List of John Adams’s Judicial Appointments
[18 Feb. 1801]
|qu.||Lowell (now district judge) to be Chief judge|
|+||Benj. Bourne (R.I.)||judges of 1st. circuit|
|+||Jer. Smith. (N.H.)|
|qu||John Davis. (now district atty) judge vice Lowell|
|—||H. G. Otis distr. atty vice Davis.|
|qu.||Ray Greene distr. judge vice Bourne|
|—||E. St. L. Livermore. N.H. distr. atty vice Smith.|
|+||Benson. chief judge|
|+||Ol. Wolcott||judges circuit|
|+||Saml. Hitchcock Verm.|
|Ingersoll. Ch. Judge1|
|+||Wm. Griffith. N.J|
|—||Kittera distr. atty vice Ingersol|
|Chas. Lee Ch. judge2|
|⊕||Phil. B. Key. Maryld.||judges.|
|+||G.Keith Taylor Va.|
|—||Theoph. Parsons Atty Gen. vice Lee|
MS (DNA: RG 59, MCL); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand, with symbols and “qu.” added in margin and cancellations (see notes below) made at a later date; endorsed by TJ on verso: “appointmts. by mr Adams.”
On 18 Feb. John Adams sent the above judicial nominations to the Senate. TJ probably made this list as he presided and heard the names read. The appointments were approved two days later. The Senate learned shortly afterwards that Jared Ingersoll and Charles Lee had declined appointment, and TJ accordingly canceled their names. Adams’s nomination of Philip B. Key in the place of Lee accounts for the special symbol by Key’s name (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States… to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:381, 383, 385–6).
On a separate scrap of paper dated 24 Feb., TJ noted the name of “Elijah Paine. judge,” Adams’s nominee for the Vermont district judgeship vacated by Samuel Hitchcock’s appointment as circuit judge. On the same paper, with a date of 25 Feb., TJ wrote “Philip B. Key. chief judge vice Lee” and “Magill judge of W. distr. Virga.” He added plus signs, probably in pencil, in front of the three names, which were approved by the Senate on the 25th and 26th (MS in DNA: RG 59, MCL, entirely in TJ’s hand; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States… to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:384–6).
1. Entry canceled.
2. Entry canceled.