Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to John Wilkes Kittera, 24 January 1793

To John Wilkes Kittera

Philadelphia Jan. 24. 1793.


My letter of Nov. 5 to Mr. Chambers, which was directed to him at Mercersburg and that of Dec. 12. addressed according to his particular directions, and both sent by post, having miscarried, I take the liberty of observing to him, through you, that if he wishes to secure a right to his discovery, relative to firearms, in America, it will be necessary for him to petition the Patent board for that purpose, accompanying his petition with a Specification, that is to say, a written description of his invention. If he wishes to avail himself of it in France, I do not know that he could do better than to consult with the Minister of France here as to the manner of proceeding. I have the honor to be with great respect Sir your most obedt. humble servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr. Kittera.” Tr (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); 19th-century copy.

John Wilkes Kittera (1752–1801), a Lancaster County lawyer who graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1776, was a staunchly Federalist member of the House of Representatives for Pennsylvania from 1791 to 1801 (Richard A. Harrison, Princetonians,1776–1783: A Biographical Dictionary [Princeton, 1981], 59–62).

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