be useful, and should endeavor to strengthen the bond that now holds this Union together, by showing practically that there is nothing antagonistic in the working of the two systems, and that they are capable of harmonious though entirely independent action?

Such have been the general principles, according to which the people of Massachusetts have dealt with this subject. But this is .not all. To show that the present crusade against Judge Loring is the product of a mere afterthought, and not justly founded upon any real opinion that he has violated either the law or the settled convictions of Massachusetts, we proceed to show what the exposition of the subject has been practically and in theory by the people and the legislature since the fugitive slave law of 1850 was passed, and since it was very well known that that law must be enforced in Massachusetts.

The sentiments of the legislature have more than once been brought to a direct test or crucial experiment upon the subject of the fugitive slave law.

In the report before us it is pertinaciously urged that Judge Loring's action in the Burns' case, under the law of 1850, was virtually a violation of the State law of 1843. The law of 1843, as we have seen, applies only to the third section of the United States Act of 1793, and it has been thought to be so defective in its application to a law passed seven years after its own enactment, that Mr. Dana in his able and manly argument before the committee says:

"The passage of this law, and of other similar laws, I believe, in other States, was one of the excuses for the passage of the law of 1850. The South said, if Massachusetts refuses us the use of her State machinery, we will provide that of the federal government. They did so. The act of 1850 was passed. When this law passed, all the U. S. commissioners in this State were also State magistrates, and one was a State judge. Mr. Sumner, who was a justice of the peace as well as a commissioner, offered to sit as commissioner in any case they would bring to him. I believe he gave written notice to that effect to Mr. Marshal Devens. Mr. Curtis did act, in two cases, but no lawyer, as I am aware, contended that he had violated the law of 1843. At the very first session of the legislature after the passage of the fugitive slave law, an attempt was made to extend the law of 1843 to the law of 1850. The first section of Mr. Buckingham's bill (Sen. Doc. 51) so provides. The bill was lost in the Senate, by a vote of 13 to 16. The entire bill for the further protection of personal liberty' was lost. The same year, in the House of Representatives, resolutions condemnatory of the fugitive slave law of 1850, (House Doc. 187,) very moderate in their character, were lost by a vote of 164 to 167. This was in the coalition legislature. The same year, during the session of the legislature, under its very eye, occurred the rendition of Sims. The court house was in chains. The judges went under them.

The sheriff refused to serve your precepts. Massachusetts law was suspended. Your courts were closed to all, except such as the United States marshal chose to admit. Massachusetts lay at the foot of the slave power. What did the legislature do? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Your committee examined the parties and reported the facts. They complained that Mr. Hallett and Mr. Tukey insulted them, but said that the others were very polite. The report was allowed to go by, and Massachusetts did nothing. The popular elections, even, did not indicate that Massachusetts was in earnest in condemning the fugitive slave law.

In 1852, Mr. Sewall introduced his bill further to protect personal liberty.' (Sen. Doc. 76.) It passed the Senate by a vote of 18 to 16; but it was lost in the House, by a vote of 158 to 167, and its death-blow was given to it on the motion of Mr. Henry J. Gardner, of Boston. Now you propose to address the same Mr. Gardner, in his capacity as governor, and ask him to remove Judge Loring from office, because he has flown in the face of the legislation of Massachusetts! In the same year, resolutions, carefully drawn and moderate in their character, generally attributed to Mr. Hoar of Worcester, intended to commit Massachusetts against the fugitive slave law, were defeated by a vote of 178 to 162. In 1853, Massachusetts elected Mr. Everett to the Senate of the United States, a man thoroughly committed to the support of the fugitive slave law. And now, in 1855, this very committee is reporting a bill, the first section of which proposes to extend the act of 1843 to the law of 1850, to do what Massachusetts has refused to do up to this time."

This extract precludes the necessity of any further statement to the same effect, and shows clearly the point we have intended to establish that the attention of the legislature has been distinctly and repeatedly called to the subject of preventing, as far as it could, the persons who held State commissions from acting under the United States statute of 1850; that the action on this subject has been taken almost wholly since the impression stamped upon the public mind by the result of the Sims' case, yet that every attempt to inhibit the commissioned servants of Massachusetts from acting also as United States commissioners has signally and completely failed. And now Judge Loring is arraigned for acting as such commissioner, the burden of the report before us being the impropriety of his acting under the United States law of 1850.

It is a further proof of the sudden character of the indignation that is expressed, that it is only in this case that the feeling has been manifested, though it is not the only or the first opportunity that has been afforded for its display. Until Judge Loring was made so prominent in connection with this matter, Mr. George T. Curtis has been the foremost object upon whom the opponents of the law, and of all connected with it, have vented their indignation. So far as it could be done by tongue or pen, he has been transfixed and pierced a thousand times, and we confess that


whatever obloquy may justly attach to a public officer for obedience to the law, Mr. Curtis has no right to exemption from a very large share of it. The more obnoxious he has been, or is, the more does the tyrannical inconsistency of the signers of the report before us show itself. In 1851, Mr. Curtis, acting as commissioner in the case of Sims, granted a certificate to the claimant, under which Sims was carried back. This was the first case from Massachusetts. When he, as United States commissioner, so surrendered Sims, in April, 1851, he held a commission as justice of the peace in Massachusetts. After the surrender of Sims, viz., July 15, 1851, a new commission was ordered to be issued to Mr. Curtis, without any application by him, as Justice of the Peace and Quorum, signed by Governor Boutwell, and countersigned by AMASA WALKER, Secretary of the Commonwealth, who now heads a petition for the removal of Judge Loring. The original commission did not reach Mr. Curtis, but it is recorded as having issued. On the 1st Dec. 1852, Amasa Walker, Secretary, &c., issued and certified a duplicate of this commission, bearing the same date as the original, which appeared of record, but which Mr. Curtis had not received, and under this duplicate Mr. Curtis qualified, and still holds the commission.

If the argument of the committee has any force, Gov. Boutwell and Secretary Walker, and the Executive Council, all violated what the committee call the spirit of the law of 1843; for they recommissioned, as a State magistrate, a person who had acted as a commissioner under the United States law of 1850, while he still held the latter office, and within three months after the extradition of Sims. Gov. Boutwell and Secretary Walker were placed in their respective offices by "The Coalition." The freesoil branch of that coalition had never set up the doctrine now contended for, that the law of 1843 is to be construed as a notice to State magistrates not to act as commissioners under the United States law of 1850. If they had held this doctrine then, they should have acted upon it, and should have prevented the issuing of a new and higher commission to a magistrate who had done exactly what Judge Loring has done. It may be said that Mr. Walker was only discharging an official duty; but if it was Judge Loring's duty to resign his commission rather than perform the obnoxious duties which were imposed upon him, so it was the duty of Mr. Secretary Walker to resign his office rather than countersign a commission which ought not to

have been issued, if the ground now taken by him is tenable.

It would be a waste of time to take up sentence by sentence a paper so very unskilfully drawn as the report before us. Were it worth the while, it would be an easy matter to dissect and examine its arguments and allegations and to show how fumbling, how discursive, how pointless, and how utterly inconsequential, are its attempts at reasoning. It is, in a word, as we have stated, an attempt to inculpate Judge Loring, on the ground of a moral violation of the State law of 1843. In the absence of any distinctly enunciated propositions to which we might reply, we have treated the matter generally, and have attempted to show that neither from the letter or spirit of the law, nor from the contemporaneous and subsequent exposition given to it, nor from the practical action of the executive, the legislature, or the people, could it be presumed that any objection would be taken to the discharge, by an individual holding an office under the State government, of the duties of another office in no wise incompatible with it, and as to which the laws of the State were silent. Having, as they assume, convicted Judge Loring of a moral fault, (they do not pretend that it amounts to an impeachable one,) the committee go on to vindicate the right of the removal by address. The committee are hard put to it, in recommending the exercise of this power in the case of Judge Loring.

Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare,

Hoc solum novi -non amo te, Sabidi.

They say, p. 8:

"The power of removal by address, under chapter III., article 1, of the constitution, was intended to reach cases in which judges might not be subject to impeachment.

The individual holding office may not be guilty of crime, gross immorality or official misbehavior, so as to be liable to removal for such cause on trial, and to judgment on impeachment, and yet, from gross or rash measures, or loathsomeness of person, or general offensiveness to the community, or from loss of the public confidence, ought to be removed by address which is without trial or judgment."

"The loss of public confidence" is the only specification in the above assignment which can possibly be applied to Judge Loring, and this is so vague in itself, so manifestly the product of the mere party excitement, to feed which this whole question has been agitated,—and is so utterly untrue in fact, that we may safely say that it is merely used as a veil to cover the moral nakedness which would be disclosed

by an avowal of the real motive, which we believe to be no other than an attempt to exercise a power reserved by the constitution, in an arbitrary and tyrannical manner for the purpose of gratifying the odium politicum of a party, at the expense of a most unoffending and upright magis


The claim to this arbitrary exercise of power is not directly announced, but it is evident that the committee feel that the motive is too palpable for concealment; and therefore, though they do not directly claim, they do directly argue in favor of, such an exercise of it. The considerations which are so urged, are based mainly upon the authority of speeches in the State Constitutional Convention of 1850. Sentences are extracted from the speeches of several eminent members of that convention for the manifest and only purpose of claiming the weight of their opinion and authority in favor of the irresponsible, capricious exercise of the removing power.

For this purpose, the speeches are garbled, sentences are torn from their context and used as evidence that the opinions of the speakers were directly the contrary of what, by reading the debates in full, it will be seen their real sentiments were and passages which in fact were intended to make as odious as possible the undue exercise of this power, are brought forward in this report as expressing their advocacy of it. It behoves us to speak with respect of a legislative committee, but we cannot but say, that were the distortion of evidence of which this report is guilty in this particular, practised by common men in a mercantile transaction, it would brand them with a name which we forbear to apply to men from whom Massachusetts is receiving her laws.

This is a matter of so much importance, as showing how deserving of the "public confidence " are those men who advocate the removal of Judge Loring on account of his "loss of the public confidence," that we deem it necessary to examine the subject at some length.

Previous to the convention of 1820, for amending the constitution, as well as since, the power of removal from judicial office could be exercised on address by a mere majority of the two houses. It was proposed in the convention to alter this so as to make a majority of two-thirds necessary for such removal, and upon this question the debate arose. The committee say, p. 10:—

"The reasons for giving this power were clearly set forth in the debates

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