Thomas Jefferson Papers

Benjamin Ruggles to Thomas Jefferson, 28 April 1822

From Benjamin Ruggles

Senate Chamber April 28–1822

Dear Sir:

Accompanying this letter I transmit you a pamphlet containing a review of the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Cohens vs. Virginia. This review1 was written by Charles Hammond Esqr a distinguished member of the Bar in Ohio. Believing the sentiments contained in the review would accord in some measure with your own on this subject, I have taken the liberty of sending one for your perusal.

Very respectfully

Your obt Servant.

Benj. Ruggles

RC (DLC); between dateline and salutation: “The Hon. Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 1 May 1822 and so recorded (with additional bracketed notation: “Ohio”) in SJL; with Dft of TJ to Ruggles, 3 May 1822, beneath endorsement. Enclosure: [Charles Hammond], Review of the Opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Cohens vs. Virginia (Steubenville, Ohio, 1821).

Benjamin Ruggles (1783–1857), attorney and public official, was born in Windham County, Connecticut. Having been admitted to the bar, he relocated in 1807 to Marietta, Ohio, and established a legal practice. Ruggles moved to Saint Clairsville a few years later, served as the presiding judge of a court of common pleas, 1810–15, and sat in the United States Senate, 1815–33. During his political career he supported the presidential aspirations of William H. Crawford, John Quincy Adams, and William Henry Harrison, and opposed those of Andrew Jackson. A Freemason and sometime bank director, Ruggles retired from public office in 1833, resumed his legal practice, and took up farming. The owner of real estate worth $1,200 in 1850, he died at his home in Saint Clairsville after a brief illness (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–Present, online resource, Office of the Clerk, United States House of Representatives description ends ; John A. Caldwell, History of Belmont and Jefferson Counties, Ohio [1880], 239; William A. Taylor, Ohio in Congress from 1803 to 1901 [1900], 48; Journal of the Senate of the State of Ohio, being the first session of the Eighth General Assembly [Chillicothe, 1809], 269–70; Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Ohio, being the fourteenth General Assembly [Zanesville, 1815], 169; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, at a Grand Communication, in January, A. L. 5813—A. D. 1813 [Chillicothe, 1813], 33; Steubenville Western Herald, 19 July 1816; Middletown, Conn., American Sentinel, 11 Aug. 1824; DNA: RG 29, CS, Ohio, Belmont Co., Richland Township, 1820–50; Saint Clairsville Belmont Chronicle, 10 Sept. 1857; gravestone inscription in Saint Clairsville Union Cemetery).

1Manuscript: “reviw.”

Index Entries

  • Cohens v. Virginia search
  • Hammond, Charles; Review of the Opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Cohens vs. Virginia search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • law; books on search
  • Review of the Opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Cohens vs. Virginia (C. Hammond) search
  • Ruggles, Benjamin; identified search
  • Ruggles, Benjamin; letter from search
  • Ruggles, Benjamin; sends work to TJ search
  • Supreme Court, U.S.; andCohens v. Virginia search