From Levi Lincoln
Washington May 26th 1802
The authority given, by law to grant patents is unquestionably confined to the citizens of the U. S. The priviledge is a monopoly, in derogation of common right, and as it is not, ought not to be, extended, to foreigners. Was it to be, it would be subject to endless abuses, privations and embarrasments to our citizens. I have no doubt on the Question.1 With sincere friendship your Humble Sevt.