Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Charles W. Goldsborough, 9 February 1815

To Charles W. Goldsborough

Monticello Feb. 9. 15.


I thank you for the information of your letter of Jan. 19. on the subject of the newly improved looms; but the extent of my manufactures is merely the cloathing my family which employs two common looms with the flying shuttle. I had indeed been much pleased with the beauty of the operation of Janes’s loom, which was exhibited, by the purchaser of his patent right for this state, at our Courthouse in Charlottesville. had he offered them at the price asked by the patentee in Connecticut (40.D.) he might have sold 30. or 40. that day; but asking 80. or 100.D. he did not sell a single one, nor will he as many, I think, in the whole state for after all, it only gives a useless holliday to one hand and both feet. Cooper’s Emporium suggested the first doubt that it was no invention of Janes, and a letter from Dr Thornton mentioned mr Crosbie’s claim to it, which is more specifically stated in yours. the litigious state of the invention renders the use of it under either claimant a little hazardous at present. whenever that [shall]1 be acknoleged, an[d] the machine at a price which my little manufactory might justify I should certainly be disposed to get one, and to encourage my county to do the same. any future information as to these points which you may be so kind as to favor me with will be recieved with interest & thankfulness. Accept the assurance of [my] great respect.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); on verso of reused address cover of John Adams to TJ, 20 Dec. 1814; mutilated at seal, with missing text recopied by TJ above the line; hole in manuscript and ink stained; at foot of text: “Ch. W. Gouldsborough esq.”; endorsed by TJ.

Francis C. Clopper purchased Walter Janes’s patent right for this state.

For Thomas Cooper’s doubt about the novelty of Janes’s patent, see note to TJ to William Thornton, 24 Dec. 1814.

1Word faint.

Index Entries

  • Charlottesville, Va.; courthouse in search
  • Clopper, Francis C.; patent agent search
  • clothing; manufacture of search
  • Cooper, Thomas; and Emporium of Arts & Sciences search
  • Cooper, Thomas; and W. Janes’s patent search
  • Crosbie, Richard; loom of search
  • Emporium of Arts & Sciences; mentioned search
  • Goldsborough, Charles Washington; and R. Crosbie’s loom search
  • Goldsborough, Charles Washington; letter to search
  • Janes, Walter; loom of search
  • looms search
  • machines; flying shuttle search
  • machines; loom search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); domestic manufacturing at search
  • Thornton, William; and W. Janes’s loom search