Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Sullivan, 8 January 1799

From James Sullivan

Boston January 8th 1799


One Mr Dearborn of this Town whom I conceive to be a natural Machanic, carries this letter to Philadelphia and hopes to have the honor to deliver it to you. His object is to gain by Patents an exclusive priviledge in several inventions among which are a perpendicular wind-Mill on new & useful principles, a Steelyard calculated to prevent fraud—a Trigonometrical Instrument useful in measuration & drawing Machine. I encourage him that he will certainly receive your countenance if he merits it—

You will allow me the honor to assure you that I am with sentiments of high respect your Most humble servt

Ja Sullivan

RC (ViWC); at foot of text: “Honble. Mr Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 24 Jan. 1799 and so recorded in SJL.

In 1799 Benjamin Dearborn received two patents, one for his improvement in the steelyard, a portable balance for weighing, and the other for a double centered water-mill or windmill (List of Patents description begins A List of Patents granted by the United States from April 10, 1792, to December 31, 1836, Washington, D.C., 1872 description ends , 18–19; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962, 27 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 5 vols. description ends : Sec. of State Ser., 4:123).

A letter from Sullivan to TJ of 12 Jan. 1798, recorded in SJL as received from Boston twelve days later, has not been found.

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