Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright

Chicago, January 7, 1906

I have yours of Jan. 2d upon my return from Kansas City, where have just closed a deal to erect a $100,000 store. A considerable undertaking for me.

I am delighted to learn that you have sold a flying machine to the French for $200,000, and this without onerous restrictions as to sales to other nations.

This may not make for peace as much as an exclusive sale to one nation, for now they will all have a machine, and I fancy that the French have acted so promptly because they expect early war, but it will make you world famous and eventually millionaires, if you care for the latter.

The high-minded thought expressed in your letter of Dec. 27th, that you did not want to assume the moral responsibility of selling your invention exclusively to one nation without knowing how it would use it, has impressed me greatly, and I recognize the fact that, while possession of your machine would deter attack upon a nation peaceably disposed, it might also be used to attack its neighbours. I hope that universal peace will result and what you write about the Austrian proposal seems to look that way. I heartily congratulate you.

I send back your French clipping and add two of my own.


Wilbur replies to Chanute