Page:A Historic Judicial Controversy and Some Reflections (Gregory, 1913).djvu/2

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

War and Secretary of State, and was then a Senator of the United States. One of his associates was Roger Griswold of Connecticut, a member of Congress from that state, and afterwards a Justice of the Supreme Court and Governor. Another was William Plamer of New Hampshire, though born in Massachusetts, then in the Senate of the United States and afterwards twice Governor of his state.

It is said that Alexander Hamilton was selected as the person to conduct the military operations which were contemplated; and that, though he was opposed to this meditated treason, he consented to attend a meeting of Federalists to be held in Boston during the autumn of 1804. His tragic death in July of that year prevented any participation in these conferences.

Apparently, the purpose of the conspirators was soon abandoned, and no overt act was committed; but it is well to remember that Massachusetts and not South Carolina was the original home of the secession heresy. However, in this connection, it may also well be remembered that her most distinguished son, Daniel Webster, in perhaps the greatest parliamentary debate recorded in history, absolutely demolished this doctrine in his celebrated reply to Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina. This, in a measure, atones for this error on the part of Massachusetts, as well as for the exhibition of her weakness in choosing some of Mr. Webster's successors in the Senate. In respect of senatorial representation she has not had, at times, much advantage over Illinois.

The case in Wisconsin in which the right of a state to nullify Federal legislation was judicially determined is referred to generally as the Glover rescue case or the Booth case. In writing of it I avail myself of the labors of that most excellent and accomplished Judge, John B. Winslow, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, who in some way finds time not merely, with great fidelity and general acceptance, to perform the arduous duties of his high office, but also, in most interesting and attractive style, to contribute to the judicial and professional history of his state.

In the spring of 1852, while the great conflict over slavery which preceded the Civil War was at its height, a negro slave named Joshua Glover ran away from his master, Benammi S. Garland, who resided in Missouri near the city of St. Louis. Glover ultimately reached Racine and found work about four miles from that city in a mill. There he remained until the spring of 1854, when his master, having discovered his whereabouts, came to Wisconsin to re-claim him under the Fugitive Slave law of 1850. Following the procedure indicated by that statute, he made a complaint before Winfield Smith, then a United States Court Commissioner, at Milwau-