Dayton, December 27, 1905
Your letters of 21st and 23rd received. We were indeed very much gratified at the commendation of Mr. Wenham whom we regard as one of the ablest and most useful men who have labored in the cause of human flight.
The idea of selling to a single government as a strict secret has some advantages but we are very much disinclined to assume the moral responsibility of choosing the proper one when we have no means of knowing how it will use the invention. And then it is very repugnant to think of hiding an invention of such intense human interest until it becomes stale and useless.
We were fully as much surprised as you were to learn that our offer to Ferber covered sales to individuals as well as his government, but they have some strange ways in France and we did not wish to be caught napping. A letter just received from Ferber states that the "friend" is M. Fordyce, the representative of a syndicate which intends to purchase with a view to turning it over to the government. As Mr. Lahm knew nothing of his coming, it seems evident that Fordyce really represents the government, which sends him in this guise to save appearances if we prove to be "fakes." He has not yet made his appearance in Dayton.
Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute, January 2, 1906