W2643 TO WILLIAM DUNN from Isaac B. McQuesten
Jun 24 1884
To: [Mark?] Hotel, Cooper Inst[itute] New York
My Dear Sir
When in N.Y on the 7th inst. I called a second time at the Institute at 4 p.m. I waited a quarter of an hour or more but did not see you and was unable to stay longer.1 Since this I have been thinking the whole matter over a good deal. Two things are apparent: so far whatever you may have done as to "putting matters in shape" you have retrieved absolutley nothing of a definite nature and that after being and engaging in New York; & (2) you have realized in the neighbourhood of $800 profit and of the 100 saw setts you have already sold even assuming you sold them all at wholesale price. In other words what I provided you money for in order to enable you to put material into [??] has been entirely absorbed you have used it and often push to live on and when you ever patent and sell appliances, models stock &c. belonging thereto to us, all then will be [producing??] to the Sett will be simply dies, moulds &c if indeed you have them. What you have got I was quite ignorant of I had a long talk with my brother and from him I learn that [when??] it came to a matter of going into anything definite you were quick or unsatisfactory and or unwilling to discuss things with candor as you have always been with us. You have always laid great strain upon not being interfered with2 and [took??] at great length as little indignation, annoyances &c. I had from time to time heaped upon you. Notwithstanding this childishness I did not think you deliberately dishonest and when you told me that you could do certain things if I gave your [certain??] time & money. I had a right to assume that you spoke with [??] and not [just??] with the hope that "something might liven up." The latter success to be the cause & substance of what you had before you.
Now my brother tells me that he has made suggestions to you but that you paid but little attention to them and appeared to always know better. Understand I am not going to interfere nor will until your six months have expired. But if by working with him something definite and of value [appears??] within that time I think I would be inclined to give you every facility to go on and complete. If you still pursue the same course until you know the consequences. You know what you have written & promised us. Of course you can go back on all this and say you do not care a scrap for your honour, intergrity etc. If you do I will find that I have been still further mistaken in you. That is all you have warranted us by as strong assurances as any man can give that at the [correct??] [??] [??] I have advanced will be made good before the expiry of the time mentioned. My brother is in the round. You profess to be quite friendly with him. I am prepared to assign the patents to him and to do anything to facilitate placing him in every way in my shoes. I will you to [??] the time, and I will be bound by anything he may agree to. I trust you have yet too much honour to show the white hither and disappear. I expect you to act as straightforwardly with us as I have with you. I do not ask this as a favor. It is a duty you owe us. And it is your business to carry it out however annoying, disheartening or humiliating it may be to you.
P.S. Since writing the foregoing your favor of the 25th inst. came to hand. I can only see by it that your sole idea is the going on & manufacturing one thing and auction to give you a means of subsistence. This [can not contain??] [??]. The object in manufacturing a certain number of machines was to give a certain publicity to the patents. You must surely see that it is unreasonable to ask me to provide you. I do not want to discourage you. But you must admit that the letter of in your communication is to the effect of [??] [beyond??] getting [??] on the road for selling further. If I could see my advance I would feel differently but you yourself admit that you have not one thing sketched out for the future. And now compliedly you want us to advance main to patent another article. The only suggestion I can offer is that you consult with my brother as I leave all in his hands.
1 Dunn had written the day before apologizing for having missed a meeting with Isaac while he was in New York, see W2639.
2 Dunn was very insistent that Isaac not make too many demands on him or oversee his business of patenting, manufacturing and selling some train car couplers and other machines that he had been working on (W2573, W2599, W2615, W2648). Unfortunately, despite the money Isaac had invested in him, Dunn never seemed to be able to make much money but in December 1883 agreed to repay $600 to Isaac within six months or relinquish all patents and related materials as compensation. As this letter was written around the six-month mark, it appears that Dunn did not in fact do so, and Isaac and his brother Calvin Brooks considered suing. It is not clear, however, whether or not a suit was launched (W2609, W2625, W2628, W2648, W1726, W2683, W1734, W1745, W1749). For more information about the McQuestens' business with Dunn, see W2554a.