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A copy of that telegram was sent to my good friend, Mr. Daugherty, who replied:
It was not my intention or expectation to enter public life, but the circumstances became such that I concluded to accept the generous offer of Senator Harding. If the Department of Justice is turned over to me, I shall be at all times anxious to render the country the best service there is in me and to uphold the high standing of the judiciary. I will have your help, I am sure, and the cooperation of the Bar of the country.
I have always thought that lawyers are the most patriotic and helpful men of the country, and my policy shall be to cooperate with them for the good of our common country.
So said Attorney-General Daugherty, and without further ado I introduce to you Harry M. Daugherty, the Attorney-General of these United States. Harry M. Daugherty then delivered his address.
(See Appendix, page 190.) The Chairman : The Ohio Bar Association meeting is adjourned until tomorrow.
President Carson :
The American Bar Association will hold its meeting this evening at eight o'clock.
Adjourned until 8 P. M.
Wednesday, August 31, 8 P. M. Elihu Root, of New York, presiding.
The Chairman :
When it is the duty of the presiding officer to present to an audience the finest flowers of advocacy in the Bars of Great Britain and America, he does not delay by speech making of his own.
When one is in a distant land, in that frame of mind in which the sight of one's country's flag brings a little choking in the throat, it is inexpressibly delightful to learn that his country is represented in that foreign land by one of the noblest and ablest of his countrymen, that the best of his country is manifest to the
peo ple among whom he is by the person of the Ambassador sent by the great Republic to the great nation across the sea. Such a representative of America, of whom all Americans are entitled to be proud, and of whom all Americans who know, are proud, is John W. Davisnow of New York, but by the habit of a life-time of West Virginia.
John W. Davis, of New York:
The sound rule of rhetoric which forbids the introduction of an address by an apology will, I fancy, render unnecessary on a night when the thermometer is at its present altitude that I should say that what I ask leave to present to you tonight has no connection with anything that may violate that rule. I do not ask you to listen to any dissertation on international differences or domestic problems, but with the hope that you may be willing to forego subjects of that gravity, I ask you to turn your attention to lighter, if more familiar themes, and give you some random observations concerning the Bar and Bench of England and the administration of English justice.
Mr. Davis then delivered his address.
(See Appendix, page 205.)
The Chairman :
I now have the honor to introduce to you Right Honorable Sir John A. Simon, King's Counsel, formerly Attorney-General of England, and acknowledged as the rightful leader of the English Bar.
Rt. Hon. Sir John A. Simon, of London, then delivered his address.
(See Appendix, page 222.)
The Chairman :
We will now listen to a tribute to the memory of the late Chief Justice White.
Hampton L. Carson, of Pennsylvania:
It is a solemn note that I am called upon to sound, but the death of a Chief Justice of the United States is an event of such rare occurrence that an assemblage of our professional brethren to
commemorate his worth marks a sad but interesting epoch in the annals of our profession.
The creation of the Supreme Court of the United States was the crowning glory of the Constitution. It opened an era in the jurisprudence of the world. For the first time in human history a court was created, charged with the awful responsibility of holding the legislative and executive departments to a strict line of performance of duty within the powers of a written instrument. In that respect the act of the framers was unique. The native land of the common law, of which Sir John Simon has so eloquently spoken, and which is the mother of our institutions,
language and our literature, knows no such tribunal. In Britain the legislative power is absolute. Parliament is omnipotent. There is no restraint upon its action save an undefined, but palpable devotion to what is called the British Constitution. But the British Constitution is not in writing. Accordingly, it is open to contending parties to debate as to what constitutes its principles, save as to such fundamental matters as are embodied in Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, the Petition of Rights, and the Act of Settlement, which Lord Chatham said made up the Bible of the English Constitution. With us, the fundamental organic law is in writing, and the Supreme Court is its guardian.
In February, 1790, in the city of New York, five justices, constituting the court, but one of them being absent, met for organization in a small room in the presence of less than twenty gentlemen, who were sworn as members of the Bar. Rules were adopted. The device of a seal was submitted and approved. The court then adjourned because of lack of business. Not one of that small assemblage of lawyers and jurists, however gifted with the eagle eyes of prophecy, could have predicted that a court then without a docket, without a writ, without a table loaded with the briefs of learned counsel, should have become, within the short space of 131 years, the most powerful judicial tribunal of the earth, with a jurisdiction extending over not only individuals but sovereign states, and binding together in the bonds of liberty and law the members of this great republic. For 131 years, but nine men have filled the office of Chief Justice, and but sixty-one men have sat in the seats of Associates. Yet the body of juris
prudence built up by these experts is impressive and sublime. For ten years the work of the court was done in the city of Philadelphia. John Jay, the first Chief Justice, preferring the Governorship of New York State, resigned, and President Washington nominated John Rutledge, then an Associate Justice. He failed of confirmation in the Senate. After a vain effort to persuade Patrick Henry to accept the position of Chief Justice, a commission was actually made out to William Cushing, but he was unwilling to take the Chief Justiceship and preferred to remain as an Associate. Oliver Ellsworth then held the office for six years. So from 1790 until January, 1800, the nation saw four names associated with the office of Chief Justice. The power, the dignity, the influence of that great station had not yet been realized. In 1801, at the February term, John Marshall came upon the bench, and from the days of John Adams to those of Abraham Lincoln the court knew but two Chief Justices in a period of over sixty years. Then came the Civil War and the death of Chief Justice Taney, the accession of Chief Justice Chase, followed by Chief Justices Waite and Fuller. Finally, in 1910, Edward Douglass White assumed his place as Chief Justice of the United States: it is in his memory that we are now assembled.
Born in 1845, in Louisiana, he sprang from stock which originated in Tennessee. His paternal grandfather, James White, emigrated from Tennessee, and became the Governor of Louisiana. On the maternal side, he was of Philadelphia descent and the bones of his ancestors sleep in the Roman Catholic churchyard of St. Mary's. His mother was the sister of Major Ringgold, whose heroic conduct in the handling of his battery at the battles of Palo Alto and Buena Vista in the Mexican War found responsive recognition in lines of that song which never fails to touch the hearts of Americans, whether north or south, east or west: “Maryland, My Maryland.”
In 1871, Mr. White became a member of the Senate of Louisiana; in 1878, he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana; in 1900, he became a member of the Senate of the United States; in 1894, he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and in 1910 he was raised to be Chief Justice by that President of the United
States, who, under the providence of God, and a decree of poetic justice, has now become his successor as Chief Justice of the United States.
When this association met some years ago, in October, in Washington, at a banquet held at the New Willard Hotel, the toast: “The Supreme Court of the United States," was responded to by Chief Justice White. Those of us who were present and have survived that scene will recall how he said that at sixteen years of age he had worn the gray, and then, turning to the Stars and Stripes above his head, his eyes filled with tears, his voice quivered, his great frame shook with emotion, and in broken accents he thanked God that the efforts of his boyish ardor had failed, that he knew but one flag, into which the gray had so far melted as to become absorbed in the brightness of the Star Spangled Blue.
Great man though he was, he had the nature of a big-hearted boy, and was as unsuspicious as a child. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing him were many times impressed by the entire simplicity of his character. There was no subterfuge, no guile, no artifice in him. He had a clear and penetrating intellect. He was massive, dignified and impressive. When he fastened his blue eyes upon the speaker in front of him, and sat with authority, he radiated an influence which lifted his tribunal out of the atmosphere of a mere forensic arena and sanctified it as a Temple of Justice.
I cannot refrain from describing a scene, which it was my good fortune to witness. I had been conducted by the clerk of the Court to the robing room just before the convening of the Court, and cautioned not to recognize any one until the Chief Justice had received his colleagues. One by one the Associate Justices entered the room and going to their individual lockers, assumed their gowns. When all were robed and in place, the Chief Justice stepped to the center, and received in the order of seniority his Associates with a cordial handshake and the words: “Good morning, Mr. Justice," and each would reply “Good morning, Mr. Chief Justice.” Although a daily occurrence, it was not a mechanical routine. The cordiality and sincerity of the greeting, irradiated by the smile and natural grace of the Chief Justice, huge man though he was, imparted a charm and a pleasure