Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

the agriculturist and mechanic, who can well afford to pay for its use for a further time of seven years.

William Brown, of Battle Creek, in Michigan, says (page 23) "that he is personally and well acquainted with Daniel Woodbury; that he considers his power the best of its kind ; that said Woodbury, by expending his time, skill, and money, has brought said power to such perfection that he can now realize something like a fair return for his invention ; that said Woodbury is an old man and poor; and this deponent believes that in strict justice said patent ought to be extended seven years so that Woodbury may get some benefit from his skill, labor, and expense before the rich manufacturer shall be made richer and the inventor poorer and poorer; and deponent further says that said Woodbury is industrious and honest and well worthy of remuneration from the public for said horse-power.”

John Barker says (p. 27) "that he is knowing to the expense of time and money incurred by said Woodbury in perfecting said power; and although it would give him and his firm the free use of said power if said Woodbury should get no extension of his patent, yet deponent is convinced that said Woodbury in justice ought to have such an extension; that, in the opinion of this deponent, it would be unjust and ruinous to Mr. Woodbury to deprive him at this time of life of said invention, and give it to manufacturers and agriculturists without cost to them."

Joel A. H. Ellis, of Springfield, Windsor county: Vermont, testifies (p. 31) "that he has been acquainted with Daniel Woodbury for the last fourteen years, and is well acquainted with the trouble and expense incurred by said Woodbury in perfecting his said horse-power, patented August 26, 1846, and that he has not been compensated therefor, although he has fully devoted his time and all the moneys he could obtain to the perfection of said horse-power to the neglect of all other business, and regardless of the comfort of himself and family."

Edmund F. Woodbury also swears that Daniel Woodbury “has paid out all the money he could get in perfecting and introducing said power to use, regardless of the comfort of himself and family.

Peter Lockie, who has known Woodbury for eleven years, testifies to the same fact, and adds that, “had it not been for the exertions of said Woodbury's wife and children his family must have suffered for the necessaries of life."

This evidence, which establishes beyond all controversy the fact that Woodbury has not received a reasonable compensation for the benefit which he has by his labor bestowed upon the public, just as clearly proves the devotion of this worthy inventor to the one idea of his life.

Thus not only have the powers of his mind and body been ardently devoted to his invention and its introduction into use, but every doilar he possessed or could command has been appropriated to the same end, while even his wife and children were often deprived of the necessaries of life, and had to rely upon their own exertions in a measure for support.

And now he alleges, and we have no reason to doubt its truth, that after struggling in the face of the most discouraging obstacles, against poverty and obscurity, in competition with wealthy and influential proprietors of machines of inferior merit, who, moved by every motive of self-interest, exerted themselves to prevent the introduction of his improvement to the public, and to drive him to desperation by suits at law which, in his poverty, he could not defend-at times crushed by the fraud and dishonesty of men in whom he had confided with implicit trust, he has at last succeeded in obtaining a public recognition of the value of his invention, which is strength. ening day by day, and widening over the whole country. But, just as it has thus come fairly into public notice, and after sustaining the test of actual use by the agricultural portion of the community, it has reached that popularity to which, by its intrinsic worth, it is fairly entitled, he finds the fruit of his hard and persevering labors snatched from him as it ripens, and himself left, in the declining years of life, poor and in want.

We are therefore of the opinion that he ought not to be deprived of the benefits of an extension merely because the evidence offered by him was not entirely satisfactory on all the points required to be sustained by evidence, when now he shows evidence abundant to establish every necessary fact to have them entitle him to the extension.

There was no opposition to the extension. The examiner in his report to the Commissioner says: "His application is unembarrassed by opposition, although the legal notice has been given," &c.

Though we have no disposition to review the decision of, or take issue with the Commissioner in his conclusions, yet we believe the evidence offered by the applicant was so nearly sufficient that he might very reasonably have relied upon it. When there was no opposition to his application, and having done so and failed, that he ought at least to be granted another hearing, with the privilege of offering additional testimony before the Commissioner.

We therefore recommend the passage of the bill herewith reported.

2d Session.

{ No. 113.

ANNALS OF CONGRESS.

May 23, 1862 --Recommitted to the Committee on Printing, and ordered to be printed.

Mr. E. P. WALTON, from the Joint Committee on Printing, made the

following

REPORT.

The Committee on Printing to whom was referred the petition of Gales &

Seaton, report:

That the petition asks the House to purchase, for the use of its library, an additional number of the Annals of Congress and Register of Debates from the organization of government in 1789 to 1837. The committe considered a like proposition at the first session of the present Congress, and reported that the number of complete sets then in the library was eighty-five; that, if their value as books of reference on questions of unusual magnitude growing out of the pending rebellion should be properly estimated, this number would be inadequate to the demand; that the cost would be $355 per set, and $35,500 for one hundred sets of seventy-one volumes each; and that the committee had no reason to doubt the expediency of then purchasing additional copies, except that of the extraordinary drafts upon the treasury for the prosecution of the war. A reconsideration of the question has induced the committee now to make an unreserved and earnest recommendation to purchase the work. It is the sole authoritative record of the debates of Congress for nearly the first half century of the federal government, of course embracing the opinions of its founders on questions of constitutional power and national policy ; and as such, it is invaluable. There are only about three hundred sets remaining in the hands of the publishers, and we think these should be at once put under the control of the government. Were it to permit them to pass into private hands, or to foreign governments, the loss would have to be repaired in the future, by reprinting, at great cost; and were it to leave the proprietors to a forced sale, under the pressure of present necessities, even though ultimately for the use of the government, it would be cruelly unjust to them. They are the authors, printers, and proprietors of the work, and they alone deserve whatever reward the government is to give. Joseph Gales, from whose hand came much of this great work, has closed a long, patriotic, and useful life. His surviving widow, with his life-long associate, still perpetuate the firm of Gales & Seaton ; but their declining years warn us that whatever of justice is to be done to them must be quickly done. A brief delay may be a denial of justice.

The committee therefore recommend the adoption of the accompanying resolution, in answer to the prayer of the petition :

Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Representatives be directed to procure from the publishers, for the use of the House library, at a cost not exceeding what has heretofore been paid for the said work, one hundred copies or sets of the Annals of Congress and Register of Debates, and pay for the same out of the contingent fund of the House : Provided, That the copies or sets remaining in the hands of the proprietors after the execution of this resolution shall not be sold or disposed of until they shall have been offered to Congress.

37TH CONGRESS, | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. I REPORT 2d Session.

ENLARGEMENT OF THE LOCKS OF THE ERIE AND OSWEGO

CANALS.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 288.]

JUNE 3, 1862.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. FRANCIS P. Blair, jr., from the Committee on Military Affairs,

made the following

REPORT.

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom were referred sundry peti

tions from Millard Fillmore and others, inhabitants of cities adjacent to the great northern and northwestern lakes, soliciting Congress to adopt without delay the measures necessary for enlarging the locks of the Erie and the Oswego canals to a size sufficient to pass vessels adequate to the defence of the lakes, report:

That the subject of canals of proper capacity, as integral and necessary portions of a general system of national defence, has already been fully and carefully considered by the committee, and forms a prominent feature in the report presented by them to the House of Representatives on the 23d of April last. It appears in that document under the third of the eight general heads of public defence, and is in the following words :

* The construction of channels in which to convey gunboats from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and from the Atlantic into the lakes, and from one lake into any other."

It is fully in corroboration of the statements of that report in respect to the vast importance of providing without delay for defending the commerce of the lakes, and as to its present undefended condition, that President Fillmore and the other highly intelligent petitioners assert that “the United States have no impediment to offer if, during the season of navigation, a fleet of British gunboats from the Atlantic shall

propose to take possession of the entire chain of lakes and connecting rivers.

With less means of local information, the committee had nevertheless arrived at the same conclusion, and in their report they distinctly expressed their conviction that “a small fleet of light draught, heavilyarmed, iron-clad gunboats could in one short month, in despite of any opposition that could be made by extemporized batteries, pass up the St. Lawrence, and shell every city and village from Ogdensburg to

« AnteriorContinua »