ePub 版

it ought to be separate from all immediate con lary from the second, and must share the same nesion with any other institution, and that it should fate. have a central location, and as little removed as If the defendants had a right to sell as they did, possible from under the observation of government. they were entitled to commission; but if they vio.

Which is respectfully submitted to the honor. lated their duty to their employer, then they can able J. C. Calhoun, secretary of war.

claim from him no compensation for doing so. (Signed)

BERNARD, As to Todd's testimony-It is argued, that be.

Brigadier general. ing a general agent, with no particular instrucWM. MʻREE, major engineers. tions, he had no authority to sell at auction, that

for having done so, an action may be brought Law Intelligence.

against him by his principal, and that he has, there.

fore, an interest in the event of this suit. FROM THE NEW YORK EVENING POST, AUG. 5. Supposing that he had no right to sell at auctior, The following interesting law opinion was deli. (which I do not admit) the plaintiff, bringing this vered by Mr. Recorder, at the last term, after a suit, has ratified Todd's acts, and barred himself solemn argument:

from suing him for that cause. His interesi, too, MAYOR'S COURT.

if he has any, is too remote and uncertain, to disDavid Dunham and others, ads. David Hazul.

qualify him as a witness; and I do not perceive This was an action against the defendants, who that the verdict in this cause can be evidence in are auctioneers and commission merchants in the any future action to be brought against bim. I city of New York, for having sold four bales of therefore, think that he was properly admitted. cotton bagging, belonging to the plaintiff, for a The principal point, and that which has been price less than that limited by his orders.

most labored, is the second; viz. that it is unlaw. At the trial in May last, Wm. Todd was sworn ful to limit the price of an article sold at auction. as a witness for the plaintiff; he was objected to, To support this proposition, (which is certainly as incompetent, but the objection was overruled. contrary to common usages and opinion,) the case He testified that he was the agent of the plaintiff, of Boxwell vs. Christie, (1. Cowper, 395,) is relied in relation to the cotton bagging, that he had no on. In that case, the property of a person de particular instructions as to the mode of selling ceased, had been advertised for sale at auction, it; that the plaintiff had entire cofidence in him, and the printed conditions of sale declared, that and submitted every thing as to the time and man. every article should be struck off to the highest bidner of disposing of it, to his judgment; that in der. 'Boxwell sent a horse to be sold at that auction, 1817, he delivered to the defendants, to be sold, and under those conditions of sale, but directed five bales of cotton bagging, belonging to the Christie, the auctioneer, not to let him be struck' plaintiff; that, on the 8th May, 1818, he directed off for less than a certain sum; Christie set the the defendants to sell them at auction, and gave borse up, and struck him off to the highest bid. them written instructions not to sell four of the der, for a less sum, and for so doing, Boxwell bales under the cost price, or 15 cents a yard; and brought an action against him. Lord Mansfield that, three days after, the defendants sold those assuming, that in that case, the orders of the owner bales, at auction.

could only have been complied with, by employing It was then proved by the defendants, that dag. some one to bid on his behalf, proceeded to consiging was sold, part for 6 and part for 7 cls. a yard; der the propriety of that practice, and thinking ihai it was of inferior quality, and that no more could it inconsistent with morality, held that the action be got for it at auction, and by wholesale, but that could not be sustained.—This decision, however, it was atterwards retailed by the purchaser at, is not precisely in point. Lord Mansfield states from 8 to 12 cents a yard. It was admiited, that the question to be determined in these words: the defendants had, before their last orders, used “Whether a bidding by the owner of goods at x great diligence in endeavoring to sell the bagging, sale under these conditions, namely, that the highbut had not been able to get the limited price. est bidder shall be the purchaser, and if a dispate

The defendant's counsel objected that the order jarise, to be decided by a majority of the persons preto sell at auction, for not less than a certain price, sene, is a bidding within the ineaning of such condiwas illegal, and that, therefore, the action could tions of sale? But it must be confessed, that not be maintained. The court overruled the ob- his reasoning goes to prove all private bidding jection, and charged the jury to find for the plain- by an owner unlawful. "But he adds: “The disal. uiff the value of the four bales at the best price lowing of it is no hardship on the owner, for if he which could have been obtained for them, had is unwilling that his goods should go at an under they been sold in the most advantageous manner, price, he may order them to be set up at his own and directed them to allow the defendants no com- price, and not lower: such a direction would be missions on the sales of the four bales. They ac. fair: Or, he might do, as was done by lord Astia cordingly found for the plaintiff $160 51, being at burnham, who sold a large estate at action; He the rate of about 9 cents a yard.

had it inserted in the condicions of sale, that lie At the July term, a motion was made for a new himself might bid once in the course of the sale; trial, and argued by Mr. Harris, for the defendants, and he bid at once 15 or £20,000; such a condition and Mr. Dewiti, for the plaintiff. A few days af. is fair.” ter, the Recorder gave the following opinion Now, in the present case, the defendants had re, having first stated the facts in the case.

ceived no instructions concerning the conditions The defendant's courses have made three points. of sale, or the manner in which the articles were

ist, That William Todd was an incompetent to be set up; and if they could lawfully obey the witness.

directions they had received, they were bound to 24, That the instructions given to the defendants do so. They might have pursued either of the were illegal.

methods men iioned by lord Mansfield: or if, when 3d, Tisat the defendants were entitled to com- the four bales were put up, the auctioneer had missions on ail the goods sold.

proclaimed that the goods were not to be sold It is evident that the last point is a corrol. Juntess fifteen cents a yard were bid for them, cap

[ocr errors]

it be imagined that this would have been a fraudu, others of its value may have an effect on the jent transaction? And if such proclamation were estimate which he forms of it. If, then, it should necessary to render the sale legal, then it was the prove that these bidders are all employed by the duty of the defendants to make. They were simply owner of the article, and bid only in appearance, directed to sell at auction for not less than a cer- and not in reality, a falsehood is asserted which tain price-the manner of doing so was left to the bystander has no means to detect, and a fraud themselves. If they published conditions of sale, is practised upon bim. making it necessary to sell for less, they violated In the year 1726, the house of lords decided in their duty. In this view of the case, an examina: the case of Walker vs. Nightingale, (4 Bro. T.C. tion of authorities might be dispensed with. But 193) that a person who had been employed as a it may not be unprofitable to examine, with some puffer could not recover compensation for his ser. attention, the doctrine they contain on this subject. vices, since they were .contrary to good faith. In

Human laws are necessarily imperfect. It is im. 1776 was decided the cause of Roxwell re. Christie, possible for them to control every word and action, before cited. In 1796 in Howard, vs. Castle (6 and since they are to be administered by men, il T. Rep. 642.) a sale was held void, it appearing is perhaps fortunate that they cannot-No laws that all the bidders except the purchaser were attempt to inforce what are termed virtues of im. puffers. In Conbolly vs. Parsons, in 1797, (3 Vesey perfect obligation; and much as they respect truth, 625) the lord Chancellor expressed doubis of the ihey take no cognizance of its transgression in an doctrine laid down in Boxwell and Christie, and is almost infinite number of instances. Public utility 1798, in Bramley, ds. Alt, (3 Vesey, 622) this docis the principal object of the law, and it best trine received a very reasonable limitation, that a promotes this by interfering only upon necessary sale should not be considered fraudulent because a occasions. It is in general more useful to draw puffer had been employed, if there were real the line between what is lawful and what is unlaw.bidders, who bid af er the puffer bad ceased'to ful, and so broad and distinct as to be plain and bid. In 1806, in Smith vs. Clark, (12 Veseş 477) obvious to all sen, than by an overstrained anxiety a specific performance was decreed against a to render it the precise limit between right and vendee, although the person who bid immediately wrong, to make it indistinct wavering and doubt. before him was employed to procure a sale under ful. "The minuter deviations from rectitude can a given price-80 that ihe doctrine received a new be corrected ouly by the influence of religion. modification, certainly inconsistent with the opin. Proceeding upon these principles, the common ions expressed in Boxwell vs. Christie. It bemg law does not profess to relieve in every case of now admitted that where no fraud was intended, imposition.-It requires the exercise of ordinary but a bidder was employed merely to prevent a prudence, and refuses its assistance to such as sale beneath a fixed and fair price, the transaction will not exert it. To those who ask for aid against should not be considered fraudulent. And if the the consequence of their own sloth, and supineness, decision of this cause be correct, it goes far to it answers vigilantibus non dormientibus subveniat decide that which is now before us. lex. To the purchaser, who complains of having

Thus it appears that the rigid doctrine of lord been deceived in points, where the use of his own Mansfield in Boxwell vs. Christie has been gradually senses would have been sufficient to protect him softened and made more comfortable to the comfrom fraud, it replies caveat emptor. If a man, in mon notions of mankind and the daily practice and the full possession of his faculties, will not take habits of the society in which we live. And it the trouble to use them, he must often put up with seems at present to be understood, that the em. the consequence: not because it is consistent with ployment of a bidder by the owner will or will ast morality to take an unfair advantage of the sloth be deemed a fraud, according to circumstances. or folly of another, but because it is not necessary, If a number of persons are procured to attend an nor would be useful, for the law to act as tutor and auction to enhance the price of an article by a guardian for men who are capable of taking care pretended competition, the artifice is held to be of themselves. It is for the same reason, that gross fraudulent and illegal-but if an agent is employed disparity between the price and value of an article bona fide to prevent a sale under a given price, the sold, is not of itself a sufficient reason to vacate a transaction is considered lawful. contract of sale even in court of equity. Nor will

It is unnecessary for me to discuss the abstract those vague and exaggerated praises wbich vendors morality of employing bidders by the owner of are accustomed to bestow upon their wares, though goods--but I think it evident from the case cited, ever so undeserved, authorise the vendee lo annul that a mere limitation of the price of an article to his bargain. So that supposing the employmeni ot be sold at auction is not in itself illegal. It is bidders by the vendor of an auction, to be an ex- true, that, for the purpose of making it bring pedient which the rigid moralist would disapprove, that price, unworthy and unlawful artifices may it would still remain to be shewn that the sale be resorted to-but in the present case no such should on that account be annulled. But if a fuct, artifices were contrived, or directed, or authorissuch as might bave isfluence with a prudent man, ed, by the plainliff or his ageni-he merely in. and such as cannot be readily ascertained, be falsely structed the defendants not to sell for less than 50 asserted, the party deceived may in general ask much-and if such instructions could in any way for redrese-and ii is on this ground, I apprehend, be lawfully complied with, (and even lord Maes. that the practice of employing at auction per field admits that they might be), then the deferisons, whom the English stýle puffers, has been dants were bound by them. And having viewed condemned and made a ground for relief in various this cause in every light I remain of opition that cases; for it is plain that a person may be inten- the verdict is right. The motion for seiling it tionally deceived as to a fact, though the falsehood aside is therefore decied, be not asserted in words. And if, at an auction, a number of persons are seen bidding, even a pru. dent man may be influenced by the circumstances;

Law Question. it may lead binn to believe that the article for sale is in demand, and the judgment expressed by't Is, or is not, a deed, power of attorney, or other





public instrument, acknowledged before and cer. “This constitution, and the laws of the United tified by an American consul in a foreign country, States, which shall be made in pursuance thereof, under his official seal, and relating to persons or and all treaties made, or which shall be made una property in the United States, an authentic docu-fer the authority of the United Siates, shall by ment to serve in our state courts, and in courts of THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND; AND THE JUNGES IN the United States?

The following circumstances bave given rise to IN THE CONSTITUTION OH LAWS OF ANY STATE TO THE this question.

CONTRARY NOTWITHSTANDING.' Some time last spring Madame Moreau, widow "The senators and representatives beforemen. of the late general Moreau, appeared before the tioned, and the members of the several state le. congul of the United States for Paris, and acknow. gislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, ledged a general power of attorney to Henry Casimir both of the United States and of the several states, de Rhum, of New York, to transact and settle her shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support business in the United States; that procuration was this constitution."-I bid, art. 6, clauses 2 und 3. sent to Mr. de Rham, who, it is said, communicated “Consuls and vice consuls of the United States it to Mr. Robinson, his counsel; Mr. Robinson found shall have right, in the ports or places to which the power invalid, because the consular act was they are or may be severally appointed, of re. not entitled to faith in the New York courts: ano. ceiving the protests and declarations which such ther power, in biank, was sent to Madame Moreau captains, masters, crews, passengers and merchants to be executed, and let this, also, should be "void as are citizens of the United States may, respec. and of no effect," the following Dedimas Potestutem tively, choose to make there; and, also, such as any was subjoined to it:

foreigner may choose to make before them relative "The people of the state of New York to Isaac to the personal interest of any citizens of the Cox Barnet, esquire, consul of the United States United States; and the copies of said acis, dnly of America for Paris, and agent of claims, greeting: authenticated by the said consuls or vice consuls,

Know ye, that we have given unto you fuli under the seal of their consulates, respectively.

power and authority in pursuance of a statute shall receive faith in law, equally as their originals (L.S.) of the state of New York, entitled "an act would in all courts in the Uniteit Sentes. "Act of

supplementary to an act entitled an act congress "concerning consuls and vice conguls," of
concerning, deeds," passed 8th of March, 14:... April, 1792--sec. 2.
1817, to take acknowledgment or proof of

“l'he specification of certain powers and duties the execution of the deed or writing above written, in this act to be exercised or performed by the

consuls or vice consuls of the United States, shall and when you shall have so taken the same, you return the said deed, wi: h your certificate annexed, not be construed to the exclusion of others resuli. to the person from whom you shall receive the ing from the nature of their appointments, or any Same. Witness, James Kent, esq. our chancellor, realy, or convention under which they may act." at the city of Albany, the twenty eighth day of Ibid, sect. 9. July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight

By the 4th article of the consular convention be, bundred and eighteen."

tween the United States and France, it was stipúlat. Signed “EDM. ELMENDORF,

ed that “The consuls and vice consuls respectively

Clerk in Chancery." may establish a chancery, where shall be deposited It is not exactly known on what law or usage

the consular determinations, acts and proceedings, Mr. Robinson found loje pretence of the consul's

as also testaments, contracts, and other acts done incompetency to receive acknowledgments or de by or between persons of their nation, and effecis clarations to powers of attorney, and the invalidity left by deceased persons or saved from stripwreck. of his official certificate setting forth the fact, but they may consequently appoini fit persons to act the following are the authorities on which I ground in the said chancery, receive and swear them in, the belief that the returning of the act, in the man

commit to them the custody of the seal, and allo ner above recited, cannot be justified either by

thority to seal commissions, sentences, and other law or policy. I have no pretensions to a critical consular acts, und a'so to discharge the functions of laknowledge, and am only guided by what I be. notary and register of the consulate." lieve to be the plain dictates of common sense.

That no man can delegate powers which he does if I err, I shall be happy to be corrected, either by evident, that I Hatier myself none will be found to

not bimself possess, is an axiom, so simple and self. Mr. Robinson limseit, or any other learned gentle. inan of the bar.

contradict it. Therefore, the authority here con.

ferred on the consul of committing to the chancellor The constitution of the United States declares the authority to discharge the functions of notary, that "be (the president) shall nominate, and by and supposes the consui himself duly qualified to dis. with the advice and consent of the senate, shall apo charge those functions. point ambassadors, other public ministers, and con.

But, to place the matter beyond the reach of 8uls." Const. ari. 2, sect. 2, clause 2.

cavil, the high contracting parties mutually agreel, "The congress shall bave power

by the 5th article of that convention, that "the "To make all laws which shall be necessary and consuls and vice consuls respectively shall bave proper, for carrying into execution the foregoing the erclusive right of receiving in their chancery, or powers, and all other powers vested by this con on board of vessels, the declarations, and all other the stitution in the government of the United States, ucts which the captains, masters, crews, passengers or in any department or office thereof."-1 bid, art. and merchants of their nation may choose to make 1, sec. 8, clause 18.

there, even their testaments and other disposals "Full fuith and credit shall be given in each state by last will; and the copies of the said acis, duly to the public acts, records, and judicial proceed. authenticated by the said consuls or vice consuls, ings of every other state. And the congress may, under the seal of their cousulute, shall receive by general laws, prescribe the manner in which faith in law, equally as their originals would in all such acts, records, and proceedings, svall be prov. the tribunals of the dominions of the most Christians ed, and the effect thereof."-Ibid, art. 4 sect. 1. Iking, and of the United Stales."



[ocr errors]

Although I conceive the compe ency of the con the chancellor of New-York a general Dedimas sul to receive the declarations or acknowledg nents Potestatem for themselves and for all executive and to powers of aitorney, "and other acts," to be judicial officers of the United Siales, lest, for want clearly established by the foregoing citations; and of this sovereign authorisation, the interests of that there can be no doubt but bis acts are entitled individuals should suffer, as in the instance before tu faith and credit "in all courts in the United us. Siates"-still, by way of superabundant proof, it In justice to Mr. Robinson, it should be stated that may not be amiss to quote the opinions of some he is not the first who has raised difficulties about writers on public law, in relation to consuls and the validity of such acis. Some three years ago consulates, in order to determine with more a power of attorney was executed before the Amerj. precision what are the powers and duties result- can consul in Paris to serve in Philadelphia: that ing from the nature of their appointments”—as power was pronounced invalid, because, according mentioned in the ninth section of the law above io the laws of Pennsylvania. "letters of attorney cited.

and other powers in writing, shall have two or more Mr. Warden, in his treatise "On the origin, na. witnesses--and if executed out of the state, must ture, progress and influence of consular establish. be proved by them before any mayor, chief magis, ments"-page 91-says “The very circumstance trate, or officer of the city, town, or place where of his (lie consul's) corresponding with his own esecuted, and certified under the common or pubs government on commercial and poliiical subjects, lic seal of the said city,” &c. and acting as a magistrule and notary in his office, The form being returned, with the above obser. evinces the sacredness of his employment.” vations, to the constituenis, (for there were two) : Hence I inter that, in Mr. Warden's 'opinion at they applied to several, if not all, the twelve mayora least, it is customary, if not legal, for consuls to act of Paris, to receive their acknowledgment, and as magisirates and notaries.

u’ere told, that with the laws of Pennsylvania, they Borel, in bis work entitled "De l'Origine et des (the mayors) were unacquainted, and had nothing Fonctions des Consuls”-printed at St. Petersburg, io do; that the laws by which they were governed, in 1807, pages 60 and 61-in describing the at and to which they owed obedience, gave them no tribuites of consuls, enuinerates all those powers authority to act in such cases, and they conseset forth in the 4th and 5th articles above cited of quently refused. the consular convention, as having become an Thus rebuffed on every side, they again had re. integral part of the public law of Europe.

course to the consul, who, in order to avoid an idle Valia, in his commentaries, liv. 1, tir. 9, art. 25, and sidiculous quibble about words, stated in his says_“Not only maritime contracts, but all other certificate, that "personally, came and appeareil, contracis between Frenchmen, may be received by A. B. and C. D. who in my presence and in thul of the chancellor of the consulate. And not only has the subscribing witnesses, did sign and seal the the chancellor the power to receive them, but it within letter of attorney, and delare the same to is even forbidden to Frenchmen to pass any acts be their free and voluntary act and deed, whereof whatever before public notaries in foreign coun. an act being required, the same is hereby granted, tries, on pain of nallity.

by virtue of the act of congress 'concerning const's "fhis is consequently another proof that the chan. and vice cosuls,' passed on the 14th of April

, 1792." cellor is at the same time the notary and the register -A formula which he has uniformly adhered to, in of the nation, and that he is authorised to discharge similar cases, ever since. all the functions which belong to both these offices; Mr. Ingersoli's finger being thus put upon the whence follows, that the acts received by the chan. law, be made no more difficuity about it, and the cellor are binding and executory on the property power answered every purpose. of the persons subscribing them, wherever it may A case somewhat similar occurred in Boston. be situated, as if they were passed before the An instrument, acknowledged before the American notaries of ihe place where the property lies." consul at Paris, was "nuli,” because the consul

Bu , if neither the principles of public law, the was not an officer “duly qualified,” &c. but one of constitution of the United States, nor the laws of those ode notions, for which Boston people are so congress, nor a combination of all these, are suf. famous, prompted Mr. Sullivan to send that instru. ficient to confer on a consul of the United States meat to Washington to have the consul's signature the right of receiving the acknowledgment to a authenticated by the secretary of state-and when power of attorney, to serve in the state of New. it returned, it was “as good as the bank.” York; if "ille public acts, recards, and judicial Mr. S. bad probably read, in Tomlin's Law Dic. proceedings” of the nineteen other states, and the tionary, verbo "Evidence," or elsewhere, that several territories, as well as those of the federal “Every instrument, to the singing of which tiere courts and civil officers of the United States, are" is a witness, must be proved by that witness, if not entitled to faith in law, according to the statutes" living and to be found; or by proting the hand writ: and practice of that state; (and by a parity of rea.. ing of the witness, in case he is dead, or domiciled son, we may conclude they are not, since they can in a fureign country, or cannot be found, so that have no o ber or greater authority to render them there may be a presumption of his death." valid, than the principles of public law, the federal So tbat, setting aside the official quality of the constitu.ion, and the laws of congress;) and if, consul, and pu' ling him on a footing with a com. notwithsianding the oath required of the members won witness, Mr. S. avoided the trouble, the risk of the legislature, and of all the executive and and the diluy attendant on a voyage of 6,000 miles judicial officers of the states, to support the con across the Atlantic and back, and probably had as siulion of the United States, the learned coun- good an act, as though had been executed by sellors of the state of New York persist in their virtue of a Dedimas Potestatem from the chancellor counter demonstration of one of the simplest pro.lof New York baself!! blems of Euclid, where that old-fashioned philoso Tomlin defines a power to be an authority one pher a!tempted to prove that the whole is greater man gives to another to act for bim." And.com. than a part, I see no way to reconcile all interests, mon sense (which I admit niay not always be in but for the congress respectfully to solicit from cousonance with luz) says, that the only object of

[ocr errors]

a notarial or other official certificate to such acts, Nevertheless, since it has been agitated, it is is to prove the identity of the constituent, and thus become a matter of considerable importance that prevent fraud and collusion--and does not common it should be correctly solved; it is important to sense further say, that the identity of M.dame persons who claim those acts that they be valid, Moreau was as thoroughly established by the con because, if they are not so, tlose persons make a sular certificate, under a commission from the pre sacrifice both of time and money, and perhaps are sident of the United States, granted "by and with subjected to greater inconveniences an! losses in the advice and consent of the senate," and acting consequence of the retard occasioned by the inva. be virtue of the laws of congress, as under any lidity of their acts; it is important to consuls, be. authority which the state of New-York could con cause its solution may seriously affect their exist. fer on him ?

ence, by determinining that they may or may not, I have not the honor of knowing Mr. Robinson, by business of this kind, increase in a degree their nor do I remember to have ever heard of him until scanty means of subsistence. now, but I think it probable that he would have no If, as I believe, the competency of the consuu to hesitation in supporting the validity of an act in officiate as a public notary, shall be acknowledge! English passed before a French notary. I am the by all those gentlemen of the bur, who are as well more inclined to this belief, from having learned acquainted with the statules of congress, and the from a good source, that some French notaries are principles of the federal constitusion, as with my in the habit of granting such acts, for the accom lord C ke, my lor] Mansfield, Blackstone, &c. &c. modation of Englishmen, and that the said acts are &c. the next question is, whether a lawyer can be hitherto received in the British courts; and as old beld responsible for the bod effects resulting froin mother England is allowed to serve as a model for his injudiciou3 or illegal advice?-r, in other our conduct, as well in common law as in many words, whether Madame Moreau can bring an acother respects, it is to be presumed that American tion against Mr Robinson for any damages she lawyers will not be more squeamish about allowing may have sustained by reason of the retard she such papers than English lawyers. But I will add, has experierced in the prosecution of ber affairs? for their common benefit and edification, that all Puris, 1st Ociober, 1818. acts passed before French notaries, must, accord ing to French law, be written in the French language, and be enregistered and the duty paid; without these

British Parliament. two requisites, the latter of which cannot be ful.

HOUSE OF COMMONS, MAY 3, 1819. filled unless the first be complied with, no notaria!

Catholic Question. act is entitled to faith in the French tribunals. From the great interest of the question announcAnd it would be downright absurdity to pretended, the gallery was filled a few minutes after the that an act is or can be entitled to more credit in door was opened at twelve o'clock, but the speaker a foreign country than in the country whence it did not take the chair till 4. Numbers of petitions emanat es, unless, indeed, it should be contended were presented from various quarters against the that notarial acts, like certain wines, improve their Catholic claims,and some in favor of them; at length, quality by a sea voyage.

Mr. Grattan rose and presented several petitions Since, then, acis in English cannot legally be from the Irish Catholics, which were ordered to lie passed before French notaries, and as it often bap. on the table. pens th at Americans, who are in want of those acts, Mr. Gratt in, on presenting these petitions, begto serve in the Voiied States, do not understand ged to express his ardent hope, that they would ul. Frencia, they must apply to a sworn interpreter to timately succeed; and his confident expectation, be mad e acquainted with their import-must spend that they would contribute to strengthen the protes. eight days or more to get through with the formali. tant establishment, and support the protestant sucties of enregistrement, authentication, &c. &c. and cession. It was his most anxious desire, that the afterwards be at the expense of iratislating them two religions, bearing to each other the strongest in the United States; or they must come provided similitude, having the same hope, the same redeem. with a dedimus potestatem, from the chancellor ofer, the same gospel, the same God, and, in fact, re. the state of New York, authorising some person to semloling in nearly all respects but forms and sacrile receive the acknowledgment.

ments, should be united under the same roof, and All these inconveniences, (and circumstances that roof the British empire. The petitioners, whose may arise where there will be very grave ones) prayer he had been the instrument of presenting, might be avoided by giving to the letter and spi. implored the house to free them from a burden uni. sit of the constitution and laws of the U. States, justly imposed upon their generation; to remove their force and effect and making lawyers swear, disqualifications by which they were afficted, and as judges are obliged to do, that they will support to restore them to there common-law right of eligithem; and to support them, we must in ihe first bility, of which they had been deprived, because place suppose them acquainted therewith. they refused to adjure the religion in which they

I have dwelt on this subject at much greater had been born, the faith to which their consciences length than I ai first believed would be necessary attached them. They did not affect to put in any for a question which appeared to me so simple, fantastic claims; they approched parliament clear of and with more gravity, ihan I at first thought it the false philosophy of the times, and relied merely possible for me to do on one that seemed so ridicu- upon the right to which, by the law of the land, they lo's; in fact, does not the whole question lie in were entitled. Yet even this right they claimed determining whether the practice and customs, the ander the controul of parliament. If these incapaci. Jaws, if you will, of the state of New York, be pa. ties were repealed, it was the grant of no favour, ramount or sut.ordinate to the constitution of the the concession of no boon-it was the restoration of U. Slales, and the laws of congress "made in pur a right, a mere absolute legal right. If the house Buance thereof?"-And can we believe that any continued these disqualifications, it imposed a sen. man, in his sober senses, would agilate that ques. tence rather than passed a law. The petitioner tion, if the provisions of that constitution and those submitted with respectful firmness, that they had a laws were fresh in his memory?

cominon-law right of eligibility to parliament and to

[ocr errors][merged small]
« 上一頁繼續 »