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“ The elaborate essay by Mr. Legaré,' On the Origin, History, and Influence of Roman Legislation, contains evidence that his pen was not silent as to the accomplishments of the learned Judge. It is in my power to testify, that his lips were eloquent in his praise. During a conversation with Mr. Legaré, not long since, he remarked, • What a wonderful man is Judge Story! his labors and his services have been immense; he is the greatest living lawyer; he is not old; ten years more of life would be of inestimable value to the country
“ The conversation was interesting, and certain portions I have already communicated to another person, to whom Mr. Legaré alluded in terms of approbation. His language made a strong impression upon me, not only from its truthfulness, but from the fervent and heartfelt manner in which he poured forth his thoughts, at a time when he was evidently not contemplating the rapid termination of his own career. His commendation will lose much of its value, if I am to remain the sole depositary of it. I hope it is worthy of diffusion through the medium of the Law Reporter. It is no infirmity for one as distinguished as the author of Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws” to value the praise of honorable men. Cicero commends a passage in the play of Hector, by Cneus Nævis, an early author, where the hero, delighted with the praises of his father Priam, exclaims,
PROFESSORIAL AND JUDICIAL LIFE.
HEALTH - PUBLISHES THIRD EDITIONS OF BAILMENTS, EQUITY JURISPRUDENCE, AND AGENCY — CASE OF “ VIDAL v. GIRARD'S EXECUTORS ” - EXPLOSION OF THE GUN "PEACEMAKER" - DEDICATION OF VESEY'S REPORTS "FOLSOM v. MARSA” – ExtRACT FROM THE JUDGMENT VACANCIES ON THE SUPREME COURT BENCH - LETTER on LEGAL INSTRUCTION ANNEXATION OF Texas — Hış OPPOSI
- CONCURRENCE OF VIEW WITH DR. CHANNING ON THIS SUBJECT – LECTURE BY MR. BACON - CIRCUIT LABORS
.“ JenKINS v. ELDREDGE” – ELECTION OF MR. POLK - DESPONDENCY MODE OF LECTURING IN THE LAW SCHOOL-LECTURES ON WILLIAM PINKNEY, Esq. AND CHIEF JUSTICE PARSONS.
TION TO IT
By the autumn of 1843, my father's health was completely reëstablished. He now applied himself with great ardor to his judicial duties, and cleared off the accumulated docket of two terms, which, in consequence of his illness, had become very large, and was crowded with cases arising under the Bankrupt Law. Not to have done this would have annoyed him more than the labor necessary to perform it. He never could rest content while he was in the least behindhand and encumbered with duties belonging to the past. He was only happy when he was abreast of the present. During this autumn he also prepared a third edition of his Commentaries on the Law of Bailments, on Equity Jurisprudence, and on Agency, to the thorough revision of which he gave much time. Notwithstanding this accumulation of work, his health continued to improve, and in the beginning of the year 1844 he attended the session of the Supreine Court at Washington. Unfortunately, in consequence of illness, the Chief Justice was disabled from attending the Court during a portion of the term, and my father was thus compelled to act in his behalf; and as the cases tried during this term were important, he found little leisure at Washington.
Ainong the cases which came before the Supreme Court in 1844, was that of Vidal 1. Girard's Executors, (2 Howard's R. 128.) The circumstances of this case were these: Mr. Stephen Girard, a very wealthy citizen of Philadelphia, had made a large bequest, of real and personal property, to the corporation of the city of Philadelphia, in trust for the erection and support of a college for the education and support of poor orphans, under certain restrictions and regulations, one of which was in these words :
Secondly, I enjoin and require that no ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister of any sect whatsoever, shall ever hold or exercise any station or duty whatever in the said college ; nor shall any such person ever be admitted for any purpose, or as a visitor, within the preinises appropriated to the purposes of the said college.
“ In making this restriction, I do not mean to cast any reflection upon any sect or person whatsoever; but, as there is such a multitude of sects, and such a diversity of opinion amongst them, I desire to keep the tender ininds of the or. phans, who are to derive advantage from this bequest, free from the exciteinent which clashing doctrines and sectarian controversy are so apt to produce; my desire is, that all the instructors and teachers in the college shall take pains to instil into the minds of the scholars the purest principles of morality, so that, on their entrance into active life, they may, from inclination and habit, evince benevolence towards their fellow-creatures, and a love of truth, sobriety, and industry, adopting at the same time such religious tenets as their matured reason may enable them to prefer."
A bill in Equity was brought by some of the heirs of Mr. Girard, praying for relief against the provisions of this will, on the ground that the charity was void, for uncertainty and illegality; and the points made by the counsel for the appellant, upon the removal of the case to the Supreme Court, were,
“1. That the bequest of the college fund is to this amount void, by reason of the uncertainty of the designation of the beneficiaries or cestui que trusts of the legacy.
“ 2. That the corporation of the city of Philadelphia is not authorized by its charter to administer the trusts of this legacy, and that the intentions of the testator would be defeated by the substitution of any other trustee.
“ 3. That, if otherwise capable of taking effect, the trust would be void, because the plan of education proposed is anti-christian, and therefore repugnant to the law of Pennsylvania, and is also opposed to the provision of Art. IX. sect. 3, of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, that no human authority can in any case whatever control or interfere with the rights of conscience.”'
The Court (my father delivering the judgment) held that the will was valid. That portion of the judgment which relates to the third point was as follows:
“ This objection is, that the foundation of the college upon the principles and exclusions prescribed by the testator, is derogatory and hostile to the Christian religion, and so is voill, as being against the common law and public policy of Pennsylvania; and this for two reasons: First, because of the exclusion of all ecclesiastics, inissionaries, and ininisters of any sect from holding or exercising any station or duty in the college, or even visiting the same; and secondly, because it limits the instruction to be given to the scholars to pure morality, and general benevolence, and a love of truth, sobriety, and industry, thereby excluding, by implication, all instruction in the Christian religion.
“ In considering this objection, the Court are not at liberty to travel out of the record in order to ascertain what were the private religious opinions of the testator, (of which, indeed, we can know nothing,) nor to consider whether the scheme of education by him prescribed, is such as we ourselves should approve, or as is best adapted to accomplish the great aims and ends of education. Nor are we at liberty to look at general considerations of the supposed public interests and policy of Pennsylvania upon this subject, beyond what its constitution and laws and juclicial decisions nake known to
The question, what is the public policy of a State, and what is contrary to it, if inquired into beyond these limits, will be found to be one of great vagueness and uncertainty, and to involve discussions which scarcely come within the range of judicial duty and functions, and upon which men may and will complexionally differ. Above all, when that topic is connected with religious polity, in a country composed of such a variety of religious sects as our country, it is impossible not to feel that it would be attended with alınost insuperable difficulties, and involve differences of opinion alınost endless in their variety. We disclaim any right to enter upon such examinations, beyond what the State Constitutions, and laws, and decisions, necessarily bring be
“ It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a