W2595 TO ISAAC B. MCQUESTEN from William Dunn
Nov 8 1883
To: Hamilton, Ont.
From: Cooper Institute, New York
I.B. McQuesten Esq
I wrote you several days ago, respecting the advisibility [sic] of my taking advantage of my being here and the acquaintance formed. To endeavour to realize something out of the different Patents that are now in a state of abeyance and which have cost a considerable amount of money. That might possibly be recouped without many very great exertions a long time on my part. As my first effort would be, to find some persons of experience to work the matter out.1 Honesty or integrity is not necessary in placing the business or seeking assistance of a person whom I felt assured was otherwise qualified. Because no matter what arrangements he might make It would be optional with yourself (you holding the documents) as to making any concessions, or allowing the party to get an advantage. By this I do not mean that I should select a dishonoured person in preference to an honoured one. For personally I should prefer the latter, But for reason that it would be impossible for him if ordinary precautionary measures were used to make any final disposal without your consent.
To dispose of anything successfully it is always advisable to utilize all the "aids" at command and present the matter in as favourable a light as circumstances permit. To do this, it is advisable I might say almost indispensable, that I should have the small Models, of the Coupler that were not attached to cars . Those which you gave to Wm. [William] [Morrell??] I think that is the name, the small cars I am sending for. But it is necessary to have a model that can be readily taken apart to show the construction,--It would also be necessary to have those sample Locks if I attempted to do anything with it. I would require both as there is a difference in the construction intended for different objects. I am sending for Copies of the Patents and it would not surprise me if something were made out of it. In asking for the lowest acceptable figure I did not wish to be understood as wanting to speculate on the business or take advantage of any excess that might possibly be worked out of any or all the Patents. My desire being to know the lowest figure that the business could be closed at and meet with approval and thus enable me to hold out such inducements as I might feel warranted in doing to secure the services of the right parties. At the same time I should understand that I was acting for our mutual interests. And what ever figure was obtained should be divided "first rate" according to the proportional share held by each in the Patents. I do not say that a large sum may be expected from these Patents for I do not anticipate purchases when one willing to invest with prospects of ultimate returns, or who imagine their influence is such that they can make the Patents remunerative to themselves. In attempting to dispose of the coupler, I should ignore railroads altogether and seek for those having money at command and who would be likely to invest. There are plenty of such in this city and I intend finding them if possible. I have found out that difference "about pay" and I don't intend that that element shall be in the way in carrying the scheme to completion. It is necessary to say that I am extremely anxious that such disposal of the affairs affected as will be mutually agreeable. With this end in view I shall devote as much time, other affairs permitting, as will be necessary to accomplish the object. But before taking any decisive steps it is absolutely necessary for me to know from what basis I am to operate. Or in other words The [Formal??] terms that will be excepted [sic]. It is not necessary for me to refer to other matters at present having gone fully in the subject in previous letters and I have allowed business to remain as it was, expecting to hear from you.
1 Dunn is apparently asking Isaac to allow him to bring in another person to assist with sales since he has been unable to make much of a profit. He writes another letter later the same day about asking a W.H. Murray to fill this role (W2599). By the end of December 1883, Dunn has begun to work out an agreement on how to pay Isaac back the amount of $600 (W2609) but it does not appear that he succeeded in doing so. See W2554a for more details about Dunn.