Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Wayles Eppes, 4 January 1803

From John Wayles Eppes

Richmond January 4. 1803.

Dear Sir,

Callender has been this day discharged from his recognizance by the County Court of Henerico—6 magistrates in favor of his discharge & 1 against it—The trial took up two days & the cause has been fully and ably argued—As I had not an opportunity of getting into the Court House from the concourse who attended I can give you no sketch of the arguments—

Accept for your health &c My friendly wishes Yours &c

Jno: W: Eppes

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 8 Jan. and so recorded in SJL.

The legal proceedings in the case of Henry Pace and James Thomson callender against George Hay finally concluded when six out of seven Henrico County magistrates voted to discharge Callender from custody and Pace from his obligation. Hay was required to keep the peace for one year. The court also ruled that it was a violation of the Bill of Rights to confine the defendants and that liberty of the press was more properly a legislative than a judicial matter (Durey, Callender description begins Michael Durey, “With the Hammer of Truth”: James Thomson Callender and America’s Early National Heroes, Charlottesville, 1990 description ends , 167–8; Richmond Virginia Gazette, 5, 8, 12 Jan. 1803; Richmond Virginia Argus, 5 Jan. 1803; Alexandria Advertiser, 11 Jan. 1803; John Wayles Eppes to TJ, 23 and 24 Dec. 1802).

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