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“ The saving in wages, however, would of course be an imperfect test of the reaper's merits, since in bad seasons and late districts it may often enable the farmer to save the crop.”
In reference to a subsequent trial, Mr. Pusey remarks:
“Mr. McCormick's, in this trial, worked-as it has since worked at Cirencester (Agricultural) College, and elsewhere—o the admiration of practical farmers, and therefore received a council medal.”
Notwithstanding so important a revolution in husbandry as this machine effected, and its manifest utility, still its introduction into use appears to have been surrounded with difficulties. The inventor was obliged to offer full guarantees for its satisfactory performance to the farmer in every instance of sale, thereby assuming the entire risk. (Vide terms of sale, marked 16.)
The perfecting of the invention, in its practical details, seems to have required patient study, critical observation, and persevering trials. In 1834 its main features were patented, defects were found to exist, and the result of one experiment for the remedy could only be ascertained during one harvest.
It was found that the cutting features could not be relied upon in all cases until further improvements were made, as described and patented in January, 1845. From June 21st, 1834, (date of the first patent,) and for ten years after the invention in 1831, and until the improvements were made as secured by the patent of 1845, he appears to have derived little or no profit from his reaper, but spent much time, money, and labor in improving it so as to make it profitable to himself and available to the public. Upon its introduction to the heavy wheat of the prairies, other important improvements were found necessary in order to safely introduce it. They were accordingly made, and embraced in the third patent, granted October 23d, 1847.
From the statement before the board of extension, and submitted to your committee in 1848, it
29 In 1844
50 In 1845
50 In 1846
190 In 1847
778 machines in the whole. On the machines he received an average of $20 each for his patent right, making $15,560 on the sales of his machines, and on sales of territory about $7,083; making in the whole $22,643. His expenses he is unable to give in detail,
but estimates his time and labor, advertisements, hire of agents, &c., at “several thousand” dollars. (Vide document U.)
This report might, perhaps, properly stop here, but for remonstrances received against the extension prayed for, on the ground that the inventor is supposed to have realized a large profit from the machine. How far these opinions may be correct does not appear to your committee. Profits made by the manufacture and sale of the machines, since
the expiration of the patent of 1834, cannot have been derived from tha patent. Besides, in proportion to the number of machines sold, have advantages resulted to the public from this invention, and to a much greater extent than to the inventor; and it would seein that, having done something for himself, while doing much for the country, his claims to the extension of the first patent, under which he failed to realize adequate remuneration, in accordance with the provisions of the law, should not be less than if he had done nothing for either.
33d CONGRESS, , HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 2d Session.
COLONEL JOHN HARDIN-HEIRS OF.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 783.]
FEBRUARY 23, 1855.
Mr. FAULKNER, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the fol
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the memorial of
the heirs of the late Colonel John Hardin, have, according to order, had the same under consideration, and submit the following report :
The history of a man so noted as was Col. John Hardin is so well known to the people of this country, to which he extended so much of his devotion as to sacrifice his life in its service, as to preclude the necessity of the committee going into any minute detail of his career and services. Previous to the expedition in which he was killed, he was an ensign in a militia company in the memorable expedition, in the year 1774, of Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, against the Indians; he
was afterwards one of a company commanded by Captain Zack Morgan, during an engagement of which with the Indians he was wounded in the groin by a ball, which was never extracted to the day of his death. Still suffering from the effect of that wound, he was with Governor Dunmore on his march to the Indian towns.
He next joined the regular army, with the command of a second lieutenant; he was then attached to Morgan's rifle corps, and was principally on the lines until he resigned a first lieutenant's commission, in 1779, occupying always, during his last service, a high place in the regard of General Daniel Morgan. After performing many gallant deeds in these and other positions, which deeds illustrate the pages of American history, he left the army, and went to Kentucky during the next year, 1780, located some land warrants, and afterwards returned to his old home in Virginia, and removed his family to Kentucky in 1786. He was afterwards quartermaster in the Wabash expedition, under General Clark. In 1789 the numerous depredations committed by the Indians in that locality induced him to cross the Ohio, with a strong band of militia, which had a warm engagement with a band of Shawnee Indians, who were defeated; which caused the suppression of depredations in that vicinity after that time. In fact, he was in every Indian expedition which was formed after his arrival in Kentucky, except that of General St. Clair, which he was prevented from joining on account of his having accidentally wounded himself.
In 1792, the hostile Indians northwest of the Ohio became so troublesome, and committed so many outrages, that it was the policy of the government to make peace with them, if possible. In order to do this, it was necessary to find a man of more than ordinary courage, firmness, and sagacity, to be the bearer of the white flag, or, in other words, the messenger to invite them to peace. Colonel John Hardin was selected by General Wilkinson, then the commander at Fort Washington, for the reason, as the General says himself, in his letter, “ I wish you to undertake the business, because you are better qualified for it than any man of my acquaintance." Notwithstanding the expedition was looked upon as almost certainly fatal to the undertaker, it was not in Colonel Hardin to evade the performance of a mission the success of which would be of such incalculable advantage to his country. The last letters received from Colonel Hardin previous to his death show that he himself had little hopes of returning to the bosom of his family. In the very last letter that he wrote, he says: “ But oh, my dear love, as I write and meditate on myself, to think I have left a peaceful, safe, plentiful, and so dear a family, and thrown my life into the hands of a cruel and savage enemy, I cannot prevent the tears flowing of my eyes at present.” He had indeed thrown his sife into the hands of a cruel and savage enemy; for, says Marshall's History of Kentucky, “ towards the close of the year, what had been apprehended with great anxiety, the death of Col. John Hardin, who had been sent with overtures of peace to the Indians, was reduced to a certainty. The particular manner of that death has not been ascertained with any certainty of detail. What has been learned is, that Colonel Hardin, attended by his interpreter, on his route toward the Miami villages, arrived at an Indian camp, about a day's journey from where Fort Defiance was afterwards built by General Wayne, and nearly the same distance from a town inhabited by Shawnees and Delawares; that he was well received by the Indians in camp, but had not been long there before five Delawares came in from the town; upon learning of which, the Colonel proposed to them to go with him the same evening to the place. They, however, refused to go back that day, but seemed peaceably disposed, and he concluded to camp with the Indians the ensuing night, which he did without molestation. In the morning, however, without provocation or particular reason, a parcel of them shot him to death. They seized his horse, gun, and saddlebags, expecting, no doubt, in addition to the two former, that they would find money and presents in the latter. His companion they made a prisoner, and, taking him with them on the road towards Sandusky, murdered him by the way." Thus terminated the career of this remarkable man.
His heirs now come before Congress, claiming the sum of two hundred dollars per annum, from the date of his death, in 1792, to that of his widow in the year 1829.
This claim is founded upon a promise made by General Wilkinson to Colonel John Hardin, the information of which promise is conveyed to his wife in the letter before alluded to, written just previous to his departure on the mission which ended in his death. In that letter he says: “Should I fall a sacrifice in this important attempt, the General