He has never known what it is to be poor, or without friends, although he is nobody's hero, and has never wielded great wealth. But even if he had set forth upon his brilliant career without the advantages of competency, friendship and a liberal education, he would surely have arrived at the desired goal by slower marches but in good season. If we attribute his auspicious entry into professional life chiefly to good fortune, we must give him credit for the unsurpassed zeal and industry which have distinguished his progress. He might have builded on his father's fame, but instead thereof he laid his own foundations, and the superstructure which he has erected is entirely his own.
He has a more vigorous and comprehensive legal mind than his father possessed. The personal appearance of some men conveys a false idea of their ability and standing. Some really little fellows are unduly exalted in the mind of the stranger, by their Websterian heads, and countenances cast in the very mold of wisdom.
Others, who possess abilities of the first order, attract attention only when deep emotion lights up their else expressionless faces, or when some great cause or occasion stirs their sluggish blood. But the features and presence of McAllister certainly deal honestly by the observer. His very build and bearing give to the beholder a correct sugges- tion of his capacity. The impression is not that of greatness or genius, but of strength.
Whether we meet him in the street, in the court-room or in his - office, we feel that we are in the presence of a strong man, to grapple with whom in his chosen calling must be serious business. We look upon him generally as a leader among men, and in the court-room, especially, we see in him the monarch of the local bar. His large and heavy frame lends to him the aspect of solidity and power, but his movements of body, notably lively for a man of his stature, militate somewhat against this impression. This alertness of movement corresponds with the action of his mind; and, like the latter, never runs into haste.
Thoroughness and dispatch exercise joint and harmonious control over his whole being. I have alluded to McAllister's custom of bringing out his case in all its strength and symmetry. In the trial of a cause his manner is, on the whole, admirable. He is cautious, but caution never fetters him. He is rapid, but is never carried beyond his object.
Whether he goes over, around or through the chosen position of an adversary, he opens up a broad road, and leaves that position harmless behind him. One of his most noticeable habits is to- take down with his own hand all the evidence of witnesses. He is eternally writing, St. Augustine said of that "most learned of the Romans," Marcus Terentius Varro, that he had read so much that we must feel astonished that he found time to write anything, and he wrote so much that we can scarcely believe that any one could find time to read all that he had composed.
It may be said of McAllister, that he reads so much, it seems hardly possible he can write much ; yet it would engross the time of almost any person to read, not what he composes, but what he writes down in court. What he writes would hardly prove as entertaining as the critical, philosophical and other treatises of Varro, for what drops from his pen is testimony.
This habit of taking down testimony, although the short-hand reporter is doing the same task more accurately, is very advantageous to an advocate. And it loses half its benefit when done by proxy, for the evidence is then the less impressed upon the advocate's mind. This duty is generally shirked, because it is hard work, and is unjustly regarded as merely manual. Successful lawyers usually turn aside from the clerical details of their busi- ness. In McAllister this habit of which we speak is in keeping with his unflagging industry. The late Edmund Randolph was the opposite of McAllister in this as in some other respects.
These two advocates, opposed in the trial of a cause, presented an interesting contrast. Randolph's wonderful memory was one of the most noticeable of his brilliant faculties. No matter how lengthy the trial, how numerous the witnesses, or how important the testimony, he disdained the use of notes, even though McAllister were opposed to him, urging his tireless pen through the whole trial. It is to be hoped that this advice though given by a very excellent judge and lawyer, has not borne its legiti mate fruit.
Few men have remarkable memories; none have perfect mem- ories. To strengthen the memory is commendable, and it is feasible, but to make it entirely reliable is hardly possible. Randolph could trust to this splendid faculty; but, generally, the advocate who imitates him will fall 4 far short of his success.
Whoso relies implicitly upon his memory is usually more showy than safe. One of the best teachers in the public schools of this State, Andrew R. Jackson, then principal of the Sacramento High School, once told his scholars of a man who, many years previously, had been Clerk of the National House of Representatives, and who possessed a memory so extraor- dinary that he was able to write up accurately the minutes of the most busy and stormy session, without having taken notes. He did this day after day and week after week, until it was generally known how he got through with his work, when, although the fidelity of his journals could not be impeached, he was removed from his responsible trust.
I am satisfied that my old preceptor believed this story, though he may never have investigated it more than I did. If it is true, the House of Representatives acted wisely in dismissing their brilliant and lazy servitor, because in his position he was unconsciously a dangerous man. McAllister has a good memory, but had he succeeded to that of Randolph he would yet adhere to his practice of taking copious notes. Without this practice he could try his causes well, but with- out it he does not seem to feel that he could try them thoroughly. This habit has so grown upon him that he sometimes goes through the motion of writing, even when listening intently to the court or opposing counsel.leggi l'articolo
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In faying a jury cause, he sits usually facing the jury, and rarely rising from his chair. His table is covered with books and papers, and a boy is generally waiting to make fresh drafts upon his well-stocked library and his plethoric pigeon-holes. The court-room is for him a place of earnest work. He rests only when court takes a recess, and not often then.
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From the beginning to the end of the trial, he is writing, reading, questioning, object- ing, arguing, appealing. The observer is constantly impressed with his industry and watchfulness. In eliciting testimony, McAllister exhausts the information, without exhausting the patience of the witness.
He never bores or insults. He never plays the tyrant over a timid witness, and never leads a rash one to his undoing, just for the love of the thing ; never figures in any of the discred- itable scenes in which lawyers and witnesses grapple in wordy combat. To counsel associated with him in the trial of a cause he is uniformly deferential, but will not play second fiddle. He always leads his side. He is not troubled with the idea, which haunts so many legal small fry, that to be respectful to an adversary is to succumb to him, or that to listen decently to a postulate is to admit its , soundness.
Heneversneers at a proposition, and never statesone dogmatically. He meets the tyro with his hesitating step, and the veteran with his measured stride, with the same air of respect. With all his dispatch, it is yet in the fullness of time, and, with a clear comprehension of his cause, that McAllister rises to address his familiar and favorite auditory — the jury. He is now in the house of his friends, and in speech and manner he shows that he is conscious of it.
Having omitted nothing as regards introduction of evidence, so now he leaves nothing unsaid which the jury should hear. He speaks smoothly, exhaustively, yet avoids prolixity. The jury have witnessed his patient management, his shrewd generalship, the evidences of his careful preparation, and if, when he rises before them, they have not already recognized the fact that he knows his case to the utmost details, he soon convinces them of it. They appreciate his address to their reason, admire his methodical arrangement of facts, and find entertainment in his argument.
Without betraying any effort to subject them to any personal influence; always respectful without being patronizing; ever earnest, but never inflamed; fluent, yet not verbose; easy in manner, yet a stranger to dramatic effect, he challenges respect for himself, even when he fails to elicit sympathy for his cause. His voice and physique, as well as the cast of his mind, are more suited to the argumentative than the pathetic style. At times, however, in capital cases, he approaches eloquence, drawing on the classics to give point and polish to his appeals. In quoting Shakespeare and the Bible he is quite happy.
His elocutionary powers belong neither to the first nor the second order. Nothing can be said for his gesticulation; his metaphors are few and not striking, and, as to apostrophe, that perfect flower of Baker'soratory, he rarely calls it to his aid. This Bar leader has no specialty. Great lawyers are often distinguished for specialties ; too often the public assign them to specialties, when, in truth, they have none. McAllister has never suffered from this popular propensity. Not only has he no specialty, but the fact is acknowledged by all.
Whether his case involves land titles, inheritance, patent right, private franchises, personal liberty, human life, or constitutional law, he is equal to the occasion. Sawyer to the jury, in Tyler vs. Holladay, Twelfth District Court, April, 21, Th e parties to this suit were lawyers. As a pleader — a writer of pleadings — our friend is careful and correct, evincing an intimate acquaintance with English forms and precedents. Although he probably does more work than any member of the California Bar, there is no one who takes things easier, or whom work hurts less. He owes this in a great measure to his powers of endurance — a splendid auxiliary to close mental application — and to his habit of investigating and methodiz- ing at the same time.
He is full of life and energy , has naturally a high ' temper, which he has under good [control ; seems to have schooled himself to be slow to anger ; is not combative ; has few intimates. This advocate has one habit, which some commend and some condemn — that of interjecting into his arguments doggerel of his own manufacture. Perhaps it ought not to be condemned, because he generally turns it to account. It is at least better than punning, and an advocate per- force often indulges in pleasantry of some kind to cause a laugh and give sur- cease from the monotony of argument.
At any rate I shall not print any of it. Occasionally he receives punishment for his temerity in this line — or rather in these lines. In his argument in the case of the Hibernia Savings and Loan Society vs. Mahoney et al. On one occasion he was called at the eleventh hour, into a case in which he had a colleague who was well prepared. While the latter was examining a witness, his memoiandum of authorities fell under McAllister's eye, and was soon copied on a fresh sheet of paper, and, in a short time, a messenger laid the books on the table.
The time for argument arriving, McAllister's colleague called on him to open, which he did by reading from his own books his asso- ciate's authorities. In closing, he said his associate would supplement what he had said by further argument. The "associate" arose, with serious front, and observed, poor man! McAllister had covered the ground so thoroughly that he deemed it unnecessary to add anything. A certain lame lawyer had a certain lame client. The two resembled each other strongly in their awkward gait and clumsy locomotion.
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Among the more important of the law causes in which McAllister has won renown worthy of special note was that of Tompkins vs. Mahoney, tried in San Francisco in the year McAllister was his attorney, and his excellent address to the jury so pleased his client that the latter declared, in his enthusiasm, that he would have given'one-half of the amount of the verdict for a verbatim copy of the speech.
The courts had no official stenographers at that time. McAllister married a lady of rare accomplishments, a daughter of the late Samuel Hermann, and has raised a large family. He owns a city residence, a beautiful summer home in Marin County, and is in comfortable circumstances. Reference to family recalls a scene which occurred in the early days in the United States Circuit Court, of which tribunal Hall's father was judge, Hall's brother was clerk, and Hall himself the chief practitioner.
It happened one day, so goes the story, that as McAllister was presenting an ex parte motion, no one being in the court-room but the father and the two 50ns— judge, clerk and counselor— J. Papy, a well known attorney, now deceased, having business in the court, opened the court-room door, and, after a hasty glance, was about to withdraw, when the judge said : "Come in, Mr. Papy then silently stole away, and the argument was resumed] As I turn from this commanding figure, his "chariot rolls on fortune's wheel" as ever. Though his triumphs are many and enduring ; his name scattered all over our seventy volumes of Supreme Court Reports, beginning with the case ef Payne vs.
Pacific Mail Steamship Company in volume I ; he continues to work as might one who felt the sharp spur of want. Possessing a powerful constitution, mindful of the laws of health, and retaining all his first love for his profession, he is destined, in the ordinary course of nature, to hold his place at this bar for yet a considerable period. He is one of the men who labor through life. He will die in harness. Freelon, Levi Parsons, Gov. Felton's professional life began and ended in San Francisco. He was born in Saugus, Essex county, Massachusetts, in , and died at his home in Oakland, May 2, His father was superintendent of an alms- house in Cambridge, and lived and died in very poor circumstances, leaving three sons, all of whom became men of mark.
One was President of a rail- road company in Pennsylvania. Another was the great scholar, lecturer and writer, C. The father managed to get this son into Harvard, and lived to see him attain great literary fame. Felton was connected with Harvard from the time she received him as a scholar until his death.
Dearly he loved "the bright clime of battle and of song" and was said to dwell in ' 'the atmosphere of ancient thought. Professor Felton educated his brother, John B. He had proved himself to be one of the best Greek scholars of his time. He did not long pursue this vocation, having determined to read law. Among his classmates at Harvard were E. Hoar and Horace Gray. While at his law studies John B.
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Felton was sent by his brother, the Pro- fessor, to Paris,! It had been agreed at college between Felton and Mr. Pringle that they would commence the practice of law in partnership, in San Francisco. The two young men were in college together two years, Mr. Pringle being the elder and gr situating two years before his friend. This was an alliance between Massachusetts and South Carolina. Pringle, who is still in active practice here, came to San Francisco by the Nicaragua route, arriving in December, Felton sailed around the Horn, in order that he might thoroughly acquaint himself with the structure of seagoing vessels and with nautical terms, hoping to profit by it in admiralty practice.
He never had much admiralty practice, however. He arrived here in the spring of , and immediately formed a partnership with Mr. Pringle and commenced law practice. Both gentlemen had been admitted to the bar in the East. Felton came to San Francisco a young man, but thoroughly equipped as a lawyer. He had large resources of mind, great breadth of comprehension, wonderful inventive power as applied to principles, and astonishing quickness and exact- ness of observation. The faculty was his of finding out what the law ought to be, and what, therefore, it is, unless fettered by technicalities ; and the adroit- ness and subtlety to use technicalities when they suited his purpose ; but he preferred broad, catholic viewfc upon all questions of right and wrong between man and man.
The city slip litigation was what first brought Felton fame and fortune. How Felton's name seems out of place at the tail end of a firm! This firm seems to have stood on its head. The eastern part of San Francisco had been laid off into water lots of uniform size, 25x In December, , the city sold this slip at auction to many purchasers — in lots 25x There was a great boom in real estate then, and the property brought enormous prices ; terms, twenty-five per cent cash, fifty per cent in sixty days, and twenty-five per cent in four months. When most of the purchasers had made the second payment, but before any had made the last, there was a sudden collapse in the real estate market, the lots in question depreciating some fifty per cent.
One of the purchasers consulted Felton, to see if there was not some way to repair the loss. After examina- tion, he replied that the purchasers could recover their money from the city ; one after another of the unhappy men went to Felton, until his firm became attorneys of record for every purchaser. About one million of dollars was at stake.
One of the Board had resigned, leaving only seven members. The ordinance was passed by a vote of four against three. Felton took the ground that the ordinance was invalid, and consequently that the sale was void ; and that the purchasers could recover their money. The pioneer case in the long litigation that followed was The City of San Francisco vs. Hazen 5 Cal. The city sued Kelsey Hazen, a real estate operator, to recover on his promissory note, given for a deferred payment. Judge Lorenzo Sawyer was then City Attorney.
The case was very elaborately argued in the Twelfth District Court, by Sawyer for the city and Felton for the defendant. The lower Court gave judgment for the city, but on appeal the Supreme Court sustained Felton's position and reversed the judgment, with costs. But, as Judge M. Blake once said from the bench : "No man knows the law ; only the Supreme Court can tell it. In the second city slip suit — Nathaniel Holland vs. The city appealed.
In the Supreme Court Messrs. This view prevailed in the Supreme Court which stated that its decision was not in conflict with the prior one in The City vs. Hazen, inasmuch as the second, or ratifying ordinance, had not been cited to the Court on the appeal in that case. In the case of McCracken vs. He held that the law was not properly laid down in Holland vs. The City. Judge Field held that the subsequent ordinance was not a ratification of the sale — that the city had not conveyed any title to the purchasers — that the city still owned the property and must refund the sums collected.
Judge Cope, in a separate opinion, held that a purchaser, in order to maintain an action for money had and received, must first make a recon- veyance to the city. Acting upon this all the purchasers made deeds to the city and got judgment against the city for their several sums. The Legis- lature, on April 17, , passed an act providing that the purchasers should take the lots at an appraised value, they to be credited with all payments made, and the city to issue to them its bonds for the amount of the difference between what they had paid and what the lots were worth.
All of these cases were argued elaborately and with great power by Mr. His connection with them made him very widely known and created for him a vast constituency of clients. The very extraordinary case of Limantour, in which Mr. Felton made a fine struggle against fate, will attract the attention of times remote, on account of the unparalleled audacity and magnitude of the plaintiffs claim and the criminal romance which invests it. Jose Yves Limantour was a Frenchman, who, before coming to California to prosecute the largest claim ever presented to our courts, had lived some twenty years in Mexico, where he was a gov- ernment contractor and dealer in arms.
In the pursuit of that business he had greatly prospered, fattening on the misfortunes of the country, which was generally convulsed with civil wars. He met here the traveler and author, Duflat de Mofras, who was his countryman, and who advised him to buy land on this peninsula. His vessel, loaded with munitions of war, was overhauled at San Pedro by the United States sloop-of-war Warren, under Commodore Biddle, but a search revealed nothing contraband.
He had learned that he was pursued and had thrown his cargo into the sea. Being allowed to proceed, he returned to Mexico, where he remained five years. In November, 1 , he came again on a mission of peaceful conquest, not as the representative of a foreign gov- ernment, but as his own embassador ; not vi et armis, but with pockets full of parchments wherewith to subject the richest, and most populous part of the country to his legal dominion.
Congress, in , had passed 11 An act to settle land claims in California, ' ' and had established at San Francisco a Land Commission to pass upon all land claims based on Mexican titles. It was provided that no claim should be heard that should not be pre- sented before the third day of March, In February, , Limantour filed with the Land Commission eight claims to land, which, by reason of their magnitude and the profound ignorance of everybody concerning them up to that time, created consternation throughout the city and the adjacent country affected.
Limantour claimed, First — Four square leagues, comprising over 15, acres, covering the city of San Francisco, except a strip off the northern end. Third — TheLagunadeTache, covering eleven square leagues. Fourth — The tract of eleven square leagues called Lup Yomi. Fifth — Eighty square leagues near Cape Mendocino. Seventh — Six square leagues called Cahuenga. Eighth — The Cienega de Gabilan of eleven square leagues, which embraced the city of Stockton. The claims aggregated about , acres, and a money value which exceeds to-day, and did even then, the combined wealth of all the railroad magnates of the United States.
A protracted judicial inquiry followed. The Land Com- mission confirmed the first and second claims — those covering the city of San Francisco and the islands named — and rejected the other six. Pend- ing this appeal, a card was published by one Augustus Joiian, agent of Liihantour, who had accompanied the latter from Mexico to San Francisco, setting forth that Limantour had broken faith with him, and that for a con- sideration, he, Jouan, would make a revelation that would defeat the Liman- tour claims. The citizens "saw" him, and he revealed.
He said Limantour had frequently told him that his grants were fabricated; he had himself, at Limantour's request, altered figures to reconcile dates; that Limantour had shown him a letter from Robin — Limantour' s partner — in'whiclr Robin, in consequence of a quarrel with Limantour, threatened to expose the latter as a forger of title papers; that Francois Jacomet, a clerk of Limantour, had declared that one Letanneur wrote one of the grants in — nine years after its alleged execution.
He suggested that Jacomet be sent for. Jacomet was prevailed upon to come from Mexico, and, in , he gave testimony corroborative of that of Jouan. Letanneur, who was here in the city "on business,' ' was taken before the grand jury, and there testified that he had written one of the alleged grants.
Limantour whose name should not be given the French pronuncia- tion, but should be called in broad English, Lie-man-tour — that's the way most of our citizens pronounce it , was tapped on the shoulder by a federal officer and locked up. The grand jury indicted him for forgery and perjury.
One of his friends was willing and able to qualify on his bond, but a second surety was requisite. So great was the faith of these gentlemen in the validity of their client's title, that they promptly agreed to indemnify Reese. This is good enough proof that the insinuation against their integ- rity in this cause was baseless. The United States Court discovered no fraud. The villainy of the claimant was uncovered by an accomplice. After it was revealed, it was clear enough.
Everybody wondered that it was not sooner found out. Felton enlisted his great abilities in the cause, because he honestly believed it to be a great cause and a good cause. Its fraudulency was brought to light by a mere accident, and the most astonished man in the community was John B. To quote the Hon. Jeremiah S. Black: "The genuineness of Limantour's title was attested by the signature ot a Mexican Secretary of State, who had previously been a foreign Minister, and was afterwards even after the fraud was shown a Judge of the Supreme Court.
It was sworn to by a Mexican statesman, who had a reputation as high as any of his class, and it was certified under the hand of the President of the Republic in a communication addressed from the National Palace at Mexico to the Land Commissioners. But all these seeming marks of authenticity were' placed there to cheat and defraud. It was afterwards demonstrated and solemnly adjudged that Bocanegra's attestation was a shameless falsehood; Castanares was perjured; and Arista, the President, was engaged with the others in a scandalous conspiracy to impose on the courts of the United States.
Felton felt reassured, and made out what was considered a perfect case. But in the very first fruition of hopes long deferred, it was hinted that the impression on the alleged "grant" should be compared with the government seal! This was done, and at once many differences were apparent. The end then came soon, and Limantour was revealed as a gigantic forger and conspirator.
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Felton declined to argue the case. Limantour succeeded in getting safely out of the country. They succeeded in getting out of it, but paid Hon. The Supreme Court held that Mr. Casserly's point was good — that the sureties were released from liability, because the United States District Court had once continued the Limantour criminal case against his consent! There is a lawyer in San Francisco who is in the habit of referring, now and then, to a Supreme Court decision as 4 'a beautiful decision.
It takes a lawyer, though, to detect the beauty. He was not suffering for it, however. It would be tedious to go over the list of celebrated causes with wtich Mr. Felton was connected. Two of the most important of them were the mortgage tax case and the local option case. On the first the court, in a model opinion by Judge McKinstry, took Mr. Felton's view — that to tax a mortgage and also the mortgaged property as though it were not incumbered, is double taxation, and in some cases may be manifold taxation.
In the local option case the question was whether the law was constitutional, which provided that the people of any city, town or township might by vote decide whether spirituous liquors should be sold in such city, town, or township. In the Supreme Court S. Sanderson and Lloyd Baldwin appeared for the temperance men, and John B.
Felton and W. Patterson for the other side. None of these survive. Sanderson an ex-Supreme Judge and Felton were the men who studied and argued the case. It was another great triumph for Felton. He contended that the law was in direct opposition to the natural rights of man. The constitution of California, said he, declares these rights to be inalienable.
The rights of property, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness precede government, and the only limitation of these rights is the rule that they shall not be used to the injury of others. A man has the right of using or abusing his own property, provided that in so doing he does no injury to another. His natural rights can only be bounded, limited or restricted by the natural rights of others.
The acts which a man can be prohibited from exercising over himself or his property must be directly and necessarily injurious to others. He cannot be prevented from using or abusing his own property merely because other individuals, or the community, are indirectly injured thereby. The right to use wines, beers, liquors, etc.
It can only be limited or restricted by the Legislature, and then only so far as the exercise of that right interferes directly with the rights of others. If, through such excess, he becomes dan- gerous to the lives or property of others, he then becomes amenable to the law. But, the article, the abuse of which has led to his thus becoming dan- gerous, cannot be taken away from others, who are capable of using it in a proper manner.
When an article capable of proper and legitimate use is also capable of being used to excess, and thus produce misery, the simple possi- bility of its being used to excess does not prevent it from being property. The Local Option law prohibited the use of liquors. It was, therefore, void. There is no power in the Legislature, if he is sick, to lend its sanction to the prescription of the physician.
Though assured that what he is about to eat is sure death to him, the law cannot interfere. His actions are a source of grief and woe to his family, the grief may be a source of disease or death to his father or mother, but society has no correctives to apply and no punishment to inflict. The injury, though. His opinions are so perverted and backed with so much plausibility that, through their influence, another loses his faith in all religion, becomes a profligate or murderer, yet he is not an accomplice in the crime or a sharer of the punishment. Xhe minister who bought the place of Shakespeare, cut down the mulberry tree planted by the poet's own hands.
The civilized world still execrates him for it. The owners of the collections of Raphael, of Rubens and Titian, can destroy them and cause more evil than if an army were slaughtered. I may make such use of my land that property in the neighborhood will lose all its value. Yet the law is powerless. I may so conduct myself in my family that my wife and children cannot live with me.
I may promulgate opinions which set society on fire. Yet, inasmuch as the injury resulting from all these things is not the necessary consequence, but only an indirect one — inasmuch as I have exercised a natural right without directly hurting another — I cannot be punished. I deserve punish- ment, but there is no one possesses the right to inflict it. The natural rights that belong to the citizen cannot be taken from him without vesting absolutely despotic power in some one or somebody. Force, ignorance, the pride of caste, may ignore them, but, if suppressed, they will rend asunder any government.
An able, bold judiciary must stand forever on the frontier which separates natural rights from civil rights. Spirituous liquors are property in all civilized countries. Their use is general. A very great class of persons make a good use of them. The LcJcal Option law practically denies their use to the man of melancholy disposition, the man of impoverished blood, those enfeebled by disease and to the temperate man who can use the good things of this life. Why not regulate love? If I use ardent spirits discreetly, I do no harm to society, to my family or to myself. Why, then, interfere with me because another man uses them indiscreetly?
It would be as reasonable to prohibit me from keeping horses, because my neighbor, a bad driver, may be killed by his; as reasonable to prohibit me from begetting children, because my neighbor is guilty of debauchery, adultery or rape; as reasonable to prohibit me from indulging in love, because an ill-regulated love in another leads to jealousy and crime.
Love is the cause of more crime than drink. I give the foregoing as a specimen of Felton's argumentative style, without reference to the moral aspect of the question. Felton confined himself to civil practice. He probably took in larger fees than any other lawyer here. For their successful effort to break the Lick deed of trust, on behalf of Lick himself, he and Mr. In the local option case he and Mr.
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Patterson received the same amount. He was the chosen counselor of Michael Reese and many other citizens who had great property interests. He paid little attention to- politics, but on one occasion had aspirations for the United States Senate. It was in the campaign which resulted in the election of Newton Booth, as the exponent of a new, independent, shortlived party. The Republicans had settled upon Felton for Senator, in the event of their success.
In that can- vass Felton showed great power on the stump. He sometimes spoke for three hours or more without notes, and was most happy in thought and diction. He had a memorable controversy with Gov. Booth in that contest. The letters of the two rivals make fine reading.
Chaste, classic, learned, trenchant — it would be difficult to surpass them in these respects. Felton frequently lectured for charitable causes. He was a great friend of learning, and responded to the calls of schools and colleges for public addresses. He was regent of the State University from its foundation until his death. In October, , he addressed the graduating class at the com- mencement exercises of Toland Medical College. He delivered the oration at the dedication of the San Francisco Mercantile Library.
In October, , he addressed the Grand Lodge of Masons. These and many other of his orations, besides quite a number of political speeches, were fully reported and have been preserved in immortal type. They are all alive with thought, and are strikingly graceful in expression. He had the most expensive habits in the way of eating the most delicately cooked food that could be procured, and drinking freely of the rarest wines.
When dining with friends away from home he always insisted on paying the whole bill — nobody else could spend a cent — and, as a little mark at once of his extravagance, goodnature and liberality, he always carried a pocket-full of fine cigars, that cost, at wholesale rates, not less than twenty-five cents apiece, which he distributed indiscriminately. He was a poor judge of men, and seemed to give little study to human nature. George's Hotel, on Clay street, which were open to all men without distinction of politics, creed, race or color.
The loafers and bummers thought a golden age had arrived. They made him think they were "making his fight," whereas, as the saying is, they did not control their own votes. They should say that you drink too much brandy and I drink too much water. Tippler — I guess we do drink too much, Felton. Felton — Who authorized you to use the plural? Is it because you drink enough for two? He once accompanied an acquaintance to see a great spiritualistic medium — a wise man from the East, who could answer all questions. Felton asked the medium where Beideman died. Beideman, died in San Francisco, July 8, , having been for some years the largest real estate holder in the city.
He was a native of Philadelphia. The wise man said he could tell where Beideman died, if Felton would name three places, one of them to be the true place. Felton gave him San Francisco, Philadelphia, and his own native town, Saugus. The latter being possibly a name he never heard before, the luminary replied promptly, ' ' He died at Saugus. He often spoke of his visit to the oracle, and it afforded him great amusement to recur to it. He had religious views, and, like Henry Clay, hoped to become a Christian before he died.
He leaned towards Unitarian - ism. A half bargain was once struck between hitii and a brother lawyer shortly after he arrived in San Francisco, that both should study for the min- istry — Felton to become a Unitarian, and his friend an Episcopalian divine — and that they should pitch into each other from the pulpit, instead of at the bar.
Felton was a most forcible talker, never flowery or verbose. He was full of illustration, an adept at classic allusion, had a wide reach of information, had explored a vast domain in literature, was severe in logic, straightfor- ward, direct. He was wonderfully quick in grasping the chief points of a case, and in argument was excited and vehement, borne alone on tremendous waves of enthusiasm. With his peculiar temperament, it can hardly be said that he was indus- trious.
Here he contrasted markedly with McAllister. He certainly was not fond of work, but he never tired of reading. He was fitful in exertion. His clients would sometimes pursue him day after day for weeks at a time, urging him to attend to their business.
When he did take hold, he made up for lost time, frequently burning the midnight gas in his office. On such occasions he used stimulants freely. This brilliant man was very generally beloved. Lively, genial, witty, generous to excess, his conversation "flavored with the essence of all good literatures," showing in every word and movement the well-bred gentleman, he was a most delightful companion, and those who enjoyed his friendship speak of him with the utmost tenderness and affection. His bon mots were many. Seeing an Irish procession on Montgomery street,. He delighted to talk to the dear people from the platform, and never let pass an opportunity to enlighten them, as far as he could, upon any subject — political, religious, moral, historic or esthetic.
Felton met him on the street one day, and invited him to join him and a few acquaintances at dinner at a certain restaurant that evening. Felton among his auditors. Felton," he added, " I had rather make a speech than eat the finest dinner ever cooked. The intensity of Felton's repugnance can only be appreciated by those who remember how really fond he was of a fine dinner.
Judge T. Felton, and a few others, consentaneous souls, once made up a merry mess of bachelors at Mme. Touchard's private boarding house. Felton's winning smile, when he joined his table companions, his exultant mirth and words of wit and wisdom, gave a peculiar charm to his presence, and made the dining hall the place of delightful daily reunion. It was in i that Parsons went to Sacramento to urge the passage by the legislature of his famous " Bulkhead bill. The epicure always had reason to murmur at the Capital, but at that time some culinary Solomon had established there, at a convenient point, a first-class French restaurant.
To this refreshing shelter would Parsons and Felton retreat every evening with their invited guests.
Many times did they repair thither, sometimes hopeful, sometimes dejected, but always exhausted. The struggle in the legislature was long and stub- bornly contested; the shock of battle was felt throughout the State. Doing effective and silent work each day, Parsons and Felton withdrew from the conflict with a new coterie of friends every night.
San Francisco was anathematizing them, but they stood, " unmoved, enduring and immovable. Judge Freelon met the two warriors in Sacra- mento in the heat of the strife, and they told him that a seat would be reserved for him at their table that night. We never talk ' bulkhead ' at the table.
He was so well entertained that he went every night until he left the Capital. But he did not hear the word "bulk- head " mentioned at the princely table of the great Bulkheader. Gates, J. Felton, John Crane and Levi Parsons — the latter being the great head of the concern the right to build a bulkhead, or sea wall, with the necessary piers, wharves and docks, upon the water line of , with the right to collect dockage, wharfage and tolls; also to construct wharves and piers, projecting at right angles from the sea wall, to a length of feet; also to appropriate and take possession of any franchise rights, lands or wharves belonging to the city, and also private property on making compen- sation.
The feeling of the people of San Francisco was reflected by the Governor, Hon. Downey, whose veto of this bill made him the popular lion of the time. Governor Downey said, among other things, that from the time when the act should become a law, " all commercial intercourse with San Francisco would be effectually cut off, or be carried on upon such terms as the Dock and Wharf Company might dictate.
The products of every branch of domestic industry as well as every article of foreign trade, all imports and exports, all vessels approaching the shore, and vehicles approaching the water, might be subjected to contribution. Foot passengers only, but not their baggage or effects, would be exempt from tribute. The right to con- struct the front streets, or to build a bulkhead, with the necessary piers, wharves and docks, and to fix and collect tolls, had been granted to the City and County of San Francisco, not in the same words adopted in this bill, yet in terms not less comprehensive and effectual.
This bill attempts to divest and impair rights of property, which are to be regarded as contracts. It also empowers the company to take private property, not for any public use, but to facilitate a private enterprise. And it is plainly repugnant to the Federal Constitution and the Constitution of this State. The observed of all observers, he wa3 observed most particularly by Felton and Parsons. Felton's conversation was fresh, original and sparkling.
Herein, he closely resembled his distinguished father- in-law, Judge Joseph G. Baldwin was full of fun, and laughed uproariously at his own jokes. Baldwin and Felton never impaired the effect by their turbulent enjoyment of their own sayings. Their laughter seemed to follow naturally, and it was as refreshing to hear it as the wit that eyoked it. It convulsed all who heard it.
Of course Felton was intimate with Shakespeare. Bowman who died in , once entertained the members of the Bohemian Club with a disquisition on the authorship of the Shakespeare plays. Felton heard of it and asked Bowman if there was really any basis for the claim that Bacon was the true author. He was assured that there was a good deal to be said in favor of the Baconian theory.
Felton and Bowman oystered together that night, and Felton listened with great interest to Bowman's recapitulation. In the discussion that ensued, Felton astonished Bowman by his thorough Shakespearean scholarship. He spoke with enthusiasm, and Bowman wondered if his friend had not made Shakes- peare the special study of his life. The profession, and the people heard with genuine sorrow of the death of this unselfish spirit, this master of the law. In the Supreme Court, Mr. Pringle, his old college mate, friend and partner, and his ardent admirer, Clark Churchill, since Attorney-General of Arizona, paid tender tribute to his memory.
Eminent counsel made appropriate remarks in all the courts, and the judges responded with feeling. The bar memorial, addressed to the courts — a classical production — was from the prolific pen of Joseph W. I doubt if Mr. With him the law was no narrow system, fettered by precedent and cramped by forms, but a broad, comprehensive science, devised by the highest wisdom, for the proper direc- tion and government of man in all the relations of society and State.
Imbued with such a conception of its dignity and objects, he was singularly successful, through the sound- ness of his reasoning, the persuasion of his address, and the resistless power of his logic, in eliminating and bringing into practical enforcement those great principles of truth and right which constitute the theory of jurisprudence. It was the aim of his mental effort to convince the understanding, rather than inflame the passions.
Possessing a faculty for accumulation almost unexampled in the practice of the law, he made no idol of his acquisitions, but what his toil had won his liberality dispensed with lavish hand. In his munificence he was a prodigal ; in his hospitality, a prince. Contemplated as a patron of the arts and sciences, a promoter of public and private enterprises, and a phil- anthropist, he was in each capacity alike conspicuous ; and severely will be felt the absence of that stimulating hand.
Douglas and IE. It would seem to imply a lack of respect to refer to this venerated Nestor of the San Francisco Bar as plain Mr. But such he is, and no more. He is no Colonel at all, except by courtesy. He never had his. Barnes not William H. And the man who can make a Colonel, or a General, or a Governor of another by his own simple fiat, has not lived in vain. When the late Benjamin F.
Washington, once collector of this port, and for so many years editor of the Examiner, arrived at Sacramento in , after a weary tramp across the continent, as soon as he had washed himself and put on a clean shirt, he was ushered by General A. Winn who later founded the order " Native Sons of the Golden West " into a little circle of pioneer upper tendom, where some half dozen ladies were trying to accommodate ten times as many gentlemen in the labyrinths of the dance.
When Judge George W. Tyler concluded to make " General " Cobb he only spake the word, and it was done. I refer not to H. Judge Tyler and M. Cobb were about forming a law partnership in Stockton. The former had been County Judge of San Joaquin, and having a title, determined that his partner should, for the sake of the firm, enjoy a like dignity. So he introduced him to all Stockton dur- ing the first week after his arrival as " my partner, General Cobb, gentle- men. It seems that plain "Mr. The tendency is to distinguish by some higher style those who have won our special regard. So it is generally accepted all over the Pacific slope that if J.
Hoge is not a Colonel he ought to be. It seems entirely out of place to say "Mr. No Judge on any bench would address the Colonel thus. Imagine Chief Justice Searls saying in open court, "Mr. Hoge, will you state that proposition again! He was born seventy- six years ago, according to our Great Register. He studied law and was admitted to the bar also in Ohio. He received what is called a classical education, graduating from Jefferson College, Pennsylvania. When he was about thirty years old he removed to the Prairie State, settling at Galena and there entering on his profession. He soon became popular and moderately prosperous.
An inborn love of politics was his, which has ever since asserted itself, but which was never so strong as to require medical treat- ment. He has not been "discharged cured," becaused he has not needed curing. He has always desired to be United States Senator, but has never set his heart upon it. In the campaign which preceded his election he made many brilliant stump speeches, and took his place among party leaders of the great West. At Washington his was a prominent figure, and he was returned to the Twenty-ninth Congress. Wise, R.
Weller, Robert C. Schenck, Joshua R. Douglas, Jacob Thompson,. David Wilmot, E. Baker, John A. Rives, John J. Crittenden, Thos. Benton, Robert J. Walker, John C. Calhoun, Thos. Corwin and Lewis Cass. The Congressional Globe discloses that on March 26, , Col. Hoge pre- sented the petition of L.
Guiteau and fifty-six others, citizens of Stephenson county, Illinois, praying Congress to make appropriations for the immediate improvement of the Missouri and Upper Mississippi Rivers. The chief petitioner was the father of him who was destined to be President Garfield's assassin. On April 3, , he spoke in favor of the bill introduced by him March 6, , directing the sale by the government, of the reserved lead mines of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin.
He alluded to Johnson as "the Cerberus of the Treasury," when Cerberus turned upon him and charged him with indulging in ridicule and personalities, which he promptly disclaimed. Johnson "expressed his satis- faction at the explanation of the gentleman,' ' but wanted to know what the gentleman meant by calling him the Cerberus of the Treasury. He continued that he had always gone as far as any man in liberality to settlers.
If he had his way, he would not sell an acre of the public domain, but give the soil to those who settled upon it in good faith. He opposed the pending bill because he wanted to keep the lands out of the hands of speculators. He desired to see some other plan adopted for their disposition. Hoge did not reply. The bill was defeated, but on reconsideration was amended so as to make the minimum price of the lands five dollars per acre, and as thus amended passed the House by 92 to But in the Senate, being referred to the Committee on Public Lands, it was there smothered. On December 10, , Colonel Hoge introduced another bill, directing the President of the United States to cause the reserved lead mines of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin to be exposed to sale.
The bill was referred tojthe Com- mittee on Public Lands. This bill shared the fate of its predecessor. At the first session of the Twenty-ninth Congress, Dec. Colonel Hoge spoke at length against the amendment. He said the settlers could not pay so much, and declared that the lands were chiefly valuable for agricultural purposes. On June 9, , the bill was passed in the House with the five dollar amend- ment. On January 30, , Colonel Hoge made a powerful and brilliant speech in the House of Representatives, on "The Oregon Question," which so long -agitated Congress and the country.
Douglas, Colonel Hoge's colleague, declaring that a title to any part of the Oregon Territory south of 54 deg. Baker, another colleague of Colonel Hoge's, although a Whig and English- born, came out bold and brilliant for "Fifty-four Forty, or Fight. As everybody knows, we did not get Fifty-four Forty, and we did not fight. The country decreed a change of administration, calling to power a great party, one of whose rallying cries was, "Fifty-four Forty, or Fight ; M yet the President of its choice I do not say it in criticism or censure sug- gested to the British government a settlement upon the forty-ninth parallel as the dividing line.
It is said that Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Polk's Secretary of State, felt bound to make this offer, because it had been made by Mr. Tyler before him. It was declined by Mr. Packenham, the British representative, whereupon Mr. Buchanan withdrew the offer, setting forth in a fine state paper the justice of the claim of the United States to the whole of the north- west Territory.
Subsequently, the British government expressed its readiness to accept the forty-ninth parallel as the dividing line, if the offer of settle- ment were so modified as to secure to Great Britian the whole of Vancouver Island. This it announced as its ultimatum. President Polk submitted this proposition to the United States Senate, which advised its acceptance, and it was accepted.
In June, , a treaty was signed between the two govern- ments, declaring the forty-ninth parallel to be the dividing line. And thus was surrendered the country's claim to a vast region which it had, with loud acclaim, declared its readiness to fight for ; an area as great in extent from north to south as that of the State of Oregon added to one-half of Washington Territory. He has been censured therefor by many of his party.
Owing to the subsequent events it has been a very long while since his vote on this measure has been criticised however. Douglas and Jno. It was being debated in the Senate when the hour arrived for the final adjournment of the session. When Congress next met, Mr. Wilmot again offered his proposition, and, after a long and heated struggle, which spread excitement and alarm throughout the country, the House again adopted it, and again it went to the Senate.
The House, in Committee of the Whole, March 3, , again tacked on the proviso by a vote of 90 to But, strange to say, right afterwards, in the House, after the report of the Committee of the Whole, the previous question being ordered, and recruits summoned, the proviso was defeated by to Colonel Hoge did not vote on this motion. Product Description Together with a stainless steel starter to match your Itallian charm bracelet. Originally associated with divine powers and magic, charm bracelets have become a fun and convenient way to show your personality, your affections and your hobbies.
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