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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Patrick Henry to Alexander Martin
Henry, Patrick, 1736-1799
November 18, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 183-184


Dear Sir:

At the desire of Mr. James Ramsey I give you the trouble of this. His new constructed Boat is the subject of much disquisition amongst us. General Washington said to me in conversation two days ago that the construction, although plain and cheap, did really answer the most sanguine expectations; and if the proportions in forming large Boats answered with the model he saw, the invention certainly would produce the most important effects. In observing these proportions, it seems scarcely possible to err, as the machinery is so simple.

Our House of Delegates have passed a Bill to give Ramsey the exclusive privilege of building and using these Boats for 10 years

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and no person else but by permission from him his heirs, &c., is permitted to do it under a high penalty. Our Senate were not met, or else I could have sent you a Copy of it as an Act. I beg leave to recommend this Subject to your Excellency, as highly interesting to your State, and have no doubt of happy effects deriving from it.

I am Sir, &c.,
His Excellency
Governor Martin.