Report on the Petition of Samuel Breck and Others, 9 December 1791

Report on the Petition of Samuel Breck and Others

The Secretary of State, to whom was referred by the House of Representatives the Petition of Samuel Breck and others, Proprietors of a sail-cloth Manufactory in Boston, praying that they may have the exclusive Privilege of using particular Marks for designating the Sail-Cloth of their Manufactory, has had the same under Consideration and thereupon REPORTS,

That it would, in his Opinion, contribute to Fidelity in the Execution of Manufactures to secure to every Manufactory an exclusive Right to some Mark on it's Wares, proper to itself.

That this should be done by general Laws extending equal Right to every Case to which the Authority of the Legislator should be competent.

That these Cases are of divided Jurisdiction, Manufactures made and consumed within a State being subject to State Legislation, while those which are exported to foreign Nations, or to another State, or into the Indian Territory, are alone within the Legislation of the General Government.

That it will, therefore, be reasonable for the General Legislature to provide in this Behalf by Law for those Cases of Manufacture generally, and those only, which relate to commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. And that this may be done by permitting the owner of every Manufactory, to enter in the Records of the Court of the District wherein his Manufactory is, the Name with which he chuses to mark or designate his Wares, and rendering it penal in others to put the same Mark to any other Wares.

Th: Jefferson
Dec. 9. 1791.

PrC (DLC); in clerk's hand, except for signature and date; endorsed in clerk's hand: “Recorded and Examined.” FC (DNA: RG 59, SDR); preceded by text of House resolution of 28 Nov. 1791, attested by John Beckley, referring to Secretary of State for examination and report the petition of Samuel Breck and others “praying that they may have the exclusive privilege of using the particular marks for the designation of the sail cloth of their manufactory, and that others may be prohibited from imitating the same, under reasonable penalties.” This report was transmitted to Speaker of House of Representatives by TJ on 9 Dec. 1791 (PrC in DLC; entirely in TJ's hand).