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SPEECH.

MAY IT PLEASE The Court,GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY

It becomes my duty, as the officer charged by the law with the prosecution of crimes and offences committed against the laws of the United States within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to submit for your consideration the indictment upon which the prisoner at the bar has been arraigned, in order that you may determine upon the question of his guilt or innocence. It charges him with the commission of a crime of a highly aggravated character ; in its nature, the most serious that can be perpetrated against a human government. It is technally called high treason, and is defined in the Constitution of the United States and the Act of Congress of 30th April, 1790. It consists in this country only in levying war against the United States, and in adhering to their enemies, by giving to them aid and comfort. The treason charged against the prisoner at the bar, is that of levying war against the United States; and I desire you distinctly to understand that it is not a case of constructive treason, but one of actual treason, and embraced within the perview of the Constitution and the Act of Congress to which allusion has been made. What the law is upon this subject I will fully explain before I conclude my opening remarks ; but I now state that any combination or conspiracy by force and intimidation to prevent the execution of an Act of Congress, so as to render it inoperative and ineffective, is in legal estimation high treason, being an usurpation of the authority of government. This construction of the Constitu. tion of the United States has been cotemporaneous with the adoption of that instrument, and every judge, whether state or federal, whose attention has been directed to the subject, has agreed in this interpretation. It was so held in the cases of the Western in urgents in 1795, in the cases of the Northampton insurgents in 1799, in the case of Aaron Burr in 1807, by Judge Story in his charge to the Grand Jury in 1842, by Judge King, President of the Court of Common Pleas of this county, in his charge to the Grand Jury, in

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SPEECH.

MAY IT PLEASE THE Court,-GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY

It becomes my duty, as the officer charged by the law with the prosecution of crimes and offences committed against the laws of the United States within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to submit for your consideration the indictment upon which the prisoner at the bar has been arraigned, in order that you may determine upon the question of his guilt or innocence. It charges him with the commission of a crime of a highly aggravated character ; in its nature, the most serious that can be perpetrated against a human government. It is technally called high treason, and is defined in the Constitution of the United States and the Act of Congress of 30th April, 1790. It consists in this country only in levying war against the United States, and in adhering to their enemies, by giving to them aid and comfort. The treason charged against the prisoner at the bar, is that of levying war against the United States; and I de. sire you distinctly to understand that it is not a case of constructive treason, but one of actual treason, and embraced within the perview of the Constitution and the Act of Congress to which allusion has been made. What the law is upon this subject I will fully explain before I conclude my opening remarks ; but I now state that any combination or conspiracy by force and intimidation to prevent the execution of an Act of Congress, so as to render it inoperative and ineffective, is in legal estimation high treason, being an usurpation of the authority of government. This construction of the Constitution of the United States has been cotemporaneous with the adopt. ion of that instrument, and every judge, whether state or federal, whose attention has been directed to the subject, has agreed in this interpretation. It was so held in the cases of the Western in urgents in 1795, in the cases of the Northampton insurgents in 1799, in the case of Aaron Burr in 1807, by Judge Story in his charge to the Grand Jury in 1842, by Judge King, President of the Court of Common Pleas of this county, in his charge to the Grand Jury, in 1846, and in 1851 by his Honor, Judge Kane, who reviewed the whole law upon this subject, in a clear and conclusive opinion, which has been before the country since the 29th of September last.

The treason charged against the defendant is, that he wickedly devised and intended to disturb the peace and tranquility of the United States, by preventing the execution of the laws within the same, to wit: a law of the United States, entitled “An Act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters, approved February 12, 1793;” and also a law of the United States, entitled “ An Act to amend, and supplementary to the Act entitled 'An act respecting fugitives from justice, and per. sons escaping from the service of their masters, approved February 12, 1793,"” which supplementary act was approved the 18th of September, 1850, generally known as the Fugitive Slave Law. The overt acts, which may be considered as the evidence or manifestation of the manner in which the treason was committed, are set forth in the indictment as follows :

First.—That on the 11th of September, 1851, in the county of Lancaster, and within the jurisdiction of this Court, the defendant, with a great number of persons, armed and arrayed in a warlike manner, with guns, swords, and other weapons, assembled and traitorously combined to oppose and prevent by intimidation and violence, the execution of the laws of the United States already adverted to, and arrayed himself in a warlike manner against the said United States.

Second.That at the same time and place, the said Castner Hanway assembled with others, with the avowed intention by force and intimidation, to prevent the execution of the said laws to which I have alluded, and that in pursuance of this combination, he unlawfully and traitorously resisted and opposed Henry H. Kline, an officer duly appointed by Edward D. Ingraham, Esq., a Commissioner of the Circuit Court of the United States, from executing lawful process to him directed against certain persons charged before the Commissioner with being persons held to service or labor in the State of Maryland, owing such service and labor to a curtain Edward Gorsuch, under the laws of the State of Maryland, who had escaped into the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Third. That in further execution of his wicked design, the defendant assembled with certain persons who were armed and arrayed with the design, by means of intimidation and violence, to pre: vent the execution of the laws already alluded to, and being so assembled, knowingly and willingly assaulted Henry H. Kline, the officer appointed by the Commissioner to execute his process, and then and there, against the will of the said Henry H. Kline, liberated and took out of his custody persons before that time arrested by him.

Fourth.– That the defendant, in pursuance of his traitorous combination and conspiracy to oppose and prevent the said laws of the United States from being carried into execution, conspired and agreed with others to oppose and prevent by force and intimidation the execution of the said laws, and in the ways already described, did violently resist and oppose them.

Fifth.That the defendant in pursuance of his combination to oppose and resist the said laws of the United States, prepared and composed divers books and pamphlets, and maliciously and traitorously distributed them, which books and pamphlets contained incitements and encouragements to induce and persuade persons held to service in any of the United States by the laws thereof, who had escaped into this district, as well as other persons, citizens of this district, to resist and oppose by violence and intimidation the execution of the said laws, and also containing instructions how, and upon what occasions the traitorous purposes should and ought to be carried into effect.

The overt acts which I have now described embrace all the cł.arges which the government presents against this defendant. I need not say to you that they are altogether of an extraordinary character, and such as, in this country, are seldom presented for the consideration of a court and jury. In monarchical governments, it is true, crimes of this description are of frequent occurrence; but in a government like ours they are but seldom committed. The tyranny to which the subjects of despotisms are exposed, may so burden and oppress them, that longer submission becomes intolerable, and they are driven to efforts to shake it off. The failure to succeed involves them in the guilt of treason, and trial and conviction for the offence follow as a consequence. In governments so constituted, the only hope for a change exists in revolution, and hence the attempt made is to overturn the whole fabric of government. Under such circumstances, treason may become patriotism, and the friends of liberty throughout the world may ardently wish for its success. No such excuse, however, exists with us ; for our institutions are based upon

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