James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Augustus B. Woodward, 31 March 1812 (Abstract)

§ From Augustus B. Woodward

31 March 1812, Michigan. Has “the honor to present his respects to the President of the United States; and to subject to his inspection the two enclosed papers.”1

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Michigan). RC 1 p.; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Michigan, 10:381. Enclosures 7 pp.; printed in Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, 36 [1908]: 249–51. For enclosures, see n. 1.

1Woodward enclosed copies of two certificates submitted to him by Elijah Brush. The first, dated 21 Mar. 1812 (5 pp.), described Brush’s appearance in Woodward’s court on 11 June 1811 representing a client, Whitmore Knaggs, against whom Woodward had issued a warrant charging him with assault against the person of the judge. Brush had suggested that Woodward refer the case to another judge, not because he doubted the legality of Woodward’s action but because his client “was not reconciled to put himself on his examination before the very person that he had assaulted.” After considering the request, Woodward stated that he was reluctant to submit the matter to another judge but added that he would not necessarily require the attendance of Knaggs at any future proceedings. Neither Brush nor his client appeared again before Woodward. Brush concluded: “the Complaint therefore of not being notified—of not attending—or, of not appearing and Summonsing Witnesses &c. is without foundation, and did not proceed either from myself, or my Client.”

The second certificate, dated 30 Mar. 1812 (2 pp.), testified to Brush’s satisfaction with Woodward’s conduct on the bench in cases in which Brush had acted as counsel. “Possessing a discriminating mind, and Sound legal attainments,” Brush continued, “[Woodward] has uniformly exhibited at all times, and on all occasions, a Strict and undeviating integrity, assiduity, temperance, and urbanity, marked with a degree of politeness, not always to be met with in a judicial character.”

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