Monday, March 17, 2014

"depriving citizens of the right to bear arms even when celebrating the anniversary ot our national independence...."


Setting Forth the Reasons Assigned by the Legislators for Asking an Investigating Committee.

Following is the text of the memorial to Congress adopted by the Legislative Assembly on Saturday:

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled:

   We, your memorialists, the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah, respectfully represent that in consequence of baseless rumors and monstrous exaggerations, the people whom we represent have been placed in jeopardy, and are now threatened with the deprivation of the right of local self-government. Persons whose aim is to gain control of this now wealthy and prosperous Territory and manipulate its finances, have succeeded in arousing the ire of the clergy and through them the anger of many people against the large majority of the citizens of Utah, and thus a pressure has been brought to bear upon your honorable body which shows its effects in proposed measures containing provisions utterly at variance with the fundamental principles of republican government, and which, while ostensibly aimed at the marriage relations of but a small portion of the people will, if carried into effect, deprive the whole Territory of the vested rights secured to it by the Organic Act, and the Constitution of the United States.

   For many years the people of Utah have patiently endured the misrepresentations and slanders of unscrupulous persons who have located at different times in the Territory, and who from various unworthy motives have formed themselves into political and religious cliques, avowedly to represent the liberal and progressive element of the Territory, but really, as the story of their transactions plainly shows, to vex and annoy the majority of the people and deprive them, if possible of their civil, religious and political rights.

   The executive and judicial powers of the Territory being vested in the hands of government appointees and the legislative trammeled by the absolute veto power of the Governor, it is not difficult to realize how comparatively powerless the people have been when attempting to foster the interests of the Territory.

   While bearing all the burdens imposed under influences created by officials wholly irresponsible to them, the people of Utah have waited hoped and prayed for better things under a government less like the colonial bondage to which their fathers were subjected, and more in harmony with true republican institutions. When accused of exercising undue influences over the female portion of the population, and the idea was advanced that if women in Utah were granted the right to vote, a remedy would at once be found, the Territorial Legislature promptly anticipated the proposed action of Congress, and passed an act conferring upon women in Utah over 21 years of age, and with other proper qualifications, the elective franchise. Again when accused of making the church dominate the state, by permitting ecclesiastical influence or priestly authority to assert influence at the polls by means of the marked ballot--which had been approved and, which many still believe to be the cheapest and best means of preventing illegal votes--the Legislature enacted a law providing for the registration of voters, repealing all election laws requiring numbered or otherwise marked ballots and making them strictly secret.

   The registration law having failed to change the vote of the people in favor of their accusers, Congress is now urged under pressure of public opinion incited by unscrupulous persons to enact laws disfranchising in this Territory many native born and other loyal citizens of the republic. The fraudulent certificate issued by Utahs present Governor having thus far failed to disfranchise the people, Congress is asked to do what duplicity and unblushing fraud have failed to accomplish, and we call the attention of your honorable body to the fact that previous to the passage of the anti-polygamy act of 1862, there was no law in force local or Congressional, against the marriage of plural wives in Utah. There are many persons who contracted plural marriages before that time who have never violated that statute and who have remained unmolested in their family relations. They cannot be convicted of crime because they have broken no law, yet the legislation proposed to your honorable body would disfranchise them of the inalienable rights of citizens, which, we submit, is both unnecessary and unjust. Under these cruel circumstances the future can alone develop what unhappy events may yet be in store for a people so long subjected to the evils growing out of usurpations and the abuse of power by officers of the general government wholly irresponsible to the people.

   While reviewing the grievances which caused the revolutionary fathers to place on the altar their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor as proof of the truths contained in the bill of indictment, brought against the British King, the people of Utah, revering that declaration of rights, venerating the Constitution and honoring the flag of their common country, claim the protection of the nation whose noble sires made human liberty not only desirable, but possible.

   And while claiming "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" as bequeathed rights, they do solemnly declare that governors in Utah have repeatedly, on trivial pretexts, refused their assent to laws most wholesome and necessary for the public good. They have abused the pardoning power by turning loose upon the community convicts dangerous to the public peace. They have sought to obstruct the functions of the territorial government by refusing their approval of legislative appropriations and their signatures to needed enactments unless handicapped by unusual and unreasonable measures. They have attempted to render the military hostile and superior to the civil power, by calling on troops to enforce orders depriving citizens of the right to bear arms even when celebrating the anniversary of our national independence. When soldiers stationed near us have been arrested for grossly violating municipal laws they have been forcibly released by military authority. Others have quietly enjoyed their quarters even when the general was appealed to for military aid, while the militia of the Territory were compelled to defend the homes of the people from the hostile encroachments of Indians who had plundered and killed defenseless citizens.

   The district and supreme judiciary of the Territory, depending alone upon the will of the general government for the tenure of their offices, and for the amount and payment of their salaries have frequently obstructed justice by ruling in the interest of debauchery, prostitution and kindred crimes, and have rendered vexatious unprecedented and contradictory decisions against municipal regulations and in favor of lawless liquor venders. They have hindered the naturalization of foreigners by requiring religious tests, and thereby have discouraged immigration. By specious rulings, invading even the boundless domain of belief, they have sought to deprive citizens when accused of crime, of the right of trial by an impartial jury of their peers. In other cases they have packed juries in order to secure convictions. These unlawful, extreme and hurtful measures having been carried to such an unbearable extent the National Supreme Court on appeal in many instances has reversed the decisions of the Territorial courts and remanded the causes for new trial.

   Other government officials have endeavored to dripple and break up our co-operative, mercantile and industrial institutions, by illegal imposition of revenue taxes to the amount of many thousands of dollars, requiring expensive suits at law for the recovery of the large sums extorted. Some of our most honored citizens have been imprisoned upon trivial pretexts, and without support of law or precedent, other than that established by the malice of bigotry and hatred; and when their incarceration has been by higher powers pronounced unlawful, unjust and cruel, the sufferers have remained without redress.

   Officials, bound by their oath of office to sustain the Constitution and laws of the country, have disregarded their sacred obligations, and persistently arrayed themselves against the people whom they have been paid to serve, losing sight of law, justice and equity, and often of humanity, they have frequently joined with scheming adventurers, whose greed for spoil has only been equaled by their malevolence, and in order to acquire influence have persistently misrepresented the opinions, aims and practices of the people. Thus they have succeeded in arousing jealousies and heart-burnings of the fiercest kind, and have rendered alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.

   Government officials, in many instances instead of administering the law, have overridden their constitutional powers, exceeded their authority, and in the most vexatious manner annoyed, harassed and trammeled the people in the exercise of their political, religious and civil rights. They have taunted our best citizens with the charges of disloyalty, called them traitors to our country, reproached, insulted and incarcerated them under pretence of crimes repulsive and foreign to their nature, and have prosecuted others under laws enacted against offences totally different from those alleged. Thus men have been punished for the United States offense of polygamy, under the territorial laws against lewd and lascivious cohabitation; and the reason such laws are not now upon our statute books is because prosecutions have been conducted under their provisions in cases to which they were never intended to apply and to which they were entirely foreign. They have designated our citizens as the scum and offscourings of the world, morally debased and physically corrupt; and yet drinking saloons, gambling dens, billiard halls and houses of assignation, harlots, libertines and prostitutes have been urged as a means best adapted for the "regeneration" and "Christianizing" of Utah's people that they might better harmonize with "the civilization of the age."

   It has been frequently said and widely published that the affairs of the Territory are under the control of foreign born citizens; yet the present Legislative Assembly contains twenty-seven American-born and but nine naturalized citizens. We are accused of being opposed to education. Statistics demonstrate the contrary, and a territorial tax equal to that from which the entire revenue of the Territory is derived is annually assessed, collected and disbursed exclusively for payment of school teachers in district schools, open to the children of all citizens, irrespective of creed, color, or party, while in addition, a local option law permits a tax not exceeding 2 per cent for general school purposes to be annually assessed in the district where the people so elect by popular vote.

   The country has rung with cries of "Mormon" atrocities, and the Mountain Meadow massacre is cited as an instance. The truth is that no western state or territory has been settled with so little lawlessness and bloodshed, and so little expense to the government, as Utah; and the shocking catastrophe alluded to, occurring in an Indian country, over three hundred miles from the capital of a territory then without railroads or telegraphs, is no more to be charged upon the people here, or their leaders, than the bloody scenes of the frontier, in which a few renegade whites have joined in the raids of tho red men, are chargeable to the government at Washington. We repudiate with all our souls, the foul charge, and declare that all the reliable evidence ever adduced is entirely opposed to the popular belief. We court investigation on this and other vile and infamous slanders.

   We respectfully urge that while this territory is deprived of any representation in Congress, through the act of the Executive, generally recognized as usurpation and fraud, it is most unfair to us that measures should be rushed through the National Legislature, no voice from the people against whom this special legislation is designed being lifted in their behalf or heard in their defense.

   We respectfully remind your Honorable body that there are instances in recent history which demonstrate the evil consequences of hasty action unjustified by fair inquiry. In 1857 an army was sent to Utah to support the inauguration of government officers under the mistaken impression that the "Mormons" were in revolt, and that they would resist the new officials. It had been falsely represented by officers who had left their posts in this Territory that Utah was in rebellion, that court records had been burned, and that other overt acts against law and good order had been committed. The army was dispatched the government appointees arrived, it was found that the reports were incorrect, a commission was then appointed, and it was clearly proven that there had been no cause whatever for the agitation, the army or the expense of the expedition. A commission to investigate before instead of after the action of the government would in that case have saved the country many millions of dollars, and the administration from an act which no informed person will now declare to have been wise or politic.

   In 1875 it was falsely represented to Congress that the Legislative Assembly of Utah had not made any provision, and would not provide for jurors' and witnesses' fees and other expenses of courts in criminal cases. Without sufficient investigation Congress diverted the amount appropriated for legislative expenses of this Territory to the uses of the courts, with the provision that if the Legislature would appropriate $23,500 for such uses the money might be recovered. The Assembly appropriated $22,000 for court expenses, and at its next ses sion a deficiency appearing $18,000 more was appropriated to cover it, making $40,000, instead of $23,500, and yet the members and officers of the Assembly have not received one dollar for their per diem and other legislative expenses of the session of 1876. A proper understanding of these facts would doubtless have prevented this injustice. Every statement set forth in this memorial can be substantiated by competent documentary evidence.

   We further respectfully represent that there is no cause for the disruption of our local government. The taxes are light, good order is maintained, no person is deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; the ballot is free and secret; all religious and political societies are equal before the law; peace prevails; property is secure; industry abounds, and the material interests of the Territory are in a flourishing condition. We submit, therefore, that it is impolitic and unstatesmanlike to disarrange the political machinery of this whole commonwealth in an effort to punish the alleged offenses of a few individuals, and that a full investigation of our internal affairs will show that a widespread excitement has been raised on a very small and fragile basis. It is evident to all who understand the situation that notwithstanding the endeavors of many members of Congress to arrive at correct conclusions concerning Utah, they are yet misinformed as to condition, our laws and our necessities, some of the bills introduced in either house bearing unmistakable evidence of this. We therefore respectfully ask your Honorable Body to suspend action upon Utah affairs until by a committee of investigation the facts are learned, and a tangible foundation is laid for rational proceedings in which no violence will be done to the institutions which cost so much so establish, or to that glorious instrument which should guard the liberties of all people in this favored land.

   And as in duty bound your memorialists will ever pray, etc.

   The following resolution was offered by Councilor Wells and adopted:

   Resolved, The House concurring, that three duplicate copies of the resolution be ordered enrolled and that it be presented to be signed by the members and officers of both Houses.

   Councilor Caine moved the following which was also adopted:

   Resolved, The House concurring, that one thousand copies of the Memorial to Congress adopted this day be printed in pamphlet form and that copies thereof be forwarded to the President of the united States, each member of his cabinet, each senator and representative and other government officers and influential persons.

[The Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, February 26, 1882. Vol. XII No. 226 Page 13]

"they were now American citizens, and that they had a right to bear arms...."

"...In the absence of Senator Bulla, who was reported sick, Walter F. Haas* addressed the celebrants in a very clever speech. He said that the cause which brought us together was that of humanity, for which the Red Cross was also. The speaker referred to the horrors of the epoch which had preceded the fall of the Bastile, the infamy of lettres de cachet, under which men, whose only crime it was to differ in opinion with the sovereign or those in power, were made to disappear without trial or formality as completely as if the earth had swallowed them up. War had been justifiable in this unbearable situation, and the outcome of it had been Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The speaker reminded the men of French extraction that, by reason of naturalization, they were now American citizens, and that they had a right to bear arms for the defense or the honor of their adopted country, which is now their country, that of their children and those that will come after these. They had a right to take up rifles for the prevention of the massacre of the people of Cuba. These people will redeem themselves, no matter what is said now to their detriment...."

[The Herald, Los Angeles, Friday Morning, July 15, 1898. Twenty-Fifth Year. No. 288. Pg. 7 - Excerpted from the article; "LE QUATORZE JUILLET, THE FALL OF THE BASTILE CELBRATED AT THE PAVILION, AN INTERESTING PROGRAM, American Speakers Address French Ladies and Gentlemen--Celebration With Noble Purpose"]
* - Walter F. Haas was the city of Los Angeles City Attorney in 1898–1900. He was an elected official whose job was to prosecute all of the misdemeanor criminal offenses within the city of Los Angeles, California. The General Counsel Division of the office provides legal counsel for the city by either defending the city or acting as the plaintiff for the city in all civil lawsuits.

"namely: That it is right to bear arms in self defence...."


   Friends Editors:--On last Saturday afternoon, I was favored with the opportunity of hearing the celebrated champion of Liberty, Dr. Lemoyne. His business was to prove the Constitution of the United States to be anti-Slavery. The Doctor is a strong man, and, of course, made as strong a defence as could be expected from any one, on that subject. He laid down three rules of exegesis, which he applied with great force to the subject under consideration.

   1. That the several parts of the instrument must be made to harmonize, so as not to form an antagonism, and so destroy itself.

   2. The words and phrases of the instrument must be interpreted according to their common acceptation;--according to the sense in which the terms used, were understood by those who adopted the instrument.

   3. Wherever a reasonable doubt occurs, liberty must have the benefit of it, or it must be made to lean to the side of justice.

   4. By the strict application of these rules, and by laying the Preamble to the Constitution above each separate article, to be read in connection with it, he made quite a strong case.

   I did not design to remark particularly on this part of the address, but to notice some other positions which were assumed. The speaker laid aside the mantle of Peace most emphatically, which is often attempted to be drawn over the system of Politics, to hide its true, warlike character. He plead boldly far the doctrine of force. The slaves should use so much force as would secure their freedom, whether that be little or much. He also said that he who would stand and look on, while his neighbor was being killed, and would not rush to his rescue, was a murderer! I thought this truly strong meat; but I perceived that it was a correct inference from the premises assumed by the speaker, and by all other politicians, per consequence--namely: That it is right to bear arms in self defence, &c.

   The speaker aimed his tremendous blows at those whom he was pleased to call "Do nothing Abolitionists," or "Non-resistants;" but as all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, so his mighty bolt en[t]irely missed those against whom it was designed to have been hurled, and seemed only to echo back, in the language of one of old, "Thou art the man"!!

   Let us for a moment glance at the position of those who believe with the Doctor. They say it is right to rush to the rescue of their neighbor from the hand of violence and that they are so bound to this duty, that if they do It not, they are murderers, and, of course, cannot have eternal life abiding in them. Be their position true or false, they also hold that our acts must accord with our faith, which is not disputed. Then here are nearly three millions of our brethren in the midst of us, who are being killed continually. Listen to the soul-rending shriek of that mother, as she is torn from her loved babe, and driven, all bleeding, into the slave coffle! Hear the piteous cries of that infant prattler, as it leaves forever its weeping mother! Look, when the heart-strings are broken--the fond brother and sister parted, never more to catch that sweet heart-cheering look that tells the affection of the soul! The brother gone to pine away and die in the cheerless gloom and despair of slavery, and the sister to experience all the realities of a southern American harem!!--Look, when those whom the spirit of God has joined together and made one, are put asunder! See and feel the throes of bleeding nature! Behold these millions of victims, whose cries and groans go up to Heaven, and whose humanity is crushed into the earth! See their imploring look for help--but there is none!! Where are the thousands of anti-slavery politicians who say--"Rush to the rescue, or you are a murderer," and will lose your soul? Not one comes--not one grasps his sword or musket and starts! They all stand and look on, while their brethren are being most horribly tortured and killed, and not one stirs! Why don't they go forth in the cause which they say is the cause of truth? What hinders them? Though the murderous slaveholders claim the sanction of law, yet that which is wrong is no law, but violence only. They should not wait for numbers: Truth does not depend upon numbers, but is "mighty nnd will prevail." If I am a murderer for not helping my neighbor against one assassin, I am equally so for not helping him against a hundred assassins. If ever there were a cause which called for such help, the cause of the slave calls for it in thunder tones; and I thought it did not sound well for such persons to speak so contemptuously about " Do-nothing abolitionists," when their avowed faith condemns them as murderers for their inactivity! The word of God is, "Feel for those in bonds, as being bound with them;" and the doctrine of the Do-some-thing Abolitionists is, " Self-defence is the first law of nature;" (that is, defending the clay tenement in which self dwells;) and what are they doing? Are they all cowards, or do they believe what they say?

   Yours, for Truth and consistency,

                         C.M. PRESTON.
  West Middletown, Pa., }
           June 3d, 1846.     }

[Anti-Slavery Bugle, Salem, Ohio, Friday, July 3, 1846. Vol. 1. No. 49. Pg. 2]

*Dr. F. Julius LeMoyne, (1798-1879), the son of a Parisian doctor who immigrated to the United States, was born in Washington and studied medicine at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. In 1834, LeMoyne joined the Washington Anti-Slavery Society and was the organization's president from 1835 to 1837, after which he was commissioned by the American Anti-Slavery Society to be its regional agent. LeMoyne, along with his children and wife Madelaine, were active in the Underground Railroad. The tightly knit free black communities in southwest Pennsylvania helped slaves escape and developed an operational network that white antislavery activists, such as LeMoyne, joined. LeMoyne's correspondence from the 1840s includes letters from individuals asking for aid and thanking him for his assistance in getting them and their friends and relatives out of the South. In his activism and philosophy, LeMoyne represents the mainstream of antislavery activity in the United States before 1850 and is typical of the middle-class Americans of the antebellum period who became caught up in the antislavery debate.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"A pistol would have enabled him to meet the assault and defend the honor and safety of his wife...."

The Pistol Law.

   Undoubtedly the present pistol law of Texas was framed to meet a great evil. The crime of murder has been all too frequent in this, as well as in other frontier states. Too many men have gone down before its dread explosion. Too much misery has resulted from the readiness with which men, under the influence of passion, have resorted to the pistol to secure the blood for which they have thirsted. We do not underestimate the evils of pistol carrying or pistol practice. It would indeed be far better for humanity, morality, and every other earthly interest if there were never a pistol on earth. But it is here, and like almost all the other adjuncts of civilization and christianity, it has come to stay. It can not be banished. In this it resembles whisky or alcohol, and though in less degree, it is in the blood of the people to the extent that it cannot be eradicated, suppressed or destroyed by legislation. What then? Simply find the means by which it can be guarded that the minimum evil will result from its presence among us. It is no small thing for a man, hauled up before the courts for prosecution for carrying a pistol, to plead that the constitution of the United States and the state of Texas guarantee forever his right to bear arms. Just how this claim can be gotten round we are frank to say we cannot see. In this state men are [fined] and imprisoned for doing what the constitution expressly permits him to do. The constitution is the foundation upon which the statutes of the state are built. How then comes it that what that higher law permits and sanctions becomes a felony when the statutes are turned loose at it? So much for the legal aspects of the case. Now let us look at it as a matter of expediency.

   The good only obey the law. The present pistol law only disarms good men and places them in the power of the robbers, the thieves and the bullies. This latter class does not disarm at the bidding of the law. See how it works.  merchant is detained at his place of business until late in the night. Perhaps he takes with him home a large sum of money which he does not want to leave at the store. He is met by a single man who dashes his pistol in his face and orders the merchant to disgorge. What help is there? What is he to do? Had he a pistol he would be on an equality with his assailant at least and perhaps he would be able to defend his honestly earned money. Otherwise he loses all, and crime is strengthened by another success and an additional sum of money. A lawyer in the defense of a client is compelled to impeach a witness or dispute a statement, in this he gives mortal offense to perhaps a desperate man. His foe arms himself and confronts him on the pavement, beats him, insults him and what recourse has he? What defense can he make? Here too is the virtuous man disarmed while the scoundrel is panoplied for war. Who is benefited? Who is injured? It does not require a lawyer to answer the question. Again, a preacher is driving his wife out for an airing and a couple of villains meet them in a lonely place, flash a pistol in the face of the husband and forcibly take the lady and outrage her in the presence of the defenseless husband. A pistol would have enabled him to meet the assault and defend the honor and safety of his wife. An editor may in the lawful and legitimate pursuit of his business unwittingly offend mortally a desperate and bloody-minded man--it is done every day--and is quietly going to the office in the morning never dreaming of harm. He is met and beaten to death with a club, or is shot to pieces. He is helpless and defenseless because in obeying the law he gives a ruffian the advantage and is himself without the means to make a defense. Indeed instances might be multiplied indefinitely to show that the present law bears only upon the law-abiding and the honest, while it gives the wicked and the dishonest the advantage which they always seek.

   We grant that it would be far better were there no pistols--did no man carry them. But this is altogether Utopian. There are pistols and bad men will carry them and commit murder with them too. What then can be done? We are dealing with a fact which exists not with a theory or with a possibility which is remote and unreasonable. Law is constructed to protect the person and property of the citizen, not to put both to hazard, and place both helpless and defenseless in the hands of every rogue who takes it into his head to assault them. Certain restrictions and repressives ought to be placed about the use of the weapon, but as to blotting it out with legal enactments, that can't be done, and it is no use in wasting time, money and human life in the effort.

[The Waco Daily Examiner, Waco, Texas, Thursday, October 13, 1887. Vol. XX. No. 282. Pg. 4]

"it is a good thing for Governments to know that the people possess arms...."

Is Rebellion Ever Justifiable In a Republic?

From the World.

   The Times contends that it is not. Its argument, if we correctly apprehend it, is, in substance, that inasmuch as the aggrieved are represented, they have a remedy in the elections if they are a majority, while, if they are a minority, they are bound to submit. We do not undertake to define the justifiable causes of rebellion, since they involve a question of degree, and therefore do not admit of very exact statement. But whatever may be the amount of oppression which justifies armed resistance, we cannot see why it should make any difference, in the moral aspect of the question, whether the oppressors be few or many. The majority in a republic will never rebel, since they have an easier and less hazardous mode of attaining their wishes. When minorities rebel, they do so with the odds against them; and it is only a deep sense of wrong, or a firm confidence in the justice of their cause, that can induce them to take the risks. Majorities are but aggregates of individual men; and as individual men may be unjust and tyrannical, majorities composed of such individuals may be so too. The absolute will of a majority is even more intolerable than the absolute will of a monarch, since it may consist of infinite strands of individual tyranny twisted together into one tremendous cable.

   Republican government is, to be sure, the government of majorities; but it quickly degenerates into an engine of oppression unless the will of the majority is restrained by a fixed constitution. Constitutions are not meant for the protection of majorities, who, in a republican government, can always protect themselves through the ballot-box, but for the protection of minorities against the tyranny of the majority. So long as the majority, or the government which is their agent, respects the limits thus set to its authority, rebellions can never be justifiable if the Constitution is just and wise. But if a hot-headed and over-bearing majority refuse to be bound by the constitution, and erect their own will into the supreme law, will the Times tell us what would, in that case, be the effectual means of resisting oppression and redressing injustice? The government of an unrestrained majority is the worst of all possible tyrannies. When all constitutional restraints are cast off and scoffed at, what are the minority to do ? For our part, we do not hesitate to affirm that no people are fit for republican government who have not in their composition a spice of the rebel. The knowledge that the majority will resist if injured, is a salutary restraint on the governing power. It was Jefferson's opinion that there ought to be at least one rebellion in a generation, to purify the political atmosphere, and remind rulers of the necessity of moderation.

   The Times' notion that rebellion is never justifiable under a representative Government, is one of those hasty half-thoughts caught up by looking at a subject in one of its aspects, instead of a comprehensive survey. The Federal Constitution itself indirectly recognizes the right of rebellion in extreme cases. It declares that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The right of the people to bear arms implies their right to use arms, otherwise the guarantee would be as idle as a right to keep guns without triggers. It is a good thing for the people to have arms in their hands to use, in the last resort, against oppression; and it is a good thing for Governments to know that the people possess arms of which this use can be made. Whether any particular occasion justifies resistance, is quite a different question from whether resistance is ever permissible. The Times, by inculcating the slavish doctrine that the tyranny of the majority is never to be resisted, precludes all consideration of particular grievances as a ground of rebellion. If rebellion is never permissible in a republic, it cannot be permissible against this or that wrong, how ever flagrant and intolerable.

   This slavish doctrine is new in American politics, but it is a natural enough corollary from the high-handed action of the Government during the last six years. All former expounders of our institutions have recognized the right of rebellion. The Federalist, for example, in discussing the means of the State to resist Federal encroachments, gives a prominent place to physical force, and winds up in this spirited strain of truly republican eloquence: "Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the supposition that they would be less able to defend the right of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment by a blind submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it." [Federalist No. 46 by James Madison]

   Mr. Webster, in both of his great speeches against nullification that in reply to Hayne and that in reply to Calhoun explicitly and fully acknowledged the right of rebellion as unquestionable, as did also Mr. Clay in connection with the same subject. Mr. Seward, in discussing the militia system, said that among the three occasions for the exercise of the right of rebellion was: "First. The attempt by the Government or its officers to exercise tyranny over the people." It marks a great decline in the spirit of liberty in this country, and betokens the demoralizing influence of the period through which we have been passing, that a popular newspaper has become imbued with sentiments so abject and servile.

[The Evening Telegraph, Philadelphia, Thursday, March 28, 1867. Vol. VII---No. 70. Pg. 2]
   Nice article! However, I would have chosen the following quote from the Federalist as being far more applicable to the topic:
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government . . . The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms..."--Alexander Hamilton, [The Federalist Papers No. 28]

"and among those which they share in common is the right to bear arms for their defense and protection."

   "But on this point I do not mean to be misunderstood. I fully endorse the constitutional right of the people to bear arms for their self defense. . . . . Democrats have all the rights which Republicans have, and among those which they share in common is the right to bear arms for their defense and protection."--U.S. Senator D.W. Voorhees*, Terre Haute, Aug. 23, 1864, letter to Brig. Gen. Henry B. Carrington. [Columbia Democrat and Bloomsburg General Advertiser, Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Penn'a., Saturday, September 17, 1864. Vol. 18.--No. 29. Volume 28 Pg. 2]
* - Daniel Wolsey Voorhees, (September 26, 1827 – April 10, 1897), was a lawyer and United States Senator from Indiana, who was leader of the Democratic party and an anti-war Copperhead during the American Civil War. He graduated at Indiana Asbury University, (now DePauw University), Greencastle, Indiana, in 1849; was admitted to the bar in 1850, and began to practice in Covington, Indiana, whence in 1857 he removed to Terre Haute. In 1858-61 he was U.S. district-attorney for Indiana; in 1861-66 and in 1869-73 he was a Democratic representative in Congress; and in 1877-97 he was a member of the U.S. Senate.

"And here in the year 1900 I am safe in saying that tbe majority of the youth of our country carry arms...."

"...And here in the year 1900 I am safe in saying that the majority of the youth of our country carry arms. No doubt there is a difficulty in the way of our legislation--our Constitution--the Federal Constitution--secures to the citizen the right to carry arms . . . It was to preserve the right to defend home, property, person and family, and to defend the country, and the right to hunt game.

   "It was for this purpose and similar purposes that the constitutional provision was inserted...."--Judge [W.C.] Benet, [The Abbeville Press And Banner, Abbeville, S.C., Wednesday, April 11, 1900. Pg. 1] (Judge William Christie Benet, (1846-1930), the son-in-law of Gen. Samuel McGowan, was a teacher, lawyer, and judge; a native of Scotland, Benet came to Abbeville, S.C. shortly after the Civil War. Mr. Benet was elected Judge of the First Circuit by the House of Representatives of South Carolina by an almost 2-1 margin on Feb. 16, 1894.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"Every man has a right to bear arms.--The right is not sectional or restricted...."

The Indiana Conspirators.

   Since the exposure of the feeling and desires of the Indiana members of the secret Order of American Knights, and the seizure of arms and ammunition secreted on the premises of a member high in the Order, the Democratic journals have changed their base in their treatment of the disclosures. Now, instead of attempting to deny the existence of such an organization, they attempt to justify it; and the gathering of arms and ammunition by it they assure to defend on the constitutional right of every citizen to bear arms.

   But if their organization is justifiable why did they deny it? If it was for lawful purposes, why was it secret? And if they have a right to bear arms, why did they not bear them, instead of secreting them? Every man has a right to bear arms.--The right is not sectional or restricted. It exists in Georgia just as much as in Indiana. But the right to bear arms does not relieve people from liability for the way they bear them. And in time of war, when people are found with arms in their hands, or with quantities of arms gathered, the question for them to answer is, which side are they armed for?

   In the South, when they are not known to be armed for the Government, it is presumed that they are armed for rebellion and they are treated accordingly. The same laws govern in Indiana. It in incumbent on these men to show that they are not armed for the rebellion; and the appearance in their correspondence and in the revelation of their organization are purposes are decidedly against them.

   This correspondence reveals to the people of Indiana the leaders of the Democratic party in sympathy with the rebellion from the first, promising it the aid of the Democrats in the North; notified in 1861 to have that hundreds and thousands of men ready; put down for a season by the moral force of the popular uprising at the reality of the war; cowed and driven to secrecy; hoping all the while for the defeat and destruction of our armies; mutually declaring this their only hope; conspiring and aiming to take advantage of disaster to raise the standard of Democratic revolt in the North, plunge the State into the horrors of civil war, and holding out the offer of co-operation to Confederate invasion.

   There is nothing in the record of treachery that can compare with this. There is nothing in the history of conspiracies that equals this Democratic conspiracy in the boldness and villainy of its deliberate designs. But like all secret plotters they shrank from action. They wished blood to flow without risking their own. The correspondence shows a contrast between atrocity in desire and timidity in performance.  The discoveries show also that the number of this order of infernals has been over-estimated. It is an inside Circle for controlling the party by throwing into the Convention a disciplined force to carry out e secret programme; but it is not likely that it contains the majority of the rank and file of the democratic party in Indiana.

   The people can see what a volcano of villainy they have been sitting over, and they have made the discovery in time to suppress this danger. We apprehend that the storm of popular indignation will chafe these men into retirement, and load their names with immortal infamy.--Cincinnati Gazette.

[Cleveland Morning Leader, Cleveland Friday Morning, August 26, 1864. Vol. XVIII. No. 187 Pg. 3]

"No one can take from a citizen his constitutional right to carry arms...."


George Gordon Battle Explains the Citizen's Right to Bear Arms.

 To the Editor of The Tribune.

   Sir: it has been stated in the press that Police Commissioner Cropsey suggested or recommended to the grand jury that private watchmen should wear pistols, unconcealed, in a holster or strapped to belt. It has even been said that he advised citizens to carry arms publicly.

   In justice to him it should be made clear that he has never offered any such grotesque suggestion. He made indeed no suggestion, nor did he offer any advise on the subject. The question was asked of him whether private watchmen could not carry pistols or other arms without a police permit, provided the arms were not concealed. To this legal question he replied in the affirmative; and his answer was, as every lawyer knows, correct. No one can take from a citizen his constitutional right to carry arms.

   A private watchman can wear a uniform and badge, carry a club, and, if it is deemed necessary, an unconcealed pistol, without any police or other permit. The only effect of the recent police orders is to deprive the private watchman of the character of a public officer, of the right to wear a badge showing that he is a member of the police force and the right to carry concealed weapons.

   It is the theory of Commissioner Cropsey that no one should be a member of the police force who is paid by a private employer, and who is not subject to the authority and discipline of the Police Department. He does not think that a private mercenary employe should have the official powers of a policeman without the official obligations and discipline of a policeman. There may be a diversity of opinion on this point, but no one can doubt that the Commissioner has strong reasons and logical arguments on his side.

   The recent orders do not prevent the employment of private watchmen They only prevent the assumption by them of the official trappings and powers of policemen without the corresponding duties and discipline. The watchmen can still do all the duties of watchmen, and, in fact, the practical difference will be very slight.

   It has also been published in the press that witnesses testified before the grand jury that there were many crimes on West street, along the waterfront, from Christopher street to 23rd street. The inference is drawn that this is a new condition, and that it is due to failure of police duty.

   As a matter of fact the change of many of the great steamship lines from the docks below Christopher street to the new steel piers above that street has vastly increased the number of sailormen and of steamship passengers in that quarter of the city. These sailors and the foreign passengers, ignorant of our language and customs, are to-day the prey of land sharks, as they have been ever since men went down to the sea in ships.

   And with the greater number of the victims, the spoilers, too, have become more numerous. There are, consequently, more such crimes in that neighborhood than before the new piers were occupied.

   In every great city, such as New York, there is much crime. If specific crimes are emphasized and conspicuously noted, it is to make it appear that there is a wave of crime. As matter of fact, such testimony means very little. The true inquiry is whether our police administration is weak or faulty. If there is an undue increase of crime throughout our city the inference will be that there is something at fault with our police department.

   But proof of separate offences does not of itself show increase of crime. That can only be determined  by a patient, and impartial inquiry, such as the District Attorney and the grand jury purpose to make. In the meantime it would seem to be fair to suspend judgment and await the final result.    GEORGE GORDON BATTLE*.

   New York, April 2, 1911.
[New-York Tribune, New-York, Monday, April 3, 1911. Vol. LXX.....No. 23,514. Pg. 7]
* - George Gordon Battle, Oct. 26, 1868–Apr. 29 1949, was a leading Democrat and one of New York City's outstanding lawyers. He received his M.A. from the University of Virginia. While in Virginia he began studying law, and after graduation he continued in the office of his oldest brother, Judge Jacob Battle, in Rocky Mount. However, a short while later he decided to enter law school at Columbia University in New York City. Considered a brilliant student at Columbia, with an aptitude for the framing of indictments that won him a post with District Attorney De Lancey Nicoll. He served in the district attorney's office for five years, from 1892 to 1897, resigning to enter private practice. Twice in later years he served as special assistant district attorney to investigate crime and corruption in New York, in 1911 and again in 1919.

Among the better-known lawsuits by him as counsel was one brought by George H. Carle, who was later the governor of Pennsylvania. In another important suit, he was counsel for the minority stockholders of the Houston Central Railway, who after litigation lasting thirty-five years. Were finally able to win a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a $6,600,000 verdict. He also represented such concerns as the Diamond Match Company and was attorney in many prominent will suits.

Battle raised money for such diverse beneficiaries as the Salvation Army, Sweet Briar College, the Passion Players from Oberammergau, the Royal Arch Masons, and the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. He was executive chairman of the Community Council of National Defense for the City of New York, secretary of the Committee on Educational Publicity in Interests of World Peace, and chairman of the Committee on Psychiatric Work for the Girls Service League of America. On several occasions he arbitrated major labor disputes, and he was chairman of the National Committee on Prison Labor Reform.

As president of New York City's Parks and Playgrounds Association, he was an ardent fighter against encroachments upon park property, especially Central Park, which he felt should be kept as rural as possible. Himself childless, he continually sought more city playgrounds.

While campaigning for Al Smith in 1928, he began fighting anti-Semitism; later he served on several Jewish committees. An editorial in the American Hebrew hailed him as one of the most effective espousers of the cause of Jewry among New York gentiles, and he was awarded the American Hebrew medal for keeping "the flame of religious hatred from searing American Democracy."

He was married in Richmond, Va., 12 Apr. 1898, to Martha Burrell Dabney Bagby, the daughter of George William Bagby, for many years state librarian of Virginia, and Lucy Parke Chamberlayne. Both the Battles were devoted members of the Episcopal church.

Battle suffered a fatal heart attack while on his way to his country home in Orange County, Va., and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Va. [Battle, George Gordon by Dorothy B. Wilkinson, 1979. NCPedia.]

"Any man has a right to resort to arms to defend the law, or to protect a citizen from violence...."

Another Man Lynched

And The Murderers, As Usual, Go Unpunished


   Again Oklahoma has been disgraced  with a lynching, committed by 50 or more unmasked men and yet, as usual, the officers of the law have put forth no effort to bring the [murderers] to justice. Even Gov. Cruce from his lofty peak of State authority looks down with little or no concern on the crimes of these degraded hellbounds who continue to ply their trade without any fear of the law. Bootlegers and race track gamblers are the only class of criminals who have anything to fear from Gov Cruce.

   The State Militia stands at the command of Gov. Cruce who will certainly invoke its service to suppress the sale of whiskey or race track gambling, but never once has he raised his voice or hand to put down the lynch crime.

   The lynching of Crockett Williams at Eufaula last Friday night by a mob of 50 cowardly murderers is just another good reason why Negroes of this State should form an armed organization to protect themselves and uphold the law. Any man has a right to resort to arms to defend the law, or to protect a citizen from violence.

   If the Negroes of Eufaula had done as they should, knowing the feeling against Williams at the time, they would have protected him at any cost. We believe in upholding the law at all times even if to do so means death. Therefore we are inalterably opposed to mob violence.

   These mobs are invaribly composed of the lower element of white men-the brutal, cowardly. murderous element. But one or two determined men amply armed can easily disperse them.

   These lynchings are geting to be far too common in Oklahoma, and something must be done to stop it.

   There is no hope of protection from the State authorities, and the federal government is silent on the question. Women and children have been lynched in Oklahoma, to say nothing of the scores of negro men who have been murdered, and not a single man of these infernal mobs has been punished-nor have the officers of the law made any effort to suppress the crime or punish the criminals. Negro men, it's up to us to act. We must have justice! Our wives and children are not safe in a country so rent with outlawry.

   Let us respect the law and enforce it at the point of guns. When a negro is charged with crime let us aid the officers in apprehending him and then take our guns and protect him against mob violence. If bloodshed must come, let us welcome it, and die if need be in defense of the law and justice. Mobs have no right to take the law in their hand to kill a person, but we have a perfect right to kill the mob in defense of the law and the prisoners life. Such action on the part of negros might bring protection from the federal government.

   The better element of both white and colored people of Oklahoma should band themselves together to suppress this crime. It can be done: It must be done!!

[The Tulsa Star, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday, August 8, 1914. Vol. 2, No. 41. Pg. 1]

"All men, without distinction of color, have the right to keep arms to defend their homes, families or themselves...."

Mobs In Indiana.

   General Tilson, Acting Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, lately issued a circular from his headquarters at Augusta, Georgia, in which occurs the following passage:

   "4. Article 2, of the amendments to the Constitution of the United States, gives the people the right to bear arms, and states that this right 'shall not be infringed.'--Any person, white or black, may be disarmed if convicted of making an improper and dangerous use of weapons*; but no military or civil officer has the right or authority to disarm any class of people, thereby placing them at the mercy of others. All men, without distinction of color, have the right to keep arms to defend their homes, families or themselves."

   Nine out of every ten of the mobs in Indiana, during the past four years, were provoked by Morton, Carrington & Co., in lawlessly invading, without process of law or legal warrant, the houses, families, and the members thereof, of innocent citizens of this State, and arresting and imprisoning them; by which innocent citizens, those thus arresting them, according to the above declaration, ought to have been shot down. A mob in resistance to lawless official force is a constitutional right, or a Russian despotism is already established. The Constitution gives the right of arms to defend ourselves with.

[The Plymouth Weekly Democrat, Plymouth, Indiana, Thursday, January 18, 1866. Volume 11. Number 20. Pg. 2]
* - According to the Laws of War. However, once the threat has ceased, and the lawful sentence of punishment imposed has been served. Then the offender is entitled to full restoration of their right to have arms for their defense. For that is the exact intention of the 2nd Amendment.

"The right of free speech; the right of assembly; the right of trial by jury, the right to carry arms, the right of habeas corpus...."


Proclamation of Governor Presents Real Position Among Strikers And Coal Magnates of The State--Militiamen Are Keeping Order in District

   CHARLESTON, W Va., Sept. 6.-The Kanawha river today divides the Government of the United States from the benevolent military satrapies of Cabin creek and Paint creek, fifteen miles from Charleston, both of which are in West Virginia, but at present not of it; the only territory within the United States where the Constitution is not in effect.

   By decree of Governor Glasscock the coal creek county is in a state of war; until civil law, destroyed by the anarchy of the mine guards, is reconstructed martial law--the laws of war--will prevail. "Martial law" sounds romantically terrifying. It's romantic, but not terrifying.

   It is even fun. The creek folks enjoy it. In the coal creek country it in blessed as a deliverance. It has banished the mine guard and his automatic revolver; it has taken from the hands of the coal barons several machine guns, with which the barons had planned to bust the strike--machine guns that could shoot lead with the cumulative effect of a hall storm.

   It's funny this martial law like grandma's hoop skirt dress, like great-great-great-great-great-grandpa's steel-riveted suit of armor and other antiquities. It's a free trip into the morning of Anglo-Saxon civilization, way back before the days of King John, who was the father of habeas corpus, the right to which is one of the things you lose the moment you step out of the United States into the "state of war."

   Immediately us you leave the skiff that carries you across the Kanawha you are stripped of all your constitutional guarantees, your revolver and the bottle of whiskey. If you have any.

   The constitutional rights you lose, as you walk into the benevolent and even gentle military despotism and which 4,000 driven men of the mines have gladly sacrificed temporarily are;

   The right of free speech; the right of assembly; the right of trial by jury, the right to carry arms, the right of habeas corpus, that's martial law.

   You are ferried across the Kanawha, an American citizen, and, presto! you're nothing. You can't make a speech, and if you and your friend and your friend's friend stop to discuss the weather or the sylvan beauties of Paint creek, you are in an unlawful assembly that may land you in the guard house, to be tried, not by a jury, but by six soldiers, constituting a court martial, and the Supreme Court of the United States could not habeas corpus you out.

   The methods of punishment for crimes and misdemeanors under martial law are entirely within the discretion of the military court. All statutory forms of punishment are null.

   Possibly tho Czar of Russia, or mayhap the President of Nicaragua, has more authority than Adjutant General Elliott, but King George of England and the President are more 1-horse-power rulers compared to Elliott, governor general of 16,000 men, women, and children. His kingdom is the smallest in the world-- fifteen miles long and four miles wide.

   The courthouse is in a tent. The court-martial is in continuous session. Col. C.F. Jolliffe, chief justice, and Lieut. Col. George B. Wallace, judge advocate or prosecutor.

   "We are going to make life safe along the creeks," says Wallace.

   A commission investigating mining conditions in the mines will attempt to solve the problem. It consists of bishop P.J. Donohue, of the Catholic diocese of Wheeling: Capt. S.L. Walker, of the State militia, and Tax Commissioner Blue. Bishop Donohue announced today that not only the guard system but also the living conditions of the miners are to be investigated.

   The strike is now a siege. It depends on who can hold out the longest. The miners are being supported through strike benefits contributed by all the miners in the United States. They can hold out a number of years.

   The mines are standing idle. By decree of the Governor no strike breakers can be imported. The vast properties are producing nothing and are suffering loss through physical depreciation.

   Many mine operatives have volunteered to aid the commission in its investigation. There are nearly sixty-nine operators in the territory, all opposed to martial law. They held that it was not necessary and that the guards were required to protect mine property from irresponsible rioters.

[The Washington Times, Washington [D.C.], Friday Evening, September 6, 1912. Last Edition, Number 7564. Pg. 9]

"contains no grant of power to the Federal Government over the right to keep and bear arms...."

The Enforcement Acts Declared Unconstitutional by Messrs. Johnson and Stanbery--The Government Counsel Evading the Issue.

   The last case of the Ku Klux trials that was attempted to be brought before the Supreme Court for final disposition, is entitled the United States vs. Avery et al, and came to the Supreme Court upon a certificate of division from the Circuit Court for District of South Carolina. The defendants in this case were indicted for conspiracy under the Acts of May 87, 1870, known as the Enforcement Or Ku Klux Act. The particular act charged was the murder of one Jim Williams, while attempting to prevent colored citizens voting, and to hinder and prevent their exercise of the right to keep and bear arms.

   Motion having been made to quash the indictment, the court were divided in opinion on the question whether it had jurisdiction of the crime of murder charged, and whether the right to keep and bear arms is a right granted and secured by the Constitution of the United States so as to support the charge in the indictment, and render the offence cognizable by the court.

   The Government submits that the questions having arisen upon a motion to quash, this court cannot take cognizance of them, the motion being preliminary in its character, and determinable by the court below us a matter of pure discretion.

   It is then contended that the Act was intended merely to visit with increased punishment offenders against the laws of the United States, who, in the act of violating those laws, shall also commit offences against the laws of the States, and this it has power to do; and it necessarily follows that the courts of the United States have jurisdiction to inquire into this additional fact. Nor is it any answer to say that in so doing they take jurisdiction of an offence against State laws, and of which Congress cannot give them jurisdiction. The court merely admits evidence of a fact, as matter of aggravation of another offence. The criminal laws of several of the States are cited to show that in those States where any person is convicted of a criminal offence, who has before been punished by the United States or other States for a like offence, such person is sentenced to an additional penalty; and it is said that the difference between taking into account the conviction of a first offence, with a view to fix the punishment of a subsequent one, as in those eases, and taking into account the commission of an offeuoe with a view to fix the punishment of another offence contemporaneously committed, considered merely as facts constituting matter of aggravation, as in this case, is only a difference in time, and is wholly immaterial. In neither case is the punishment, in contemplation of law, applied to the offence, which is regarded as an aggravating circumstance merely.

   In respect of the right to bear arms, it is said that the United States, by reason of the power given to Congress to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, has a direct interest in seeing that the right which the Constitution itself declares to be essential to a well-ordered militia is not infringed by unlawful authority, and, in the absence of State legislation, to punish violations of the right, and it is but a reasonable construction of the Act to construe it as applying to this Act as well as to any other.

   For the defence, it is urged, after controverting the theory of the Government, that the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution contains no grant of power over the right of suffrage, but is in the nature of a restriction or abridgement of such power in one respect only and that is in the power to discriminate on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude. It is to enforce that section and prevent such discrimination, that by the second section Congress is authorized to enact appropriate laws. And this article contemplates only legislative action, and does not expressly apply to individuals. Before the Act in question can take effect, then it must appear that the State has authorized the discrimination prohibited by the amendment, and that such discrimination is attempted to be carried out by an individual. If the State has not violated the article, and has passed no law to authorize such discrimination, the unauthorized act of an individual, or combination of individuals, makes no case for Federal cognizance. An individual cannot deny or abridge the right to vote in the sense of this amendment. It is a right that can only be given or denied or abridged by law. South Carolina has not violated the amendment; she has passed no Act to discriminate on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude, and admits citizens of all color, race and conditions, who have the qualifications of voters, to the full enjoyment of the right of suffrage. But if it be held that it would be appropriate legislation to enforce this amendment against individuals, where the State had passed no Act, then it is contended that the conspiracies charged are not within the jurisdiction of the court, because they are offenses not within the purview of the amendment, nor appropriate legislation to enforce the amendment, and are, therefore, void. It is, then, submitted as too clear for argument, that within the legitimate sphere of the rights reserved to the States is included the right of exclusive legislation in the matter of suffrage; the very existence of the States depends upon it, and they have never surrendered the jurisdiction.

   It is declared that not a single offense defined in the Act in question comes within the provisions of the amendment. When the States, by the amendment surrendered the right to discriminate the matter of suffrage on the ground of color, race, &c., , and authorized Congress to enforce that amendment, they surrendered no other right touching the suffrage, and gave Congress no further power over the subject, and hence the Enforcement Act is not appropriate legislation.

   The constitutional provision in respect to the right of the people to bear arms contains no grant of power to the Federal Government over the right to keep and bear arms. On the contrary, the established constitution is, that it only recognizes a pre-existing right in the people of the States, and is merely a restriction on the Federal Government against any interference with that right, and consequently a subject matter exclusively within the cognizance of the States.

   As to jurisdiction, it is contended that the jurisdiction attempted to be given by the Act over another "felony," committed in the attempt to do the acts prohibited, and in this case murder, belongs exclusively to the Courts of South Carolina, and that consequently so much of the Act is unconstitutional and void, as an exercise of a legislative power not in pursuance of the Constitution.

[The Daily Phoenix, Columbia, S.C., Saturday Morning, March 23, 1872.  Vol. VIII--No. 2. Pg. 3]

"as not to infringe the constitutioual right to keep and bear arms...."


   I call your attention specially to Sec. 932 of the Revised Statutes, concerning carrying concealed weapons.

   A person is guilty of the offense set out, if he carries on or about his person, a weapon which is only partly concealed. It must be fully exposed not to be concealed. The object of the law is to protect the orderly and well disposed citizen from the treacherous use of weapons so frequently resorted to by evil disposed men, who seek an advantage over their antagonists in the disturbances and breaches of the peace, which they are prone to provoke, 11 Ann. page 683[?], Late Chief Justice Manning, in the case of State vs. Blas, 37 Ann, 260. says; The manifest object of the statute was to prevent the carrying of dangerous weapons--to stamp out a practice that has been and is fruitful of bloodshed, misery and death--and yet so to prohibit the carrying as not to infringe the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

   The constitutional right is to bear arms openly, so that when one meets an armed man there can be no mistake about the fact that he is armed."

   Wherefore if one carries about with him a dangerous weapon, not fully exposed to view, he violates the law; he must carry it so any one meeting him can make no mistake about his being with a weapon.

   I charge you particularly, gentlemen, if the sheriff or any of his deputies, or any constable, policeman or town marshall carry about him any weapon concealed, except in the actual discharge of his official duties, he violates the law; and the violation is graver than if committed by the ordinary citizen, for they are officers whose duty it is to see that the law is observed and not violated.

   The Sheriff, his deputy, policeman and constables are considered in the actual discharge of their official duties, as contemplated in this section, only when they are actually engaged in the service of some process to which resistance might be suspected or offered, and a weapon might be required by such officers to enforce the law; for instance; the arrest or conveying of a prisoner, the attachment of a person and the seizure of property and the fact that such officer has a warrant for the arrest of a person in one pocket is not a permit for him to carry a pistol concealed in another. The exemption is good only when he is bona fide in the actual discharge of some duty as above set out.

[The Meridional, Abbeville, Louisiana, Saturday, December 2, 1905. Volume 49 Number 48 Pg. 2]

"a man with musket to shoulder, or carbine slung on back, or pistol belted to his side, or such like, he is bearing arms in the constitutional sense...."

   "The constitutional right is to bear arms openly, so that when one meets an armed man there can be no mistake about the fact that he is armed. When we see a man with musket to shoulder, or carbine slung on back, or pistol belted to his side, or such like, he is bearing arms in the constitutional sense. Of course there are other examples. These are but illustrations."--Chief Justice Manning, Louisiana Supreme Court, The State of Louisiana vs. Lacy Bias. [Cite as State v. Bias, 37 La. Ann. 259 (1885).] No. 9310.

"Let us see what our ancestors thought of this indefeasible right of carrying arms...."

The Right of Carrying Arms.

   The evidence so far heard by the United States Commissioner in the case of the Baton Rouge disturbance on election day, has, we believe, established no fact implicating the parties before him of any crime. At most it has only been testified that some of these citizens were on the streets of Baton Rouge on the evening of election day, after the polls closed, with arms on their person. That is about the substance of the testimony of that swaggering Bobadil of the army, who disgraces his profession by making cowardly threats against the women and children of Baton Rouge, and who has given evidence in the case, admitting he had contemplated laying that town in ashes, burying in one common ruin all who might determine to stand by their homes, be they guilty or be they innocent. Brave soldier, this Capt. Meyers seems to think it is a crime in a citizen to carry arms, and that the carrying of arms is proof of a criminal intention. He does not seem to know that the bearing of arms is the right of every free man, secured to him by the Constitution of the country, a right which never has been questioned and which never will be surrendered. In the times in which we live, and in the circumstances in which we are placed, it is the bounden duty of every white man to have his arms at hand and ready for use. When we are ruled over by such wicked men as Warmoth and his associates, who would have no hesitation in instigating the negroes to a riot were it their interest to provoke one, it becomes necessary at all times to stand upon our defense. These wretches adopt measures designed to goad the people into resistance and then wish to punish them because they cannot bear the oppression. If there be any disposition to disturb the public peace in this State it is Warmoth and his gang of vultures who have awakened that spirit; it is they who have aroused and encouraged the negroes in their antipathy to the white people and who have given the latter cause for alarm. Then when they find us with arms in our hands ready to sell our lives only at the highest price, if we must lose them, they wish to make it a crime and would infer felonious intentions. Let us see what our ancestors thought of this indefeasible right of carrying arms. Hallam, in his Constitutitonal History of England, speaking of proposed restraints upon personal liberty, made in Parliament in 1737, says:

   A bill having been brought in by the ministers to prevent smuggling, which contained some unusual clauses, it was strongly opposed, among other peers by Lord Chancellor Talbot, himself, of course, in the Cabinet and by Lord Hardwicke, then Chief Justice, a regularly bred crown lawyer, and in his whole life disposed to hold very high the authority of government. They objected to a clause subjecting any three persons traveling with arms to the penalty of transportation, on proof by two witnesses that their intention was to assist in the clandestine landing. or carring away prohibited or unaccusted goods."

   "We have in our laws, said Lord Hardwicke, then Chief Justice of England, no such thing as at crime by implication, nor can a malicious intention ever be proved by witnesses. Facts only are admitted to be proved, any from those facts the judge and the jury are to determine with what intention they were committed; but no judge or jury can ever, by our laws, suppose, much less determine, that an action in itself innocent or indifferent, was attended with a criminal or malicious intention. Another security for our liberties is, that no subject can be imprisoned unless some felonious and high crime be sworn against him. This, with respect to private men, is the very foundation stone of all our liberties; and if we remove it, if we but knock off a corner, we may probably overturn the whole fabric. A third guard for our liberties is that right which every subject has, not only to provide himself with arms proper for his defense, but to accustom himself to the use of these arms, and to travel with them whenever he has a mind." But the clause in question, it was contended, was repugnant to all the maxims of free government. No presumption of a crime could be drawn from the mere wearing of arms, an act not only innocent, but highly commendable; and, therefore, the admitting of witnesses to prove that any of these men were armed, in order to assist in smuggling, would be the admitting of witnesses to prove an intention, which was inconsistent with the whole tenor of our laws."

   How very like this proposed English law is section No. 6 of the act of Congress known as the Enforcement law, which prohibits two or more persons from banding or conspiring together with intent to violate its provisions. We think. However, when it comes to be analyzed and applied in practice, like the English statute it will be found very difficult of enforcement as all such indefinite laws must be.

   If these Baton Rouge citizens have done nothing more than carry arms for their defense, they need be under no apprehension of being condemned by public opinion whatever pliant magistrate may do in their case.--N.O. Bee

[The Opelousas Courier, Opelousas, Paarish of St. Landry, La., December 3, 1870. Vol. XVIII. No. 12. Pg. 2]

Friday, March 14, 2014

"It is the right of suffrage, and the right to bear arms that distinguishes the freeman from the slave...."

"...One of the fundamental principles of our government is, that the will of the majority shall rule, when legally and constitutionally expressed; and it is the duty of every good citizen to submit to that will. Fraudulent and illegal voting are designed to destroy this principle and substitute the will of the minority for that of the majority. The right of suffrage is one of which every American citizen is justly proud. But this right is of no importance, if the power it confers is to be destroyed by the fraudulent vote of others. In what do the citizens of this country differ from the subjects of the despots of the of world! Mainly in the fact that they possess the right of suffrage, and the right to bear arms in its defense. It is the right of suffrage, and the right to bear arms that distinguishes the freeman from the slave. It is by means of this right that the people govern--that they legislate for themselves, and execute the laws when made, through agents of their own choice. Take this right from us, and we are no longer free. Preserve it from fraud and corruption, & we never can be slaves...."--[Governor Thomas Corwin*.]

[The Ohio Democrat, Canal Dover, Tuscarawas County, (Ohio), December 18, 1840. Volume 2. Number 67. Pg. 3 - Excerpted from the article; "Governor's Message.", started on Pg. 1]
* - Thomas Corwin, (July 29, 1794 – December 18, 1865), was a politician from the state of Ohio who served as a prosecuting attorney, a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Corwin was the 15th Governor of Ohio, 20th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and United States Ambassador to Mexico.

""The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall never be abridged" will soon be nothing but a memory...."


   Senator Chandler of Maine, has introduced a bill making it unlawful for any body of men of ten or more, any of whom are subject to enrollment as a part of the militia of any state of the United States, to assemble, or drill, or bear arms as a military squad, company, battalion or other military organization, unless they are called forth by some civil or military officer lawfully authorized to call them out.

   Since the infant days of the republic there has been no such bold attempt to make of this nation a military despotism. Our fathers and grandfathers were accustomed to organize independent military companies, and their right "to keep and bear arms" were never questioned, nor were they forbidden to assemble in squads of "ten or more" and have military drills.

   Senator Chandler's bill makes it too apparent to doubt that the people are to be robbed of the last vestige of freedom. Little by little are the fetters being forged. The National Guard--the militia of the states--are to be placed under the control and subject to officers of the regular army.

   To most men these movements may have but little significance, but they are certainly ominous of evil days for the people.

   "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall never be abridged" will soon be nothing but a memory, if the people do not call the conspirators down. Plutocrats can and do conspire to oppress the people, and when they resist, the National Guard is called to aid them in their work.

   This last move, if consummated, would leave the people at the mercy of thugs, for the man who will enlist in the National Guard to serve under such laws will be of the element composing the Pinkerton thugs.

   Watch the despots!

[Kansas Agitator, Garnett, Kansas, January 26, 1893. Vol. 3. No. 36. Pg. 4]

"that every man's house is his castle, and that under our Government, every citizen, white or black, has the right to bear arms...."


   The third plank in the Republican State platform, reads:

   3. We are in favor of the full and equal enjoyment of accommodations, advantages, rights and privileges by all citizens and other persons within the jurisdiction of the United States, without regard to race, creed or color, and at the same time we deem it unnecessary and unwise to attempt, by Congressional legislation, or otherwise, to compel as between such races, creeds or colors, the joint exercises of such accommodations, advantages, rights or privileges. But we recognize the principle,which is older than our Constitution, that every man's house is his castle, and that under our Government, every citizen, white or black, has the right to bear arms in conformity to law, and to express his opinions without interference or molestation.

   This is an anomalous position. The Republican party of Tennessee declare the justice of certain demands by the colored race, and that it is in favor of certain rights claimed by that race, "but deem it unwise to grant the demands or secure these rights by legislation." And in the same connection declare, that every man white or black has the right to bear arms in conformity to law, and to express his opinion, without interference or molestation....

[The Pulaski Citizen, Pulaski, Tennessee, Thursday, September 24, 1874. Volume XVI. Supplement, Pg. 5 - Excerpted from the article; "Gov. Brown. His Speech at Pulaski Yesterday on the Political Situation. An Elaborate Discussion of the Leading Issues. The Nashville and Chattanooga Platforms Compared. Seathing Denunciation of the Civil Rights Infamy."]

"The unconstitutionality of the recently made law prohibiting private free possession of firearms in the State...."


To the Editor of The Tribune.

   Sir: The unconstitutionality of the recently made law prohibiting private free possession of firearms in the State of New York appears perfectly clear when we read the first clause of the second section of Article IV, which says:

   "The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens of the several states."

   This being the letter of the Constitution, nowise changed, or even indirectly borne upon by any amendment thereof, it stands entirely plain and not to be disputed that no law curtailing any citizen's privilege can be constitutionally made by a single state to day.

   None of the other states of this Union has any such law as this New York curiosity. It therefore follows, under the above quoted clause, that it is unconstitutional and should not have been enacted.

  New York, Sept. 17, 1911.

[New-York Tribune, New-York, Tuesday, September 19, 1911. Vol. LXXI.....No. 23,683. Pg. 6]

"He contended that labor had a right to use arms to resent the impositions of capital...."

[El Paso Daily Herald, El Paso, Texas, Tuesday, November 8, 1898. Vol. XVIII, No. 251.  Third Edition, Pg. 8 - Excerpted from the article; "A Very Light Vote Cast, The Election In This City Is Progressing Very Quietly. Democrats Are Glum"]

"as the United States constitution guarantees to every citizen the right to bear arms...."

"Anarchy From Montana."

   Since the scene that happened in Denver, Russia (formerly Colorado) on the 21st when Chas. H. Moyer, president of the Western Federation of Miners was escorted before the supreme court of that place by a military coterie of hirling despicable thugs and members of the citizens alliance, the thought is called to mind about an article that appeared in the Miners Magazine some few months ago, from the pen of Al Sellers of this county.

   The Miners Magazine headed it as above suggested, "Anarchy From Montana." But a brief review will throw a side light that will fully explain that Mr. Sellers was not far from the right proceeding, when the military is to trample over all free American constitutional rights. His import of the article was for the union men to arm themselves with Mausers and about 500 rounds of ammunition, and which act would be absolutely constitutional, as the United States constitution guarantees to every citizen the right to bear arms in his home, except in "Russiado," where union men vote all tickets but the Socialist, scab at the ballot box and starve in the bull pen. He then made plain that the militia usually called out on these occasions was composed of ruffians, cheap clerks, rounders and thugs of all sorts, and who were all cowardly if they were forced up against a proposition that an "equal break" would be experienced. This class of debauched criminals then, knowing that if they forced trouble and persisted in a reign of Peabody anarchy, would get into a fight where no odds would be in their favor, and in place of bayoneting men into the bull pen and shooting down defenseless humanity, their own bodies would be forced to the position of a lead target. To this he contended that every hired militiaman would shrink from duty.

   Does it not look about true when you think of the following told in the associated press dispatch from Denver, Russiado?

   Defying the attachment of cavalry which brought Charles H. Moyer of Telluride to appear before the supreme court, W.D. Haywood secretary treasurer of the federation attempted to hold a conversation with the prisoner while he was being taken from the train at the union depot this morning. Ordered to stand back by Captain Bulkley Wells, commanding the guard, he struck the officer in the face. In a second he was surrounded by a cordon of angry troopers who struck at him with the butts of their carbines and beat him with six shooters. That he was not killed by the excited soldiers is due to the action of Bert Givens, the orderly of Captain Wells, who struck up the muzzle of a gun aimed at Haywood and rescued him from his position between two cars where the guardsmen had him cornered.

   Placed under arrest he was put in the middle of a hollow square of militiamen, and marched to the Oxford hotel near the depot. Here he again showed fight and was beaten into submission. His injuries consist of a deep cut on the left side of the head and one on the right side of nis head which almost severed the lower lobe of his right ear.

   When a demand was made by Police Captain Frank Lee for the release of Haywood on the ground that the militia rule did not extend to Denver, General Sherman Bell replied that he intended to hold Haywood as a military prisoner and would shoot any one who attempted to take him. But, nevertheless, under orders from Gov. Peabody, Haywood was surrendered to Sheriff Armstrong and placed in the county jail this afternoon.

   Mr. Haywood made a mistake, even though the army officer had no absolute right there in Denver under the existing circumstances, he made the mistake of not being ready for the trouble if he expected to precipitate the same. The army officer had no military authority in that county, but when struck by Mr. Haywood, the lickspittles in the soldier garb several in number sprang to the man to beat or possibly kill him. But had he had a few fighters with him on the ground where man to man was an equal break the damnable curs who beat him up with guns would have gone so fast that you could not have seen the cowards for dust behind them.

   Always be right, but once right go ahead, stop for nothing. Had the above trouble occurred in San Miguel county an entirely different aspect would have been cast upon the part of Mr. Haywood. But why continue this kind of a farce fight. Let us drop all this and get down to business. Let us proceed to educate the laboring people, or possibly more properly put, the exploited class, and realize that the present condition must exist until we can capture the government through the ballot box

   President Gompers of the grand annex to Parry's citizens alliance circus, says as follows regarding Gov. Peabody of Russiado:

   The violation of the fundamental principles of our country has made Colorado the laughing stock of the country, as well as the rest of the civilized world. Besides, it robs men of the actual rights and protection guaranteed them by the constitution. It appears that if civil law continues to be overriden as it has in the past the fight will soon develop from a technical legal conflict to a physical one. That would be the most deplorable thing we could have in a state or country with a republican form of government.

   Gov. Peabody is not half as ridiculous as Gompers was when he dined in a scab joint in Boston, and with a man who proclaimed, and reiterated his proclamation a year later that a  "scab is a hero." Gompers is a traitor to organized labor and his criticism of Peabody is entirely out of order. He stands for trades autonomy and solely for a system of organization that will perpetuate the resent anarchistic system, and men like Peabody stand on the rulers side--the side of capital--to fight that kind of an organization on its own dung hill. Let Gompers and other leaders spend their time in educating the laboring men to unite at the ballot box, and soon this anarchistic system that prevails at the present will be wiped out and the cooperative commonwealth established. Peabody is true to the interest of the class he represents, while Gompers is a fakir to the class from which he draws a good salary.

[The Montana News, Lewistown, Montana, Wednesday, April 27, 1904. Vol. II. No. 32. Pg. 4]

"We had them come armed because the law gave them a right to bear arms...."

Powers On The Stand

In his Own Defense, Admits
Bringing Mountain Army
To Frankfort.

Murder Was Not the Object
Prepared To Defend
himself Against

Seizure of Office, Taylor
Paid All Bills, So Said

   The defense in the Caleb Powers* case at Georgetown, Ky., opened its case and outlined its plan of procedure on last Monday As was expected the defense asked for peremptory instructions for acquittal which motion was promptly overruled by the Court.

   Judge E.T.Faulkner made the opening statement setting fourth a general denial of almost everything the Commonwealth claimed, except as to the gathering of the mountaineers which he claimed was a perfectly lawful and peaceful procedure and had nothing to do with the assassination.

   Powers then took the stand in his own defense and admitted having brought the mountaineers to Frankfort under instructions and with the assistance of W.S Taylor.

   Powers says there were three crowds of men brought to Frankfort and that he helped to bring each crowd. The first was while the Canvassing Board was in session. They came not as witnesses but to show their interest, but not as stated by Noaks, to intimidate. They were instructed not to crowd around the Canvassing Boards.

   The second crowd was summoned as witnesses in the contest cases and came from January 12 to 17.

   The third crowd was brought to Frankfort on January 25th to show their interest in the outcome of the contest. We had them come armed because the law gave them a right to bear arms openly and also to petition the legislature, and the authority for that can be found in subsection 6 and 7 in the Bill of Rights. Gov. Taylor told me he would pay the expenses of bringing the men and me to keep an account of the railroad fare, etc.

[Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, KY., Friday, August 3, 1900. Volume XIV. Number 45 Pg. 1]
* - Caleb Powers, was the Secretary of State of Kentucky.