[Source] Dear Sir,
I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 30th of Dec’r while Genl Pinckney was at this place and of delivering to him the packet it inclosed. He left us with the ladies of his family on the 4th in health and spirits.
I thank you for the charge of Judge Addison; ♦ ’tis certainly well written and I wish that as well as some other publications on the same subject could be more generally read. ♦ I believe that no argument can moderate the leaders of the opposition—but it may be possible to make some impression on the mass of the people. For this purpose the charge of Judge Addison seems well calculated. I shall
forward it to Mr Washington. [Rest of letter omitted]
charge = 2. An accusation, typically one formally made against a prisoner brought to trial
My first guess was definition 2 above, but this connotes negativity, which contradicts the last para above, because the 2nd sentence wherein (that I surrounded with ♦) approves of Judge Addison's charge. Moreover, if definition 2 above were true, John Marshall probably wouldn't
forward it to Mr Washington?