# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer

PRIMARY SOURCES

ON COPYRIGHT

(1450-1900)

Affidavit of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Pennsylvania (1853)

Source: National Archives

Citation:
Affidavit of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Pennsylvania (1853), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Chapter 1 Page 1


Calvin E. Stowe and
Harriet Beecher Stowe
                        v.
F. W. Thomas

C.C.US. E.D. of Pennsylvania
In Equity


Harriet Beecher Stowe being duly sworn deposes and
says That some time in the years 1850 and 1851
[& 1852] she wrote and [in the years 1851 & 1852] printed and published a certain
Book entitled "Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life among
the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe
" of which
she was the Author. That at the time of writing,
printing and publishing said Book she was and
has been ever since and still is resident in
these United States. That she was then and has
been ever since and still is the sole proprietor
and owner of said Book and solely entitled to
the Copyright of the same according to the Acts
of Congress in such case made and provided.
            That she deposited a printed copy of the
Title of said Book in the Clerk's Office of the
District Court of the District of Maine in which
she at the time resided; and within three months
after the publication of said Book [caused to be] delivered a copy
of the same to the Clerk of said District and
also within the same time one copy to the
Librarian of the Smithsonian Institution and one
copy to the Librarian of Congress Library for the
use of said Libraries.
            That she has published several editions of
said Book and has given information of Copyright
being secured by causing to be inserted in the
several copies of each edition on the title page or
the page immediately following the following words
viz: "Entered according to Act of Congress in the
year 1851 by Harriet Beecher Stowe in the Clerk's


Chapter 1 Page 2


Office of the District Court of the District of Maine
and that she has complied with all the provisions
and requisitions of the Acts of Congress aforesaid.
            That she has never assigned, transferred or
disposed of her right title and interest in the
said Book or any part or portion thereof or the
copyright thereof to the said defendant F. W. Thomas
or to any other person; nor ever consented that
the same should be translated [into German] and copied, printed,
reprinted or published by or for the said F. W. Thomas
or any other person except for herself and under
her direction, authority and control.
            That she has ever had and still hath
sole and exclusive right to translate, print, publish
and sell the same for her own private benefit and
advantage [except that she has authorized a translation to be made
& published in the Welsh language]
and she hath actually sold and caused
to be sold the said Book at a reasonable price
and hath always had on hand and offered for
sale at a reasonable price a sufficient number
of copies of the same and hath been and is
in the enjoyment of the profits thereof.
            That the said F. W. Thomas has since translating,
printing and publication of said Book and since
the securing of the Copyright thereof by this Deponent
as aforesaid to wit on the first day of January
1853 at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
aforesaid translated and copied into the German
language and printed, published, sold and exposed
to sale and caused to be so translated and
copied as aforesaid and printed, published, sold
and exposed to sale in a certain daily Newspaper
called "Die Freie Presse" pages thirteen to twenty and
part of page twenty-one of this Deponent's said
Book; and on the third day of January 1853
in the said Newspaper the remaining part of


Chapter 1 Page 3


page twenty-one and pages twenty-two to thirty inclusive
and part of page thirty-one of the said Book,
and on the following days of the year 1853 up
to the present time in the said Newspaper the
remaining part of page thirty-one and the following
and successive pages down to some page or part
of a page which this Deponent cannot specify
of the said Book.
            That the said F. W. Thomas still is from
day to day translating and copying into the German
language and printing, publishing, selling and
exposing to sale and causing to be translated
and copied as aforesaid and printed, published,
sold and exposed to sale in the said daily
Newspaper other following and successive pages of
the said Book; and that it is his intention
and purpose to translate and copy as aforesaid
and print and publish and cause to be translated
and copied as aforesaid and printed and published
the following and successive pages of said Book
until the whole thereof shall be fully and
completely so translated and copied as aforesaid
and printed and published and to sell and
expose to sale the same when as and after
it shall be so translated and copied and ~
printed and published.
            That the said F. W. Thomas has since the
printing and publication of the said Book and
since the securing of the Copyright thereof by the
Deponent as aforesaid, to wit on the first day
of January 1853 at the District last aforesaid
translated and copied into the German language
and printed, published, sold and exposed to sale
and caused to be translated and coped as
aforesaid and printed, published, sold and exposed


Chapter 1 Page 4


to sale in pamphlet form pages thirteen to one
hundred and fifty-eight and part of page one
hundred and fifty-nine of said Book
            That it is the intention and purpose of the
said F. W. Thomas shortly and from time to time at
short intervals to translate and copy into the German
language and print and publish and cause to be
translated and copied as aforesaid and printed and
published in pamphlet form the remaining part of
page one hundred and fifty-nine and the following
and successive pages of the said Book until the
whole thereof shall be fully and completely so
translated and copied as aforesaid and printed and
published and to sell and expose to sale the
same when as and after the same shall be so
translated and copied as aforesaid and printed and
published.
            That the said F. W. Thomas at the time of the
said translating and copying, printing, publishing, selling
and exposing to sale of each and every the said
pages of this Deponent's said Book as aforesaid knew
that Deponent was the Author and proprietor of said
Book and that she had the Copyright thereof as
aforesaid.
            That the said F. W. Thomas has been requested by
[on behalf of this] Deponent and by her Agents to desist from the ~
translating and copying and printing, publishing, selling
and exposing to sale and causing to be translated
and copied and printed, published, sold and exposed
to sale as aforesaid in the said Newspaper and
in the said pamphlet form this Deponent's said
Book as aforesaid and to account with Deponent
for the profits which have been received by him
from the sale thereof but he has refused and still
refuses so to do.


Chapter 1 Page 5


            That in consequence of the said F. W. Thomas
having so translated and copied and printed, ~
published, sold and exposed to sale and caused
to be so translated and copied and printed, published,
sold and exposed to sale as aforesaid this Deponent's
said Book, this Deponent has been and still is
injured and damnified in respect of the profits
which she reasonably expected to receive from the
sale thereof and has been and still is deprived
of the receipt of profits which she reasonably
expected to receive therefrom.
            That some time in the year 1852 she -
employed at much expense [Hugo Rudolph Hutton] a competent German
scholar of ability and skill and critical knowledge
of the German and English languages to translate
and copy into the German language this Deponent's
said Book. That said German scholar was assisted
in his labors by the above Complainant Calvin E. Stowe
whose wife this Deponent is. That by these individuals
at the expense and charges of this Deponent her said
Book has been fully and completely, accurately and
carefully translated and copied into the German ~
language; and the same [has been] printed and
published in German by this Deponent, and all the
provisions and requisitions of the several Acts of Congress
respecting Copyrights have been complied with in respect
to this edition of said Book.
            That having as aforesaid the sole and exclusive
right to translate and copy and print, publish, sell
and expose to sale the said Book for her own private
benefit and advantage this Deponent was in hopes
and reasonably expected to receive large profits from
the sale of the said lastmentioned edition of said
Book; but that in consequence of the said F. W. Thomas
having so translated and copied into the German


Chapter 1 Page 6


language and printed published, sold and exposed to sale
and caused to be translated and copied as aforesaid
and printed, published, sold and exposed to sale this
Deponent's said Book in the said daily Newspaper
and in pamphlet form as aforesaid, this Deponent
has been greatly injured in respect of her sole and
exclusive right aforesaid and will be, as she fears,
greatly injured and damnified in respect of and
deprived of the receipt of large profits which she
reasonably expects to receive from the sale of said
lastmentioned edition of said Book.
                                                                  H. B. Stowe

United States of America
District of Masachusetts
Subscribed & sworn to before me this third
day of March A.D. 1853 at the
city of Boston.
                              Geo. S. Hillard
                        Commissioner of the Circuit
                        Court of the United States


Transcription by: Megan Wren

    


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