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various, political philosophy.) Who is not proud, that our fathers were the compeers of Wolfe;
that Burke, and Chatham spoke our mother tongue? Who does not look for the most prosperous eras of the world, when English blood shall warm the human bosom over the habitable breadth of every zone-when English literature shall come under the eye of the whole world-English intellectual wealth enrich every clime;(and the manners, morals, and religion, of us and our parent country, spread civilization under the whole star-lighted heaven; and, in the very language of our deliberations, the hallowed voice of daily prayer shall arise to God, throughout every longitude of the sun's whole race.)
"I would follow the course of ordinary experience; render the child independent of the parent; and from the resources of his own industry, skill, and prudence, rich, influential, and powerful, among nations. (Then, if the period of age and infirmity shall, as God send it may never, but if it shall come, then, sir, the venerated parent shall find shelter behind the strong right hand of her powerful descendant."
"The policy of the gentleman from Virginia calls him to a course of legislation resulting in the entire destruction of one part of this Union. Oppress New-England until she shall be compelled to remove her manufacturing labor and capital to the regions of iron, wool, and grain; and nearer to those of rice and cotton. Oppress New-England until she shall be compelled to remove her commercial labor and capital to New York, Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah. Finally oppress that proscribed region, until she shall be compelled to remove her agricultural labor and capital-her agricultural capital? No, she cannot remove that. Oppress and compel her, nevertheless, to remove her agricultural labor to the far-off West; and there people the savage valley, and cultivate the deep wilderness of the Oregon. She must, indeed, leave her agricultural capital; her peopled fields; her hills with culture carried to their tops; her broad deep bays; her wide, transparent lakes, long-winding rivers, and populous waterfalls; her delightful villages, flourishing towns, and wealthy cities. She must leave this land, bought by the treasure, subdued by the toil, defended by the valor of men, vigorous, athletic, and intrepid; (men, god-like in all, making man resemble the moral image of his Maker;) a land endeared, oh! how deeply endeared, because shared with women pure as the snows of their native mountains ; (bright, lofty, and overawing, as the clear, circumambient heavens, over their heads; and yet lovely as the fresh opening bosom of their own blushing and blooming June.) (Mine own romantic country,' must we leave thee? Beautiful patrimony of the wise and good; enriched from the economy, and ornamented by the labor and perseverance of two hundred years! Must we leave thee, venerable heritage of ancient justice and pristine faith? And, God of our fathers! must we leave thee to the demagogues who have deceived, and traitorously sold us? We must leave thee to them; and to the remnants of the Penobscots, the Pequods, the Mohicans, and Narragansetts; that they may lure back the far retired bear, from the distant forest, again to inhabit in the young wilderness, growing up in our flourishing cornfields and rich meadows, and spreading, with briars and brambles, over our most 'pleasant places.' )
"All this shall come to pass, to the intent that New-England may again become a lair for wild beasts, and a hunting-ground for savages. The graves of our parents be polluted; and the place made holy by the first footsteps of our pilgrim forefathers become profaned by the midnight orgies of barbarous incantation. The evening wolf shall again howl on our hills, and the echo of his yell mingle once more with the sound of our waterfalls. The sanctuaries of God shall be made desolate. Where now a whole people congregate-in thanksgiving for the benefactions of time, and in humble supplication for the mercies of eternity, there those very houses shall then be left without a tenant. The owl, at noonday, may roost on the high alter of devotion, and the 'fox look out the window,' on the utter solitude of a New-England Sabbath.
"New-England shall, indeed, under this proscribing policy, be what Switzerland was under that of France. New-England, which, like Switzerland, is the eagle nest of Freedom; NewEngland, where, as in Switzerland, the cradle of infant liberty 'was rocked by whirlwinds, in their rage;' New-England shall, as Switzerland was, in truth, be 'the immolated victim, where
nothing but the skin remains unconsumed by the sacrifice;' New-England, as Switzerland had, shall have nothing left but her rocks, her ruins, and her demagogues.")
"The mind, sir, capable of conceiving a project of mischief so gigantic, must have been early schooled, and deeply imbued with all the great principles of moral evil.
"What, then, sir, shall we say of a spirit, regarding this event as a 'consummation devoutly to be wished?'-a spirit without one attribute, or one hope, of the pure in heart; a spirit which begins and ends every thing, not with prayer, but with imprecation; a spirit which blots from the great canon of petition, 'Give us this day our daily bread;' that, foregoing bodily nutriment, he may attain to a higher relish for that unmingled food, prepared and served up to a soul 'hungering and thirsting after wickedness;' a spirit, which, at every rising sun, exclaims, 'Hodie! hodie! Carthago delenda!' 'To-day, to-day! let New-England be destroyed!'
"Sir, Divine Providence takes care of his own universe. Moral monsters cannot propagate. Impotent of every thing but malevolence of purpose, they can no otherwise multiply miseries, than by blaspheming all that is pure, and prosperous, and happy. Could demon propagate demon, the universe might become a Pandemonium; but I rejoice that the father of Lies can never become the father of liars. One 'adversary of God and man' is enough for one universe. Too much! Oh! how much too much for one nation."
Mr. Burges's labors were not alone confined to legal and political pursuits. He was often called upon to appear as the orator of popular assemblies, and, in addition to these duties, he contributed extensively to the periodical publications of the day. Among his occasional orations, The Spirit of Independence, delivered before the Providence Association of Manufacturers, in 1800, and another entitled, Liberty, Glory, and Union, or American Independence, pronounced at Providence, on the fourth of July, 1810, were highly commended, and obtained an extensive circulation.
At the close of Mr. Burges's term in Congress, he retired to his home, where he spent the rest of his life, free from any participation in public affairs, and chiefly devoted to rural and literary occupations. He died on the thirteenth of October, 1853
SPEECH ON THE JUDICIARY.
In December, 1825, Mr. Mercer, of Virginia, | ceed. Abandoning myself, therefore, to your introduced a resolution in relation to the Ju- candor, sir, and that of the House, I will look to the question for that support which a great diciary of the United States, in the House of question never fails to afford. Representatives, which was subsequently modified as follows:-"Resolved, That the bill be recommitted to the committee, that brought it in, with an instruction so to amend it, as to discharge the Judges of the Supreme Court from attendance on the Circuit Court of the United States; and further, to provide an uniform efficient system for the administration of justice in the inferior Courts of the United States." Mr. Burges addressed the House as follows:
This great question is the entire Judiciary of the United States. It was placed before Congress by the President; has been by this House referred to the appropriate committee; and they have detailed to us the great judicial diseases of the country, and proposed, by this bill, a remedy for them. It, therefore, concerns the administration of national justice, and our attention is, moreover, loudly called to it by a great and respectable portion of the American people.
MR. SPEAKER: Unused to occasions like the present, and without any practice, other than forensic, I find myself, unadvisedly, engaged in deliberative debate, where nothing is worthy of attention, unless most valuable in material, and in detail most finished. If I could now fairly retreat, it would be impossible for me to pro
The resolution moved by the honorable gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Mercer,) proposes a recommitment of the whole subject, to the intent that, the Judiciary, built at several times, and in distinct parcels, may be re-edified into one great whole, and accommodated to the present and future wants of the nation. The system of the bill is a Supreme Court, holding one term only, each year, sitting at Washington only; and beginning that term on the first Mon
day of February, as now is done; a Circuit | Another is deeply dissatisfied with the result Court, according to the present circuits, and of the Presidential election; 3d. Resolutions four new ones, to be formed from the circuit are poured in from every quarter for altering and the districts comprehending the nine States the constitution; 4th. The President is not yet in the Valley of the Mississippi. These ten quietly seated on his throne. To all these it circuits are to embrace all the districts in the may be replied, that the agitations of that State United States, excepting those of West New-sound more in words than in substantial damYork, West Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, ages. Men whom we daily see here with us alone. In every district but these three, dis- from that State, are too wise and too patriotic trict Judges alone shall be compelled to sustain to suffer that or their country to receive any district jurisdiction only, hold district rank, and serious injury from these discords. One emireceive district salary; in these three, with the nent citizen lately returned to her bosom, has same pay, and same rank, they shall be obliged exchanged too many and too high pledges with to perform circuit duties, and sustain circuit the nation, ever to give the aid of his influence jurisdiction. In each of the other districts, to any unreasonable sectional demands; and formed into ten circuits, justice shall be admin- without that aid, no such demands can be danistered by a circuit Judge, sustaining the gerous to this Union. After all, none of us can jurisdiction, holding the rank, and receiving fairly say, that his question, growing as it does the salary of a circuit Judge and a supreme out of a treaty, either fairly or fraudulently Judge, at the same time; and these, united to- made, threatening as it is represented to be, is gether, shall form a Supreme Court of ten of legislative, and not rather of judicial jurisJudges. These, sir, are the peculiar provisions diction. It would be indeed surprising if a of the bill. suit either at law or in equity, between parties of the highest rank, should ever agitate or endanger the government of this country. The other dissatisfied State has deposited a stake in the Union, too dear to her ambition to do or consent to a single deed, perilous to that depository. Her illustrious citizen is a candidate for the next Presidency. Will she abate the title, and sink the fee-simple of the whole estate, before she can place her tenant in possession of his term?
The resolution is intended to embrace another system. Each district shall remain as now. All the districts of the United States shall be formed into ten circuits. The whole United States shall be arranged into three great Supreme Court Departments; an Eastern, a Central, and a Western. In each district, as now, shall be a District Court, holden, as at present, by the same Judge, with the same jurisdiction, rank, and salary. In each circuit shall be a Circuit Court, holden at the same The numerous resolutions for altering the times and places as at present, and a circuit form of our government, will follow the nuJudge shall be appointed for each circuit, with merous generations of the same race, which only Circuit Court salary, rank, and jurisdiction. have gone before them. We shall discourse In each of the Supreme Court departments, and vote concerning them; bind, letter, and deshall be holden a term of the Supreme Court posite them in the legislative archives; and the once in each year. At Washington, Philadel-million copies of them printed, and spread over phia, or Richmond, on the first Monday of the country, will survive as long, and subserve January; at Columbus, Lexington, or a city in the same purpose, as does the fugitive fabric Tennessee, once in each year, on the first Mon- "in which they live, and move, and have their day in June; and at New-York or Boston once being." The people will (thanks be to Him in each year, and on the first Monday of Sep- who has blessed them with the right) if they tember. This court, so soon as constitutional please, and when they please, amend their concauses shall have reduced it to that number, stitution; all our profound reasonings, and pashall consist of six Judges, sustaining all the triotic recommendations, to the contrary notconstitutional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court withstanding. of the United States, and bearing the same rank, and receiving the same salary, as Judges of the Supreme Judicial Court of the United States now bear and receive. These, sir, are the provisions intended to be secured by the resolution. You therefore perceive, sir, that the subject of debate is a choice between the provisions of the bill and the proposals of the resolution. To me it seems proper, first to speak concerning the bill, and then to say a few things concerning the resolution.
Perhaps it may be needful, before debating the question, to remove some general and specific objections. It has been said, that this is an improper time to amend the Judiciary. Because, 1st. One of the States is agitated and embroiled with the General Government; 2d.
The President does not, and I trust no Chief Magistrate of the United States ever will, sit on a throne. There now lives, and delightful is the hope that for many coming centuries there will live, in this first, and perhaps last, region of genuine republican governments, many a Junius ready to raise the hand, brandish the crimson steel, and swear by the Guardian Power of Nations, that in our Rome, while he lives, no king shall ever reign. The distinguished gentleman, now directing the executive affairs of the United States, was placed in his seat, in the same constitutional manner, as was one other great citizen of our nation, heretofore placed there; and I trust he will hold his place as securely, and as prosperously, as did that illustrious individual. Whether he will
have another term, is another question. The solution of it depends on the nation and on himself. If that be not oblivious of its own interest; and if he continue to be the same profound scholar, the same enlightened statesman, the same ardent patriot, the same exemplary Christian, prophecy need not be invoked to tell us, that the nation will, for the usual period, continue to enjoy the benefit of his labors, and to participate in his fame.
Throughout the whole debate, the opposers of the system of the resolution misconceive, for they continually misstate, the objections made by the opposers to the system of the bill. They call them, 1st. A denial of justice; 2d. They pronounce them to be the same oppressive measures which originated the war of Independence; 3d. They denounce against them the "lex talionis;" 4th. They warn them that their Supreme Court will become odious to the people.
States; so, and so grossly, do we abuse "Heaven's first, best gift to man," language-the rich medium, by which alone, any portion of the treasured capital of intellectual opulence can be circulated in the world. We debase it to the very offices of the miser's woollen purse, which, elastic in its texture, adheres closely to his thumb and finger, cautiously introduced to extract a four-pence-half-penny; or stretches to the extended hand of his heir, thrust in up to his elbow, to clutch and draw out a fist full of eagles. Well might the lad swear his sister should have no name; because a name was a word, and a word might be abused: and so his sister's good name might come to be abused by every clown."
Why are the cpposers of this bill from the "Old Thirteen," threated with retaliation, by its advocates from the new States? Whom, and what do they menace? Their brethren, and the home of their fathers. "They went out from us," not "because they were not of us." They are still children of the great household, though settled upon, and cultivating different allotments of the common inheritance. Their paternal sepulchres are with us; and will they leave us alone to defend them? The Scythian, though he might not fight for his pasture, his flocks, or his tent, yet, when retreat had brought him back to the grave of his father, would he there, by that consecrated mound, and in defence of it, make the deadly stand, and mortal battle. When, in our sober autumns, they visit us, as they often do, they see the frail memorial yet standing on the green hill-side, and may there read many a holy legend "that teach the rustic moralist to die."
Does the present system deny justice to any man? Extra judicial causes may obstruct the course of it; but is that a denial of the right to justice itself? As well may they say, that, because the snags and sawyers of their rivers obstruct the passage of their vessels upon them, government, unless she remove those obstructions, denies the right of these people to navigate those waters. The opposers of this bill are not answerable for the inconvenient structure and slow movements of the old judiciary machine, or the diminished quantity of work produced by its operations. Neither do they propose to repair it by some two or three additional wheels, or any quantity of supplemental gearing. They do not believe it worth repairing; or that any amount of costs will put it in "The time will come," they exclaim, "when condition to do the judicial work of the nation the government shall be agitated to the very even "pretty well," for any thing like "twenty centre: and we may want some boon, like that years." "They propose to rebuild it on the true now demanded by them." The perilous day constitutional model; and accommodate its may indeed arrive, when our common country, structure, speed, and production, to the move- debased by luxury, agitated by faction, hardened ments and wants of the present, and probable by ambition, arrogant by power, shall not, by future condition of the nation. Adopt the sys-piling all the massy and mountainous weight of tem of the resolution, and you will have no ob- our laws and institutions, upon this gigantic and struction, no delay, no denial of justice. bloody brotherhood of crime and slaughter, be able to hold them down subdued. In this tremendous day of national agitation and jeopardy, will these men, or the sons of these men, be found wanting? They will not. We are all embarked in one great national vessel, bound on one great, and, we hope, long and prosperous national voyage. Will they, in the night of storm, throw overboard our share of the cargo, with the vain hope of preserving their own? We know they will not. Will they, on some lee shore, scuttle the ship to terminate the voyage? Will they, in the hour of assailment or battle, pull down the colors and give up the ship? We say, we know they will not. Why, then, these unavailing threats? Brave inen should never use them to brave men. Leave them for the accommodation of those who "die many times before their death."
What is there, in the opposition to this bill, resembling the unfeeling and oppressive cases of the Revolutionary war? Are the opposers kings? Are the advocates of it their colonists? Do these men, at their own pleasure, appoint, pay, and displace the judges of those courts? Do they deprive them of the trial by jury? or do they, for trial, transport them out of the vicinage, and beyond sea? These were among the causes which produced the War of the Revolution; and separated these States from the parent nation. What in this procedure resembles those causes? Yet this parallel has been drawn in this House; and the sketch, such as it is, published, sent over our country, and will be spread over Europe. "On eagles' wings, immortal scandals fly." The next importation of reviews will bring us a profound discourse or probable disunion of these
Will the time then come, when our Supreme
Court shall be odious, unless the judges of it | but could not circumscribe their adjudication; continue to perform their own, and the addi- and would subserve no other purpose than that tional duties of circuit court judges? This doc- of showing to the nation and the world, that trine is unknown to the constitution. That we neither regard the political rights of others projects a Supreme Judicial Court, separate and nor understand the limits of our own. supervising all courts of inferior jurisdiction. The argument of my colleague, delivered to Will it become odious because it is supreme? this House against this bill, in Committee of the Because neither the executive or legislative Whole, has drawn from our honorable friend arm can demolish or diminish its power, or from Ohio, (Mr. Wright,) something like a remove a finger within the pale of its jurisdic-proach, if a gentleman of so much genuine cour· tion? Or will it become odious, because it was tesy could utter a reproach, on Rhode Island. established to protect, and will probably for ever "She did not join the Union till the eleventh protect, the people from the usurpations of hour, and though so late herself at the wedding their own national servants? Should it become feast, would now hinder others at this late hour, odious because stationary, and jealousy may from receiving their full share of it." Let the lead the nation to suspect that it is influenced gentleman take the entire benefit of his sarcasm. by "the powers that be" and that act in this Rhode Island did come late to the wedding. She place? Make it then, sir, moveable, as the was always late when national bounties were resolution proposes. Place it before the nation, to be divided; but & ways early when national in the great departments of our country, that dangers were to be encountered. She was inthe people may see, and we know they will then deed, for herself, "last at the feast;" but she reverence this hallowed ark of our national was, for her country, first at the fight..
What then, sir, are the judicial evils pressed on the attention of this House by the movers of this bill? They are: 1st-an accumulation of causes in the Supreme Judicial Court; and, 2d— an accumulation of causes in the Circuit Courts of the west. For the purposes of this argument, I agree with these gentlemen in the several items of these evils; and in the sum total, according to their stated account of them. One un-hundred and eighty causes lie over, yearly, on the docket of the Supreme Court. These remain there, continued from term to term, from three to five years. The amount of expenses to each party, at each term, on an average of all the causes, cannot be, for fees, attendance and agency, much less than six hundred dollars; so that probably all the plaintiff's pay yearly, one hundred and eight thousand dollars; and all the defendants a like annual amount. This accumulation, it must be confessed, will be greatly augmented when you shall, as proposed by the bill, have removed the obstructions now literally choking the channels of justice in the western States. All the great causes accumulated there in consequence of the entire deficiency of
If adding three, and making the number of judges ten, were the only objection, I would have given the House no trouble on the present occasion. Ten judges may deliberate nearly as well as six. It belongs to the advocates of this bill to prove that the greater number can de-judicial labor in that vast region, fertile as it is liberate better than the lesser number can. If represented to be by the friends of the bill, in they cannot prove this, why should the judicia-legal question and controversy, will, by the ry field be encumbered with supernumerary la- three new judges, and four new circuits, be borers, or the national means consumed in cre- speedily tried, adjudged, and appealed; or at ating and paying sinecure salaries? least, a great number of the most heavy in amount and intricate in principle, will be appealed to the Supreme Court. In the west this accumulation is still more appalling; in some districts three hundred, some four hundred, some five hundred, and seven hundred causes; in all, from seventeen hundred to two thousand, lie over, untried, at each term; and the number is increasing to an alarming amount of accumulation.
The second objection is, I agree, answered by the consideration that the President cannot, by law, be restricted to any district of the Union, in selecting judges of the Supreme Court. When he does nominate, I will not believe he will nominate, or the Senate approve any but men superior to all sectional, legal, or moral objections.
This apprehended odiousness is but an apprehension. Such a court cannot be suspected; it cannot be odious so long as it is filled by the Marshalls and the Storys of our country. I do not name these gentlemen in derogation of other Judges of that tribunal; but because I have the honor and pleasure of acquaintance with one of them, and because, not to know the character of the other would argue myself more known than, humble as I am, I can willingly acknowledge myself to be.
One thing further: Some opposers of the bill object, 1st-The augmented number of judges; 2d-These judges will be selected from the west, and bring into the court sectional prejudications; 3d-A majority law is to ride in upon the back of this bill, making the unanimous vote of six, seven, eight, or perhaps nine Judges necessary to a decision.
Congress cannot control the decisions of the Supreme Court. They, as a separate, co-ordinate, and independent power, received, like the legislature, their authority from the people, by the constitution. Such a law might encumber,
These evils are to be remedied by this bill. The nine States of the Mississippi valley are arranged into four circuits; and three new judges are to be appointed as judges of the Supreme