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by them, no one could doubt. In social life he was genial and communicative, imparting freely and without ostentation his thoughts upon what had interested him in his studies, or reading, or observation. In his manner he was always dignified, without formality, or assumption of superiority. He enjoyed and craved public appreciation; but he never sought it by deferring to popular prejudice. The dignity of judicial office could not be enhanced to his mind by pomp or show of authority. It created no distance between him and the acquaintances of his humbler private life.
The success which carried the farmer's boy, instructed in the winter public school of his native town among the hills up to the position of Chief Justice of the highest court of Massachusetts, was the legitimate fruit of the constancy, diligence, and fortitude with which he strove to do, to the best of his ability, every duty which presented itself. His career illustrates, as strikingly perhaps as that of any man, the wealth of opportunity which our institutions afford for honorable preferment to every one who, having selected a profession or pursuit, follows it with steadiness of purpose, intelligent industry, and honesty of practice.
Upon the bench Judge Chapman fulfilled the expectations of friends who knew him best, and exceeded those of others who knew him slightly, or by reputation only. His judicial career was marked by the same honesty of purpose, diligence in the performance of duty, and conscientious fidelity which he had exhibited in his labors at the bar. His impartiality and considerate forbearance were especially noteworthy.
His opinions extend through more than thirty volumes of the reports, beginning with 16th Gray, and bear ample witness not only to his legal attainments, but also to extensive knowledge of general affairs.
Of his judicial qualities and the character of his official service upon the bench we can add nothing, without danger of repetition, to the appreciative resolutions of the bar, presented in Suffolk to the full bench of his associates upon their first assembling, Sept. 2, and the admirable remarks of Mr. Justice Gray in response. These we append to complete the sketch which we have endeavored to present of the upright magistrate whose recent death will be deeply lamented throughout the commonwealth by all classes of its people.
Resolutions of the bar: —
Resolved, That by the death of the Honorable Reuben Atwater Chapman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has lost an able, faithful, learned, and upright magistrate; a lover of justice and equity, whose chief object was to make the law an efficient instrument for the defence and protection of rights, and the prevention and punishment of wrong, and who sought to simplify its processes, to make its remedies intelligible, accessible, and speedy, and to discourage all chicanery, oppression, and fraud.
That the court has lost an honored head, who never wanted courage to maintain his own convictions, and sustained with a firm hand the prerogatives and powers of the tribunal over which he presided, but who knew well that its dignity was best upheld by a gentle and patient courtesy toward all men;
That the bar have lost a sympathizing friend, always considerate and kind in his intercourse with them, and who honored the profession to which the best years of his life had been devoted, and which he had adorned by bis accomplishments and his virtues;
That this community have lost a citizen who was the steadfast supporter of good order, good morals, education, and religion.
Resolved, That the Attorney-General be desired to present these resolutions to the Supreme Judicial Court, with a request that they be entered upon its records; and that the secretary of this meeting transmit a copy thereof to the family of the deceased Chief Justice.
Remarks of Mr. Justice Gray: —
Gentlemen of the Bar: It is now more than forty years since a Chief Justice of Massachusetts died in office. The personal affection which all who knew him bore to the late Chief Justice Chapman, and the thoughts which must arise, on such an occasion as this, of the duties and responsibilities attached to that great place, second to none in the tribunals of the country, except the Supreme Court of the United States alone, make it impossible to speak without profound emotion.
The court heartily concurs with you, brethren, in the fitness of pausing, before we enter together upon the labors and duties of another judicial year, to commemorate the virtues and public services of him who has been taken from us since we last assembled in this room; and in the truth of the resolutions in which you have embodied your sentiments of the loss which has been sustained by his death.
Reuben Atwater Chapman was a true son of Massachusetts, and a striking example of the opportunity which the commonwealth affords to every citizen of good talents, sound sense, purity of character, uprightness of life, religious faith, and doing with his might what his hand finds to do, to attain the highest offices of the state.
The son of a farmer of humble condition, his early education was that afforded by the common schools of his native county. But he was so assiduous in availing himself of every means of improvement within his reach, by acting in his turn as a teacher, by speaking in the voluntary debating societies of his town, by writing in the newspapers of the neighborhood, and by frequent reading of the best English authors, — to which, after he had arrived at man's estate and was occupied in the careful study and active practice of his profession, he added a considerable acquaintance with the Latin and German languages, — that he became the master of a written style which for ease and simplicity might well be the envy of many a graduate of the highest universities.
He was a member of that branch of the church of Christ which adheres most closely to the doctrine and polity of the founders of the commonwealth; and he was firm and consistent in the faith which he professed, without disguise and without ostentation, looking throughout his life to a benignant Providence for his guidance and his reward.
Of his practice of the law, others of his associates and some of your own number have had a more intimate knowledge than myself. But I cannot remember the time when the bar of western Massachusetts was spoken of without mentioning him as one of the very foremost. Those who have tried cases with or against him bear testimony not only to his clear understanding of facts, his familiarity with legal authorities, and his readiness in applying them, but to his habit of resting his client's cause upon a broad foundation of principle. Always a steady supporter of the law and of all rightful authority, he could not bear to see justice defeated by mere technicalities. How zealous and earnest an advocate he had been would hardly be suspected by those who, seeing him only upon the bench, observed his calm demeanor, his patient attention, and his impartiality between contending parties.
The two acts of his life on which he seemed to look back with the greatest satisfaction were the part which he had taken as a commissioner in framing the statutes which simplified the proceedings, practice, and rules of evidence in courts of justice; and the vote which by the suffrages of his fellow-citizens and as one of the electors at large of the state of Massachusetts he had been enabled to cast for Abraham Lincoln upon his first election to the presidency of the United States.
Appointed a justice of this court soon after it had been vested by the legislature with full chancery powers, he enlarged the unusual knowledge of that branch of its jurisdiction, which he had already gained in his extensive practice, by new studies in his leisure hours. His common sense and his familiar acquaintance with the business and ways of life of the people were apparent in his judgments; and the published reports show that he was at once assigned a large share in the preparation of the opinions of the full court. His judicial temper was admirable, rarely ruffled except at the appearance of fraud or unfairness. A well-read lawyer, and fully impressed with the importance of stable rules of decision, yet on the bench, as at the bar, the science of jurisprudence was most regarded by him, not merely as "the collected reason of ages," but rather as " combining the principles of original justice with the infinite variety of human affairs."
His promotion to the office of Chief Justice was wholly unsought and unexpected by him. He assumed its administration with that quiet modesty which was one of his characteristic traits, and he performed its duties so as to fulfil the anticipations of his warmest friends. He always aimed to maintain that harmony of opinion among the judges, resulting from thorough discussion and interchange of views, and that relation of mutual assistance between the court and the bar as fellow-workers towards one end, to which is so largely owing whatever of reputation abroad and of confidence at home the judiciary of Massachusetts has acquired. Any judge might be considered most fortunate, who, through the personal esteem and regard which be inspired in every man with whom he came in contact, won such cordial co-operation and support from his associates on the bench, from the members of the bar, and from all those connected in any way with the administration of justice.
No judge ever more truly kept his oath of office, that he would faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on him, to the best of his abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the constitution and the laws of the commonwealth. And his prayer for himself and his associates and successors would be to Him by whose aid and favor judges administer justice — "Establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it."
In compliance with the request of the bar, it is ordered that their resolutions, together with a memorandum of these proceedings, be entered upon the records of the court.
The Hon. Horace Gray has been appointed Chief Justice, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Chief Justice Chapman. He has been the senior justice of the court since Judge Hoar left the bench in March, 1869, having been appointed August 23, 1864, by Governor Andrew. Prior to his appointment he was reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court from 1854 to 1861.
The appointment has been generally expected by the bar ever since Chief Justice Chapman's death was announced, and is in all respects fitting and proper. The new Chief Justice is in the prime of life, and brings to the discharge of his duties a natural ability, which is generally recognized, with which he combines an unusually thorough knowledge of law, acquired by careful study, and which has been ripened and matured by an experience eminently fitted to qualify him for the exercise of high judicial functions. In his hands we are sure that the traditional dignity of the court will not suffer, nor the respect and confidence with which it has always inspired the bar and the people of Massachusetts be lessened.
United States District Attorney. — The President has appointed the Hon. George P. Sanger United States District Attorney for this district, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Hon. David H. Mason. Mr. Sanger has had iome years' experience as prosecuting officer in the office of state district attorney, was judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and is widely known as the editor of the authorized edition of the United States Statutes; but some five years ago he withdrew from the practice of his profession, to become the president of a life insurance company.
- Liability Of Indorsee To Be Thrown Into Bankruptcy. — United Statks District Court, Eastern District. In re John Clemens. — Judge Treat in this case concurs with Judge Lowell in holding that an indorser who has neglected for fourteen days to pay a protested note is insolvent, and may be thrown into bankruptcy, notwithstanding that he indorsed the note simply for the maker's accommodation, that it was in no way connected with his own business, and that so far as that business was concerned he was perfectly solvent, and fully able to pay his debts as they matured.
Woman's Rights. — The advocates of woman suffrage have reason to rejoice at the rapid spread of their doctrines in the new states, possibly due to the fact that in those states the absence of women has deprived the question of practical importance. Still it must be gratifying to read such evidence of the sex's influence as is found in the following certificate of acknowledgment, made by a Nebraska judge of probate, who certifies, —
That H. Butterfield, husband of the said Cornelia Butterfleld, having been examined separate and apart, and out of the hearing of his said wife, acknowledges that he releases dower and homestead without compulsion of his said wife.
Extradition. — Carl Vogt's Case.—In this case Judge Blatchford's decision in favor of extradition has been overruled by the Attorney-General, who, in answer to a question proposed by the Department of State, has given an opinion that Prussia has no right, under the treaty, to demand the extradition of Vogt. His argument seems unanswerable, and the extradition has been denied. At the first blush it appears to have struck some that a novel court of appeals had been constituted, but the United States was not a party to the proceedings before Judge Blatchford, and the Department of State was clearly bound to decide the question of extradition for itself, under the advice of the Attorney-General. This seems sufficiently obvious; but as the Department's action has been made the subject of much discussion and some sharp criticism, the remarks of Judge Woodruff in the case of McDonnell, the Bank of England forger, seem apropos. He said it had heen held successively for years that the commissioner's decision, except on the question of jurisdiction, could not be reviewed by the courts; "that no tribunal had been provided by the treaty, and no jurisdiction had been given by any act of Congress to any judge, magistrate, or court to review that decision; that the only review possible was a review by the executive, to whom the proceedings had before the commissioner were to be returned; that the executive had power to examine for himself and determine whether a case had been made within the treaty, and whether a case had been made which called upon him, as the executive of the government of the United States, to surrender the fugitive." The doctrine has been extended in later cases so far that the court on habeas corpus claims the right to inquire whether there was any legal evidence before the commissioner; and it has even been claimed that, in case of a substantial defect in the evidence, the court might not discharge, but might remand, in order that the defect might be supplied. But there is no case which does or can relieve the Department of State from the responsibility of deciding id each case for itself.
Carrier. Express Business.— United States Circuit Court, SouthErn District. Barney v. Steamboat D. R. Martin. — Barney, the libellant, purchased a ticket and took passage on the steamboat D. R. Martin, with a bag containing bundles and express matter. When requested, he refused to say that he would abandon his business of express agent on board the boat: he was therefore put off. In the District Court he recovered $500 damages. But Hunt, J., in the Circuit Court, has now held it to be in the power of the steamboat owners, as common carriers, to make and enforce regulations respecting the carriage of express matter, and to rightfully expel the libellant if he persistently violated such regulations.
Constitutional Reform. Jury. Elective Judiciary. — The present year seems likely to be unusually fruitful in constitutional experiments, and the judiciary comes in for its full share of attention. The Ohio Constitutional Convention'has before it quite a number of propositions looking to a reform in the judicial system of that state. Among others, we observe one which proposes to amend their bill of rights so as to give the legislature power to provide for civil juries, to be composed of any number not less than six, and making the agreement of not less than two-thirds sufficient for a verdict. That this experiment will be tried, either in this country or England, is most probable, if we may judge from the general dissatisfaction expressed now with the present jury system; and to give the legislature power to try it, or to adopt the result of successful experiment elsewhere, may be wise, though it is a question whether a state can make such changes as are suggested, unless the Constitution of the United States is first amended.
We note, also, several propositions for amending the Constitution in regard to the election of judges prescribing different terms, and one which adopts the