James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joseph Dean and Others, 17 May 1814 (Abstract)

From Joseph Dean and Others, 17 May 1814 (Abstract)

§ From Joseph Dean and Others. 17 May 1814, Alexandria. “The Citizens of the Town & County of Alexandria represent that they are frequently subjected to considerable inconvenience for want of a sufficient number of Justices of the Peace. It is presumed no objection can arise to the appointment of such a number as to render Justice not only accessable but convenient to every section of the County.

“It appears by the last commission for Magistrates of this county that it contained seventeen names—of which number seven have either refused to qualify, removed away, or are deceased, as marked in the annexed list and several of the remaining Ten never do any business.1

“At a meeting of a respectable number of the Republicans of the County, it was resolved to recommend to you suitable characters to be appointed Justices of the Peace in addition to those who now act as such. We do therefore hereby beg leave most respectfully to recommend to you as proper persons for the commission of the Peace.” Recommend William Newton, Thomas W. Peyton, William Minor, Thomas Vowell, George Wise, and Christopher Neale.2

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Dean”). 2 pp. In Archibald McLean’s hand; signed by Dean as chairman and McLean as secretary. Cover bears James Monroe’s note: “Mr Pleasanton To confer with Mr Graham, & make out a comn for those to whom no objection,” and State Department clerk Stephen Pleasonton’s note: “Appointed 22 June 1814.” For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosed list, written on the verso of the cover, named the ten current justices and identified George Gilpin and Henry O’Reily as “Deceased,” John Richards, Elisha C. Dick, and Clement Sewell as having “never qualified,” and Cuthbert Powell and Alexander Smith as having “removed from the District.”

2All of the candidates were commissioned as Alexandria County justices of the peace during the 1814 recess of the Senate, and nominated by JM for their offices on 1 Oct. 1814. The Senate confirmed Minor, Vowell, Wise, and Neale on 3 Oct., and Peyton on 6 Oct. 1814 (Senate Exec. Proceedings, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends 2:531–34).

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