Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Dayton, December 8, 1905

Yours of 6th has been received. We think it too soon to think of organizing a company until we know whether there is a prospect of selling the invention as a strict secret. Please convey to Mr. Cabot our thanks for the suggestion he has made, and say that we will give it careful consideration next spring.

Word just received from our attorneys is to the effect that all our claims have been allowed in U.S. patent, and that the case will be ready for issue as soon as a few unimportant corrections have been made in the wording.

On further consideration we are inclined to think that the best course regarding the correspondence with the American War Department is complete suppression. We do not think there would be any advantage in bringing the matter to the attention of the President, or Sec. of War, unless they were previously fully convinced of the practicability of the machine and the desirability of securing it for the government. No such condition exists at present. Neither can we see any advantage in letting it become generally known that we have been turned down by our government. It will be a hindrance to successful negotiations with any other government. We have not informed a single person outside of our own family, except yourself. We think it best to maintain secrecy as to the progress of all negotiations with governments.

Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, December 9, 1905