Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/33
The Real Projector of the Virginia.
from his memory, Secretary Mallory was, we believe, persuaded to give credence to his claim."
The absurdity of this suggestion must be apparent to any man who thinks. Mr. Mallory, who was for many years chairman of the Naval Committee of the United States Senate, was in his prime. His knowledge of naval matters, including construction, was broad and accurate. He was deeply interested; was responsible for the adoption of the plan, and would be the last to forget its origin.
Mr. Porter further says:
"Mr. Brooke, I believe, took out a patent for an iron-clad with slanting roof and submerged ends like the Merrimac.
As neither the Secretary nor myself had noticed Constructor Porter's published claims, I thought it advisable to bring the subject before the examiners of the Patent Office while it was before the public. I therefore applied for a patent, and in order that there should be no ground for dispute as to the correspondence of my specific claim with the original plan, I presented tracings of the identical drawing which Constructor Porter made of my plan, as stated by the Secretary in his report to the House of Representatives of the Confederate States. They were filed May 2, 1862, in the Patent Office.
The drawings accompanying this article are from the patent, reduced to one-fifth of the original scale.
"To all to whom these letters patent shall come:
" Whereas John M. [Mercer] Brooke, of Richmond, Virginia, has alleged that he has invented a new and useful improvement in ships of war, which he states has not been known or used before his application; has made oath that he is a citizen of the Confederate States; that he does verily believe that he is the original and first inventor or discoverer of the said improvement, and that the same hath not, to the best of his knowledge and belief, been previously known or used; has paid into the treasury of the Confederate States the sum of forty dollars, and presented a petition to the Commissioner of Patents,