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Culture of the Tea Plant.
It was not until the year 1800 that this defect in the law was amended. Immediately after the amendment of the law, your memorialist coinmenced a number of suits; but so effectual were the means of procrastination and delay, resorted to by the defendants, that he was unable to obtain any decision on the merits of his claim until the year 1807; not until he had been eleven years in the law, and thirteen years of his patent term had expired. A compromise has been made with several of the States, to which your memorialist has assigned his right, and relinquished all further claim ; but from the State in which he first made and introduced his invention, and which has derived the most signal benefits from it, he has realized nothing ; and from no State has he received the amount of half a cent per pound on the cotton cleaned with his machine, within that State, in one year. Estimating the value of the labor of one man at twenty cents per day, the whole amount which has been realized by your memorialist for his invention is not equal to the value of the labor saved in one hour by his machines, now in use, in the United States. o Permit your memorialist further to remark that by far the greatest part of the cotton raised in the United States has been, and must of necessity continue to be, the green seed. That, before the
invention of your memorialist, the value of this
species of cotton, after it was cleaned, was not equal to the expense of cleaning it; that, since the cultivation of this species, it has been a great source of wealth to the community, and of riches to thousands of her citizens. That, as a laborsaving machine, it is an invention which enables one man to perform, in a given time. that which would require a thousand men, without its aid, to perform in the same time. In short, that it furnishes to the whole family of mankind the means of procuring the article of cotton, that important raw material which constitutes a great part of their clothing at a much cheaper rate.
Your memorialist begs leave further to state that a confident expectation that his case would be embraced in the general law which Congress has, for several years, had under consideration, has prevented his making an earlier application. Thai the expenses incurred by him, in making and introducing this useful improvement, and establishing his claim to its invention, have absorbed a great proportion of what he has received from those States with which he has made a compromise. That he humbly conceives himself fairly entitled to a further remuneration from his country; and that he ought to be admitted to a more liberal participation with his fellow citizens in the benefits of his invention.
He, therefore, prays your honorable body to take his case into consideration, and authorize the renewal of his patent, or grant such other relief as Congress, in their wisdom and their justice, may deem meet and proper.
WashingtoN, April 16, 1812. 12th Con. 1st SEss.-69
CULTURE OF THE TEA PLANT.
[Communicated to the House, May 12, 1806.]
HAMpshire County, Virginia, NEAR Ronix Ey, May 13, 1812.
SIR: Supposing that an account of the introduction of any new species of agriculture might not be unacceptable to the Legislature of the United States, I take the liberty of sending you an account of the progress I have made in the introduction of the tea plant. s
Some years ago my brother went to China, in the Pennsylvania packet from Philadelphia, and had the good fortune to procure several of the scions, or young shoots, of the tea plant, together with directions for curing the tea, As I was at Philadelphia at the time of his return, he made me a present of the plants, which I accordingly brought here and introduced on my farm. The two first years I paid no attention to its culture: but last year, having more leisure, I took the trouble to transplant fifty or sixty twigs, and in October to gather and preserve the leaves according to the written directions I had from him. I found it to yield at an amazing rate, and the beverage which it afforded to be superior to the best imported tea. Perhaps this may be owing to their losing their fine flavor by crossing the sea. The leaves when green are more excellent than when dry. I had first supposed that the plant would thrive best in warm, rich situations, but, on transplanting. I put some in cold, poor situations, and these yield by far the most plentiful crop. You may cut any number of twigs off the tree, or plant, and just stick then in the ground; they will take root and grow. And I have been thinking that in eight or nine years my little nursery (by clipping the branches and planting them again) might be made to afford plants enough to supply the whole United States with tea, and that at a trouble and expense which would be scarcely perceptible.
As my wagon is going down to Alexandria, I have filled a large box with earth, in which I have planted a number of the twigs, and to each of them tied a label or directions for raising the plant, and curing the leaves in the same manner as I got it from my brother; the whole of which I have directed to be left with Mr. Gray, bookseller, of Alexandria, and to be by him delivered to you or your order.
I have acted in this manner from a supposition that many of the members might be desirous of seeing this newly introduced plant, and perhaps wish to convey some of them to their places of abode, or have them planted in botanic gardens. My reason for addressing this letter to you was that I supposed it more particularly your province than that of any other man to make the subject known to the House.
If it will be attended to, I make no doubt of the tea plant becoming a grand acquisition to the American nation, and the consciousness of hav
Report on the Patent Office.
Mr. SEYBERT made the following report:
The committee to whom was referred the reso: lution directing them “to ascertain the number of persons employed in, and to inquire into the state and condition, of that branch of the Department of State wherein are preserved the models of machines for which patents have been granted by the United States, and whether any, and what, fees have been demanded by the clerks therein,” *#): to report, in part:
hat, on the 25th day of May, 1812, your com
mittee addressed a letter to the Secretary of State on the subject, and, on the 10th of June, 1812, received his answer, with sundry accompanying documents; all of which are here with respectfully submitted.
Your committee accord with the Secretary of State in the opinion, that every institution ought to be comprised within some one of the departments of Government. They need not repeat the reasons assigned in his letter, and they deem any additional arguments unnecessary. That the Secretary of State must be, at all times, much occupied with the foreign concerns of the United States, must be evident to every member of the Legislature; and that our foreign relations are, in many respects, essentially distinct from many objects in the interior of our country, which are attached to the duties of this officer, must be equally apparent. These last must increase every year with the improvements and extension of our settlements; such must be the avoidable result. Your committee, without entering into any detailed reasoning on the subject, offer, for the con
sideration of the Legislature. the propriety and necessity of authorizing a Home Department, distinct from the departments already established by law. Such departments are known to other Governments, and their benefits have been recognised in territories far less extensive than those of the United States. Your committee regret that, from an expectation of the short continuance of the present session of Congress, they cannot enter more at large into this subject, so as to urge its consideration with that weight of argument which it deserves; they will content themselves, at this time, with the bare suggestion of Legislative interference being necessary. The Secretary of State has remarked that it would be proper to extend the privilege of franking letters to the person who may be appointed to
superintend the concerns of the Patent Establishment of the United States. Of this your committee are well satisfied. The Secretary of State is much occupied in receiving, reading, and franking letters, which he ultimately must refer to the clerk of the Patent Office. No advantage can arise from this regulation, and it is apprehended no serious evils can follow the alteration herein contemplated. Your committee have inquired into the conduct of the clerks employed in the establishment, respecting their demand for or receipt of fees, and they are satisfied that no causes exist which can attach suspicion to their conduct in this respect. They have not been able to trace an instance where the clerks proceeded contrary to the established law on this subject. Mr. Lyon has, for some time past, been employed as an assistant clerk in the Patent Office: your committee are convinced that his services are necessary, and that he has performed his duty with propriety, without receiving a compensation for the last year; it is, therefore, recommended to Congress to pass the bill reported by the Committee of Claims for his relief. The gross amount of fees received from the commencement of the establishment to the 31st of December, 1811, per statement B, is $19,110. Of the sums received, after deducting the amount paid for salaries to a clerk, and the moneys necessarily expended for parchment, stationery, printing, fuel, &c., there remains a balance of $25379 34 in the Treasury of the United States, ap: plicable to useful purposes connected with this institution. The statement B demonstrates that the amount annually received for patents issued has increased every succeeding year. and that, in the year 1811, it amounted to $6,810. From these facts your committee augur favorably as to the future. The office has done much more than to support itself: the fund thus created, if properly managed and applied, may hereafter give rise to many valuable institutions in our country. A school of arts may be organized by the Legis: lature, which will require no other pecuniary aid than will be contributed by the industrious, the ingenious, and the useful citizens of the United States. - The resolution submitted offers an extensive and fruitful field for inquiry in a national view. Your committee have ventured to trespass on the ordinary limits of a report, by entering into such details as the case admitted, and the importance of the subject demanded; they are of that class who consider a well regulated conserratory of the arts a highly useful institution. It may be well to ask, what is the design of a depot of the models for which patents are granted Idle curiosity alone cannot have induced the wisest Govern' ments to take them under their special charge; if useful results had not been the consequence 9 such establishments, they would long since have been abandoned. In Europe experience has do; veloped the numerous benefits which are derived from this source every year. In the subsequent part of this report your committee persuade them:
school all children may be taught some usesul
trade, to the end that none may be idle, but the poor may work, and the rich, if they become poor, may not want. Your committee made a visit to the present establishment: for its various purposes the West wing of the second floor of the building, heretofore denominated Blodget's hotel, is allotted to the models. This portion of the building consists of four apartments, one of which is 56 feet by 39 feet; another 39 feet by 22 feet; the remaining two rooms 22 feet by 12 feet each, with ceilings well adapted for the purpose. Your committee propose that the two first mentioned rooms shall be appropriated solely for the placing and exhibiting of models; one of the smaller rooms to be occupied as an office by those who conduct the institution; and the other to be used for a library, to be formed of such books as may be deposited to secure the copyright, for charts, &c. The apartments are, at this time, in an unfinished state; workmen are employed to complete them ; a sufficient appropriation for this purpose has been already made by Congress. Many models are already deposited ; the manner in which they are placed tends to confusion, and sink the establishment into contempt. All is chaos—the machines are out of repair, and so intermixed as to make them almost useless. Useful machines are thus kept from view; and, for the want of a proper catalogue, containing a general description of the models, they are not understood. By such means the most beautiful inventions have been brought to ridicule. The despatch, safety, and success of business is promoted by nothing so much as method and regularity. Every visiter ought to be able to derive benefit from this depot: this can only happen where method is attended to. The subjects of this establishment admit of classification, according to fixed and established principles: all the apparatus used in distillation, the machines for cutting nails, for cutting files, for ginning, carding, roving, drawing, spinning, weaving, &c., should be contiguous to each other, and arranged according to the date of the patent. Placed in this manner, there would be a mass of knowledge embodied before the spectator; the arts would be easily traced; the machines would thus be advertised, as it were, and every one would go away much more informed than when they went into these apartments. The present prevalent confusion in some degree depends upon circumstances; when the machines were formerly deposited, near the Department of State, the room was much too limited; the machines were heaped together, and many of them were deranged in their several parts. The unfinished state of the present building will keep the models for a further time in a state of irregularity: it
is to be hoped that habit will not operate to make this perpetual. Success in this institution depends much upon the competency of the person or persons who are to conduct it; they should be liberal in all their views; nowise ambitious to become patentees themselves; no jealousies should exist between them and inventors; to the latter every facility should be offered, and every aid given; because, often they are men of limited knowledge, and need the assistance of others in their specifications, &c. Under such guidance the institution will be promoted, and useful knowledge diffused throughout our extensive country. To impose upon ourselves the task of proving the utility of this institution may, to many, appear idle and unnecessary. We have determined on the inquiry, and solicit your indulgence on the subject. By the acts which Congress have passed, relative to patents, it is indirectly provided that such a depot shall be formed. In the United States no patent can issue to guaranty a mere principle, it “must be for the vendible matter;” hence the necessity of a conservatory to prove the facts in disputed cases; the act further requires models to be deposited, in such cases as the Secretary of State shall deem necessary. The arts have ever been patronised and protected by civilized nations; the ancient Republics bestowed much upon the fine arts; at this time our object should be to promote those which are termed useful. Though we cannot but admire the taste and genius of a Pericles, or a Phidias, we deem it more consistent with the state of society and manners, in the United States, to mark with distinguished honors an Arkwright, a Bolton, a Watt, a Wedgewood, a Whitney, a Fulton, a Whittemore, an Evans, and a host of others, who compose the class of benefactors of the human race; their inventions not only astonish and confound by the intricacy of their structure, and the delicacy of their execution—they do more, they enrich a people, and constitute the formidable pillars of national independence; useful machinery excite human industry, circulate capital, expand the wings of commerce, and carry us to the remotest regions of the habitable world. The progress of the arts of civilization keep pace with each other; the arts are favorable to civil liberty; they alone give rise to internal improvements; and that nation is, of all others, the most certain of pros. perity, by which these principles are well understood, and put into practice. America cherishes peace; circumstances may force her into a war; even in that state of things her arts will achieve more lasting advantages for her than did the conquests of Alexander, a Caesar, or a Zengis Khan . Useful inventions of machines are more particularly necessary at this time in the United | States, when much may depend upon our manufactures; all labor-saving machines add so much to our population. We need not dread that riot and famine will follow the introduction of such agents into our work-shops; we should do all in our power to encourage their importation from abroad. In this respect England is an example worthy of imitation; whilst tyranny and oppression, from mistaken notions of policy, were operating with an iron hand upon the industrious in Flanders and France, England did all in her power to invite their emigration; every encouragement was given to them, and many advantages were offered; by such means did she establish her power and wealth, which at this time, is gigantic, and threatens neutrals and herself with annihilation, from its misapplication. Our inventions keep pace with our necessities. It is not long since we dreaded the want of blankets. American genius has suggested a simple method by which a single workman can furnish twelve per diem. Almost every department of the mechanical arts was languishing for the want of files: several machines have been lately invented for cutting these highly useful instruments; with one of them a single workman may make several hundred files per day; which may be sold at prices much below the imported. Who, with a knowledge of facts like these, can deny protection and security to the useful arts 7 Such inventions will do more for the nation than can be effected with armies and fleets; it is certain fleets and armies cannot be supported without them. We shall now give a short historical sketch of the subject in Europe, and then trace its progress in the United States. Two centuries have elapsed since Henry IV of France conceived the great design of a conservatory of models of whatever was curious or useful in machinery, “that all those (to use the language of Sully) who aspired to perfection might improve themselves without trouble in this silent school.” The death of Henry put a stop to the execution of this scheme ; in it he was followed by other Monarchs, and none with more zeal than those of France. In modern times we may refer even to the dark pages of revolutionary France, for many proofs of the devotion of that nation to this highly useful branch of knowledge, and at the present period the useful arts are well understood and cultivated with much success throughout the empire; liberal rewards are offered by that Government for such inventions as may prove of national benefit. The enormous sum of $183,332 is offered as a premium for a machine which will prepare and spin flax in as perfect a manner as is done with cotton ; the ingenious of ail nations are invited to be competitors for this prize; the Emperor has this department under his own direction, and no patent is granted “without a special decree from Napoleon;” this arrangement gives consequence to the establishment; not content to stophere, a professor is appointed especially to deliver lectures on machines; he discourses on the models generally, and at stated periods accompanies his pupils to observe machines in the different workshops of Paris and its vicinity; the operations of the various manufactures are demonstrated, and a general discussion of all the principles, which are connected with the useful arts, is entered into and exemplified by practice. This institution furnishes annually a considerable number of usesul members of society. In the establishment just alluded to, persons are em
Report on the Patent Office.
ployed, whose duty it is to form models of all
such valuable machines as are deposited; these
are on a regular scale, and accurate in the propor
tions of the several parts, so that the model will
move correctly, and produce effects proportioned to its size; machines may be made from these of any dimensions. In France schools for instruction in every art and science are diffused throughout the empire ; no useful branch is neglected. The teachers are numerous, and each institution has a fixed number of pupils, who are supported at the expense of Government; they are taught to arrange, plan, and execute all the operations which can be of use to the nation ; in cases of emergency that empire may draw upon this capital stock for useful men of every description, whether it be in philosophy, the various mechanical arts, the military art, &c. If the United States was equally prepared at this momentous period, much expense would have been saved to the nation, and much trouble to the Government; we repeat it, a school of arts is essentially necessary to our country. In the German schools they have professors, whose duties are like to those in France; at Gottingen Professor Beckman, the author of three volumes of the History of Discoveries and Inventions, was employed. In England, in the Royal Institution they take a proper notice of this subject, and no one has ever visited the depot of models at the Adelphia, without much pleasure and instruction. In Britain, where great distinctions are made in society, many persons occupy themselves with the useful arts,
whose rank would seem to forbid it; several no
blemen of distinction have patented useful inventions. If, then, all other nations deem it wise and essential to bestow favors in this way, shall it be said that, in the territories of the only free Republic of modern times, the arts were ridiculed and neglected 2 This can never be the case with those who understand the true interests of the State; the national genius forbids it, and nothing can stifle this infant Hercules of the United States. No nation can boast of more useful inventions than those of the people of the United States; we might bring to recollection many, which alone could have resulted from the exercise of genius of a superior order. Rittenhouse contrived and set a world in motion. Whitney furnished us with a simple machine by which the people of a world are enriched and made happy. In obedience to the resolutions passed by the House of Representatives of the United States, the Secretary of State has reported that, from the 31st day of July, 1790, when the first patent issued from the office, to the 31st day of December, 1811, inclusive, one thousand six hundred and thirteen patents have been granted ; of these two hundred and fifteen were for inventions patented in the year 1811. During the present year, (May, 1812.) one hundred and twenty one
patents have been already delivered ; twenty are in preparation, and twenty more are suspended
for the want of proper and suitable specifications; for several years past the number has increased annually, and an annual report of them has been
directed to be made to Congress. This review of the progress of the arts is highly gratifying to us as citizens of the United States; we now see them flourish in situations where the footsteps of the savage have been scarcely obliterated by the busy scenes of civilized society; establishments are multiplying in all directions; nothing but time and proper encouragement are wanting to bring them to perfection. Superficial observers, and persons who are not accustomed to study, are apt to treat this subject lightly, and sink it into contempt ; they under value inventions of every kind, and consider them more the results of chance than of mighty conceptions and painful thought; the sight of a steam engine in motion must convince the intelligent observer that the conception which gave rise to this stupendous monument of human invention, is too vast for ordinary comprehensions; persons thus disposed know little of the human mind; experience has not taught them the evils resulting from restless nights, and the many disappointments which await projectors; they often exclaim, what neces: sity or justice in granting rewards for discoveries 7 They say it cost nothing to effect the object; such persons have minds too limited to conceive a brilliant idea, too callous to receive a delicate impression, and a heart too cold to reward original genius. It is a habit with some to despise the knowledge of others. In answer to these declaimers we will offer the remarks of Burgh ; he says, when treating of projects and schemes, “there is not one of a hundred that ever succeeds at all, nor one of many hundred that brings their inventors anything but disappointment and ruin. So that, we observe accordingly, whoever projects anything new in science, in mechanics, or in trade, seldom does more than open the way for others to profit by their ingenuity.” Notwithstanding experience has proved these statements beyond contradiction, many deny to inventors ordinary justice. They do not require of you to yield your privileges or property to them ; they request of you, to “do as you would be done by.” and only to confirm them in that which has already been made theirs by the sacred decrees of the Great Creator of the universe. Too often do persons take advantage of the inventions of others, and deny them compensation ; they are considered as common property. It is with difficulty that the case is brought to a decision before a court of justice, and not unfrequently the inexpediency of awarding in favor of the plaintiff is too well maintained by a jury of interested persons. Our court records surnish too inany instances of this kind; it becomes us to guard against them, in future, by a modification of the statute of the United States, which shall unequivocally secure to inventors their discoveries and inventions. Before the adoption of the present Constitution of the United States, the several States, as sovereign Powers, granted patents. The framers of the Constitution deemed this an object worthy their protection; and amongst the powers dele
gated by them to Congress, we find that “to
promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” Congress, pursuant to the recited Constitutional provision, enacted a law on the subject, February 21, 1793; another April 17, 1800; and, during their present session, these several acts are under consideration, to be revised and amended, according as experience may have made it necessary. By these acts the fees which are directed to be paid by the patentee are inconsiderable—not one-fifteenth of the amount which is paid in Great Britain. . It never was contemplated to derive a revenue from this source; the original intention was to make the amount received sufficient to cover the expenses of the institution. The statements here with exhibited prove that a surplus fund has accumulated in the Treasury applicable to such purposes as the Legislature shall direct. We do not hesitate to acknowledge that patents have often issued for inventions apparently trivial and ridiculous. On this ground many object to the institution. Reflection will remove this difficulty. - The patent costs the State nothing, and from trifling causes wonderful consequences have ensued. Newton, from observing the falling of a pear, deduced his brilliant theory of gravitation ; and no year passes in which the principle inherent in a trifling machine does not give rise to many valuable applications. You cannot limit in this respect: the Constitution guaranties to every one his original inventions. And no harm can result from this practice; the patentee can alone be disappointed in his expectations. No one will purchase that which he deems useless; and a very few, indeed, speculate so far as to give premiums for inventions without having previously seen their promised advantages demonstrated by practice. England sets a high value on objects of this kind. She encourages the introduction from abroad of every useful machine; and she prohibits, under heavy penalties, the exportation of such as are useful in her manufactories. In the year 1774, an act was passed “to prevent the exportations of utensils employed in the cotton manufacture” in England. Any person going from Great Britain, and who carries with him the tools and instruments of any useful art or manufacture peculiar to his native country, “must be deemed a traitor.” We can defend this branch of knowledge upon the ground of an enlarged and wise policy. Our supplies of clothing and other articles have been generally derived from British manufactories. That nation has made us tributary to her workshops, in common with the rest of mankind. This system has been carried so far as to affect the independence of the United States. We may soon be engaged in a war with that Power: propriety and necessity combine to carry us into other channels. We need not leave our shores for this purpose. Unlike Great Britain, our agriculture furnishes us more food than we can consume, and yields us the raw materials from which that most dependent of nations has been