Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Singleton, 3 April 1806

3 Apr 1806

To his Excellency the President
of the
United States of America

The Petition of George Singleton humbly represents that at November Term of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia sitting at Alexandria your Petitioner was convicted on two Indictments for Assault and Battery in one of which the fine of fifty dollars and in the other the fine of twenty dollars was imposed on your Petitioner– and that the costs of the two prosecutions amount to thirty two dollars fifty cents and three hundred and thirty five lbs Tobo at 1¾ as will appear by transcripts of the Records of Conviction herewith submitted

That a writ of Fieri Facias in the name of the United States was sued out against your Petitioners effects on one of the said Judgments on which return has been made that no effects of Your Petitioner were to be found on which the said writ could be levied.

Your Petitioner further begs leave to represent that at March adjourned Session in the year 1806 he was surrendered by his Bail and thereupon prayed in execution by the Attorney of the United States. That your Petitioner is wholly unable to satisfy the fine and costs of the Convictions aforesaid and unless the same be remitted by Your Excellency must remain in Prison for life. Your Petitioner has a Wife and two young Children who are dependant for their daily supply of food on his daily labor at his Trade—And who are now exposed to want and beggary by his Imprisonment—

Your Petitioner further shews that neither of the said Assaults of which he stands convicted were made on any previous malice—but were the effects of sudden passion and were not attended with any material injury to the persons on whom they were made.—

Your Petitioner therefore humbly prays that your Excellency will take his case into consideration—and that the fines imposed on him as herein stated may be remitted, and Your Petitioner discharged from the payment of the Same and of the costs of the said Convictions

And Your Petitioner shall ever pray &c

George Singleton

County of Alexandria Sc.

This day came George Singleton before me a Justice of the Peace of the County aforesaid and made oath that the several allegations and representations in the foregoing Petition contained are true. Given under my hand this 3d. day April 1806—

A Faw

I Lewis Summers Deputy Marshal for Daniel C Brent do certify that I am acquainted with the Petitioner George Singleton and believe the matters stated in the foregoing Petition to be true given under my hand this 4th. day of April 1806

L Summers DM DC

April 4th. 1806.

We the undersigned Judges of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Columbia beleiving the facts herein stated, to be true respectfully recommend the Petitioner to the Mercy of the President of the United States

W. Cranch.

N; Fitzhugh

It is not proper that, because the petitioner has no property to pay fines, that therefore he should be free to violate the laws with entire impunity. an equivalent punishment by imprisonment seems to offer the only means of restraining him. he was committed some time in the last month only. will the judges be so good as to say what term of imprisonment they would deem a punishment proportioned to the offence on remitting his fines & costs.

Th: Jefferson

April 10th. 1806.

We the undersigned Judges of the Circuit Court of the district of Columbia, in compliance with the request of the President of the United States as within stated, respectfully answer that three months imprisonment would in their opinion be a punishment adequate to the offence of the within named George Singleton.

W. Cranch.

N; Fitzhugh

Let a pardon issue

Th: Jefferson.

June 8. 06.

[Note in TJ’s hand:]


DNA: RG 59—GPR—General Pardon Records.

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