Thomas Jefferson Papers

II. List of Charges Against Arthur St. Clair, [ca. 30 January 1802–20 February 1802]

II. List of Charges Against Arthur St. Clair

[ca. 30 Jan.-.–20 Feb. 1802]

Charges exhibited to the President of the US.1 against the Honourable Arthur Saint Clair, as Governor of the territory of the US. North West of the river Ohio.

1. He has usurped legislative powers, by the erection of counties and location of the seats of justice by2 proclamation, on his own3 sole authority.

2. He has misused the power of negativing legislative acts, by putting his negative on laws4 useful and necessary for the territory.

3. He has refused to perform the duties of his office but on the paiment of arbitrary fees not established by any lawful authority.

4. He has5 negatived an act of the legislature abolishing those fees, and passed6 their act giving him 500. D. meant7 as a compensation for that abolition;8 thereby holding both the fees and the compensation.

5. He has attempted to effect the dismemberment of the territory, & to destroy9 it’s constitutional boundaries, in order to prevent it’s advancement to those rights of self-government to which it’s numbers would entitle it.10

6. He has granted commissions generally11 during pleasure; but that of Attorney-general to his own son during good behavior.

7. He has endeavored arbitrarily to influence and controul the proceedings of the judiciary, and has revoked or effected12 a surrender of the commissions of those who have refused to bend to his will. acknold. pa. 22. revoked 3. commns. & pa. 34.

8. He has appointed persons residing out of a county to offices the duties of which13 were to be habitually performed within them. acknold. pa. 20. in the case of Robb his son in law, made Recorder of Clermont tho’ living in Hamilton. executd. by depy.

9. He has14 obstructed the organisation and disciplining of a militia for the defence of the territory15 by witholding the appointment of officers   years16 after a law had17 passed establishing them.

10. He has avowed his hostility to the form & substance of republican government.18

11. He is in the habit of indulging himself in arbitrary and rude conduct towards those who have to transact business, with him, or under him.19

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 124:21414); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand with words in italics added by him at a later date. Tr (OChHi: Territorial and Early Statehood Manuscript Collection); in Meriwether Lewis’s hand, with emendations in Thomas Worthington’s hand (see notes 14, 16, 18–19 below); lacks TJ’s later emendations.

St. Clair appointed Samuel Robb a justice of the peace and justice of the court of common pleas for Hamilton County on 26 Nov. 1800. Two weeks later, on 9 Dec., Robb was also appointed recorder of neighboring Clermont County (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 3:526–7).

1Preceding five words and abbreviation interlined.

2Word written over partially erased “of his.”

3Word interlined.

4TJ here canceled “the most.”

5Word interlined.

6TJ first wrote “passing” before altering the word to read as above.

7Word interlined.

8Remainder of sentence interlined.

9TJ first wrote “He has endeavored to dismember the territory, & destroy” before altering the passage to read as above.

10TJ first wrote “to which their numbers would entitle them” before altering the passage to read as above.

11TJ first wrote “granted all commissions” before altering the text to read as above.

12TJ first wrote “and revoked or forced” before altering the text to read as above.

13TJ first wrote “to perform offices which.”

14In Tr, Worthington here interlined “(neglected and thereby).”

15Preceding six words interlined.

16In Tr, Worthington inserted “18 mos” in the space and canceled “years.”

17Word interlined.

18In Tr, Worthington here added “and contempt of militia regulations.”

19Charge canceled by TJ at a later date. In Tr, Worthington inserted a brace next to the charge in the left margin with the words “not inserted.”

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