His Life and Times (1891-1964)
Page 9
"Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison - 1788


On or about December 16,1948 Crosby allegedly slashed his wrists and stabbed himself in the chest at his New York apartment. It was reported on national radio news that the famous creator of Skippy had attempted suicide, and was taken to Bellevue hospital. Interestingly, a small news article reported that the police found no evidence of the weapon used. Five days later, on December 21, 1948, Rosefield was issued a federal trademark for Skippy by the U.S. Patent Office after Rosefield's fraudulent application swore that no other person, firm or corporation had a right to the mark. Rosefield and its Chicago counsel had not appealed the 1934 decision for Skippy, Inc., and knew this federal registration was at their own peril as long as Percy Crosby was alive to make a protest. Crosby was transferred to Kings Park hospital for the mentally ill, and adjudicated incompetent by the New York Supreme Court in January, 1949, without a hearing or counsel to defend him. His written pleas for his release fell on deaf ears.

In March, 1949 New York's attorney general petitioned the court at the request of the U.S. Treasury to appoint a "committee" for Percy Crosby, stating that "time is of the essence to settle an outstanding tax lien." Crosby's wife, Carolyn Soper (whose uncle, psychologist Dr. Henry Soper, signed Crosby's commitment papers) was appointed Crosby's committee. Her attorney, Rose Lehman Stein, (discovered after Crosby's death to be an agent for Rosefield), settled the IRS claim against Crosby and Skippy, Inc. for $25,000. Justice Department records (IRS) referred to Percy Crosby as "demented", and noted that the purpose of the tax claim was to "liquidate Skippy, Inc.". The Justice Department official who settled the matter was Theron Lamar Caudle. Caudle was later fired by president Truman during IRS corruption hearings, referred to as the Caudle "scandal". Percy Crosby's career as a celebrity American artist, known as the "Rembrandt of American cartoonists", and crusader for freedom from tyranny and oppression, was now silenced. He had been stripped of all his legal rights to protect his property and the valuable Skippy assets, and had become a ward of New York State, his person and property now in the custodial protection of the state Supreme Court. Attorney Stein told the Court that Crosby was too "dangerous" to release, and "forever litigious against high government officials".

Stein became president of Skippy, Inc., which was now under the virtual control of the peanut butter racket and its ruthless drive to destroy Crosby's reputation and convert the meaning of the famous Skippy trademark to a brand name peanut butter. Because of Percy Crosby's distinctive, stylized Skippy name on the label, millions of consumers associated the brand name with the comic character, and assumed it was under license. Crosby watched this conversion of his life's work in a legal straitjacket and behind iron bars in a mental hospital. Once he was safely locked up, his mail censored, and all avenues to liberty were barred, Rosefield and its attorneys lost no time in filing a prospectus of its Skippy criminal enterprise with the SEC in 1950, claiming there had been no material litigation. By 1954, Rosefield's business had made over $22 million in Skippy sales.

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