Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Charles François d’Anmours, 29 April 1791

From Charles François d’Anmours

Baltimore, 29 Apr. 1791. Introducing and recommending to TJ’s “special protection” M. Pierre Zacharie of Lyons, an “ingenious mechanician of a family that has produced many men of merit in the mechanical branch of mathematicks, and who have received … several rewards and privileges.” He is the inventor of a machine to clean harbors, found on examination there to be superior to a number of others. He goes to Philadelphia to solicit “an Exclusive patent for Establishing it in all the harbours of the U. States,” conveying with him a model which he will submit to TJ.

“As I know, Sir, how familiar every Branch of Knowledge is to you and with what Zeal you Protect and Promote every object of public utility, I have on these two Principles, taken upon me to recommend both the machine and its inventor to your Patronage; Knowing not a better Judge of the merit of the one, and a more judicious and Benevolent Protector of the latter.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); endorsed by TJ as received 4 May 1791 and so recorded in SJL.

On 24 Nov. 1791 a patent was granted to “Peter Zacharie” for his machine for cleaning docks or harbors (List of patents granted … from April 10, 1790, to December 31, 1836 [Washington, 1872]).

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