Thornton, William (1759-1828) [Document acknowledging William Eaton]
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 #: GLC06304.01 Author/Creator: Thornton, William (1759-1828) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Manuscript document signed Date: 13 August 1805 Pagination: 1 p. ; 57.1 x 41.3 cm.
Written in a flowerly, religious tone by William Thornton, the architect who designed the U.S. Capitol building who was running the U.S. Patent Office in 1805. Given to William Eaton, former American commander of naval vessels sent to the Barbary states in 1804 and 1805. Presented to Eaton after his adventures with Prince Sidi Hamet, the Sultan of Tripoli who was disposed by his younger brother Yusuf Karamanli in 1804. Eaton had proposed to help Hamet regain power, but after a series of sensational battles a diplomatic payment was made to preserve the peace and Hamet retired to Syracuse on Sicily. Perhaps written as a grateful acknowledgement of Eaton's accomplishments. The document notes differences between Christian and Muslim states, and cites the Koran three times (Suras 3, 39, and 27) to show that book's respect for Jesus' teachings. The document is dated "Written in the Star Chamber of the House of Invention" - the patent office- "of the Palace of the great Sovereigns of America" - Washington D.C. At top of the sheet there are clouds surrounding a bright, multi-color rainbow, painted in water-color. Also three paper seals at top.
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.