2.8.1805: “In no case, perhaps, does habit attach our choice or judgement more than in climate. The Canadian glows with delight in his sleigh and snow; the very idea of which gives me the shivers.” —to Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Volney
Read the full letter beneath the page break:
In 1791 Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson was in charge of American patents. In that official capacity Jefferson approved [George] Parkinson’s patent application and helped arrange the migration of Parkinson’s family to the United States. He thus sanctioned an overt violation of British restrictions on the diffusion of industrial technology. But Jefferson, staunch foe of Great Britain that he was, held conflicting views about technology piracy. He lent a hand to Parkinson’s family but not to Parkinson himself: as Julian P. Boyd writes, he “took no part in aiding the immigration of British artisans because it was forbidden by law.” A year earlier Jefferson had been reluctant to support William Pollard’s application for a patent monopoly of another version of [Richard] Arkwright’s [flax-spinning] machine.
Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, wholeheartedly supported technology piracy. Parkinson was a partner of Tench Coxe, Hamilton’s trusted assistant, who had contracted with Parkinson to build a mill based on his claim of detailed knowledge of the secret Arkwright machine. Hamilton though the experiment merited a $48 Treasury subsidy to cover Parkinson’s living expenses in the spring of 1791. This episode was one of many instances in which Hamilton’s Treasury Department organized and supported raids on Britain’s industrial preeminence. Such projects strained Anglo-American relations because, as Anthony F.C. Wallace and David J. Jeremy explain, for “some of the highest officials of the American government to reward the violation of British law by issuing a patent for stolen invention - and thus to encourage similar adventures buy other industrial spies - would hardly be considered a friendly act.”"
Doron Ben-Atar, Alexander Hamilton’s Alternative: Technology Piracy and the Report on Manufactures
Talking to your emigrants, violating your copyrights.