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to alleviate inequality of condition. So long as that interference is enabling and protective only to enable, and individual effort is not so circumscribed as to destroy the self-reliance of the people, they move onward with accelerated speed in intellectual and moral as well as material progress; but where man allows his beliefs, his family, his property, his labor, each of his acts, to be subjected to the omnipotence of the state, or is unmindful of the fact that it is the duty of the people to support the government and not of the government to support the people, such a surrender of independence involves the cessation of such progress in its largest sense.
The statement that popular outbreaks were often as beneficial in the political world as storms in the physical was defended upon the ground that, although evils, they were productive of good by preventing the degeneracy of government and nourishing that general attention to public affairs, the absence of which would be tantamount to the abdication of self-government.
But while the rights to life, to use one's faculties in all lawful ways, and to acquire and enjoy property, are morally fundamental rights antecedent to constitutions, which do not create, but secure and protect them, yet it is within the power of the State to promote the health, peace, morals, education and good order of the people by legislation to that end, and to regulate the use of property in which the public has such an interest as to be entitled to assert control. In this wide field of regulation by law, and in the reformation of laws which are found to promote inequality, as well as in the patient efforts of mutual forbearance which the education of conflict produces, the direction of the rule of the people is steadily towards an amelioration not to be found in the dead level of despotism, nor in the destruction of society proposed by the anarchist.
It is but little more than thirty years since the well-known prophecy was uttered, that with the increase of population and the taking up of the public lands, our institutions then being really put to the test, either some Cæsar or Napoleon would seize the reins of government, or our Republic would be plundered and laid waste as the Roman Empire had been, but by Huns and Vandals engendered within our own country and by our own institutions.
The brilliant essayist did not comprehend the character of our fundamental law, the securities carefully devised to prevent facility in changing it, and the provisions which inhibit the subversion of individual freedom, the impairment of the obligation of contracts, and the confiscation of property, nor realize the practical operatior. of a governmental scheme intended to secure that sober second thought which alone constitutes public opinion in this country, and which makes of government by the people a government strong enough, in the language of the address, to "withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property," without which “liberty is little else than a name.”
Undoubtedly to this people, who from four have become seventy millions in the passage of their first century, to reach by the close of the second, perhaps, seven hundred millions, with resources which can feed and clothe and render happy more than twice that number, the solution of grave problems is committed.
How shall the evils of municipal government, the poverty, the vice, engendered by the disproportionate growth of urban populations, be dealt with as that growth continues? How shall immigration be regulated so that precious institutions may not be threatened by too large an influx of those lacking in assimilative power and inclination? How shall the full measure of duty towards that other race, to which in God's providence this country has been so long a home, be discharged so that participation in common blessings and in the exercise of common rights may lead to and rest upon equal education and intelligence? How shall monopoly be checked, and the pressure of accumulation yield to that equitable distribution, which shall “undo excess, and each man have enough ?" How shall the individual be held to the recognition of his responsibility for government, and to meet the demand of public obligations ? How shall corruption in private and public life be eradicated ?
These and like questions must be answered, and they will be by the nation of Washington, which in the exercise of the sagacity and prudence and self-control born of free institutions, and the cultivation of the humanities of Christian civilization will hallow the name, American, by making it the synonym of the highest sense of duty, the highest morality, the highest patriotism, and so become more powerful and more noble than the powerful and noble Roman nation, which stood for centuries the einbodiment of law and order and government, but fell when the gods of the fireside fled from hearthstones whose sanctity had been invaded, and its citizens lost the sense of duty in indulgence in pleasure.
And so the new century may be entered upon in the spirit of optimism, the natural result, perhaps, of a self-confidence which has lost nothing in substance by experience, though it has gained in the moderation of its impetuosity; yet an optimism essential to
the accomplishment of great ends, not blind to perils, but bold in the fearlessness of a faith whose very consciousness of the limitations of the present asserts the attainability of the untravelled world of a still grander future.
No ship can sail forever over summer seas. The storms that it has weathered test and demonstrate its ability to survive the storms to come, but storms there must be until there shall be no more sea.
But as amid the tempests in which our ship of state was launched, and in the times succeeding, so in the times to come, with every exigency constellations of illustrious men will rise upon
angry skies, to control the whirlwind and dispel the clouds by their potent influences, while from the “clear upper sky” the steady light of the great planet marks out the course the vessel must pursue, and sits shining on the sails as it comes grandly into the haven where it would be.
ORLOW W. CHAPMAN.
DIED JANUARY 19, 1890.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
OCTOBER TERM, 1889.
Monday, January 20, 1890.
MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL addressed the court as follows:
MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT: A decree of Nature, as distressing as it was unexpected, makes it my duty to announce to the court the death of the Solicitor General of the United States. In the Sabbath quiet of yesterday morning, after an illness, painful, but until near the end not believed to be fatal, Orlow W. Chapman rested forever from earthly duty and earthly suffering.
The shock and the grief of this event are to-day, I am sure, too fresh and strong upon all of us to admit of fitting words of eulogy upon the character of this eminent lawyer and good man. Let that grateful duty await some future occasion.
My mission this morning is only to make this sad announcement, and to ask the court to take such action as may be due to the memory of our loved associate and now departed brother.
THE CHIEF JUSTICE responded as follows:
The court receives the melancholy intelligence of the death of the Solicitor General with profound regret.
. There is a case now under argument and near its conclusion in which the counsel engaged are from a distant State. We feel compelled, therefore, to continue our session until the argument of that case is closed, but will then adjourn as a deserved mark of
respect to the memory of the lamented deceased, and also in order to enable the members of the court to attend his funeral in a body.
From the New York Daily Tribune of January 20, 1890.
Mr. Chapman was born in Ellington, Connecticut, on January 7th, 1832, and was graduated at Union College in 1854. After leaving college he was for some time professor of languages at Fergusonville Academy. In 1856 he began the study of law with Robert Parker, and in 1858 he entered upon the practice of his own profession at Binghamton. In September, 1862, he was appointed District Attorney of Broome County. In the following November he was elected to the office, which he held until January, 1868. In 1867 he was elected to the State Senate from the Twenty-fourth District as a Republican, and was reëlected in 1869. While in the Senate he served as chairman of the Committees on Literature, and Erection of Towns and Counties, and was a member of the Committees on Claims, Judiciary, Roads and Bridges, and Erie Investigation. He was appointed Superintendent of the Insurance Department of this State in December, 1872, and held the office until January, 1876, when he resigned. His administration of the office was above criticism. After his retirement he resumed his place as leader of the bar of Broome County. He was appointed Solicitor General on May 29, 1889. He was held in high esteem by the members of the Supreme Court and the bar. Attorney General Miller, who had not known him prior to his appointment, became greatly attached to him and valued him highly. He was careful, painstaking and conscientious in the discharge of his public duties, and the Attorney General has frequently been congratulated by the Justices of the court upon having secured a gentleman of so much intelligence, industry and ability as his chief assistant. The Solicitor General is the legal adviser of the Government, and his place is considered inferior only to that of a Cabinet officer.
Mr. Chapman was over six feet in height. He was of a sunny, genial temperament, and his uniform kindliness and courtesy endeared him to all who were acquainted with him, while his culture and travels made him a delightful companion. His wife, to whom he had been married many years, survives him.