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TWENTY-SIXTH ANNUAL MEETING
American Bar Association
HOT SPRINGS, VIRGINIA,
August 26, 27 and 28, 1903.
TWENTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL MEETING
WILL BE HELD AT
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI,
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,
September 26, 27 and 28, 1901.
TWENTY-SIXTH ANNUAL MEETING
American Bar Association,
HOT SPRINGS, VIRGINIA,
AUGUST 26, 27 AND 28, 1903.
Wednesday, August 26, 1903. The Twenty-sixth Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association convened at the Homestead Hotel, Hot Springs, Virginia, on Wednesday, August 26, 1903, at 10.30 A. M.
The meeting was called to order by Charles F. Libby, of Maine, who introduced the President, Francis Rawle, of Pennsylvania, who then took the chair.
Gentlemen of the American Bar Association, I have the pleasure of presenting to you Mr. Allen Caperton Braxton, of Staunton, Virginia, who, on behalf of the Virginia State Bar Association, will extend to you its welcome.
Allen Caperton Braxton, of Virginia:
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the American Bar Association, it is my pleasant duty on behalf of the Virginia State Bar Association to bid you welcome to the Old Dominion. No American should feel otherwise than at home in Virginia ; or many of them it is their fatherland, and for all of them it is the land of their country's father!
No state is more peculiarly American than Virginia. The first of the colonies to be settled, the first to proclaim its in
dependence, the first to adopt a written constitution, the first to propose a federal union, Virginia not only gave to our country its first President and its first great Chief Justice, but she carved from her very body the territory with which to form seven of our greatest states, and thus, like a brooding pelican in the wilderness, did she nourish the infant nation with her own blood. Therefore, Mr. President, we Virginians feel toward this Union that in fact, and in very truth, it is “bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.” Unhappily, in the time of our fathers, a fatal discord entered into the councils of our country, which for a time estranged us. But, thanks be to God, our differences are now all settled, civil strife has departed from the shores of our reunited country, and “whom God hath thus joined together let no man put asunder.” Therefore, Brethren of the American Bar, whether your homes be in the North, by whose side Virginia fought so long to gain our common independence, or in the West, whose discovery and acquisition, by purchase or conquest, was so largely wrought by Virginia's sons, or in the dear old South land, to which we are bound by so many of the tenderest ties, whenever you come to Virginia be assured that you are in the house of your friends, where, for all true Americans, naught but welcome will be found.
In no other great nation, Mr. President, does the bar wield the influence it does in America. The impetuous turbulence of the people which, encouraged by thoughtless and selfish demagogues, has in the past wrecked so many free republics is here kept in check and controlled by the American reverence for law and order. It is but natural, therefore, Mr. President, that with such a people the ministers of those Godgiven institutions should be accorded the greatest influence.
Your noble profession has always been the poteni champion not only of justice, but of liberty, and has ever been foremost in resisting with equal firmness the oppressions of the despot and the tyrannies of the multitude. Even in the decadent days of the Roman Empire, when despotism had banished
freedom from the seats of political power, the spark of liberty was still kept alive by the civil lawyers in their administration of justice between man and man, and while a military dictator ruled the whole world the Pandects of Justinian bore eloquent testimony to the purity of justice as administered by the lawyers where they still held sway.
Mr. President, law and order are the only pedestals which will permanently support a statue of liberty, and, as their priests and ministers, you have selected an appropriate spot for the annual meeting of your council. During the darkest days of the American Revolution, when hope for a season had hidden her face from the patriot cause, the dauntless Washington, well knowing where liberty had built her impregnable fortress, said to his discouraged and disheartened countrymen:
"Leave me but a flag to plant upon the mountains
her free.” Gentlemen of the American Bar, dedicated champions of that true and lasting liberty which can only be secured through law and order, I welcome you to the mountains of West Augusta.
Mr. Braxton, on behalf of the American Bar Association I cordially accept the tender of hospitality which you have most eloquently made to us, and I say to you, and through you to the members of the Virginia State Bar Association and of the Bar of Virginia, that we cordially reciprocate the sentiments of regard which you have expressed. We feel that these are the sentiments which have actuated us when we have come to hold our meeting on your soil. The hospitality of Virginia is traditional, and the members of the American Bar Association accept it with feelings of interest and of the highest pleasure. We are glad that our first meeting in the South has been in the Old Dominion, which has played so great a part in the legal history of this country. This Association