James Madison Papers

To James Madison from the Georgia Delegation in the House of Representatives, 1 March 1810

From the Georgia Delegation
in the House of Representatives

Washington 1st March 1810


A Bill having passed both branches of the Legislature authorising the Appointment of an additional Judge in the Mississippi Territory,1 we beg to ask that it may be filled by Obediah Jones Esqr,2 at present a Judge in the Illinois Territory. We would also solicit the appointment of Attorney in behalf of the United States in that district, for John W Walker Esqr,3 a young Gentleman of talents & respectability.

Our sensibility on the subject of the Yazoo claim4 will plead an apology for what may be considered an improper interference in a Matter which belongs to another department of the Government. We have the honor to be & &

H Cobb

Wm W Bibb

G M Troup

D: Smelt.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Jones”).

1On 2 Mar. JM signed “An Act for the appointment of an additional judge, and extending the right of suffrage to the citizens of Madison county, in the Mississippi territory” (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America ... (17 vols.; Boston, 1848-73). description ends , 2:563–64).

2The delegation had previously recommended Obadiah Jones of Georgia for a territorial judgeship. While serving as a federal judge in the Illinois Territory, 1809–10, he had made known his desire to return to the South. JM nominated Jones for the Mississippi post on 5 Mar., and the Senate confirmed the appointment the next day (William H. Crawford to JM, 18 Feb. 1809, and enclosure, Carter, Territorial Papers, Mississippi, 5:701–2; Crawford to JM, 3 Mar. 1809, PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (2 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984-). description ends , 1:13–14; Jones to Crawford, 22 Oct. 1809, Carter, Territorial Papers, Illinois, 16:60–62; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:119, 120, 139, 140).

3John Williams Walker (1783–1823), a native of Amelia County, Virginia, graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1806. A rising young Republican lawyer, he became involved in Alabama territorial politics and was elected to the U.S. Senate upon statehood in 1819.

4Howell Cobb, William Wyatt Bibb, George M. Troup, and Dennis Smelt—Georgia’s Eleventh Congress delegation in the House of Representatives—opposed the New England Mississippi Land Company’s claim, which the Supreme Court upheld on 16 Mar. in Fletcher v. Peck (Magrath, Yazoo, pp. 83, 86–87).

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