James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Overton Callis, 18 November 1791

From William Overton Callis

Richmond 18th. Novr. 1791

Dr Sir,

I received yours of the 10th Instant yesterday, am particularly obliged to you for the trouble you have already taken to serve me, but am infinitely more so, for your own propositions to increase it: to avoid pestering you I was induced to request the Sale of my Land Warrant on the terms mentioned in my last; if you can not dispose of it readily and for a Price you think it ought to command, I will thank you to inclose it to me here. With respect to my claim, your better judgment will direct you in the prosecution of it.

The Indiana claimants have been heard by attoy at the Bar of our House, and a division reje[c]ted by a majority of 122.1 A Mr Turnbull has presented a Petition to dissolve his marriage with Mrs. Buchannan, and will be heard at the bar of the House by his attorney (Mr Henry) on monday next.2 The House of Delegates had directed a comittee, to proceed to lay off the Districts for the Election of Representatives to Congress agreably to the Census, but observing the variety of opinion prevalent in your House respecting the number that shall entitle the different States to one Representative, I conceive that our house will postpone any decision on this point, until the[y] see the final decision of yours. I am with the highest Esteem D Sr Yr. Mo Ob

W. O. Callis

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1On 20 Oct. the House of Delegates (of which Callis was a member for Louisa County) referred a memorial from the Indiana Company to the Committee of the Courts of Justice, of which he was a member. On 10 Nov. the House passed by a 126 to 4 vote a resolution to adhere to “An act declaring and asserting the rights of this commonwealth, concerning purchasing lands from Indian natives” of 1779, thus once again rejecting the company’s claims (JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Richmond. Volumes in this series are designated by the month in which the session began. description ends , Oct. 1791, pp. 4, 6, 46).

2On 22 Nov. the House passed a resolution to bring in a bill authorizing Robert Turnbull to sue in the court of chancery for annulment of his marriage to Sarah Buchanan Turnbull on grounds of nonconsummation. The House appointed Callis to the committee to prepare the bill, which the General Assembly passed on 10 Dec. (ibid., p. 73; Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , XIII, 301–2).

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