The seat of Government being transferred to Washington in 1800, Congress in 1801 passed the first organic act for the government of the Federal District (February 27, 1801; 2 Stat. 103). This act created a circuit court of the District of Columbia which was to have all the powers vested in the circuit courts and the judges of the circuit courts of the United States. The court during its entire existence consisted of three judges holding office during good behavior. It was required to hold sessions alternately in each of the two counties, Alexandria and Washington, until July 1846, when Alexandria County was returned to the State of Virginia. Since the records of the court while sititng in Alexandria have been kept by Virginia, this inventory is concerned only with those records created in Washington County. The circuit court continued in operation until March 3, 1863, when it was abolished and all jurisdiction vested in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.