To Levi Lincoln
Jan. 28. 1802.
Th: Jefferson incloses the Executive proceedings of Govr Sinclair for the consideration of the Attorney General, with a view to the power exercised by the Governor of laying off counties, establishing courts therein fixing the time and place of holding them, and, as would seem from the proceedings of Oct. 30th. of determining their legislative representation. the Attorney General is desired to give an opinion whether his exercise of these powers be lawful under the acts establishing the Northwestern territory?
PrC (DLC). Enclosure not found, but see below.
Charles Willing Byrd, the secretary of the Northwest Territory, sent copies of the journal of executive proceedings to the State Department at half-yearly intervals (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 3:263n; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 2:431n).
TJ may have enclosed the territory’s executive proceedings for the period beginning 1 July 1800. Arthur St. Clair issued proclamations to establish counties in July 1800, December 1800, and September 1801. In each case he appointed judges, designated a town where the new county’s courts would meet, and assigned a quarterly schedule for court terms. In the fall of 1800, he issued writs of election to county sheriffs for a general legislative election and to fill particular vacancies. A writ of election issued in the fall of 1801 was to fill two vacancies (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 3:524–31).