History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 5 [addenda]
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<​June 26​> may differ somewhat in their opinions about it; but can it be supposed that after all the indignities to which we have been subjected. outside, that this people could suffer a set of worthless vagabonds to come into our , and right under our own eyes and protection, vilify and calumniate, not only ourselves, but the character of our wives and daughters, as was impudently and unblushingly done in that infamous and filthy sheet? There is not a city in the that would have suffered such an indignity for twenty-four hours. Our whole people were indignant, and loudly called upon our city authorities for a redress of their grievances which if not attended to, they themselves would have taken the matter into their own hands and have summarily punished the audacious wretches, as they deserved. The principles of equal rights that have been instilled into our bosoms, from our cradles, as American citizens, forbid us submitting to every foul indignity and succumbing and pandering to wretches so infamous as these. But independent of this, the course that we pursued, we considered to be strictly legal; for notwithstand<​ing​> the insult, we were anxious to be governed strictly by law and therefore convened the City Council; and being desirous in our deliberations to abide law, summoned legal counsel to be present on the occasion. Upon investigating the matter, we found that our City Charter gave us power to remove all nuisances; and furthermore upon consulting Blackstone upon what might be considered a nuisance, that distinguished lawyer, who is considered authority, I believe, in all our courts, states among other things that ‘a libellous and filthy press may be considered a nuisance and abated as such.’ Here then one of the most eminent English barristers whose works are considered standard with us, declares, that a libellous and filthy press may be considered a nuisance, and our own charter, given us by the Legislature of this , gives us the power to remove nuisances, and by ordering that press abated as a nuisance, we conceived that we were acting strictly in accordance with the law. We made that order in our corporate capacity and the carried it out. It is possible there may have been some better way, but I must confess that I could not see it.
“In relation to the writ served upon us, we were willing to abide the consequences of our own acts; but were unwilling, in answering a writ of that kind, to submit to illegal exactions sought to be imposed upon us under the pretence of law, when we know they were in open violation if it. When that document was presented to me by , I offered in the presence of more than twenty persons, to go to any other magistrate, either in our or Appanoose, or any other place, where we should be safe, but we all refused to put ourselves into the power of a mob. What right had that to refuse our request? He had none according to law; for you know, , that the statute law in is, that the parties served with the writ, ‘shall go before him who issued it, or some other Justice of the Peace.’ Why then should we be dragged to [p. 5 [addenda]]
June 26 may differ somewhat in their opinions about it; but can it be supposed that after all the indignities to which we have been subjected. outside, that this people could suffer a set of worthless vagabonds to come into our , and right under our own eyes and protection, vilify and calumniate, not only ourselves, but the character of our wives and daughters, as was impudently and unblushingly done in that infamous and filthy sheet? There is not a city in the that would have suffered such an indignity for twenty-four hours. Our whole people were indignant, and loudly called upon our city authorities for a redress of their grievances which if not attended to, they themselves would have taken the matter into their own hands and have summarily punished the audacious wretches, as they deserved. The principles of equal rights that have been instilled into our bosoms, from our cradles, as American citizens, forbid us submitting to every foul indignity and succumbing and pandering to wretches so infamous as these. But independent of this, the course that we pursued, we considered to be strictly legal; for notwithstanding the insult, we were anxious to be governed strictly by law and therefore convened the City Council; and being desirous in our deliberations to abide law, summoned legal counsel to be present on the occasion. Upon investigating the matter, we found that our City Charter gave us power to remove all nuisances; and furthermore upon consulting Blackstone upon what might be considered a nuisance, that distinguished lawyer, who is considered authority, I believe, in all our courts, states among other things that ‘a libellous and filthy press may be considered a nuisance and abated as such.’ Here then one of the most eminent English barristers whose works are considered standard with us, declares, that a libellous and filthy press may be considered a nuisance, and our own charter, given us by the Legislature of this , gives us the power to remove nuisances, and by ordering that press abated as a nuisance, we conceived that we were acting strictly in accordance with the law. We made that order in our corporate capacity and the carried it out. It is possible there may have been some better way, but I must confess that I could not see it.
“In relation to the writ served upon us, we were willing to abide the consequences of our own acts; but were unwilling, in answering a writ of that kind, to submit to illegal exactions sought to be imposed upon us under the pretence of law, when we know they were in open violation if it. When that document was presented to me by , I offered in the presence of more than twenty persons, to go to any other magistrate, either in our or Appanoose, or any other place, where we should be safe, but we all refused to put ourselves into the power of a mob. What right had that to refuse our request? He had none according to law; for you know, , that the statute law in is, that the parties served with the writ, ‘shall go before him who issued it, or some other Justice of the Peace.’ Why then should we be dragged to [p. 5 [addenda]]
Page 5 [addenda]