Andrew Law's Petition (1781)

Source: Connecticut State Library, Manuscript (Colleges and Schools, 1661-1789), Series I, Vol. II, Document 147.

Andrew Law's Petition (1781), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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      To the hon[orable] General Assembly of the state of Connecticut
now sitting in Hartford The Memorial of Andrew Law of Cheshire
in New Haven County humbly sheweth that after much [?] to gain a
competent Degree of Knowledge in the Art of singing to qualify
himself for teaching Psalmody; he in the year 1777 made a large
Collection of the best & most approved Tunes, Copies of some of
which he purchased of the original Compiler, others he took from
Books of Psalmody printed in England, which were never printed in
America & after much pains & Expence he made such a Collection
that he tho't it might be useful to the public to engrave a new
plate & strike of a number of Books - when he procured assistance
to purchase the engraving a plate, which together with making the
Collection cost your Memorialist nearly 500.0 (pounds) - Lawful
Money some which your Memorialist has struck of a Number of Copies
which have been very acceptable to the public, but by the rapid
Depreciation of the Continental Currency the three last years he
has rec[eive]d very little Compensation for the great tunes he is
in [?] & since the [?] of the County has been established upon a
more fix'd & solid Basis, he has had hopes of being reimbursed in
part - but to his great Surprize he now finds that some persons
unknown to your Memorialist who are acquainted with the Art of
Engraving are making Attempts to make a plate in Resemblance of
that [procured?] by your Memorialist & to [?] of books under the
Name of your Memorialist thereby to defeat the Interest of your
Memorialist [?], that the works of Art ought to be protected in
this County & and all proper [?] given thereto as in other
Countries - He has no Doubt but that your honors will give him
all reasonable Encouragement which does not interfere with the
rights & privileges of others - he proposes your honors to give
him an exclusive patent for imprinting


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Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK