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shown by his vigorous appeal while President, in his message of December, 1810, in which he urged the importance of an institution at the capital which would “contribute not less to strengthen the foundations than to adorn the structure of our system of government."

Quite in accord with the spirit of Madison's message was a letter in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 1788,' in which it was argued that the new form of government proposed by the framers of the Constitution could not succeed in a republic, unless the people were prepared for it by an education adapted to the new and peculiar situation of the country, the most essential instrument for which should be a federal university. Indeed the tone of this article, to which my attention has recently been directed by President Welling, was so harmonious with that of the previous and subsequent utterances of Madison, as to suggest the idea that he, at that time a resident of Philadelphia, may have been its author. It is more probable, however, that the writer was Benjamin Rush, who in 1787 issued an " Address to the People of the United States," ' which began with the remark that there is nothing more common than to confound the terms of American Revolution with those of the late American war.

“The American war is over,” he said, “but this is far from being the case with the American Revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the great drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government; and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens for these forms of government after they are established and brought to perfection."

And then he went on to propose a plan for a national university, of the broadest scope, with postgraduate scholarships, a corps of travelling correspondents, or fellows, in connection with the consular service, and an educated civil service, organized in connection with the university work. See Appendix A.

? See Appendix B. 3 The “Society of Sons of the American Revolution,” recently organized, and composed of descendants of Revolutionary soldiers and patriots, has for one of its objects, “ to carry out Washington's injunction to promote as objects of primary importance institutions for the diffusion of knowledge' and thus to create an enlightened public opinion.”


In “Economica,” the work just quoted, printed in 1806, the first work on political economy written in America, Blodget referred to the national university project as an accepted idea, held in temporary abeyance by legislative delays.

Blodget urged upon Congress various projects which he thought to be of national importance, and among the first of these was “To erect, or at least to point out the place for the statue of 1783, and either to direct or permit the colleges of the University formed by Washington to commence around this statue after the manner of the Timoleonton of Syracuse.'

In intimate connection with his plan for a university was that of Washington for a military academy at West Point. He had found during the Revolution a great want of engineers, and this want caused Congress to accept the services of numerous French engineers to aid our country in its struggle for independence.

At the close of the Revolution Washington lost no time in commending to Virginia the improvement of the Potomac and James rivers, the junction by canal of Chesapeake Bay and Albemarle Sound of North Carolina. He soon after proceeded to New York to see the plans of General Schuyler to unite the Mohawk with the waters of Lake Ontario, and to Massachusetts to see the plans of the Merrimac Navigation Company.

It was the want of educated engineers for work of this kind that induced Generals Washington, Lee, and Huntington, and Colonel Pickering, in the year 1783, to select West Point as a suitable site for a military academy, and at that


| 1806 Blodget, Samuel, Jr. Economica : | A Statistical Manual | for the | United States of America. | = | ... The legislature ought to make the people happy | Aristotle on government | = ||

" Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas " | = | City of Washington : | Printed for the author. | = | 1806, 128 i-viji, 1–202 i-xiv.

The certificate of copyright is in this form :

Be it remembered that Samuel Blodget Jr. hath deposited in this office the title of a book the right whereof he claims as author, but for the benefit in trust for the free education fund of the university founded by George Washington in his last will,etc.

place such an institution was essayed, under the law of Congress, in 1794. But from the destruction of the building, and its contained books and apparatus by fire, the Academy was suspended until the year 1801, when Mr. Jefferson renewed the action of the law, and in the following year, 1802, a United States Corps of Engineers and Military Academy was organized by law, and established at West Point, with General Jonathan Williams, the nephew of Franklin, and one of the vice-presidents of the Philosophical Society at its head, and the United States Military Philosophical Society was established with the whole engineer corps of the army for a nucleus.

This society had for its object “the collecting and disseminating of military science." Its membership during the ten years of its existence included most of the leading men in the country, civilians as well as officers in the army and navy. Meetings were held in New York and Washington, as well as in West Point, and it seems to have been the first national scientific society.'

The Patent Office also began under Washington, the first American patent system having been founded by act of Congress, April 10, 1790.

On the 8th of January, 1790, President Washington entered the Senate chamber, where both Houses of Congress were assembled, and addressed them upon the state of the new nation. In the speech of a few minutes, which thus constituted the first annual message to Congress, about a third of the space was given to the promotion of intellectual objects-science, literature, and arts. The following expression may perhaps be regarded as the practical origination of

" At least three fascicles of “ Extracts from the Minutes of the United States Military Society were printed-one for the stated meeting, Oct. 6, 1806 [4 °, 14 pp.) ; one for an occasional meeting at Washington, Jan. 30, 1808 [4 °, pp. 1-23 (1) ]; and one for an occasional meeting at New York, Dec. 28, 1809 (4 °, pp. 1-22]. The MS. Records, in four volumes, are said to be in the possession of the New York Historical Society.

I am indebted to Col. John M. Wilson, U. S. A., Supt. of the Military Academy, and to Gen. J. C. Kelton, U. S. A., for courteous and valuable replies to my letters of inquiry.

our patent system: "I cannot forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving effectual encouragement, as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to the exertions of skill and genius in producing them at home.”

This of course was in direct pursuance of the constitutional enactment, bethought and inserted toward the closing days of the Convention in September, 1787, empowering Congress with such authority. Each House, the Senate on the ith and the Representatives on the 12th, sent a cordial response to the President's address, reciting the particulars of his discourse, and promising, especially to his suggestions for encouragement of science and arts, “such early attention as their respective importance requires" ; and the lower House proceeded rapidly with the work. January 15th it was resolved that the various measures indicated by the President should be referred to select committees respectively; and on the 25th, such a committee was formed to consider the encouragement of the “ useful arts." It consisted of Edamus Burke, of South Carolina, a Justice of the Supreme Court of that State, and native of Ireland; Benjamin Huntington, of Connecticut; and Lambert Cadwalader, of New Jersey. On the 16th of February, Mr. Burke reported his bill, which passed to its second reading the following day. It was copiously discussed and amended in Committee of the Whole, particularly March 4th, when “the clause which gives a party a right to appeal to a jury from a decision of referees, it was moved should be struck out.” After a good deal of pointed and profitable remark as to the true sphere and function of juries, the motion for striking out was carried.

The next day, March 5th, the bill was ordered to be engrossed, and on the ioth, after third reading, it passed, and was carried to the Senate. Here, in a few days, it was referred to a committee of which Charles Carroll, of Maryland, was chairman, and reported back the 29th of March, where it passed, with twelve amendments, on the 30th. On the 8th of April it went forward with the signatures of

Speaker and Vice-President to the President, who approved it April 10, 1790. The first patent was granted on the 31st of the following July, to Samuel Hopkins, of Vermont, for making “pot and pearl ashes”; and two more during that


Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State at this period, under which department especially the patent system grew up for more than half its first century, took so keen an interest in its aim and workings, and gave such searching personal attention to the issue of the several patents, that he has been quite naturally reputed as the father of our Patent Office, and it seems to have been supposed that the bill itself creating it proceeded from his own suggestion. But by a comparison of dates this appears hardly possible. Jefferson returned from Europe to Norfolk and Monticello toward the end of 1789, his mind deeply occupied with the stirring movements of revolution abroad; during the winter months he was debating whether he should accept the charge of the State Department offered him by Washington, making his way by slow stages from Virginia to New York, receiving innumerable ovations, paying his last visit to the dying Franklin, and he only reached the seat of government March 21st, when the legislative work on this act was practically finished. More than to any other individual probably the American patent system looks for its origin to the Father of the Country.'

Jefferson took great pride in it, and gave personal consideration to every application that was made for patents during the years between 1790 and 1793, while the power of revision and rejection granted by that act remained in force. It is a matter of tradition, handed down to us from generation to generation, that, when an application for a patent was made, he would summon Mr. Henry Knox, of Massa1“Statutes at Large,” vol. i., pp. 109-112.

Among the treasures of the National Museum is a patent dated 1796, signed by Washington as President and Pickering as Secretary of State.

3 The foregoing paragraphs concerning the history of the Patent Office were kindly supplied by Mr. Edward Farquhar, for many years its Assistant Librarian.

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