« AnteriorContinuar »
of them certainly) by explicit legislative enactments, sive section. They have fixed the day-they have enacknowledge and declare the religious authority of Sun- joined its observance—they have specified and prohibitday.
ed its profanations in particular details, and anvexed the Sir, these State laws do not merely notice this day, sanctions of legal penalities and yet, after all this, when but they require in terms its religious observance, and Congress are respectfully requested to be passive, and prohibit its profanations under proper penalties. And not to command its violation, but to leave the Sabbath yet these regulations may be assailed with equal propriety alone, the vote of alarm is sounded, (and many good as the resolution I have submitted.
men are deluded by it,) that some dangerous conspiracy A brief allusion to the course of public enactments by is meditated against the freedom of conscience. the States, will fully illustrate the high consideration This charge, perhaps, deserves a more particular exthat has been devoted to the Sabbath, as a portion of amination. If it be meant to impute to the petitioners a time which duty, sound policy, and our best interests re- desire, that the Government should establish a partier'ar quire, should be set apart for religious service and moral system of religious doctrines, to form a national creed; improvement. I have selected two or three cases only. ibat it should erect an ecclesiastical couúcil to adjust all not that they are the strongest, but because they present differences in opinion, no complaint was ever more up. a fair estimate of the views that have been entertained by founded. But if it amounts merely to the imputation of the different legislatures of the Union. In the States of an earnest wish, that the whole conduet of the nation, in Georgia and North Carolina, so decided was the piety of the administration of its laws, and the transaction of its their statesmen, that they not only prohibited the pro- business, should be conformed to Christian principles ; fanation, but required the observance of the Sabbath. that our rulers might acknowledge their obligations to
Pursuing our researches into the legislation of all the old the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, respect his laws, and thirteen States, and most of the new western States, sec- legislaie in bis fear, the charge is true, sir, every word of tions of a kindred spirit are found to be incorporated into it. And is this a dangerous union of Church and State ! their systems of laws. Sir, this forms a most grateful tes- Does the expression of such pure and exalted sentiments timonial, that refutes all the outcry of " sectional con- in these memorials deserve to be driven from your doors, spiracies” and “unhallowed combinations." It exhibits a to be put aside with the traitorous purposes and evil deeds full , barmonious and honorable commentary upon the great of " Catiline, Judas, apd Arvold ?"
. Sir, this unfounded political truth, that a free people can preserve their liber- implicatiou of the motives of the petitioners may become ties through moral influences alone ; and that to cherish the watchword and apology for all manner of wickedthese, a Sabbath is vitally indispensable. Permit me, Mr. ness. Men may be guilty of blasphemy, drunkenness, President, before I dismiss this part of the subject, to give and murder, and wben you approach them with the lanan extract from a public law of the Territory of Michigan, guage of rebuke or admonition, they may, behind this adopted on the 15th of May, 1820-it is the preamble to shield, turn to you with the cry of fanaticism, that you " an act to euforce the observance of the Sabbath." I wish to bring religion into matters of cvil concern. They deem it important, for the sound principles and practical may tell you, that it is far better for her to inove in her wisdom which it combines. The extract follows: "Oon- own proper and appropriate sphere : " better to be locksidering that, in every community, some portion (f time ed up in a man's own buson, and vot become a busy. ought to be set apart for relaxntion from wordly carr's and body in other men's matters. Sir, why may not indiviemployments and devoted to the social worship of Al Juals as well as States—when did the latter-obtain exmighty God, and the attainnient of religious and moral emption from the claims of religion? The same page instructiou, which are in the highest degree promotive that proclaims condemnation to the sinner, also declares of the peace, happiness and prosperity of a people: anu" the nation that will not serve God shall perish.” Couwhereas the first day of the week, commonly denominated gress are not asked to legislate into existence the prethe Sabbath, has at all times, among Christians in general, cepts of piety. No, sir, these are enacted already ; they been devoted to these important purposex," &c.; there can never be repealed--and it is a most dangerous and fore, it is by that not ordained, " tuut the first day of the destructive delusion to suppose, that, although as indivi: week shall be kept and observed by the good people of the duals and families, we are bound to respect the princi: Territory as a Sabbath, holyday, or day of rest from all ples of religion, yet wheu we assume the character of secular labor and employmeuts." I cannot forbear tu re. States and Nations they cease to exert any legitimate iumark, sir, that such indications of correct sentiment are fluence. Such was not the political faith of the Father heard by us with peculiar satisfaction, as coming from our of his Country. Washington loved to cherish that conterritorial districts. They are the best pledges that could nexion between Church and State which led to universal be given, of the stability and prosperity of the rising com- public and private virtue. And this result, be deeply munities on our borders.
realized, could flow alone from the prevalence of reliThe example of the old world also pleads powerfully gious principle. Hear bis , forcible illustration of it, in on behalf of this sacred institution, London, with all its his last counsels given to his country, in his Furewell Adwealth, business, and enterprise, regards the Sabbath dress of 1796 : “Of all the dispositions and habits which No mail is opened or closed on this way. And although leadito political prosperity, religion and morality are inthere is probabiy five times the commerce between Lov- dispensable supports. Io vain would that man claim the dop and Liverpool, as between New York and Philadel tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subyert these phia, bo mail leaves the Metropolis for Liverpool be great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of tween Saturday evening and Monday morning; and the the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, mercantile classes of these populous communities make equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish no complaint of this interruption. No, sir, they rejoice them. Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that at the relief and refreslıment from the toils of wordly bu- morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever siness, that one day in seven there may be a pause in the may be conceded to the influence of refined education anxieties of eager speculation; and that even the rage of op minds of peculiar structure, reasou and experience selfish cupidity, is compelled to suspend its pursui 18.- buth forbid ys to expect that pational morality can prevail Now, sir, in this review of the case, it must appear a nost in exclusion of religious principle." The reflection and singular prejudice that is now excited and raised, against experience of this illustrious man convinced bim, that all all efforts tw restore our national legislation to a consist attempts at sustaining a moral community, without found. ency with its own principles, 80 often avowed. It is using its priuciples upon religious obligations, would be absurd as it is unjust
. Every State of the Union bas, utterly viuin and fruitless. He clearly perceived that with. from its very origin, preserved just such a connection be- out this, morality had no vital principle, and would be a tween Church and State, as is now deprecated, and by mere sounding brass to amuse the ear, but would exert menus much more vigorous than the repeal of this offeu-lno salutary restraint upon the conduct of men. Sir, he
made the connexion of religion with morality, the basis the Sabbath would diminish the amount of our profits, in of all true patriotism. Let us ponder his admonition, proportion to the alleged loss of time, a very interesting and pursue his counsels.
question still remains to be solved-Will this be in any I trust that I have shown, upon the most satisfactory sense calamitous? I think not, sir. Let the benefits on human authority, and by the almost universal consent of the other side be calculated. What shall we have in exthis great community, that the first day of the week is a change? In the first place, the satisfaction of a peaceful consecrated portion of time: that so far as the laws of consciencema treasure not to be purchased or redeemed the country can bave efficacy, in any case, they have ef- with money: in the second place, we shall possess a moral fectually established the Sabbath day, as a day of rest from excellence as a people, a thousavd fold more valuable than labor. "Now, sir, I hope that the argument for its pre. all the wealth and splendors of commercial greatress. servation will not be impaired by showing that the dic. Yes, Mr. President, grant me the intelligence and integrity, tates of policy and the sanctions of religiou alike maintain the public and private virtue which the Sabbath wil its importauce. I insist, with deference, that the reasons cherish and promote; give me the people that love the which have been suggested for Sabbath Mails are not sa- repose of this day, that honor the institutions of religion, tisfactory. Sir, it is said that the discontinuance of them and I will point my country to her best earthly hope in the would induce private expresses on that day, and that this hour of peril—to her surest stay and defence. I trust, sir, would only increase the evil. This graduating of moral that we shall never graduate public worth by dollars and evil forms but a miserable apology. I ask, what have cents. Let us, by arresting this national profanation, reject we to do with the probable increase or diminution of vi- the miserable pelf that is amassed by labor pursued on a cious or criminal practices amongst individuals, in a sim- violated Sabbath, ple inquiry-whether we shall
, as a Christian people, ac It may be enquired wherefore it is that our citizens knowledge or preserve a Sabbath-whether we shall, by have remained so long quiet on this subject. You are our own conduct, countenance an institution of most salu- aware, sir, that unavailing efforts have been heretofore tary tendencies, or by our example break down its au- made. But the evils have become more palpable in later thority and rob it of all its energies ! Let us do right, years. The rapid increase of our population-the emerand leave the consequences of personal violations of duty gencies of business—the rush of trade in all its various to those who may dare to encounter them. But, Sir, branches, with facilities of intercourse, have multiplied private expresses are subject to State laws, and would the encroachments on the Sabbath to such alarning exbe controlled by their authority-while your mail stages tent, that upless some check be interposed, there is good claim an exemption (a doubtful one, certainly,) that is reason to fear we shall in a very few years remember this not reached by State prohibitions. Moreover, the exam day only in the melancholy spectacle of its universal deseple of the General Government is far more demoralizing cration. It will be an æra of portentous import. Sir, this than scores of private messengers. It goes down to the day is the ægis of a republican and free people
. It is the people with all the weight of authority, and exerts a tre poor man's friend. It elevates him and his family, by mendous influence.
promoting deeeney of manners, neatness, and order. “It is Mr. President, our constituents look up here for cor- the only time wbich the pecessities of his condition and the rect moral lessons—they wait to hear of laws that will constitution of society spare to him for rest and reflection ; terrify the evil doer—that will cherish those great inter and hence every inroad upon its sacredness is a direct eats of religion and morality, wbich Washington instruct attack upon his best privilege. I believe, sir, that the ed them to regard as the only sure foundation of politi-grand Adversary of our race, could be be permitted to seeal prosperity: and whint, sir, will be their emotions, lect the single object, would strike the blow at this divine when they learu that this august body rejects their sup- institution. He would say, resign to me this great moral plications, and decrees that servile and worldly labor shall lever—let my votaries drive on the pursuit of business, the be done on every day of the week, the commands of God to schemes of enterprise and ambition, without interruptionthe contrary notwithstanding. Every good man will let there be no time for inan to reflect, to gather in his hang his head in despondency; infidelity will ring her thoughts, to review his life, or to consider bis origin and triumphs, and the cause of God and the country severely bis destiny-and I desire to more. suffer in the discomfiture. Therefore, I have contended, Mr. President-the Sabbath was made for man--not to that, if we must witness the violations of the Sabbath, let be coutemned and forgotten-the constitution of his nathe guilt of them rest upon individuals, but let the Go ture requires just such a season, It is identified with his verpment be clear,
pursuits, and his moral tendencies. God has ordained it All these State regulations would be quickened into in infinite benevolence. The reason for its institution, as active enforcement by your example. You bave bitherto recorded in his word, was his own example. It began paralyzed their influence, and many of them are become with creation. The first week of time was blessed with lifeless enactments. But should we speak out firmly, a Sabbath. The garden of Edeu would pot have smiled should we arrest our own profauation—it would awaken in all its loveliness, had not the light of this day shone vigilance in all the State Governments, and we might upon it. Blot it out, and the hope of this world is extinhope very soon to bebold our whole country in the edguished. When the whirlwind raged in France, how joyment of a tranquil Sabbath.
was it, sir? They could not carry tbeir measures of feAgain, sir, the plea has been made, that if the mail rocity and blood, while this last palladium of virtue leshould be stopped every Sabbath day, the transmission mained: Desolation seemed to pause in its course, its of earlier information by other modes would be effect- waves almost subsided: when the spirit of jevil struck this ed, to the injury of those who rely on the mail for ad-hallowed day from the Calendar, and enacted a decade to vices. Why, sir, intelligence is communicated now, by the Goddess of Reasod—after which the besom swept all expresses, with far greater dispatch than by your con- before it. veyance, and will continue to be so, whenever the oc Our own experience must satisfy us that it is essential casion calls for extraordinary rapidity. Recollect the to the welfare of our condition. Put the mind to any acspeed of the late Message. It flew as on the wings of tion of its powers—let its energies be exerted incessantly, the wind-it laughed at the progress of your mail. This with no season for abstraction and repose, and it would is an objection, therefore, without any foundation in fact. very soon siuk under a task so hostile to its nature: it But suppose it true ; I wait for the evidence that any would wear out in such hard service. So let the pursuits earlier information thus obtained ever contributes to the of business constantly engage our speculations, and the welfare of the merchant or manufacturer. No, sir, I be whole year become one unvaried calculation of profit and lieve it to be blighted with a curse on its way, which, loss, with no Sabbath to open an hour for the return of whether seen or not, actually and certainly attends it. higher and vobler feelings, and the heart will become the Let it be granted that the suspension of our business on victim of a cold and debasing selfishness, and have no
gren ter susceptibility than the nether !millstone. And if of our example in its influence upon the kingdoms of in matters that are lawful, such consequences would is- the old world. We have been greatly useful to them in sue, what will be the results of a constant, unbroken pro- the illustrations furnished by our history of the principles gression in vice! Sir, I tremble at the prospect for my of civil liberty. The mass of their people begin to uncountry. If this barrier against the augmenting flood of derstand the true object of government.“ Until our polievil be prostrated, all your penalties and prisons will op- tical career commenced, power had long taught its subpose an utterly ivefficient check. Irreligion will attain to jects that this was a mysterious machinery, to be api magnitude and hardihood that will scorn the restraints proached by no vulgar hand, and scrutinized by no conmon of your laws. Law, sir ! of what avail can this be against eye. We have broken the spell for them, and men have the corrupted sentiment of a whole people ? Let us learned the value of freedom. We have taught them that weigh the interesting truth-that a free people can only personal liberty, security, and property are inalienable flourish under the control of moral causes; and it is the rights, that are to be protected and cherished, but wbich Sabbath which gives vigor, and energy, and stability to cannot be impaired or destroyed by buman goveruments, these causes. The nation expects that the standard of They are prepared to receive from us instructive examsound principles will be raised bere. Let us give it a ples on the efficacy of a sound moral code in sustaining commanding elevation. Let its tope be lofty. It is in ihese interests. this way we should expect to excite the enthusiasm of I am persuaded that we sball not be deterred by the patriotism, or any other virtue. When we would awaken absurd imputation of a desigu to tyranuize over the con in our youth the spirit of literary emulation, we spread sciences and rights of men. Sir, this charge is most unout to their vision a rugged path and a difficult ascent, seasonable in an age of greater moral and intellectual and raise the prize of fame bigh above the reach of any light than the world has ever seen. It is, indeed, a straoge pursuit, but an ardent, laborious, and vigorous reach of engine of oppression. In all past time, to hold men in effort. If we would evkindle the love of country, we do bondage it was found necessary to keep them in iguanot humble her claims to a miserable posture, just above lance: but here is “ a dangerous party." which some afdownright indifference—but we point to a devoted Leo. fect to fear, that none but tyrants bave ever dreaded benidas, and the brightest names of the scroll, and thus urge fore. A party whose labors are spreading the means of our youth onward and upward. Let us, then, sir, be as general information ; whose philanthropy is engaged in wise and faithful in the cultivation of souod moral princi- culightening the ignorant and reclaiming the deluded; ples.
whose charities have penetrated the abodes of the conMr. President: I firmly believe that the repeal of this vict and opened a ray of hope eveu to bim; and such single section, and the suspension of the mail, would exert men are assailed and summoned to a defence of such couthe happiest influence. It would call up public attention. duct. I will not attempt the serious refutation of a groundIt would present the claims of the Sabbath with such less charge. I dismiss it, with this bare statement of its force of interest and weight of influence, as would, I character, hope, establish and perpetuate it as an effective defence I ask for the demonstration of a fair experiment—this around our free institutions. The mail arrested, and the we can make without barm. Many of our constituents post-office closed on Sunday, by the solemn authority of (and they are, permit me to sny, amouy the best friends Congress!
Who can fail to perceive the noble impulse aud purest patriots of the country) believe that such a that would be given. Sir, this would correct all false and cousecration of this day is fraught with signal blessings to degrading estimates of this sacred day-it would al- all our interests, as a free people. They are a part of most of itself form a public sentiment. The floods of this nation, whose opinions upon any other subject would vice and infidelity would be stayed in their course. Such be respected. Grant them a practical exposition of their bigh example would silence the cavils of the profane, principles; and whenever we shall have suffered by a reAnd this, as I understand it, is the true old fashioned way peal of this offensive law—when it shall be seen that it to popularity. It is not that sickly principle, which flat- has been in any degree disastrous to our public or indiviters public vices, and convives at national sids--but dual prosperity, we may return to the practice of imwhich, in the purity of its purposes, dares to rebuke piety, and proclaim abroad, that for a Christian People them, and by wise and wholesome measures to correct to regard the authority of God, and the repose of his them.
Sabbath, is shown to be an injurious and unprofitable Suffer me to urge, as a further motive, tlie tendency service.
[The revised report of the following speech of Mr. BUCHANAN did not reach the publishers until after the volume was printed. Although too late to insert it in its proper place, it is thought that justice to Mr. B., as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and author of the report on Judge Peck's case, requires that the speech slould not be altogether omitted, and it is therefore inserted here.]
Mr. BUCHANAN, chairman of the Committee on the is my deliberate conviction that such has been the conduct Judiciary, rose, and addressed the House as follows: If, of Judge Peck; and I may add, that similar sentiments said he, the Committee of the Wliole on the state of the were held by every member of the Judiciary Committee. Union had been left to take up this subject simply on the It was with the utmost reluctance that we found our. report of the Judiciary Cominittee, I should bave had, selves compelled to arrive at such a conclusion, and to precomparatively little trouble. My task would, in that case, sent such a report to the House. Throughout all the stages have been only to refer, on the one haod, to the language of the examination, we endeavored to divest ourselves of of the report recommending the iinpeachment, and, on every thing like feeling, and to be influenced solely by a the other, to the testimony. to show that it was sufficient regard to the demands of duty. I shall endeavor to do to support the charge. But Judge Peck having seen fit so, as far as possible, upon the present occasion, and shall to introduce an extensive and elaborate defence, it has now proceed to state such facts as the evidence before become my duty to investigate the whole case more at the committee has clearly established. Let me briefly large.
refer to the origin of this subject. I need not, I am sure, bespeak the candid attention of On the 26th May, 1824, Congress passed an act enathe committee on the present occasiou, as the dearest bling claimants of lands in Missouri, under French and Sparights of the people of our country, on the one side, and, bish grants made before Louisiana passed into the posseson the other, those of a citizen occupying a higb and re-sion of the United States, to apply to the district court of sponsible judicial office, are deeply concerned in the io. Missouri for their confirmation." Mr. Peck then was, and vestigation. Besides, we are not yow called upon to still is, the sole judge of that court. On the 22d August, decido iu a purely ex parte case, as the accused has cross. 1824, Antony Soulard, who had been the surveyor-general examived the witnesses before the Judiciary Committee, of Upper Louisiana, before the cession, presented for conand has presented a defeuce embracing a very elaborate firmation a claim of 10,000 arpents of land, the copsi. argument, both on the law and on the fact. The con- deration for which consisted, not in money, but in his sequence of this interposition of the Judge, should it not services as surveyor-general. The claim was peculiar in influence the committee to vote against his impeachment, its character, and was founded on special circumstances bemust be to cause a coutrary decision to bear more heavily longing to itself alone. The quantity of land was greater against himself. Thus situated, it becomes us all to look than that of the concessions usually granted by the Spawell to the testimony.
nish Government in Louisiana. Indeed, the entire case What is the offence charged! It is illegal, arbitrary, was one sui generis; but I shall pot fatigue the committee and oppressive conduct, in his office as a judge, towards by entering into its peculiarities. It was argued at great a citizen of the Uuited States, by im prisoving his persou, length by the district attorney, (Mr. Bates,) assisted by and depriving him, for the gpace of eighteen months, of Mr. Lucas, ou the part of the United States ; and by the exercise of bis profession. The Committee on the Luke E. Lawless, the present complainant, and Colonel Judiciary, following former precedents, did not think it Strother, on bebalf of Soulard. On the 25th December, proper to reduce the cbarge to any specific form in their 1825, the Judge pronounced his final decree, and gave report to the House ; but its true charucter is what I have judgment against the petitioner. Whereupon, an appeal just stated.
was immediately taken to the Supreme Court of the UnitI shall now proceed to inquire whether this charge is ed States--a circumstance which will be fouod to bave a sustaiced by the testimony. This is a question which each material bearing on the case now before the committee. geutleinan must seriously consider for himself. I shall This decree was drawn out at length, and places his deendeavor to present the material facts in as clear and dis- eisiop upon grounds where the Judge ought to have suftinct a mapper as I am able.
fered it to remaio. This concession, according to the Intention, in every crimival charge, is necessary to con- decree, was iu opposition to the general principles upon stitute guilt. Even if the act be plainly illegal, the coin which the Spanish authorities had granted land in Upper mittee must still judge whether it proceeded from impro- Louisiana, and therefore could not have been confirmed, per feelings, and spruug from a bad motive. Poor frail even if the sovereignty of the country had not been transinan is left to form this judgınent from external conduct. ferred to the United States. Here the Judge ought to He cannot search the heart, oor penetrate the springs of bave permitted the matter to rest until after ibe decision human action. Still, however, he has these general prio of the Supreme Court of the United States; and if he ciples to guide his judgment, derived from the bigbest had, we should never have heard of this impeachment. authority: "out of the abundance of the beart the mouth It ought to be the first object of every judge to do speaketh;" and the tree is known by its fruit.” If, in strict and impartial justice; and his second, to satisfy the addition to the illegality of the action, the committee shall public that strict and impartial justice has been done. be of opinion that the testimony manifests the existence Judge Peck knew that a great number of these land of an evil intention, the case will then be fully made out. claims, under various circumstances, derived from Spanish I trust I am one of the last men in this House, or in this concessions, must come before bim for decision, and that country, who would seek, in the remotest manner, to in- many of them were then actually pending in his court. terfere with the constitutional independence of the judi- It was natural to suppose that the population of the counciary, I know that it is the great bulwark of our rights try thus situated would take a deep interest in all bis deciand liberties; and this House will never use its power of Sions. They had a right to expect a cool and deliberate impeachment as a means of infringing upon an iustitution investigation of each class of these claims, and that the so sacred. But when an individual, elevated to the high Judge would approach them with capdor, and hold the and responsible rauk of a judge, forgetting what he owes scales of justice even between all parties. A judge, untw his owo dignity, to his couutry, and to the liberties of der such circumstances, should be peculiarly cautious and the people, shall, by arbitrary and oppressive conduct, prudent, and, above all, should never prejudge any case. prostrate the rights of a citizen of this republic, it is fit He ought to wait until each question is fairly brought beand proper that he should be held up as an example, and fore him. But what was the course of Judge Peck! be made'u victim to the offended majesty of the laws, It Althouglı he had delivered no written opinion in the case
H. OF R.]
Impeachment of Judge Peck.
(APRIL 21, 1830.
of Soulard, but had confined himself to an oral explana- commentary on the Spanish law as applying to the protion of the reasons of his decree, yet, in March, 1826, vince of Upper Louisiana, by which he decides against more than three months after final judgment had been the claimants all the questions which could possibly arise rendered, he carried a written opinion to the editor of under Spauish concessions. I say all the questious, apa, the Missouri Republican at St. Louis, for publication. if there be any one which he has not virtually decided, I This opinion thus, for the first time, came before the pub- should be glad to hear what it is. lic through a political newspaper. Let it be remembered Mr. Lawless, being of counsel in a large number of that this is not my assertion; it is that of the Judge himself
, these cases, publishes in another newspaper, the Missouri who, in his defence, uses this very phrase, when speaking Advocate and St. Louis Inquirer, the article signed " A of that newspaper. Now, I ask, was this not an act cal. Citizen;" and as this publication is the foundation of culated to arouse the feelings of all that numerous class the alleged contempt for wbich he was so severely punishof persons in Missouri who are interested in claims of ed, I shall ask that it may be read by the Clerk. this description? What must have been their feelings, (Here the article signed “A Citizen" was read accord. when they saw an opinion in which not only the case of ingly.) Soulard, but all possible cases that could arise under these Now, sir, the Judge has spent many pages in proving Spanish grants,' were settled in anticipatiou against the that these strictures of Mr. Lawless are wilful misrepreclaimants? The Judge at once deprived them of all hope. seotations. So far as I have examined the subject, I think Notwithstanding his opinion decides that the Spanish or that the decisions attributed by Mr. Lawless to the Judge dinance of 1754 never was in force in Upper Louisiana, are all to be found in the opinion. He may have been he proceeds to examine minutely the terms of that very mistaken in two or three instances. But I shall not go ordinance, and decides agaiost every possible claim which iuto particulars, at least for the present. This, sir, is the could have arisen under it, had it been extended to that dull, tame, flat article which was considered s4 flagrant a province. In short, he tears up by the roots the claiias coutempt against the court. To me it appears to have of all persons under grants or concessions made by the been written as if the author bad throughout the fear of subdelegate or lieutenant governor of Upper Louisiana. Judye Peck before his eyes. I do not believe there is . Now, sir, considering the existing excitement in that man in this House, who, in the like circunstances, would country on the subject, and the strong and general feeling have written so mild and so tame an article. What moin favor of these claims which prevails there, what must tive could there bave been for cousidering this producyou think of such conduct i Tireu mouths after the de- tion a contempt of court! For my soul I dever could imacision of the cause, and after it had been removed from gine, (and I believe I am as much disposed to exercise his court by appeal to the Supreme Court of the United charity as other gentlemen,) uvless it might have been to States, he makes his appearance in this manner, in a po- prevent the public from discussing the merits of the opi. litical newspaper, and, to repeat a phrase for which I have nion in the newspapers. Here is a judge who volunteers been no little censured, be casts a firebrand into the com- in a public jourual to procluim his opinions on all possible munity.
points of Spanish land law; a lawyer feeling a deep inteMr. Lawless was, at this time, counsel for many of the rest in these opinions ventures to set up his own julgclaimants; and what was his conduct? Why, sir, he pur- meut iu oppositiou to them; and for this offence the Judge sues a course with which I feel I never should have been fastens up in him, as if resolved to make him an example content, under similar circumstances. He writes an arti- to all others in like case offending. Accordingly, on the cle, merely suggesting the errors of fact and doctrine third Mopilay of April, 1826, at the meeting of the court, which he believed were contained in the opinion of the the Judge, having takeu bis seat upon the bench, proJudge; an article which I must say, considering the cha: duced the Missouri Advocate, and inquired if any person racter of this opinion, was humble, tome, and submissive. present knew who was the editor of that paper. To this Even the Judge himself seems to have been couscious of inquiry, which was not addressed to any particular persome impropriety in his own conduct. Hear what he son, Mr. Lawless answered that he did; and stated it was Bays io the last paragraph of his opinion :
Stephen W. Foreman. Now the Judge must have known * The title to nore than a million, perhaps millions, of the name of the editor as well as Mr. Lawless. He reacres of land was supposed to depend upon the decision sided in the same towo, and the name was on the paper of the questions which have been considered ; and the itself, yet he called upon Mr. Lawless to swear to the fact. opinion having mainly proceeded upon a view which had He was selected from all the bar and all the by-standers, not been taken at the bar, and having been exteoded to and required to make this affidavit. The Judge then an inquiry into the source and nature of the Spanish titles immediately dictated a rule upon Foreman, commanding to lauds in Louisip na, and to an inquiry concerning the hiin to show cause, on the next day, at 11 o'еlock, why laws under which those titles were derived; and the de- an attachmeut should not issue against him for pubcision of most of the points, therefore, having proceeded lishing a false statement concerning the judicial decision chiefly upon grounds which had been little or not at all in the case of Soulard. Sir, when I was up before, 1 ex. examined in the argument of the cause, it is deemed pro- pressed the opinion that Judge Peck had inade bis case per to remark that counsel will not be excluded from worse by his cross-examination of the witoesses. From all again stirring any of the points which have been here de- the facts elicited by that cross-examinatiou, it appears
that cided, when they may hereafter arise in any other cause." the Judge bad ove object in his eye from the origin of Thus, sir
, you perceive that the Judge himself declares these proceedings. His conduct shows that be knew Mr. that he had made a sweeping decision which covers the Lawless to be the author of the article. He had the vic: whole ground, and yet that many of the points he bad tim in his view from the very commencements When thus settled had not even been mooted at the bar; and, in Lawless appeared as the couusel of Foreman, the witconsideration that they had thus been determined without nesses declare that the Judge treated bim throughout as argument, he gives public notice that they might be re- the author of the publication : that bis mapper was ve examined in court.
hement, that he was much excited, and that he was sme: A judge, who pays a proper regard to his own charac times quite rude. Although Lawless appeared only as ter and the authority of his own opinions, will never, in couusel, the Judge covstantly adverted tu him as being delivering them to the public, throw out obiter dicta which bimself the author, employing such language as this : might embarrasa him hereafter, But here Julge Peck," Sir, you say go and 80," " your article stales such and three months after he had delivered a verbal opiniou in such things," " I tell you what you say is fulse." court, in the case of Soulard, publishes a sort of general Uuder all these circumstances, and under the many