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Source & Citation Info

title:“James Madison to Tench Coxe”
authors:James Madison
date written:1790-3-28

permanent link
to this version:
http://consource.org/document/james-madison-to-tench-coxe-1790-3-28/20130122083617/
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:36 a.m. UTC
retrieved:June 20, 2018, 3:23 p.m. UTC

transcription
citation:
Madison, James. "Letter to Tench Coxe." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 298. Print.
manuscript
source:
Autograph Letter Signed, Library of Congress

James Madison to Tench Coxe (March 28, 1790)

MARCH 28, 1790
1
Your idea of appropriating a district of territory to the encouragement of important inventions is new and worthy of consideration. I can not but apprehend however that the clause in the constitution which forbids patents for that purpose will lie equally in the way of your expedient. Congress seem to be tied down to the single mode of encouraging inventions by granting the exclusive benefit of them for a limited time, and therefore to have no more power to give a further encouragement out of a fund of land than a fund of money. This fetter on the National Legislature tho' an unfortunate one, was a deliberate one. The Latitude of authority now wished for was strongly urged and expressly rejected.

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