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a Roman proper name. A boy of fourteen, ignorant of the rule but relying on a somewhat retentive ear, ventured to call the misplaced accent in question, and was suppressed by a prompt citation from the grammar. Silenced but unconvinced, the boy had recourse to the lexicon, and, producing the newly discovered authority, asked for a rehearing of the case. The error was gracefully acknowledged, and a retraction of the hasty ruling was made to the class at its next meeting. The incident begot a liking for the boy, which ripened later into a lasting friendship; to the boy it revealed the sterling honesty of the teacher, and led up to an enduring trust in the man.*
From Worcester “Mr. Hitchcock returned to his home in Nashville, Tennessee,t and entered upon the study of law in the office of William F. Cooper, afterwards Chancellor and Judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee"; two years later he removed to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was admitted to practice.
“In 1852 he was editor of the St. Louis Intelligencer, a newspaper of Whig affiliations, and was a delegate to the National Convention at Baltimore, which nominated General Scott for President.”
In 1858 he joined the Republican party to which he maintained a steadfast allegiance until his death.
“In 1860, on the eve of the Presidential election, he made his first political speech, advocating the election of Abraham Lincoln.” A visit which he had made early in this campaign, to Springfield, Illinois, and the profound impression made on him at the time by the personality of Mr. Lincoln, are said to have afforded the basis in fact for an important chapter of the story entitled “The Crisis,' by Mr. Winston Churchill.
*This incident of school life was recalled frequently by Mr. Hitchcock in after years; it is mentioned here as an illustration of nobility of character firmly established in youth and exemplified throughout a long and honored career.
For the principal facts and dates the writer has drawn, in most cases verbatim, upon the memorial in which they are reproduced from an earlier sketch printed in a volume entitled "Prominent St. Louisans."
“In February, 1861, he was elected a delegate from St. Louis to the Missouri Convention, called under authority of the Act of the General Assembly,
"To consider the then existing relations between the Government of the United States, the People of the different States, and the Government and People of the State of Missouri; and to adopt such measures for vindicating the sovereignty of the State and the protection of its institutions as shall appear to them to be demanded."
“Mr. Hitchcock and only five other members of that Convention were Republicans. He was, from the assembling of the Convention till its final adjournment, active and potent advocate of 'Unconditional Union,' and of the abolition of slavery in Missouri. On March 13, 1861, he spoke with great force and effect in favor of the State's furnishing men and money to coerce the seceding States. . . . In July, 1861, he voted for the ordinance which declared the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State vacant, and instituted a provisional State Government . ... At the final session of that Convention, in June, 1863, he made an elaborate speech, advocating the emancipation of slaves in Missouri.”
“In after years Mr. Hitchcock deplored what he regarded as his mistake in not entering the volunteer service, in 1861. That was his desire; but his friends, and especially his uncle, Ethan Allen Hitchcock, a Major-General of Volunteers, insisted that his value to the cause of the Union would be greater as a member of the State Convention than in the field.”
“Mr. Hitchcock once said: 'I reluctantly acted on this advice, but year by year regretted it more, till in September, 1864, before the fall of Atlanta, and when the issue of the war still seemed doubtful, I applied in person to Secretary Stanton for a commission, and obtained one; not in the hope at that late day of rendering military service of any
value, but simply because I could not endure the thought of profiting, in safety at home, by the heroism of others, and of having no personal share in the defence of my country against her enemies in arms.'* He was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General of Volunteers, with the rank of Major, and in October, 1864, was assigned to duty on General Sherman's staff, at the latter's request. . .. July 23, 1865, he was honorably mustered out of service.”
From 1865 Mr. Hitchcock devoted himself continuously to the law. His career as a lawyer rounded out the full term of fifty years. He rose to the highest rank in the estimation of those best qualified to judge him—his colleagues of the Bar.
“As a lawyert he achieved a national reputation for ability, learning, integrity, and power. . . . His conceptions of the lawyer's functions and duties were exalted. As a lawyer he was broad, accurate, intense; . . . He was a force in the administration of justice."
“No other man at the bar occupied exactly the same position that Mr. Hitchcock did. He stood for those things which, say what we may, are still held in the very highest estimation by the lawyers as well as by the community at large. He stood for the open and candid and forcible upholding of the right as against the wrong. As a lawyer he stood as an example and exemplification of what a lawyer's life and attitude should be, not merely to the bar, not merely to his clients, but more important still to his country at large and to the community in which he lives."
“As a jurist, Henry Hitchcock was of national reputation.s He brought to the practice of the law not only a
These words of Mr. Hitchcock, quoted from the Memorial, recite, practically verbatim, what he said a few days ago to the writer of this sketch. No one who knew Mr. Hitchcock can doubt that his acceptance of a civic career during the critical period in Missouri meant the sacrifice of personal inclination to imperative public duty. The real and continuing danger to which he had so fearlessly exposed himself at home would seem not to have been regarded seriously by him
Quoted from the Memorial..
Quoted from remarks by Judge Jacob Klein in calling to order the meeting of Lawyers held in St. Louis, March 22, 1902.
From remarks by Mr. G. A. Finkelnburg. for seven years Mr. Hitchcock's partner in practice, now United States District Judge.
profound knowledge of the law itself, but a wealth of scholarly attainments and literary embellishments rarely found in the busy practitioner of the present day. And with all, and, perhaps, above all, Mr. Hitchcock never failed to remember that one of the highest duties of a lawyer is to aid the courts in a correct and righteous administration of justice. . . . As a citizen, his lofty sentiments, and above all his indomitable courage of conviction, made him one of those heroic characters in our civic and political life which are as rare as they are valuable.”
“Mr. Henry Hitchcock* was a lawyer of the type of Pym, and Maynard, and Somers, and Adams, and Jefferson. He devoted himself to his profession, not merely as a business, but as a public duty. . . Active as he was in his profession, . . . active as he was in the public life of his time, ... active as he had been during the Civil War and in what led up to it, . . . there never was reproach upon his character. He bore a good repute among men; . . the repute of respect, which he had even from those to whom he was most earnestly opposed.”
"In 1859 he was chosen and to the end of his life continued a Director of Washington University in St. Louis). For [fifteen) years, to the time of his death, he was VicePresident [of the Board].”
“In 1867 Mr. Hitchcock took prominent part in founding the St. Louis Law School (the Law Department of Washington University). He was for the first three years Dean of the School," and for many years a member of its Faculty.
“In 1878, with three other eminent members of the profession, he united in a call for a convention of lawyers at Saratoga, which resulted in the formation of the American Bar Association. . . . In 1880 he was President of the St. Louis Bar Association. .. In 1881 he was President of the Civil Service Reform Association of Missouri. He was then and until his death a member of the National *From remarks by Mr. Frederic W. Lehmann, of the St. Louis Bar
Civil Service Reform League, and was always an earnest worker in the cause of Civil Service Reform. In 1882 he was President of the Missouri Bar Association. From 1889 till the time of his death he was one of the trustees of the Missouri Botanical Garden, appointed by the will of [its founder) Mr. Henry Shaw. In 1889 he was President of the American Bar Association, and in 1901 was chosen one of the Trustees of the National Institution established [at Washington, D. C.] by Andrew Carnegie.”
"Mr. Hitchcock's great reputation beyond as well as in Missouri brought him invitations to deliver addresses before many learned bodies. . . In 1879 [he read a paper] before the American Bar Association on ‘The Inviolability of Telegrams'; in 1887, before the New York State Bar Association, on 'American State Constitutions,' and in the same year, before the American Bar Association, upon 'General Corporation Laws'; he delivered an address before the Political Science Association of the University of Michigan on ‘The Development of the Constitution of the United States as influenced by Chief Justice Marshall’; at the Centennial Celebration of the Organization of the Federal Judiciary, on 'The Supreme Court and the Constitution;' in 1897, before the National Civil Service Reform League, on ‘The Republican Party and Civil Service Reform.""
Mr. Hitchcock impressed all who came in contact with him as an exceptionally serious and self-contained man. To those who knew him as a young man he appeared shy and reserved. Throughout life he was regarded, even by many who thought they knew him, as cold and unsympathetic. He did not wear his heart upon his sleeve for daws to peck at. Devotion to his life work was the keynote to his character; he sought necessary relaxation in varied reading, which covered the entire domain of the best literature. He kept up his classical studies to the end, and took especial delight in the perfect diction and broad humanity of his favorite poet, Horace.