Thomas Jefferson Papers

Horatio G. Spafford to Thomas Jefferson, 18 February 1815

From Horatio G. Spafford

Albany, 2 Mo. 18, 1815.

Hond & Esteemed Friend—

Having sent thee my little pamphlet on Wheel-Carriages, & being anxious to have the principles of my invention fairly tested, I now send thee a Certificate of a single Right to use my improvement. The Certificate is the first I have filled; & I have pleasure in presenting it to the Man, who, of all others, I deem the best qualified to understand the principles of my Patent, & whose favorable opinion would best recommend it to public attention. I hope thou wilt immediately put it to actual use. Thy mind will instantly determine the degree of utility, which this application promises; but most men1 can only conceive it by mechanical demonstration. To afford opportunity for that, I have widely distributed my pamphlet; & I shall send some few Certificates2 to distinguished characters, & some of my Correspondents in several States.

I shall wait with some impatience to hear from thee, & remain, with great esteem & respect, thy friend,

Horatio Gates Spafford.

RC (MHi); at foot of text: “Hon. Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Mar. 1815 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Spafford’s license to use his improved carriage patent, Albany, 18 Feb. 1815, priced at “$10” and numbered “one,” granting “a single Right” to use his improvement “in any kind of Carriage having four wheels, and in any part of the United States, from this date to 11 Mo. 1, 1828”; stating that the certificate was transferable; and declaring that it could be used for a carriage either constructed on or adapted to these principles, and might be replaced when it wore out (printed form in MHi; with blanks filled in by Spafford rendered above in italics; signed and dated by Spafford).

1Word interlined.

2Manuscript: “Cirtificates.”

Index Entries

  • carriages; H. G. Spafford’s improvement to search
  • inventions; of H. G. Spafford search
  • patents; of H. G. Spafford search
  • Some Cursory Observations on the Ordinary Construction of Wheel-Carriages (H. G. Spafford) search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; and patents and patent system search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; inventions of search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; letters from search
  • Spafford, Horatio Gates; Some Cursory Observations on the Ordinary Construction of Wheel-Carriages search