On 13 November 1813, James Wheatley received a patent from the US Patent & Trademark Office for distilling, still and condensed tub, most likely for the production of whisky. James was the brother of my 6th-great-grandfather Daniel Wheatley, and resided in Fauquier County, Virginia at the time. James' patent was disputed by Robert Gillespie, another inventor who claimed prior rights based on his earlier patent published in 1810. Gillespie wrote about his dispute to Thomas Jefferson, who responded by letter on 3 August 1814:
|Source: Papers of Thomas Jefferson|
The letter from Jefferson to Gillespie is cited as: “Thomas Jefferson to Robert Gillespie, 3 August 1814,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-07-02-0378 [last update: 2014-09-30]). Source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series, vol. 7, 28 November 1813 to 30 September 1814, ed. J. Jefferson Looney. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010, pp. 509–510.
I previously wrote about James Wheatley and his mill back in July (see 1828 Petition to Create Wheatley's Mill Town). I am assuming that Wheatley, like a more famous mill operator in Northern Virginia (George Washington), operated a distillery at his mill.