Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 26 October 1798

To James Madison

Oct. 26. 98.

The day after you left us, I sat down and wrote the petition I mentioned to you. it is not yet correct enough, & I inclose you a copy to which I pray your corrections, and to return it by the next post, that it may be set in motion. on turning to the judiciary law of the US. I find they established the designation of jurors by lot or otherwise as now1 practiced in the several states; should this prevent, in the first moment the execution of so much of the proposed law, as respects the federal courts, the people will be in possession of the right of electing jurors as to the state courts, and either Congress will agree to conform their courts to the same rule, or they will be loaded with an odium in the eyes of the people generally which will force the matter through. I will send you a copy of the other paper by Richardson. do not send for him till Monday sennight, because that gives us another post-day to warn you of any unexpected delays in winding up his work here for the season, which, tho’ I do not foresee, may yet happen. Adieu affectionately.

RC (DLC: Madison Papers, Rives Collection); addressed: “James Madison junr. near Orange court house”; franked; postmarked. PrC (DLC); in ink at foot of text: “Madison James.” Enclosure: Petition to the General Assembly of Virginia, [2 or 3 Nov. 1798].

Day after you left us: Madison visited Monticello around 15 Oct. (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962, 27 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 5 vols. description ends , 17:xxvii). Section 29 of the judiciary law of 1789 called for choosing federal jurors by lot unless another mode of selection had already been adopted by the state (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 1:88). copy of the other paper: probably the Kentucky Resolutions (see TJ to Madison, 17 Nov. 1798).

1TJ underlined this word twice.

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