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W1734 TO MR. SANBORN From Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten
Apr 7 1885
To: Mr. Sanborn New York
From: 784 Lexington Ave., New York City, New York

Mr. Sanborn Dear Sir. On 2nd inst. I read the order of my brother to Mr. Dunn, for him to turn over all the patents machinery and unfinished machinery with the tools, to me.1 I or you have all except the one exclosed [sic] as the receipt & order of the record of the new improvement of the coupler thus the patent papers are all right.

Mr. Dunn seemed quite pleasant after getting over his anger and want [sic] to make everything straight and rather urged to leave the coupler with him until Saturday when all would be done or nearly. I still being in with the man was willing to give him a chance to show how much truth in him, but must confess I cannot find a particle. Now by his correspondence he seems to give up the cars and old couplers but not the new. The cause of all this is that Mr. Dunn is too lazy to do anything but come to me for money. Now I think that $80.00 is pay enough for six couplers and the making of one pattern. Now I do not propose to listen to any explanations from him or to any selling of any part until I have the whole in my hands.

On Febry [sic] 21st I paid Mr. Dunn $60.00 in all by cheque and Mr. Dunn promised to push the car models along fast & woud [sic] have the large car coupler patterns here from Buffalo immediately. Of the $60. $49 was to begin and push work on the models and $1.00 was for the Letters Patent Improvements in Car-couplers--and the $10.00 was borrowed money he asked for. In conversation this was not fully divided up as above, but Mr. Dunn's seeming good will was such that I thought I would give him another fair trial.

On March 19 I lent him $10.00 when he was asking for a $16.00 loan. On March 28 I gave on the coupler work $10.00 making in all $80. Of course if he had tried to please me, we would look a little different on the money question. But having used my money he must give some consideration and we have to push this matter. I would like it carried to the swindle, but not to the detriment of the case. As the case now stands $49.00 for work and $11.00 for Improv. [sic] Car Coupler and $20 lent or $60 for work $1. for I.C. Couple & $19 lent.

I want things pushed just as lively as possible, you must decide the step to be taken.

Mr. Dunn must give up the Car Couplers 6 new ones & pattern 4 Car with olds couplers on--Patern [sic] for a large or regular size Car Coupler. Seal Lock & order for the band saw Sett [sic]. Take no order for the large car coupler because he has promised to bring it from Buffalo as there were no costs on it, of railway freight.

If he has to sued [sic] if it can be done as a swindler I would like it. If we sue for the whole bill do so for $79 only.

You must take the step to do the thing and would like to hear from tomorrow morning prompt & early. Perhaps there is no use of such haste, you know best.

The boiler feeder also a model was made of it & should be among the articles required.

Yours in haste

C.B. McQuesten


1 Isaac had had business dealings with William Dunn and financially supported his efforts to patent, manufacture and sell, train car couplers, seal locks and other devices. However, Dunn never made any real profits and eventually agreed to repay Isaac for $600 or compensate him by handing over all relevant patents and materials. Apparently, Dunn did not live up the full requirements of this agreement and Isaac turned over the responsibility of recovering these items to Calvin Brooks, likely because he was living in New York where Dunn based his work (W1726). The brothers considered suing Dunn, but it is not entirely clear whether or not this was done (W2609, W2625, W2628, W2648, W2643, W2683, W1749). See W1728 for more on the McQuestens' difficulty acquiring all materials owed to them by Dunn.

For Mr. Sanborn's reply to this letter, see W1745 and for more information and links concerning Dr. C.B. McQuesten's business dealings with Mr Dunn, see W2554a.




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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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