페이지 이미지

to the day's work that was quite unmistakable. I was told by the clerk that the custom had been introduced by the Chief Justice himself, not as a bit of formalism, but as an amenity calculated to soothe any irritation which might have resulted from differences in the consultation hours.

With Edward Douglass White there was no affectation, no puffing from pride of place. And yet, as a presiding officer, the moment he assumed the chair and called the cases of the day for argument, no man, no matter how exalted in position or great in experience, or however humble in the ranks of the profession, could stand at the Bar without feeling that the physical and intellectual giant before him had combined the subtle qualities of love of country, knowledge of the law, clearness of vision, and broad-sighted statesmanship, with the dignity of high office, and that there would be no trifling in argument or in conduct tolerated at that Bar. He never interrupted counsel in argument; but he frequently would put questions to counsel before his argument began. He had a very keen eye, and great analytical powers, and from his great experience and knowledge he could glance through a record and instantly pick out a defect in jurisdiction. If there was clearly no federal question involved, he would not permit the time of the court to be wasted in the discussion of a case destined to fall by the wayside. Then, too, in gentle tones, but with great firmness he would say to counsel, “Now, I do not desire to interrupt your argument, and I do not intend to do so, but before you take your seat I want to hear you on this point,” and he would announce the point, and woe to the man who forgot that admonition.

This is no time or place to analyze his decisions. We all know that he ascended the heights of jurisprudence without the aid of a balustrade of cases; that he did not drag himself up

to conclusions. His tread was like that of a giant, slow but sure, always firm and honorable, and as he climbed higher and higher and got a broader range he could see the tops of distant thoughts, which men of smaller stature could not see. He never lost himself in the underbrush. He always was on an eminence which overlooked the field of controversy, and with a fine eye for legal perspective, he could estimate the appropriate distances and zones and planes to which the case really belonged. His faculty of

constructive interpretation was abnormal; not that construction which strangles the spirit; not that construction which through arrogance of power destroys restraint, but that happy mingling of vision and self-control which, while extending principle to the utmost verge of the case, yet never overleaped the legitimate limits of established authority. This was the strength of Marshall, and this was the strength of White.

His name will be revered by those who regard the Supreme Court of the United States as the sheet anchor of our Constitution. Legislatures in their mad desire to legislate on all subjects, often stretch the police powers and substitute proscriptions and prescriptions for restrictions; they can only be checked by the cold, calm courage of clear-eyed and fearless judges, ruling their tribunals under the sense of duty to the Constitution. Such Judges sway a power which nothing in human history can parallel and this it is which makes the Supreme Court of the United States the arbiter of justice between great sovereignties without the spilling of a drop of blood or a single call to arms.

The memory of Edward Douglass White will always be with us a sanctified and a sanctifying recollection. In this presence, in this, the city of his birth, let us wish to his successor the benediction of Heaven upon his efforts, as realizing the magnitude and the responsibility of his office, he takes his seat with the affectionate embrace of a great brotherhood, and we assure him that,

“Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,"

are all with that Constitution which is now committed to his care.

The Chairman:

We will now listen to a memorial to William A. Blount, President of the American Bar Association, whose untimely death while President, we all so much deplore.

Scott M. Loftin, of Jacksonville, Fla. :

On June 15, 1921, our hearts were saddened by the news that William Alexander Blount, President of the American Bar Association, had departed this life at Baltimore, Maryland, at the age

of 69 years.

For many years prior to his death he was recognized as the leader of the Bar of his adopted state of Florida and had served as President of the Bar Association of that state with credit and distinction. Last year, as a result of the national prominence he had attained in the legal profession and in recognition of his sterling qualities, both as a lawyer and a man, he was honored by election to the Presidency of this Association.

From a modest beginning in his profession, by dint of untiring energy, unusual thoroughness and careful attention to detail, united with brilliant intellect and sound judgment, he achieved success rapidly, and in a few years his legal opinions were so highly valued and respected that his fame had spread to adjoining states. As he possessed a clear, analytical legal mind, combined with a judicial temperament that uniformly sought to discover the right and justice in every matter committed to his care, his opinions to his clients were always just and fair and his positions in court consistently logical and tenable.

Because of his high ideals and his exemplication of them in his daily practice, Mr. Blount gained and held the respect and esteem of the courts before whom he practiced and the members of the Bar with whom he came in contact. I have never known anyone who had a more exalted conception of the ethics of our profession or who maintained a higher standard in the practice of the law. In a letter to this Association, his last public utterance, which was published in the February issue of the JOURNAL, Mr. Blount wrote:

A single lawyer, walking with an unfaltering step the path of idealistic rectitude, will elevate the thoughts and practices of the whole Bar with whom he lives.

What he there wrote as a precept for others was the principle he consistently followed throughout his life. His example was a constant inspiration to the members of the Bar who came within the sphere of his influence to higher and more worthy achievements.

He was never too busy to listen patiently to the humblest person and often advised and represented those who had no means with which to pay fees when in his opinion a wrong had been done or there had been a miscarriage of justice. No matter what the task, and regardless of remuneration, it was always well and satisfactorily performed.

As a lawyer who met every duty with high resolve and unswerving devotion to principle, his record is found in the decisions of the courts and imprinted upon the hearts of his fellow members of the Bar.

As a man and a citizen, William Alexander Blount occupied a no less important place in his adopted state than he did at the Bar. Although his professional duties were many and arduous, he always found time to devote the best that was in him to the promotion of what he believed was for the public welfare and the advancement of civic righteousness. The time allotted to me is too short to recount the many public offices of trust and honor bestowed upon him by his fellow citizens, who appreciated his worth and merit; but it will be of interest to you to know that he had always held the Presidency of this Association to be one of the greatest honors that could be conferred upon an American lawyer. After 26 years of constant attendance and steadfast devotion to every trust confided to him by this Association, his elevation to this high office was one of the things that sweetened the last days of his life and helped to alleviate the pain from which he was finally released by death. As far as his health would permit, he creditably and conscientiously performed his duties as our President, and was engaged in preparing his address, the subject of which was, “Liberty in Democracies," when his illness became so serious that he had to give up all work.

Mr. Blount's greatest satisfaction was derived from work faithfully and properly done, and his chief happiness was found in the quiet and peaceful hours in his home when he was surrounded by his loved ones. His home life was indeed beautiful and his devotion to his family unusually tender and sweet. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and a friend to humanity. In an unostentatious way he did thousands of little kindnesses that the world knew not of, demonstrating the truth of the poet's words:

The best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts

Of kindness and love. His life work is preserved in the memories of those who knew him, in the splendid influence for good he wielded, in the molded, rounded, useful life which passes not away, and in the magnificent heritage of a life nobly spent.

When death comes, what more fitting epitaph can any man have than this-having justly and honorably served his generation, by the will of God he fell asleep?

The Chairman:

We will now listen to a memorial of Stephen S. Gregory, which will be presented by Mr. Richards.

John T. Richards, of Chicago, Ill.:

Stephen Strong Gregory died at his home in the City of Chicago, Sunday, October 24, 1920. His death was due to angina pectoris, and came suddenly at a time when he seemed to be enjoying his usual health; he is survived by his widow, two sons and one daughter.

Mr. Gregory was born November 16, 1849 at Unadilla, Otsego County, New York. He removed with his parents to Madison, Wisconsin, in 1858 where he grew to manhood and there began his professional career. His father, Jared C. Gregory, was a lawyer of personal and professional distinction throughout the State of Wisconsin and surrounding states.

Stephen Strong Gregory was graduated from the University of Wisconsin in the year 1870, and from the Law Department of that institution in 1871. He entered upon the practice of his profession in his home city where he remained until his removal to Chicago in 1874. From that time until his death he engaged in active practice in the last named city.

In his professional activities Mr. Gregory was identified with many notable cases in both the state and federal courts. Time will not permit a reference to these cases but perhaps the Debs’ case which grew out of the great railroad strike in 1894, attracted the most universal attention. In that case he was associated with former U. S. Senator Lyman Trumbull. Mr. Gregory was gifted with a well poised mentality and thought deeply upon every phase of all problems presented for his consideration. He possessed the courage of his convictions and never failed to present his cause in the most convincing manner. His treatment of the court was always courteous and in his arguments he never failed to receive the close attention of the judges. He never sought to impose upon the court an argument in support of a proposition in which he did not, himself, firmly believe. He understood his

« 이전계속 »