George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Law, 10 October 1789

From Richard Law

New London [Conn.] Oct. 10th 1789. Acknowledges commission as district judge for Connecticut. “A good Judiciary, am sensible, is of the utmost importance, and essential to the well being of every free Government—how far the present Judicial System will answer the Valuable End designed, is perhaps somewhat problematical, and must depend on experiment—much wisdom care & attention has ben, doubtless, employed in the formation & construction of so complicated a Machine, in order to make it answer all the federal purposes and yet not to clash or interfere with the State Judiciaries, however as the modes of proceeding are left in some measure undefined, and the Objects are Sarious & complex—much skill, prudence & delicacy will be requisite to preserve harmony & Consistancy in the Execution.”

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Acceptances and Orders for Commissions.

Richard Law (1733–1806) graduated from Yale in 1751 and read law with Jared Ingersoll. An active Patriot in the early days of the war, he represented his state in Congress in 1774, 1776, 1777, and 1780–83. From 1773 to 1784 he served as judge of the New London County court and in the latter year was appointed a judge of the Connecticut Superior Court. In 1784, with Roger Sherman, Law published Acts and Laws of the State of Connecticut, in America, a codification of Connecticut laws.

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