William Fleming (1780-1824)

Further reading:

“William Fleming: Biographical Sketch,” The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Vol. 2, 541 (1977).

“Library of Col. William Fleming,” The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 3 (January 1898), 158-164.

F. Thornton Miller, Juries and Judges Versus the Law: Virginia’s Provincial Legal Perspective, 1783-1828, (1994), 70-73. As the second presiding judge on the Court of Appeals, Fleming mediated a dispute between Spencer Roane and St. George Tucker. See also Charles F. Hobson, “St. George Tucker, Spencer Roane, and the Virginia Court of Appeals, 1804-1811,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 121, No. 1 (2013).


Research collections:

The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, owns a manuscript letter from Thomas Jefferson to William Fleming written on July 1, 1776, when Jefferson was attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  Jefferson met Fleming when they roomed together at the College of William and Mary and they maintained a lifelong friendship and correspondence.  See Colonial Letters,  The Journal of Gilcrease Museum XVI.2 “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Thomas Jefferson” by Kimberly Roblin, p.29-39.

Connecting Presidential Collections (a centralized site for searching across presidential collections) provides access to circa 30 letters, 1763-1814, from Fleming’s correspondence with Jefferson in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, Va.
Standard Family Papers, 1707-1950, Section 5, 1799-1811; 10 items.
Description from finding aid: Papers documenting Fleming’s tenure on the Court of Appeals; correspondence, 1809-1811, with Creed Taylor and St. George Tucker concerning Tucker’s personal controversy with Judge Spencer Roane and Tucker’s subsequent resignation from the court; also, Fleming’s opinion of Roane’s position on holding judicial conferences in open court; opinion, Marshall v. Conrad (5 Call 364) concerning ownership of land in the Northern Neck of Virginia; defendant’s case in Thomas Adkins v. Lucy (Harrison) Adkins concerning the ownership of slaves Fanny, Ephraim, and Anachy; and notes concerning the interpretation of wills of decedents.

See also section 4, Fleming’s personal and business correspondence, 1761-1823, primarily concerning settlement of indebtedness and Fleming’s law practice; and section 6, miscellaneous papers, 1762-1825, which include diaries, 1806 and 1811, of trips to Lexington, Louisville, and Versailles, Kentucky.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Library)
Williamsburg, Va.
William Fleming Papers, 1773-1802; 14 items.
This collection includes several documents pertaining to Fleming’s term as a judge on the Court of Appeals, such as notes on cases and his appointment to the court; and financial and legal documents relating to Fleming’s personal affairs, including a list of taxable personal property that includes the names of 46 slaves he owned; finding aid available.