To George Turner
Philadelphia November 9th: 1792.
It appears from the Report of the Secretary of the Territory North West of the Ohio, that several regulations of importance in the present situation of that Territory, remain unprovided, on account of the absence of the persons invested with the legislative powers. I am charged by the President to bring this circumstance to your notice, not doubting but that the public exigencies of your Office will over-weigh in your mind any personal inconveniencies, which might attend your repairing to that Country. I have the honor to be, with great respect and esteem, Sir, Your most obedient and Most humble servant
PrC (DLC); in the hand of George Taylor, Jr.; unsigned; at foot of text: “Judge Turner.” FC (Lb in DNA: RG 360, DL).
George Turner (ca. 1750–1843), a brevet major in the South Carolina Line and commissary of marine prisoners during the Revolution, became a member of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Ohio Company. He served as a territorial judge in the Northwest Territory from 1789 until his resignation in 1797 (Madison, Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 17 vols. description ends x, 53; Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–, 28 vols. description ends , ii, 217–18, 622; Jack E. Eblen, The First and Second United States Empires: Governors and Territorial Government, 1784–1912 [Pittsburgh, 1968], 107; Carrington T. Marshall, ed., A History of the Courts and Lawyers of Ohio, 4 vols. [New York, 1934], i, 48–9).
Winthrop Sargent, acting governor of the Northwest Territory, had complained in his 6 July 1792 letter to the President of the absence of two of the three territorial judges, John Cleves Symmes and Turner. Since Governor Arthur St. Clair was also absent, three of the four law-making officers of the territory were away from their posts (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–, 28 vols. description ends , ii, 41–3, 405–6; see also TJ to Symmes, 4 Dec. 1791, and TJ to St. Clair, 10 Nov. 1792). Turner replied in a letter to TJ of 11 Nov. 1792, recorded in SJL as received 12 Nov. 1792, but not found. TJ sent the letter to Washington on 12 Nov. 1792.