James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Samuel Huntington, William Sprigg, and Daniel Symmes, 22 August 1805 (Abstract)

From Samuel Huntington, William Sprigg, and Daniel Symmes, 22 August 1805 (Abstract)

§ From Samuel Huntington,1 William Sprigg, and Daniel Symmes.2 22 August 1805, Trumbull County, Ohio. “The Subscribers beg leave to recommend to the President of the United States George Tod Esq.3 of youngstown in the County of Trumbull & State of Ohio, to fill the vacancy in the General Court of the Michigan Territory. Mr. Tod has been regularly bred to the profession of Law, and has practised with reputation in this State—from our acquaintance with him we are led to believe he would discharge the duties of a Judge in that Territory with capacity and integrity, & that his unifo[r]m conduct would be such in that station as to justify the confidence placed in him by the Government.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1801–9, filed under “Tod”). 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Huntington, Sprigg, and Symmes; docketed by Wagner as received 14 Sept.; docketed by Jefferson.

1Connecticut native Samuel Huntington (1765–1817) attended Dartmouth College and graduated from Yale, after which he toured Europe. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar, and later moved to Ohio about 1800. He was prominent in the state constitutional convention in 1802 and was appointed to the state supreme court in 1803. Huntington, George Tod, and Return Jonathan Meigs Jr. were leaders in the conservative wing of the state Republicans. Huntington served as governor from 1808 to 1810, was a member of the state legislature from 1811 to 1812, and was district paymaster in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.

2Daniel Symmes (1772–1817), nephew of John Cleves Symmes, was born in New Jersey, educated at the College of New Jersey, and studied law in Ohio, where he was admitted to the bar. He was a member of the Ohio state senate, serving as speaker from December 1803 to February 1805, when he was appointed to the state supreme court on which he served until January 1808 (Fred J. Milligan, Ohio’s Founding Fathers [New York, 2003], 121–23).

3Connecticut-born George Tod (1773–1841) graduated from Yale in 1795 and moved to Youngstown, Ohio, in 1800. He was a state senator from 1804 to 1805 and in 1806 was named to the state supreme court. In 1809 he, Samuel Huntington, and William Sprigg were removed by the legislature for upholding the policy of judicial review. He was a lieutenant Colonel in the regular army in the War of 1812. He was named presiding judge of the court of common pleas in 1815 and served there until 1834 (Alfred T. Goodman, “Judges of the Supreme Court of Ohio, under the First Constitution, 1803–1852,” Western Reserve and Northern Ohio Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio 2 [1870]: 3).

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