Dec. 20, 1830.]

Trial of Judge Peck.


ist on record. He would now barely call the attention of
this honorable court to one or two IBritish authorities to
satisfy them that Judge Peck had been guilty of a high
misdemeanor, even if we admitted the force of the com-
mon law in this country. Some of the elementary Eng-
lish authors carried the doctrine of contempt further than
Blackstone, in whose work, unfortunately for many of
us, we were educated as a text book, supported the autho-
rity of the King on all occasions, and spoke of the right
of the court to punish for consequential contempts. But
even he did not push the doctrine as far as this tyrannical
judge had done. , Hawkins broadly laid down the princi-
ple, that any words, however true or false, which might
be uttered, reproachful of the judge, were immediately
finable by the court; but that the better opinion was, that
a man could not be punished for words said against a judge
not in the actual execution of his official duties. If a man
said that a judge was a numskull, and deserved to be
hanged for giving such an opinion, here was contemptu.
ous as well as reproachful language; but the man could
not be punished for it. This had been laid down by a
writer who pushed the King's prerogative to its utmost
limits. Such a man might say to a judge, out of court,
“your opinion is a fair subject of investigation: I have a
right to pronounce you a fool or a scoundrel.” This lan-
guage would not be a proper subject of indictment. He
would not pretend to compare language so contemptuous
and disrespectful as this to the publication, by Mr. Law-
less, of “A Citizen,” for which his majesty judge Peck
had imprisoned, suspended, and disfranchised the author.
His was a respectful and harmless publication. He would
produce another English elementary writer. According
to Holt, it is held in England that a judicial opinion is a
fair subject of discussion, provided no bad or corrupt mo-
tive be ascribed to the judge. Although he would not ad-
mit that it was punishable to say to a tyrannical judge,
“you are a judicial tyrant,” yet, even according to the
English law, as expounded by the writers to whom he had
referred, Judge Peck had no right to punish Mr. Lawless,
who had ascribed no wrong or corrupt motive to his opi-
nion in the case of Soulard. The power exercised by
that judge was the most arbitrary and dangerous ever ex-
ercised by any court or judge in this country. It was a
pregnant proof of the danger of such an exercise of judi-
cial power, to say, as he would declare, that the power to
punish for contempt, even in cases of necessity, was a
dangerous power, a despotic power, an anomaly, utterly
incompatible with liberty, the essence of tyranny and des.
potism. It was the very illustration of tyranny, that a
judge might make the law, fix the punishment, and pun-
ish, at the same time. Could any man doubt that Judge
Peck had assumed the right to punish a contempt against
his sacred person; that he had fixed the punishment, and
enforced it too; that he had performed the functions of
legislator and judge in his own case? Could any man
doubt that this judge, to gratify his vindictive passions,
had, by an arbitrary and summary process, deprived an
American citizen of his rights, subjected him to an igno-
minious confinement in prison, and deprived him of the
means of supporting his family? Was not such a man a
judicial tyrant, whose crimes called aloud for exemplary

Mr. McDufri E then proceeded to call the attention of

the Court to the publisation of “A Citizen,” which Judge Peck alleged to be a libel, punishable as a contempt; and he analyzed it paragraph by paragraph, comparing it as he went along with the opinion of the judge, on which it

was a commentary, and with the answer to the article of

impeachment, in order to show that it was not even a misrepresentation, much less a disrespectful contempt, of the opinion of Judge Peck. By this analytical process also, ine would demonstrate that the conduct of that judge to

Mr. Lawless presented the strongest illustration of judicial despotism that had ever becn exercised, from the first dawn of civil liberty to the present day. It must have required all the disordered imagination and furious passion of this judge to distort into a contemptuous libel one of the most innocent publications ever issued from the press. As God was his judge, if he did not know the respectable counsel of the respondent, he should say, from the defence of the judge, that he must have been deranged. No man in his senses could have tortured the publication of Mr. Lawless as he had done. In the case of Soulard's heirs, although the judge had decided against the claimants, he said, in his published opinion, that it was still open for the discussion of counsel. Mr. Lawless, therefore, commenced his publication, with an unbecoming humility to the court, such as no citizen ought to have manifested, by saying that he would avail himself of the permission granted by the judge, to point the public attention to some of the principal errors which he thought he had discovered in his opinion. This very apology had been seized on by this jealous tyrant, and tortured into an insult upon the court. The judge alleged that he had not said the case was open for newspaper discussion; nor had Mr. Lawless said so. Iłut the judge seemed to suppose that Mr. Lawless had discovered a secret; that by the publication of his opinion, Judge Peck had shown so little sense of judicial decency and decorum as to invite a newspaper discussion of a case which had been decided in his court. And this was the insult which Mr. Lawless had committed! This was the congeries of ridiculous absurdities uttered by the judge; this was the defence which he had dared to make before the highest tribunal in the United States! Such an idea never could have been conceived by any man of understanding. Humbly as the judge might estimate the land claimants in Missouri, no onc of them would have been so deficient in common sense as to have put the construction which he had put on the apology of Mr. Lawless. Mr. McD. then consecutively and critically examined every specification in the publication of “A Citizen,” with the commentary of the judge upon it; and, in relation to the first, he remarked, among other things, that, with due deference to Mr. Lawless, he thought the only crime he had committed was a violation of grammatical accuracy; a blunder which, he believed, was common to the Irish and Scotch Irish; he had construed a want of power in a subdelegate of Louisiana to grant land for services rendered, or to be rendered, into a prohibition from making such grants. And for this monstrous and flagitious blunder in the King's English, committed by Mr. Lawless in the presence of his honor Judge Peck; for thus wounding the vanity of the judge, clothed in a little brief authority, Mr. Lawless was charged with the suggestion of a falsehood, and sent to prison for a contempt! In the progress of his analysis, Mr. McD. endeavored to demonstrate, that many of the interpretations put by Judge Peck upon the publication of Mr. Lawless could have been conceived only by the very spirit of judicial cavilling; by none but a tyrant in the meridian of his tyranny; by nothing but the very genius of despotism in its maddest freaks. He pronounced Judge Peck himself to be the most accomplished libeller that had ever appeared in a court of justice, and declared that his whole commentary upon the publication of “A Citizen,” was a tissue of libels offensive to decency. The charge of falsehood, absurdity, libel, ran through it; it was the phantom which haunted his imagination when he sent this man to prison. Frail would be the tenure by which the peo: ple would hold their liberties, if an American citizen could be punished by a judge for the coinage of his own brain; if, frantic with rage, by a species of school-boy cavilling, he might perpetrate this indignity upon an American citizen!

Mr. Lawless had a full knowledge of the facts and the laws in relation to land claims in Missouri at the time of writing and publishing the article for which he was punSENATF ] Trial of Judge Peck. [Doc. 20, 1830.

ished. He had approached much nearer to grammatical the English law. The constitution of the United States and substantial accuracy than had been supposed by was more free, and allowel a greater latitude. What was Mr. McD. yesterday. He had correctly represented the the criticism of Mr. Lawless? Was it upon the opinion of opinions of Judge Peck. The judge had, nevertheless, the court? No, sir; that judgment had been pronounced declared, in his answer, in relation to almost every speci- six months before. The decree had been entered. Mr. fication in the publication of Mr. Lawless, that it was un- Lawless had not taken exception to it after the case had true. Were Mr. Lawless the judge, Judge Peck himself been taken out of that court. The criticism was upon the would be liable to be attached and punished for contempt; long argument of Judge Peck, published in a newspaper, but God forbid that Mr. Lawless should, in that event, after the judgment had been rendered. The case was have the power to decide upon his own case. That gen-pending before the Supreme Court of the United States; tleman had, in his publication, imputed to the judge the and Judge Peck might have been attached for a contempt doctrine that the regulations of the Governor General of of that court, in publishing his argument in the newsLouisiana had the effect of annulling the grants of lands papers, upon much better grounds than those upon for services. It was fortunate for Mr. Lawless that this which he attached and punished Mr. Lawless. The opincase had occurred in 1826, before the great national ques- ion of Judge Peck, as published, had not been delivered tion of nullification had been raised: if it had not, Mr. in term time; it was published in vacation. Mr. Lawless Lawless might have been attached and punished for charg- had just as much right to criticise it as the Judge had to ing Judge Peck with nullifying the regulations of the publish it; and it was entitled to no more respect than if Governor General. The vanity of the judge had been it had been delivered on the hustings. We had heard cut, by giving his opinions without his remarks. Mr. Law- much about judicial decency and decorum. Judge Peck less had given the substance, stripped of the feathers. He had misconceived both by going into the newspapers; and had dared, with sacrilegious hands, to tear the opinion of his published opinion was not entitled to the décent and the judge from his sacred context, and to give it to the respectful notice which it had received from Mr. Lawless. public without his arguments; and for this he was to be Any citizen possessed a full, free, and clear right to invessent to jail, disfranchised, and deprived of his rights. tigate that opinion. He considered the judge to have been Having completed his analysis of the publication of Mr. extremely censurable, in publishing his opinion while the Lawless, of which no suslicient idea can be formed from case was pending before the Supreme Court of the United this imperfect report, Mr. McD. appealed to the can- States. Whatever might be the character of the contempt dor of the honorable court, to say whether, that publica-imputed to Mr. Lawless, whatever might be thought of it, tion contained a solitary word or syllable disrespectful or the judge had transcended the limits of all authority in contemptuous to the court or the judge. It would be inflicting upon him the particular punishment which he difficult for them to lay their finger upon any political or had visited upon him for the offence. Fine and imprisonother publication so persectly respectful as that was. Was ment were the only punishment of a citizen authorized by there in it a word of censure or of reproach? It was the the law of England or of the United States in cases of conpractice in South Carolina for every lawyer to make his tempt. Certainly, Congress had never delegated any own statement of any exceptions which he may take to an power to inflict a greater punishment for the highest opinion of the judges in the courts below, and to lay it grades of contempt. Any officer of a court, any attorney before the same judges, who constituted the Court of Ap- practising in a court, for malversation, fraud, peculation, peals in that State. There was not one case in one hun- unfair dealing with his clients, for any base or disgraceful dred of that description in which the lawyers were as cor-act, where convicted of fraud or perjury, might be stricken rect in giving the opinion of the judges as Mr. Lawless from the rolls of the court, as unworthy of confidence. had been in representing the opinion of Judge. Peck. For these causes, in England and the United States, the They were not expected to give the dress and the feathers courts had assumed the power of striking from their lists of the judge. They were expected to give the opinion as of practising attorneys. But Judge Peck had not pretend: they understood it. Mr. McD. said he had never made |ed that Mr. Lawless had been guilty of any of these. Did a statement in a bill of exceptions as correctly, as that not this honorable court perceive that there was no relawhich had been made by Mr. Lawless, in his publication, tion between the offence and the punishment of that genof the opinion of Judge Peck. Differing, as he did, from tleman? Because Judge Peck’s dignity had been offended, the judge, it was natural that he should put a different because he chose to think the publication of Mr. Lawless construction upon his opinions; but for this no lawyer in calculated to bring ridicule and contempt upon his court, that State had ever been sent to jail. Every man, whe- had he a right to strike him from the list of attorneys practher in our courts or in the gladiatorial halls of legislation, tising in his court, and to deprive him and his family of the was liable to have his argument misunderstood and misre- means of subsistence; Mr. Lawless was a lawyer, a Poor presented: but he did not wince at this, or rise up on lic man, in relation to the pecuniary interest of hundreds every occasion, and say, I did not make that remark, or and thousands of the citizens of Missouri; they had a righ; that argument. Was every man to be punished for mis- to his professional services, and this tyrannical judge conceiving an argument or an opinion? said that he would deprive him of his and their rigo". The secretary having, at the request of Mr. McD., He had exercised a tremendous power, not called, for o read to the court the publication of Mr. Lawless, that any public consideration, nor justified by any law; but orihonorable manager appealed, with perfect confidence, to giating in the malevolent passions of the petty judo by the court, to say, whether a more harmless or respectful whom the sentence had been pronounced. Having prepublication could have been made; whether a man, who sented to the court the facts and the grounds upon wo could regard that publication as a contempt, and punish the managers, on the part of the House of Repress';*'. o, it by sending its author to jail, and depriving him of his prayed its judgment in this case, Mr. McD. would †. right to follow his professonal occupation, and of the few general remarks on the danger, the real, Foo. bmeans of subsisting his family, was not a judicial tyrant, alarming danger, of the precedent which would be ..". calling for exemplary punishment at the hands of this au.lished by this honorable' court, if Judge Peck s” gust tribunal? According to the principles which he had suffered to go unpunished for this high misdemo”. ost cited from the English books, any subject of England He had violated the liberty of the press in o, might publish a commentary or an opinion of a judge, if|dangerous form. He had violated the right of . ish he did not ascribe corrupt motives to it. It was public jury, by drawing to himself the power to o P. property, and liable to aimadversion, provided that the in a summary manner, an offence, which, if * ... of fair limits of criticism were not transcénded. This was was a propér subject of ordinary indictment *"

Dec. 21, 1830.] And he had defended his tyrannical conduct by the allegation, that the charge of violating the liberty of the press was the stale declamation by which demagogues, slanderers, and libellers, attempted to justify themselves, and to bring the Government into contempt. He trusted that liberty, the liberty of the press, was not thus to be laughed and sneered out of the capital of the United States by a petty provincial judge. When a European monarch had been hurled from his throne for daring to violate the liberty of the press, were we to be told that the liberty of the press was only the theme of demagogues’ Tyrants, alone, would so designate it. It had been justly said, that the liberties of mankind could not survive the destruction of the liberty of the press. Even Hume, the English historian, the apologist of tyrants, had declared, that no people having the liberty of the press could be enslaved. He had said, that the only difference in Government, between his time and the reign of Elizabeth, was, that, when he wrote, England enjoyed the liberty of the press; that, with this privilege, Turkey her. self would be comparatively free. And yet we are told by this judge, that this was the theme of demagogues. He called upon this honorable court to look at the danger of the precipice on which they stood, if they set the precedent of acquitting this judge. Suppose he should be condemned by this tribunal; suppose he should go back to Missouri, and proclaim that he had been made the victim of party feeling, as he had said in defence before the other House, where he had grossly reflected upon that House; suppose, that when he arrived in Missouri, he should make the welkin ring with his charges against this court; would they, after the sedition law had been driven from the statute book, make themselves the legislators, and judges, and executioners, of the law, by punishing Judge Peck for his calumnies against them? Would any man think of sending for him to answer for the free investigation which he might think proper to indulge in? Would this honorable court act upon the principle which they would consccrate by the acquittal of Judge Peck? And yet such would be the tendency of his acquittal. Fivery editor in the United States was liable to be innured within the walls of a prison, upon the principles asserted by Judge Peck, unless this honorable court would say that it would be extremely dangerous for the President, Senate, and House of Representatives, to punish editors for she daily calumnies published upon them, as Judge Peck had punished Mr. Lawless. Should the Senate of Rome not punish a libel, and yet delegate the power to punish to its provincial proconsuls? Should it be said that a proconsul, recking with the blood of his fellow-citizens, may exercise a power, may be trusted with this power, rather than the Senate of Rome? It was said that the King of England could do no wrong, and that the judges, deriving their authority from him, and administering his justice, were entitled to an equal protection. Judge Peck derived his power from the President and Senate. You may slander them as much as you choose; and yet you may not slander this pitiful emanation of their authority. Mr. McD., contended that, if any public functionary ought to be held responsible to the press, which was the organ, the only true organ, of the people, it was the judges, who alone held their offices during good behavior. If you would preserve the independence of the judiciary, make them do their duty, and punish them for transgressing it. In this age, when tyrants were overwhelmed, and thrones overturned, for violating the liberty of the press, would you suffer your judges to trample upon it with impunity? He had always been in favor of the independence of the judiciary, and against the rotatory principle; but if the doctrine, that the judges were not liable to the anima" version of the public press, be esta

Trial of Judge Peck.


ence of the judiciary to continue for a moment longer than he could help. A judge was as impalpable as air, if you could not reach him through the public press. You must permit him to go on with his outrages, without complaint, until you could bring him before this august tribunal. You might bring him to account here, but no where else. IIad we come to this, that we may not call a judical tyrant by his right name; that we may not call him to account for his crimes and misdemeanors? In the worst days of Paris the cry of tyranny was allowed. “ Down with the tyrant” was echoed and re-cchoed from one end of Paris to the other. But when a judge committed an outrage, we may not characterize it in the appropriate language. - - - -

It was in vain to attempt to disguise it. If this judge should be held guiltless, there could be no judicial outrage which would not be clearly justified by the precedent. It had never occurred to a majority, in the most inflammable times, to punish so harmless an article as that for which Mr. Lawless had been punished. The precedent of an acquittal in this case would justify any judge in laying down any principle to justify such an outrage. The most insidious encroachments of power would be sanctioned by precedents of this kind. It was no extravagant supposition to imagine that this Government might, at some period hereafter, be administercq under the influence of party passions; that a party might get into power by intrigue and management, and that it might occur to that party, consisting of a minority, to attempt to maintain their power by muzzling or suppressing the freedom of the press. They might not pass a sedition law, but they might appoint ten thousand district and territorial judges; they might send justices of the peace into every town and parish in the Union; and each of these, upon the doctrine of Judge Peck, might drag an editor before him, punish him for contempt, and thus destroy the liberty of the press. It was impossible to tell the extent to which this principle might be carried by party judges, in party times. It must appear much better, in the view of every statesman, to suffer the most unjust libels to be published in the newspapers, and to let their poisoned arrows recoil upon themselves, than to suppress the liberty of the press. But what was the liberty of Mr. Lawless, according to the practical doctrine of Judge Peck? It was the liberty of being sent to prison, incarcerated with common felons, and deprived of the means of his subsistence, for respectfully differing in opinion with the judge.

A wise man of antiquity, upon being asked what was the best form of Government, justified the character which he had received by the answer, that that was the best in which an injury done to a single citizen, was felt as an injury done to the whole community. There was not a man in the country that ought not to make the injury done to Luke F. Lawless his own. . We were told that he was an Irishman. He deserved infinite credit, when ordered to prison, for the moderation which he exhibited, for not dragging the tyrant, as Virginius had dragged the tyrant Appius, from the throne. As God was his judge, he believed, that if the case of Mr. Lawless had been his; if he had been ordered to prison, he and his family, and deprived of the means of subsistence, he should have dragged him from his seat on the bench. He had his whole life lived in abhorrence of despotism, in every shape, whether in a judge, or an overseer of slaves; and he considered that this petty judge had been guilty of tyrannical conduct which would have disgraced a slave-driver.

TU Esnay, Dec. 21.

The Senate again resolved itself into a Court of Im

blished, God forbid that he should permit the independ-peachment. *

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At twelve o’clock the Senate again resolved itself into a High Court of Impeachinent.

The cross-examination of Mr. LAwless was resumed, and continued during the whole of the sitting of this day. In the course of that examination, both yesterday and today, a variety of points were raised, and argued with great ability by the Managers and the Counsel for the respondent, on the admissibility of certain questions propounded to the witness. . The most important of these, and that the decision of which will probably protract the crossexamination at least a day or two, was the point, whether Mr. Lawless should be required to say, whether certain designated passages in the opinion of judge Peck, in the case of Soulard's heirs, were the parts of that opinion upon which he based the assertion, made in the publication of “A Citizos,” that Judge Peck had assumed the position, “that, by the Ordinance of 1754, a sub-delegate under the Spanish Government of Louisiana was prohi. bited from making a grant of lands in consideration of services rendered, or to be rendered?” The Senate, after ingenious and able arguments by Mr. Buch ANAN and Mr. StonRs, in behalf of the Managers, and by Mr. Wint, in behalf of the respondent, decided, by a vote of thirty-two to ten, that the question might be put, and must be answered. . This will, it is supposed, lead to a similar exami

nation of the witness in relation to the grounds upon

which he advanced all the propositions contained in his publication on the opinion of Jüdge Peck, for which he *:: committed and suspended from practice by the Judge. The narrative part of the testimony of Mr. Lawless will afford the means of information to the general reader as to the circumstances which have led to this impeachment. It is therefore subjoined. Let it be remembered, that the heirs of Soulard filed a petition in the District Court for Missouri, of which the respondent is and was the Judge, to try the validity of their claim to ten thousand arpents of land, under a concession alleged to have been issued by Trudeau, the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Louisiana, to Antoine Soulard, the ancestor of the pctitioners. Mr. Lawless was the counsel in the case. LUKE EDw ARn LAwless, Esq. having been called and sworn, gave a historical narrative of the proceedings, so far as related to the case of Soulard, in the District Court of the United States, for the State of Missouri, under the act of Congress of 1824, enabling the claimants to lands in Missouri and Arkansas to institute proceedings to try the validity of their claims, and in relation to the circumstances which had led to his commitment and suspension by that court. He testified, in substance, that, in the case of Soulard's heirs against the United States, he had, as counsel for the plaintiffs, argued it on a general demurrer. It

Trial of Judge Peck.

[Drc. 22, 23, 1830.

was accordingly printed. Upon the exhibition to him by Mr. Buch ANAs, one of the honorable managers, of one of the printed copies of the argument, he said that it was the same. . The demurrer was subsequently withdrawn; and the District Attorney filed his answer to the petition of the claimants. While taking the deposition of one of the former Lieutenant Governors of Upper Louisiana, Judge Peck mentioned that he had read, or had caused to be read to him, the argument of Mr. Lawless, a copy of which that gentleman said he had sent to him before that time. When the court again sat, Judge Peck directed an issue to try the question, whether such a concession as that under which the plaintiffs claimed the lands in question had ever been made It was found that it had been made; such as it was set forth to be in the petition of the claimants. The cause then came on upon its merits and the proofs. Mr. Lawless again argued it very much at length. This was in the spring of 1825. The court took the case under advisement, and reserved it for future decision. He was absent, and the judge decided it in his absence. Mr. Lawless was not present when the decision was made; but Judge Peck postponed making up the record for taking an appeal until the counsel returned. When he returned, the record was made up, the appeal taken, and the appeal bond given. This was in December, 1825. In March following, about the 30th, he saw, in the Republican newspaper, published at St. Louis, an article headed, “Peck, Judge,” and found it to purport to be an opinion or argument in justification of the decree of the District Court entered in the case of Soulard's heirs against the United States. It appeared to him to contain a great many errors, in fact and in doctrine. It appeared to him to be calculated injuriously to affect the public opinion upon that and a variety of other similar claims, in which he was concerned as counsel. The article was anonymous, and he looked on it as an argument not presented by the Judge, when his opinion was delivered. It produced a great sensation, tended to depress the hopes of his clients, and to depreciate considerably the value of their property. It appeared to him rather to be an inquiry of what the law should be, than a peremptory decision of what it was. In the opening of that opinion, the Judge expressed doubts as to the law, and seemed to feel as if he were wandering through a wilderness to reach the desired object. Further discussion secmed to be invited of the points involved in that decision. Taking all these considerations into view, and believing that as a citizen, independently of his character as counsel, he had an undoubted right to point out the errors in the published opinion of the judge, and to prevent, as far as he could, the injury they were likely to produce, Mr. Lawless took up his pen, and wrote the article signed “A Citizen,” which was published in the Missouri Advocate and St. Louis Enquirer, of the 8th of April, in the same year. Shortly after that the District Court sat by special adjournment. He attended, and took his place in court. Upon taking his seat, and disposing of some business, the judge pulled a newspaper out of his pocket, stated witat paper it was, and asked, with apparent emotion, who was its editor, addressing himself, as Mr. Lawless thought, particularly to the District Attorney, or to the bar generally. Mr. Lawless replied, that he knew who was the editor of the paper, and that it was one Stephen W. Foreman. He believed, from his manner, that the judge had in view the article which he had written; and he was perfectly willing that it should be brought up for discussion. The judge asked Mr. Lawless if he would swear to the fact as to the editor. He said he would, and was accordingly sworn. Describing the article, Judge Peck dictated a rule upon the editor, to show cause why he had published it. The rule was served upon the editor,

was thought by some of the profession whom he consulted, and Mr. Lawless volunteered as counsel for him, he being that it would be well to have his argument printed; and it the author of the article, and considering it his duty to

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Dec. 24, 27, 28, 1830.]

defend the editor. He applied to no other person to appear for him. Mr. Lawless urged the editor by no means to give up the author, using every argument that he could to satisfy him that it was his duty not to yield on such an occasion. He appeared in court the day after the order was issued, and defended the editor on all the grounds which suggested themselves to his mind; on the ground of the perfect truth of the article, and of the absence on its face of all intention to commit a contempt. In demonstrating the truth of the article, he recurred to the published opinion of the judge, to all that the article contained, and pursued the same course of argument, with a few exceptions, as far as his humble abilities would permit, which had been taken by the honorable Manager who had opened this case. He produced all the authorities which he could rake up on the occasion, to show that the publication of “A Citizen” was not a contempt. Immediately after concluding his argument, which, he thought, had occupied more than one day, he left the court; and he understood that Mr. Geyer, a gentleman of the St. Louis bar, had also afterwards stepped forward in defence of the editor. When Mr. Lawless returned into court, he found Judge Peck about to make the rule absolute for an attachment upon the editor. Considering that the judge appeared to point at him as the author of the article, inasmuch as the rights of his clients were involved in the case, he changed his view of the course which the editor ought to pursue, and assented to the giving up of his own name as the author. Mr. Foreman was then discharged from the rule, and a rule was made on Mr. Lawless, to show cause why an attachment should not issue against him, and why he should not be suspended from practice in that court for having written the article as set forth in the attachment. Mr. Geyer, Mr. Magennis, and Mr. Strother, members of the bar, appeared before Judge Peck, the next day, he believed, and argued the matter as his counsel. When they attempted to demonstrate the intrinsic truth of the article of “A Citizen,” they were stopped by the judge, told that he had decided and disposed of that question, and that it was not open for further argument. They then proceeded to discuss the questions of pure law on the merits of the case. Their authoritics and arguments on that point were overruled by the judge, who ordered the article to be read to him, paragraph by paragraph, by Mr. Bates, the District Attorney, and proceeded to examine and comment upon each paragraph as it was read. The manner of the judge, in treating the subject, was exceedingly vehement; he was more impassioned than he had ever seen him. In his observations, he permitted himself to use expressions which Mr. Lawless considered offensive to him as a man and a gentleman. The witness felt himself irritated by them, and perhaps his countenance exhibited evidences of that irritation. He was apprehensive that he might betray his feelings by some expression or gesture, and he thought it best to leave the court. He, therefore, asked his friend, Mr. Geyer, if he thought it would be a contempt for him to leave the court while the judge was speaking: Mr. Geyer thought no contempt could be inferred from his leaving the court. He rose up and left the court, and went to the Circuit Court for the county of St. Louis, then sitting, before which it so happened that a case, in which he was employed as leading counsel, was about to be tried. It was the case of some slaves, who had sued Peter Choteau for the recovery of their freedom. He was counsel for the defendant. While this trial was proceeding, he was informed by the deputy marshal the rule of an attachment against him had been made absolute by Judge Peck; and he was, therefore, obliged to leave the Circuit Court. When he appeared in the District Court, conducted by the deputy marshal, he was informed by Judge Peck, that he had a right to demand that interrogatories should be propounded

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to him, as he understood him, for the purpose of enabling him to purge himself of the alleged contempt.

To this the witness replied, that he did not require any interrogatories to be propounded to him; and, if propounded, he should not answer them. He did not recollect whether he then stated any reasons to the court for declining. He tendered exceptions to the decision of the judge, with his reasons, which the judge refused to file. An order was then made out for his commitment to prison for twenty-four hours, and for his suspension from practice in that court for eighteen months. A copy of the order was put into the hands of the deputy marshal, and the witness was conducted to the jail of the county of St. Louis, locked up in a room where common felons had been imprisoned, as he was informed and believed. Mr. Soulard and Mr. Rector accompanied him, and were locked up in the room with him. After witness had been there some time, he called for the jailer, and requested him to show him the order of commitment, which he did. After he had examined it, he determined to petition the circuit court for a writ of habeas corpus, in order to apply for a release, on grounds which he thought he had discovered in the order itself. The judge of that court granted the writ, and decided to discharge him from prison, on the ground that there was no seal to the order or signature of the judge. He was accordingly discharged, and heard no more on the subject from Judge Peck. An order was also made out to suspend him from practice for eighteen months, and he was not restored until his . sion had expired by limitation. It appeared further, from the testimony of the witness, that he was a native of Ireland; that he left that country in 1810; that he went to France, and that he came to the United States in 1816. [It is said that he was an officer in the army of Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo.] He declared his intention in the Marine Court of New York, as soon as he arrived in that city, to apply for a certificate of naturalization as an American citizen; and he accordingly obtained his certificate at St. Louis, in 1822. He had been admitted to practise in Kentucky, both by Judge Johnson and Judge Barry, the present Postmaster General of the United States, and moved on with the tide of emigration to St. Louis, in Missouri.

Fain a y, DEC EMBER 24.

After despatching several private subjects, and spending some time in Executive business,

The senate again resolved itself into a Court of Impeachment.

The cross-examination of Mr. LAwless was continued up to the hour of adjournment. It reached only to the sixth specification in the publication of “A Citizen.” The searching ability displayed by Mr. WIRT on the occasion was met by unusual vigor, talent, and decision, on the part of the witness.

The Senate adjourned till cleven, and the court till twelve o'clock, on Monday.

Mox DAY, DEcEMBER 27. The Senate again resolved itself into a High Court of

Impeachment. Mr. Wint, the leading counsel for the respondent, resumed and concluded the cross-examination of Mr. Law.


TUEsday, DEcEMBEm 28.

After the transaction of some minor business,

The Senate again resolved itself into a High Court of Impeachment.

HENRY S. GEx ER, a member of the Missouri bar, the Rev. Thomas Hon RELL, and Anthun L. MAGENN1s, an

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