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copies of original papers were offered in support of the claim. These allegations were supported by the most amazing deceptions practiced upon men distinguished in the legal profession for their learning, probity and acumen, one of whom is said to have acted faithfully for the claimant for twenty years, in confident expectation of winning & just lawsuit, and obtaining for his services a fee of half a million dollars. Documents were forged, and it is said that forged documents were even lodged in some of the offices where public archives are kept in the Republic of Mexico; and witnesses were suborned in all parts of the West. Corporations are said to have been organized to prosecute the claim, and even Collis P. Huntington, the great railroad magnate, is said to have been duped by the claimant. Our readers will remember how the suit of the claimant collapsed in the United States Court of Private Land Claims at Santa Fé, and how the collapse was followed by the arrest of Mr. Reavis, the claimant, on criminal charges connected with the prosecution of the claim. He is now held awaiting trial upon these charges, in nominal imprisonment in the penitentiary (substituted for a jail) at Santa Fé. The Department of Justice is, at the time of this writing, scouring the State of California for the material upon which to institute prosecutions against many witnesses living in that State, alleged to have been suborned to commit perjury by the claimant. It will be observed that the amount of land claimed by this impostor is larger than several of the smaller States of the Union. It should be added that the imposture came very near to succeeding. We add the opinion that many Spanish and Mexican grants in the Western and Southwestern States and Territories, which have been confirmed, to the great prejudice of the people of the United States, have no better foundation in actual truth and merit than this Peralta-Reavis claim.
JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS OVER THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA. In the Case of Noyes v. Silver Queen Mining Co., appealed from the United States Court in Alaska to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, sitting at San Francisco, the point was made by Lorenzo Sawyer, Esq., that the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction for the reason that the court in Alaska was not “ a District Court of the United States ” within the meaning of the statute relating to the jurisdiction of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. The court, feeling a natural disinclination to decide a doubtful question relating to its own jurisdiction, certified it to the Supreme
Court of the United States. If that court takes the view advanced by Mr. Sawyer, a number of judgments rendered by the Appellate Court in cases coming from Alaska will be overthrown, and the judgments appealed from will stand.
REPORT OF THE JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL OF THE ARMY.— JudgeAdvocate-General Lieber has made a report which is said to advocate legislation to compel civilian witnesses to testify before courts-martial. It is said that the report calls attention to the fact that a well-known army officer recently escaped punishment for duplicating his pay accounts, by reason of the inability of the military court to compel civilian merchants to testify before it. The matter is evidently one deserving of serious attention. The discipline of the army, small as it is, is a matter of serious public concern. Courts-martial, though temporary tribunals of a limited jurisdiction, are very useful courts, because their proceedings concern the honor and discipline of the army; and those courts should, subject to reasonable safeguards, be clothed with the power tocompel the attendance of civilian witnesses before them. It certainly seems a great anomaly that a merchant can be compelled to attend a trial before a justice of the peace where the matter in controversy may involve but a few dollars, while he cannot be compelled to attend at a trial before a court-martial, where the controversy may involve a serious infraction of military discipline on the part of an officer holding an important rank and wielding considerable power.
THE LATE JUSTICE JOSEPH M. BAILEY.— As our readers are probably aware, this distinguished judge and legal instructor, whose portrait in Masonic uniform we printed in the Publishers' Department of our July-August number, 1895, has passed away. He died at his home at Freeport, Illinois, on the 16th of September last, and his funeral took place on the following Saturday, and was numerously attended by the bench and bar of the whole State. In a very appreciative sketch of Judge Bailey in the Chicago Legal News, evidently written by his longtime friend and Masonic brother, Judge Bradwell, we find the following:
Judge Bailey had taken the last step in Masonry. He was a Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33o A. A. S. R., and Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, N. M. J., U. S. A., and a Knight Templar. In 1883 Judge Bailey made a pilgrimage to Europe with Apollo Commandery, crossing the ocean in the
“ City of Rome.” He attended the banquet at York, England, the birthplace of Ancient Craft Masonry in England, given by the Sir Knights of York to the Apollo Commandery Pilgrims, presided over by the Lord Mayor. In consideration of his worth and distinguished masonic rank Judge Bailey was made an honorary member of Ancient Ebor Preceptory No. 101, meeting at York, England, an honor which he prized most highly,
Such was his fidelity to the cause of temperance that he did perhaps what no other person ever did, he attended a lodge of refreshment at York and responded to all the toasts by drinking cold water.
Judge Bailey was one of the founders and the president of the Chicago College of Law from its organization to the time of his death, which college has the largest attendance of any law college in the State, Judge Bailey literally worked himself to death. He kept his work in the Supreme Court well in hand, and under no circumstances would he slight his opinions. The bench and bar of the future, judging him by his opinions, will say that he was an industrious, painstaking and able jurist.
After he had given up all hope of recovery he said to a friend, I have not completed all the cases assigned to me at the last term. Of the thirty-three I have written opinions in twenty, and left thirteen unwritten. That is not so bad, but I regret I am not able to finish the work assigned to me."
Kind friend, able lawyer, just judge, noble man - farewell.
"I am sorry
WORSE THAN STOCK-WATERING: REDUCING THE PAR VALUE OF THE SHARES.- The State of West Virginia has long been one of the favorite breeding-grounds of that odious genus known as the "tramp corporation.” The courts of some of the States, and notably the Court of Appeals of New York, have hugged that species of corporation to their bosoms with a hospitable affection which is indeed touching. A number of citizens of New York can, for a few dollars, bire a West Virginia lawyer to “incorporate" them under the laws of that State, and then they can masquerade at will in the State of their own domiciles as a "foreign corporation.” The constitution-amending genius of the Supreme Court of the United States conclusively presumes them to be, in their aggregate capacity, a "citizen” of West Virginia, although not one of them may ever have set foot upon the soil of that State, and although all of them are in fact citizens of and voters in the State of New York. Clothed with their imported and cheaply-boughten franchises, they can contract debts in their own State without being personally liable to pay them, and trade and cheat on the faith and pretense of having a central fund or capital stock, the " stake on which they do business, which they claim to be real, and not imaginary and delusive. When the national banks are abolished, and the era of " red dog'
and " wild cat” banks is revived, as it soon will be, this capital stock will soon become a security for all the paper money of the country, now secured by the faith and credit of the United States. What is this capital stock — this “stake” this " trust fund for creditors," upon which the “tramp corporation,” spawned in West Virginia, - "the brood of folly without father bred,” — does business and obtains credit among honest people in other States? Let the West Virginia Bar home authority, and consequently good authority on this subject answer:
Under the provisions of Code Chapter Fifty-four, Section Twenty-one, a cor. poration may reduce the par value of each share of its stock. The reduction may be brought about by the action of the stockholders themselves in general meeting. If the par value of the shares are one hundred dollars each, the stockholders may, if they choose, resolve that the par value of each share shall be only fifty dollars. This may be done at any time, whether before or after the stock shall have been fully paid up. As has frequently been decided, the capital stock of a corporation constitutes a trust fund for the payment of its debts, and if the stock is not paid up in full, the creditors have the right to require the stockholders to pay their stock in full, in order that funds may be supplied for the payment of debts.
The question which suggests itself to us might arise somewhat in this way: A corporation owes debts to the amount of ten thousand dollars. Its capital stock is twenty thousand dollars, divided into shares of one hundred dollars each, on which fifty per centum has been paid by the stockholders: The money paid in has been spent, and the corporation has managed to get rid of all its assets except the unpaid portion of its stock. Under the circumstances the stockholders had a general meeting and proceed, in strict accordance with this sec. tion, and after complying with all its requirements, to reduce the par value of each share of its stock to fifty dollars. There are now two hundred shares of stock, each of the par value of fifty dollars, its full par value, so that these two hundred shares of stock are now fully paid up and no statutory provision is anywhere made for requiring the stockholders to do more than pay the par value of their shares. The question then is, what are the creditors going to do about it.
MAKING MASONIC SIGNS TO JUDGES ON THE BENCH. We take the following from the American Lawyer :
An Indiana man was recently committed to jail because he appeared in court wearing a Masonic pin and made Masonic signs to the judge on the bench, with the apparent purpose of assisting his brother, who was a litigant in the court. The judge, who is a Mason, first directed the man not to interfere in the proceedings, and afterward ordered a court officer to arrest the offender. Judge Seymour D. Thompson of St. Louis, in an issue of the AMERICAN LAW REVIEW, which had appeared before the Indiana incident had occurred, says that while sitting on the bench signs had been made to him by members of the bar
of such a uniform character that he believed them to be the signs of some secret order. Judge Thompson is not a Mason. The editor of the Chicago Laro Nexos, who is high in the councils of Masonry, believes that the Indiana judge was right in committing his Masonic brother to prison if he attempted to influence the court and jury by giving the Masonic sign of distress.
RULES FOR CITATIONS. The reporter of the Supreme Court of Nebraska, D. A. Campbell, Esq., has issued the following rules for citations in briefs filed in the Supreme Court of that State, recommending their adoption by the profession, and adding that it “will greatly assist the Court and Reporter”:
1. ABBREVIATE AS FOLLOWS:
Atlantic Reporter.- Atl. Rep.
Supreme Court Reporter.--Sup. Ct. Rep.
not mentioned in Rule 1. 3. “County" should never be abbreviated in a citation. 4. The name of an insurance company should be given in full, with the excep
tion as to abbreviating the word “insurance." 5. The first word of the name of a railroad company should be written in full
and the words following should be abbreviated, thus: Chicago, B. & Q.
R. Co. 6. The standard abbreviations for the names of States should be used. 7. The names of corporations should be given in full where the foregoing
rules do not apply. 8. Do not abbreviate titles of text-books. 9. Do not abbreviate names of authors of text-books. 10. In citing text-books the number of the volume, where there is more than
one, should precede the author's name.