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The delegates of the people met in general convention at Columbia, in June 1790, established a constitution for the government of the state, conformably to the principles of the constitution of the United States. In this instrument the struggle for power, and equal rights, between the lower and upper country is manifest, and a spirit of compromise and mutual concession may be discerned. The removal of the seat of government to Columbia, had been firmly opposed by a great majority of the people of the lower country, who always reluctantly yielded to an equal participation of power and privileges, with those of the upper and middle country, many of whom were emigrants from other states, and whose manners and habits did not assimilate to those of the parishes in the lower country. The public offices were divided by the convention between the metropolis and the seat of government, for the greater accommodation of the inhabitants of the sea coast, and the adjacent parishes. Two treasurers were provided; one to keep his office at Columbia, and the other in Charleston. The offices of Secretary of State, and surveyor general, were to be kept at both these places; the principals to reside at the one place, and their deputies at the other. The meetings of the judges at the conclusion of the circuits, for hearing and deciding cases and points of law, by way of appeal, were also established at Charleston, as well as at the seat of government. Thus a sort of duplicate government was instituted, and the ancient predominancy of the lower country in a great measure preserved. And the apportionment of the representation in the legislature, was well calculated to maintain that predominancy. It was extremely unequal; the lower country having a much greater representation, upon any principle of fair and equal government, than the upper and middle country. This disproportion encreased every year, by the progress of population, and became so glaring as to excite considerable discontent and animosities. An association was formed, not long after the establishment of the constitution, the object of which was to bring about a reform in the representative system. Robert Goodloe Harper, esquire, who was at the head of this association, and had published a pamphlet on the subject, afterwards, as a member of the House of Representatives, brought the matter before the legislature. It was warmly opposed by the members from the lower country generally, and was rejected by a large majority. In process of time, however, as the upper and middle country encreased in population, and improved in education and knowledge, while the lower country remained stationary in these respects, a more yielding and liberal spirit was manifested; and the more sagacious and calculating part of the community of the lower country, being convinced of the propriety and necessity of a reform, became reconciled to the measure; and a new arrangement of the representation in the legislature was established in 1809, as it now stands in the constitution. A feeble opposition was made to it on general principles; but the mode of reform was the subject of considerable debate. It was declared to be the opinion of the convention, that the legislature should make effectual provision for revising, digesting and publishing the laws of the state, so as that a general knowledge thereof might be diffused among the citizens. This object, about which the convention, and different legislative assemblies, prior to 1790, appear to have been very anxious, seems to have excited no interest, nor attracted the attention of any subsequent legislature: and indeed the community in general

seems to have considered it with indifference, or passed it over unno-
ticed, as a matter of no importance.
In the year 1791, the legislature proceeded to alter and amend the
laws relating to the judicial department of the government. The courts
of equity were directed to be held at three different places in the state;
and witnesses were to be examined in open court. The mode of
obtaining injunctions was declared, and other regulations established.
The circuit courts were invested with complete, original and final juris-
diction; new districts were erected; and the powers and duties of the
judges more particularly declared. The county courts were new
modelled : the rights of primogeniture were abolished, and also the ficti-
tious proceedings in the action of ejectment: a more equal distribution
of the estates of persons dying intestate was prescribed, and the action
of trespass to try the titles to land, combining the action for mesne
profits, substituted in lieu of the action of ejectment. Salaries and fees
were established, and commissioners appointed to adjust and settle ac-
counts of the treasury department.
In 1794, acts were passed to organize the militia in conformity with the
act of Congress, for establishing a uniform militia throughout the United
Many other laws were made of considerable importance, (but too tedi-
ous to enumerate,) in 1794, and the succeeding years, down to 1798.
At this time the administration of justice was extremely tedious and
defective. The jurisdiction of the county courts was very limited; and
in many of them, justice was dispensed in a very loose and imperfect
manner. The accumuletion of busines in the circuit courts had greatly
increased; and the manner of despatching it, was not always the best that
might be practised to answer the purposes of public justice, and give satis-
faction to the people.
In order to establish a uniform and more convenient system of judi-
cature, a bill was brought forward in the legislature, for instituting
district courts, in the several counties of the state, and in small sections
of that part of the state wherein county courts were not established, and
to arrange those courts into several circuits or ridings.
The most zealous and able advocates of this project, were William
Falconer, Esq. a member of the House of Representatives from Ches-
terfield, and William Marshall, Esq. late one of the judges of the
courts of equity, a member of the Senate. It was carried, and passed
into a law.
This law was afterwards revised and amended in 1799, and county
courts, which had been retained in the former act, with very limited
powers, were now forever abolished. A supplementary act was passed
the same year, providing for every case that might occur under the vari-
ous changes which were directed to take place in the judiciary system.
The appointment of additional judges and circuit solicitors were provided
for; courts of ordinary were established in each district; and many other
important regulations adopted.
An act passed the same year to establish the office of comptroller of
the treasury.
In 1801, an act was passed to establish a college at Columbia; and the
sum of fifty thousand dollars was appropriated for erecting suitable buil-
dings; also, the annual sum of six thouiand dollars, for the purpose of
paying the salaries of the officers of the college, and other purposes. In
addition to this, an extensive parcel of land, in an elevated situation, was
bestowed by the legislature, for the site of the college edifices.


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BREvan D's Observations *A

In the same year, a court of inferior jurisdiction was established in the city of Charleston. The court of wardens had been abolished a few years before. By an act of 1805, original grants of land were declared to be valid, though wanting the great seal of the state; and the little seal was directed to be thereafter affixed to grants. In 1808, the state was divided into equity districts and circuits: and the courts of equity were directed to be held by one judge in the respective districts. And a court of appeals for the court of equity was established, to be holden twice a year, at both Columbia and Charleston. In 1809, an act passed ratifying former acts amending the constitution, and reforming the arrangement of the representation in the legislature, which acts had passed in 1808. Sheriffs were directed to be elected by the people of each district, and the judges of the law courts were vested with power to appoint guardians to minors, and in cases of ideocy and lunacy. An act of 1811, requires the judges respectively to give their reasons in writing, in all cases submitted to them in the constitutional court of appeals. And the judges of the courts of equity are enjoined to observe a similar rule in cases of appeal decided by them. In 1812, an act passed against duelling; and another establishing the bank of the state. In 1813, the dispute with the state of North Carolina, concerning boundary, was finally settled, and an act was passed on the subject, confirming the treaty made by the commissioners appointed by the two states to adjust the dispute. To conclude this imperfect and rude sketch of our legal history, the author hopes he may be permitted, in extenuation of his failures, in the compilation of the Digest, as well as in this attempt to trace the civil jurisprudence of the state from its origin, to say, in the language of Dr. Johnson, that “to have attempted much is always laudable, even when the enterprize is above the strength that undertakes it:” and he presumes, however extravagant it may appear, to prefer a wish, that our laws may hereafter be revised, corrected and improved, in such a manner that they may attain that perfection, which the virtuous Sydney (the innocent victim of a vile court and profligate king) predicates of law in general—“Established for the good of the people, which no passion can disturb:—void of desire and fear, lust and anger:-mens sine affectu, mind without passion, written reason, retaining some measure of the divine perfection :-not enjoining that which pleases a weak frail man, but, without any regard to persons, commanding that which is good, and punishing evil in all, whether rich or poor, high or low —deaf, inexorable, inflexible.” “Of law” (says the excellent Hooker, in his book of ecclesiastical polity) “no less can be acknowledged, than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world. All things in heaven and earth do her homage; the least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power.”

JOSEPH BREWARD. September, 1814.



EDMUND BOHUN, chief justice; appointed in 1696; died the same year.

NICHOLAS TROTT, about the years 1712–1718. He was also judge of the provincial court of vice admiralty in 1715.

RICHARD ALLIEN, chief justice; chosen by the legislature in place of Nicholas Trott, who was superseded.

ROBERT W RIGHT, chief justice; appointed in 1730; died in 1739.

THOMAS DALE, assistant judge of the courts of general sessions and common pleas;

appointed March 5th, 1736.

ROBERTAUSTIN, ditto appointed April 8th, 1737. BENJAMIN DE LA CONSEILLERE, ditto appointed same time. THOMAS LAMBALL, ditto appointed April 20th, 1737.

THOMAS DALE, chief justice; appointed in 1739, Oct. 17th ; superseded in November. BENJAMIN WHITAKER, chief justice; appointed Nov. 7th, 1739; removed in 1749, being

aralytic. 1SAAC MAZYCK, assistant judge; appointed February 5th, 1740. WILLIAM BULL, Jr. ditto { * same time. ROBERTY ONGE, ditto ** February 12th, 1740. OTHNIEL BE ALE, ditto wk July 3d, 1741. JOHN LINING, ditto 44 August 15th, 1744 JAMES GRAEME, chief justice ; appointed June 6th, 1749; died in 1752. CHARLES PINCKNEY, ditto ' '. “ September 22d, 1752. PETER LEIGH, ditto -- October 27th, 1753; died in 1759. JOHN DRAYTON, assistant judge; “ October 9th, 1753. JAMES MICHIE, chief justice; {4 September 1st, 1759; died in 1760. WILLIAM SIMPSON, assistant judge; appointed February 27th, 1760. ROBERT PRINGLE, ditto *4 March 3d, 1760. WILLIAM SIMPSON, chief justice; “ January 24th, 1761. CHARLES SIX INNER, ditto $4. January 9th, 1762. ROBERT PRINGLE, assistant Judge “ March 23d, 1762. WILLIAM BURROWS, ditto 4 o' November 21st, 1764. ROBERT BRIS BANE, ditto 44 November 1st, 1764. RAW LINS LOWNDES, ditto 44 February 7th, 1766. BENJAMIN SMITH, ditto $4 February 28th, 1766. DANIEL D'OYLEY, ditto 44 March 1st, 1766

GEORGE GABRIEI, POWELL, ditto “ August 10th, 1769; superseded in 1772. THOMAS KNOX GORDON, chief justice; appointed May 13th, o #oo assistant judge; appointed May 30th, 1771. * - + - * * r - JOHN FEWTRELL, | No. MATTHEW COSLETT, ditto i4 April 23d, 17. WM. HENRY DRAYTON, ditto 44 January 25th, 1774. WILLIAM GREGORY, ditto 4. November 4th, 1774. WM. HENRY DRAYTON, chief justice; appointed April 12th, 1776. }{\ MATTHEWS, assistant judge; appointed April 17th, 1776. OMAS BEE, ditto 44 April 15th “ HENRY PENDLETON, ditto ** April 17th, {k died in 1788. AEDANUS BUR KE, ditto ** April 1st, 1778. THOMAS HEY WARD, ditto 44 February 25th, 1779; resigned in 1789. John A clientatD GRIMIKE, assistant judge ; appointed March 20th, 1779; resigned 1n THOMAS WATIES, assistant judge; appointed February 26, 1779; resigned in 1789. * { ** * { 89

WILLIAM DRAYTON, ditto March 17th, 1789.

JOHN | Tipper, chief justice; elected and commissioned February 16th, 1791; resigned in 1795,

ELIHU HALL BAY, associate judge; ditto February 19th, 1791.

WILLIAM JOHNSON, Jr. judge of the courts of general sessions and common pleas; elected and commissioned February 10th, 1800; resigned May, 1804.

EPHRAIM RAMSAY, elected and commissioned December 19th, 1799.

LEWIS TREZEVANT, ditto February 10th, 1800; died Feb. 15th, 1808.


List of Judges.

JOSEPH BREWARD, judge of the courts of general sessions and common pleas; elected and
commissioned, December 17th, 1801.
THOMAS LEE, elected and commissioned May, 1804.

SAMUEL WILDS, Jr. ditto December 11th, 1804; died February, 1810.
WILLIAM SMITH, ditto June 28th, 1808.
ABRAHAM NOTT, ditto December 5th, 1810.

CHARLES JONES COLCOCK, ditto December 9th, 1811.
RICHARD GANTT, appointed December 14th, 1815.

DAVID JOHNSON, ditto ditto

LANGDON CHEVES, ditto ditto Dec. 17th, 1816. Judge Smith having resigned.
JOHN S. RICHARDSON, ditto December 18th, 1818.
DANIEL ELLIOTT HUGER, ditto December 11th, 1819; resigned September, 1830.
WILLIAM DOBEIN JAMES, ditto Dec. 18th, 1824. Elected from Court of Equity.
THEODORE GAILLIARD, ditto ditto ditto.
THOMAS WATIES, ditto - ditto ditto.
JOHN B. O'NEALL, do to December 20th, 1828.

JOSIAH. J. EVANS, ditto December 12th, 1829.

WM. D. MARTIN, ditto December 20, 1830; died November, 1833.
BAYLES J. EARLE, ditto ditto

A. PICKENS BUTLER, ditto December 5th, 1833.


JOHN RUTLEDGE, (commissioned 1784) THEODORE GAILLARD, goso

JAMES GREEN HUNT, Dec. 16, 1828,
AEDANUS BURKE, (com. 1800,) WILLIAM HARPER, December 20th, 1828,
WILLIAM MARSHALL, (com. 1800) JOB JOHNSTON, Dec. 4, 1830,
WADDY THOMPSON, (com. 1805.) DAVID JOHNSON, December, 1835.



CHARLES J. COLCOCK, appointed December 18th, 1824.

ABRAHAM NOTT, ditto ditto died June, 1830,
DAVID JOHNSON, ditto ditto
WILLIAM HARPER, ditto December 1st, 1830.
JOHN B. O’NEALL, ditto ditto

The Appeal Court of 3 Judges was established in 1824—the Appeal Court of 10 Circuit Judges in 1835.


DAVID GRAEMF, appointed January 11th, 1762.
JAMES No. appointed pro tem. January 30th, 1764; resigned in September.
JOHN RUTLEDGE, appointed September 17th, 1764, pro tem.
EGERTON LEIGH, appointed June 5th, 1765, in room of D. Graeme.
ALEXANDER MOULTRIE, appointed April 13th, 1776.
JOHN JULIUS PRINGLE, appointed December 20th, 1792.
LANGDON CHEVES, appointed December 17th, 1808.
JOHN S. RICHARDSON, appointed December 6th, 1810.
JOHN S. RICHARDSON, appointed Nov. 30th, 1816.
ROBERT Y. HAYNE, appointed Dec. 18th, 1818.
JAMES L. PETTIGRU, appointed Dec. 7th, 1822.

1)itto appointed Nov. 29th, 1826.
HUGH S LEGARE, appointed Nov. 27th, 1830.
R. BARNWELL SMITH, appointed Nov. 29th, 1832,

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