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Family of 1790 jurist fights NC for documents

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The family of one of the first US Supreme Court justices is demanding cash or the return of the 18th Century jurist's letters from the state archives where they've been for a century.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday that a lawsuit in Superior Court demands the Department of Cultural Resources return the documents written by James Iredell.

The papers have been in the state's hands since 1910, but eight of Iredell's 21st Century descendants point to letters that indicate the documents were loaned and not donated.

George Washington nominated Iredell to the Supreme Court when it was in its infancy in 1790. He died nine years later, leaving behind a 10-year-old son with the same name who became a US senator and North Carolina's 23rd governor.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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