The United States Register, for the Year 1795; Being the 19—20th of National Sovereignty

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Title page for the United States Register, for the Year 1795 (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1794).
The United States Register was an almanac published in Philadelphia, containing facts about the geography and government of America.[1] The issue for 1795 (the year George Wythe published his decisions) includes current information about the Commonwealth of Virginia, including rolls of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Wythe's salary as justice of the High Court of Chancery in 1795 is listed as £300. On the General Court are two of Wythe's former students: St. George Tucker and Spencer Roane.

According to the Register, Virginia's High Court of Chancery was seated in May and September, for 18 and 24 days, respectively.

Extract, 1794

Page 164


Length, 446 miles; breadth, 224; square miles, 70,000; inhabitants, 747,610; counties, 82. The counties are as follows:

West of the Blue Ridge, 15.
Ohio, Washington, Frederick,
Monongalia, Greenbrier, Shenandoah,
Montgomery, Kanawa, Rockingham,
Wythe, Hampshire, Augusta,
Botetort, Berkley, Rockbridge.
Between the Blue Ridge and Tide Water, 24.
Loudoun, Albemarle, Prince Edward,
Fauquier, Amherst, Cumberland,
Culpepper, Buckingham, Powhatan,
Spotsylvania, Bedford, Amelia,
Orange, Henry, Nottaway,
Louisa, Pittsylvania, Lunenburg,
Goochland, Halifax, Mecklenburg,
Flavania, Charlotte, Brunswick.
Between James River and Carolina, 11.
Greensville, Surry, Nansemond,
Dinwiddie, Sussex, Norfolk,
Chesterfield, Southampton, Princess Ann
Prince George, Isle of Wight,
Between James and York Rivers, 9.
Hanover, Henrico, James City,
New Kent, Williamsburg, Warwick,
Charles City, York, Elizabeth City.
Between York and Rappahannoc Rivers, 6.
Caroline, King William, Middlesex,
King and Queen, Essex, Gloucester,
Between Rappahannoc and Potomac Rivers, 8.
Fairfax, King George, Northumberland,
Prince William, Richmond, Lancaster.
Stafford, Westmoreland,
Eastern Shore, 2.
Accomac, Northampton,

Page 165

New Counties, 7.
Campbell, Randolph, Pendleton,
Franklin, Hardy, Russel,

Brief Abstract from the Constitution.

IN Virginia the supreme executive magistrate, or governor, the privy council, judges of the superior courts, auditors, attorney-general. treasurer, register of the land office, and generals of the militia, are appointed by the legislature; justices of the peace are recommended by the county courts, and military officers, other than generals, by the county and corporation courts, and commissioned by the executive; clerks of the courts, sheriffs and coroners are appointed by the respective courts, the two latter to be approved by the executive; and constables, by the justices.

The legislature consists of a senate and house of delegates; the senate, of twenty-four members. who are divided into four classes, and the seats of one class vacated every year; the house of delegates, of two members from each county, one from each of the cities of Richmond and Williamsburg, and one from the borough of Norfolk; who, with one class of the senate, are elected annually. Senators are required to be twenty-five years of age; and both senators and delegates to be freeholders, resident, at the time of their election, in the county or district for which they are respectively chosen; and to be elected by freeholders, seized of one hundred acres of uninhabited land, or of twenty-five acres with a house, or of a house or lot in some town.

The governor is elected annually, and is ineligible more than three, in seven years.—The privy council, or council of state, consists of eight members; and may be elected either from the legislature, or the citizens at large. Two members are, once every three years removed, and their places supplied, by the joint ballot of both houses; and the persons so removed are ineligibl [sic] during the next three years. The eldest counsellor is, ex officie lieutenant governor.

The judges of the superior courts hold their offices during behaviour. The treasurer is elected annually.

John Pride, speaker } of the senate.
Humphrey Brooke, clerk

Page 166

Thomas Matthews, speaker } of the house of delega
Charles Hay, clerk

Henry Lee, governor; salary, £300.
James Wood, lieut. gov. John Dawson,
Robert Goode, John Steel,
Hardin Burnley, Carter Baxter,
Edmund B. Harrison, Larkin Smith.
Salary, £280, each.
Archibald Blair, clerk } to the council.
Samuel Coleman, assistant clerk
Jaquelin Ambler, treasurer; £600.
Charles Lewis, register of the land office; £450, for himself and clerks.

Court of Appeals.
Edmund Pendleton, chief justice of the state; £300.
Peter Lyons, } justices; £300 each.
Paul Carrington,
William Fleming,
Henry Tazewell,
John Brown, clerk.
High Court of Chancery,
George Wythe, chancellor; £300.
William Hay, master in chancery.
Peter Tinsley, clerk in chancery.
General Court,
Joseph Prentis, chief judge. John Tyler,
St. George Tucker, Joseph Jones,
Richard Parker, Spencer Roane,
Edmund Winston, William Nelson,
James Henry, Robert White,
Salary, £300, each.
John Brown, clerk.

Page 167

James Innes, attorney-general; £250.
John Pendleton, auditor and solicitor; £300.
Sessions of the Courts.

The superior courts are held at Richmond as follows; viz.

The court of appeals, on the 10th of April and September, with out limitation.

The high court of chancery, on the 1st of March, 12th of May and 10th of September; sitting in May and September, twenty-four juridical days; and in March eighteen, unless the business be sooner completed.

The general court, on the 9th of June and November; sitting sixteen days.

Quarterly Courts.

In Montgomery, Washington and Withe, are held in April, June, September and November; Westmoreland, in February, July and October; Cumberland and Henry, in February, April, July and October; Frederick, Fairfax, King George, Loudon, Northampton, Nansemond, Norfolk, Stafford and Spotsylvania, in June; Hampshire, in March, May, September and November; and in Pendleton, in December.

District Court.

In the city of Richmond, at Northumberland courthouse, at Staunton and at Prince Edward court house, respectively, on the 1st of April and of September.

In the city of Williamsburg, at Fredericksburg and at Brunswick court-house, on the 29th of April and of September.

At King and Queen court-house, at Charlottesville, at Petersburg and at New-London, on the 15th of April and of September.

At Winchester, on the 15th of April & 1st of September.

At Dumfries and Suffolk, on the 12th of May & of October.

At Monongalia court-house, on the 3d of May and 20th of September.

At Washington court-house, on the 2d of May & of October.

At Accomack court-house, on the 14th of May & of October.

At Lewisburg, in Greenbrier and Botetourt, alternately, on the 18th of May and of October; each court sitting, if business require, twelve days.

N. B. The judges of the district, compose the general court.

Page 168

County courts are held monthly in the several counties; and as follows, viz.

First Monday.
Charlotte, Prince William,
Gloucester, Petersburg,
Henrico, Princess Anne,
Isle of Wight, Richmond,
Ohio, and the city of Williamsburg.
Second Monday.
Buckingham, Monongalia,
James City, Nansemond,
King and Queen, Northumberland,
Louisa, Patrick,
Matthews, Stafford,
Mecklenburg, and city of Richmond.
Third Monday.
Amherst, Goochland,
Culpepper, Harrison,
Dinwiddie, Lancaster,
Essex, Prince Edward,
Fairfax, York.
Fourth Monday.
Bedford, King William,
Brunswick, Loudon,
Buckingham, Middlesex,
Cumberland, Borough of Norfolk,
Fauquier, Orange.
Last Monday.
First Tuesday.
Frederick, Rockbridge.
Second Tuesday.
Northampton, Wythe.
Prince George,
Third Tuesday.
Augusta, Washington.
Fourth Tuesday,
Russel, Surry,
Last Tuesday,
Accomack, Pittsylvania,
Greenbrier, Westmoreland,

Page 169

First Thursday.
Flavannah, Nottaway,
Hanover, Sussex.
King George.
Second Thursday.
Albermarle, Lunenburg,
Botetourt. New Kent,
Caroline, Southampton,
Chesterfield, Warwick.
Third Thursday.
Charles City, Spotsylvania,
Fourth Thursday.
Amelia, Elizabeth City.
Last Thursday.
Monday after first Tuesday:


The militia of this state composes four divisions, and seventeen brigades. The general officers are as follows:

Major Generals.
Samuel Hopkins, Daniel Morgan,
John Clark, Henry Lee.
Joseph Martin, John Bower,
George Carrington, Benjamin Biggs,
Joseph Jones, Isaac Zane,
Everard Meade, William Tate,
S.T. Mason, Thomas Matthews,
John Blackwell, John Marshall,
J. Guerrant, James A. Bradley,
James Williams, Henry Young.
William Dark,
Simon Morgan, adjutant-general.

Page 170

Literary Institutions.

There are two colleges and a number of respectable academies in Virginia.

William and Mary University

Was founded during the reign of the sovereigns of England from whom it derives its name. We can say little as to its endowments and accommodations.—It was originally under the superintendancy of 20 visitors; and has been an institution of considerable note.

Right Rev. James Madison, D.D. president.

Hampden Sydney College

Is situate in Prince Edward county. It was formerly only an academy; but has of late been erected into a college. There are said to be at present, between thirty and forty students resident at it. It is under the care of 27 trustees; but being without public funds, it has not been conducted on a very extensive scale. There have been, however, a number of useful public characters educated there, who appear with respectability in the different learned professions, and in the legislature of their country.

Rev. Drury Lacy, A.M. vice-president.

There is also an incorporated Academy, called Liberty-Hall, situated in Rockbridge county, at present under the direction of the Rev. William Graham, A.M. and.—Trustees. It has been remarkable for furnishing a supply of preachers to the southern churches.

There are also Academies at Alexandria, Fredericksburg, the Bowling-Green, in Caroline county, Hanover and Norfolk.

See also


  1. The United States Register, for the Year 1795; Being the 19—20th of National Sovereignty (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1794).

External links