I had this evening the honour [sic] to receive your favour [sic] of the 9th March. I apprehend, from the manner in which you write, that Mr. [William] Cushing omitted writing to you as he intended before he left town, which I am sorry for as the notice of their expectations was by that means so much shorter. The meeting of the judges on the subject of the Circuits was at my request. I remember troubling you at Richmond with a statement of the manner in which three judges out of five (without consulting the sixth, Mr. [John] Rutledge, who was on the spot, and tho' confined with the gout perfectly capable of conversing about business) determined that there should be no rotation of circuits – in consequence of which the C. J. [Chief Justice John Jay] and Mr. Cushing considered themselves Proprietors of the Eastern Circuit – Mr. [James] Wilson kept possession of the Middle Circuit, and Mr. [John] Blair (who voted with me for a rotation) became entitled on the same principle to the Middle Circuit also, and Mr. Rutledge and myself were doomed to the Southern Circuit only. The circuits were fixed in this manner at first by the former four Judges only (when I knew nothing either of my appointment, which was about that time made out, nor even of my nomination, and Mr. R. was absent) for this reason, as assigned by the C. J. that the Judges could best determine in the Circuits wherein they lived on the propriety of the admission of Lawyers. In consequence of this arbitrary decision (for I can call it nothing else) I have gone the Southern Circuit three times out of four (the last time I admit in some measure voluntarily) and upon the last Circuit alone rode 1800 miles, at least 1000 miles more than the utmost [paper torn and word missing] of the others. There are suits depending wherein I am concerned as an Executor in North [Ca]rolina, one of a most critical nature indeed, involving a question of State and Federal
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