Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"he had a right to carry arms in defence of his property or person, and to use them, if either were assailed"

   "Baldwin, J. charged the jury.

". . . When the law ceases to be the test of right and remedy; when individuals undertake to be its administrators by rules of their own adoption the bands of society are broken as effectually by the severance of one link from the chain of justice, which binds man to the laws, as if the whole was dissolved. The more specious and seductive the pretexts are under which the law is violated, the greater ought to be the vigilance of courts and juries in their detection; public opinion is a security against acts of open and avowed infringements of acknowledged rights; from such combinations there is no danger; they will fall by their own violence, as the blast expends its force by its own fury. The only permanent danger is in the indulgence of the humane and benevolent feelings of our nature, at what we feel to be acts of oppression towards human beings endowed with the same qualities and attributes as ourselves, and brought into being by the same power which created us all; without reflecting that in suffering these feelings to come into action against rights secured by the laws, we forget the first duty of citizens of a government of laws; obedience to its ordinances. . ."[Pg. 579]

". . .Jack was the property of the plaintiff, who had a right to possess and protect his slave or servant, whom he had a right to seize and take away to his residence in New Jersey by force, if force was necessary, he had a right to secure him from escape, or rescue by any means not cruel or wantonly severe--he had a right to carry arms in defence of his property or person, and to use them, if either were assailed with such force, numbers or violence as made it necessary the protection or safety of either; he had a right to come into state and take Jack on Sunday, the act of taking him up and conveying him to the Billet was no breach of the peace, if not done by noise and disorder, occasioned by himself or his party--and their peaceable entry into the house of Mrs. Kenderdine was lawful and justifiable, for this purpose in doing these acts they were supported by laws which no human authority could shake or question...."[pg. 598] 

- U.S. Supreme Court Justice BALDWIN, Circuit Court of The United States, [PENNSYLVANIA APRIL TERM 1833 BEFORE Hon. HENRY BALDWIN, Associate Justice of the [U.S.] Supreme Court, Hon JOSEPH HOPKINSON District Judge, Johnson v Tompkins, (13 F. Cas. 840 (C.C.E.D. Pa. 1833)), and others. REPORTS OF CASES DETERMINED IN The Circuit Court United States, IN AND FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT, COMPRISING THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, AND THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY. BY HENRY BALDWIN One of the Judges of that Court. "Sed melius et tatius est, petere fontes quam sectari rivulos.", 10 Coke 41 a; 117, b. VOL. I. PHILADELPHIA: JAMES KAY, JUN. & BROTHER, 122 CHESTNUT STREET. PITTSBURGH: JOHN I. KAY & CO. 1837.] 

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