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ALLOTMENT, ETC., OF THE JUDGES
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES,
As made APRIL 28, 1873, UNDER THE ACTS OF CONGRESS OF JULY 23, 1866, AND
Marca 2, 1867.
XAME OF TIE JUDGE, AND STATE NUMBER AND TERRITORY OF THE DATE AND AUTHOR OF THE JUDGE's WIIENCE COMING.
MASSACHUSETTS, ASD! PRESIDENT BUCHANAN.
BAMA, MISSISSIPPI, Lou-
1870. March 2!st. PRESIDENT GRANT,
DEATH OF CHIEF JUSTICE CHASE.
The Honorablo SALMON PORTLAND CHASE, late Chief Justice of this Court, departed this life on the 7th day of May, A.D. 1873.
On Monday, the 13th of October, 1873, the first day of the October Term, a meeting of the members of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States was held at the Capitol, and was called to order by JAMES MANDEVILLE CARLISLE, Esquire, on w bose motion tbe Honorablo REVERDY JOHNSON was made chairman. On taking the chair, Mr. Johnson said: GENTLEMEN OF THE BAR: Although it has been some months since the
loss wbich the court, the bar, and the country have sustained by the death of the late Chief Justice Chase is as deep as ever.
The loss of any eminent judicial State officer is always greatly to be lamented; but the death of the presiding Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States is more extensively felt and naturally more deplored. The jurisdiction of that high tribunal is so vast and comprehensive, embracing as it does questions which involve not only every variety of personal controversy between the citizens of different Stutes and aliens and our citizens, but more or less, the respective rights of the States and of the United States, and which may at times affect our relations with foreign governments, that the death of one of its members is calculated to fill the public mind with more than ordinary solicitude. The tribunal is to pass upon the acts of the other two departments of the government when cases involving them are properly under judgment, and to decide authoritatively whether they have transcended their legitimate powers. It is also to adjudicate all questions of prize and maritime law; to construe treaties and all questions of public law that may be before them, and to decide conclusively the limits of their own jurisdiction. It has also frequently before it questions of commercial law, which affect, more or less, not only our own commercial community, but in many instances that class in other countries.
It is very obvious, then, that to a proper and enlightened discharge of these several functions an extensive range of legal knowledge-constitutional, domestic, and foreign--is absolutely necessary, as is also a fixed conviction in the public mind that these qualifications are connected with strict impartiality and perfect integrity. It is to the honor of our country that these qualities have been illustrated from the organization of the court to the present time.
It would be out of place to refer to the associate justices who have constantly adorned the bench, and contributed so much to challenge for it the respect and reverence of the country, and to secure for it a reputation which is as firmly established abroad as it is at home.
As our late loss was that of the presiding judge, it is sufficient to pay a passing tribute to the memory of those who preceded him as well as to that of the late chief. It may with truth be said that no nation in the world has produced abler and purer judges than Jay and Ellsworth, Marshall, Taney, and Chase. The labors of Marsball and Taney, covering so many years of service, do, more and more, as time rolls on, command the admiration of the profession and of the country. Chief Justice Chase's term was so brief that the lawyer readily remembers the few judgments which be pronounced.
The ability of these judgments, the full knowledge which they display, and the admirable judicial style in which they were rendered, filled the professional mind not only with admiration, but with wonder. For many years he had ceased to practice the profession, devoting himself almost exclusively to the political contests of the day. His immediate labors before his elevation to the bench were, it is true, excessively arduous and evinced the greatest ability, but they bore little or no analogy to the subjects which he had to treat when he became the head of the tribunal. It was surprising, therefore, that at the very threshold of bis duties, he exhibited a knowledge entirely adequate to their able and satisfactory discharge. The occasion will not permit me to refer particularly to any of his opinions, but I know you will not think me going too far when I say that, judging him by those opinions, be proved himself in all respects the equal of the great men who preceded him; and that his uniform kindness and courtesy to all the members of the profession commanded their esteem and regard.
I know that I may be pardoned for saying a word or two more. If leaving him as a judge, we refer to his private life, we find him every way worthy of commendation. As a friend, he was constant and sincere; as a parent, watchful and affectionate; and no persons will feel his loss more deeply than his immediate friends and his domestic circle. Their consolation is to be found in the exalted opinion entertained of him by all classes of his countrymen; and, above all, in the assurance that he died as he had lived, a Christian.
A committee was now pamed by the chairman, on motion, to draft suitable resolutions: Mr. CARLISLE being named as chairman of the committee. The committee having withdrawn, rcported, after a short absence, the following resolutions, which were adopted :
Salmon PORTLAND CHASE, sixth Chief Justice of the United States, having departed this lifo since the last term of this court, the members of the bar and other officers of the court have assembled to testify their profound regret at the event and their high respect for his memory:
His opinions and judgments, as they are preserved in the official reports of the decisions of the court, attest his great ability and his devotion to the duties of his high office. His long and distinguished career as a Senator and statesman, and the manner in which he conducted the important department of finance at a period of vital national importance are more appropriate to be commemorated elsewhere. It is as a judge only that we now recall him. The dignity which descended upon him from his illustrious predecessors lost nothing in his hands. His refined and cultivated mind, his un varying courtesy, and his regard for the rights and feelings of others won the warm regard and attachment of all who came in contact with him, and the esteem, admiration, and respect of the bar continually and steadily increased during the eight years in which he presided over the deliberations of this high tribunal; therefore,
Resolved, That the members of the bar and officers of the court sincerely deplore the death of the late Chief Justice Salmon Portland Chase, and will affectionately preserve the memory of bis many virtues and high qualities, and will wear the usual badge of mourning during the term. • Resolved, That the Attorney-General of the United States be requested to move the court to direct these proceedings to be entered upon the minutes, and that a copy thereof be transmitted to the family of the deceased Chief Justice, with the respectful assurance of the sincere sympathy of the members of this meeting.
At the opening of the court on Thursday, October 23d, Mr. ATTORNEY-GENERAL WILLIAMS presented the resolutions, and made the following remarks:
May it please the court, I have been charged with the sad duty of formally announcing to your honors the death of Chief Justice Chase, and of presenting, to be spread upon the records of the court, the resolutions of the bar touching that mournful event.
On the first day of last May, by the adjournment of this court for the term, he laid aside his official robes to seek that temporary repose which his arduous labors and bodily infirmities seemed to require, but in a few days thereafter, to the great disappointment and grief of his family and friends, he laid aside all that was mortal of his nature and passed to where the weary are forever at rest. Whilo spring was revealing its new and beautiful forms of life upon earth, he was carried in the gentle arms of hope and fuith to the new life of another world. To recount the public incidents of bis eventful career upon this occasion would be to repeat what is as familiar as household words to the people of this country.
Suffice it to say, that as the governor of a great State, as a Senator in Congress, as a Secretary of the Treasury, and as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he was distinguished for great abilities and great devotion to duty. Conspicuous among his many claiins to popular and lasting regard were his early, continued, and effectuul labors for the universal freedom of man. His fame in this respect will be as enduring as the love of liberty in the hearts of the American people. To say that he administered the finances of the country through the late war of the rebellion, is enough to establish his pre-eminence and show his title to a nation's gratitude. Jay, Rutledge, Ellsworth, Marshall, and Taney, are the few imperishable names of the
great departed who have filled the chief seat in this court, and to those is now added, with new lustre to the galaxy, the name of Chase.
Posterity will know of him through his public services, but we his associ. ates and friends, know and can appreciute as well his private virtues.
All the influences of his example were for good. He was above reproach in his relations to society. His physical proportions were in harmony with his high intellectual qualities. He was dignified and graceful in his deportment, and especially kind and courteous to members of the bar. His writings are remarkable for their clearness and force, and all who knew him know how instructive and charming he was in conversation. Physically, intellectually, and morally, he was all that a Chief Justice ought to be. Impelled by what has been called the infirmity of noble minds, he pursued with untiring zeal his lofty aims, and whatever else may be said of his aspirations, happily no one can say that they marred the excellence or purity of his personal character. Early in life he emigrated from New Hampshire, where he was born in 1808, and soon after became a citizen of Ohio, where, unaided by fortune or friends, he commenced his successful public career. Inspired by an ardor that spurned all obstacles he pressed on ward and upward until he was exalted to the head of this high tribunal, a place that but few men can ever attain. Thence he has come down to his grave crowned with years and many honors. He leaves to his children and his country the record of a life
Rich in the world's opinion and men's praise,
To which Mr. Justice CLIFFORD, the Senior Associate Justice in commission, responded in bebalf of the court as follows: GENTLEMEN OF THE BAR:
Providence has ordained tbat man must die, and it is matter of solemn import to every reflecting mind that the sentence applies to the whole human family, without regard to station, attainment, or usefulness.
None of those who occupied these seats sixteen years ago are now hero to participate in these commemorative proceedings, and only two of the number then in office survive to join in the general sorrow, so well expressed in the resolutions of the bar, for the great loss wbich the country has sustained by the death of the late Chief Justice of this court. Vacancy followed vacancy subsequent to that period, until the place of the Chief Justice and those of his associates were all filled by new appointments, and the junior of the immediately succeeding period, wbo was appointed to fill a prior vacancy, has become the senior Associate Justice of the court.
Great events in the meantime have occurred. State after State seceded, and the rebellion came and was crushed. Slavery