Record Series: MINUTES OF THE COURT OF GENERAL SESSIONS
Dates: 1813 - 1895
Location: Warren County Records Storage & Archives.
Format: 4 Bound Volumes
Volume: .7 cubic ft.; 4 volumes.
Department: County Clerk
Legal Restrictions: None
Use Restrictions: Staff will access all records and must approve all requests for copies.
The Warren County Court of General Sessions (sometimes known as "general sessions of the peace") traces its beginnings to the "second Tuesday of September" 1813 when the court met in session at the Lake George Coffeehouse, Caldwell, NY. The court usually consisted of at least one judge and two justices of the peace. Judge William Robards presided at the first session with Judge Michael Harris and Justices of the Peace David Bockes and Jeremiah Russell present. The court met regularly in session at the Lake George Coffeehouse until May 17, 1817. On September 9, 1817, the Court of General Sessions moved into the newly built courthouse at Caldwell, where sessions were held until September 12, 1843. On October 23, 1843, fire of unspecified origin destroyed the court house. Sessions were held in the Presbyterian Meeting House in the Town of Warrensburgh from April 16, 1844 until September 9, 1845. Sessions returned to the "new" courthouse at Caldwell on April 28, 1846 and were held there regularly until December 3, 1895. The Court of General Sessions had jurisdiction over all felonies except those punishable by death or life imprisonment. It was also the limited appeal court for the Court of Special Sessions, a justice [town] criminal court.
Description of Record Series:
Four bound volumes with handwritten minutes recorded in chronological order according to each session of the court. Volume 1 (1813-1957), Volume 2 (1858-1895), Volume 3 (1864-1884) and Volume 4 (1885-1891). Grand Juries sometimes met in sessions and handed down indictments. Volume 1 was professionally conserved in Nov. 1991. Volume 2 was professionally conserved in Jan. 1992. Volumes 3 & 4 are duplicate minute books and have not been conserved.
Purpose of Record:
To provide a record of criminal matters brought before the Court of General Sessions and a record of appeals from town Courts of Special Sessions.
Other Formats: Microfilm, also available at LDS Library.
Finding Aids: Series locations on inventory database.
Related Series: Predecessor Court Actions, Criminal Indictments, Convictions