Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Joseph Coppinger, 3 January 1803

From Joseph Coppinger

Pittsburgh 3d January 1803

The obliging and ready condecension with which your Excellency has been pleased to answer the letter I addressed to you in October last, on the subject of a Patent, and how such may be procured, demands, and always will have, my grateful acknowledgments. On turning to the act of Congress you direct, I find but one serious impedimt to my taking out a patent at the present, and that is that I am not more than six months, an inhabitant of the United States. If your Excellency has the power, of removing this obsticle, in order to promote what I conceive will be found a great National good and that individual character has any weight in the scale I beg leave to refer you for mine to your neighbour the Rigt. Revd. Doctor Carroll to whom the inclosed is addressed and which your Excellency will Please to have fowarded to him. In it I pray him to forward you two letters which were addressed to me by Mr. Nehemiah Bartley secretary to the Bath, and West of England agriculturel society, being part of a correspondance had with that Gentleman, before leaving Ireland on different subjects some of which have been favourably received. His treatise on Potatoe cultivation (which possesses great merit) I hope to have it in my Power to forward your Excellency before long. the two letters after perusal you will please to direct being forwarded to me here. If I am obliged to run out the time prescribed by law to constitute1 Citizenship before a Patent can be procured. It is more than Probable I shall have passed away, my health in general being very delicate, and my circumstances so limitted, as not to leave me the option I would wish of at once giving it to the Publick, and a better legacy I shall never have it in my power to leave them, entreating your Excellency to execuse the freedom of this communication which the importance of the subject I treat of, can alone on my part Justify—

I am with real sentiments of respect Your Excellencys most Obt. And very humble Servant

Joseph Coppinger

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 11 Jan. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

TJ’s answer to Coppinger of 23 Oct. 1802 was written in response to Coppinger’s letter of the 17th on the subject of a patent for preserving animal and vegetable substances.

nehemiah bartley, secretary and honorary member of the Bath Agricultural Society, wrote Some Interesting Hints on the Utility of Applying the Potatoe as Food for Sheep, Particularly at the Present Juncture; From Practical Observations, which was printed in Some Cursory Observations on the Conversion of Pasture Land into Tillage, published in London in 1802.

forwarded to me: see TJ to John Carroll, 25 Feb. 1803.

1MS: “constitue.”

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