Thomas Jefferson Papers

Charles W. Goldsborough to Thomas Jefferson, 19 January 1815

From Charles W. Goldsborough

Georgetown Jany 19th 1815


Understanding that you have it in contemplation to establish a few of the most approved patented looms, I beg leave to call your attention to my advertisement in the “Federal Republican” & “National Intelligencer” upon the subject of Patented Looms—I do this for two reasons—1st because I believe I can establish, by competent testimony, that the essential principles of Jane’s loom, which I am told you highly approve, have been taken from a Loom invented & patented by Mr Richard Crosbie a considerable time before Mr Janes took out his Patent for his improved Loom—& 2nd to afford you an opportunity of procuring, should You desire it, the right of using Looms which without question are preferable to any now in use.

In a short time I shall have a Loom for exhibition in this place—& shall be happy to shew it in operation to any gentleman whom you may wish to see it, & whose opinion as to it’s merits you might desire.—I will here only observe that, in addition to all the improvements in Jane’s Loom, it may be put in operation by elementary power, & will work with infinite ease & celerity.—

When you shall be satisfied as to the merit of Mr Crosbie’s Loom, I would dispose of to you the right of using any number, on terms probably as moderate as you would desire.

I am with great respect
sir yr ob st

Ch: W: Goldsborough

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 30 Jan. 1815 and so recorded in SJL.

Charles Washington Goldsborough (1777–1843), public official and merchant, was born in Cambridge, Maryland, joined the Navy Department in 1798, and served as its chief clerk, 1802–13. He operated a store in Georgetown for a number of years and was a director of the Farmers and Mechanics’ National Bank in that city, a member of the District of Columbia’s city council in 1808, and sat on the Board of Aldermen, 1821–24 and 1832–41 (with service as president, 1835–41). Goldsborough returned to the Navy Department as a clerk of the Navy Board in 1815, served as the board’s secretary, 1823–42, and was chief of the naval Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, 1842–43. He published An Original and Correct List of the United States Navy (Washington, 1800) and The United States’ Naval Chronicle (Washington, 1824). Goldsborough died in Washington (Christopher McKee, A Gentlemanly and Honorable Profession: The Creation of the U.S. Naval Officer Corps, 1794–1815 [1991], 15, 17; Allan B. Slauson, ed., A History of the City of Washington: Its Men and Institutions [1903], 177; Wilhelmus B. Bryan, Forms of Local Government in the District of Columbia [1903], 31, 34–5, 37–9; A Naval Encyclopædia [1881], 314; Callahan, U.S. Navy description begins Edward W. Callahan, List of Officers of the Navy of the United States and of the Marine Corps from 1775 to 1900, 1901, repr. 1969 description ends , 2, 5; Georgetown Federal Republican, and Commercial Gazette, 30 Aug. 1813; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 26 Apr. 1815, 7 Aug. 1818, 16, 29 Dec. 1843, 3 Apr. 1844; gravestone inscription in Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.).

In an advertisement that he published as “Sole Agent of Richard Crosbie,” Goldsborough warned against the purchase “of any Patented Loom without first ascertaining that the improvements thereon have not been taken from Mr. Crosbie; and such as may have purchased the right of using Looms improved upon his principles, are admonished to desist from the further use thereof. The date of his Patent is 6th January, 1812; but his legal right extends back to the date of his inventions, and he claims accordingly” (Georgetown Federal Republican, 17 Jan. 1815; Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 23 Jan. 1815).

Index Entries

  • Crosbie, Richard; loom of search
  • Federal Republican (Georgetown newspaper) search
  • Georgetown, D.C.; Federal Republican search
  • Goldsborough, Charles Washington; and R. Crosbie’s loom search
  • Goldsborough, Charles Washington; identified search
  • Goldsborough, Charles Washington; letter from search
  • Janes, Walter; loom of search
  • looms search
  • machines; loom search
  • National Intelligencer (Washington newspaper); advertisements in search
  • newspapers; Georgetown Federal Republican search
  • patents; of R. Crosbie search
  • patents; of W. Janes search