23 July 1807
May be leased for five years by 5 Sec. of Act
of 3 March 1807. page 336 last session
From the papers of Gen. Guest deceased memoranda of a lead mine in Indiana fell into the hands of his sons; one of whom assisted by John Shouse are said to have discovered it. They have quarrelled: and the enclosed distinct proposals were made by John Shouse, and by Bledsoe in the name of the Guests.
My answer heretofore has been that we did not mean to pay for discoveries; but that we would on equal terms give the preference in a lease to the discoverer. They have refused to state where the mine is; and Shouse’s proposal to work it gratis for five years seems inadmissible. A few year’s lease as proposed by the others is not authorised by law. But I think that if that was reduced to five years, the other conditions might be admitted. Shouse, however, says that by Guest’s death, he alone knows the mine—Respectfully
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.