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    Description

    James Madison Letter Signed as United States Secretary of State. Two pages including integral address leaf, 8" x 10", "Dep. Of State, March 26th, 1802." In his role as Secretary of State, Mr. Madison sent this letter to William Barton of Lancaster PA, an attorney, scholar, and the co-designer of the Great Seal of the United States.

    Secretary of State Madison requests that Barton and two other lawyers (Andrew Graffano and George Dufield) serve as referees "to determine upon the interfering claims to a patent for a machine for cleaning clover feed." He continues: "You will be pleased to inform me of our determination to act as such, or not. The necessary documents in the case are herewith sent to you...."

    Given the history of mechanical threshers, we can assume that the patent claims discussed here were for devices based upon the first mechanized threshers invented by Scotsman Andrew Meikle. It wasn't until the 1820s-30s that American inventors began receiving patents to develop and produce functional threshers. It is unclear whether William Barton accepted the position offered by the Secretary of State. Letter is moderately age toned; portion of integral address leaf is missing (does not affect address). Fine condition.





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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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