Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Fitch, John (1743-1798) to John Nicholson

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04647 Author/Creator: Fitch, John (1743-1798) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 13 February 1793 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 31 x 21 cm.

Summary of Content: Fitch, an inventor, suggests that Nicholson pay Mr. Stokes for use of Stokes' unspecified model. Instructs Nicholson, Comptroller-General of Pennsylvania, to take a receipt for this payment, which "may appear to a jury as a purchase" in case Stokes attempts to claim exclusive rights to the model. Includes a fragment possibly removed from this document with the notation "fragment text does not match document text."

Background Information: Fitch is most noted for his creation of the steamboat.

People: Fitch, John, 1743-1798
Nicholson, John, 1757-1800

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: InventionInventorScience and TechnologyPatentLawSteam

Sub Era: The Early Republic

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources