Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/121

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

himself to the Democratic party. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1852, and re-elected in 1858. On Dec. 31, 1860, in a speech to the Senate, he avowed his adhesion to the State of Louisiana, which had seceded from the Union, and he at once withdrew from the Senate and returned to New Orleans. He was then called by Jefferson Davis, who had just been elected President of the Southern Confederacy, to join the Cabinet as Attorney-General. To the duties of this office were added those of Acting-Secretary of War during a temporary vacancy in that office. On the appointment of a permanent Secretary of War, the Cabinet was reorganised, and Mr. Benjamin was made Secretary of State, retaining that office and the confidence of the President until the overthrow of the Confederacy. He then escaped the pursuit of the Northern troops, and succeeded in reaching Nassau, New Providence, whence he sailed for England, where he arrived in Sept. 1865. Mr. Benjamin had been in reality the soul of the rebellion. His entire property was confiscated, and it is an interesting fact that his law library was bought in by public subscription and presented to him. He came to England in Sept., 1865, and through the personal influence of Lord Cairns was called to the bar in 1866, after keeping his terms for one year only. He at once acquired a large practice at Liverpool, where the principal firms of solicitors have intimate relations with the leading legal houses of New Orleans. He received a silk gown in 1872, and from that date was engaged in almost every case of importance. Among his many arguments, the one most generally known is that which he delivered before the Court for Crown Cases Reserved on behalf of the captain of the Franconia. His last great Nisi Prius case was that of Anson and others against the London and North-Western Railway. After this he entirely refused any briefs except upon Appeal, and was only to be seen in the House of Lords and the Privy Council. In the latter his knowledge of general jurisprudence gave him a great advantage. He was, indeed, in the widest sense of the term, an international lawyer. Mr. Benjamin retired from practice in Feb., 1883. In 1868 he published the 1st, and in 1873 the 2nd edition of a "Treatise on the Law of Sale of Personal Property."

BENNET, James Henry, M.D., was born at Manchester in 1816. His father was an influential manufacturer, connected with the discoveries in textile fabrics which marked the beginning of this century, and was the first to obtain a patent for uniting cotton and wool in one fabric, and was the inventor and patentee of the cloth named by him "corduroy." After his father's death his mother took him to Paris to be educated, by the advice of M. Fernaux, an eminent French manufacturer, and a friend of the family. He was placed at a French college ("St. Louis"), and remained there until the age of seventeen. He was then apprenticed in the usual course to Mr. Ormond Tabberer, a maternal uncle, a clever surgeon, practising at Repton, in Derbyshire. With him he remained until the age of twenty, when he returned to Paris for a visit. Finding, through his former college friends, that the Paris medical schools presented very great advantages, he got his uncle to release him from the unexpired years of his apprenticeship, and began his medical studies de novo in the French capital, where he remained for seven years, competing for and gaining every appointment that was open to competition, and also teaching and writing for the medical press. During the last four of these years he was an "Interne des Hôpitaux," or House Physician to the Paris hospitals, an appointment