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made him, Daniel helped his favorite brother HARVEY'S REMINISCENCES OF DANIEL
Ezekiel through college with money which he earned WEBSTER.
in teaching, and probably the greatest trial of his 'HIS volume, by a life-long, trusted and familiar
life was to decline the lucrative office of clerk of THIS
friend of Daniel Webster, presents the great Merrimac county, procured for him by his father, man in some new lights and teems with anecdotes, and the income of which would have made himself most of which have now found their way into print and his father's family comparatively affluent, befor the first time. Despite some trivialities and
cause Governor Gore told him that his destiny was some undue partialities, we think the result of the to make opinions for others to record. book will be to elevate Webster's character as a The most striking description of Webster's perman. His repute as a lawyer and statesman could sonal appearance which we have ever met is conscarcely be enhanced, and Mr. Harvey therefore tained in this volume, extracted from the New York wisely deals chiefly with the private side of his Tribune newspaper, and representing him in one of character. He gives us many conversations with his first causes. “ He was a black, raven-haired felWebster which bear on themselves the impress of low, with an eye as black as death and as heavy as faithful narration, and he presents him to us in his a lion's — that same heavy look, not sleepy, but as family and among his friends and contemporaries, if he didn't care about any thing that was going on in a microscopic way, which sheds vastly more light about him, or any thing anywhere else. He didn't upon his real character than volumes of eulogy or look as if he was thinking about any thing, but as generalization. Perhaps we cannot do better than if he would think like a hurricane if he once got to run through this amusing volume for our readers, waked up to it. They say the lion looks so when and give them a general idea of its scope.
he is quiet. It wasn't an empty look this, of WebSome of the anecdotes about Daniel's boyhood ster's, but one that didn't seem to see any thing goand youth are quite new, and were derived from his ing on worth his while.” In this connection we own lips. His father was a poor man, as we have must not omit an anecdote of General Stark, of always known; but his account of the poverty of Bennington fame. Daniel was traveling on horsesome of their New Hampshire neighbors seems al- back from Portsmouth to court at Concord, and most incredible. Thus, one neighbor whom Daniel stopped over night at Hooksett, now Manchester. visited could offer him no better fare than a bundle The old general was at the tavern, and, Yankee of green grass fried in hog's lard; “but,” said Mr. fashion, questioned Daniel and elicited the confesWebster emphatically, “it was not so bad after all. sion that he was a son of Captain Ebenezer Webster, They fried up a great platter of it, and I made my of Salisbury. Thereupon the husband of Molly supper and breakfast off it.” This was the man Stark exclaimed: “Are you a son of old Captain who, on Daniel's graduating, advised him as to a Eb? Let me see you (turning him round). Why, I choice of a profession. He said:
"As for bein' a declare! Well, I am inclined to think you may be. minister, I would never think of doin' that; they In the war we could not tell whether Captain never get paid any thing. Doctorin’ is a miserable Webster's face was a natural color or blackened by profession; they live upon other people's ailin's, are powder. You must be his son, for you are a cursed up nights and have no peace. And as for bein' a sight blacker than he was!” lawyer, I would never propose that to anybody.” Among the anecdotes illustrating Webster's powThe end of it was, he advised Daniel to study con- ers in court we were most struck by one relative to juring, so he could tell a man where his lost cow the case of Brown v. Bramble. The plaintiff held was, for people "would think nothin' of paying Bramble's annuity bond for one hundred dollars for three or four dollars to a man like that, so as to find life. Bramble was in the habit of indorsing his own their property;" and as there was no conjurer with payments on it, and having Brown subscribe his in a hundred miles, he thought there was a good mark, for Brown could neither read nor write. opening. Once, when Daniel was at home in the Finally, on paying one year's due, Bramble indorsed winter on a vacation, his mother gave him a new one thousand dollars instead of one hundred dolsuit of clothes, spun, woven and dyed by her own lars, and added “in full consideration of, and canhands. On his return to college in a sleigh, arrayed celing this bond,” which Brown unsuspectingly in his new suit, a bridge having been carried away, signed. Webster brought suit for Brown after the he was obliged to ford the stream, and in the tran- fraud was discovered. During the trial one of the sit he sank to his arm-pits in the freezing water. plaintiff's friends whispered in Webster's ear that He managed with great ado to retain the breath of he had just seen Bramble's lawyer in the entry, talklife till he reached a house, where he went to bed ing with one Lovejoy and giving him a paper. while his clothes thawed and dried; but the con- Lovejoy was one of the omnipresent and convenient tents of his mother's dye-pot were left on his body kind of witnesses who abounded before parties were instead of his clothes. Even this process probably witnesses in their own behalf. He was called on by could scarcely make him blacker than nature had Bramble and swore that Brown told him be ad re
ceived a thousand dollars from Bramble in full of he told him that he had openly and purposely inthe bond. When it came Webster's turn, he marched sulted him in court, and that he must in the same outside of the bar to the witness-stand. He tells manner apologize the next morning, “or else,” said the rest of the story himself: ""Sir," I exclaimed, he, “either you or I will go out of this room in a difgive me the paper from which you are testifying.' | ferent condition from that in which we entered it.” In an instant he pulled it out of his pocket; but be- Pinkney trembled, parleyed and evaded, but it was fore he had it quite out, he hesitated and attempted useless; and finally admitting that he did intend to to put it back. I seized it in triumph. There was "bluff" him, asked his pardon and promised to his testimony in Bramble's handwriting!” As may make the amende honorable in open court. Webster be imagined, that was the end of Bramble's case. let him out, and he kept his promise faithfully; and As an offset to this, Mr. Harvey relates a story show- after that, said Webster, “there was no man who ing how a witness once was too acute for Webster. treated me with so much respect and deference as Webster was cross-examining Col. Winchester, who Mr. William Pinkney." had sworn that, in his opinion, a certain signature
We have before remarked on Webster's unconwas a forgery, and was pressing him for the reason scious imitation of Milton in his rhetoric, especially for his opinion, to which the witness replied: “I exemplified in the peroration of his reply to Hayne. can't give a reason, but if you will allow me to make Mr. Harvey reminds us of another instance. In his an illustration, I will do so. Suppose some distin- letter to the common council of Boston, when they guished man at home or abroad should be seen walk- had refused him Faneuil Hall, because they had ing on 'change; suppose you were there at high recently denied to Wendell Phillips, he says: “I 'change. It would be very natural to point out shall defer my visit to Faneuil Hall, the cradle of Daniel Webster and say, "There goes the defender American liberty, until its doors shall fly open on of the constitution.' Everybody would mark him, golden hinges to lovers of union as well as lovers of and nobody could mistake his identity. They would liberty.” This is an unmistakable reminiscence of always know him afterward. But if, in the after- Milton's description of the opening of the gates of noon, some man brought me a head, and two legs, heaven, “harmonious sound, on golden hinges and two arms on a platter, and asked me to identify moving,” but we do not believe that Milton would them separately as belonging to Daniel Webster, I have been guilty of talking about the doors of a could not swear to them. In the same way there is cradle. something about this signature that does not look In connection with Webster's fondness for sports, genuine, but I could not swear to the particulars.” Mr. Harvey tells a story which we have seen before,
A very curious anecdote was told by Webster in but which is now authenticated. Webster had been connection with the Dartmouth College case. Web-shooting in the marshes, at Marshfield, and employed ster advised the president that, as the college was a man to ferry him across a river. His Charon deoriginally endowed to civilize and instruct the In- clined the proffered payment, but, after some hesitadians, the point might be taken that its charter was tion, remarked: “This is Daniel Webster, I beforfeited, because no Indian had been attached to lieve.' "That is my name,' replied the sportsman. the college for a long period, and that it would be Well, now,' said the farmer, 'I am told that you well to introduce a little of the aboriginal element. can make from three to five dollars a day, pleadin' So the president went to Canada and coaxed three cases up in Boston.' Mr. Webster replied that he Indians as far as the west bank of the Connecticut was sometimes so fortunate as to receive that river, opposite the college, and, after some delay, amount for his services. "Well, now,' returned the got them into a boat to cross the stream, when the rustic, “it seems to me, I declare, if I could get as Indians, espying the walls of the college buildings much in the city, pleadin' law cases, I would not be on the further shore, became alarmed and probably a-wadin' over these marshes this hot weather, shootin' suspicious of imprisonment, and one of them, giv- little birds.?" ing a whoop, plunged into the river, and the others Mr. Harvey's attempts to make a wit of Webster followed. So far as Dartmouth College is con- are a failure. Webster liked and told good stories, cerned, the “poor Indian” continued ever after- and bad a good sense of the humorous and the ward to have an “untutored mind.”
ridiculous, but he was not a wit. The examples Webster was a man of moral and physical courage. | given by his biographer remind us of the wit atHe never would fight a duel, and he never went tributed to the English bench, most of which is armed. Without boasting he related to Harvey how decidedly elephantine. There is really none of them he treated Pinkney, the great leader of the Federal which seems to us worth quoting. But of Webster's bar, who put a marked and public slight upon him playfulness, tenderness and good-fellowship Mr. in the Supreme Court of the United States, design- Harvey gives us plenty of evidence. Of the vast ing at the outset to crush a dangerous rival. At the depth of his affections he also gives us some most ad journment he asked Pinkney into an ante-room touching proofs. His nature on all sides — passions, alone, and locking the door and pocketing the key, affections and comprehension — was a colossal one We now come to speak of two matters wherein | ing, simple and complete acceptance of the truths Mr. Harvey gives us new light as to Webster's char- of the Christian religion. Webster was too great a acter. If any idea of Webster has been unani- man not to have an intellectual assurance of these mously accepted, it is, that he was always careless great facts. He was cheerful, liberal and tolerant about his debts, and very much addicted to indul- in bis religious opinions, but he clung to them fergence in intoxicating drinks. On these two points vently to the last. An intimate friend once asked his biographer surprises us. In regard to the first him, in the presence of a score of others, what was he convinces us that Webster has been misunder- the most important thought that ever occupied his stood. It must be remembered that, for the sake mind? After scanning the group a moment to make of the public, Webster consented to comparative sure that no strange or unfriendly auditor was poverty. Being a poor man, he gave up a law prac- present, he responded, “my individual responsitice which would have produced him $25,000 annu- bility to God;" and then he spoke to them on this ally, for a senator's or secretary's meagre salary, and subject, as only he could speak, for some moments. incurred the heavy outlay inseparable from such We know it is not unfrequently the case that lawpositions. It has been popularly believed that State yers become so wise in their own conceit as to deny street came to his relief on several occasions of the higher allegiance and the evidence on which the necessity, but Mr. Harvey shows that, on one occa- Christian religion rests, but we are not among sion at least, he indignantly spurned the proffer of them. If any lawyer thinks himself wiser on these such assistance. In his last years, and while in fce- points than Daniel Webster, we cannot sympathize ble health, he consented to argue the Goodyear case with him. If there are any who believe that Christ for a fee of $15,000, solely for the sake of paying was an impostor, that God is blind chance, or a law some debts, and in his last days he wished he could without a legislator, and that man, instead of being get two more such fees, so that he could die out of created in the image of God and a little lower than debt. On the other point we are not so clear. Mr. the angels, is nothing but an ape with modern imHarvey says Webster was a temperate man, and that provements, let him read Daniel Webster on theolhis intellect was never obscured by alcoholic stimu- ogy. Perhaps these matters are a little obiter, but lants. It will be difficult to make any one, who saw really we think a little theology now and then will Webster much for the last twenty-live years of his
not hurt our readers. life, believe this. His appearance was much against We must now reluctantly leave this great man, this theory, his contemporaneous reputation was and we cannot better do it than in the closing opposed to it, and it was commonly believed and words of this biographer: "The spot where Daniel asserted that, on minor public occasions, he was not Webster reposes is upon elevated land, and overinfrequently a sufferer from over-indulgence. We looks the sea, his mammoth farm, the First Parish think it is a mistake to try to make a saint of Web- Church, and most of the town of Marshfield, ster. Great, grand, glorious man that he was, he wide-spreading marshes, forests remote and near, had some of the failings of commoner clay. Other- the tranquil river and glistening brooks. On a wise he would truly have been super-human.
pleasant day the sands of Cape Cod can be descried Another aspect of the man in which Mr. Harvey from it, thirty miles directly to the east, where the presents him is that of peace-maker. That certainly Pilgrims first moored their ship. The spot is peris a novel role for Daniel Webster, according to
fectly retired and quiet, nothing being usually popular traditions, but Mr. Harvey proves his case
heard but the solemn dirge of the ocean, and the most indubitably. It would be easy to believe that answering sighs of the winds. It is the spot of all Webster was magnanimous; indeed, such was his others for his resting-place.” reputation; but that he was so forgiving of injuries to himself, and so anxious to promote peace among TAXATION OF ASSIGNEES IN BANKRUPTCY. others, we were not hitherto prepared to credit. In
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT OF MASSACHUall bis life there are no passages that will do him
SETTS, JANUARY 5, 1878. greater credit than his successful attempt to heal the breach between Benton and John Wilson, and
Re MITCHELL, ex parte SHERWIN. his unavailing endeavors to reconcile Benton with Property in the hands of assignees in bankruptcy is liable
to taxation under State laws. Calhoun.
HE city of Boston assessed a tax of $1,553.21 upon They disclose a far-down sweetness, goodness and personal estate of the bankrupts in their possession, simplicity that a thousand times atone for unruly or under their control, on the 1st of May, 1876, the passions of the flesh, and bring forcibly to mind beginning of the fiscal year. The assignees denied the the Saviour's declaration, “ Blessed are the peace
right of the city to assess them, and the case was sub
mitted to the court upon agreed facts, under a petition makers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
by the collector of the city, to order the assignees to This brings us, in closing, to say that Mr. Har
draw their warrant for the amount of the tax. The as
vaulo hoal abando in neonfa of Wohater's inaccur
ors under protest, so that there was no dispute about the equitable owner - but none which makes any exthe quality or amount. It cousisted in part of money, emptions not included in section five, and none which and, in a larger part, of a stock of goods. The stock affect this case in any direct way, though the section was sold by the assignees on the 3d of May, in pursu. clearly shows that all trustees are intended to be inance of an arrangement made before the first day of cluded in the word “owner,” unless otherwise provided the month, and the proceeds were divided amoug the for, creditors at once, long before the assessment was actu- The remaining question is, whether the assignees ally made, or notice given that it would be made; but were the owners of this property. This closely resem there was enough money of the estate remaining to bles the question already answered, and the remarks I pay the tax, if it is properly and legally assessed upon am about to make are to be taken as applicable to both them.
points. If assignees are mere agents of the court, and E. P. Nettleton, for the petitioner.
the fund is oue in court, there might be reason to say J.Wilder May, for the assignees.
that it was without a definite owner who could be LOWELL, J. The first ground taken by the assignees ascertained and assessed, but there is vo doubt that is, that they are officers of the court; that the funds assignees are trustees with great powers and large disin their hands are in the custody of the law, and,
cretion. They have the legal title and control of the therefore, not to be disturbed or interfered with by property as fully as the bankrupt had, and it has been any action on behalf of the State. An able opinion repeatedly decided that statutes, or rules having the to this purport has been given by one of the registers. binding power of statutes, which regulate the adminisRe Booth, 14 N. B. R. 232. I cannot subscribe to that tration of their trust, such, for example, as require opinion. I can see no interference or obstruction of them not to sell by private contract, or not to bring the court, or of the law iu taxing to the owner thereof, action or suit without an order of court or a consent any fund that may happen to be in whole or partly in of creditors, are merely directory, so that a neglect of the registry of the court, or under its direction, as them will form no valid objection to a title and no dewas the case with the money here, provided there fense to an action or suit. I am of opinion, therefore is no attempt to affix upon it a lien, or in some that the assignees were the owners of this property on way to disturb the actual custody of the fund. the first of May, and that the assessment was properly Such an assessment is merely an official declara- made before then, and that they should pay the tax. tion that the owner of the fund should pay his Order accordingly. share of the public burdens. I do not know why a ship in the hands of the marshal should escape taxa- WHEN REGULARITY OF CORPORATE ORGANtion to the owner, though, undoubtedly, it will be free IZATION MAY NOT BE QUESTIONED. from levy or seizure as long as it remains in his official possession. If the State undertook to tax an assignee SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OCTOin bankruptcy as such, that is, to tax his office and
BER TERM, 1877. franchise, his right to exercise a function under the
CHUBB, plaintiff in error, v. UPTON. laws of the United States, or in any mode to discriminate against an assignee, or against the estate of a
There was an attempted alteration of an Illinois corpora
tion under the forms of law approved by the attorneybankrupt, very different considerations might arise. general of the State, with an increase in capital. DefendIt is said the assignee is an officer of the court; and
ant took part in the proceedings, subscribed for the in
creased stock, paid a percentage thereon, and acted as so he is, in a certaiu sense, and so is every attorney an officer of the new company. Held, that he could not, who practices in the court; and this will protect them
in an action by the assignee in bankruptcy of such com
pany to compel the fulfillment of his contract of subfrom taxation as such officers, but not necessarily in scription, deny the regularity of the organization of the respect to funds which they are to administer for pri
new company. vate persons, though their administration should be error to the Circuit Court of the United States under the control of the court. The law of Massachu- for the Western District of Michigan. The action setts for levying taxes does not undertake to act upon was brought by Clark W. Upton, assignee of the Great personal property in rem, but merely upon the owner. Western Insurance Company, a bankrupt, against A. An assignee is an officer of court, and much more, as Lamont Chubb, to enforce a contract of subscription I shall have occasion to show.
for stock of the bankrupt. Sufficient facts appear in 2. I have examined with great care the law of taxa- the opinion. tion. (Gen. Stats., ch., 2. passim.) I should be glad to Mr. Justice HUNT delivered the opinion of the fiud there an exemption of assignees who bad so court. promptly and faithfully executed their trust that, The numerous questions raised upon the trial of this while they were appointed in April, they had realized action depend upon a few general principles which are and distributed a great part of the assets long before not difficult of application. any assessment was actually made upon them; but I It is settled by the decisions of the courts of the bave searcbed in vain. Section two provides that all United States and by the decision of many of the State property, real and personal, of the inhabitants of the courts that one who contracts with an acting corporaState, shall be taxed unless expressly exempted. Sec
tion cannot defend himself against a claim on such tion five provides what property shall be exempted, contract, in a suit by the corporation, by alleging the and does not mention bankrupts or insolvents, or their irregularity of its organization. This was settled more estates or assignees.
than half a century since in the courts of the State of Section ten provides that all personal estate shall be New York, and has recently been affirmed in this assessed to the owner in the city or town of which he court. Dutchess Collar Mg. Co. v. Davis, 14 Johns. shall be an inhabitant on the first day of May, with 238; Sanger v. Upton, 91 U. S. 56; Upton v. Trebilcock, numerous exceptions as to the place, and some as to id. 45; B. & A. R. R. Co. v. Cary, 20 N. Y. 75; Bissell the person, such as that, under some circumstances, v. M. S. R. R. Co., 22 id. 259. the legal owners shall be assessed, and, under others, It is also settled that the same principle applies to
the case of a subscription to the capital stock in an that there was no valid transfer of the original stock organization which has attempted irregularly to create or charter. itself into a corporation and has acted as such. Same All this does not alter the fact, that 'there was an auth.; Meth. Ch. v. Pickell, 19 N. Y. 485; Upton v. attempted alteration of the company under the forms Hamborn, 3 Bissell, 417.
of law, approved by the attorney-general, with an inThe rule applies to increasing the stock of a corpora- creased capital, in the organization and management tion when the question arises upon paying a subscrip- of which the defendant took part; that he paid his tion for stock forming part of such increase. The
money, received his certificate of stock, attended duty and the necessity of performing the contract of meetings, voted, acted as an officer, and, so far as the subscription are the same as in the case of an original record shows, never repudiated his position at any stockholder.
time, even to the time of the trial. If successful, he An assignee appointed under the bankrupt laws of would have shared in its profits. He may have been the United States represents both the corporation and the dupe and victim of the action of others. He may its creditors, and the defense of irregular organization have been an accomplice. At all events he was so far cannot be urged against him. Auth. supra.
an actor in the affair that he cannot escape the conseIt has been several times adjudged in this court that quences of his position, in an action by such assiguee to recover unpaid sub- Another series of objections is to the admission of scriptions upon stock in such an organization, the de- various pieces of evidence introduced to show that the fense of false and fraudulent representations inducing defendant was a stockholder. The original stocksuch subscription cannot be set up, especially when ledger had been destroyed by fire, and the plaintiff the subscriber has not been vigilant in discovering supplied its place by the introduction of sundry other such fraud and in repudiating his contract. Upton v. kinds of evidence tending to prove who were the Trebilcock, 91 U. S. 45; Webster v. Upton, id. 65; Car. stockholders, and that the defendant was one of them. ver v. Upton, id. 64; Ogilvie v. Knox Ins. Co., 22 How. The importance of this evidence was at an end when 387.
the certificate of shares was afterward given in proof The same authorities hold that one who receives a and when it was expressly admitted by the defendant certificate of stock for a certaiu number of shares at a that he held the same; that he made payments thereon given sum per share thereby becomes liable to pay the and acted as a holder of shares in the company. It is amount thereof when called upon by the corporation not necessary, therefore, to inquire whether or not or its assignee. Nor is it necessary to sustain the ao- the evidence was properly admitted. tion that there should have been a subscription for the At the time this writ of error was taken, the decis. whole amount named on the articles. R. & W. Plank ions of this court in the several cases of Upton v. R. Co. v. Westel, 21 Barb. 56.
Trebilcock, Sanger v. Upton, and Carver v. Uplon (91 The statute of Illinois of 1869 authorized an increase U.S.), had not been made. They contain a clear stateof the capital of the Great Western Insurance Com- ment of the views of the court upon all of the matepany. Papers were filed under the law for that
rial points here to be considered, and we suppose that purpose, which were examined by the attorney-gen- this writ of error would not have been brought had eral and certified to be in due form, and the company they then been before the party and his counsel. The proceeded to issue its stock upon that theory.
careful examination given in those cases to the several The defendaut became a subscriber for fifty shares questions here involved render unnecessary a detailed of this increased stock, the shares being $100 each. review of the cases. He paid a portion, to wit, thirty per cent of this sub- We think there is nothing in the record before us scription. He attended meetings of the stockholders that would justify us in disturbing the verdict and and of the directors, acting himself as such. He gave judgment rendered in the Circuit Court. The judga proxy to Mr. Atwater to attend a meeting of the ment is, therefore, affirmed. stockholders at Chicago and to vote for him, and he was elected and acted as the president of a branch of the said company.
CONTRACT FOR USE OF WHARF A MARI. It is idle to deny that this was the case of an organ
TIME ONE. ization which claimed to have taken and apparently supposed that it had taken the measures required by SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES -- OCT. law to complete its increase of capital. It acted as
TERM, 1877. such, and the defendant by receiving his certificate of stock entered into engagements with it as such. If it
EX PARTE EASTON ET AL., Petitioners. be conceded that its increased stock was but de facto,
A contract for the use of a wharf by the master or owner and that it could have been annulled or suppressed by of a ship or a vessel is a maritime contract, andas such the action of the attorney-general as acting under an
is cognizable in admiralty, and being one made exclu
sively for the benefit of a ship or vessel, a maritime lien irregular organization, the defendant derives no aid arises in favor of the owner of the wharf against the from the admission. The cases cited are clear to the
vessel for payment of reasonable and customary charges
for such use, and the same may be enforced by a propoint that he cannot make the objection but must per- ceeding in rem or a suit in personam. A barge though form the engagements he has made.
not propelled by wind or steam, or any motive power of
its own, may be held liable for wharfage dues. The last offer of the defendant was intended to
in fully subscribed; that the holders of the stock never Mr. Justice CLIFFORD delivered the opinion of the increased the capital nor authorized its increase; that court. this company ceased to do business prior to 1868; that Judicial power, under the Federal Constitution exthe $100,000 was not transferred to the company claim- tends to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdicing to have organized on the increased capital, and tion, and it was doubtless the intention of Congress,
present this questione in its most formidable shape. It PETITION for writ of prohibition.