted.

Be it enacted, etc. That there shall be paid out of the public treasury of this colony, to every person or persons inhabiting in this colony, as a premium, the sum of 4d. per pound for every pound of good, well dressed, water rotted hemp, that shall be by him or them raised and procured to be raised, and shall be the proper growth of this colony; provided, there shall be no premium allowed to any man, for any quantity less than 50 lbs.

Be it further enacted, etc. That there shall likewise be paid out of the public treasury, the sum of 20s. for every bolt or piece of well wrought canvas of duck fit for use, of 36 yards in length and 30 inches wide, and weighing not less than 45 lbs., made of hemp aforesaid, or well dressed, water rotted flax, to be paid to him that shall do, or procure the same to be done and manufactured as aforesaid.

Be it also enacted, etc. That as a premium for the encouragement of making fine linen, there shall also be paid out of the public treasury of this colony, to every person or persons that shall make or procure to be made within this colony, any fine linen cloth, as followeth, viz: for every yard that is well spun, wove and whitened, and is a yard wide, and made of yarn that is eight runs to the pound, 2s. per yard, and so pro rata for wider or narrower cloth so made; and also for fine cloths of the same width, a proportion to the fineness thereof, to be determined by the number of runs to a pound, provided none be allowed to be narrower than three-quarters of a yard, and that no deceit or fraud be imposed upon the public, etc.

Provided, this act shall continue and be in force for the space of five years from the rising of this assembly, and no longer. (Industry I. 51)

Act continued in force five years. May 1740 (Industry I. 67)

Continued in force till May, 1750, as voted by lower house. Upper house dissent. May 1745. (Industry I. 77)

An Act, etc. May 1787
Be it enacted, etc. That all persons in this state may annually, etc., insert in their lists of ratable estate, etc., an account of the quantity of land which they shall have severally sowed with hemp, etc.; and listers shall deduct from the list of such persons respectively, at the rate of 40 shillings per acre, for any quantity of land sowed with hemp, etc., as aforesaid.

(A duty was to be laid on the importation of hemp, of 6s. per 100 cwt, after May 1789) (Industry II. 70)

Flax Machine

To the Honorable, etc. May, 1753
The memorial of John Bulkley, of Colchester, in the county of Hartford, in the colony of Connecticut, in New England, humbly sheweth:

That whereas, there are great quantities of flax raised in this colony, and that article is become so considerable a part of the staple thereof, that the encouraging the raising and manufacturing so valuable a commodity, by all proper ways and means, must conduce much to the public interest; and as the common way of dressing and cleansing flax here is so very laborious, and calls for so great a number of hands to be employed in that business, that in a country where laborers are scarce, and labor so very dear, it is a great discouragement that attends the raising of that article; so any way that can be devised for the better and more expeditious dressing of flax, and with much less labor, would be serviceable, and tend much to promote and encourage the farmers in raising greater quantities of flax in this colony.

And whereas, your memorialist understands that the trustees of the society for managing the linen manufacture in Scotland, have advised to and encouraged the erecting and setting up there a late invented water machine, for dressing and cleansing flax, which does it in a better and more expeditious manner, and with a great deal less labor than the common way, and is found by experience to be a great encouragement of the linen manufactory there; and as your memorialist apprehends that the setting up such machines in this colony would have the same effects here; so he proposes, upon suitable encouragement, to be at the pains and expense of procuring the same kind of machines to be used in this government.

Whereupon, your memorialist humbly prays this honorable assembly to encourage him in so good a design, (which if it succeeds, he imagines will be greatly for the public advantage, though it cannot be effected without great charge and expense to the undertaker,) to grant to him and his associates the sole liberty and privilege of erecting and setting up machines for the purpose aforesaid, within this colony, for the space of twenty-one years next ensuing the rising of this assembly; and to prohibit all other person or persons erecting the same kind of machines, or any in resemblance or imitation of them, in this colony, without leave or license from your memorialist and his associates, during the full term aforesaid.

Provided your memorialist and his associates shall, within eighteen months next ensuing, erect and set up one machine for the purpose aforesaid, in some convenient place in this colony, as he and they shall think proper, for a trial or experiment.

Provided also, that if said attempt should prove successful, that then, if the said memorialist and his associates shall not, within seven years next ensuing after the setting up of said first machine, erect and set up in some convenient place in each county in this colony, for the purpose aforesaid, one such machine at least, that then in such case, it shall be lawful for any other person or persons to set up machines for the same purpose, in every such town where the said memorialist and his associate shall not, with seven years have erected one such machine as aforesaid, at least.

And your memorialist is willing that your honors' grant, a clause should be inserted, that nothing therein should be construed or understood to prohibit any persons in this government from making or using any instrument or machine for the purpose aforesaid, that have been or are now in use in this colony. And as in duty, etc.
John Bulkley
Hartford, May 1753

Negatived in lower house. (Industry I. 171)

To the Honorable, etc. Oct., A.D., 1753
The memorial of Jabez Hamlin and Elihu Chauncey, humbly sheweth:

That whereas, there is a new invented water machine for the dressing of flax, brought in to use in Scotland and Ireland, by the societies for managing the linen manufactures there, which is found by experience, to be a much more expeditious and less expensive method than that in use here.

And whereas, your memorialists are of opinion that the procuring the said machine to be set up in convenient places, and brought into use in this colony, would greatly encourage the raising larger quantities of flax, and conduce much to the public interest of this government, -- we would propose to be at the charge and expense (which will be very considerable,) of procuring the said machine, to be set up and brought into use here, upon proper encouragement.

Whereupon, your memorialists humbly pray this honorable assembly to encourage them in so good a design, by granting to them and their associates, the sole liberty and privilege of erecting and setting up the said machine for dressing of flax, in such towns in this colony as they shall think proper, for the term of twenty-one years next ensuing; and that all other persons by prohibited setting up in this colony, any such machines, and any in imitation of them, during said term.

Provided the said memorialists shall, within eighteen months next after the rising of this assembly, procure one such machine, to be set up in this colony for an experiment.

Provided also, that if the said memorialists shall not, within seven years next ensuing, set up one such machine at least, in every town in this colony, that they shall forfeit and lose the benefit of setting up in all such towns as they so neglect, after the seven years are so expired, and the inhabitants of said towns may themselves set up said machines, as they see cause. And in all the towns in which the said memorialists shall set up said machine within said seven years, they shall keep the same up and in repair, during the said tern, of twenty-one years. And in case they shall let any of them be out of repair the space of fifteen months, they shall forfeit and lose the benefit of the monopoly herein granted, in such town where the said machine so lies without repairs.

Provided also, that this grant shall not hinder the use and improvement, or setting up hereafter, any mills or machines that are now used in dressing flax in this colony; nor any other that may be invented, if diverse from, and not in imitation of the machine your memorialists pray for liberty to erect and set up.
Jabez Hamlin
Elihu Chauncey

(Industry I. 172)

Liberty was granted for fifteen years, etc. (173)


An Act, etc.
Be it further enacted, etc. That whosoever shall raise silk among us, and shall shew it to the county court in which county it is raised, at their next sessions after the making thereof, and will, upon their oaths, declare before the said court, that by the silk worms which they have nourished and brought up since the last sessions of the said court, the said silk was made. That then said court shall certify the same to the treasurer of the colony, and order him to pay out of the public treasury, the sum of ten shillings per pound, and so pro rata for greater or lesser quantities, to him that brings such certificate. Oct. 1732. (Industry I. 48)

Not acted on by the Assembly.

An Act for the Encouragement of the Raising of Silk in this Colony.

This Assembly, observing and being well assured, that good silk may be here made here, and that by proper improvements, a sufficiency thereof may be raised and produced amongst ourselves, whereby industry may be promoted and the wealth of this government in time much increased; and considering that the beginning of things beneficial and profitable, are attended generally with difficulty and change, which use and experience may remove, abate, and render easy and profitable.

Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives, in general court assembled, and by authority of the same, that there shall be paid out of the public treasury of this colony, as a premium for the raising silk; that is to say, for every ounce of good sewing silk, one-sixth; for every pair of silk stockings weighing 4 ounces, and so pro rata seven-sixths; for every yard of silk stuff, 1; and for every yard whereof the warp is all silk, two thirds; for every yard of silk half yard wide, weighing less than one ounce, three-ninths; for every yard weighing one ounce, and less than two ounces, six-ninths; for every yard weighing two ounces or more, nine; all to be well wrought: -- which premium shall be paid on an order obtained of the county court, on the public treasury aforesaid, to be given by the court in the county where the person dwelleth, that shall produce the said silk, and shew to the satisfaction of the said court, that it is bona fide, the growth and product of the silk worms, bred and nourished in this colony, and that no premium hath been before taken or allowed for the same or any part thereof.

This act to continue in force for the space of 10 years, and no longer. (Colony Records VI. 161)

Continued in force 10 years longer, May 1745. Lower House dissent. (Industry I. 76)

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of Nathaniel Aspinwall of New Haven, humbly sheweth:
That from the experiments that have been made, there is great reason to believe that the cultivation and manufacture of silk, might become a source of much wealth to this state, especially as a principal part of the labor might be performed by persons aged, decrepit etc., capable of doing very little if any other business. But as the planting and cultivation of the mulberry tree would be attended with considerable present expense, without any immediate profit, the good people of this state cannot be induced to turn their attention to the business without some recommendation and encouragement from this Honorable Assembly. The importance of encouraging the manufactures of this state must be obvious; and as there is a fair prospect that the silk manufacture might be improved to great advantage and profit to the state --

Your memorialist, therefore, humbly prays your Honors to afford your patronage to the infant manufacture; and grant the small encouragement of exempting the polls of such persons from the list, for the term of one year, who shall plant, cultivate, and raise one hundred mulberry trees, and keep them well pruned and attended, and for a greater number of said trees an exemption in proportion; and also free the land whereon they grow from taxation, being set in the proportion of one hundred trees to an acre; or in some other way, etc.
Nathaniel Aspinwall
Dated at New Haven, the 2nd day of October, 1783

(Industry II. 184)

Referred to a committee, who report favorably, Jan. 1784 (183)

An Act to promote the making of Raw Silk within this State, January 1784
Whereas, by the experiments which have been made, it is highly probable that the making of raw silk will be attended with much advantage to the good people of this state. Therefore, --

Be it enacted, etc. That from and after the first day of March A.D. 1784, to the first day of March, 1793, whoever shall plant one hundred thrifty shrubs or saplings, of three or more years growth, of the white mulberry tree on his, her, or their land within this state, at such distances from each other as will be favorable for their growth and for collecting their leaves, shall receive at the end of every year, and during the term of three years from and next after the year in which such saplings shall have been planted as aforesaid, ten shillings, L.M., and so in proportion for every one hundred of such saplings, planted as aforesaid, upon proof and certificate thereof as hereafter directed, that such saplings were, at the end of every three years after they were so planted in a thrifty condition. Each such certificate shall be given in at the end of every of the three years aforesaid; and no certificate shall be given for any number of such saplings, but for one or more entire one hundred as the case may be.

Be it further enacted, That whoever shall make any raw silk from worms and mulberry trees of his own raising within this state, by properly winding the same from the balls or cocoons, after the said 1st day of March, and for fifteen years next thereafter, shall have and receive 3d. L.M. for each ounce of such dry silk, which he, she or they shall make as aforesaid.

Every of which said bounties given by this act, shall be paid out of some tax which has or shall be granted for the support of the civil government of this state.

[The remainder of the act provides, that on the certificate of two justices of peace, the collector of the tax may pay said bounty.] (Industry II. 62)

An Act, etc., (Repealing the above, and providing) That whoever shall make any raw silk from worms and mulberry trees of his own raising, within this state, by properly winding the same from balls or cocoons, after the 1st day of July next, and for ten years next thereafter, shall have and receive as a bounty from the treasury of this state, 2d. lawful money, for each ounce of such silk well dried, which such person or persons shall make as aforesaid; which bounty shall be paid out of the duties arising on the importation of foreign articles into this state, etc. May 1784. (Industry II. 63)

Mansfield Silk Company

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of a number of the inhabitants of the town of Mansfield, within said State, whose names are hereunto subscribed, humbly sheweth:

That your memorialists, under a full conviction of the unhappy situation to which they and the other inhabitants of this State have been reduced by reason of drawing from us our circulating medium, and depriving the country of her wealth in purchasing articles of foreign growth and manufactures, have, for a considerable time past, turned their attention to the cultivating of mulberry trees, and the manufacture of silk. And your memorialists would inform your Honors, that from the encouragement of the Honorable Legislative body of this State, in the premiums which they have been pleased to grant, from the natural fitness of the soil for the production of the mulberry, and by your memorialists' own industry, they have been able to raise large quantities of raw silk, some of which has been manufactured into cloth, and the remaining part into sewing silk, which if properly made, is acknowledged to be equal to any that is imported. And your Honors' memorialists would beg leave further to state, that they live contiguous to each other, and from the nature of the soil which they possess, and from their situation, they have not the least doubt but that, under proper regulations, they should not only be able to supply the people of this State with sewing silk of the best quality, but afford a considerable supply of silk cloths, and in a short time, make the silk manufactory not only advantageous to themselves, but of utility and importance to the public.

Whereupon, your memorialists pray that your Honors would grant that they may be formed and incorporated into a company or body which shall be called and known by the name of the Director, Inspectors and Company of the Connecticut Silk Manufacturers, and that by that name they and their successors forever may have perpetual succession, and may be persons in law capable of suing and being sued, pleading and being impleaded in all suits, and also may have power of purchasing, holding and conveying any estate, real or personal, and may have a common seal, and that they have power of appointing or choosing a director, inspectors, and other necessary officers for said company, at such time or times, and in such manner as to your Honors may seem meet, who shall be vested with such powers as your Honors shall judge necessary: And further, that said company have power of passing by-laws and rules for the well ordering and regulating themselves in and about the raising and manufacturing silk, and which are not repugnant to the laws of this State, which by-laws shall be binding on and among themselves; and likewise that they may make such regulations as to them shall seem necessary, respecting the admitting persons in, and making them members of said company; and that said company and the members of the same be exempted of and freed from every kind of tax or assessment for or on account of the profit or advantages which may or shall arise from or by means of said manufactory. Or that your Honors would grant your memorialists such other privileges and immunities as in your wisdom shall appear to be most conducive in rendering said manufactory both permanent and useful. And they, etc.
Signed by Thomas Barrons, and 31 others
Dated at Mansfield, Sept, 1788

(Industry II. 236)

Act of incorporation, (requiring a vote of two-thirds to admit a member,) Oct. 1788. (237)

Linseed Oil

At a General Assembly, etc., Oct, 1718
And the humble suit of John Prout, Jr., gentleman, Moses Mansfield, mariner, and Jeremiah Atwater, brasier, and for their encouragement to set up a mill and other necessary furniture, to improve the flax seed of this colony for the extracting and producing linseed oil: --

This court hath therefore granted, and doth hereby grant to the said John Prout, etc., the whole and sole privilege of making linseed oil within this colony, and that no other person or persons shall set up any mill or other engines for that purpose, within the county of New Haven, during the space of 20 years next coming, nor in any other part of the colony, without the special leave asked of this court, whereof the parties above named shall be seasonably notified, within the 20 years above mentioned. Provided said John Prout, etc., shall set up such mill, and all needful furniture for the use aforesaid, in New Haven, within the space of 2 years next ensuing, and keep the same in good repair, at all times till the expiration of the said 20 years.

(Industry I. 121)

To the Honorable, etc.
The prayer of Samuel Burr and Nathaniel Burr, Jr., of Fairfield, etc., humbly sheweth, --
That the General Assembly at their sessions, Oct, 1728, etc.

... Although the said undertakers have erected and set up a mill for the purpose aforesaid, yet they have not made so steady an improvement thereof as to use the flax seed even of the county of New Haven, much less of the other counties, nor to provide oil for the people thereof. Nor do they improve, in late years, any part of the seed raised in the county of Fairfield, nor furnish them with oil, etc. We, therefore, your humble petitioners, pray you would be pleased to grant liberty to us to set up a mills, etc., in the county of Fairfield, etc.
Samuel Burr
Nath'l Burr
Fairfield, Sep. 13, 1732

Negatived, Oct., 1732

(Industry I. 122)


To the Honorable, etc. Oct. 1765
The memorial of Alexander Phelps, Amasa Jones, and John Coleman, all of said colony, humbly sheweth, --

That your Honors' memorialists have, with great pains and expensive pursuits, made discovery of a plant in a distant part of this continent, being such resemblance in figure and taste to the genuine foreign Bohea tea, that we are well assured 'tis the same kind. Whereupon, we now address your Honors, praying your attention to a discovery so highly interesting and beneficial to this community, to people of all ranks in this day of distress; as it will be not only much cheaper, but also more easily purchased by barter than that which is imported; and as this discovery has already been attended with great expense, and still must be much more so by transplantation, gaining the art of thoroughly curing, etc. We pray your Honors would grant us a patent of manufacturing, and also bending such plant or tea, within this colony, exclusive of all others, for the space of 20 years, next coming, or for such other term as your Honors shall think proper. And your, etc.
Alex'r Phelps, et al
Dated at Hartford, this 1st day of October, 1765.

Negatived (Industry II. 123)


Upon the petition of Edward Hinman, of Stratford, praying liberty and a commission to make molasses of Indian corn stalks, in the county of Fairfield, --

This Assembly grant the liberty prayed for to the petitioner, within the county of Fairfield; and that any person or persons within said county, shall, within the space of 10 years, presume to set up any works for the making of molasses of corn stalks, without allowance of the said Edward Hinman, shall pay and forfeit unto the said Hinman the sum of £5 a month; always provided the said Hinman make as good molasses, and make it as cheap as comes from the West Indies. Oct 1717(Industry I. 123)


To the Honorable, etc. Oct. 1746
The memorial of John Jerom and Stephen Jerom, Jr., of Branford, etc., humbly sheweth: --
That, whereas, it would be a great public advantage to the inhabitants of this colony, if we could get into the method of making salt by boiling sea water, as practiced in sundry places in Europe. And the charge of setting up convenient works for that purpose would be very great and the success uncertain, as appears, in that the General Assembly of Boston, about 50 years ago, granted to Elisha Cook, Esq., and others, the sole privilege of making salt in the province, for the space of 14 years; and yet either by reason of the freshness of the seawater, the coldness of the climate, or their want of sufficient skill, they were not able to effect the design to any advantage. Yet your petitioners having been instructed in that art are willing to be at the charge and risk of making an attempt of that nature, if they may obtain the favor and countenance of this Honorable Assembly.

Your petitioners, therefore, humbly pray that this Honorable Assembly would be pleased to grant to your petitioners and their associates, the sole licensee and privilege of making salt as aforesaid, within this colony, for the space of 14 years next ensuing. And so, etc.
John Jerom
Step'n Jerom, Jr.

(Industry I. 182)

Assembly grant the same for 14 years: --
Provided, nevertheless, that if the memorialists etc., shall neglect or fail to erect, set up, and prepare suitable works and materials for the making of salt as aforesaid, for the space of 2 years, or shall fail or making the quantity of 500 bushels of good salt in any one of the remaining 12 years, etc., then this grant, etc., shall be void. Oct. 1746 (Industry I. 183)

Upon the memorial of Stephen Jerom, Lyme, Oct. 1749, etc.
... That he therefore speedily erected and set up salt works in the town of Lyme, in this colony, at very great expense and charge, and hath made considerable quantities of good salt, to the great benefit of his Majesty's subjects in this colony: and he finds, by experience that said affair is capable of great improvements, had he money sufficient to carry on said business; for the want of which he finds himself very much hindered in prosecuting said affair; and praying for a grant of £1,000 O.T., out of the colony treasury on interest (Industry I. 184)

Assembly loan him the same for 2 years, on his procuring security, etc. (186)

He again petitions, Oct. 1751, and adds, --
Whereas, your memorialist lately came into this colony from Great Britain; and upon my first coming into this colony, found salt to be scarce, and fetched a good price; and being willing, etc., undertook to raise salt works for the making of salt, and expended in so doing the sum of above £2.500, which sum exhausted more money than the value of all the estate your memorialist had in the world, etc. (But as the price of salt fell one half at the ending of the war, he asks, etc.) (Industry I. 187)

Assembly continue the loan of £1,000 for 3 years, without interest (188)

Upper House dissent

After various efforts, seconded by assistants in Lyme, he petitions, and adds, --

He set up said business, and with the utmost diligence, followed the same for the space of 3 years or more, and made more than 3,000 bushels of good salt, etc. He is desirous his bondsmen should be reimbursed; and prays for a lottery to raise £150 L.M., equal to the £1,000 O.T. loaned.

Lyme, May 6, 1760
Steh'n Jerom


(Industry II. 193)

Again he states he has paid all the £1,000 loaned, except £250, which he prays may be remitted.

May 12, 1769. Negatived

(Industry II. 136)

Sugar Refinery

To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of George Phillips, of Middletown, humbly sheweth: --

That the consumption of loaf sugar imported into this state annually, amounts to a very great sum, which is, in general, paid for in cash; that the manufacture of that article has not been set up within this state, and the stock and buildings necessary to carry forward that business will amount to a sum not short of £6000; that your memorialist is desirous to set up the manufacture within this state, but in accomplishing his purposes, he will be obliged to adventure most of his property, which will greatly injure him, unless he has some public encouragement on this subject. He therefore prays your honors to grant him the exclusive privilege of manufacturing that article within this state, or such part thereof as shall be reasonable, for such term of time as your honors shall judge reasonable. And he, etc.
George Phillips
Dated in Middletown, Oct. 15, A.D., 1784

(Industry II. 193)

Assembly allow him the exclusive privilege of manufacturing for ten years, provided they set up their works by December 1, 1785; and provided the assembly may grant the same privilege to two other sugar works within this state within said ten years. (Industry II. 194)

John Heyleger, late of St. Croix, W.I., now of New Haven, Elias Shipman and Lina Denison, of New Haven, and John Morgan, of Hartford, petition for a sugar refinery in New Haven. May 16, 1785. (Granted) (Industry II. 197

A similar grant was made to Elijah Backus, Joshua Huntington and Dudley Woodbridge. Norwich, May 1786 (Industry II. 199)


John Eliot, of Windsor, offering to this assembly, that he will undertake the making of pitch in considerable quantities, which may be of great advantage to those parts of the government where tar is to be obtained, and an addition to the naval stores, if he may be encouraged therein;

This assembly, being well satisfied of the public advantages of such a new improvement, never heretofore made in this government, -- do grant to said John Eliot, etc., the sole making of pitch within this government, for the term of ten years next ensuing, etc. And for the better encouragement of said undertaker, this assembly orders and grants the said undertaker, that if any pitch shall be made in this government, by any other person or persons, except for their own use, and not for sale, whereby the said undertaker will be more or less obstructed, hindered or disadvantaged, and the intent and good meaning of said grant frustrated, -- it shall be lawful for said John Eliot, or his assigns, by warrant from authority, directed to any officer or indifferent person, to seize said pitch, one-half for his own use, and the other half to the use of the colony, to be tried and condemned in any of her Majesty's courts in this colony.

Provided always, nothing herein shall be taken to hinder the masters or owners of any vessels trading in this government, to boil up tar for the use of their vessels.

Provided also, that the said Eliot do set about and effect the said undertaking within the space of two years after this present session of the general assembly. May 1708. (Industry I. 99)

Encouragement had before been given by the colony for the manufacture of pitch and tar; but no such general grant.


Upon the humble motion, request and representation of Samuel Williard, Jabez Hamlin,, Seth Wetmore, Elihu Chauncey and Robert Fairchild, shewing their desire and design of undertaking to make and manufacture potash, if they may be suitably encouraged therein, and that the same, if performed, will be of great advantage to this government; therefore that all due encouragement be given to promote such profitable and useful manufacture in this colony: --

Be it enacted and granted, etc., unto the said Samuel Williard, etc., the whole and sole liberty and privilege of making and manufacturing potash within the bounds and limits of this colony, for and during the full term of twenty years next after this assembly, and that they, etc., shall have liberty to erect, build, and set up any works, engines and machines for that purpose, within the limits of this colony, within the term aforesaid; and all other persons, etc.

Always provided, that this grant or patent is upon condition, that the aforesaid Williard, etc., shall make and manufacture two tons of good merchantable potash, fit for transportation, within the term of two years next after the rising of this assembly, and two tons annually, every year after, during the term aforesaid.

Provided also, that the benefit of this grant or patent shall not extend to the said grantees in such county in this colony, where they shall not, in the space of five years, etc., set up and erect proper works for the manufacturing potash as aforesaid. May 1741. (Industry I. 134)

To the Honorable, etc. Same petitioners add: --

Your memorialists say that they have been at considerable expense and cost to be instructed in the art and skill of making said potash, and have set up works at Middletown, and made some trial of making the said potash, and have made several barrels of it; and have, for more than twelve months, sent the same home to England to have the same proved, and to know what the same is worth by one Mr. Joseph Scott, of New York, who has been gone for England above one year, who promised to send us an account thereof; and more, we have sent home, by way of Boston, and before now expected returns, that so we might be further satisfied whether it would be a profitable commodity, and worth our pains to make the same; but as yet we have had no returns; and the time is now near expired that we were to make said two tons; and we have now, in two counties more, provided and been at cost in procuring ashes and other materials, to set up in said counties; [we] would therefore humbly pray, that notwithstanding the said provision in said patent, that if your memorialist shall make two tons by the last of May, 1744, with what they have already made, that the said patent may not be forfeited, etc.
Jabez Hamlin, et al
Hartford, May 13, 1743

(Industry I. 135)

Granted (126)

At the commencement of the revolutionary war, the manufactures of potash, salt-peter and powder were encouraged, and extensive works were erected, and large quantities of powder were made, through the war, particularly in East Hartford and Glastenburg, and Windham, etc.

No individuals were ever allowed to practice the art and mystery of tanning without license from the general court, although no exclusive privileges were granted.


To the Honorable, etc.
The memorial of William Pitkin, of East Hartford, humbly sheweth: --
That he hath suffered great losses by fire, in manufacturing gunpowder for the use of this state, and a mill which cost about £400, is now altogether useless, which he wishes to employ for his own benefit and the emolument of the public, without injury to any individual. Your memorialist is confident your honors are fully persuaded of the importance of encouraging our own manufactory; and for that purpose, begs your honors to grant him the exclusive right and privilege of manufacturing snuff, such length of time, free from assessments and taxes, as will be sufficient, with other prospects, to induce a young man, skillful in said manufactory, to make it a business for life. And your, etc.
William Pitkin
Hartford, June 1, 1784

(Industry II. 187)

At first negatived in lower house, but finally granted on those terms for fourteen years.

To the Honorable, etc. Oct. 1785

The memorial of Elijah Lothrop, of Norwich, etc., and Timothy Donevan, late from Ireland, humbly sheweth: --

That the said Lothrop hath in Norwich aforesaid, an excellent stream of water for useful mills of all kinds that go by water, and owns a building which during the late war was erected and made use of by Mr. Nathaniel Niles for manufacturing wire, and said Mr. Niles being now gone into another state, said Lothrop hath purchased the same for the purpose of a snuff mill;

That the said Donevan hath contracted with the said Lothrop for the use of said stream, for a long time to come, viz: for the term of fifty years, with design to set up said manufacture of snuff, as also the business of a

Clothier and Blue Dyer

and is well skilled in those manufactures, and hath large property, which he is desirous to bring into this state, sufficient to carry on the same, and purposes [sic] to settle his sons in those manufactures in said Norwich. That your memorialists have already been at great expense in preparing the proper gear and engines for said business, and were pursuing their said design with speedy progress, until a few weeks passed, when to their great surprise and astonishment, they were informed that the Hon. William Pitkin, Esq., did in May 1784, obtain, etc. (above)

Now your memorialists beg leave to suggest to your honors, that the Hon. William Pitkin, Esq., not being the original inventor of the art of snuff making, nor skilled in that business, had no claim to that grant, in exclusion of those who well understood the business, and had a good right to exercise their skill in said art, for the support of themselves and families, by a lawful calling; nor was it known that any legislative body had a right to grant away the trade and professions of the subjects of the state, to any individual, for his private emolument, or to make exclusive grants to exercise any particular calling, unless to such persons as were the original inventors or prosecutors of such business or trade. And though exclusive grants are often made to the authors or publishers of useful books, for printing and vending the same for their own advantages, yet it is done as a reward for their labor, in which case, no man's right is taken from him; but people only who have no share in the invention, are prevented from taking the benefit of an author's labors before he can reap an adequate reward for his labor or discovery. And your memorialists having done nothing to forfeit their rights and estate in the business aforesaid, cannot be persuaded that this honorable assembly meant, by said grant, to deprive any individual of such right, but only to grant liberty to said William Pitkin, Esq., to carry on said business, free from all taxes thereon, which your honors had a good right to do.

Wherefore, your memorialists pray your Honors to consider their case, and explain said grant to William Pitkin, Esq.; and grant liberty to your memorialist to carry on said business, together with the business of clothing and blue dyeing, and other colors in this state, subject to the same law of taxation as other manufactures in this state are subjected to; which will prevent the said Donevan from the necessity of moving with his property, into the state of New York, to carry on said manufactures, which will produce articles of commerce that may find their way into this state under the burthen of the merchants' profits. Or in some other way, etc.
Elijah Lothrop
Timothy Donevan
Dated at Norwich, the 8th day of September, 1785

(Industry II. 206)


To the Honorable, etc. October 1785
We, the subscribers, beg leave to signify our desire that Mr. Elijah Lothrop and Timothy Donevan, may be allowed to carry on the business of snuff making in Norwich, and think the same cannot be of any damage to Col. Pitkin, as snuff is an article of trade, and will always find its way to the best market, it may be an article of exportation, or prevent it from being imported from the neighboring states, and from Europe. Said Donevan, also proposes to carry on the business of clothing and dyeing in the European manner, which must also be prevented, if he is not suffered to carry on the business of making snuff.

Signed by 243 residents of Norwich, Preston, Groton, Lebanon, etc.
Dated at Norwich, September 8, 1785.

(Industry II. 207 to 210)

Mr. John Currie of East Hartford, testifies that Col. Wm. Pitkin applied to me about the month of July, 1784, to undertake the manufacture of snuff in East Hartford. In consequence of said application, I came from Philadelphia to said East Hartford, and assisted in laying the plan for the buildings, and saw the grant of the Assembly, and the engagements there made induced me to leave Philadelphia with my family, -- where I am now settled to carry on said business. Every objection was thrown in my way to prevent my coming by intercepting letters, and preventing my business in Philadelphia, and offering high wages to prevent the manufacture in New England. The wages and encouragement given me, by Col. Pitkin for undertaking, I esteem better than £200, lawful money. I further say, that all the snuff made use of in the state of Connecticut, will not take the mill now erected, half the time it can work.
John Currie
Hartford, Oct. 17, 1785

(Industry II. 211)

Builders testify, that Pitkin's buildings will cost £700 (212)

Lothrop's petition is rejected.

{I, Wm. S. Porter, who have been some years employed in the office of Secretary of State of Connecticut, in compiling an analytical index of Public Documents, hereby certify that the above are true copies or abstracts of papers and records in said office, as per references.
Hartford, Feb. 28, 1851
Wm. S. Porter}


Respectfully submitted,
Thos. Ewbank
Washington, January, 1851


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