Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: Thomas S. McCleland to James Martin, 13 March 1810


Thomas S. McCleland to James Martin

Lynchburg March 13th 1810

D. Sir

On a strict examination of the act of Assembly on the subject of forcible Entries & Detainer you will find the party claiming the benefitt of that act must make his complaint on oath, stating the ouster & Detention.

I think there might be some difficulty made by Scott if the Warrant issued, not on the oath of Mr Jefferson but of yourself1 as his attorney in fact—from a late decision2 of our court of Appeals, it appears that an attorney in fact cannot maintain a suit in his own name either at Law or in Equity, now it may be doubted, whether, as the process issues on the oath of the party injured, (& to be considered as a statutory requisition,) the oath of3 an attorney in fact would be sufficient, when he, as such, could not4 maintain the process in his own name—As Mr Jefferson informs you he will be up in April, you had better await his arrival,—Scott is a man who, as you know, will take all advantages, & will not reguard the costs, if he can by any means get his adversary hung up by a suit while he retains possession—

RC (MHi); between dateline and salutation: “James Martin Capt.”

Thomas Stanhope McCleland (1777–1835) was a native of Pennsylvania who graduated from Carlisle College (now Dickinson College) in 1795, studied law under Archibald Stuart, and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1799. He represented Rockbridge County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1802–04, moved to Lynchburg in the latter year, and lived there until he settled on property in Nelson County about the end of 1813. McCleland filled a vacant seat for Nelson County in the 1817–18 session of the House of Delegates and lost an election for the same post in 1826 (Alexander Brown, The Cabells and their Kin, 2d ed., rev. [1939, repr. 1994], 370–3; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, 1978 description ends , 229, 233, 290; Lynchburg Virginian, 7 Sept. 1835).

1Manuscript: “youself.”

2Manuscript: “deciision.”

3Preceding three words interlined in place of “that of.”

4Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Ivy Creek (Campbell Co.); S. Scott claims TJ’s land on search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; dispute with S. Scott search
  • Martin, James; and TJ’s land dispute with Scott search
  • Martin, James; letter from T. S. McCleland to search
  • McCleland, Thomas Stanhope; and TJ’s land dispute with S. Scott search
  • McCleland, Thomas Stanhope; identified search
  • McCleland, Thomas Stanhope; letter from to J. Martin search
  • Scott, Samuel; TJ’s land dispute with search