James Madison Papers

Orange County Court Order, [22 October] 1804

Orange County Court Order

[22 October 1804]

Upon the application of James Madison who owns the land on both sides of the run Called Madison’s mill run,1 where James Madison deceased formerly had a mill, the bed of which run belongs to the applicant for a writ of ad quod damnum2 for the purpose of obtaining leave to erect a mill at the said place A writ of ad quod damnum is awarded him to be directed to the sheriff of this county to be executed on the premises on the eighth day of the next month.3

Ms (Vi: Orange County Order Book, 1803–1804, 354); Ms (Vi: Orange County Minute Book, 1797–1806, 642–43).

1For the Madison family’s mill venture, see PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 2:125–26 n. 1.

2Ad quod damnum: “The name of a writ … commanding the sheriff to make inquiry ‘to what damage’ a specified act, if done, will tend.

“It is a writ which ought to be sued before the king grants certain liberties,… which may be prejudicial to others, and thereby it should be inquired whether it will be a prejudice to grant them, and to whom it will be prejudicial, and what prejudice will come thereby” (Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed., 50).

3On 29 Apr. 1806 JM received permission to erect the mill, based on the 8 Nov. 1804 report of a jury that had examined the property and decided “that no ones Land will be overflowed and that no damages will accrue to the several prop[r]ietors, that fish of passage nor ordinary navigation will not be obstructed, neither in our opinions will the health of the neighbours be annoyed by the stagnation of the Waters” (Vi: Orange County Order Book, 1805–1806, 347–48).

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