Thomas Jefferson Papers

Notes on Circuit Court Cases, 12 November 1801

Notes on Circuit Court Cases

Nov. 12. State. Statement of causes in Circuit courts of US. from
1st. instn to   1801.
institd. decided dependt.
N. Hampshire 111 99 12
R. Island 272 256 16
Mass. 284 248 36
Maine 7 7
Conn. 358 320 38
Verm. 278 214 64
N. York qu. 107 17 90
N. Jersey 101 90 11
Pennsylv. 980 796 184
Delaw. 130 100 30
Virginia 2063 1724 339
N. Carola 493 359 134
S. Carola 863 571 292
Georgia 898 751 147
W. Tenissee 188 112 76
7133 5664 1469
Kentucky 670 445 225

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 118:20350); entirely in TJ’s hand; follows, on same sheet, Notes on the Bank of the United States and Internal Revenues, [10 Nov. 1801].

Early in June, James Madison sent a circular letter to U.S. district attorneys, indicating that he was “directed by the President” to collect information about cases instituted, decided, and still depending in the circuit courts as of 15 June. Madison asked the attorneys to have the information taken from the courts’ dockets and to classify the cases “according to the nature of the suits” (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:256–7, 357; 2:42, 108, 123–4, 161). The figures collected for Maine, Kentucky, and Tennessee were for district, rather than circuit, courts. The data for New York included both the New York and the Albany districts, but the numbers obtained for Virginia and Pennsylvania included only the eastern district of each of those states. Madison apparently received information about the circuit court for Maryland after TJ made the tabulation above. Madison updated and corrected much of the information about the courts’ cases up until 26 Feb. 1802, when TJ gave Congress detailed sets of tables from the State Department. TJ’s figures for Vermont match those submitted to Congress. For the other courts, the totals incorporated in TJ’s tally printed above differ, sometimes slightly, sometimes significantly, from the corrected results that Madison provided in February (same, 2:487–8; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Miscellaneous, 1:319–25).

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