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empire in the west, of which the prisoner was | tumn of 1806 he goes forth for the last time to to be the chief. It ought to be recollected that apply this match. On this occasion he meets these were his objects, and that the whole west- with Blannerhassett. ern country, from Beaver to Orleans, was the Who is Blannerhassett? A native of Ireland, theatre of his treasonable operations. It is by a man of letters, who fled from the storms of this first reasoning that you are to consider his own country to find quiet in ours. His biswhether he be a principal or an accessory, and tory shows that war is not the natural element not by limiting your inquiries to the circum- of his mind. If it had been, he never would scribed and narrow spot in the island where have exchanged Ireland for America. So far the acts charged happened to be performed. is an army from furnishing the society natural Having shown, I think, on the ground of law, and proper to Mr. Blannerhassett's character, that the prisoner cannot be considered as an that on his arrival in America, he retired even accessory, let me press the inquiry, whether on from the population of the Atlantic States, and the ground of reason he be a principal or ac- sought quiet and solitude in the bosom of our cessory; and remember that his project was to western forests. But he carried with him taste seize New Orleans, separate the Union, and and science and wealth; and lo, the desert erect an independent empire in the west, of smiled! Possessing himself of a beautiful islwhich he was to be the chief. This was the and in the Ob o, he rears upon it a palace, destination of the plot and the conclusion of and decorates it with every romantic embellishthe drama. Will any man say that Blanner- ment of fancy. ( A shrubbery that Shenstone bassett was the principal, and Burr but an ac- might have envied, blooms around him. Music cessory? Who will believe that Burr, the au- that might have charmed Calypso and her thor and projector of the plot, who raised the nymphs is his. An extensive library spreads forces, who enlisted the men, and who procured its treasures before him. A philosophical apthe funds for carrying it into execution, was paratus offers to him all the secrets and mystermade a cat's-paw of? Will any man believe ies of nature. Peace, tranquillity and innocence that Burr, who is a soldier, bold, ardent, rest- shed their mingled delights around him. And less and aspiring, the great actor whose brain to crown the enchantment of the scene, a wite, conceived, and whose hand brought the plot who is said to be lovely even beyond her sex, into operation, that he should sink down into and graced with every accomplishment that can an accessory, and that Blannerhassett should be render it irresistible, had blessed him with her elevated into a principal? He would startle at love, and made him the father of several chilonce at the thought. Aaron Burr, the contri- dren. The evidence would convince you that ver of the whole conspiracy, to every body con- this is but a faint picture of the real life.) In cerned in it was as the sun to the planets which the midst of all this peace, this innocent simsurround him. Did he not bind them in their plicity and this tranquillity, this feast of the respective orbits and give them their light, their mind, this pure banquet of the heart, the deheat and their motion? Yet he is to be consid- stroyer comes; he comes to change this parered an accessory, and Blannerhassett is to be adise into a hell. Yet the flowers do not the principal !
wither at his approach. No monitory shudderLet us put the case between Barr and Blan- ing through the bosom of their unfortunate posnerhassett. Let us compare the two men and sessor warns him of the ruin that is coming settle this question of precedence between them. upon him. A stranger presents himself. InIt may save a good deal of troublesome cere- troduced to their civilities by the high rank mony hereafter.
which he had lately held in his country, he soon Who Aaron Burr is, we have seen in part al- finds his way to their hearts by the dignity and ready. I will add, that beginning his operations elegance of his demeanor, the light and beauty in New York, he associates with him men of his conversation, and the seductive and faswhose wealth is to supply the necessary funds. cinating power of his address. The conquest Possessed of the mainspring, his personal labor was not difficult. Innocence is ever simple and contrives all the machinery. Pervading the credulous. Conscious of no design itself, it continent from New York to New Orleans, he suspects none in others. It wears no guard bedraws into his plan, by every allurement which fore its breast. Every door, and portal, and he can contrive, men of all ranks and descrip- avenue of the heart is thrown open, and all tions. To youthful ardor he presents danger who choose it enter, Such was the state of and glory; to ambition, rank and titles and hon- Eden when the serpent entered its bowers. ors; to avarice the mines of Mexico. To each The prisoner, in a more engaging form, winding person whom he addresses he presents the ob- himself into the open and unpractised heart of ject adapted to his taste. His recruiting offi- the unfortunate Blannerhassett, found but litcers are appointed. Men are engaged through- tle difficulty in changing the native character out the continent. Civil life is indeed quiet of that heart and the objects of its affection. upon its surface, but in its bosom this man has By degrees he infuses into it the poison of his contrived to deposit the materials which, with own ambition. He breathes into it the fire of the slightest touch of his match, produce an ex- his own courage; a daring and desperate thirst plosion to shake the continent. All this his for glory; an ardor panting for great enterrestless ambition has contrived; and in the au- prises, for all the storm and bustle and hurricane
of life. In a short time the whole man is changed, I injustice and inhumanity of considering him as and every object of his former delight is relin- inferior in guilt to them,) Aaron Burr was not quished. No more he enjoys the tranquil scene; a principal, but an accessorial offender in the it bas become flat and insipid to his taste. His treason; would you, for that reason, stop the books are abandoned. His retort and crucible evidence from going to the jury? Now, to are thrown aside. His shrubbery blooms and inquire whether the conduct of Aaron Burr breathes its fragrance upon the air in vain; he make him liable as a principal or accessory, is likes it not. His ear no longer drinks the rich only arguing in a different shape the whole melody of music; it longs for the trumpet's question, whether he have committed an overt clangor and the cannon's roar. Even the prat- act of war or not. The jury are to consult and tle of his babes, once so sweet, no longer affects decide whether he be a principal offender or him; and the angel smile of his wife, which not. Whether he be a principal or accessory is hitherto touched his bosom with ecstasy so un a question of fact, which they are sworn to despeakable, is now unseen and unfelt. Greater cide. The court must judge of the weight of objects have taken possession of his soul. His evidence, before it can say that the accused is imagination has been dazzled by visions of dia- either a principal or accessory. Suppose one dems, of stars, and garters, and titles of nobility. part of the evidence contradicts another. Is it He has been taught to burn with restless emu- not judging of the weight of evidence to decide lation at the names of great heroes and con- whether he be a principal or accessory? If it querors. His enchanted island is destined soon be not, I know not what judging of the weight to relapse into a wilderness; and in a few of evidence is. Nothing is more peculiar within months we find the beautiful and tender partner the exclusive province of the jury than the sufof his bosom, whom he lately “permitted not ficiency or insufficiency of the evidence. the winds of” summer "to visit too roughly,” But the court never says that the evidence is we find her shivering at midnight, on the win- or is not sufficient to prove what it is intended try banks of the Ohio, and mingling her tears to establish. No court has such right. The with the torrents that froze as they fell. Yet course in such cases, is to give instructions in a this unfortunate man, thus deluded from his in- general charge to the jury, after all the evidence terest and his happiness, thus seduced from the shall have been heard. Will you, because of paths of innocence and peace, thus confounded your impressions on this subject, from a merely in the toils that were deliberately spread for partial view of the evidence, compel the jury him, and overwhelmed by the mastering spirit also to decide on that necessarily partial view? and genius of another—this man, thus ruined If you do, do you not thereby divest the jury of and undone, and made to play a subordinate their peculiar functions ? Their province should part in this grand drama of guilt and treason, not be invaded. The invasion is big with danthis man is to be called the principal offender, ger and terror. I trust that you will see this while he, by whom he was thus plunged in mis- subject in the awful light in which it really ery, is comparatively innocent, a mere accesso- stands, and that you will suffer the trial to take ry! Is this reason? Is it law? Is it humani- its natural course. ty? Sir, neither the human heart nor the hu Mr. Martin has referred you to a number of man understanding will bear a perversion so cases from Cooper and other authors, but they monstrous and absurd ! so shocking to the soull do not prove the position intended. The court, so revolting to reason! Let Aaron Burr, then, in all these cases, leaves the jury to decide on not shrink from the high destination which he the overt act. You will find those cases to has courted, and having already ruined Blan- amount simply to this: a dialogue between the nerhassett in fortune, character and happiness, court and the counsel of the prisoner, as to the for ever, let him not attempt to finish the trage- overt act. The court was required to say, whethdy by thrusting that ill-fated man between him-er the overt act were proved or not. There was self and punishment.
no judicial determination. The judge merely Upon the whole, sir, reason declares Aaron told his opinion ; but he told the jury at the Burr the principal in this crime, and confirms same time, that the decision belonged to them herein the sentence of the law; and the gentle- and not to him. man, in saying that his offence is of a derivative There is a wide difference between criminal and accessorial nature, begs the question, and and civil cases; and as it is of much more imdraws his conclusions from what, instead of be- portance to preserve the trial by jury in the ing conceded, is denied. It is clear from what former, to protect the lives of the people against has been said, that Burr did not derive his guilt unjust persecutions, than in mere civil suits, to from the men on the island, but imparted his preserve the rights of property, the constitution own guilt to them; that he is not an accessory, has secured that trial in all criminal prosecubut a principal; and, therefore, that there is tions. nothing in the objection which demands a rec
Should the court interfere for the purpose of ord of their conviction before we shall go on stopping the evidence, and to wrest the cause with our proof against him.
from the jury, in favor of the accused, would But suppose you should think otherwise, sup- there not be a reciprocal right? If it can interpose you were of opinion, that on principles of fere to save the prisoner, can they not interfere
and reason, (notwithstanding the seeming equally against him? A thing unprecedented
in the annals of jurisprudence. Have the coun- the jury, or the jury for the court, at pleasure ; sel, on either side, a right to call on the other to address the court on facts, or the jury on side, to state all their evidence, before it be in- points of law? Such an attempt would not be troduced, and then to address the court without a greater encroachment on the right of the hearing it, if they think they have a better proper tribunal, than the present motion is on chance before the court than the jury? Has the rights of the jury.* either party a right to substitute the court for
THE CHEROKEE CASE.
The following is an extract from Mr. Wirt's comparatively few. The great majority of the argument before the Supreme Court of the American people see this subject in its true United States, on a motion for an injunction to bosoms, instead of hearts of stone; and every
light. They have hearts of flesh in their prevent the execution of certain acts of the lo- rising and setting sun witnesses the smoke of gislature of Georgia, in the territory of the the incense from the thousands and tens of Cherokee nation of Indians, on behalf of the thousands of domestic altars, ascending to the Cherokee nation.*
throne of grace to invoke its guidance and bless
ing on your councils. The most undoubting that have occurred to me as bearing materially for this unfortunate people will be done by this Sir, I have presented to you all the views confidence is reposed in this tribunal.
We know that whatever can be properly done on this question. I have endeavored to satisfy honorable court. Their cause is one that must you that, according to the supreme law of the land, you have before you proper parties and a have been true and faithful to us, and have a
come to every honest and feeling heart. They proper case to found your original jurisdiction : that the case is one which warrants and most right to expect a corresponding fidelity on our imperiously demands an injunction ; and unless part. Through a long course of years, they its aspect be altered by an answer and evidence, children. Our wish has been their law. We
have followed our counsel with the docility of -which I confidently believe it cannot be—that if ever there was a case which called for a de- asked them to become civilized, and they becree of perpetual peace, this is the case.
came so. They assumed oar dress, copied our It is with no ordinary feelings that I am about names, pursued our course of education, adopted to take leave of this cause. The existence of
our form of government, embraced our religion, this remnant of a once great and mighty nation and have been proud to imitate us in every is at stake; and it is for your honors to say
thing in their power. They have watched the whether they shall be blotted out from the cre- progress of our prosperity with the strongest ation, in utter disregard of all our treaties. interest, and have marked the rising grandeur They are here in the last extremity, and with of our pation with as much interest as if they them must perish for ever the honor of the had belonged to us. They have even adopted American name. The faith of our nation is fa
our resentments, and in our war with the Semitally linked with their existence, and the blow nole tribes they voluntarily joined our arms, which destroys them quenches for ever our own and gave effectual aid in driving back those barglory: for what glory can there be, of which a them. They threw upon the field in that war
barians from the very State that now oppresses patriot can be proud, after the good name of his country shall have departed ? We may gather
a body of men, who proved, by their martial laurels on the field and trophies on the ocean, bearing, their descent from the noble race that but they will never hide this foul blot upon our
were once the lords of these extensive forests escutcheon. “Remember the Cherokee nation,”
men worthy to associate with the “lion" who, will be answer enough to the proudest boasts in their own language, “walks opon the mounthat we can ever make-answer enough to tain-tops.”+ They fought, side by side, with cover with confusion the face and the heart of our present Chief Magistrate, and received his every man among us, in whose bosom the last repeated thanks for their gallantry and conduct. spark of grace has not been extinguished. Such,
May it please your honors, they have refused it is possible, there may be who are willing to to us no gratification which it has been in their glory in their own shame, and to triumph in the power to grant. We asked them for a portion disgrace which they are permitted to heap upon
of their lands, and they ceded it. We asked this nation. But, thank Heaven! they are
* The remainder of Mr. Wirt's speech, in which he replied See the Memoirs of the Life of William Wirt, Attorney- to Mr. Wickham's fourth objection to the admission of fur. General of the Unitod States, by John P. Kennedy: vol 2. ther evidence on the part of the prosecution, is omitted. pp. 370-348
+ The Indian designation of their chieftain Ridge.
again and again, and they continued to cede, g.ory which we have been gaining before the until they have now reduced themselves within world for the last half century 1 Forbid it, the narrowest compass that their own subsist- Heaven! ence will permit. What return are we about I will hope for better things. There is a to make to them for all this kindness? We spirit that will yet save us. I trust that we have pledged for their protection, and for the shall find it here, in this sacred court, where no guaranty of the remainder of their lands, the foul and malignant demon of party enters to faith and honor of the nation; à faith and darken the understanding or to deaden the honor never sullied, nor even drawn into ques- heart, but where all is clear, calm, pure, vital tion till now. We promised them, and they and firm. I cannot believe that this honorable trusted us. They have trusted us: Shall they court, possessing the power of preservation, be deceived? They would as soon expect to will stand by and see these people stripped of see their rivers run upwards on their sources, their property and extirpated from the earth, or the sun roll back in his career, as that the while they are holding up to us their treaties United States would prove false to them, and and claiming the fulfilment of our engagements. false to the word so solemnly pledged by their If truth, and faith, and honor, and justice have Washington, and renewed and perpetuated by fled from every other part of our country, we his illustrious successors.
sball find them here. If not-our sun has gone Is this the high mark to which the American down in treachery, blood and crime, in the face nation has been so strenuously and successfully of the world; and, instead of being proud of pressing forward ? Shall we sell the mighty our country, as heretofore, we may well call meed of our high honors at so worthless a upon the rocks and mountains to hide our shame price, and, in two short years, cancel all the from earth and heaven.