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were put to a thorough test. Nor ever was he found wanting. His learning, his high powers as a reasoner, his acknowledged skill as an advocate, his remarkable moral courage, which has been so happily remarked upon, his freedom from all party or sectional bias, his noble fidelity in friendship, his kindness in social intercourse, these qualities have given to Reverdy Johnson, him whose sudden death we all so deeply deplore, and which has embalmed him in the affectionate recollection of his countrymen of all parties ; these qualities, which it will never be in the power of detraction to enfeeble, or even of time itself altogether to obliterate, I need not dwell upon. They constitute a splendid portion of the history of this Republic. No words which I could use, especially after what has been said on this occasion, could add to the splendor of his fame or give full expression to the sense of national bereavement which at this moment everywhere is manifesting itself. In the unhappy days upon which we have now fallen, the disappearance from the public arena of one so gifted, so pure, so magnanimous, so free from petty jealousies of every kind, from low and over-selfish schemes for the acquisition of illicit gain or for the attainment of official station, may be well looked upon, in my judgment, as one of the severest national calamities which have of late fallen upon the American people.
May we, who are now present, long continue to cherish the recollection of the virtues, and be vigilant and assiduous in avoiding those vices, which Reverdy Johnson, while living, is known ever to have held in unmeasured contempt and detestation.
REMARKS OF MR. J. A. GARFIELD.
Mr. Chairman: The career of Mr. Johnson affords a new and striking illustration of the fact that the profession of the American lawyer is becoming a much more prominent element in our national life and thought than at any other period in our history. In the remarks to which we have just listened, far more emphasis has been laid on Mr. Johnson's career as a lawyer than upon all else he achieved, however conspicuous and valuable to the nation.
Very recently we have seen the public sympathy profoundly aroused for the personal safety of an eminent citizen, who, I believe, has never held any public office, but who has won a foremost place in the affections of the nation, by worthily and honestly discharging the high duties of an American lawyer. The announcement that he was about to die awakened the deepest and tenderest solicitude in millions of American hearts. The daily bulletins that told us of his slowly returning health, and gave hopes of his complete recovery, were read by the American people with a gratification as sincere and as universal as though he had held the highest official station.
In the career of Reverdy Johnson we see united the eminent citizen, the public servant, and the great lawyer. But great as was his fame as Attorney-General, as Senator of the United States, as Minister to England, greatest of all was his fanse as citizen and lawyer.
In all his service in official position, a part of his honor may be said to have been conferred upon him by his country. His fame as a citizen and a lawyer was all his own.
Perhaps there is no severer test of the stuff of which a man is made, than that he shall try conclusions with the men who meet in this great tribunal, this court, against which, we may say with truth and gratitude, the waves of popular passion and political strife have dashed in vain. Within this sacred circle Truth, Law, Justice, the rights of citizens, and the superintending power of our Constitution, are the great factors; and in this forum our departed friend found his chief eminence, his greatest honor. To me, the most impressive lesson of his life is this, that, more than any man we have known, Mr. Johnson has illustrated the truth that the highest human symbol of omnipotence is to be found in the power of unremitting, hard work. His monument was builded by his own hands. Ile made his fortune and his fame by powerful, continuous, earnest, honest work.
During the fourteen years of my acquaintance with Mr. Johnson, I never looked upon his face without feeling that he was a Roman of the elder days, – the very embodiment of rugged force and of that high culture which comes from continuous, persistent work.
If these are not the elements of genius, they are the best possible substitutes for it.
To the younger members of the profession no better path to success can be pointed out than the high and rugged one by which he ascended to that proud eminence where there is always recognition and room.
In this forum, I cannot doubt his memory will be for ever cherished, by Bench and Bar alike, as a noble embodiment of honor, of virtue, of power.
The resolutions were agreed to unanimously; and thereupon, on motion of Mr. PHILLIPS, the meeting adjourned.
On the 23d of February, Mr. ATTORNEY-GENERAL PIERREPONT addressed the court as follows:
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR Honors, — When an eminent citizen of the Republic, whose eminence has been achieved by an honorable career in the public service, in professional life, or in the less conspicuous but not less useful walks of private benevolence, dies, it is fit that some public notice be taken of the event, and that some permanent record be made to encourage and inspire those who are to come after us.
Reverdy Johnson, who recently departed, full of years and of honors, was, during a long period, one of the most eminent lawyers of this country, and one of the very foremost counsellors of this high court. He held with distinguished ability and honor, respectively, the great offices of Minister to England, Senator, and Attorney-General of the United States. He has
left a fame and an honored memory of which his descendants and his country may be justly proud.
The Bar of the Supreme Court met to do honor to his name, and passed resolutions which I now present, and which I ask this Honorable Court to receive as a tribute to the memory of a great lawyer and an eminent public man, and to order them to be entered in its permanent records.
Mr. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE responded as follows:
The court gives its ready assent to the sentiments so well expressed in the resolutions of the Bar. Mr. Johnson was admitted to practise here on the first day of March, 1824. The first case in which he appeared as counsel was that of Brown v. The State of Maryland, argued and decided at the January Term, 1827. Associated with him was the late Chief Justice Taney, and, opposed, were Mr. Wirt, then the Attorney-General, and Mr. Meredith, — all names familiar in history. The opinion was delivered by Chief Justice Marshall, and it stands to-day as a monument marking the boundary line between the powers of the United States under the Constitution, on the one hand, and those of the States on the other.
From the commencement of his practice here until his death, Mr. Johnson was extensively employed, with scarcely an interruption, in the most important causes. He was always welcome as an advocate, for he was always instructive. His friendship for the court was open, cordial, sincere. We mourn his loss both as counsellor and friend.
The request of the Bar is cheerfully acceded to. The resolutions are received in the same spirit they have been presented, and the clerk will cause them to be entered upon the records of the court.
TABLE OF CASES.
" Alabama," The, and the “Game-Cock"
Laramie County v.
307 432 330 327
Baker et al., Assignees, v. White
176 449 651 569 684 664 179
1 531 651 320 651 677 327 171 187 257 179 716 372 412
Page Central Railroad and Banking Company v. Georgia
665 Chaffraix v. Shiff .
214 Chamberlain v. St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad Company et al..
299 Cheatham et al. v. United States
85 Chumasero et al., Potts et al. v..
358 Chy Lung v. Freeman et al. .
275 City of Charleston, Branch et al. v.
677 City of Fort Scott, Converse v.
503 City of St. Louis v. United States .
462 “ City of Washington," The .
31 Claflin et al., Wills et al. v.
135 Clements v. Macheboeuf et al.
418 Coloma, Town of, v. Eaves
484 Commercial Bank of Alabama, Terry v.
454 Commissioners of Immigration v. North German Lloyd 259 Commissioners of Laramie County v. Commissioners of Albany County et al.
307 Concord, Town of, v. Portsmouth Savings-Bank .
625 Converse v. City of Fort Scott
503 Cook, United States v.
651 County of Moultrie v. Rockingham Ten-Cent Savings Bank. 631 Cowan, Administrator, United States v.
651 Cruikshank et al., United States v.
542 Cullom, Receiver, Otis et al. v. .
Dale et al., Miller et al. v.
473 716 520
Eaves, Town of Coloma v.
ance Company v.
Faber, Reckendorfer v.
Company et al.