From James Madison
2 Feby. 1802
The Secretary of State has the honor to lay before the President of the United States, copies of the following documents, viz.
A schedule containing a statement of the suits, in the Circuit Court for Maryland, ending with November term last.
A similar statement of suits in the District Court for Kentucky, ending with March term last.
A certificate of the Clerk of the Circuit Court for West Tennessee (and who was the Clerk of the late District Court for Tennessee) respecting the suits in the Courts of the United States within that State.
The two last mentioned papers are intended as corrections of the document referred to in your message to Congress at the opening of the present session, as containing a statement of the suits in the Courts of the United States: and the first mentioned Schedule to supply an omission in it.
This occasion being adapted to the purpose, the Secretary takes leave to mention some other imperfections of the document referred to in the message.
In Massachusetts 14 common Law suits being omitted at October term 1797, the whole number of common law suits should be 244 instead of 230; the aggregate of all the suits 323 instead of 320; and the number of suits decided, discontinued, dismissed and not prosecuted 282 instead of 283.
In Virginia, the aggregate should be 2162 instead of 2048; and the number decided, discontinued, dismissed and not prosecuted 1831 instead of 1717.
In North Carolina the aggregate should be 629 instead of 495, and the number decided, discontinued, dismissed and not prosecuted 495 instead of 361. And
In South Carolina the aggregate should be 882 instead of 1143 and the number decided, discontinued, dismissed and not prosecuted 621 instead of 571.
None of the above variations affect the whole number of causes stated to be depending in either of the Districts except that of Kentucky, to which an addition of 21 is made by the second statement received: but Maryland adds to the whole 60 of such causes. That the aggregate is not materially varied is also apparent from the annexed recapitulation.
It would be unnecessary to explain with minuteness how these errors originated: it is sufficient to observe that they arose partly from inexact statements returned to this Office by the Clerks of the Courts, and partly in analyzing and adding the numbers contained in the returns and transcribing the result.
All which is respectfully submitted.
RC (DNA: RG 233, PM, 7th Cong., 1st sess.); in a clerk’s hand, with date, complimentary close, and signature by Madison. PrC (DNA: RG 46, LPPM, 7th Cong., 1st sess.; endorsed by a Senate clerk). Enclosures: (1) Statement concerning suits in the circuit court for Maryland from May 1790 to November 1801, compiled by Philip Moore, clerk of the court (Tr in DNA: RG 233, PM; PrC in DNA: RG 46, LPPM). (2) Statement concerning suits in the district court for Kentucky from March 1790 to March 1801, and a certificate by Thomas Tunstall, clerk of the court, dated 13 Jan. 1802, stating that 294 suits “were in the name and for the benefit of the United States” and that 45 were “only depending” on 1 June 1801 (Tr in DNA: RG 233, PM; Tr in DNA: RG 46, LPPM, with certificate subjoined to statement). (3) Certificate signed by Randall McGavock, dated 1 Jan. 1802, recording 77 cases pending and undecided in the district court for West Tennessee of which 14 were decided at the April 1801 term, with 36 of the undecided cases adjourned into the circuit court for West Tennessee and 27 into the circuit court for East Tennessee (MS in RG 233, PM; PrC in DNA: RG 46, LPPM). (4) “Recapitulation of the suits in the Circuit Courts of the U. States, and the District Courts for Maine, Kentucky & Tennessee,” indicating that 8,358 suits were instituted and 1,629 pending as compared with 8,276 suits, of which 1,539 were pending, in the former recapitulation (MS in DNA: RG 233, PM, in several clerks’ hands, endorsed by a House clerk; PrC in RG 46, LPPM). Enclosed in TJ to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 26 Feb. 1802.
Documents referred to in your message: see No. 8 of the papers that supplemented the annual message in note to Document II of the Annual Message to Congress, printed at 8 Dec. 1801; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Miscellaneous, 1:319–25.