“You must be aware that the rest of your coproprietors have been great sufferers in their property, for some time past, from the frequent disagreements between their agent and yourself, and that, for the sake of peace, they have endured much and long. It is impossible for me to say where the fault lies, for, from the very fact that I put my affairs into the hands of an agent to manage for me, it is evident I cannot have that minute, full and clear view of the matters at issue between him and yourself that he has, or, under other circumstances, that I might have. But this I can see, that mutual disadvantage must be the consequence of litigation between us, and this we both ought to be desirous to avoid.
“Between fair-minded men I cannot see why there should be a difference, or at least such a difference as cannot be adjusted by uninterested parties chosen to settle it by each of the disagreeing parties.
“I write this in the hope that, on second thought, you will meet my agent Mr. Kendall in the mode of arbitration proposed. I have repeatedly advised my agent to refrain from extreme measures until none others are left us; and if such are now deemed by him necessary to secure a large amount of our property, hazarded by perpetual delays, while I shall most sincerely regret the necessity, there are interests which I am bound to protect, connected with the secure possession of what is rightfully mine, which will compel me to oppose no further obstacle to his proceeding to obtain my due, in such manner as, in his judgment, he may deem best.”
MARCH 5, 1850—NOVEMBER 10, 1854
Precarious financial condition.—Regret at not being able to make loan.— False impression of great wealth.—Fears he may have to sell home.— F.O.J. Smith continues to give trouble.—Morse system extending throughout the world.—Death of Fenimore Cooper.—Subscriptions to charities, etc.—First use of word “Telegram.”—Mysterious fire in Supreme Court clerk’s room.—Letter of Commodore Perry.—Disinclination to antagonize Henry.—Temporary triumph of F.O.J. Smith.—Order gradually emerging.—Expenses of the law.—Triumph in Australia.—Gift to Yale College.—Supreme Court decision and extension of patent.—Social diversions in Washington.—Letters of George Wood and P.H. Watson on extension of patent.—Loyalty to Mr. Kendall; also to Alfred Vail.— Decides to publish “Defense.”—Controversy with Bishop Spaulding.—Creed on Slavery.—Political views.—Defeated for Congress.
While I have anticipated in giving the results of the various lawsuits, it must be borne in mind that these dragged along for years, and that the final decision of the Supreme Court was not handed down until January 30, 1854. During all this time the inventor was kept in suspense as to the final outcome, and often the future looked very dark indeed, and he was hard pressed to provide for the present.