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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 103   View pdf image (33K)
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from 1806 to 1851 103

unfortunate decision, for he much desired an ap-
pointment to the Supreme Court of the United
States, and when a seat was left vacant by Judge
Samuel Chase's death in 1810, Smith was passed
over with the explanation that he had been too
long out of the practice and study of the law.4 He
was made Secretary of State in 1817. James
Tilghman of Queen Anne's County, who had been
Chief Justice of the old second judicial district
since its organization under the act of 1790, was
offered the position of Chief Judge of the new
second district, and accepted. He, too, had been
a member of the Council of Safety in 1776, and of
the convention of 1788. John Thomson Mason,
of Washington County, who was looked upon as
among the ablest lawyers of the State, was offered
the position of Chief Judge of the fifth district,
but he declined it, as he had declined other pro-
fessional offices.5 He had retired from practice.
William Polk, of Somerset County, who had been
Chief Justice of the old fourth district for three
years, was selected for the new fourth district, and
accepted.

To fill the place declined by Duvall, Richard
Sprigg, of Prince George's County, who had been
Chief Justice of the old first district during the
year 1802, and after that Associate Judge of the
General Court, was selected, and accepted. He
had also been the first Chancellor under the state
government, for a year from 1777 to 1778. In

4. This was the seat to which Gabriel Duvall was appointed. War-
ren, Supreme Court in U. S. History, I, 423.

5. President Jefferson had offered him the position of Attorney Gen-
eral of the United States, but he had declined it. John Thomson
Mason (2d), Life of John V. L. McMahon, 116 note.



 
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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 103   View pdf image (33K)
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