Lewis University I & M Canal Documents and Correspondence, 1832-1857 (Lewis University)
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Letter from Stephen F. Gooding, to William Gooding, Secretary of the Canal Board, discussing a contract regarding Mr. Hildreth. Dated December 15, 1848.
Letter from Stephen F. Gooding, to William Gooding, Secretary of the Canal Board, discussing a contract regarding Mr. Hildreth. Dated December 15, 1848.
TitleLetter from Stephen F. Gooding, to William Gooding, Secretary of the Canal Board, discussing a contract regarding Mr. Hildreth. Dated December 15, 1848.
SubjectIllinois and Michigan Canal (Ill.) -- History - William Gooding; Stephen F. Gooding - Illinois and Michigan Canal (Ill.) -- History
TranscriptsWilliam Gooding Esqr
Dear Sir
Yours of the 29th Oct was duly received and I fear you have become impatient at receiving an answer to it. My reason for delaying until this time is that I have waited to see some documents which Hildreth has sent to the Patent Office for which relate to the Contract between him and George Heath. These documents have not been received and I have concluded to wait no longer but give you the answers to your questions

1st. You ask how much is Hildreth worth. His property is estimated by good judges worth at least from $10, 000 to $12, 000 dollars. I think that mark to be entirely within the truth.
2nd. His character as a business man is and has been as far as my knowledge extends entirely beyond reproach and I think that it would be difficult to convince them best acquainted with him that he had or would perpetrate a deliberate fraud of the kind you suffer or any other in a business matter.
3rd. Whether he considers himself morally or legally bound to pay such damages as may be recovered by the true patentic[?]. I have had conversation with him on that subject he says that Heath can get no damages from him as he has evidence in relation to the matter by which if Heath commences any proceedings he will destroy the right of either by proving that the principle was used long before either claim the discovery.
4th. Does he pretend to hear the power to sell or control The patent for the "Quadrant Slide gate."
He says that he will not interfere with Heath in the sale or money action of them. And the thinks he has no control of the first principle but of the improvements claims the rights.

A few days after the receipt of your letter Mr. Heath called here on his way from the West but did not see Hildreth. He had some conversation with me in relation to his matters and particularly in relation to some gates Hildreth had contracted to put in to the Sulphur Spring Guard Lock. Since his return home he wrote me as follows (perhaps he has matters you to the same effect).

Letter Falls Nov 16th 1848
D Sir.
Since my return home I have consulted counsel and submitted my papers to his examination and he is of opinion that I can hold Mr. Hildreth responsible as any agent on my contract with him for my share of the profits of the valve gates he may put in. Under this advice I do not wish to throw any obstruction in the way of the completion of the contracts Mr Hildreth has made for the valves for the Sulphur Spring lock or any other he may contract for. I therefore withdraw the notice I have forbidding the use of those valves when furnished or contracted for by him
Signed Geo Heath

I do not know whether he will apply the same principle to your canal but I think if he does not you can resist any demand he may make for if he allows that the gates Hildreth has and may furnish here were agreeable to the contract between them those or your canal are certainly so and his only claim will be on Hildreth.
Our Canal has been closed by the Canal Board but had it not been necessary to do so to draw off the water to enable contractors to get at the bottom navigation would be as good now as at any time in the season for as yet we have had ice in it. Which is more favorable than with you for I was surprised to see a notice some 4 weeks ago that your canal was closed by frost.
Please say to O.P. that I will write him soon but [OBSTRUCTION IN PAPER] first write J.A. as I learn that he has settled down
Remember me to your family
Remain
Respectfully & truly
You + C
Stephen F. Gooding
Description3-page handwritten letter discussing a fraudulent contract with Mr. Hildreth. Donated by John M. Lamb.
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
DateDecember 15, 1848
TypeText
FormatImage/TIFF
LanguageEnglish
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionI & M Canal Documents and Correspondence, 1832 - 1857 (Lewis University)
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