Imatges de pàgina

"AUGUST 8, 1861. The mission of Mr. Merwin will be of great benefit to the troops, and I will furnish him with every facility to address those under my command.

“I hope the general commanding the army will give him such official position as he may desire to carry out his object.


Major General Commanding.' Major General John A. Dix says of his labors in his department :

“I take great pleasure in recommending the appointment of Mr. Merwin to a position where he may be able to carry out his great work, believing, as I do, that the use of intoxicating drinks as a bererage to be the curse of the service.


Major General Commanding." Brigadier General Richardson says of his labors:

- His visit and addresses to the regiments in this brigade, under my command, have been productive of very great good; the men listened with the deepest interest. There is a marked improvement in their behavior and appearance. Seven hundred and forty in one regiment have taken the temperance pledge.'

Mr. Merwin continued his labors with so much success that, on the 12th of September last, the President sent to the adjutant general the following note:

"Let James B. Merwin be appointed under the 7th section of the act for the better organization of the military establishment, approved August 3, 1861, and be assigned to the work within, when he produces at the War Department evidence that he has been ordained according to said section.


Upon receiving this letter, Mr. Merwin applied for ordination, and was regularly ordained as a Christian minister, but upon presenting the evidence of such ordination to the War Department, the difficulty at once arose of complying with the order or request of the President, from the fact that Mr. Merwin's services were not desired for any one regiment so much as for the army generally, and from the further consideration that the chaplains in the volunteer service are by law to be commissioned by governors of States on the appointment of the commissioned officers of the regiment to which they are attached.

Your committee are not prepared to recommend any change in existing laws upon the subject of the appointment of chaplains, nor do they deem it advisable to create a new office, the duties of which would be fulfilled by labors such as Mr. Merwin has with diligence performed. On the other hand, your committee are of the opinion that, under the circumstances of this case, Mr. Merwin is justly and equitably entitled to a fair remuneration for his services, and ask to report the accompanying bill.



May 16, 1862.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. COBB, from the Committee on Invalid Pensions, made the fol



The Committee on Invalid Pensions, to whom was referred the petition of

citizens of Watertown, New York, praying for a land warrant of 160 acres for the legal representative of Jeremioh Vincent, beg leave to report :

That the late Rhoda Miller was the widow of Jeremiah Vincent, a soldier in the war of 1812, and received a pension as the widow of said Vincent. That she filed her application for a bounty land warrant through her agent or attorney, Clark W. Candee, esq., in March, 1855 ; it appears by the papers submitted to the committee the application was rejected by the Department of the Interior. The said widow Miller having died in the spring of 1856, leaving no heirs, the said citizens of Watertown, New York, petition Congress to pass a special act granting to the said C. W. Candee, as the legal re. presentative of the said widow Miller, a bounty land warrant of 160 acres. There is no legal evidence before the committee that the said C. W. Candee is the legal representative of the said widow Miller, but even admitting the truth of this, it is a grave question under the acts of Congress granting bounty lands to soldiers, their widows, and children, when their are no heirs as specified in said acts, whether the law can be construed so as to permit the issue of the warrant or certificate to a legal representative.

The committee therefore recommend that the prayer of the petitioner be denied.

2d Session.

No. 112.

[To accompany bill H. R. No. 486.]

May 16, 1862.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. NOBLE, from the Committee on Patents, made the following


The Committee on Patents, to whom was referred the petition of Daniel

Woodbury, praying the passage of an act extending his letters patent, dated August 26, 1846, report:

Our system of patent law is, in its entire scope, a recognition of the right of property which one has in knowledge derived from his own thought and study, or from his intuitive genius and skill. The author of a new invention has the exclusive right in and ownership of that invention, and its exercise can but remain entirely at his discretion; he may retain it a secret in his own breast, or publish it to the world. In view of this fact, our patent and copy-right laws seek to obtain for the public the full benefit of the original conceptions and intellectual labor of individuals by guaranteeing to them a just compensation in return for the benefits granted to society.

A patent is, hence, recognized as a compact or agreement between the inventor and the public, by which he, on the one hand, consents to make his invention known and available to the public, and finally to surrender it entirely; and they, on the other hand, through the agency of the government, grant to him for this consideration the exclusive right of practicing his invention for a term of years.

Now, it is evident that the entire measure and intent of the patent law is, in accordance with the principles of natural justice, to render to the inventor an equivalent for the benefit which he confers upon others, and to grant him compensation and remuneration for the time, labor, and expense which it has cost him to produce and perfect his invention; for, as has been truly said by a former distinguished Commissioner of Patents, "From the very foundation of this government it has been its settled policy to secure a just reward to all inventors, and it is to the inflexible maintenance of this policy that we are indebted for the unparalleled advancement which as a people we have made in the useful arts.''

The compensation is not granted immediately to the inventor by the law, but the law affords him the opportunity to obtain, with proper diligence, a reward commensurate with its value. If the inventor fails to obtain an adequate reward by reason of unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, or because the very nature of the improve. ment or invention itself requires a longer term than that fixed by law for the generality of cases, in the which to obtain a proper recompense, provisions have been made by which the term may be extended in such cases, and justice done the party.

In order to justify an extension, however, it is requisite that the public, through its agent, the government, should be satisfied by competent evidence upon three points:

First. That the invention was really the property of the patentee, or, in other words, that it was novel and original with him.

Second. That he has not received remuneration commensurate with the benefit conferred upon the public, that is to say, a fair equivalent therefor.

Third. That it was through no fault or neglect on his part that the consideration to him failed, and that he did not receive the reward to which the merit and value of the invention fairly entitled him.

In all cases in which these points have been fairly established, an extension has been granted by the proper officers as a matter of course; and, indeed, the cases are very numerous in which, after a patent has been extended by the Patent Office to the full limit of its power in the premises, Congress las again still further extended the term. Of these cases, the most notable, perhaps, is the Woodworth patent for a planing machine, which, being originally granted in 1828, was extended by the Board of Patents, under the old law, seven years, and at the expiration of this extended time was again ex• tended by act of Congress for seven years more. The reason for granting to Mr. Woodworth such a long term of exclusive right was, .simply, that he had failed, without fault, to obtain in a shorter time a pecuniary reward commensurate with the great importance and value of the invention, and justice required that he should receive it.

It is evident, then, that the only difficulty which an inventor who is really entitled to an extension of his patent can or should meet with is in obtaining and submitting competent and sufficient evidence of the originality of his invention, its value to the public, the profit which he has realized from it, and the fact that he has used all due diligence in endeavoring to obtain such profit, and at the same time extending the benefits of his invention to the public.

In making his application to the Commissioner of Patents for an extension, Mr. Woodbury obtained and presented what he considered ample proof on all these points, but it appears from the decision of the Commissioner upon this application that, in his judgment, it was not sufficient. By this decision Mr. Woodbury claims that great in. justice has been done to him, and he therefore seeks here relief by the only means which remains open to him, and by presenting adiditional evidence makes his rights more clear and apparent than was the case in his application to the Commissioner.

In reporting in favor of this application we are justified by a lors series of precedents, and, as we have already stated, very many of

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