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Letter from Marmaduke Jones to William Tryon
Jones, Marmaduke, ca. 1724-1787
January 07, 1767
Volume 07, Pages 426-427

Mr Jones's letter referred to follows.

Newbern the 7th January 1767


Tho' I have hitherto attended the several Superior Courts which have been held since I had the honor of your Excellency's appointment of Attorney General, and I shall endeavor not to omit any part of the whole circuit, yet from the almost total impracticability of incessant traveling I take the liberty of submitting to your Excellency's consideration, the expediency of recommending to his Majesty, the establishment of a Solicitor General for this province

This office tho' well known in England and the West India Islands and extended I believe to all the new governments, has not yet been erected in this colony, but the utility, or perhaps necessity of such an appointment, is no where more apparent than in an extensive country divided into five districts with a Superior Court in each.

The Circuit directed by act of Assembly your Excellency knows to be, as follows

Cape Fear to Halifax
held the
1st March & September
Halifax to Salisbury
22 March & September
Salisbury to Wilmington
15 April & October
Wilmington to Newbern
2 May & November
Newbern to Edenton
20 May & November
Edenton back to Cape Fear
in June and December

As the Attorney General prepares all indictments and carries on all prosecutions, he is to undertake this circuit twice a year, but the inevitable fatigue of such journeys rendering his attendance very uncertain, the late Act of Assembly has authorized his appointing a deputy for those Courts, at which he happens not to be present himself. The most distant courts will therefore generally be those which an Attorney General may think himself priviledged to decline, and as it is not to be expected that any but the younger practisers will act as his deputies, it may be feared that in those courts, criminals

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may often evade the justice of the law, and imbolden'd by impunity spread the contagion of vice.

The danger may perhaps be avoided by the appointment of a Solicitor General; the circuit would be divided between the Attorney and him, the Crown business be always the immediate attention of one of them, and the other alternately wait your Excellency's commands.

To the office of Solicitor General no country fees are annexed under the present laws, but as the duty will be equal to the Attorney's I submit to your Excellency the mention of a proper allowance.

The Attorney General at the time of the establishment of his £80 Sterlg salary had only Wilmington, Newbern and Edenton courts to attend, and the erection of the two back county courts, has sufficiently increased the circuit, to give equal employment to the Solicitor General and still leave the Attorney his original duty.

That I have not made these observations without interested views is a discovery easily made, nor will I deny, that distinguished by your Excellencys appointment, animated by your favorable recommendation, and convinced that the service of the Crown can never have so many attractions, as under your Excellencys administration I please myself with the prospect of enjoying a station in which I may testify my fixed loyalty to his Majesty and the gratefull sense of the honor of subscribing myself with the utmost respect,

Sir, Your Excellency's most obliged and
most obedient humble servant
To His Excellency,
William Tryon Esq.