James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Turner, 20 March 1810

From James Turner

Senate Chamber 20th. March 1810


I was requested by Oliver Fitts Esquire Attorney General of the State of North Carolina to inform You that he would willingly Accept the Appointment of Judge in the Mississippi Territory,1 having thoughts of removing to that country.

Mr. Fitts is a gentleman of Education Character & talents, and the office he holds in the State is an evidence that his legal Acquirements are Such as to qualify him for Such an appointment.

As a vacancy is Occasioned by the removal of Judge Martin to the Orleans Terry. I should be glad if Mr. Fitts Could be appointed. I am with Much esteem Your Obdt Servt.

J. Turner2

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

1An act of 2 Mar. had created a new Mississippi territorial judgeship, to which JM had appointed Obadiah Jones. On 19 Mar. the other Mississippi judgeship became vacant when Francis Xavier Martin was shifted to the Orleans Territory. JM nominated Fitts on 17 Apr., and the Senate confirmed the appointment the following day (Georgia Delegation in the House of Representatives to JM, 1 Mar. 1810, and nn. 1, 2; 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 , 2:142, 145, 146).

2James Turner was a Republican U.S. senator from North Carolina, 1805–16. On 21 Mar. 1810 JM received letters supporting Fitts’s candidacy from Jesse Franklin and Nathaniel Macon, Republican senator and representative respectively from North Carolina. Another North Carolina representative, Willis Alston, sent JM a further letter on Fitts’s behalf on 16 Apr. 1810 (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Mississippi, 6:54, 60).

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