Unicorns are mythical animals and yet they tend to make their appearance in popular literature quite frequently…

Unicorn spotting, is a great sport, and one that the American Angels excellent because we engage in it each and every day, as we deploy our DOTs as fintech software and instruments of growth, for the StartUps, the Founders, and for the young CEOs that actually birth the new Unicorns.

Because these great Unicorns are surely the same mythical creatures as those multibillion dollar Startups, that we see quite often buzzing around us, when we hail an Uber to go places, or when we rent an AirBnB to rest at night, or when we choose to go work at WeWork for a flexible hour or more to prepare and give a speech to young Startuppers, in another far City.

And this is called Unicorn Spotting and it is a curious habit that I have been promoting at American Angels, because we have to identify the potential DNA of the nascent Unicorns by seeing the pertinent characteristics of this particular type of animal. And only when we know what it is that we are seeing — we can clearly claim that we are seeking to gestate and cultivate Unicorn selection, by investing in the very many different companies, with the vastly different products, greatly different services, weirdly different personalities, manifestly different founders, representing different cultures, and subscribing to different missions.

This is an Art that requires an immense ability to adapt to one and all in an individual way, and still keep n mind that You seek to find the “eggs” of a Unicorn in all of them.

Still to do that we need to accommodate all that variance — and thus we end up playing very different roles in the companies we choose to help raise capital though the American Angels platform and the financial technology software clothed as a digital coin named DOT, that is the instrument we ourselves invest in, and utilize in order to invest into young Startups and thus work with the New Enterprises that we groom for Unicorns, all the while building them up, for the long term success, and their eventual entry into the Wall Street through the IPO gate. This is the important service that we offer, for the particular companies that we’ve been grooming for a while to be the Unicorns of tomorrow…

Because the secret is that there are no born Unicorns, but the ones out there are all made in the corse of the StartUp life, and the Entrepreneurs’ journey.

And we know how to breed these beasts in our stables quite well. And as a matter of course, as well as a matter of course, we stud the whole lot of our stables with Unicorn DNA and hope for the best from our geldings. Of course our support matters greatly, and it always starts with identifying the founders, their expertise, and their purpose in selecting their mission, and from then on, we go whole hog to seeking the best way to help them get on or fundraising platform called the DOTs, because as they set the course for the company, they also set the course for the investors — and we simply have to steer them right.

Our pro-forma success depends on the CEO/Founder, to show up and see that there is something afoot, and that the shift for their company, from just another StartUp, to a Funded company, is already underway.

Naturally for the American Angels to help these young startup companies make this transition — we have to take the time to understand what the company is all about, what are the aspirations of the Founders, the CEO, and the employees, where s the Market and the company going, where their efforts are headed, and where — if anywhere — this company leads the world.

In that vein, we need to truly mine the DNA and do some genetic engineering to imbue the Unicorn traits into the origin story of the Company and it’s Founder, so that we can hope that a Unicorn can be “created” and we often do that leading the mindset of the Founder, by asking the leading questions, like “why was the company founded?” “where is it going?” and “why?” and then allowing these Socratic questions to do their job.

Language of introspection in the English way is powerful, and serves quite well all of us, but especially serves well the proper systematic American Angel Investor that will surely succeed with so many companies under our wings, fully knowing that some of them will become Unicorns.

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Still, we have to figure out how to insert the Unicorn DNA, into the Entrepreneur’s journey in a way that is cooperative, value adding, and synthesizing. Because only if we are constructive and value adding to the Founders and to the Company – we can claim to bring a measure of success to the StartUp, even before the DOTs start rolling out.

And we have to do that work well before we even get invited to produce a term sheet, and invest a dollar in the company, because if we can’t figure out how to play a role that is constructive and value adding to the Entrepreneurs in front of us — we should not be making that investment, and should not be joining that company, nor should we be accepting that particular Board position, to help the company leap forward towards scale…


Yet, perhaps, the most important element of this equation, is that we must also seek to find out why the Founders started the company in the first place, and then blend the Unicorn graft within. To that end we ask the difficult questions such as why some founders start companies? Is it to just make money and get rich? Or to change the world?

Surely the transactional leaders, who start companies to get rich, first and foremost — are very different than the others, because when you see that it is important to understand it as the defining factor, since these folks will be money motivated, wealth operated, and cash transaction enabled, and thus their StartUp will be activated in a very different way that the others…

Yet for the other founders; those who start companies in order to solve a very specific problem, often one that they themselves have, we have to know that they will be very much hands on, product design, iteration, development, and market/user focused.

Further from that still, is the reason of founders who start companies in order to chart a course that is different from others, and these folks will be transformational leaders, iconoclastic entrepreneurs, and bold pioneers who dance to a different drummer than the rest of us, and that’s just fine because these folks really and totally change the World as we know it. And as it turns out — they also produce the vast and overwhelming majority of the Unicorns out there too.

So please, keep in mind, the three categories of Entrepreneurs out there, and mark this on their forehead, with indelible ink, as I do on my secret scoring sheets for all the StartUp companies that I meet and get to know intimately. I award these companies accordingly a “C” for those founders that I know that they build their companies in order to sell them; “B” for those founders who build companies that will go make the “book” and become public companies through the IPO process some day soon; and “A” for those founders who build companies that will clearly have the will to live and succeed long, and thus far outlive the Founding Entrepreneurs and their lives.

Ands thus in the long term, that I have been messing around with Startups I have learned that there is no right way to build a business, no right way to exit a business, and certainly not a single “right way” to operate a business. There are as many different ways to do the startup thing, as there are founders out there. And yet along with all that — I have learned that getting everyone on the same page about the specific way you are going to do the StartUp is a truly critical element of that business’s success.

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And then we might get lucky, to all just get there, by the skin of our teeth, only if everyone on the management team, all the faces on the investor’s group, and all the members of the Board of Directors — pull the sled for the long ride home. And that takes a cohesive agreement for all to be seeing and accepting the long term vision of making the purpose of the company their own, by wanting to go to the same place in the future together, to begin harvesting that specific opportunity, the Entrepreneur saw first.

Only then can great things start happening…

Dr Churchill


So by now, we hope that you know that Unicorns are made and are not born, and that if you get to recognize them at their infancy — you will become a very wealthy person, if you invest in them

And to do that you have to be able to intellectually able to answer these types of questions for all the companies we cultivate as young Unicorns.

Ask the leading questions for example, such as why is it a great idea for one of our American Angels companies to raise and ICO through our platform and thus move to a token based business model, when it is not a great idea for another one of our companies to do that?

What is the compelling story that differentiates the two?

Or why is it that it is a great idea for one of our portfolio companies to accept an M&A offer and have a strategic exit, well before they have reached their potential, when it is not a great idea for another one of our American Angels StartUp companies to do that?

And why is it a great idea for one of our startup companies to go public when it is a bad idea for another one of our accelerated Unicorn status targeting company to do that?

To be proficient in the Art of Unicorn spotting, you must understand the variance of the choices that we foist upon the companies we work with, since it is vitally important to understand how these companies were first funded, what their vision was, what the founders wanted out of their effort, what the investors signed up for, how they were capitalized, how they were managed, and how all of that might have changed them over the years, as they seek to be recognized as Unicorns or to simply avoid the common fate of the vast majority of Startups that join the trash heap of history…

So get cranking by buying and investing those DOTs and start playing the game here: http://www.AmericanAngels.net and invest the DOTs into the Startups because it is hard to understand those things from theory, or from studying Unicorns from afar. You must get into their habitat and get to know them early on…

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To understand the Art of Unicorn Spotting better, you need to think about each company as a different journey, to a different place, and all of us – the employees, the management, the founders, the investors, the board members – as role players in that journey. And when you choose to join a company as an investor, or as the CEO, or an employee, you really need to take the time to understand that journey before you step into that role.

Because as an Angel investor into the American Angels platform of the DOTs, you will be studying Unicorns for a long time, if you want to get trained in the Art of Unicorn Spotting and hopefully someday manage to go hunting and bag the Big Ones…

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Churchill’s strategy in peace can be summarized with the word “economy.” There is much for the government to do. There can be a social safety net, but it should resemble private savings as much as possible and be run efficiently. There can be regulation of many kinds to protect people from infringement of private rights. But all this must be done cheaply, because money held in private hands is a public as well as a private good. If that principle is abandoned, the government grows unaccountable, and majorities will say as they say in America today that they are afraid of their government.

Yet today that we have had a seriously long stretch of economic recovery and peace and quiet, we still have far too many warmings about Wars and rumors of wars, and these distractions are all around us.

Of course now we have also been thinking about the greatest of all wars, the Second World War, because I believe that if we study that war and the actions of its profoundest statesman, we can find some lessons that could be helpful in guiding us today.

We think of World War II in part because a fine new film has just come out about the beginning of that war and it is called Dunkirk, and this film, in a seemingly single monologue tells the whole story of the English Expeditionary Force that was sent to Europe to defend the continentals form the Nazi hordes.

If was a fine yet pensive and a bit depressing film showing how so many young men died in the ignoble beginnings of the Second World War, when all we had was retreats and surrenders.

Yet this cinematic tragedy was followed soonest with another British film which is called “The Darkest Hour” and it concerns the beginning of that largest and worst of wars, from it’s parliamentary battles and the dominance of the political genius of my grandfather Winston Churchill. Of course the beginnings of things reveal their true meaning in particular ways, and from the beginning of World War II, we can draw important lessons, that are relevant to the choices we Americans must today, make.

The first lesson of the war concerns what Churchill called the “profound significance of human choice, and the sublime responsibility of men.”

We see in the beginning of the film, “The Darkest Hour” that the war begins in a series of military blunders and outright disasters. First, there was the real disaster that allowed the Nazis to rearm and the German army to become the biggest one in the World, then was the real disaster that led to the war, then there was the disastrous advent of Hitler to power in 1933, and then his increasing domination of Central and Eastern Europe, culminating in 1940, with the disaster that extended Hitler’s influence across Western Europe to the Atlantic, beginning the very day Winston Churchill became prime minister of Great Britain, when Hitler launched his armies west across Belgium and France to begin an utter rout of all of his enemies. No one believed that a great nation like France could be overcome in a matter of days, if not weeks, but that is what happened.

And then things started to turn up, as the British Army made a fateful escape from the loss of Dunkirk, back to England by the skin of its teeth, under the thick protective cover of clouds, in an evacuation that was heralded by Winston Churchill’s call for the pleasure yachts of volunteers and the working skiffs of the fishermen to sail across the channel to Dunkirk, to bring the boys back home…

And this is what the volunteer sailing fleet did admirably. However during the hours leading to the Dunkirk evacuation, the military crisis had given rise to the political crisis within the British Parliament. It is this crisis, that is being portrayed in the film “The Darkest Hour” which stitches together the times since the fall of France, when Britain stood alone, decisively inferior in military power to the Nazis, and with the appeasers in the government and in the cabinet, agitating against Churchill, and wishing to compromise, and sue for terms with Herr Hitler. Terms that would subjugate Britain to Hitler’s will and military might forever. Only then the 1,000 year Reich would become a reality. And yet the only thing that could save Great Britain, was not the English Channel, but it was the use of Democratic Rhetoric as Churchill delivered in the House of Commons, that put the backbone into the British public and it’s representatives, and that helped them carry on, and keep Buggering On, for two painful fighting years, until much later, the entry into the war of the United States of America, on the side of the Allies, tipped the scales in our favor.

Yet back in the early days of the war, as France was falling, things looked bleak, and the greatest air battle in history that commenced over the Channel, for control of the skies, and for domination of the sea routes — became the decisive switch by which the light of freedom was measured. Because by the sheer power of providence, it was the Royal Air Force, that like the army that escaped Dunkirk, not only survived by the skin of its teeth — bit it also defeated the Luftwaffe. Had RAF failed to do that — the German Airforce the fearsome Luftwaffe, would have dominated the English skies and the air over the channel, and thus the German Army and the Gestapo, could have easily crossed the Channel, and London itself would have likely fallen just as easily, and in the same way as Paris had fallen earlier…

So in the film “The Darkest Hour” we see in dramatic detail the British cabinet battle over whether to continue the war. Mussolini of Italy, Hitler’s ally but not yet a combatant, offered to organize a peace conference. Some in the British cabinet wished to take Mussolini up on the offer. Churchill thought that if a peace conference were to open, the British war effort would collapse. He resisted this skillfully, sometimes quietly, finally eloquently, in a series of steps that make the culmination of the film a joy to watch…

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And here is the first lesson. It is not trends but choices that matter most at the key moments of history. These days we tend to think of history as a story of great sweeping trends and evolutions. We imagine that forces gather and play themselves out over time, and that we humans are merely the pawns with which they play. This is one reason so many are often quick to believe that the United States is in an eclipse, that new emerging powers, younger, more numerous, and located on the Eurasian center of world population, will overcome us.

The day on which Churchill put an end to the idea of a peace conference was May 28, 1940. He walked into the cabinet room and made a stirring speech, which in the diary of Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton ended with these words: “If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.” This speech, which provoked a demonstration of enthusiasm that swept throughout the government, was not a product of any trend or great evolution of history. It spoke in defiance of those forces.

No one else on that day was either inclined to make, or capable of making that speech, and Churchill had only become prime minister by a series of narrow chances. No story better illustrates one of Churchill’s favorite lessons—a lesson valuable for us to keep in mind: both chance and choice play a large part in human affairs. If everything were fate, Hitler would have won the war, for he was the one, who believed that everything was fated, in the historical process.

Winston Churchill’s statesmanship is best expressed in the second lesson which concerns the limits of war, of politics, and indeed of all human actions… Because Winston Churchill helped to save his country by his willingness to fight to the death, and to inspire others to join him, but he also saved it by his reluctance to do just that.

In May 1940, Churchill had been absolute, and Britain took an absolute stand. But in his actions and writings, Churchill teaches us that absolute stands are justified only when they are absolutely necessary. From conviction, Churchill was cautious and hesitant about war, because he he saw its awful power to destroy whole nations or to take over all their energy and life, as he had witnessed first hand in the battlefields of the trenches in Flanders during the first world war, the war to end all wars…

And also because he knew that a nation fully marshaled, and militarized, is a nation with no room for private freedom, no room for citizens “to live by no man’s leave underneath the law.” It is much easier to unmake than it is to remake the world by war or any use of force.

One sees Churchill’s caution in 1944-45, most vividly in the case of Poland. In the months when the fate of Poland’s future hung in the balance — we best recall that Britain had come into the war on behalf of Poland, which was attacked in August 1939 by the combined power of Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. Yet Churchill foresaw that these two were soon enough to be enemies, although they were bound at that time by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to dismember and overrun Poland. And still although he knew — there was nothing Winston or Britain could do to stop Poland’s dismemberment. The onslaught that followed meant the massacre of millions of Poles, including the vast majority of Polish Jews. This gave Britain powerful motive to do all that was possible for Poland at the war’s end, and in the peace settlement that would follow.

But what was possible?

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At the end of 1944 the mighty Red Army was rolling toward the Polish border, the last step before it swept into Germany. The Polish government was living in exile in London, and its cabinet met often with Churchill and his ministers—who in turn spoke often with Stalin and Roosevelt and their ministers about the future of Poland. Churchill worked persistently to make a deal for Poland, under which it would give up extensive territories to the Soviet Union, promise friendly relations with the Soviets, and be compensated by territories to the West at the expense of Germany. On those conditions Poland might be allowed to live in relative freedom and independence.

But the Polish Government-in-Exile, which had been elected before the war, told Churchill that it had no mandate to give up the homes of millions of Poles to the Soviet Union. Why was that fair? What had Poland done wrong? Had not Churchill himself taken an absolute stand against Hitler, and did that not provide an example for Poland? More to the point, the Polish ministers wondered whether Churchill would join them if they made an absolute stand. Just as Britain had needed the help of the United States, so Poland needed the help of both Britain and the United States.

In one of many long and painful conversations between Churchill and the Polish cabinet, on November 3, 1944, Poland’s Prime Minister Mikolajczyk mentioned another Polish statesman, General Anders. Churchill replied that he liked Anders, but added, “Keep in mind what he said to me: ‘Today we are fighting the Germans, and tomorrow we shall fight the Russians.’” “This is sheer lunacy,” Churchill said. “Don’t reckon on our support in this.” These were hard words. With sympathy and sadness, Churchill agreed that the Poles were entitled to decide for themselves, just as the British had been in 1940. But also as the British had, the Poles must be ready to bear the consequences. The Polish Prime Minister predicted that one day Poland would see better days. Those better days would come, but not until two generations of Poles would suffer under tyranny.

In the end, no agreement was reached between Poland and the Soviet Union. This owed something to the noble stubbornness of the Poles, but much more to the ruthlessness and duplicity of Stalin. The Red Army swept across Poland and halfway across Germany. Almost all the land that it “liberated” it also subjugated.

What happened in Poland is like what happened in every nation that the Soviet Union, or for that matter Nazi Germany, ruled. It was what Churchill feared would happen to Britain in 1940, if it were to fall under the influence of Hitler. In 1940, Churchill would take an absolute stand for his homeland, knowing that utter defeat was a possibility. In 1944, he would not take such a stand for Poland.

Then there was Greece, a very different case from Poland. Britain had also made common cause before the war with Greece, and when Hitler invaded Greece, Churchill sent troops from his tiny resources to the unsuccessful relief of Greece. Now the war was approaching its end, and the Germans were leaving Greece. Who would replace them? Greece, mind you, is on the sea, and it would eventually form part of the southeastern flank of NATO, founded after the war to deter the Soviet Union.

During the same months that the Soviet Union was conquering Eastern Europe, Churchill made a deal, known as the “percentages agreement,” with Stalin. This famous or infamous deal recognized that the Soviet Union would have chief authority in the nations over which the Red Army was rolling. But it gave Britain chief authority over Greece, where Soviet allies in the Greek Communist Party constituted the most powerful partisan group. These communists were besieging Athens and threatened to establish a communist government in Greece as the Nazis were driven out.

Churchill made this deal with Stalin only after repeated attempts, from 1942 onwards, to move the Allied armies south and east, to give more help to Southern and Eastern Europe. These attempts had failed. The United States had responded, not without merit, that the shortest line to Berlin did not go through the Mediterranean, and certainly not the Eastern Mediterranean. Churchill had hoped to forestall or at least limit the extent of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Only when that failed did he seek Stalin’s agreement for Britain to take a strong hand in Greece. Within weeks, 5,000 British soldiers marched into Athens and broke the siege of the central government district. By force of arms, a coalition government was established that denied the Greek Communist Party domination.

As the Second World War wound down, Greece could be saved from Soviet domination at an acceptable cost, and it was worth saving; Poland, also worth saving, could not. Right, Churchill believed, makes might. But it does not make it all the time and everywhere—a lesson America’s leaders in recent decades have too often forgotten. Statesmen must do as much as it is possible to do, at a cost that is acceptable, and they must not try to do more.

Winston Churchill’s Statesmanship is clear if we compare the three cases of Britain, Poland, and Greece, so that we can draw the third lesson, which concerns the Churchillian gift of winning long term strategy.

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Winston felt that strategy must be rooted in the purposes of the nation, it’s aims to preserve the nation, and in pursuit of those purposes. This means that strategy is not confined, when it is pursued by the statesman, to war alone. Churchill wrote: “The distinction between politics and strategy diminishes as the point of view is raised. At the summit true politics and strategy are one.”

Churchill lived, loved, and fought for the liberal society. Liberal societies protect the rights of their peoples: their right to make their livings, to raise their children, to speak their minds. These are the elements of a fully human life. Under a free and limited government, the right of all to pursue this life is recognized and defended. The justice of this kind of government is the reason that Churchill, the grandson of a duke, was not an aristocrat but a defender of democracy.

War, Churchill explained, has a curious relationship to democracy and limited government. Free nations are innovative: they produce new and more powerful tools, including weapons of war. They are productive: wealth is generated when free people work, save, invest, and trade. These new tools or technology and this new wealth have transformed the world. This trend is led by the nations who leave their people free. They are the most innovative and productive.

To the same extent that technology and wealth make us comfortable and safe, they make war more terrible. In the midst of a modern total war, every aspect of life is conscripted, regulated, brought under central control. Churchill feared that this condition would become perpetual.

These developments in war were matched by others stemming from the same cause and unfolding in regular domestic politics. War was becoming bigger, but also government was becoming bigger, and for the same reason: technology. The idea was born of scientifically managing society from a central source. Such management could cure the ills of society—including war. To achieve this, government should have access to all or most of the major resources of the society. But this was the very effect that Churchill feared modern war would have.

Churchill was a lifelong opponent of socialism and bureaucracy. He saw in them a conscription of private resources that would undermine the ability of people to live freely and under their own command, just as modern war threatened to do. If the government deploys, directly or indirectly, more than half the resources in the economy, what place is there for ordinary people to control the government and to control their own lives?

In recent days there has been a struggle between President Trump and a retiring civil service appointee over who gets to appoint the latter’s successor to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This agency is exempted from the control of its budget by Congress. In other words, it operates outside the control of anyone popularly elected. If the key to the preservation of liberal government is the proper arrangement between public and private, one can see that the basis of liberal government may be eroding. Churchill warned of this all his life.

Churchill’s statesmanship focused on a certain kind of strategy, that allowed for the Liberty of the individual and of the nation itself…

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This statesmanship would be deeply aware of the purposes of free government, most importantly freedom, but also justice or equality. The strategy in war was to fight only when necessary, and then to fight shrewdly, which means rapidly and ruthlessly, to get the war over with and spare as much life as possible. Churchill was deadly in war—he thought that was more merciful. One wonders what he would think about our generation-long battles in the Middle East.


Dr Churchill


In war and peace, Churchill had a strategy for freedom.

They were related.

They both required an utter commitment to freedom.

They both required recognition of the limits of politics and the limits of war.

They both required the protection of the right of the people to control their government.

We could use a strategy like that today.

It is not hard to learn…

There is a veritable avalanche coming down the mountain of the Democratic party’s failure to keep it in their pants…

And it shows largely in the various firings and resignations that have come down this past few weeks…

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Al Franken’s central reason for resigning from his Senate seat is that he knew he would be reduced to being shunned by his peers and the press if he had remained to represent Minnesota in the congressional upper chamber.

In short, he would have become a joke, an afterthought, a pariah, a no one.

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For a man who was courted by everyone in the Democratic Party to headline their fundraisers — both for their re-elections as well as their state party’s coffers — fawned over for his Hollywood pedigree, and admired by progressives for his notorious grilling of Republicans appointed to Cabinet positions in the Trump administration, the mere thought of being reduced to zero status in American politics was a bridge too far for the egocentric Minnesotan.

In truth, it likely repulsed him, because he is a man used to being center stage, needed, wanted, catered to, fawned over, and courted.

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If you have any doubt to the validity of this argument, consider his exit speech on the floor of the Senate when he announced he will resign his seat last Thursday; he never once admitted doing anything wrong. He also never said he was sorry.

“I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” Franken said.

In the end, he was defiant, blamed others, and was without the grace to show remorse.

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This is not the mark of a leader, but candidly, was Franken ever elected to be a leader? He was a celebrity, a bulldog, a bully who was ironically heralded by feminists as a hero for women, but the truth is, he never was a hero for women — that was just code for being staunchly pro-choice. And, for many feminists, being staunchly pro-choice can cause them to overlook character flaws.

Franken has always been off-center about women. It is interesting how people have forgotten his first campaign for Senate in 2008. Voters knew he was coarse, vulgar, and unapologetic for bad behavior and elected him anyway; narrowly the first time, overwhelmingly in 2014.

Just like voters in Alabama know that Roy Moore has his own set of disturbing issues but are considering electing him anyways. But it is important to look at Franken outside of Moore, because these are two separate and different issues – Franken resigned because no one had his back anymore, and without that he would have become the David Vitter of the Democrat Party: the guy who did distasteful things that no one wanted to be associated with again.

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Al Franken’s resignation was about him losing something, not remorse or personal recognition that he may have done something wrong. In fact, he tried to leave the impression that he had been wronged.

I often say we get the elections we deserve. We also get the candidates we deserve.

Minnesotans knew who they elected to the Senate: a former Hollywood writer and actor, provocative talk-show host, and satirist. His prominence in the Senate was pretty reflective of his previous life. There was a lot of noise, but according to research done by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, his home state newspaper, his legislative career was weak.

Of note is that, out of all of freaky Al Franken’s 141 pieces of legislation (85 bills, 47 amendments, and nine resolutions) none passed and thus none ever became part of the law of the land…

Because Americans don’t just want members of Congress to be decent people, they also want them to actually do things that benefit them, their communities, and the country – what they don’t want is someone who solely uses their elected offices as a springboard to more power (it was the worst kept secret in Democratic circles that Franken was considering a run for president in 2020).

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But that sexy ambition of Freaky Al, got scuppered because American voters want their members of Congress to actually do something, and deliver value of some sort…

And since America is in the middle of a political awakening of sorts, with all kinds of moving parts. Franken did not survive because he was caught in the storm, he left because he was part of the storm that swept out our culture’s moral compass a generation ago.

When we decided 40 years ago — at the beginning of the ‘me’ generation — to drop societal norms and boundaries, we gave people the OK to behave badly; especially men. It was cool to be naughty, uncool to be respectful and gentlemanly.

It appears that storm is fading fast in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in both our culture and our politics. And politicians and aspiring politicians who had the wink, wink, nod, nod OK to do this, while polite society looked the other way, don’t get any more winks or nods anymore.

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Maybe the best test of all for our country would have been that Franken didn’t resign, but stayed to face the people who put him in office in the first place. It would be in that moment we would know if voters would bargain their values away in favor of tribal politics.

Or perhaps they can see their way through to vote what was best for their lives, their communities, and their country – I suspect that as candidates line up to run in 2018, there will be some opportunities to test this.


Dr Churchill


Politics is primarily about the Voters.

Smart politicking means that you can take the pulse of the Citizens and deliver as best as possible their highest aspirations and their basest necessities.

Yet all that rests upon your own best calculation for your team of voters, because voting is also about what type of bargain you make when you place your mark on the ballot paper, and trust somebody to represent you well for thew fopreseeable future.

Yet for the last half century or so — Democrats have always calculated they’d gain more than they’d lose by keeping dirty folks like Al Franken in their pen.

Yet now apparently for the first time – the Democrats having bent under the veritable avalanche of scandals that plague their representatives and their candidates like crooked Hillary — they have decided that it would be best to replace this rooster comedian, at least initially, with Minnesota’s Democratic governor putting a new Democrat in Franken’s seat, and the stain of the accusations ceding with him gone form the scene…

But if anyone knows freaky Al — they should also know that this is not the last we’ll hear from creepy Franken-stein, because I hear he is writing another book like Hillary Clinton titled: “What Happened?”

And it is in this book that Al Franken will explain that it was all the fault of some aboriginal tribesmen from Africa who couldn’t understand what he was doing and mistook his “meet & greet” actions for sexual offenses… against women, since in their culture they only grab Men’s penises and not women’s breasts or genitalia.

Strange how the Minnesotan culture stems form Africa as the Democratic party will no doubt have you believe…

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Modern day identity politics can be traced back to the ancient regimes, but more recently to Hitler and his Aryan race, to Stalin and his Russian Slavic people, and to Mao Ze Dong and his Hun Chinese supporters who to this day reign supreme amongst the hundreds of the various cultural and ethnic groups of China.

People come with all kinds of stripes and sizes, colors, sexes, races, creeds, and ethnic or cultural backgrounds — but at the end of the day all of these identity stripes fade away when they become fully American, or any nationality they choose to live into and embrace as their Home.

As we are all homebound — this should be the natural right of all people and they should all be treated with the same kind of respect. No more, and no less that all others. Just right.

And this is the Goldilocks moment of Citizenship in a Great and Just Country…

So, as enlightened Leaders at the Lincoln party — home of the Independents — we don’t pay any attention to the external stripes of the dress, but rather to the person beneath the exterior skin coloration or stretchy fabric…

We suggest You do the same because we are all tired of the mayhem that identity politics brings to all of us…

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And since the American Revolution a couple of centuries back, and especially after the TransAntlantic treaty and the establishment of Human Rights and the United Nations — we now have zero excuse in going back to the horrid identity politics of the Nazi era, and yet back in 1973, something happened that reinvigorated the Identity Politics we see today. Maybe because that was the year the first volume of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Archipelago Gulag, was smuggled out of the Soviet Union and got published in the Western Civilized World. And surely this was a groundbreaking book that demolished any pretense of the Socialist talking heads that espoused the false idea that Communism had some kind of egalitarian and romantic moral authority.

The moment Solzhenitsyn’s book The Archipelago Gulag, was published in the West — all suddenly felt that the Soviet authority was naked and the power hungry Dictators of the Soviet Union, were evil, or worse. Suddenly the whole edifice of the ideology of Socialism started fading fast, and its fighting spirit dwindled to the point of extinction. Of course the extinction of the Soviet Union wouldn’t come for another couple of decades, but all the same from then on, the collapse and the stench of decay and death was always present in all things Socialist and Communist.

And this now became the main challenge for the Left of the political spectrum, especially when attempting to figure out how to carry on the fight against capitalism, and against the patriarchy of the Western Civilization, that they were ensconced within, living in plenty, and enjoying its benefits in an ungrateful way — and yet still bitching and moaning with their daddy issues, when their major ideological paradise had become unviable, untenable and unwelcome…

The Left had a quick rethink, and after copious sessions and committee consultations in the dark and smoky back rooms of the Communist parties of Europe and the United States — suddenly lucked upon to the easy answer: Identity Politics. They thought that if they could divide the Liberal Democratic Societies of the West into an easily controlled identity political spectrum of dissatisfied and self-victimized crybabies, then they can claim intellectual supremacy as if they were the very slaves or the subjugated peoples, that revolted when they grew out of the Plantation, thanks to Abraham Lincoln and out of the Colonial Politics, thanks to my grandfather Winston Churchill and his explanation that the Empires of the Future, will be only the Empires of the Mind.

Of course the legions of Marxists and their Socialist sympathizers, were still victims to the faulty ideology of Marx’s class struggle, that was quickly reformulated into an ethno-racial struggle, that included the element of a ceaseless competition between colonizer and colonized, victimizer and victim, oppressor and oppressed. And instead of presenting collectivism and central planning as the gateway to the realization of genuine freedom, the new multiculturalist Socialist and supposedly Democratic Left, turned to unmasking the supposed power relations that subordinated minorities and exploited third world nations, or the women, or the gays, or the children, and all that murky ideology that threatens to tear our families apart.

And now the original battleground for this new virulent form of divisive ideology, became the American university, where, as Bruce Bawer writes in his blockbuster book: “The Victims’ Revolution — The Rise of Identity Politics and the Closing of the Liberal Mind” the whole point became simply to “prove” the nature of power and oppression in our western civilization, by repeating obsessively, endlessly, and convincingly, the propaganda of the liberal left-wing elites about it. In this new version of the humanities, all of Western civilization is not analyzed through the use of reason or judged according to aesthetic standards that have been developed over centuries; rather, it is viewed through prisms of race, class, and gender, and is hailed or condemned in accordance with certain political checklists.

Under the new leftist dispensation, the study of English became the application of critical and literary theory to disparate texts so as to uncover the hidden power relations they concealed. The study of history became the study of social history or “people’s history,” the record of Western Civilization’s oppression of various groups. And popping up everywhere were new departments of “studies”: African-American Studies, Women’s Studies, Queer Studies, Chicano Studies, Gender Studies, and so on. What these radicals blandly call multiculturalism, is as much a “war against the West” as Nazism and Stalinism ever were. Under the guise of multiculturalism, their ideas—whose radical substance often goes beyond the bounds of the political into sheer fantasy — are infiltrating our educational system at all levels, according to none other than Irving Kristol…

This revolution in American universities was accomplished swiftly and largely outside the public eye. What little resistance the radicals met was vanquished with accusations of racism. It was not until the late 1980s, with Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns, the battle over the Stanford core curriculum, and the publication of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, that the rise of identity politics on campus and the idea of “political correctness” became a page one story. By that time, however, it was too late. Alumni, trustees, and parents had no recourse. The American university was irrevocably changed.

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Please do pay attention to the curves and forget about the stripes, because although there have been liberal critics of identity politics through the years — they all agree that the Western Civilization and the Patriarchy must come to an end. Of course they don’t tell us what the whole lot of our Civilization will be replaced with, since the Worker’s paradise Utopia has been fully defanged and discredited, but we get the idea that it will be a bit like the primitive society described in the book “The Lord of the Flies.”

As a matter of fact, back in 1991, historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. published “The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society” to great aplomb, since Schlesinger brilliantly noted that the Soviet Union had collapsed in a heap of warring nationalities, and that the state of Yugoslavia was in the process of doing the same, (as it soon did erupt into a bloody civil war) and thus the Junior Schlesinger asked, whether America would be next.

Presenting America as a nation of nations, a shared national culture whose diverse citizenry is united behind principles of liberty and equal justice, Schlesinger quoted Jean de Crèvecoeur’s 1782 Letters from an American Farmer: “He is an American, who leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. . . . Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men.”

In 2004, Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington published the book: “Who Are We?” Huntington examined the stunning immigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico and argued that it was undermining longstanding notions of American national identity. Crucially Huntington said, that:

“America has both a creed and a culture. The creed is formulated in the founding documents of our nation and in the speeches of Abraham Lincoln. The culture derives from the Anglo-Protestant settlers who first peopled North America…”

This book was controversial, to say the least. Nor was it without weaknesses. It is hard for me, to accept the notion that America’s culture is monolithically Anglo-Protestant, even though I am one. Furthermore, Huntington tended to underestimate the importance of the creed in shaping the culture. But such criticism should not obscure the fundamental point, that Huntington, a Democrat who advised Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 presidential campaign, shared the same concerns one finds today among the MAGA and Trump supporters about immigration’s effect on American society, and the new mosaic of “hispanicization” and about the “Bathroom Genders” and the “Choice Identity” along with the “Involuntary Divisions” of the American cultural revolutions or as I call them Cultural Revulsions today…

Yet, this year another liberal academic, Columbia humanities professor Mark Lilla, has taken up the banner of speaking against “Identity politics on the left,” as he writes this: “It was at first about large classes of people . . . seeking to redress major historical wrongs by mobilizing and then working through our political institutions to secure their rights. But by the 1980s, it had given way to a pseudo-politics of self-regard and increasingly narrow, and exclusionary self-definition that is now cultivated in our colleges and universities. The main result has been to turn people back onto themselves, rather than turning them outward towards the wider world they share with others. It has left them unprepared to think about the common good in non-identity terms and what must be done practically to secure it, especially the hard and unglamorous task of persuading people very different from themselves to join a common effort.

Professor Lilla exhorts Democrats to replace identity liberalism, with civic liberalism, in the mode of Franklin Roosevelt. That Lilla’s opponents wasted no time in labeling his argument as racist, is a testament to how divided the Left is on this issue.

Despite these intellectual dissidents, the Democratic Party and liberal elites appear committed to the idea that multiculturalism and identity politics, combined with the changing demographics of America, will bring about an enduring Democratic national majority. The two victories of Barack Obama strengthened their assumptions and set the template for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Lilla notes, for example, that a visitor to Clinton’s website could open tabs related to ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, but not one related to a shared vision of American community. And that pretty much sums up why Hillary lost and gained the outhouse instead of the White House…

At least that’s what a little bird told me…

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However, the Democrats in their hell-bent for leather effort, to steal the elections, and to rig their outcome (If you don’t believe me – just ask Bernie Sanders) followed this approach to the letter, and predictably also enjoyed the same catastrophic consequences for all the candidates of the Democratic Party, and not just for Hillary, because “The fatal conclusion the Clinton team made after the Michigan primary debacle” Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg writes: “was that she could not win white working-class voters, and that the ‘rising electorate’ would make up the difference. She finished her campaign with rallies in inner cities and university towns. Macomb County, Michigan got the message from Hillary loud & clear.”

But the Democrats’ broken theory behind support for identity politics was still popular, and although it rests on shaky assumptions — was strictly followed, and is still followed today. Liberal journalist John B. Judis, who helped originate the theory with his book The Emerging Democratic Majority, has recanted his thesis. “The U.S. census makes a critical assumption that undermines its predictions of a majority-nonwhite country,” he writes. “It projects that the same percentage of people who currently identify themselves as ‘Latino’ or ‘Asian’ will continue to claim those identities in future generations. In reality, that’s highly unlikely.”

Intermarriage and assimilation will affect immigrants from these groups just as they have affected other immigrant groups. What’s more, voting allegiances can change as newcomers are integrated into the majority. There is also the problem that, as Democrats become more closely identified with identity politics, non-minority voters may swing even more decisively to Republicans—continuing the trend we saw in 2016.

Democrats fooled themselves into thinking that identity politics won Obama his two terms when in fact precisely the opposite had occurred. Obama made his debut on the national stage in the summer of 2004, during the Democratic National Convention that nominated John Kerry for president. The only reason anyone remembers that convention is because of Obama’s keynote address, where he repudiated the division of American society and famously said, “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” From the start, Obama’s appeal on the campaign trail was to the noblest and most unifying aspects of the American political tradition.

This didn’t last. Shortly before Obama was reelected, he gave an interview where he said his top priority in a second term would be immigration reform that included an amnesty for illegal immigrants. The reason, he explained, was that Hispanic turnout would win him victory. Here Obama was wrong. Targeted appeals to Hispanic and black voters did not win him reelection. What won him reelection were his attacks on Mitt Romney for not understanding the economic condition of working Americans.

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The most significant and effective advertisement of the 2012 campaign was a testimonial from a factory worker who had been laid off during one of Romney’s corporate downsizings. What came to be known as the “coffin ad” drove a wedge between the Republican nominee and the voters on whom Republican victory depended. Four years later, when the Republicans nominated a very different sort of candidate, these voters switched allegiances and backed Donald Trump.

It is no accident that identity politics is most rampant today in the academy, in entertainment, in the media, in Silicon Valley, and in corporate boardrooms. Identity politics is a veneer over the class politics that truly defines our society, and education is the best prism through which to view class in America today. Higher levels of education are not only correlated with higher incomes and better life prospects, but also with a greater acceptance of the theories behind identity politics—including the idea, rejected last year by the voters of the rural Midwest, that they are the beneficiaries of white privilege.

The condescension of liberal elites toward the white working class, evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of immigration control and cultural assimilation is as pronounced as it is repulsive. It is summed up in Hillary Clinton’s writing off of so many voters last year as belonging in a “basket of deplorables” — the converse of Mitt Romney’s similarly destructive class-based dismissal of the 47 percent of Americans who do not pay income taxes. They don’t pay income taxes because they don’t make enough money to qualify.

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Liberals seem blind to the connection between the high levels of income inequality they criticize and what they would otherwise call the hegemonic discourse of identity politics. This is why Clinton’s comment that breaking up the big banks would do nothing for the minority groups at the base of her campaign was so revealing. It might not do anything for them as members of identity groups, but perhaps it would help them as workers and as citizens.

Ensconced in affluent city centers and tony suburbs, liberal elites tell themselves that identity politics will carry them to the progressive future of their dreams. They appear utterly unaware that the radical cultural transformation they support—not to mention the insulting, dismissive, and self-righteous way they meet opposition to their designs—is seen from outside their bubble as provocative.

Consider that over the course of the past few years, Democrats and liberals have booed the inclusion of God in their platform at the 2012 convention, have endorsed a regulation that would allow transgendered students to use the bathroom and locker room corresponding to whatever identity they feel like occupying that morning,  have attempted to force small businesses to cover drugs they believe induce abortions, have  attempted to force nuns to provide contraceptive coverage, have forced Brendan Eich to step down as chief executive officer of Mozilla due to his opposition to same sex marriage, have fined a small Christian bakery over $140,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex gay men’s wedding, have vigorously opposed a law in Indiana that would provide protections against similar regulations despite having overwhelmingly supported similar laws when they protected Native American religious rights, and then scoured the Indiana countryside trying to find a business that would be affected by the law before settling upon a small pizza place in the middle of nowhere and harassing the owners.

And of course in typical Democratic party plantation politics the most vociferous and outspoken critics of Western Civilization and the Capitalist Patriarchy, were the abusers of people and the harasses of women and minorities themselves. A stellar crew of Democrats like this beauty right here:

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Al Franken “The Joker in residence” of the United States Senate signifies the culture of exploiting those you claim to protect…

This is as old a political trick as the Democratic party that claimed to protect the black slaves during the Antebellum years and the years of the Confederacy and the Civil War — claiming that the Black slaves needed protection and safe housing, food, and a Master, because they weren’t able to live on their own, and would simply starve without their Maters. Now, even You must admit that if you want to find people that are pushing more crazy policies than this — you have to go to the insane asylum where everyone assumes a particularly crazy identity and make a policy out of defending it… Do you want to take a guess as to how many Napoleons, and Hillary Clintons, occupy the nuthouse? Just have a visit at the Bellevue in New York… and ask around for these particular individuals.

Of course when we make fun, we tend to view these stories as extreme examples of the cultural revolution that like Mao’s war on reality and intellectuals, left 65 million people dead — and pushed the country back to the stone age… But these examples in America are far more than that, because they showcase the real life examples of a wealthy Starbucks latte quaffing coastal, metropolitan, well schooled, and well heeled, upper class — waging war against the traditions, the principles, and the inalienable freedoms of Middle America.

And this liberal elite takes it’s cue from honorable people like Matt Lauer and their ilk… People who can’t keep their greedy hands off other people’s genitals and built a culture of entitlement to push themselves upon folks that have to weather their unwanted advances…

Yet it is worth noting that these powerful folks have been dieting the Democratic Politics into the pliable brains of the American viewers of the major networks and their children, who watch and listen to these 24/7 purveyors of hot BS, and cold garbage, streaming through the huge flat screen TVs that occupy place of honor in all American living rooms.

As for the old time radio station listeners — they have become the victims of lunatics of both ends of the political spectrum and of course they love to hear their voices played back through the airwaves so they call in to the radio jockey and vent…

Or get vented, as it happened to all those that visited the “Rape Room” of Matt Lauer, and were drilled good with a new hole to ventilate their inner feelings — and that;s just payment for fraternizing with the liberal MainStream Media Barons of NBS, CNN, ABC, and MSNBC, etc.

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And that is what is happening here all over again: The grubby little hands of the massively corrupt Mainstream Media, tries to push the Real Americans to a place they want them to go. Like placing them into a reservation system for red-blooded Americans…

It’s like the soft hands of those that never did an honest day of work in their life — have now taken up arms against the rural, small town, suburban, ex-urban, and certainly Middle class and lower-middle, and blue collar working class, with some college education, or just with the high school diploma, yet with a full life, family, church, and honor that the Blue dogs can only dream of….

In short, this Cultural Revolution is full of examples of a privileged few attempting to impose their will on a recalcitrant majority, as if the Americans who believe in Liberty, in God, and in our Republic — can be cowed like little snowflakes and buttercups of the Democratic party. Do you even comprehend that the Middle America owns far more guns than the whole of the US military?

Just ponder that the next time that you feel like attacking the Common Man, or that MAGA girl you see wearing the Trump red hat…

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On the part of then photo you can’t see — she is holding a big Clint Eastwood kind of revolver. A Smith & Wesson magnum that can drill a hole through an automobile at 300 yards or more…

But you wouldn’t know anything about that…

Here is Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg again: Obama’s refrain of building “ladders of opportunity” for those left behind in the economic recovery, was severely out of touch with what was happening to most Americans and the working class more broadly. In our research, “ladders of opportunity” fell far short of what real people were looking for. Incomes sagged after the financial crisis, pensions lost value, and many lost their housing wealth, while people faced dramatically rising costs for things that mattered – health care, education, housing, and child care. People faced vanishing geographic, economic, and social mobility.

And the losers thought that the blackshirts of the blackguards of “Antifa” are the answer to all of the problems society is facing today…

Maybe in their cannabis induced dreams they thought that if they scare the American voter into a cowering stance that will cause them to vote for Hillary – they will win…

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Fat chance for that, because at the same time the Antifa thugs beat up people on the streets — their billionaire Maters like George Soros and his ilk of criminal hate fermenters, spent massive amounts of dough, to influence politicians and parked their money in the Tax Heavens to avoid paying taxes, while they lived and recruited their foot soldiers in the big cities whose dynamism drew the best talent from the smaller towns and cities across Middle America.

That is how the Saudi terrorism providers, and all the other foreign entities learned the lesson and along with the Banker-Wankers of Wall Street took their cue to fund and finance Hillary Clinton and her corrupt foundation, and her SuperPACs that spent upwards of Five Billion USD to prove what a worthless POS that lady is… Naturally like all kinds of POS, she ended in the outhouse — but that hasn’t stopped her from interfering with our Society and Government seeking to torment discord at every opportunity…

The result of this constant discord and dissatisfaction spreading arising out of the Antifa protests and of the pollution of the American mind is a new form of class conflict is America.

Indeed it is so bad that this now is an America that is in danger of coming apart.

Peter Beinart wrote this in The Atlantic Monthly: “Liberals must take seriously Americans’ yearning for social cohesion.”

But despite the efforts of liberals like Beinart, and Professor Lilla, the Socialist Left that the Democratic party more and more represents — will surely face the most obstacles to stitching America back together, if and when they ever get back to government…

Because the wealthiest and most energetic segments of the Left are committed to multiculturalism, on the one hand and transnationalism on the other.

What is more, the Left rejects the natural rights, of the American Founding, which rest at the core of our tradition, and are the foundational principle of America.

So maybe the end of the era of the Democratic party has arisen and it needs to be replaced with something else, that is now taking place…

And maybe at long last it might be “Curtains” for the Dems like it was for the Whigs when Abraham Lincoln showed up to be the Third Party of his day, very much like the Lincoln Party is today…

Join us at http://www.LincolnParty.net because we are the Independents and the Centrists at the Middle between the two political extremes, of the Evil Democratic Party and of the Stupid Republican Party.

Join us to wave the American flag proudly all over again.

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Because… what has traditionally held Americans together is the idea that each of us is made in the image of our Creator and endowed with certain unalienable rights.

But not only that idea. We are also held together by the culture that emanates from the intermingling of dynamic peoples and unchanging principles.

To combat identity politics, we must emphasize an American nationalism based on both a commitment to the ideals of the American Founding and a shared love of our national history and culture – a history and culture of individual freedom and religious pluralism, resistant to centralized authority and ever expanding into new frontiers and new possibilities.


Dr Churchill


It is vitally important to also keep in mind that the American people are united by our creed of freedom and equality, and also by our habits, our manners, our national language, our territorial integrity, our national symbols—such as the National Anthem, the Flag, and the Pledge of Allegiance—our civic traditions, and our national story. We should tell that story forthrightly and proudly; we should continue our traditions of local government and patriotic displays; we should guard the symbols of our heritage against attack; and we should recognize that the needs of our citizens take priority.

We should also remember the words of a great American nationalist, President Abraham Lincoln, at the close of his First Inaugural Address: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

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And that is the main reason why we have now founded the Lincoln Party of Independents, so that smart young people like You have a home that is not akin to enslavement by the dogma of the Evil party or of the Stupid party…

Posted by: Dr Churchill | December 5, 2017

This was the day…

I have walked a quiet path today.

I have done no great good, no great harm.

I might have wished for more — some dramatic occurrence, something memorable.

But there was no more.

This was the day I was given, and I have tried to meet it with a humble heart.

How little it seems…

Seems little because we always seek perfection in our days, always wanting more for ourselves and our lives, and striving for goals unattainable. We live between the vast infinites of past and future in the thin shaft of light we call ‘today.’

And yet today is never enough.

Where does it come from, this strange unquenchable human urge for ‘more’ that is both our blessing and our curse? It has caused us to lift our eyes to the heavens and thread together pieces of the universe until we can glimpse a shadow of the divine creation. Yet to gain this knowledge, we have sometimes lost the mystery of a cloud, the beauty of a garden, the joy of a single step.

We must learn to value the small as well as the great. […]

Jesus told his followers this: “Go, walk in the world, and bring peace to the old, have trust in your friends, and cherish the young.”

“Ahhh, and don’t forget to love yourself and each other.” This he also said and admonished sternly.

And that’s enough…

It’s all we need.

Do we really need much more than this?

To honor the dawn.

To visit a garden.

To talk to a friend.

To contemplate a cloud.

To cherish a meal.

To stroke the head of or fury friends and our little human friends…

To bow our heads before the mystery of the day.

To offer justice to all.

To give a measure of compassion to all living things.

To share your bread.

To spread the Love.


Are these things not enough?

The world we shape is the world we touch — with our words, our actions, our dreams.

If we should be so lucky as to touch the lives of many, so be it.

But if our lot is no more than the setting of a table, or the tending of a garden, or showing in a child a path in a wood, our lives are no less worthy.

Sometimes, we ought to be ready to declare that it is enough…
Is enough to live fully by doing right.

Offering mercy, and walking humbly with our God — is enough. As a matter of fact it is so “enough” that this way You can come to live or at least to be, even for a moment — in a State of Grace.

And in my mind this is as close as we get to Heaven, this side of the grave…

This is as good as it gets.

Yes it is.

Are you feeling it?

Dr Churchill


It is all rather simple really…

To bring peace to the old, to have trust in our friends, and to cherish the young.

Sometimes, it seems, we ask too much.

Sometimes we forget that the small graces are enough.

Posted by: Dr Churchill | December 4, 2017

Christmas: It is the very love of Christ that now urges us on…

Much like the train of life that we all ride on — the scenery going by, changes constantly, and that is what transports us gently from one place to another in comfort and style reforming the landscape and the lines of passage — even when we traverse the haughty and angular Swiss Alps… from the comfort of a well heated caboose.

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Similar to that, reformation is the perpetual process of conversion that is needed by all individuals and institutions, and is akin to change — since it’s always present in the process of Life’s journey…

In fact reformation is the everlasting truth. Change that is. The only constant thing we have is change, so reformation comes riding the coattails of change.

I believe also in the change maker movement of the Holy Spirit… especially these days of Advent of Jesus that we celebrate the last few weeks before Christmas. The advent of Jesus into Jerusalem atop a royal ass, with the people rejoicing the arrival of the Messiah.


Our Lord cometh…

Change has come.

What a great greeting for Christians…

Speaks of Change writ large.

Movement is change and vice versa…


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Because change movements are the energy-building stages of things, before they become memories, institutions, governments, monuments, museums, or even perpetual motion machines.

The Reformation of Spirit, is a convergence of hopeful and liberating Christian themes, is happening on all continents, in all denominations, at all levels—and at a rather quick pace. Emerging Christianity is both longing for and moving toward a way of following Jesus that has much more to do with lifestyle than with belief.

We cannot keep avoiding what Jesus actually emphasized and mandated. In this most urgent time, “it is the very love of Christ that now urges us” (2 Corinthians 5:14).

If Christianity’s prime contribution to humanity can be shifted from teaching correct beliefs to practicing the way of love as Jesus taught, then our whole understanding and experience of the church could be transformed . . . [into] a school of love.

The How in rebuilding Christianity from the bottom up:
We are on a quest for a new kind of Christianity—a faith liberated from the institutional and dogmatic straightjackets we inherited, a way of life that integrates the personal and the social dimensions of spirituality, a practice that integrates centered contemplation and dynamic action. In our quest, we must remember how easy it is to self-sabotage; we must remember that how we get there will determine where we will be.

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I see four areas where many of us need to pay special attention to the how, so we can be examples and midwives of emerging Christianity instead of its accidental saboteurs.

First, we need to process our pain, anger, and frustration with the institutional or inherited forms of church. . . . [If] we learn to process our pain, if we join Jesus in the way of redemptive suffering and gracious forgiveness, we will become sweeter and better, not meaner and bitter, and we will become the kinds of people who embody an emerging Christian faith indeed.

Second, we need to manage our idealism. . . . The emerging church will never be a perfect church; it will always be a community of sinner-saints and stumbling bumblers touched by radical grace. Liberated by grace from a perfectionistic idealism, we can celebrate the beauty of what is emerging instead of letting its imperfections frustrate us.

Third, we need to focus our circle of responsibility. . . . That means letting go of the things you can’t control—which includes the decisions that popes, bishops, pastors, councils, and church boards may make. . . . [If] you can’t get your congregation to care about homeless people, you can get involved yourself. If you can’t get your congregation to treat gay folks with respect, you can do so around your kitchen table. If you can’t get your church to focus on cross-racial relationships, you can take a step this Sunday and visit a church where you’re the minority, and from there, begin to build relationships. You don’t need anyone’s vote or permission to do these things: you only need to exercise your own responsibility and freedom.

Fourth, we need to start small and celebrate small gains. One of the curses of late modernity was the belief that unless something was big and well-publicized, it didn’t quite count…

The God of little things and humble people… that is the God, the Messiah, we expect when we call the greeting Maranatha.

The lord cometh…

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Maranatha to the Reforming Lord…

Yet we ought to recall that Jesus spoke of tiny mustard seeds, of a little yeast in a lot of dough, of a little flock, of the greatness of smallness, of a secret good deed and a simple cup of cold water given to one in need.

And that is the biggest thing there is: The God of little things has arrived…

Happy Advent


Dr Churchill


As we process our pain, manage our idealism, do what’s doable, and celebrate the small and beautiful, we discover that all around us, new forms and expressions of Christian faith are emerging. Through a better how, a better where is possible.

Posted by: Dr Churchill | December 1, 2017

Virtue is its own Reward… (Maybe)

Rarely has the idiom “virtue is its own reward” looked better than it does in light of the sex scandals sweeping the nation. The so-called “prudishness,” of a previous generation and the respect most men were once taught to have for women — and which Hugh Hefner and his disciples of “free love” mocked — are looking better with each passing day.

But with the advent of the breaking story about the virtuous Matt Lauer of NBC, coming undone — who by now you know as the Today Show superstar Matt Lauer who got fired, allegedly for repeated sexual harassment, rape, and assault against his female colleagues. The firing came Wednesday morning after an NBC executive claimed an official complaint about Lauer’s behavior was filed Monday night. NBC framed the issue as new and sudden, but reporters from Variety Magazine have been onto Lauer for months and came out with a bombshell story Thursday night with the details of his behavior. According to their report, Lauer locking women in his office, gave a woman a sex toy with a detailed note about how he was going to use it, regular showed women his genitals and much more. Further, NBC executives protected him for years. Of course, sure liberal Matt Lauer’s conduct was not a secret among other employees at “Today” show of the NBC, as numerous sources says. At least one of the anchors would gossip about stories she had heard, spreading them among the staff. “Management sucks there,” says a former reporter, who asked not to be identified, speaking about executives who previously worked at the show. “They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer.”
The allegations against Lauer aren’t new and back in 2012 former Today Show host Katie Couric told Bravo’s Andy Cohen that Matt Lauer’s most annoying habit was “pinching her on the ass a lot.”
Keep in mind Lauer was close friends with now disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. When NBC executives were approached with the story about Weinstein’s behavior by NBC reporter Ronan Farrow earlier this year, they squashed it. So, when allegations surfaced that Matt Lauer, at 30 Rockefeller Center in 2006, had ordered his office in a secluded space, and he had also gotten a remote door locking button installed under his desk, that allowed him to lock his door from sitting in his desk, without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees, and initiate inappropriate contact, and abuse them at will, rape them, and fvck them hard, all the while feeling secure knowing that there would be no witnesses, since nobody could walk in on him. This is the case, according to two women who were working at NBC, and were sexually harassed by Matt Lauer in a serious and serial manner and lived to tell the tale, about Matt Lauer, the preachy NBC morning host of the “Today” show who was apparently a sex freak to rival Harvey Weinstein…

And then you have the ICON.

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This icon is Rep. John Conyers (Democrat-MI) who says that he has “no plans to resign” numerous women accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment. Conyers’ attorney made the statement on Wednesday, after multiple allegations against Conyers began to surface last week. Since then, many on both the left and the right have called for his resignation. Journalist Cokie Roberts said over the weekend it was an open secret among the women in the press corps that Conyers was a predator, and that women should avoid being in an elevator with him. Democratic Representative Conyers, has served in Congress since 1965, and by any sensible measure, he should have retired long ago, but another geriatric person, Representative Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-CA) defended him and called him an “icon” of that particular Retirement Home of Senile Representatives called the United States Congress.

But as for now, it looks as though Democratic Representative Conyers will still be sticking around Washington prancing the Halls of Congress in his Playboy briefs or boxers, the choice dependent on the day of the week.

Yet in the after Harvey Weinstein era, at least some liberals are finally starting to tell the truth about their past sins and they start with Bill Clinton — just 20 years after it happened of course. Now, considering that it took the Democratic Party a century to discover that slavery was wrong, two decades is lightning speed for these paragons of morality and virtue.

And yet while edging up to the Continent of Reality, where admitting that Bill Clinton maybe shouldn’t have raped the protesting Juanita Broaddrick, and he shouldn’t have flashed, groped, and masturbated with the unwilling Paula Jones — the liberal crowd of bloviators, still can’t own up to their utterly hypocritical defense of a Clinton Ex-president, who was credibly accused of repeated sexual assaults, rapes, and associated felonies.

Recently, The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd tried to cover up the left’s shameful response to Clinton’s sleazy behavior with the “both sides” argument. According to Dowd, liberals “tried to kill off” Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas “over sex when the real reason they wanted to get rid of him was politics.” And then conservatives “tried to kill off a Democratic president over sex when the real reason they wanted to get rid of him was politics.”

Yet, Anita Hill’s accusations against judge Thomas involved words — just words — whereas Clinton was accused by multiple women of being a sexual predator on a scale to rival and eclipse Harvey Weinstein, because Bill Clinton, also targeted young fragile women, mere interns at the White House, who were not quite there in regards to the Power Dynamic and the disequilibrium, of the age of consent…

And the evidence against judge Thomas consisted of a single accuser, with no corroborating witnesses, whereas the evidence against Bill Clinton included, among other things, multiple witnesses; contemporaneous corroborating witnesses; secretly recorded confessions of the assaults and liaisons from Clinton himself (the Gennifer Flowers tape), Monica Lewinsky (Linda Tripp tapes) and Juanita Broaddrick (two separate tapes by people who wanted her to tell the truth about the rape); a DNA-stained dress; and, eventually, when he had absolutely no other choice, Clinton’s own admission under oath.

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As Dowd says, the left was using Hill’s made-up charges against Thomas to save Roe v. Wade. By contrast, it’s absurd to imagine that Republicans were enraged by the policies of President Clinton — a neoliberal, Third-Way, welfare-reform-signing, Ricky Ray Rector-executing Democrat. Clinton was the last of a vanishing breed, the moderate Democrat. That just wasn’t a good enough reason to overlook his repeated sexual assaults, felonies and bald-faced lies.

It was liberals, and only liberals, who did an about-face on everything they supposedly believed about sexual harassment for political gain. The exact same people who had pretended to need smelling salts when told Thomas had joked about “Long Dong Silver” in the offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (never happened) were suddenly A-OK with a governor summoning a lowly state employee to his hotel room, dropping his pants and saying, “Kiss it.”

The erstwhile lynch mob against judge Clarence Thomas was fine with a presidential candidate using his campaign staff (including ABC’s George Stephanopoulos) to squelch “bimbo eruptions.”

Liberals were totally copacetic with the president of the United States using the full power of his office to smear his victims as liars, bimbos, trailer park trash and — in the case of Monica Lewinsky — a “stalker.”

In the middle of the Lewinsky scandal, feminist icon Gloria Steinem penned a New York Times op-ed launching the all-new “One Free Grope” rule. Steinem explained that Clinton’s smooth “kiss it” line to Paula Jones merely showed that — I quote — “Clinton took ‘no’ for an answer.”

No correction to Steinem’s pronouncement was issued days later when news of Juanita Broaddrick’s rape charge against Clinton began to circulate.

If you doubt that the media are run by the totalitarian left, note that Steinem’s op-ed piece has been wiped clear away from the New York Times’ archives. So I guess liberal journos do know how to wipe hard drives, and maybe Hillary Clinton is by now an expert in rewriting history to her liking and the rest of the Mass Media establishment toe the line of criminal revisionism.

Still despite all that — Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury, and other felonies, that he had committed in full lawyerly knowledge, just in order to defeat Paula Jones’ sexual harassment claims against him.

Yet back then — same as now with iconic Representative Al Franken, or Conyers, or others — not one Democrat in the Senate voted to remove him from office.

Not one.

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As a consequence, the rule on sexual assault at least since Teddy Kennedy drowned Mary Jo Kopechne was this: Liberals were free to grope, rape, and drown women, and to smear them, and their defenders. But conservatives, lacrosse players, fraternity members, pompous Fox News hosts, and other objects of liberal hate, would have to be destroyed at the slightest hint of any sexual impropriety, whether true or comically false.

What didn’t matter: The nature of the charge, credibility of the accuser, use of force, contemporaneous witnesses, photographic evidence, DNA evidence …

What mattered: Who’s the accused?

It would be as if pollution laws were enforced only against companies with Republican CEOs. Oh! It’s Harvey Weinstein’s firm? My mistake — go ahead, dump toxic chemicals into this pristine river.

That’s why the most shocking revelation to emerge from The New York Times’ expose of Weinstein last month was that it was published at all. Least shocking was that, before Ronan Farrow took his detailed account of Weinstein’s assaults to The New Yorker, NBC killed the story.

Also unsurprising: Soon after refusing to publish Farrow’s report on Weinstein, NBC was frantically peddling a letter by “Saturday Night Live” staffers defending Al Franken from his own multiple groping incidents. It’s looking like the best way to defend Roy Moore would be to allege that Democratic Senator Al Franken once fondled 14-year-olds against their will, same as he fondled each and every woman within range of his grabbing hands…

Still, with the New York Times expose’ of Harvey Weinstein, for the first time in 20 years, liberals have finally begun to notice the prodigious abuse of women by liberal men — other than Al Franken, or Representative Conyers, or anyone else in the House of Representatives, or i Government, like the protected species of pedophile Mayors, like Ed Murray Mayor of Seattle, and his enabling aunt Senator Patti Murray — of course.

Perhaps the day is not far off when in the following century, by the year 2100, we will have ONE standard of Virtue, for both liberals and for the people liberals hate.

Let’s dream of that liberation from the bonds of Slavery…

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Conservatives have been told they can’t impose their morality on others, so how is its opposite working out for individuals and the culture?

Washington Post columnist Christine Emba writes, “…now could be the time to reintroduce virtues such as prudence, temperance, respect and even love.”

“What’s love got to do with it?” asked Tina Turner? Everything. If you love somebody or something — from institutions, to people — you are bound to treasure them, as opposed to what you dislike, don’t respect and treat like a disposable item that is useful for the moment, but is discarded when it has served your purpose.

Who decided traditional virtues were no longer viable and should not be taught to schoolchildren? Was a study conducted that found young people were being damaged from learning how to live and respect one another? Were they expected to catch these virtues on their own without guidance from elders? If so, why do we teach table manners, not interrupting when someone else is talking, sharing and many other things to counter what our lower nature doesn’t teach us?

The idea behind virtue being its own reward is that people who pursue virtue enjoy a layer of protection from the sins now being exposed in so many, from Washington to Hollywood and in between. People who are faithful to their spouses in marriage, honest in their financial dealings, respected for their character and integrity in public and in private don’t have to worry about being “embarrassed and ashamed” as Senator Al Franken said of his behavior toward some women.

Former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett published “The Book of Virtues” in 1993. It is a collection of moral tales designed to instruct us on the benefits of virtue and the consequences of its opposite.

The chapter titles reveal a list of ancient truths that seem increasingly scarce in modern society. They include some of the things Ms. Emba notes we are missing in today’s culture: Self-discipline, Responsibility, Courage, Honesty, Loyalty and Faith. Question: Would anyone argue these virtues have exceeded their “sell-by” date? It turns out that living by one’s own moral code, or none at all, has been a disaster for individuals and for the nation.

In the introduction to his book, Bennett writes of the necessity of reaching “the inner part of the individual to the moral sense.” Today, he writes, “We speak about values and the importance to ‘have them’ as if they were beads on a string or marbles in a pouch. But these stories speak of morality and virtues, not as something to be possessed, but as the central part of human nature, not as something to have, but as something to be, the most important thing to be.”

In the train wreck of our present culture, we are witnessing the failure over the last 50 years to instruct and discipline our children in ways that as adults they are more likely to embrace the values that can lead to a virtuous life. Why did we expect any other outcome after mostly abandoning these virtues? If you penalize and discourage virtuous things you will get less virtue; conversely, if you subsidize and encourage virtue, you will get more of it.

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The scandals playing out in newspapers and on TV speak to this. The question now is will we “repent,” as the Scriptures advise, and seek a new path which, in fact, is a very old path that leads to a more virtuous life, or continue down the current path which leads to destruction?

It is a political, tactical and moral mistake for Republicans to continue backing Judge Roy Moore for Alabama’s Senate seat.

In brief, he has been accused by multiple women of, decades ago, making unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances toward them when they were teenage girls — one as young as 14 — and he was in his 30s. At least four women say he initiated sexual contact with them.

When asked if he thought the Moore allegations were true, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, “I believe the women, yes. … I think he should step aside” — a sentiment shared, publicly and privately, by nearly all Republican senators.

President Donald Trump at first struck the right chord. After his handpicked Republican candidate lost the primary election, Trump called Moore to congratulate him. Everything was fine, until the allegations. Then Trump said, “If the allegations are true, he should drop out.” When the Republican National Committee withdrew its funding for Moore, Trump went along with it.

Then Trump began to twist, and he now says that Moore is innocent until proven guilty, that these are all old claims and that we can’t have a lefty in the Senate:

“(Moore) denies it,” the President said last week. “Look, he denies it. I mean, if you look at what is really going on, and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. And, you know, you have to listen to him also. You’re talking about, he said 40 years ago this did not happen.”

Trump then blasted Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, via Twitter: “The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!”

These are not good enough reasons.

Again, Moore was not Trump’s guy. Luther Strange — the incumbent appointed to complete the term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions, who became Attorney General — was Trump’s choice. But Steve Bannon, Trump’s former aide, wanted Moore, presumably because the former judge supported Bannon’s desire to ditch Senate leader Mitch McConnell. Yet during the Luther Strange and Roy Moore debates, the candidates fell all over themselves to argue who would be more closely linked to the Trump agenda. So, no matter who won, he figured to be an ally to the President.

Defenders of Moore ask, why now? After decades in public service, why are these allegations only now coming out? A better question, why the allegations in the first place? Are they credible? But to answer the timing question, the more likely “culprit” is not Democratic opposition, but Harvey Weinstein, whose sexual abuse and misconduct opened the door for other accusers in other fields to come forward. That these allegations are only now being taken seriously is too little too late, but the timing could not have been worse for Moore.

Of course he is “innocent until proven guilty.” This is not a court of law. This is politics. Are the defenders of Moore willing to discount all of his accusers but believe the accusers against Bill Clinton?

The voluminous allegations against Harvey Weinstein, a friend and patron of the political left, have forced the Democrats to reconsider their adoration for the likes of Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, whose resumes include credible allegations of sexual assault, allegations long ignored.

For now, Republicans occupy the high moral ground, as Democrats, already dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., squirm to explain how and why they ignored, downplayed or accepted the sexual behavior of party icons Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

With Moore defenders, in part, circling the wagons on Moore, many Trump voters apparently cannot answer this question: Why did you “overlook” the allegations made by some dozen women against now-President Donald Trump?

That’s easy.

Trump was not running against Mother Teresa. Trump ran against Hillary Clinton, a canny, self described nasty woman who enjoyed killing people and boasting about it as she did with Gaddafi and myriad others, and even threatened to drone Julian Assange for his Journalistic Transparency, and a seriously deviant alcoholic woman who attacked and intimidated Juanita Broaddrick just two weeks after Bill Clinton had raped her. Conservative Barbara Olson’s book “Hell to Pay” and liberal Christopher Hitchens’ book “No One Left to Lie To” depict Hillary as the modern Agrippina who also conceived the “nuts & sluts” strategy effectively employed to muddy, malign, and marginalize, her husband’s victims of sexual abuse who turned to become whistleblowers and public accusers…

This is the person against whom Donald Trump ran. So, no, Republicans need not apologize for supporting Trump against a person whose actions enabled, covered up for, and therefore perpetuated her husband’s misconduct.

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By supporting Roy Moore, Republicans, on the issue of sexual misconduct, risk turning into the my-guy-wrong-or-wrong hypocrites from across the aisle, and also falling victims of the liberal feminists, and the LGBTQ wagon of nut jobs that are waging the war on Men that is now brewing all over the country…

This is going to be an unpopular opinion, offered as it is in a maelstrom of headlines and revelations — many long overdue — about powerful men who have sexually abused, harassed, assaulted or otherwise exploited others. Each day brings new allegations, and nearly every day, more heads roll. But obscured behind the legitimate outrage against sexual predators is an unceasing cultural onslaught against men that should concern us every bit as much as the predation dominating the news.

I am absolutely not referring to current efforts to expose the men accused of sexual harassment or assault. The men who engage in that behavior deserve the public opprobrium they’re getting. I am speaking of a longer-term and more insidious attack against men — and masculinity — generally.

Masculinity itself risks becoming a dirty word. Across the country, workshops are being held to teach men how to avoid “toxic masculinity.” It’s one thing to suggest, as some of these workshops do, that there is healthy and unhealthy masculinity. (Personal definitions of “masculinity” that equate maleness with violence or exploitation, for example, are clearly detrimental.) But the same could be said of any human attribute or relationship. There are toxic parents, toxic spouses, toxic co-workers; there is healthy self-love, and then there is narcissism, and so on…

Yet, it is something else altogether to suggest that masculinity is in and of itself toxic — a not-infrequent idea expressed on social media and by some so-called feminist writers. A workshop offered at the Claremont Colleges last year was promoted with a flier that read, in part, “Masculinity can be extremely toxic to our mental health…” Such a view smears all men, simply because they are men.

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We have seen a similar dynamic play out in discussions about race. Decades ago, efforts were made to raise awareness about eradicating “discrimination,” which focused on actions that were unfair and harmful to racial minorities. Later, the conversation broadened to “racism,” which focused more on attitudes behind the actions. Recently, however, these have morphed into “white privilege,” which conveniently requires neither reprehensible individual conduct nor hostile personal attitudes in order to impose culpability. This trajectory reaches its logical conclusion in the statement that “all white people are racist” just by virtue of being white — a sentiment so pervasive that Googling it brings up dozens of videos and articles making that very argument.

Is it a stretch to worry that the same kind of attitude is developing toward men? I don’t think so. Earlier this week, a nurse named Taiyesha Baker who worked at Indiana University Health posted a tweet which read, “Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer and domestic violence all-star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves B*tch.” IU Health later released a statement saying that the nurse in question no longer worked for them.

That may be one rash tweet. But author and columnist Stephen Marche published a serious piece in The New York Times on Nov. 25, “The Unexamined Brutality of the Male Libido.” Drawing precisely the wrong conclusion from the Weinstein et al parade of horribles, Marche invokes the notion of Freudian repression and intones soberly, “If you let boys be boys, they will murder their fathers and sleep with their mothers.” He concludes, saying, “It is not morality but culture — accepting our monstrosity — that can save us. If anything can.”

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Where to start?

Are we seriously going to argue that male sexuality has never been “examined”?

Not all men are monsters. And morality shapes culture. But that conclusion is deeply unpopular with large segments of the American population, especially on the left. The “anything goes” ethos of the sexual revolution — and the abandonment of individual restraint and traditional sexual morality — has only empowered the Harvey Weinsteins of the world.

Nor do these pronouncements happen in a vacuum. Over the past couple of years, there has been an explosion of media coverage — almost a fetishizing — of transgender and other gender-nonconforming individuals. It isn’t limited to Caitlyn Jenner, Chelsea Manning or other adults. The New York Times published an article last week titled, “His Eye Makeup Is Way Better Than Yours,” in which the author sings the praises of young boys who have become social media sensations for their adept application of makeup. Marie Claire magazine calls them “the beauty boys of Instagram.” The youngest boy in the story is 10.

While heterosexual and “cisgendered” men endure a barrage of criticism and suspicion, the media fawns over men who wear makeup, dress like women and cut off their genitals.

The symbolism here is profoundly disturbing.

There have always been men who exploited their power over women, or children, or other men. But this is not characteristic of all men, and saying so is a terrible slur. The solution is morality — a return to sexual restraint, and personal and professional decorum.

What we need are more men who are trained to be gentlemen, not boys who have been indoctrinated to be feminine.

And that brings us to former FBI Director Robert Mueller who was supposed to run a narrow investigation into accusations of collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government. But so far, Mueller’s work has been plagued by almost daily improper leaks (e.g., “sources report,” “it emerged,” “some say”) about investigations that seem to have little to do with his original mandate.

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Now, there are leaks claiming that Mueller is going after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for his business practices before he entered the Trump administration. Specifically, Mueller is reportedly investigating Flynn’s security assessment and intelligence work for the Turkish government and other Turkish interests. Yet possible unethical lobbying on behalf of a NATO ally was not the reason Mueller was appointed.

The Roman satirist Juvenal famously once asked how one could guard against marital infidelity when the moral guardians were themselves immoral. His famous quip, translated roughly as “Who will police the police?” is applicable to all supposedly saintly investigators.

Independent counsel Ken Starr was supposed to look into Bill Clinton’s supposed shady Whitewater dealings in Arkansas. He ended up investigating every aspect of Clinton’s life, including his many sexual escapades.

No doubt Clinton was a philanderer. But it was not Starr’s mission to prove to the nation what it had already suspected when it voted Clinton into the Oval Office.

In 2003, Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed as special counsel (by now-notorious former FBI Director James Comey) to determine whether Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, had illegally exposed the allegedly covert status of CIA operative Valerie Plame. As with the Starr investigation, Fitzgerald soon presided over a media circus.

When the investigation was over, Libby was charged on five counts even though Plame may not have been a covert CIA agent at all. Also, it was reported early in the investigation that Fitzgerald knew someone other than Libby was almost surely guilty of first leaking Plame’s status (Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage).

But Fitzgerald was desperate for a big administration scalp. So he continued to lead an investigation that resulted in Libby’s conviction on four charges — in part based on Libby’s supposed disclosures to journalist Judith Miller. In her memoir, Miller later disavowed that Libby had ever given her classified information.

Special counsel investigations are only as good as the society at large that orders them. The idea that a godly inquisitor, invested with extralegal authority, can somehow use superior wisdom and morality to solve an unsolvable ethical problem is a stretch.

Usually, these chasing-your-own-tail appointments are born out of media and political hysteria. The special counsel immediately feels enormous pressure to find anything to avoid being accused of running a “whitewash” or wasting time and money.

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If the original investigation finds little traction, the all-powerful special counsel then ventures into ever new territories — apparently on the theory that everyone has at least something to hide in his past. Or the special counsel tries to cross up panicked targets in order to find inconsistent narratives that can be banked as fallback evidence of lying or hiding something that was not necessarily a crime to begin with.

Yet counsels themselves are not above reproach. Starr later voiced regret about venturing into Clinton’s tawdry sex life. Fitzgerald did not disclose that he had targeted the wrong leaker. In unethical fashion, Fitzgerald never brought charges against Armitage, who lacked the sensational media buzz that had surrounded Libby.

In predictable fashion, Mueller himself may soon be the target of inquiries. He came to the job in part because his old acquaintance and successor at the FBI, Comey, testified that he had deliberately (and perhaps illegally) leaked to the press his notes on private conversations with Trump, whom he had just assured was not under investigation.

The stated aim of the Machiavellian Comey was to force the appointment of a special investigator — which turned out to be none other than his friend Mueller.

In the charge/countercharge swamp of Washington insider politics, Mueller’s prior tenure at the FBI during the Barack Obama administration may likewise come under scrutiny.

Mueller was serving as FBI director when the Obama administration approved a deal allowing a Russian company, Rosatom, to buy a Canadian company that owned the rights to a large share of U.S. uranium supplies. Before the deal went through, the FBI reportedly learned that the head of a Rosatom subsidiary was corrupt and that Rosatom officials knew about the corruption. It’s unclear whether Muller’s FBI alerted the administration about its findings. Did Mueller wrongly slow down the investigation, or was he sidetracked by higher-ups? Why did his investigation amount to nothing?

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Will officials soon be investigating for collusion the current investigator of collusion? Do we now need a special counsel to investigate the, oh … so special counsel?

The point is not that Mueller may have acted unethically, but that he, in theory, could be policed just as easily as those he polices.

If we have lost faith in our institutions, then creating starry-eyed new ones will not solve the problem, given that the fault is in ourselves.





In fact, any white male that decides to pursue higher education might find this useful: Say that you are white and you want to become a Politician. You can rightfully expect to be attacked viciously by various wealthy Marxists, Facebook Socialists, “chick-with-dick” feminists, broken gay-boys, doghouse marms, and all those morons that set out to “transform” the world, directly or indirectly, starting from classroom level cultural revolution, subjugation of our Liberties, usurpation of the Powers of the Constitution, and all such lofty humanitarian ideals — using proper academic tools like communist torture, girl power “vajayjay-in-your-face” waterboarding, muslim conversion, feminist jihad, and socialist indoctrination.

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Of course the folks who perform these heinous and dastardly acts are regular people, classmates, and nice “girls” or “near-boy-girls” and they certainly aren’t professional revolutionary criminals. Hell, they aren not even going to be teachers, or academicians. They are just sanctified bigots, tenured terrorists, and barbarian invaders — usurping & occupying the very institution they wish to destroy. They are like the atheists who enter seminary just to undermine religion, or the zealots that enter the citadel under Christian banners so they can be admitted inside — and then they wait for the right opportunity in the middle of the night, and they open the doors to the Muslim hordes waiting to seize the city…

To make matters worse, the typical academic department also requires students to take several feminist, queer, or transgender classes — just to start identifying with these identity politics personas that will inevitably rule society through their righteous anger and malice. In these classes, tenured white feminists routinely preach about white privilege while directing virtually all of their vitriol towards white males. Ironically, the lectures of many of these unhappy women are fueled by seven dollar white mocha cappuccinos, and then go get Starbucks frappuccino enemas up the other end. Indeed, they pay hundreds of dollars to receive “Fancy Party Colonics” that will cleanse them of all their sins from now till eternity. Or at least until the next gratifying colonic next week and their tummy enteric cleanser, that titilates the back door…

These assorted “bytches” are indeed a new species of political deviants, Sanders Stalinists, and Colon Cleansing Queens. For this crowd of miscreants — getting their weekly Starbucks-colonic-enemas, does not qualify you exactly as “Flaming-Ass-Loving-Gay” nor as part of the crowd of angry as fvck “Take-Your-Coffee-Up-The-Derriere-Mamas” — but as a combination of the two.

Good Luck finding your way out of both of these…

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Fortunately, because I spend a lot of time thinking about these weighty matters, I have come up with a solution to protect white male students from the academic lynch mob that earns a living marginalizing them, in the name of diversity, identity politics, social justice and anti-inclusion. I call it the “White-Witness-Minority-Protection-Program” and it is technically a Federal Government department, because the “Feds” are the ones who eventually pick up the “bill” for this fabulously bling inducing boondoggle.

Of course like everything else “academic” these institution related programs increase their potential for success, by entrenching themselves in the University’s long-term viability — if we judge by recent trends in higher education.

The first of those trends is the constant movement towards online education over the Internet, called MOOCs. The MOOCs are massive online open courses, that further popularize normal culture and contribute to the cultural revolution we ar undergoing through. So using the MOOCs, a future Politician, can today get a degree without ever setting foot on a brick and mortar campus. And some of these degrees come from the highly placed Ivy League schools that summon all and sundry to their offerings. That way, when our future Politician enrolls in class, the professor doesn’t know his race, gender, or sexual orientation, and he can only guess about the students hiding behind their computer screens. So the prospective Social Reformer, that aspires to be a Politician, can start to weigh-in the online discussion forums, and interact with the Professor and with the other students, in a near-complete demographic presumption of innocence.

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Of course, it won’t take long for the professor to inject a controversial topic like the Black Lives Matter movement into the online class discussion – and all hell will break loose. And as soon as our aspiring Politician student, makes a pro-State, pro-Law&Order, or pro-Police remark, the professor and all the other students will immediately assume certain demographic characteristics that will disadvantage swiftly the student. For example, a student named Chris or Jim Jones will be assumed to be a male, paternalist who enjoys his white privilege and aspires to maintaining the hated Patriarchy. All this is a particular safe assumption of the Cultural Revolution brigades of this Society’s grievance & other assorted garbage collectors, and demonstrators. But Jim, or Chris, will also be assumed to be straight and quite AngloSaxon white, which is a less safe assumption for the hate Brigades to make. So the professor might decide to try to verify Chris’ and Jim’s demographic attributes before they are given appropriate grades that reflect their personality.

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And this is where the second trend, gender identity politics, comes in handy. Because gender is no longer a binary concept based upon biology — Chris & Jim, can now claim that they are women when they sign up for the online degree program. They can even demand that their professor uses the pronouns she, her, and hers, — when addressing them, even without having gone through the “Sex-Conversion-Normalization-Process” of psychological operation, hormonal treatments, or the surgical genital alteration, and body part augmentation.

As a mater of fact, I would urge any conservative white male like Chris and Jim, to just go all the way, and demand that their professor call them Christina and Jemima respectively, for safe measure.

Because by “becoming” females, Christina & Jemima, have taken a load off the Professor’s mind, but he still needs to insulate himself from the attacks on his white privilege by diminishing the white part of his identity, and instead ingratiating himself with the Black Lives Matter LGBTQ liberal-tears-shedding and tear-stainned-floor-mopping brigades. And the way to do this is actually quite simple. He can just mark the box for “African American” on his college employment application. Or he can claim the box for “Native American Indian” identity. Or he can join the Transgender movement, and claim himself as a self identifying Woman. And that box when combined with the Native American or the African American identity box — is like hitting the lottery or the jackpot in the average Las Vegas casino. This way the Professor Pocahontas, is now enshrined in a cultural identity intimacy that is unshaken and unchallenged by anyone angry at white privilege and the patriarchy.

As for the two white boys, Chris, and Jim, trying to be included in the properly confused and confusing Millennial student social status, they are now called Jemima, and Christina, having also properly marked the appropriate boxes in their student applications to identify themselves as “Female” and “African American” or “Female” and “Native American” so if and when they are challenged by academic requirement, homework delivery, or essay paper completion, or even average examinations — both Jim & Chris can claim sexual & racial discrimination.

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I hear you frothing in the mouth out there, but clearly, the claim that someone can change their assumed at birth gender status, but not their assumed at birth race — is indefensible in these days of Social and Political Correctness. And if the furies of gender identity politics fly in the forefront of the diversity movement while sending racial identity politics to the back of the bus, are revealed — we will have an earthquake in our midst and the Ivy league will have none of this. So today, for practical purposes — you can pass yourself as whatever the hell you like and get away with it. Look at the main Pocahontas today, Elizabeth Warren: She bluffed her way to large tenured job at Harvard with a hefty salary and also got elected with the Indian vote as the female(?) and native American Indian(???) Senator from Massachusetts. And that’s clearly racist, but please don’t tell Lizzie that because she will have conniptions since she also marked her Harvard employment application as a person with developments difficulties and liable to frothing in the mouth and rolling on the floor under the influence of the Moon, while experiencing Mal Seizures, when challenged. So she was never challenged…

What a Crock…

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Sadly there is no question about sexual orientation on the recent vintage of sexual justice appropriate college applications, however, it goes without saying that if Chris & Jim, are still sexually attracted to women after they “became” Christina & Jemima — they can claim lesbian status and check off a third victim category, that will surely entitle them to another few years of College Freebie education. You gotta love Bernie Sanders and his handling of the Free College Tuition scheme that worked so well for the College of Vermont that his wife run to the ground.

Yet now we have to overcome the last remaining hitch for our entrepreneurial and gender fluid prospective politician, students. And this is the prospect of having to take their picture for a student ID upon enrolling at the university. If that happens, students should just refuse to take the picture. If the university insists on a photo, a lawsuit is in order. Facial profiling, and the ideology of facial supremacy, upon which it is based, simply have to be eradicated. All progressives should be on board with this. Abolishing photo IDs is the key to their future electoral success. If an illegal alien can vote without one, why can’t a white guy pretending to be an African Female Queen, cannot enroll in college without one?

So there you have it, white male conservatives, tired of playing second fiddle for the Patriarchy — they can now fvck all, and get on with their lives as African American Lesbians.

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To recapitulate, the key to escaping from classroom oppression involves just five easy steps:
1) Enroll in an online degree program using your temporary black lesbian identity. This will make you a BLUG, which is even more chic than being a LUG (lesbian until graduation).
2) Decline the request to submit to the facially discriminatory photo ID requirement. Or hire someone as a stand-in for the picture. It’s not identity theft if you consent.
3) Inform your professors of your preferred pronouns and your new gender-bender name. If you really want to have fun, demand to be called “her majesty” (because in the gender fluid world — being called “Queen” sends you back to the 1970’s and that’s not fashionable anymore).
4) Reclaim your former straight white male identity after you graduate. Of course, this is optional if you decide to take a job somewhere in the Socialist Republic of California, in Cannabis Oregon, in Queer Alaska, in submissive Hawaii, or in the Soviet State of Washington.
5) After you get your college degree and as you prepare for your Political graduation into the mainstream political parties — you must join up with the devastated and brain addled Log Cabin Republicans who no doubt will have you if you claim to be broken by the strict rules of Academia and Patriarchy that combined to rob you of your God assigned identity.
And that should about do it.

Dr Churchill

Perhaps the best part of this “White-Patriarchy-Witness-Protection-And-Free-Education-Program” is its temporary nature. One can simply leave the program at any time, after graduation. But you should be daft and stupid to leave this gravy train before you get a triple Doctorate in Humanities, like Feminist Studies, African Toleration Studies, and Native American Indian Identity Anthropological Studies. The cultural experience alone of the shock your mere presence would cause to the other claimants of the particular Cultural identity that you have expropriated (Sorry) Liberated, is enough to keep you laughing in stitches until your old age when you regale your grandchildren with the larceny of your Youth.

And you’ll also be safe from any threat of retribution, A) because real lesbians fight like girls and their punches hold no weight whatsoever, B) because unlike the real mob, the Academic mob will never come looking for you, after you leave campus, and C) your average Starbucks quaffing Marxist Mob of BLMers are all like the Log Cabin Republicans — Black in name only and more given to sexploitation than Jackie Brown. And lastly D) because your professor derives power from her/his tenure, which no one recognizes as valid in the real world, but his/her white ass clings onto, like a drowning person holding on to a Life Saver for dear life, since living in the despair of those cold and long alcoholic years of the Academia need the security of a regular paycheck and a pension to keep you adequately hydrated in Gin and Tonic chasers.


Now I understand that this all, may sound a bit dodgy, or somewhat controversial, but as the famous Champion for Women uber-Feminist representative of Minnesota Mr Al Franken says, everyone wins under my new policy of groping women while they are asleep and taking selfies while doing it — so I cannot deny doing it later on.

This particular straight white male NEEDS and DESERVES to get an education free of retaliation for his so-called white privilege, because the traditional classroom could become an unsafe space for the sharing of grievances by minorities, feminists, and alphabetically marginalized Americans — when the unfunny comedian Al Franken shows up, and starts grabbing everybody’s buttocks, vajayjay, and cleavage appendices…

The love and merriment will surely continue until Al Franken, grabs onto the vajayjay of Christina, and Jemima, of course — when he will soon lose the forest for the woods…

Ahhh and in the latest social news — the ginger prince Harry is getting married with a pushy social climber that is going to make his life “hell-on-earth” and his only way out would be to declare himself an African Lesbian Queen and take to the jungle.

He can get survival skills advise from Mr Bear Grylls on how to survive in the wilderness without any posh royal butler and chamber maids…

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We wish him Good Luck with that project…

Posted by: Dr Churchill | November 29, 2017

“Constans et perpetua voluntas, jus suum cuique tribuendi.”

“Constans et perpetua voluntas, jus suum cuique tribuendi.”= “The constant and perpetual will to secure to every one HIS OWN right.”

Argument of John Quincy Adams, Before the Supreme Court of the United States : in the Case of the United States, Appellants, vs. Cinque, and Others, Africans, Captured in the schooner Amistad, by Lieut. Gedney; 1841



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Argument of John Quincy Adams before the Supreme Court of the United States


May it please your Honors–

In rising to address this Court as one of its attorneys and counsellors, regularly admitted at a great distance of time, I feel that an apology might well be expected where I shall perhaps be more likely to exhibit at once the infirmities of age and the inexperience of youth, than to render those services to the individuals whose lives and liberties are at the disposal of this Court which I would most earnestly desire to render. But as I am unwilling to employ one moment of the time of the Court in anything that regards my own personal situation, I shall reserve what few observations I may think necessary to offer as an apology till the close of my argument on the merits of the question.

I therefore proceed immediately to say that, in a consideration of this case, I derive, in the distress I feel both for myself and my clients, consolation from two sources–first, that the rights of my clients to their lives and liberties have already been defended by my learned friend and colleague in so able and complete a manner as leaves me scarcely anything to say, and I feel that such full justice has been done to their interests, that any fault or imperfection of mine will merely be attributed to its true cause; and secondly, I derive consolation from the thought that this Court is a Court of JUSTICE. And in saying so very trivial a thing, I should not on any other occasion, perhaps, be warranted in asking the Court to consider what justice is. Justice, as defined

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in the Institutes of Justinian, nearly 2000 years ago, and as it is felt and understood by all who understand human relations and human rights, is–

“Constans et perpetua voluntas, jus suum cuique tribuendi.”

“The constant and perpetual will to secure to every one HIS OWN right.”

And in a Court of Justice, where there are two parties present, justice demands that the rights of each party should be allowed to himself, as well as that each party has a right, to be secured and protected by the Court. This observation is important, because I appear here on the behalf of thirty-six individuals, the life and liberty of every one of whom depend on the decision of this Court. The Court, therefore, I trust, in deciding this case, will form no lumping judgment on these thirty-six individuals, but will act on the consideration that the life and the liberty of every one of them must be determined by its decision for himself alone.

They are here, individually, under very different circumstances, and in very different characters. Some are in one predicament, some in another. In some of the proceedings by which they have been brought into the custody and under the protection of this Court, thirty-two or three of them have been charged with the crime of murder. Three or four of them are female children, incapable, in the judgment of our laws, of the crime of murder or piracy, or, perhaps, of any other crime. Yet, from the day when the vessel was taken possession of by one of our naval officers, they have all been held as close prisoners, now for the period of eighteen long months, under custody and by authority of the Courts of the United States. I trust, therefore, that before the ultimate decision of this Court is established, its honorable members will pay due attention to the circumstances and condition of every individual concerned.

When I say I derive consolation from the consideration that I stand before a Court of Justice, I am obliged to take this ground, because, as I shall show, another Department of the Government of the United States has taken, with reference to this case, the ground of utter injustice, and these individuals for whom I appear, stand before this Court, awaiting their fate from its decision, under the array of the whole Executive power of this nation against them, in addition to that of a foreign nation. And here arises a

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consideration, the most painful of all others, in considering the duty I have to discharge, in which, in supporting the motion to dismiss the appeal, I shall be obliged not only to investigate and submit to the censure of this Court, the form and manner of the proceedings of the Executive in this case, but the validity, and the motive of the reasons assigned for its interference in this unusual manner in a suit between parties for their individual rights.

At an early period of my life it was my fortune to witness the representation upon the stage of one of the tragic masterpieces of the great Dramatist of England, or I may rather say of the great Dramatist of the world, and in that scene which exhibits in action the sudden, the instantaneous fall from unbounded power into irretrievable disgrace of Cardinal Wolsey, by the abrupt declaration of displeasure and dismission from the service of his King, made by that monarch in the presence of Lord Surry and of the Lord Chamberlain; at the moment of Wolsey’s humiliation and distress, Surry gives vent to his long suppressed resentments for the insolence and injuries which he had endured from the fallen favorite while in power, and breaks out into insulting and bitter reproaches, till checked by the Chamberlain, who says:

“Oh! my Lords;

Press not a falling man too far: ’tis Virtue.”

The repetition of that single line, in the relative position of the parties, struck me as a moral principle, and made upon my mind an impression which I have carried with me through all the changes of my life, and which I trust I shall carry with me to my grave.

It is, therefore, peculiarly painful to me, under present circumstances, to be under the necessity of arraigning before this Court and before the civilized world, the course of the existing Administration in this case. But I must do it. That Government is still in power, and thus, subject to the control of the Court, the lives and liberties of all my clients are in its hands. And if I should pass over the course it has pursued, those who have not had an opportunity to examine the case and perhaps the Court itself, might decide that nothing improper had been done, and that the parties I represent had not been wronged by the course pursued by the Executive. In making this charge, or arraignment, as defensive of the rights of my clients, I now proceed to an examination of

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the correspondence of the Secretary of State with the ambassador of her Catholic Majesty, as officially communicated to Congress, and published among the national documents.

The charge I make against the present Executive administration is that in all their proceedings relating to these unfortunate men, instead of that Justice, which they were bound not less than this honorable Court itself to observe, they have substituted Sympathy!–sympathy with one of the parties in this conflict of justice, and Antipathy to the other. Sympathy with the white, antipathy to the black–and in proof of this charge I adduce the admission and avowal of the Secretary of State himself. In the letter of Mr. Forsyth to the Spanish Minister d’Argaiz, of 13th of December, 1839, [Document H. R. N. S. 185,] defending the course of the administration against the reproaches utterly groundless, but not the less bitter of the Spanish Envoy, he says:

“The undersigned cannot conclude this communication without calling the attention of the Chevalier d’Argaiz to the fact, that with the single exception of the vexatious detention to which Messrs. Montes and Ruiz have been subjected in consequence of the civil suit instituted against them, all the proceedings in the matter, on the part both the Executive and Judicial branches of the government have had their foundation in the ASSUMPTION that these parsons ALONE were the parties aggrieved; and that their claims to the surrender of the property was founded in fact and in justice.” [pp. 29, 30.]

At the date of this letter, this statement of Mr. Forsyth was strictly true. All the proceedings of the government, Executive and Judicial, in this case had been founded on the assumption that the two Spanish slave-dealers were the only parties aggrieved–that all the right was on their side, and all the wrong on the side of their surviving self-emancipated victims. I ask your honors, was this JUSTICE? No. It was not so considered by Mr. Forsyth himself. It was sympathy, and he so calls it, for in the preceding page of the same letter referring to the proceedings of this Government from the very first intervention of Lieut. Gedney, he says:

“Messrs. Ruiz and Montes were first found near the coast of the United States, deprived of their property and of their freedom, suffering from lawless violence in their persons, and in imminent and constant danger of being deprived of their lives also.

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They were found in this distressing and perilous situation by officers of the United States, who, moved towards them by sympathetic feeling which subsequently became as it were national, immediately rescued them from personal danger, restored them to freedom, secured their oppressors that they might abide the consequences of the acts of violence perpetrated upon them, and placed under the safeguard of the laws all the property which they claimed as their own, to remain in safety until the competent authority could examine their title to it, and pronounce upon the question of ownership agreeably to the provisions of the 9th article of the treaty of 1795.”

This sympathy with Spanish slave-traders is declared by the Secretary to have been first felt by Lieutenant Gedney. I hope this is not correctly represented. It is imputed to him and declared to have become in a manner national. The national sympathy with the slave-traders of the baracoons is officially declared to have been the prime motive of action of the government: And this fact is given as an answer to all the claims, demands and reproaches of the Spanish minister! I cannot urge the same objection to this that was brought against the assertion in the libel–that it said the thing which is not–too unfortunately it was so, as he said. The sympathy of the Executive government, and as it were of the nation, in favor of the slave-traders, and against these poor, unfortunate, helpless, tongueless, defenceless Africans, was the cause and foundation and motive of all these proceedings, and has brought this case up for trial before your honors.

I do not wish to blame the first sympathies of Lieut. Gedney, nor the first action of the District and Circuit Courts. The seizure of the vessel, with the arrest and examination of the Africans, was intended for inquiry, and to lead to an investigation of the rights of all parties. This investigation has ultimated in the decision of the District Court, confirmed by the Circuit Court, which it is now the demand of the Executive should be reversed by this Court. The District Court has exercised its jurisdiction over the parties in interest, and has found that the right was with the other party, that the decisions of JUSTICE were not in accordance with the impulses of sympathy, and that consequently the sympathy was wrong before. And consequently it now appears that everything which has flowed from this mistaken or misapplied sympathy, was wrong from the beginning.

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For I inquire by what right, all this sympathy, from Lieut. Gedney to the Secretary of State, and from the Secretary of State, as it were, to the nation, was extended to the two Spaniards from Cuba exclusively, and utterly denied to the fifty-two victims of their lawless violence? By what right was it denied to the men who had restored themselves to freedom, and secured their oppressors to abide the consequences of the acts of violence perpetrated by them, and why was it extended to the perpetrators of those acts of violence themselves? When the Amistad first came within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, acts of violence had passed between the two parties, the Spaniards and Africans on board of her, but on which side these acts were lawless, on which side were the oppressors, was a question of right and wrong, for the settlement of which, if the government and people of the United States interfered at all, they were bound in duty to extend their sympathy to them all; and if they intervened at all between them, the duty incumbent upon this intervention was not of favor, but of impartiality–not of sympathy, but of JUSTICE, dispensing to every individual his own right.

Thus the Secretary of State himself declares that the motive for all the proceedings of the government of the United States, until that time, had been governed by sympathetic feeling towards one of the parties, and by the assumption that all the right was on one side and all the wrong on the other. It was the motive of Lieut. Gedney: the same influence had prevailed even in the judicial proceedings until then: the very language of the Secretary of State in this letter breathes the same spirit as animating the executive administration, and has continued to govern all its proceedings on this subject to the present day. It is but too true that the same spirit of sympathy and antipathy has nearly pervaded the whole nation, and it is against them that I am in duty bound to call upon this Court to restrain itself in the sacred name of JUSTICE.

One of the Judges who presided in some of the preceding trials, is said to have called this an anomalous case. It is indeed anomalous, and I know of no law, but one which I am not at liberty to argue before this Court, no law, statute or constitution, no code, no treaty, applicable to the proceedings of the Executive or the Judiciary, except that law, (pointing to the copy of the Declaration of Independence, hanging against one of the pillars

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of the court-room,) that law, two copies of which are ever before the eyes of your Honors. I know of no other law that reaches the case of my clients, but the law of Nature and of Nature’s God on which our fathers placed our own national existence. The circumstances are so peculiar, that no code or treaty has provided for such a case. That law, in its application to my clients, I trust will be the law on which the case will be decided by this Court.

In the sequel to the diplomatic correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Spanish minister Argaiz, relating to the case of the Amistad, recently communicated by the President of the United States to the Senate, [Doc. 179. 12 Feb. 1841,] the minister refers with great apparent satisfaction to certain resolutions of the Senate, adopted at the instance of Mr. Calhoun, on the 15th of April, 1850, as follows:

1. “Resolved–That a ship or vessel on the high seas, in time of peace, engaged in a lawful voyage, is according to the laws of nations under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state to which her flag belongs as much as if constituting a part of its own domain.”

2. “Resolved–That if such ship or vessel should be forced, by stress of weather, or other unavoidable cause into the port, and under the jurisdiction of a friendly power, she and her cargo, and persons on board, with their property, and all the rights belonging to their personal relations, as established by the laws of the state to which they belong, would be placed under the protection which the laws of nations extend to the unfortunate under such circumstances.”

Without entering into any discussion as to the correctness of these principles, let us admit them to be true to their fullest extent, and what is their application to the case of the Amistad? If the first of the resolutions declares a sound principle of national law, neither Lieut. Gedney, nor Lieut. Meade, nor any officer of the brig Washington had the shadow of a right even to set foot on board of the Amistad. According to the second resolution, the Africans in possession of the vessel were entitled to all the kindness and good offices due from a humane and Christian nation to the unfortunate; and if the Spaniards were entitled to the same, it was by the territorial right and jurisdiction of the State of New York and of the Union, only to the extent of liberating their persons from imprisonment. Chevalier d’Argaiz, therefore, totally


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misapprehends the application of the principles asserted in these resolutions of the Senate, as indeed Mr. Forsyth appears by his answer to this letter of the Chevalier to be fully aware. From the decisiveness with which on this solitary occasion he meets the pretensions of the Spanish Envoy, a fair inference may be drawn that the Secretary himself perceived that the Senatorial resolutions, instead of favoring the cause of Montes and Ruiz, have a bearing point blank against them.

The Africans were in possession, and had the presumptive right of ownership; they were in peace with the United States; the Courts have decided, and truly, that they were not pirates; they were on a voyage to their native homes–their dulces Argos; they had acquired the right and so far as their knowledge extended they had the power of prosecuting the voyage; the ship was theirs, and being in immediate communication with the shore, was in the territory of the State of New York; or, if not, at least half the number were actually on the soil of New York, and entitled to all the provisions of the law of nations, and the protection and comfort which the laws of that State secure to every human being within its limits.

In this situation Lieut. Gedney, without any charge or authority from his government, without warrant of law, by force of fire arms, seizes and disarms them, then being in the peace of that Commonwealth and of the United States, drives them on board the vessel, seizes the vessel and transfers it against the will of its possessors to smother State. I ask in the name of justice, by what law was this done? Even admitting that it had been a case of actual piracy, which your courts have properly found it was not, there are questions arising here of the deepest interest to the liberties of the people of this Union, and especially of the State of New York. Have the officers of the U. S. Navy a right to seize men by force, on the territory of New York, to fire at them, to overpower them, to disarm them, to put them on board era vessel and carry them by force and against their will to another State, without warrant or form of law? I am not arraigning Lieut. Gedney, but I ask this Court, in the name of justice, to settle it in their minds, by what law it was done, and how far the principle it embraces is to be carried.

The whole of my argument to show that the appeal should be dismissed, is founded on an averment that the proceedings on the

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part of the United States are all wrongful from the beginning. The first act, of seizing the vessel, and these men, by an officer of the navy, was a wrong. The forcible arrest of these men, or a part of them, on the soil of New York, was a wrong. After the vessel was brought into the jurisdiction of the District Court of Connecticut, the men were first seized and imprisoned under a criminal process for murder and piracy on the high seas. Then they were libelled by Lieut. Gedney, as property, and salvage claimed on them, and under that process were taken into the custody of the marshal as property. Then they were claimed by Ruiz and Montes and again taken into custody by the court. The District Attorney of Connecticut wrote to the Secretary of State, September 5th, giving him an account of the matter, stating that “the blacks are indicted for the murder of the captain and mate,” and “are now in jail at New Haven;” that “the next term of our Circuit Court sits on the 17th instant, at which time I suppose,”–that is in italics in the printed document–“I suppose it will be my duty to bring them to trial, unless they are in some other way disposed of.” This is the first intimation of the District Attorney; it is easy to understand in what “other way” he wished them disposed of. And he closes by saying–“should you have any instructions to give on the subject, I should like to receive them as soon as may be.”

On the 9th of September, he writes again that he has examined the law, which has brought him fully to the conclusion that the Courts of the United States cannot take cognizance of any offence these people may have committed, as it was done on board a vessel belonging to a foreign state. And then he says,

“I would respectfully inquire, sir, whether there are no treaty stipulations with the Government of Spain that would authorize our Government to deliver them up to the Spanish authorities; and if so, whether it could be done before our court sits?”

This is the second intimation from the District Attorney. We shall find others. Now it appears that the Africans were fully in the custody of the Court, first on the criminal charge, and then on the claim to them as property. The Court was to sit in eight days, the District Attorney is satisfied they cannot be tried, and he is anxious to know whether they cannot be disposed of in some way by the Executive, so that the Courts of the United States may have no chance to decide upon the case. May it please your

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Honors, I am simply pursuing the chain of evidence in this case, to show the effects of the sympathy in favor of one of the parties and against the other, which the Secretary of State says had become in a manner “national.” The next document is a letter of the Secretary of State to the District Attorney, Sept. 11, 1839:

“Sir: Since the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, relative to the case of the Spanish schooner ‘Amistad,’ brought into the port of New London on the 26th ultimo, by Lieutenant Gedney, of the surveying brig Washington, a communication has been addressed to this department by the minister of Her Catholic Majesty, claiming the vessel, cargo and blacks,” [vessel, cargo and blacks, the Court will observe,] “on board, as Spanish property, and demanding its immediate release. Mr. Calderon’s application will be immediately transmitted to the President for his decision upon it, with which you will be made acquainted without unnecessary delay. In the mean time you will take care that no proceeding of your Circuit Court, or of any other judicial tribunal, places the vessel, cargo, or slaves beyond the control of the Federal Executive.

“I am, sir, your obedient servant,


I know not how, in decent language, to speak of this assertion of the Secretary, that the minister of Her Catholic Majesty had claimed the Africans “as Spanish property.” In Gulliver’s novels, he is represented as traveling among a nation of beings, who were very rational in many things, although they were not exactly human, and they had a very cool way of using language in reference to deeds that are not laudable. When they wished to characterize a declaration as absolutely contrary to truth, they say the man has “said the thing that is not.” It is not possible for me to express the truth respecting this averment of the Secretary of State, but by declaring that he “has said the thing that is not.” This I shall endeavor to prove by showing what the demand of the Spanish minister was, and that it was a totally different thing from that which was represented.

But I wish first to beg your Honors’ special attention to something else in this remarkable letter of the Secretary of State. He says, “In the mean time, you will take care that no proceeding of your Circuit Court, or of any other judicial tribunal, places

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the vessel, cargo, or slaves beyond the control of the Federal Executive.” Here is a ministerial officer of the Executive Government, instructing the District Attorney, before the Judiciary has acted upon the case, to take care that no proceeding of any court places these men beyond reach of the Federal Executive. How was he to do it? In what manner was an Executive officer to proceed, so that neither the Circuit Court of the United States, nor any state Court, could dispose of the vessel or the men in any manner, beyond the control of the Federal Executive. A farther examination of the correspondence in the conclusion, will show how it was intended to be done. But I now come to inquire what was the real demand of the Spanish minister, and to show what was the duty of the Secretary of State on receiving such a demand.

Here we have the first letter of Mr. Calderon to Mr. Forsyth.

The name of this gentleman is illustrious in the annals of Spain, and for himself personally, during his residence in this country, I have entertained the most friendly and respectful sentiments. I have enjoyed frequent interviews with him, and have found him intelligent, amiable, learned, and courteous. I wish therefore to say nothing respecting him that is personally disrespectful or unkind. But it is my duty to comment with the utmost plainness, and what perhaps your Honors will think severity, on his official letter to the American Secretary of State. His letter begins:–

“New York, Sept. 6, 1839.

“The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of her Catholic Majesty the Queen of Spain, has the honor of calling the attention of the honorable John Forsyth, Secretary of State of the United States, to a recent and very public occurrence of which, no doubt, Mr. Forsyth is already informed, and in consequence of which it is the imperious duty of the undersigned to claim an observance of the law of nations, and of the treaties existing between the United States and Spain. The occurrence alluded to is the capture of the Spanish schooner ‘Amistad.’

“This vessel sailed from Havana on the 28th of June, bound to Guanaja, in the vicinity of Porto Principe, under the command of her owner, Don Ramon Ferrer, laden with sundry merchandise, and with fifty-three negro slaves on board; and, previous to her departure, she obtained her clearance (alijo) from the custom

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house, the necessary permit from the authorities for the transportation of the negroes, a passport, and all the other documents required by the laws of Spain for navigating a vessel and for proving ownership of property; a circumstance particularly important in the opinion of the undersigned.”

Here your Honors will observe the same distinction of “merchandise and negroes,” which was made by the District Attorney, showing the universal sense of the difference between merchandise and persons. He goes on:

“During the night of the 30th of said month, or about daybreak on the following day, the slaves rose upon the crew, and killed the captain, a slave of his, and two sailors–sparing only two persons, after ill-treating and wounding them, namely, Don Jose Ruiz and Don Pedro Montes: of whom the former was owner of forty-nine of the slaves, and the latter of the other four. These they retained, that they might navigate the vessel and take her to the coast of Africa. Montes, availing himself of his knowledge of nautical affairs, and under favor of Divine Providence–‘the favor of Divine Providence!’–succeeded in directing the vessel to these shores. He was spoken by various vessels, from the captains of which the negroes bought provisions, but to whom, it seems, he was unable to make known his distress, being closely watched. At length, by good fortune, he reached Long Island, where the ‘Amistad’ was detained by the American brig-of-war ‘Washington,’ Captain Gedney, who, on learning the circumstances of the case, secured the negroes, and took them with the vessel to New London, in the state of Connecticut.

“The conduct of that commander and his subalterns toward the unfortunate Spaniards has been that which was to be expected from gentlemen, and from officers in the service of an enlightened nation friendly to Spain. That conduct will be appreciated as it deserves by my august sovereign, and by the Spanish government, and will be reciprocated on similar occasions by the Spaniards–a people ever grateful for benefits received.” [We shall see some proofs of Spanish gratitude, as we proceed in the case.]

“The act of humanity thus performed would have been complete, had the vessel at the same time been set at liberty, and the negroes sent to be tried by the proper tribunal, and by the violated laws of the country of which they are subjects. The undersigned is willing to believe that such would have been the case,

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had the general government been able to interpose its authority in the first instance, as it has probably done during the short interval between the occurrence of this affair and the period when the undersigned received an authentic statement of the facts.”

This is what the Spanish minister demanded, that the vessel should be set at liberty, and the negroes sent to Cuba to be tried. And he is so confident in the disposition the United States in favor of this demand, that he even presumes the President of the United States had already immediately dispatched an order to the Court in Connecticut, to stay its proceedings and deliver up the negroes to the Government of Spain.

What combination of ideas led to that conclusion, in the mind of Mr. Calderon, I am not competent to say. He evidently supposes the President of the United States to possess what we understand by arbitrary power–the power to decide cases and to dispose of persons and of property, mero motu, at his own discretion, and without the intervention of any court. What led him to this imagination I am unable to say. He goes on to say that the officers of the Washington, in the service of the United States, have presented to that incompetent Court,–the U. S. District Court in Connecticut–a petition, claiming salvage: “a claim which, in view of existing treaties, the undersigned conceives cannot be allowed in the sense in which it is made.” This is that most grateful nation! The deliverers of these two Spaniards, the representative of a most grateful nation insists, are not deserving of any recompense whatever!

Now, I beg your Honors to see if there is, among all these specifications, any one demand that corresponds with that which the Secretary of State avers to have been made. He demands,

1st. That the vessel be immediately delivered up to her owner, together with every article found on board at the time of her capture by the Washington, without any payment being exacted on the score of salvage, or any charges made, other than those specified in the treaty of 1795, article 1st.

Yet he had already said the captain, and owner, Ferrer, was killed.

“2d. That it be declared that no tribunal in the United States has the right to institute proceedings against, or to impose penalties upon, the subjects of Spain, for crimes committed on board a Spanish vessel, and in the waters of the Spanish territory.”

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Declared, by whom? By the President of the United States. Of course, he does not demand that the “incompetent tribunal” in Connecticut, before which the suit was brought, should declare this, but that the President of the United States should issue a proclamation, declaring that no court in this country could hold cognizance of the case. Is there in this a demand that the negroes should be delivered up as Spanish property? It is a direct protest against any judicial tribunal taking cognizance of the case, and that the President should issue a proclamation to prevent any such proceedings whatever.

“3d. That the negroes be conveyed to Havana, or be placed at the disposal of the proper authorities in that part of Her Majesty’s dominions, in order to their being tried by the Spanish laws which they have violated; and that, in the mean time, they be kept in safe custody, in order to prevent their evasion.”

In what capacity does he demand that the President of the United States should place himself? Is it a demand to deliver up these people as property? No. Is it that they should deliver them to the minister himself, as the representative of the Spanish government, to be disposed of according to the laws of Spain? No. It demands of the Chief Magistrate of this nation that he should first turn himself into a jailer, to keep these people safely, and then into a tipstaff to take them away for trial among the slave-traders of the baracoons. Was ever such a demand made upon any government? He must seize these people and keep them safely, and carry them, at the expense of the United States, to another country to be tried for their lives! Where in the law of nations is there a warrant for such a demand?

May it please your Honors–If the President of the United States had arbitrary and unqualified power, he could not satisfy these demands. He must keep them as a jailer; he must then send them beyond seas to be tried for their lives. I will not recur to the Declaration of Independence–your Honors have it implanted in your hearts–but one of the grievous charges brought against George III. was, that he had made laws for sending men beyond seas for trial. That was one of the most odious of those acts of tyranny which occasioned the American revolution. The whole of the reasoning is not applicable to this case, but I submit to your Honors that, if the President has the power to do it in the case of Africans, and send them beyond seas for trial, he could do

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it by the same authority in the case of American citizens. By a simple order to the marshal of the district, he could just as well seize forty citizens of the United States, on the demand of a foreign minister, and send them beyond seas for trial before a foreign court. The Spanish minister farther demands–

“4th. That if, in consequence of the intervention of the authorities of Connecticut, there should be any delay in the desired delivery of the vessel and the slaves, the owners both of the former be indemnified for the injury that may accrue to them.”

Now, how are all these demands to be put together? First, he demands that the United States shall keep them safely, and send them to Cuba, all in a lump, the children as well as Cinque and Grabbo. Next, he denies the power of our courts to take any cognizance of the case. And finally, that the owners of the slaves shall be indemnified for any injury they may sustain in their property. We see in the whole of this transaction, a confusion of ideas and a contradiction of positions, from confounding together the two capacities in which these people are attempted to be held. One moment they are viewed as merchandise, and the next as persons. The Spanish minister, the Secretary of State, and every one who has had anything to do with the case, all have run into these absurdities. These demands are utterly inconsistent. First, they are demanded as persons, as the subjects of Spain, to be delivered up as criminals, to be tried for their lives, and liable to be executed on the gibbet. Then they are demanded as chattels, the same as so many bogs of coffee, or bales of cotton, belonging to owners, who have a right to be indemnified for any injury to their property.

I now ask if there is, in any one or in all those specifications, that demand which the Secretary of State avers the Spanish Minister had made, and which is the basis of the whole proceeding in this case on the part of the Executive.

The letter of the Secretary, which is the foundation of the whole proceeding of the District Attorney, in making the United States a party, on the ground of a demand by the Spanish Minister for the delivery of these people as property, “says the thing that is not.” The letter proceeds:

“In support of these claims, the undersigned invokes the law of nations, the stipulations of existing treaties, and those good feelings”–[good feelings, indeed, he might well say, where all

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the feelings were in favor of his demand]–“so necessary to the maintenance of the friendly relations that subsist between the two countries, and are so interesting to both.

“The undersigned would be apprehensive of offending Mr. Forsyth by supposing it in the least degree necessary to bring to his recollection his own well-known construction (disposiciones) of the law of nations, in a case analogous to the one under consideration.”

This is what the logicians call argumentum ad hominem–an appeal, first to the feelings of the individual, not to his sense of justice. He then brings up to Mr. Forsyth his own construction of the law of nations, as given in another case, which he deems analogous. Perhaps I may be justified in conjecturing to what case he alludes, and I will say that, if he alludes to any case of public notoriety, I shall be able to show, before I close, that there is no analogy to this case.

M. Calderon de la Barca then refers to several treaty stipulations in support of his demand, and particularly the 8th, 9th, and 10th articles of the treaty of 1795, continued in force by the treaty of 1819.

“Art. 8. In case the subjects and inhabitants of either party, with their shipping, whether public and of war, or private and of merchants, be forced, through stress of weather, pursuit of pirates or enemies, or any other urgent necessity, for seeking of shelter and harbor, to retreat and enter into any of the rivers, bays, roads, or ports, belonging to the other party, they shall be received and treated with all humanity, and enjoy all favor, protection, and help; and they shall be permitted to refresh and provide themselves, at reasonable rates, with victuals and all things needful for the subsistence of their persons, or reparation of their ships, and prosecution of their voyage; and they shall no ways be hindered from returning out of the said ports or roads, but may remove and depart when and whither they please, without any let or hindrance.”

This is a provision for vessels with their owners, driven into port by distress. Who was the Spanish owner here with his ship? There was none. I say the Africans were here with their ship. If you say the original owner is referred to, in whose name the ship’s register was given, he was dead, he was not on board, and could not claim the benefit of this article. The vessel either belonged

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to the Africans, in whose possession it was found, and who certainly had what is everywhere the first evidence of property, or there was no person to whom this article could apply, and it was not casus foederis. The truth is, this article was not intended to apply to such a case as this, but to the common case, in regard to which it has doubtless been carried into execution hundreds of times, in meeting the common disasters of maritime life.

The Africans, who certainly had the prima facie title to the property, did not bring the vessel into our waters themselves, but were brought here against their will, by the two Spaniards, by stratagem and deception. Now, if this court should consider, as the courts below have done, that the original voyage from Lomboko, in Africa, was continued by the Spaniards in the Amistad, and that pursuing that voyage was a violation of the laws of the United States, then the Spaniards are responsible for that offence. The deed begun in Africa was not consummated according to its original intention, until the negroes were landed at their port of final destination in Porto Principe. The clandestine landing in Havana, the unlawful sale in the barracoons, the shipment on board the Amistad, were all parts of the original transaction. And it was in pursuit of that original unlawful intent that the Spaniards brought the vessel by stratagem into a port of the United States. Does the treaty apply to such voyages? Suppose the owner had been on board, and his voyage lawful, what does the treaty secure to him? Why, that he might repair his ship, and purchase refreshments, and continue his voyage. Ruiz and Montes could not continue the voyage. But, suppose the article applicable, and what were the United States to do? They must place those on board the ship in the situation they were in when taken, that is, the Africans in possession, with the two Spaniards as their prisoners, or their slaves, as the case might be; the negroes as masters of the ship, to continue their voyage, which on their part was certainly lawful.

If any part of the article was applicable to the case it was in favor of the Africans. They were in distress, and were brought into our waters by their enemies, by those who sought, and who are still seeking, to reduce them from freedom to slavery, as a reward for having spared their lives in the fight. If the good offices of the government are to be rendered to the proprietors of shipping in distress, they are due to the Africans only, and the

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United States are now bound to restore the ship to the Africans, and replace the Spaniards on board as prisoners. But the article is not applicable at all. It is not a casus foederis. The parties to the treaty never could have had any such case in view. The transaction on board of the vessel after leaving Havana entirely changed the circumstances of the parties, and conferred rights on my most unfortunate clients, which cannot but be regarded by this honorable court.

Next we have article 9:

“Art. 9. All ships and merchandise, of what nature soever, which shall be rescued out of the hands of any pirates or robbers on the high seas, shall be brought into some port of either state, and shall be delivered to the custody of the officers of that port, in order to be taken care of, and restored entire to the true proprietor, as soon as due and sufficient proof shall be made concerning the property thereof.”

Was this ship rescued out of the hands of pirates and robbers? Is this Court competent to declare it? The Courts below have decided that they have no authority to try, criminally, what happened on board the vessel. They have then no right to regard those who forcibly took possession of the vessel as pirates and robbers. If the sympathies of Lieutenant Gedney, which the Secretary of State says had become national, had been felt for all the parties, in due proportion to their sufferings and their deserts, who were the pirates and robbers? Were they the Africans? When they were brought from Lomboko, in the Tecora, against the laws of Spain, against the laws of the United States, and against the law of nations, so far as the United States, and Spain, and Great Britain, are concerned, who were the robbers and pirates? And when the same voyage, in fact, was continued in the Amistad, and the Africans were in a perishing condition in the hands of Ruiz, dropping dead from day to day under his treatment, were they the pirates and robbers? This honorable Court will observe from the record that there were fifty-four Africans who left the Havana. Ruiz says in his libel that nine had died before they reached our shores. The marshal’s return shows that they were dying day after day from the effects of their sufferings. One died before the Court sat at New London. Three more died before the return was made to the Court at Hartford–only seventeen days–and three more between that and November. Sixteen

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fell victims before November, and from that time not one has died. Think only of the relief and benefit of being restored to the absolute wants of human nature. Although placed in a condition which, if applied to forty citizens of the United States, we should call cruel, shut up eighteen months in a prison, and enjoying only the tenderness which our laws provide for the worst of criminals, so great is the improvement of their condition from what it was in the hands of Ruiz, that they have perfectly recovered their health, and not one has died; when, before that time, they were perishing from hour to hour.

At the great day of accounts, may it please the Court, who is to be responsible for those sixteen souls that died? Ruiz claims those sixteen as his property, as merchandise. How many of them, at his last hour, will pass before him and say, “Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!”

Who, then, are the tyrants and oppressors against whom our laws are invoked? Who are the innocent sufferers, for whom we are called upon to protect this ship against enemies and robbers? Certainly not Ruiz and Montes.

But, independently of this consideration, the article cannot apply to slaves. It says ships and merchandise. Is that language applicable to human beings? Will this Court so affirm? It says they shall be restored entire. Is it a treaty between cannibal nations, that a stipulation is needed for the restoration of merchandise entire, to prevent parties from cutting off the legs and arms of human beings before they are delivered up? The very word entire in the stipulation is of itself a sufficient exclusion of human beings from the scope of the article. But if it was intended to embrace human beings, the article would have included a provision for their subsistence until they are restored, and an indemnification for their maintenance to the officers who are charged with the execution of the stipulation. And there is perhaps needed a provision with regard to the institutions of the free states, to prevent a difficulty in keeping human beings in the custom house, without having them liable to the operation of the local law, the habeas corpus, and the rights of freedom.

But with regard to article 9, I will speak of my own knowledge, for it happened that on the renewal of the treaty in 1819, the whole of the negotiations with the then minister of Spain passed through my hands, and I am certain that neither of us ever entertained an idea that this word merchandise was to apply to human beings.

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Mr. Calderon also quotes article 10.

“Art. 10. When any vessel of either party shall be wrecked, foundered, or otherwise damaged, on the coasts or within the dominion of the other, their respective subjects or citizens shall receive, as well for themselves as for their vessels and effects, the same assistance which would be due to the inhabitants of the country where the damage happens, and shall pay the same charges and dues only as the said inhabitants would be subject to pay in a like case; and if the operations of repair should require that the whole or any part of the cargo be unladen, they shall pay no duties, charges, or fees, on the part which they shall relade and carry away.”

This article, again, has nothing to do with the case. The Amistad was neither wrecked nor foundered, nor otherwise damaged. She came into our waters voluntarily, so far as the Spaniards were concerned, but involuntarily, so far as concerned the Africans, who were in possession of the vessel. They were intentionally prosecuting a voyage to Africa, but were brought to our shores by deception, and against their wills. This is not casus foederis. The treaty has no application here. But if, by any latitude of construction, it could be applied, its benefits belong to the Africans, for they were pursuing a lawful voyage, and not to the Spaniards, who were on an unlawful voyage, in the prosecution of the slave trade.

But the article says the same assistance shall be afforded that our own citizens would be entitled to receive in like circumstances. Let us apply the rule. Suppose the Amistad had been a vessel of the United States, owned and manned by citizens of the United States, and in like circumstances. Say it was a Baltimore clipper, fitted for the African slave trade, and having performed a voyage, had come back to our shores, directly or indirectly, with fifty-four African victims on board, and was thus brought into port–what would be the assistance guarantied by our laws to American citizens, in such circumstances? The captain would be seized, tried as a pirate, and hung! And every person concerned, either as owners or on board the ship, would be severely punished. The law makes it a capital offence for the captain, and no appeal to this Court would save him from the gibbet. Is that the assistance which the Spanish minister invokes for Ruiz and Montes? That is what our laws would secure to our own citizens in like circumstances. And perhaps it would be a

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reward nearer their merits than the restoration of these poor negroes to them, or enabling them to complete their voyage.

But my clients are claimed under the treaty as merchandise, rescued from pirates and robbers. Who were the merchandise, and who were the robbers? According to the construction of the Spanish minister, the merchandise were the robbers, and the robbers were the merchandise. The merchandise was rescued out of its own hands, and the robbers were rescued out of the hands of the robbers. Is this the meaning of the treaty? Will this Court adopt a rule of construction in regard to solemn treaties that will sanction such conclusions? There is a rule in Vattel that no construction shall be allowed to a treaty which makes it absurd. Is any thing more absurd than to say these forty Africans are robbers, out of whose hands they have themselves been rescued? Can a greater absurdity be imagined in construction than this, which applies the double character of robbers and of merchandise to human beings?

May it please your Honors, there is not one article of the treaty that has the slightest application to this case, and the Spanish minister has no more ground for appealing to the treaty, as a warrant for his demand, than he has for relying on the law of nations.

The next argument that follows is so peculiar that I find it difficult to give a distinct idea of its purpose or application. He says,

“The crime in question is one of those which, if permitted to pass unpunished, would endanger the internal tranquility and the safety of the island of Cuba, where citizens of the United States not only carry on a considerable trade, but where they possess territorial properties which they cultivate with the labor of African slaves. These, on learning that the crime alluded to had been committed with impunity, (and their friends would not fail to acquaint them with the fact) would lose none of the opportunities for attempting revolt and evasion, which are afforded by the frequent and daily necessity of conveying negroes by sea from one quarter of the island to another; and to guard against this it would be necessary to use additional precautions at a great expense.”

I believe, may it please the Court, that this is not a good argument before this court, to determine questions of law and justice by the consideration that there are American citizens who own plantations in the island of Cuba, which they cultivate by the labor

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of slaves. They own their plantations and slaves there, subject to the laws of Spain, which laws declare the African slave trade to be felony. The Spanish minister has no right to appeal to our courts to pass a particular sentence between parties in a suit, by considerations of their personal interest, or that of other American citizens in the Island of Cuba. What would become of the liberties of this nation if our courts are to pass sentence between parties, upon considerations of the effect it may have upon the interest of American citizens, scattered as they may be in all parts of the world? If it is a valid consideration when applied to Cuba and the American owners of sugar estates and slaves there, it applies equally to all other countries where American citizens may have property; to China, Hindostan, or the Feejee Islands. It was no proper argument for the Spanish minister to urge upon the American Secretary of State. It was undoubtedly calculated and designed to influence his sympathy in the case–that sympathy with one of the parties which he says had become national. It was calculated to excite and to influence the Secretary of State not only by the effect to be produced in the island of Cuba, but perhaps also by a regard to certain interests nearer home. But was that JUSTICE? Was that a ground on which courts of justice will decide cases? I trust not.

There are a few portions of this letter, which I had rather your Honors would read when you are together in consultation, than to read them myself in this place. I will not trust myself to comment upon them as they deserve. I trust that your Honors, in the pursuit of JUSTICE, will read them, as the document will be in your hands, and you will see why I abstain from doing it. Mr. Calderon proceeds to say,

“If, on the other hand, they should be condemned by the incompetent tribunal that has taken upon itself to try them as pirates and assassins, the infliction of capital punishment in this case would not be attended with the salutary effects had in view by the law when it resorts to this painful and terrible alternative, namely, to prevent the commission of similar offences. In such case, the indemnification I officially ask for the owners would be a very slender compensation; for, if the property remained unimpaired, as it would remain, the satisfaction due to the public would not be accorded.”

And that is a reason why the President of the United States

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was to issue his lettre de cachet, and send these unfortunate individuals to Cuba. I abstain now from reading the subsequent passages.* He concludes by saying,

[Note : * Mr. Adams’ forbearance will hardly be appreciated unless it is known what it was that he omitted to read. That portion of the letter of Mr. Calderon is therefore appended to this note.

“The dread of a repetition of these acts might be expected to take possession of the minds of the people residing in the islands of Cuba and Porto-Rico; and, in lieu of the harmony and good feeling subsisting between them and the citizens of the United States, it would not be surprising, nor would it afford a cause for complaint, if sentiments were awakened of a different nature, and highly prejudicial to the interests of both parties. How can the man who promotes or advocates discord in families expect to be regarded with benevolence? or how can he who acts in such a manner pretend to the title of friend?

“The undersigned does not apprehend that the fears herein expressed by him will be deemed exaggerated or unfounded. No one is ignorant of the existence of a considerable number of persons who, prompted by a zeal which it does not belong to him to qualify, are employing all the means which knowledge and wealth can afford for effecting, at any price, the emancipation of the slaves. Many of them, either because they are persuaded of the philanthropy of their designs, or assuming this virtue as a cloak, have no hesitation in repaying the hospitality they receive by the seduction of the slaves of their host, especially if they are skilful in any trade.

“Having induced them to abandon their masters, they ship them on board some vessel, where they retain them in a worse state of captivity than before, or send them to the United States to be set at liberty; thus appropriating to themselves the property of another, and deliberately committing a theft, while, perhaps, they believe that they are performing a meritorious act. In the meantime, the only resource of the ruined Spanish proprietor is to apply, at an enormous expense, to the tribunals of a foreign country, where in many places public opinion throws in the way of the applicant for justice, in matters of this nature, insuperable obstacles. Of the many cases that might be referred to, in proof of the justice of this remark, one is that of John Smith, mate of the brig Swiftsure, who concealed and brought away with him a negro who was cook in a hotel where he was staying; upon which subject the undersigned wrote to the Secretary of State on the 19th of November, 1836, and now addresses him again in a separate communication. That the fears of the undersigned are not without foundation, is also evident from the excitement which this occurrence has produced in the public mind, from the language used by some of the public papers in relating it, and from the exertions that many persons have commenced making in favor of the revolted slaves of the ‘Amistad,’ for whose defence they have engaged some of the most able counsellors of Boston, New Haven and New York.”]

“In the islands above mentioned the citizens of the United States have always met with a favorable reception and kind treatment. The Spanish Government, for the protection of their property, would immediately accord the extradition of any slaves that might take refuge there from the southern states. Being itself exact in the observance of treaties, it claims the more justly the execution of them, and a reciprocal good correspondence, from a nation, the ally and neighbor of Spain, to whom so many proofs have been afforded of the high degree in which her friendship is esteemed.”

They will readily yield fugitive slaves! Was this an argument, I ask the honorable Court, to be addressed to the Secretary of State! Is it upon these principles that cases are to be decided? Is it by these considerations that the action of governments is to be determined? Shall these men be given up on the offer of an equivalent? “If you will deliver these Africans to me, for whose

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blood all the slave-traders of Cuba thirst, and any slave from the south shall make his escape and come to Cuba, we will readily deliver him up.” What is this argument as addressed to the Secretary of State? It may be a very easy thing for the Governor at Havana to seize a fugitive southern slave, or a pretended fugitive, as the case may be, and put him on board a vessel and send him to one of our Southern states. The learned Attorney General, I think, read some authorities to show that this Governor has royal powers, about equal to those of the King, and it may be easy for him to seize any man, black or white, slave or free, who may be claimed as a slave, and send him beyond seas for any purpose. But, has the President of the United States any such powers? Can the American Executive do such things? If he is to do them, I should hope, at least, that it might be under treaty stipulations rather more adapted to the object than these. It was going quite far enough, I should think, to require the President of the U. S. to keep these men safely, and send them back at the expense of this nation, without making this–what shall I call it? I will not undertake to qualify it in words–this offer to send back the fugitive slaves of the South as an equivalent, provided the President will consent to deliver up these MEN, by a despotic act, to satiate the vengeance of the slave-traders at Havana.

I have now, may it please the Court, examined at great length, and with tedious detail, the letter of the Spanish minister, demanding the interposition of the national Executive to restore these unfortunate Africans to the island of Cuba. And now I may inquire of your Honors, what, in your opinion, was the duty of the

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Secretary of State, on receiving such a letter. And in the first place, what did he do?

His first act was, to misrepresent the demand, and to write to the District Attorney in Connecticut, directing him to pursue a claim for the possession of these people on behalf of the United States, on the ground that the Spanish minister had demanded their delivery to him, as the property of Spanish subjects, and ordering him to take care that no court should place them beyond the control of the Executive. That is what he did. And the consequence is the case now before the court. The Attorney of the United States pursued his orders. He stated, in his claim before the District Court, that the Spanish minister had demanded their restoration as property; and then, as if conscious that this claim might not secure the other purpose, of keeping them at all events within the control of the Executive, he added, of his own head, (for it does not appear that he had any instructions on this point,) a second count, claiming, on behalf of the United States, that if the court should find they were not slaves by the laws of Spain, but that they were brought to our shores in violation of the act of Congress for the suppression of the slave trade, then they should be placed at the disposal of the President, to be sent to Africa, according to the provisions of that act. This count was undoubtedly added in consequence of the order not to let them be placed beyond the control of the Executive. In a subsequent term of the court, he filed a new libel, in which this alternative demand was omitted. Why was that done? I can conceive no other reason than that he had received such instructions from the Executive.

Those instructions do not appear among the printed documents, but it does not follow that none were given, for the communication of the President, in answer to the call of the House of Representatives, was not a full one, as I know of my own knowledge. The demand was for all information not incompatible with the public interest, and under that proviso many things were kept back. But there can be no doubt that it was for the purpose of complying with the first order of the District Attorney inserted in the second count, and that it was by the instructions of the department he afterward withdrew it.

[Mr. Baldwin. The count was not withdrawn. A new libel was entered, having only one count, but the first libel was not withdrawn.]

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Very well–it amounts to this: that the Executive did not choose to hold itself responsible for that construction of the act of Congress. This appears from the appeal. What have the United States appealed from? Why, from a decree of the court, giving them precisely what they had claimed by the District Attorney. The Attorney knew that the libel grounded on the demand of the Spanish minister, (ostensibly, for I have shown that it was a falsification of the terms of that demand by the Secretary of State,) was not sufficient to place the Africans beyond the control of the Executive, in a certain alternative, and therefore he calls upon the Court to put them in the hands of the President, to be sent to Africa–that is, to complete their own voyage.

Well, the District Court investigated the case, and dissipated entirely the pretension that these Africans could be claimed in any way as merchandise. They went the length of declaring that the only ladino on board, the boy Antonio, concerning whom there was the slightest pretext of a claim that he was a slave, should be delivered up to the Spanish consul, on behalf of the representatives of his late owner, Captain Ferrer. The United States do not appeal from that decision, and there has been no appeal, although we might have appealed with propriety. And I confess that, had I been of counsel in that stage of the proceedings, I should have been much disposed to appeal, on the ground that there was no article of the treaty which has any thing to do with the case. I conceive that this part of the decree of the District Court is not warranted by any law or treaty whatever.

But I do not desire to argue that question now, for I perceive that the district judge, in giving his decision, places it partly on the ground that the boy is desirous of returning. And as volenti non fit injuria, I reconcile my mind to that part of the decision, for we could certainly have no possible motive to interfere with the wishes of the boy. If he really has the desire to return to slavery in Cuba, it would be far from my desire to interfere with his wishes, however strange and unnatural I might deem them to be. But I must, at the same time, as an individual, protest against his delivery by any compulsion, or on any ground of obligation in the treaty; for I must maintain, that there is no one of the articles in the treaty cited that has any application whatever to the case.

And now, may it please your Honors, so strange and singular is every thing that happens, connected with this most singular case.

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I am informed that, after all, this boy has not been sent to Cuba, notwithstanding his anxiety to go, and the desire of the Spanish consul for his restoration, with a decree of the Court agreeable to his demand. I am informed that he has remained a whole year in prison with the Africans, and is, at this moment, in the custody of the marshal, by what warrant or process I know not, or at whose expense.

The reason for this extended analysis of the demand by the Spanish minister is, that we may be prepared to inquire what answer he ought to have received from the American Secretary. I aver, that it was the duty of the Secretary of State instantly to answer the letter, by showing the Spanish minister that all his demands were utterly inadmissible, and that the government of the United States could do nothing of what he required. It could not deliver the ship to the owner, and there was no duty resting on the United States to dispose of the vessel in any such manner. And as to the demand that no salvage should be taken, the Spanish minister should have been told that it was a question depending exclusively on the determination of the courts, before whom the case was pending for trial according to law. And the Secretary ought to have shown Mr. Calderon, that the demand for a proclamation by the President of the United States, against the jurisdiction of the courts, was not only inadmissible but offensive–it was demanding what the Executive could not do, by the constitution. It would be the assumption of a control over the judiciary by the President, which would overthrow the whole fabric of the constitution; it would violate the principles of our government generally and in every particular; it would be against the rights of the negroes, of the citizens, and of the States.

The Secretary ought to have done this at once, without waiting to consult the President, who was then absent from the city. The claim that the negroes should be delivered was equally inadmissible with the rest; the President has no power to arrest either citizens or foreigners. But even that power is almost insignificant compared with that of sending men beyond seas to deliver them up to a foreign government. The Secretary should have called upon the Spanish ambassador to name an instance where such a demand had been made by any government of another government that was independent. He should have told him, that such a demand was treating the President of the United States, not as the

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head of a nation, but as a constable, a catchpole–a character that it is not possible to express in gentlemanly language. That is what this demand makes of the President of the United States.

The Secretary should also have set the Spanish Minister right with regard to the authorities before whom the question was pending. He should have told him that they were not the authorities of the state of Connecticut but of the United States, the courts of the Union in the state of Connecticut. He should have corrected this mistake of the minister at the beginning. It was a real misapprehension, which has continued through the whole proceeding to the present time, and it ought to have been corrected at first. And what is still more remarkable, the same mistake of calling it the court of Connecticut was made by Mr. Forsyth himself long after.

But what did the Secretary do in fact? He barely replies to Mr. Calderon, that he had sent his letter to the President for his consideration, and that “no time will be needlessly lost, after his decision upon the demand it prefers shall have reached me, in communicating to you his views upon the subject.”

And now, from that day to this, the Secretary of State has never answered one of these demands, nor arrested one of these misapprehensions, nor asserted the rights and the honor of the nation against one of these most extraordinary, inadmissible, and insolent demands. He has degraded the country, in the face of the whole civilized world, not only by allowing these demands to remain unanswered, but by proceeding, I am obliged to say, throughout the whole transaction, as if the Executive were earnestly desirous to comply with every one of the demands. In the very misrepresentations of those demands, in his instructions to the District Attorney, under which this case is brought here, why does he take such a course? The Spanish Minister pronounced the Court before which the Secretary brought the question, an incompetent tribunal–and this position has been maintained by the Legation of Spain down to this very month, that a letter of Chevalier d’Argaiz officially protests against the jurisdiction of the courts before which the Secretary professes to be prosecuting the claim of this very minister!

Why does the Spanish Minister persist in such inadmissible pretensions? It is because they were not met in time in a proper manner–because he was not told instantly, without the

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delay of an hour, that this Government could never admit such claims, and would be offended if they were repeated, or any portion of them. Yet all these claims, monstrous, absurd and inadmissible as they are, have been urged and repeated for eighteen months, upon our Government, and an American Secretary of State evades answering any of them–evades it to such an extent that the Spanish Minister reproaches him for not meeting his arguments.

The demand of Mr. Calderon was dated September 6. The order of the Secretary to the District Attorney, in regard to the suit, was dated September 11, in which he says that “a communication has been addressed to this department by the Minister of Her Catholic Majesty, claiming the vessel, cargo, and blacks on board, as Spanish property, and demanding its immediate release.” On the 23d of September, the Secretary writes to the Spanish Minister as follows:

Sir: In the examination of the case of the Spanish schooner “Amistad,” the only evidence at present within reach of this department is that presented by the ship’s paper; and the proceedings of the court of inquiry held by a district judge of Connecticut, on board the schooner, at the time the negroes in whose possession she was found, were imprisoned for the alleged murder of the captain and mate of the vessel. If you have any other authentic documents relating to the question or evidence of facts which can be useful to a proper understanding of it, I have the honor to request by the direction of the President, that you will communicate them to me with as little delay as practicable.

Here the Secretary reiterates the error of the Spanish minister, instead of correcting it, with regard to the character of the Court before which the case was pending. The Secretary of State calls the United States District for Connecticut “a District Court of Connecticut.” The Spanish Minister could not be expected to acquire a correct understanding of the case, unless he was informed, but here he has his error confirmed.

The Secretary further requests the ambassador, if he has any farther documents, “that you will communicate them to me.” What had he to do with this evidence? The Spanish minister had made a certain demand upon the government of the United States. Whether it was what it appears to be, or whether it was what the Secretary represented it to be in his orders to the District

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Attorney, it was no part of the business of the American Secretary of State to look after the evidence. Still, if he had requested the minister to communicate the evidence to the Court, it might not have been exactly improper, but only officious. If the Spanish Minister chose to go into our courts in support of the private claims of Spanish subjects, he could do it, and it was his business to bring forward the proper evidence in support of his claim. Why, then, does the Secretary call upon him to furnish these documents to the Executive Department? Your Honors will judge whether this letter is or is not evidence of a determination then existing on the part of the Executive, to decide this case independently of the judiciary, and ex parte.

Mr. Calderon replies that he has no other evidence to furnish. The next document is the letter of his successor, the Chevalier d’Argaiz:

New-York, October 3, 1839.

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Her Catholic Majesty, has the honor of commencing his official correspondence with you, sir, by soliciting an act of justice, which, not being in any way connected with the principal question as yet remaining unsettled by the cabinet, relative to the negroes found on board the schooner Amistad on her arrival on these coasts, he does not doubt will be received by you in the manner which he has every reason to expect, from the circumstance that all preceding acts of the department under your charge have been dictated by the principles of rectitude and reciprocity.

Her Majesty’s vice-consul at Boston, under date of the 24th of September last, says, among other things:

“As it appears from the papers of the schooner that she, as well as her cargo, are exclusively Spanish property, it seems strange that the Court of New London has not yet ordered the delivery of one or both to the owners, if they are present, or to me, as their agent, born in that part of the Union”–[This is a mis-translation; it means the official agent in that part of the Union]–“agreeably to the articles of the treaty now in force between the two countries. The delay in the delivery would not be of so much consequence to the proprietors if the vessel did not require immediate repairs, in order to preserve her from complete destruction, and if it were not material that a large part of the cargo should be sold on account of its bad condition.

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Here we see the same unfortunate misapprehension continued. The new Spanish minister calls upon the Secretary of State to put the “Court of New London” into speedy action, to lessen the danger of loss to the proprietors by delay, and the Secretary of State takes no pains to correct the error.

On the 24th of October, the Secretary of State wrote again to Mr. Argaiz, on another subject, which is not now before this Court,–the arrest of Ruiz and Montes, at the suit of some of the Africans, in the courts of the State of New York. Mr. Argaiz protested against the arrest, and claims “the interposition of the Executive in procuring their liberation, and indemnity for the losses and injury they may have sustained.” To that the Secretary replies:

“It appears from the documents accompanying the note of the Chevalier d’Argaiz, that the two Spanish subjects referred to were arrested on process issuing from the Superior Court of the city of New York, at the suit of, and upon affidavits made by certain colored men, natives of Africa, for the purpose of securing their appearance before the proper tribunal, to answer for wrongs alleged to have been inflicted by them upon the persons of the said Africans; and, consequently, that the occurrence constitutes a simple case of resort by individuals against others to the judicial courts of the country, which are equally open to all without distinction, and to which it belongs exclusively to decide, as well upon the right of the complainant to demand the interposition of their authority, as upon the liability of the defendant to give redress for the wrong alleged to have been committed by him. This being the only light in which the subject can be viewed, and the constitution and laws having secured the judicial power against all interference on the part of the Executive authority, the President, to whom the Chevalier d’Argaiz’s note has been communicated, has instructed the undersigned to state, that the agency of this government to obtain the release of Messrs. Ruiz and Montes cannot be afforded in the manner requested by him. The laws of the state of New York, of which the constitution and laws of the United States and their treaties with foreign powers form a part, afford to Messrs. Ruiz and Montes all the necessary means to procure their release from imprisonment, and to obtain any indemnity to which they may be justly entitled, and therefore would render unnecessary any agency on the part of this department for those purposes.”

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There is a complete answer to all these demands of the Spanish legation. “The constitution and laws have secured the judicial power against ALL interference of the Executive authority.” That is very true. The laws of the state of New York, of which the constitution and laws of the United States and their treaties with foreign powers form a part, afford to Messrs. Ruiz and Montes all the necessary means for the security of their rights, and therefore “render unnecessary any agency on the part of” the Executive. That is very correct. There is a perfect answer, worthy of an American statesman But is that all? No. The Secretary finds, after all these disclaimers, one Executive power yet in reserve, which may be put forth to take part against poor Africans, and at least afford evidence of the national sympathy. The Secretary says:

“But inasmuch as the imprisonment of those persons connects itself with another occurrence which has been brought under the President’s consideration, in consequence of a correspondence between the Spanish legation and this department, instructions (of which a copy is inclosed) have been given to the Attorney of the United States for the District of New York to put himself in communication with those gentlemen, to offer them his advice (and his aid, if necessary) as to any measure which it may be proper for them to adopt to procure their release, and such indemnity as may be due to them, under our laws, for their arrest and detention.”

Because the case “connects itself with another occurrence.” What is all this? The independence of the judiciary is first firmly and bravely sustained. It is a question of private rights between parties, with which the executive has nothing to do, and the Government of the United States has no power to interpose. And then the President instructs the District Attorney, the law officer of the government, to “put himself in communication” with one of the parties, to throw all the weight and influence of the government on their side, in order to secure a favorable decision for them in the Courts of the state of New York. May it please your Honors, I will not here enter into an inquiry of the effect of this interference of the Executive of the United States with the Courts of a State, or the extent and operation of the principle which would authorize such interference. I really do not know, my imagination cannot present to me the compass of

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its effects on the rights of the people of the United States. I again ask the attention of this honorable court to this subject. The letter begins with a declaration of the independence of the judiciary of the State of New York, the sufficiency of the laws to secure justice and the incompetency of the Executive to interfere; and yet, because the case “connects itself” with another case in which the Executive has considered itself entitled to act, the whole influence of the Government is brought to bear upon the judicial authorities of the State of New York.

I said the Secretary of State had never to this hour undertaken to contest any one of the actual demands of Mr. Calderon, as preferred in his letter of 5th September. He had suffered both Mr. Calderon and his successor to remain under the impression that if their demands were not complied with, for the kidnapping of these people by the Executive, it was not for the want of a will to do it, or of a disposition to contest the claims put forth in so extraordinary a manner upon our government. Let us now see how Mr. Argaiz himself regarded the conduct of the Secretary. On the 5th of November, he writes again to Mr. Forsyth, acknowledging the receipt of Mr. Forsyth’s letter, inclosing the instructions of the Attorney of the United States for the District of New York, “that he should offer to these persons his advice and assistance, if needed, with regard to the most proper means of obtaining their liberty.” He says:

“Although this answer did not entirely satisfy the desire expressed by the undersigned in the note of October 22d, to which he was impelled by the sense of his duty, and by the terms of existing treaties, yet he received it with pleasure and with thanks; with pleasure, because he saw that the Secretary of State did not refuse to admit the reasons which the undersigned had the honor to state in that note; and with thanks, because he saw that the sentiments which had urged him to request with warmth a prompt reply, had been kindly interpreted. The undersigned in consequence, went immediately to New York, where he visited, on the 29th ultimo, the Attorney of the United States, with whom he had a long conversation, which left him delighted with the affability and courtesy of Mr. Butler, although he did not have the happiness to remain satisfied as to the principal matter, as that officer of justice declared that he could find no other means of obtaining the liberty of Ruiz (Montes being already free) than by

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waiting the determination of the court or courts, against the jurisdiction of which the undersigned had already especially protested.”

The Spanish ambassador was not satisfied with the letter, and yet he received it with pleasure, “because he saw that the Secretary did not refuse to admit his reasons.” How is that? The Secretary of State took no measures to repel the improper demand made, or to correct the erroneous idea cherished by the Spanish legation; and this neglect Mr. Argaiz construes as a virtual admission of his “reasons.” Why should he not so construe it? Here is also a renewal of the protest, which has uniformly been maintained by the legation, against the right of any court in this country to exercise jurisdiction in the case. And yet this suit is carried on by the Executive, as in pursuance of a demand by the Spanish minister. Mr. Argaiz then refers to two personal conferences which he had with the Secretary, and he is well persuaded that what he had said, together with the indications in his note of October 22, would have been sufficient to convince “one so enlightened and discriminating as the Secretary, of the justice of his claim; that this persuasion has gained strength, from the circumstance that the Secretary of State has made no attempt in his answer to oppose those arguments, but has confined himself to endeavoring to explain the course of civil causes in the courts of this country, in order to show that the government of the United States could not interfere in the manner which her Catholic Majesty’s representative requested; it becomes necessary to advance farther arguments, at the risk of being importunate.”

And a little farther on, after adverting to the various excuses and palliations which seem to have been presented in these confidential conferences, for not seizing these negroes and sending them to Cuba by the Executive power, in which he says “it is allowed by the whole world” that “petitions or accusations of slaves against their masters cannot be admitted in a court,” he concludes by asking–

“As the incompetence of the courts of the United States, with regard to this matter, is so clearly demonstrated, is there no power in the Federal Government to declare it so, and to interpose its authority to put down the irregularity of these proceedings, which the court is not competent to perform? It seems impossible that there should be no such power; but unfortunately there is none.

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“Her Catholic Majesty’s envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, nevertheless, seeing that his previous protest did not produce the result which he expected, renews it now, declaring this government responsible for the consequences which may grow out of this affair; and he asks the Secretary of State whether or not he possesses sufficient authority and force to carry into fulfillment the treaty of 1795. If he has not, then there can be no treaty binding on the other party.”

He thinks it impossible there should not be a power in the Federal Government to put down these proceedings of the courts, but he admits that unfortunately there is no such power, and then asks the Secretary of State if he cannot find a power, somewhere, to take the matter out of the hands of the judiciary altogether. And if not, he shall hold this Government responsible for the consequences, for if it has not power to fulfill the treaty, no treaty is binding on either party.

On the 26th of November, the trial of the case having been postponed by the District Court from November to January, he writes again, that he is under the necessity of renewing his former complaints.

“To the first complaint, made by his predecessor, on the 6th September last, nothing more than an acknowledgment of its receipt was thought necessary, which was made on the 16th of the same month. In the answers which the Secretary was pleased to give to the notes of the undersigned, of the 22d of October, and the 5th of November last, that gentleman did not think proper to combat the arguments advanced. Those which the undersigned now proposes to present will be no less powerful, and he hopes will be such that the Secretary will not be able to deny their justice.

“The undersigned has the honor to ask in what law, act, or statute, does the said court base its right to take cognizance of the present case? There can be no doubt as to the reply: on no law, act, or statute.”

Here he denies again that the Court, before which the Secretary of State had made a demand with the averment that it came from the Spanish minister, has any power to take cognizance of the case. He says there is no law, act, or statute for it, and then he goes on:–

“For, if any such existed, it is, or should be, anterior or posterior

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to the treaty of 1795. If anterior, it clearly became annulled, because a treaty is one of the superior laws of the State, or the treaty should never have been signed, or ratified, or sanctioned by the legislative bodies. If posterior to the treaty, the legislative bodies, in drawing it up, discussing it, and voting on it, must have seen that it was at variance with a subsisting treaty, which was already a law of the Union. All which serves to show that, in the existing state of the laws, this affair cannot and should not be decided by the common law, but by the international law.”

That is to say, the treaty stipulation has taken away the power of the courts of the United States to exercise jurisdiction between parties. Is that a doctrine to be heard by the Secretary of State of the United States from a foreign ambassador without answering it? The ambassador proceeds to urge that “if the General Government of the Union had decided this matter of itself, gubernativamente”–here is a word, used several times in this correspondence, that no American translator has been able to translate into our language. It means, by the simple will or absolute fiat of the Executive, as in the case of the letters de cachet–or a warrant for the BASTILE–that is what the Spaniard means by gubernativamente, when he asks the Executive of the United States, by his own fiat, to seize these MEN, wrest them from the power and protection of the courts, and send them beyond seas! Is there any such law at Constantinople? Does the Celestial Empire allow a proceeding like this? Is the Khan of Tartary possessed of a power competent to meet demands like these? I know not where on the globe we should look for any such authority, unless it be with the Governor General of Cuba with respect to negroes.

“If the General Government had proceeded gubernativamente”–it is not necessary now to consider what would have followed. “But,” says the Chevalier d’Argaiz, “very different, however, have been the results; for, in the first place the treaty of 1795 has not been executed, as the legation of her Catholic Majesty has solicited; and the public vengeance has not been satisfied.”

“The public vengeance!” What public vengeance? The vengeance of African slave-traders, despoiled of their prey and thirsting for blood! The vengeance of the barracoons! This “public vengeance” is not satisfied. Surely, this is very lamentable. Surely, this is a complaint to be made to the Secretary of

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State of this government. “For,” says he, “be it recollected that the legation of Spain does not demand the delivery of slaves, but of assassins.”

How is it possible to reconcile this declaration of the Spanish minister with the libel of the District Attorney, entered by order of the Secretary of State, setting forth what was said to be the demand of the Spanish minister? It is an explicit contradiction.

The Constitution of the United States recognizes the slaves, held within some of the States of the Union, only in their capacity of persons–persons held to labor or service in a State under the laws thereof–persons constituting elements of representation in the popular branch of the National Legislature–persons, the migration or importation of whom should not be prohibited by Congress prior to the year 1808. The Constitution no where recognizes them as property. The words slave and slavery are studiously excluded from the Constitution. Circumlocutions are the fig-leaves under which these parts of the body politic are decently concealed. Slaves, therefore, in the Constitution of the United States are recognized only as persons, enjoying rights and held to the performance of duties.

But, in all countries where men are held as slaves, when they are charged with the commission of crimes, the right of their owners to their persons is, and must necessarily be, suspended; and when they are convicted of capital crimes, the right of the owner is extinguished. Throughout the whole correspondence between the Spanish ministers and our Department of State, concerning the surrender of these most unfortunate persons, this broad distinction appears to have been entirely and astonishingly overlooked, not only by the Spanish ministers, but by the Secretary of State and by the Attorney General.

Mr. Calderon demands that the President should keep these persons all–all–adult males and children of both sexes included–in close custody, and convey them to Cuba to be tried for their lives. Is it not palpable that if this demand had been complied with, they could not have been restored to their pretended owners, Ruiz and Montes, as merchandise of what nature soever? With what face, then, could the 9th article of the treaty with Spain be alleged to support a demand for the safekeeping and delivery of the captives, not as slaves, but as assassins–not as

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merchandise, but as men–as infant females, with flesh, and blood, and nerves, and sinews, to be tortured, and with lives to be forfeited and consumed by fire, to appease the public vengeance of the lawless slave-traders in Cuba?

Mr. Forsyth, by a most unaccountable oversight of this distinction between persons and things, misrepresents this demand of Mr. Calderon.

He instructs the District Attorney, Mr. Holabird, (11th Sept., 1839, Doc. p. 39, 40,) that the Spanish minister had addressed a communication to the Department of State, claiming the vessel, cargo, AND BLACKS on board, as Spanish property, and demanding its immediate release.

The District Attorney, on the 19th of September, files, accordingly, his libels, (Record, p. 13,) stating the demand of the Spanish minister, not as it had really been made, but according to the statement of it in his instructions from the Department of State; and he prays the Court that, if the claim of the Spanish minister is well founded and conformable to treaty, the Court should make such order for the disposal of the said vessel, cargo, AND SLAVES, as may best enable the United States, in all respects, to comply with their treaty stipulations, and preserve the public faith inviolate.

But if it should be made to appear that the persons aforesaid, described as slaves, are negroes and persons of color, who have been transported from Africa in violation of the laws of the United States, and brought into these United States contrary to the same laws, he claims that, in such case, the Court shall make such further order as may enable the United States, if deemed expedient, to remove such persons to the coast of Africa, to be delivered there to such agent or agents as may be authorized to receive and provide for them, pursuant to the laws of the United States; or to make such other order as to the court should seem fit, right, and proper in the premises.

Here were three alternatives prayed for–1st. That the vessel, cargo, and blacks, assumed to be slaves, should be so disposed of as to enable the United States to comply with their treaty stipulations, and preserve the public faith inviolate. It was stated that this demand was made at the instance of the Spanish minister, but that was true only of the vessel and cargo, but not of the persons. Of them, he had demanded, by necessary implication, that

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they should not be restored to their pretended owners, but kept in close custody, and, in defiance of all judicial authority, conveyed to the Havana Governmentally, that is, by the arbitrary mandate of the President of the United States, to satisfy public vengeance. The Court could not have complied with this alternative of restoring the negroes, as property, to their owners, but by denying and defying the real demand of the Spanish minister, that they should be sent to Cuba as criminals.

The second alternative was, that the Court should enable the United States to send the negroes home to Africa, if deemed expedient; and to this the decree of the Court said, soit fait comme il est desiré–be it as the District Attorney desires. Let the said Africans, in the custody of the Marshal, be delivered to the President of the United States by the Marshal of the District of Connecticut, to be by him transported to Africa, in pursuance of the law of Congress passed March 3, 1829, entitled “An act in addition to the acts prohibiting the slave-trade.”

Yet, from this sentence, claimed by the District Attorney, the representative of the Executive Administration before the Court, it is he himself that appeals. Should the Court sustain that appeal, what judgment could they possibly render? Should they reverse the decision of the District and Circuit Courts, they would indeed determine that these forty persons should not be delivered to the President of the United States, to be sent home to Africa; –but what shall the Court decree to be done with them? Not surely, that they should be delivered up to their pretended owners, for against that the Spanish minister solemnly protests! He demands not even that they should be delivered up to himself! He demands that it should be declared, that no tribunal in the United States has the right even to institute proceedings against them. Be declared–by whom? He demands of the Executive Administration–(will the Court please to consider what the purport of this demand is?)–that the President of the United States should issue a proclamation, that no tribunal of the United States has the right to institute proceedings against the subjects of Spain for crimes committed on board a Spanish vessel, and in the waters of the Spanish territory.

When this demand was made, the Africans of the Amistad were in the custody of a judicial tribunal of the United States, upon


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proceedings instituted against them as criminals charged with piracy and murder. They were also claimed by two Spaniards as merchandise, their property; and the faith of a treaty was solemnly invoked to sustain the claim that this merchandise, rescued out of the hands of pirates or robbers, (that is to say, out of the hands of itself,) should be taken cure of by the officers of the port into which they had been brought, and restored entire to them–Ruiz and Montes–as soon as due and sufficient proof should be made concerning the property thereof.

Now, if no tribunal in the United States had the right to institute proceedings against the subjects of Spain for crimes committed on board a Spanish vessel and in the waters of the Spanish territory, how could the Court know that these same Spanish subjects were, at the same time, the merchandise rescued out of the hands of pirates and robbers and the pirates or robbers out of whose hands the merchandise was rescued? How could the Court know that they were subjects of Spain–that they were pirates or robbers–or that they were merchandise–if the Court had no right to institute proceedings against them?

The very phraseology of the 9th article of the treaty with Spain proves, that it was not and could not be intended to include persons under the denomination of merchandise, of what nature soever, for it provides that the merchandise shall be delivered to the custody of the officers of the port, in order to be taken care of and restored entire to the true proprietor. Now, this provision, that the merchandise shall be restored entire, is absurd if applied to human beings, and the use of the word conclusively proves that the thought and intention of the parties could not be construed to extend to human beings. A stipulation to restore human beings entire might suit two nations of cannibals, but would be absurd, and worse than absurd, between civilized and Christian nations. Again, the article provides that the rescued merchandise shall be delivered to the custody of the officers of the port into which it is brought, in order to be taken care of; but, by what Constitution or law of the United States, or of Connecticut, could the officers of the port of New London receive into their custody, and take care of, the Africans of the Amistad?

The demand of the Spanish minister, Calderon, was, that the President of the United States should first turn man-robber; rescue from the custody of the Court, to which they had been committed,

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those forty odd Africans, males and females, adults and children; next turn jailer, and keep them in his close custody, to prevent their evasion; and lastly, turn catchpoll and convey them to the Havana, to appease the public vengeance of the African slave-traders of the barracoons.

Is it possible to speak of this demand in language of decency and moderation? Is there a law of Habeas Corpus in the land? Has the expunging process of black lines passed upon these two Declarations of Independence in their gilded frames? Has the 4th of July, ’76, become a day of ignominy and reproach? Is there a member of this Honorable Court of age to remember the indignation raised against a former President of the United States for causing to be delivered up, according to express treaty stipulation, by regular judicial process, a British sailor, for murder on board of a British frigate on the high seas? At least, all your Honors remember the case of the Bambers? You all remember your own recent decision in the case of Dr. Holmes? And is it for this Court to sanction such monstrous usurpation and Executive tyranny as this at the demand of a Spanish minister? And can you hear, with judicial calmness and composure, this demand of despotism, countenanced and supported by all the Executive authorities of the United States, though not yet daring to carry it into execution?

The third alternative prayed for in the name and behalf of the United States in the libel of the 19th of September, 1839, is, that the court should make such other order in the premises as it should think fit, right, and proper.

To this expedient it was necessary for the court to resort. The court did not know–it could not know that the demand of the Spanish Minister, Calderon, was not only widely different from that which the libel of the District Attorney represented it to be, but absolutely incompatible with it. The court took it for granted that the statement in the libels, at least so far as concerned the demand of the Spanish Minister, was true–and so far as respected the only Ladino on board the Amistad, the boy Antonio, did accede to the supposed demand of the Minister–did actually admit the treaty stipulation as applicable to him–and did decree that he should be restored to the legal representatives of his deceased master. The judge of the District Court relieved Antonio from his right of appeal from that decision by stating that Antonio himself desired to

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be restored to his widowed mistress. But as the whole decree was the result of a deception practiced upon the court, and as in that part of it relating to Antonio, are involved principles of the deepest interest to human freedom, and to the liberties of my country, I will only express my most earnest hope, with profound respect for the court, that that portion of its decision will never be adduced as authority for the surrender of any other individual situated as Antonio was on that trial.

And here I must avail myself of the occasion to state my objections to the admission of the case of the Antelope as an authoritative precedent in this or any other court of the United States–I had almost said for any thing, certainly for the right of the court itself to deliver up to slavery any human individual at the demand of any diplomatic or consular agent of any foreign power. And that I may be enabled to set forth at large, my reasons for resisting the application of that case as precedent or authority for the settlement of any principle now under the consideration of the Court, I must ask the permission of the Court to review the case of the Antelope itself, as it appears on the face of the Reports.

[See the review of the case of the Antelope, at the close of the argument.]

And this declaration of the Spanish minister not only contradicts it, but shows that it was impossible any such demand should have been made. “For, let it be remembered,” he says, “that the Spanish legation demands not slaves but assassins.” No despotism could comply with both demands, had they been made, but the Spanish Minister explicitly declares that only one demand was made by the legation, and that not the one affirmed by the Secretary of State–not property but assassins–not for the benefit of individuals, but to satisfy “public vengeance.” There is something follows in the letter about “fanaticism,” which I will not read to the Court, for reasons that will be obvious.* Indeed, I do not know

[Note : * It is proper to append this part of the letter, that the allusion may be understood by the reader, as it doubtless was by the Court.–Reporter.

“Very different, however, have been the results; for, in the first place the treaty of 1795 has not been executed, as the legation of her Catholic Majesty has solicited; and the public vengeance has not been satisfied; for be it recollected that the legation of Spain does not demand the delivery of slaves, but of assassins. Secondly, great injury has been done to the owners; not the least being the imprisonment which Don Jose Ruiz is now undergoing, notwithstanding the complaints made on that subject, which, if not entirely disregarded, have at least not produced the favorable results which might have been expected; and the dignity of the Spanish nation has thus been offended. With respect to which injuries, the undersigned will, on a proper occasion, use his right; although no indemnification can fully recompense for the evils, physical and moral, which the persecutions and vexations occasioned by fanaticism may cause to an honorable man.”]

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as I understand it, and it is possible that I have indulged, or may indulge in what, in certain dialects, may be called “fanaticism,” myself. The Chevalier proceeds to reason:

“Thus it appears that a court of one of the States of the confederacy has assumed the direction of an affair over which it has no jurisdiction; that there can be no law, either anterior or posterior to the treaty, upon which a legal sentence can be based; that this court, by the repeated delays which it orders, contributes to delay the satisfaction demanded by public justice; and that, in consequence, the affair should only be determined by reference to international right, and, therefore, by the exercise of the power of the Government, (gubernativamente;) that, for its determination, the treaty exists to which Spain appeals; that, from the delay on this determination have proceeded injuries requiring indemnification, to demand which the undersigned reserves his right for a future occasion. The undersigned may, without indiscretion, declare that this must be the opinion of the cabinet, which, possessing already the necessary and even indispensable powers, may immediately act (gubernativamente) in this matter, in virtue of the actual state of the law, and without awaiting the decision of any court. Not to do so may give rise to very complicated explanations with regard to reciprocity in the execution and fulfillment of treaties.”

Here it is. “Gubernativamente,” again; that is the idea which was in the mind of the Spanish minister all the while, gubernativamente. That is what he was insisting on, that was the demand which the Secretary of State never repelled as he ought, by telling Mr. Argaiz that it was not only inadmissible under our form of government, but would be offensive if repeated. But where will your Honors find any thing like a demand for property, under the treaty, and by the decision of a court of the United States? He says, if the Executive does not at once act gubernativamente, and take the case out of the judiciary, and send these people to Cuba, it “may give rise to complicated explanations with regard to reciprocity

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in the execution and fulfillment of treaties.” Is that language for a foreign minister to use to the American Secretary of State, and not to be answered? He then says:

“The undersigned flatters himself with the hope that his Excellency the President will take into his high consideration this communication, to which the undersigned hopes for a speedy answer, as a new proof of the scrupulousness and respect with which this nation fulfils the treaties existing with other nations. If, contrary to this hope, the decision should not be such as the undersigned asks, he can only declare the General Government of the Union responsible for all and every consequence which the delay may produce.”

There is the language used by the representative of her Catholic Majesty to the Secretary of State of the United States, and to which the Secretary never thought it necessary to make a suitable reply. There is another correspondence published among the documents of the present session of Congress, connected too with this very case, which shows that the Secretary knows how to be very sensitive with regard to any thing that looks like foreign interference with the action of our courts and government. It is in his answer to Mr. Fox, the British ambassador, who addressed a letter to Mr. Forsyth, January 20th, 1841, saying he had been instructed to represent to the President that the attention of his government “has been seriously directed to the case” of these Africans, and in consequence of the treaty between Great Britain and Spain, in which the former paid a valuable consideration for the abandonment of the trade, it is ” moved to take a special and peculiar interest in the fate of these unfortunate Africans.” And he says:

“Now the unfortunate Africans, whose case is the subject of the present representation, have been thrown by accidental circumstances into the hands of the authorities of the United States; and it may probably depend upon the action of the United States Government, whether these persons shall recover the freedom to which they are entitled, or whether they shall be reduced to slavery, in violation of the known laws and contracts publicly passed, prohibiting the continuance of the African slave trade by Spanish subjects.

“It is under these circumstances that Her Majesty’s Government anxiously hope that the President of the United States will find himself empowered to take such measures in behalf of the

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aforesaid Africans as shall secure to them the possession of their liberty, to which, without doubt, they are by law entitled.”

The Secretary of State, in his reply, consents to receive the communication, “as an evidence of the benevolence of her Majesty’s Government, under which aspect alone,” he says, “it could be entertained by the Government of the United States.” What a different tone is here! Mr. Fox merely referred to the relations of his own government with that of Spain, and to the 10th article of the treaty of Ghent, between Great Britain and the United States, in which both nations bound themselves “to use their best endeavors for the entire abolition of the African slave trade.” His letter was courteously worded throughout. It casts no imputations upon any branch of our government, it pronounces no part of it incompetent to its functions, it asks no unconstitutional and despotic interference of the Executive with the judiciary gubernativamente, but simply announces the interest his government feels in the case, and its “anxious hope that the President of the United States will find himself empowered to take such measures in behalf of the aforesaid Africans as shall secure to them their liberty, to which,” he says, “without doubt, they are by law entitled.” To this the Secretary of State replies:

“Viewing this communication as an evidence of the benevolence of her Majesty’s Government–under which aspect alone it could be entertained by the Government of the United States–I proceed, by direction of the President, to make, in reply, a few observations suggested by the topics of your letter. The narrative presented therein, of the circumstances which brought these negroes to our shores, is satisfactory evidence that her Majesty’s Government is aware that their introduction did not proceed from the wishes or direction of the Government of the United States. A formal demand having been made by the Spanish minister for the delivery of the vessel and property, including the negroes on board, the grounds upon which it is based have become the subject of investigation before the judicial tribunals of the country, which have not yet pronounced their final decision thereupon. You must be aware, sir, that the Executive has neither the power nor the disposition to control the proceedings of the legal tribunals when acting within their own appropriate jurisdiction.”

How sensitive the Secretary is now! How quick to perceive an impropriety! How alive to the honor of the country–much

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more so, indeed, than the case required. How different his course from that pursued toward the Spanish minister, who had been from the beginning to the end pressing upon our government demands the most inadmissible, the most unexampled, the most offensive, and yet received from the Secretary no answer, but either a prompt compliance with his requirements, or a plain demonstration of regret that compliance was impracticable. Not one attempt do we find by the Secretary to vindicate the honor of the country, or to press the Spanish minister to bring forward his warrant for such unexampled, such humiliating demands. Neither does he intimate in the case of the Spanish claim, that it is received on the ground of “benevolence.” Indeed he could not very well offer that as an apology. Benevolence! The burning of these forty Africans at the stake, as the result of a compliance by our Executive with the Spanish demand, would hardly tend to exhibit or inspire “benevolence.”–No, it was for vengeance that they were demanded, admitted to be so in this very letter.

In the same letter the Secretary of State does not undertake to controvert the principles set forth by Mr. Calderon, nor the arguments urged by Mr. Argaiz; but repeats that they had been submitted to the President for consideration. And that is all the answer ever given to the Spanish legation. He then refers to various personal conversations with the minister of Spain.

“It was hoped that, in the various conversations which have since taken place with the Chevalier d’Argaiz at this department, on the same subject, he would have discovered additional evidence of the desire of the United States Government to do justice to the demand and representation addressed to it in the name of that of Spain, as fully and as promptly as the peculiar character of the claim admitted. From the repeated communications of the Chevalier d’Argaiz, pressing for the disposal of the question; from his reiterated offer of suggestions as to the course by which he deems it incumbent upon this Government to arrive at a final decision; and from the arguments in support of those suggestions, which the undersigned does not perceive the utility of combating at the present stage of the transaction.”

The Secretary makes no pretension to contest the claims of Spain–not even a suggestion of the idea that these claims are inadmissible, or that, if pressed, they would be offensive. In these conversations, many things may have been said which perhaps

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it would not have been deemed compatible with the public interest to make public. I shall justify this intimation before I am through with this remarkable correspondence. But it is evident there was no resistance of the claims in question as to their justice, no examination of their principles. The Secretary says he does not perceive the utility of combating any of these demands or allegations, and he refers to these private conversations as evidence that the Government is perfectly disposed to do all that is demanded. He continues by saying–

“The Government of the United States cannot but perceive with regret that the Chevalier d’Argaiz has not formed an accurate conception of the true character of the question, nor of the rules by which, under the constitutional institutions of the country, the examination of it must be conducted; nor a correct appreciation of the friendly disposition toward Her Catholic Majesty’s Government, with which that examination was so promptly entered upon. In connection with one of the points in the Chevalier d’Argaiz’s last note, the undersigned will assure him, that whatever be, in the end, the disposal of the question, it will be in consequence of a decision emanating from no other source than the Government of the United States; and that, if the agency of the judicial authority shall have been employed in conducting the investigation of the case, it is because the judiciary is, by the organic law of the land, a portion, though an independent one, of that Government.”

That is to say, so it is, and we can’t help it, the judiciary is independent, it must have its course, and we cannot help it. He proceeds:

“As to the delay which has already attended, and still may attend, a final decision, and which the Chevalier d’Argaiz considers as a legitimate subject of complaint, it arises from causes which the undersigned believes that it would serve no useful purpose to discuss at this time, farther than to say that they are beyond the control of this department, and that it is not apprehended that they will affect the course which the Government of the United States may think it fit ultimately to adopt.”

The Spanish minister is here given to understand, in his ear, that care had been taken to prevent the Africans from being placed beyond the control of the Executive, and therefore he need be under no apprehension that the decision of the courts, whatever


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it may be, “will affect the course which the Government of the United States may think it fit ultimately to adopt.” What other construction can possibly be given to this paragraph? If any other is possible from the words there are facts in the case which prove that this was what was intended. The Secretary proceeds with his explanations and apologies.

“The undersigned indulges the hope that, upon a review of the circumstances of the case, and the questions it involves, the Chevalier d’Argaiz will agree with him in thinking that the delay which has already occurred is not more than commensurate with the importance of those questions; that such delay is not uncommon in the proceedings and deliberations of governments desirous of taking equal justice as the guide of their actions; and that the caution which it has been found necessary to observe in the instance under consideration, is yet far from having occasioned such procrastination as it has been the lot of the United States frequently to encounter in their intercourse with the Government of Spain.”

“With regard to the imprisonment of Don Joseé Ruiz, it is again the misfortune of this Government to have been entirely misapprehended by the Chevalier d’Argaiz, in the agency it has had in this, an entirely private concern of a Spanish subject. It was no more the intention of this department, in what has already been done, to draw the Chevalier d’Argaiz into a polemical discussion with the Attorney of the United States for the district of New York, than to supply Don José Ruiz, gratis, with counsel in the suit in which he had been made a party. The offer made to that person of the advice and assistance of the District Attorney, was a favor–an entirely gratuitous one–since it was not the province of the United States to interfere in a private litigation between subjects of a foreign state, for which Mr. Ruiz is indebted to the desire of this government to treat with due respect the application made in his behalf in the name of her Catholic Majesty, and not to any right he ever had to be protected against alleged demands of individuals against him or his property.”

Here, then, it is avowed that the Executive government of this nation had interposed in a suit between two parties, by extending a favor entirely gratuitous to one of the parties, who, it is at the same time admitted, had no claim whatever to this gratuitous aid. And then comes the exhibition which I have already read, of

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the national sympathy, in which all the authorities of the country are alleged to have participated, and the assumption, under which all the proceedings have been carried on, that there was but one party aggrieved in the case, and that party was the Spanish slavetraders.

On the 25th of December the Chevalier d’Argaiz addressed a long letter to the Secretary of State, in which he acknowledges the receipt of the last letter, to which “it would be superfluous”–the word is ocioso, idle–to reply, inasmuch as the Secretary of State does not seem to have considered it requisite in the present situation of the affair, to combat the arguments adduced by the undersigned. The delicacy of the undersigned does not, however, allow him to pass over (desoir) certain insinuations (remarks) contained in the said note; and it will, perhaps, be difficult for him to avoid adducing some new argument in support of his demands.”

The Secretary had never met these claims and arguments, as it was his duty to do, and the Spanish minister is continually reminding him that he does not answer his arguments. He then refers him to his own course, and says, “The undersigned would not have troubled the Government of the Union with his urgent demand, if the two Spaniards (who, as the Secretary of State, in his note of the 12th, says, ‘were found in this distressing and perilous situation by officers of the United States, who, moved by sympathetic feelings, which subsequently became national,’) had not been the victims of an intrigue, as accurately shown by Mr. Forsyth, in the conference which he had with the undersigned on the 21st of October last.”

He here refers to a private conference in which the Secretary of State had accurately shown that the two Spaniards in New York were the “victims of an intrigue.” The Secretary of State of the United States, then, had confidentially and officially informed the Spanish minister that the two Spaniards, in being arrested at the suit of some of these Africans, were the “victims of an intrigue.” What the Secretary meant by “victims of an intrigue,” is not for me to say. These Spaniards had been sued in the courts of the state of New York by some of my clients, for alleged wrongs done to them on the high seas–for cruelty, in fact, so dreadful, that many of their number had actually perished under the treatment. These suits were commenced by lawyers of New

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York–men of character in their profession. Possibly they advised with a few other individuals–fanatics, perhaps, I must call them, according to the general application of language, but if I were to speak my own language in my own estimate of their character, so far as concerns this case, and confining my remarks exclusively to this present case, I should pronounce them the FRIENDS OF HUMAN NATURE–men who were unable to see these, their fellow men, in the condition of these unfortunate Africans, seized, imprisoned, helpless, friendless, without language to complain, without knowledge to understand their situation or the means of deliverance–I say they could not see human beings in this condition and not undertake to save them from slavery and death, if it was in their power–not by a violation of the laws, but by securing the execution of the laws in their favor. These are the men whom the American Secretary of State arraigns in a confidential conversation with the minister of Spain, as the instigators of “an intrigue” of which he holds these disappointed slave-holders to be the unfortunate victims. The Chevalier goes on:

“The Secretary of State, however, says that ‘he cannot but perceive with regret that the Chevalier d’Argaiz has not formed an accurate conception of the true character of the question, nor of the rules by which, under the constitutional institutions of this country, the examination of it must be conducted.’ Possibly the undersigned may not have formed such an accurate conception of this affair, since it has been carried within the circle of legal subtleties, as he has not pursued the profession of the law; but he is well persuaded that, if the crew of the Amistad had been composed of white men, the court, or the corporation to which the Government of the Union might have submitted the examination of the question, would have observed the rules by which it should be conducted under the constitutional institutions of the country, and would have limited itself to the ascertainment of the facts of the murders committed on the 30th of June; and the undersigned does not comprehend the privilege enjoyed by negroes, in favor of whom an interminable suit is commenced, in which everything is deposed by every person who pleases; and, for that object, an English doctor, who accuses the Spanish government of not complying with its treaties, and calumniates the Captain General of the island of Cuba, by charging him with bribery.”

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Here it is made the subject of complaint from a foreign ambassador to the Executive Government of the United States, that in a court of the United States, in a trial for the life and liberty of forty human beings, the testimony of “an English doctor” was received. And this complaint also was received without a reply. The “English doctor,” thus spoken of, was Doctor Madden, a man of letters, and in the official employ of the British Government, in a post of much importance and responsibility, as the superintendent of liberated Africans at Havana. His testimony was highly important in the case and was admitted in the court below, and now forms a part of the record now before your Honors. He does not use the word bribery in reference to the Governor General of Cuba.


Washington, Feb. 25, 1841.

The proceedings of the Court in this solemn case have been interrupted by the solemn voice of death. One of the learned and honorable judges of the Court, who sat yesterday in his place, listening with profound and patient attention to the argument of a counsellor many years older than himself, reasoning eloquently in behalf of justice on earth, has been summoned to his own dread account, at the bar of Eternal Justice above. Judge Barbour, of Virginia, the seventh in rank on the bench, died last night in his bed–in his sleep, it is probable, without a groan or a struggle. The servant at his lodgings went at the usual hour this morning to the rooms of the different Judges, to call them to breakfast. As the Chief Justice was passing the door of Judge Barbour’s room, the man said to him, “Chief Justice, will you please to come here, sir–I think Judge Barbour is dead.” Judge Taney went to the bed, and there saw his associate lying on his side, as if in a gentle sleep, but dead and cold, with the exception of a slight remaining warmth at the chest. Not a muscle was distorted, nor were the bed-clothes in the slightest degree disturbed, so that it is probable his heart ceased to beat in an instant, while he was asleep!

At the usual hour for opening the Court this morning, none of the Judges were seen in the court-room, which was already filled with persons come to hear the continuation of Mr. Adams’ speech.

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At length the Judges came in together, and their countenances looked pale, distressed, and sorrowful. As soon as they had taken their seats, the Crier opened the Court in the usual form, and the Chief Justice addressed the gentlemen of the bar–“Gentlemen a painful event has occurred–Judge Barbour died suddenly last night–and the Court is therefore adjourned until Monday.”

The Crier then made proclamation to that effect, the Judges all rose, and retired again to their private apartment, and the assembly withdrew.

I did not expect an announcement of so overwhelming a Providence in a manner so severely simple and subdued, but it struck me as eminently appropriate for the Supreme Court of this nation. It was in keeping with the strictest propriety and suitableness. It was sublime.


Washington, March 1, 1841.

On the re-opening of the Court, the Attorney General of the United States, H. D. Gilpin, Esq. presented a series of appropriate resolutions in reference to the decease of Judge Barbour, which had been adopted on Friday, at a meeting of the Bar of officers of the court, and which he moved to have entered on the records of the court. The Chief Justice responded in a short address, and concluded with ordering the resolutions to be entered on the records. Mr. Adams then resumed his argument, as follows:–

May it please your Honors,

The melancholy event which has occurred since the argument of this case was begun, and which has suspended for a time the operations of the Court itself, and which I ask permission to say that I give my cordial, and painful concurrence in the sentiments of the Bar of this Court–has imposed on me the necessity of re-stating the basis and aim of the argument which I am submitting to the Court, in behalf of the large number of individuals, who are my unfortunate clients.

I said that my confidence in a favorable result to this trial rested mainly on the ground that I was now speaking before a Court of JUSTICE. And in moving the dismissal of the appeal taken on behalf of the United States, it became my duty, and was my object to show, by an investigation of all the correspondence of the Executive in regard to the case, that JUSTICE had not

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been the motive of its proceedings, but that they had been prompted by sympathy with one of the two parties and against the other. In support of this, I must scrutinize, with the utmost severity, every part of the proceedings of the Executive Government. And in doing it, I think it proper for me to repeat, that in speaking of the impulse of sympathies, under which the government acted, I do not wish to be understood to speak of that sympathy as being blameable in itself, or as inducing me to feel unfriendly sentiments towards the Head of the Government, or the Secretary of State, or any of the Cabinet. I feel no unkind sentiments towards any of these gentlemen. With all of them, I am, in the private relations of life, on terms of intercourse, of the most friendly character. As to our political differences, let them pass for what they are worth, here they are nothing. At the moment of the expiration of this administration, I feel extreme reluctance at the duty of bringing its conduct before the court in this manner, as affecting the claims of my clients to JUSTICE. My learned friend, the Attorney General, knows that I am not voluntary in this work. I here descended to personal solicitation with the Executive, that by the withdrawal of the appeal, I might be spared the necessity of appearing in this cause. I have been of the opinion that the case of my clients was so clear, so just, so righteous, that the Executive would do well to cease its prosecution, and leave the matter as it was decided by the District Court, and allow the appeal to be dismissed. But I did not succeed, and now I cannot do justice to my clients, whose lives and liberties depend on the decision of this Court–however painful it may be, to myself or others.

In my examination of the first proceedings of the Executive in this case, I did scrutinize and analyze, most minutely and particularly, the four demands first made upon our government by the late Spanish minister, Mr. Calderon, in his letter to the Secretary of State of Sept. 3, 1839. I tested the principles there laid down, both by the laws of nations and by the treaties between the two nations to which he had appealed. And I showed that every one of these demands was inadmissible, and that every principle of law and every article of the treaty, he had referred to, was utterly inapplicable. At the close of my argument the other day, I was commenting upon the complaint of the present minister, the Chevelier d’Argaiz, addressed to the Secretary of State on the

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25th of December, 1839, in relation to the injustice he alleges to have been done to the two Spanish subjects, Ruiz and Montes, by their arrest and imprisonment in New York, at the suit of some of the Africans. He says he “does not comprehend the privilege enjoyed by negroes, in favor of whom an interminable suit is commenced, in which everything is deposed by every person who pleases; and, for that object, an English doctor who accuses the Spanish Government of not complying with its treaties, and calumniates the Captain General of the island of Cuba, by charging him with bribery.”

This English Doctor is Dr. Madden, whose testimony is given in the record. He certainly does not charge the Captain General with bribery, although he says that both he and the other authorities of Cuba are in the habit of winking or conniving at the slavetrade. That this is the actual state of affairs, I submit to the Court, is a matter of history. And I call the attention of the Court to this fact, as one of the most important points of this case. It is universally known that the trade is actually carried on, contrary to the laws of Spain, but by the general connivance of the Governor General and all the authorities and the people of the island. The case of this very vessel, the visit of Ruiz and Montes to the barracoon in which these people were confined, the vessel in which they were brought from Africa, are all matters of history. I have a document which was communicated by the British government to the Parliament, which narrates the whole transaction. Mr. A. here read from the Parliamentary documents, a letter from Mr. Jerningham, the British Minister at Madrid, to the Spanish Secretary of State, dated January 5th, 1840, describing the voyage of the Tecora from Africa, the purchase of these Africans who were brought in her, with the subsequent occurrences, and urging the Spanish Government to take measures both for their liberation, and to enforce the laws of Spain against Ruiz and Montes.

He says “I have consequently been instructed by my government to call upon the government of her Catholic Majesty to issue, with as little delay as possible, strict orders to the authorities of Cuba, that, if the request of the Spanish minister at Washington be complied with, these negroes may be put in possession of the liberty of which they were deprived, and to the recovery of which they have an undeniable title.

“I am further directed to express the just expectations of Her

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Majesty’s government that the Government of her Catholic Majesty will cause the laws against the slave-trade to be enforced against Messrs. Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes, who purchased these newly imported negroes, and against all such other Spanish subjects as have been concerned in this nefarious transaction.”

These facts, said Mr. A., must be well known to the Spanish minister. If he complains of injustice in the charge of general connivance made by Dr. Madden, why has he not undertaken to prove that it is a calumny? Not the slightest attempt has been made to bring forward any evidence on this point, for the very plain reason that there could be none. The fact of the slave trade is too notorious to be questioned. I will read, said he, from another high authority, a book filled with valuable and authentic information on the subject of the slave trade, written by one of the most distinguished philanthropists of Great Britain, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton. Mr. A. then read as follows:–

“It is scarcely practicable to ascertain the number of slaves imported into Cuba: it can only be a calculation on, at best, doubtful data. We are continually told by the Commissioners, that difficulties are thrown in the way of obtaining correct information in regard to the slave trade in that island. Everything that artifice, violence, intimidation, popular countenance, and official connivance can do, is done, to conceal the extent of the traffic. Our ambassador, Mr. Villiers, April, 1837, says, ‘That a privilege (that of entering the harbor after dark) denied to all other vessels, is granted to the slave-trader; and, in short, that with the servants of the Government, the misconduct of the persons concerned in this trade finds favor and protection. The crews of captured vessels are permitted to purchase their liberation; and it would seem that the persons concerned in this trade have resolved upon setting the government of the mother country at defiance.’ Almost the only specific fact which I can collect from the reports of the Commissioners, is the statement ‘that 1835 presents a number of slave vessels (arriving at the Havana) by which there must have been landed, at the very least, 15,000 negroes.’ But in an official letter, dated 28th May, 1836, there is the following remarkable passage: ‘I wish I could add, that this list contains even one-fourth of the number of those which have entered after having landed cargoes, or sailed after having refitted in this harbor.’ This would give an amount of 60,000 for the Havana alone; but is Havana

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the only port in Cuba in which negroes are landed? The reverse is notoriously true. The Commissioner says, ‘I have every reason to believe that several of the other ports of Cuba, more particularly the distant city of St. Jago de Cuba, carry on the traffic to a considerable extent.’ Indeed, it is stated by Mr. Hardy, the consul at St. Jago, in a letter to Lord Palmerston, of the 18th February, 1837, ‘That the Portuguese brig Boca Negra, landed on the 6th inst. at Juragua, a little to windward of this port, (St. Jago,) 400 Africans of all ages, and subsequently entered this port.’ But in order that we may be assuredly within the mark, no claim shall he made on account of these distant ports. Confining ourselves to the Havana, it would seem probable, if it be not demonstrated, that the number for that port, Ã fortiori, for the whole island, may fairly be estimated at 60,000.”

This evidence is important to show what is the real value of this certificate of the Governor General. There is one other proof which I will read to the court, and leave it to your Honors to judge of its bearing, and of the conclusion to which it arrives. It is the statement of the Spanish vice consul, Mr. Vega.

“The following statement was made to me by A. G. Vega, Esq., Spanish consul, as near as I can now recollect, and according to my best knowledge and belief, 10th January, 1840.


“That he is a Spanish subject; that he resided in the Island of Cuba several years; that he knows the laws of that island on the subject of slavery; that there was no law that was considered in force in the Island of Cuba, that prohibited the bringing in African slaves; that the court of mixed commissioners had no jurisdiction except in case of capture on the sea; that newly imported African negroes were constantly brought to the island, and after landing were bona fide transferred from one owner to another, without any interference by the local authorities or the mixed commission, and were held by the owners and recognized as lawful property; that slavery was recognized in Cuba by all the laws that were considered in force there; that the native language of the slaves was kept up on some plantations for years. That the barracoons are public markets, where all descriptions of slaves are sold and bought; that the papers of the Amistad are genuine, and are in the usual form; that it was not necessary to practice any fraud to obtain

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such papers from the proper officers of the government; that none of the papers of the Amistad are signed by Martinez, spoken of by R. R. Madden, in his deposition; that he (Martinez) did not hold the office from whence that paper issued.”

This is the statement given to the District Attorney by Mr. Vega, and by him made a part of this case. This Spanish functionary declares positively, that he knows there is no law in force in Cuba against the African slave trade, and that recent Africans are held and sold bona fide as slaves. It is conclusive to prove this fact, that the illegal importation and purchase of Africans is openly practiced in Cuba, although it is contrary to the laws of Spain, but those laws are not considered in force, that is, the violation of them is constantly connived at by the authorities.

It may not be universally known, but is doubtless known to members of this court, that there is a volume of correspondence on this subject, by our consul at Havana, which will be communicated to Congress for publication in a few days, and I can state from my personal knowledge that it confirms every word of Dr. Madden’s statements on this point, and will show how much reliance is to be placed on this certificate of the Governor-General.

But I will return to the letter of the Chevalier d’Argaiz. I have not the honor of knowing this gentleman personally, as I knew his predecessor, but I certainly entertain no feeling of unkindness towards him. And in examining his correspondence, although it is my duty to show that his demands are utterly inadmissible and unprecedented, yet it must be admitted that his sympathy and partiality for his own countrymen are at least natural; and if his zeal and earnestness are somewhat excessive, they are at least pardonable. There is in this letter, I must say, a simplicity, what the French call bonhommie, which gives me a favorable impression of his character, and I certainly feel the farthest possible from a disposition to pass any censure on him. I repeat that, so far as this sympathy is concerned, if it is not entirely excusable, it is much more reasonable than it is in some others who have not the same interests to defend. He goes on to express his pleasure at the assurance received from the Secretary, that “whatever may be the final settlement of the question, it will be in consequence of a decision emanating from the government, and not from any other source;” and he adds, that “he

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doubts not such decision will be conformable with the opinion which was confidentially communicated to him at the Department of State on the 19th of November, as founded on that of a learned lawyer, and which he was assured had been adopted by the cabinet.”

I take it for granted that the opinion referred to is the opinion of the Attorney-General of that time, Mr. Grundy, contained in the Congressional document. It will be necessary for me to examine that document before I close, as well as the other papers, and I wish to say that the decease of that gentleman, under the circumstances in which it occurred, has made such an impression on my mind, as could not have but disarmed me of any disposition to censure him, if I had before entertained it. It will be a painful duty to me to examine, as I must, with the utmost severity, that document. And I shall show that it is such, that neither the courts nor the cabinet ought ever to have acted on it.

In another part of his letter, M. d’Argaiz says of Ruiz and Montes, that “they were not exempted from the persecutions of an atrocious intrigue, and the undersigned is not the first who has so styled this persecution.’ This is a pretty plain intimation that the American Secretary of State was the first who called the suit of my clients for legal redress “an atrocious intrigue,” in his “confidential conversation” with the Spanish minister. This is followed by an idea so novel and ingenious that it is necessary to repeat the whole of it. After complaining that negroes should be allowed to be complainants, he goes on to argue that they ought to be considered, “morally and legally, as not being in the United States,” and of course, if they should be delivered up physically, I suppose it was to be inferred that the Executive would not incur any responsibility.

“They are morally and legally not in the United States, because the court of Connecticut has not declared whether or not it is competent to try them. If it should declare itself incompetent, it declares that they are under the cover of the Spanish flag; and, in that case, they are physically under the protection of a friendly government, but morally and legally out of the territory and jurisdiction of the United States; and, so long as a doubt remains on this subject, no judge can admit the complaint. If this argument be of any value to the Secretary of State of the Government of the Union, the undersigned entreats him to prevail on the President

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to cause a protest, founded on this argument, to be officially addressed to the court of New York.”

His predecessor, M. Calderon, called upon the President for a proclamation forbidding the courts to take up the case, and the present minister of Spain insists that he shall send forth his protest to take it out of the hands of the courts–and this on the ground, that my clients, although personally imprisoned for eighteen months by the U.S. Marshal, under order of the U. S. Court, yet are “not morally and legally in the United States.” There is another argument of the same gentleman, very much of the same character. The court will find it in his first letter after the arrest of Ruiz and Montes at New York. He says:

“It would be easy to demonstrate the illegality of these arrests, the orders for which have possibly been obtained from the attorney by surprise: as it would also be easy to show the ignorance of the declarant, Tappan, in declaring that Ruiz is known by the name of Pipi, whereas he would have been known and distinguished throughout Spain, as all other Joses are, by the diminutive of Pepe, and thus it appears that a Pepe has been imprisoned instead of a Pipi, which I believe the law does not permit.”

The argument is certainly ingenious, and if it is sound at all, it is worth more in favor of the Africans than of the Spaniards, as I may hereafter have occasion to show, when I come to consider the case of nine-and-forty persons with Spanish names, who have been arrested and brought into court by African names.

The Chevalier d’Argaiz, in the close of this letter, exhibits his loyalty towards the then acting sovereign of his nation.

“At the moment when the heart of the august Queen-Governess is filled with delight on account of the termination of a civil war, and the assurance of the throne of her august daughter, her minister in the United States has to perform the painful duty of diminishing her happiness by communicating to her, as he did by letter on the 19th instant, the disagreeable event which forms the subject of this communication. The desire of calming the disquiet which this news may occasion in the mind of her Majesty, together with that of alleviating the lot of the two prisoners, urge the undersigned to entreat you, Mr. Secretary of State, to take into consideration what he has here set forth, and to afford him the means, in a prompt reply, of satisfying those just desires, which will be completely done if he is able to transmit such a reply to

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his Government by the packet sailing for Havre on the 1st of November next.”

It must doubtless, said Mr. A., be some consolation to this loyal minister, to reflect that before the august Queen-Governess could have received the painful intelligence of the imprisonment of two such meritorious subjects as Ruiz and Montes to diminish her happiness, her heart had been gratified in a much better manner. In the pursuit of that happiness for which she longed, it seems that she retired altogether from the cares of state, into the comforts of domestic life, with a husband that, I hope has calmed her disquiet, and if it should ultimately turn out that the lives of these poor Africans are saved, there will be no further occasion to diminish the happiness of the august Queen-Governess.

On the 30th of December, five days after the date of the letter I have been commenting upon, the Chevalier d’Argaiz wrote again to the Secretary of State.

“Washington, December 30, 1839.

“Sir–In the conversation which I had with you on the morning of the day before yesterday, you mentioned the possibility that the Court of Connecticut might, at its meeting on the 7th of January next, declare itself incompetent, or order the restitution of the schooner Amistad, with her cargo, and the negroes found on board of her; and you then showed me that it would be necessary for the legation of her Catholic Majesty to take charge of them as soon as the Court should have pronounced its sentence or resolution; and, although I had the honor to state to you that this legation could not possibly transfer the said negroes to Havana, still it appears proper for me now to declare that–

“Considering that the schooner Amistad cannot make a voyage, on account of the bad condition in which she is, of her being entirely without a crew:

“Considering that it would be difficult to find a vessel of the United States willing to take charge of these negroes, and to transport them to Havana; and, also, that these negroes have declared before the Court of Connecticut that they are not slaves and that the best means of testing the truth of their allegation is to bring them before the Courts of Havana:

“Being at the same time desirous to free the Government of the United States from the trouble of keeping the said negroes in prison, I venture to request you to prevail upon the President to

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allow to the Government of her Catholic Majesty the assistance which it asks under the present circumstances from that of the United States, by placing the negroes found on board of the said schooner, and claimed by this legation, at the disposition of the Captain General of the Island of Cuba, transporting them thither in a ship belonging to the United States. Her Catholic Majesty’s Government, I venture to assert, will receive this act of generosity as a most particular favor, which would serve to strengthen the bonds of good and reciprocal friendship now happily reigning between the two nations.”

Here is no longer a demand for the delivery of slaves to their owners, nor for the surrender of the Africans to the Spanish minister as assassins, but an application to the President of the United States to transport forty individuals beyond the seas, to be tried for their lives. Is there a member of this Honorable Court that ever heard of such a demand made by a foreign minister on any government? Is there in the whole history of Europe an instance of such a demand made upon an independent government? I have never in the whole course of my life, in modern or ancient history, met with such a demand by one government on another. Or, if such a demand was ever made, it was when the nation on which it was made was not in the condition of an independent power.

What was this demand? It was that the Executive of the United States, on his own authority, without evidence, without warrant of law, should seize, put on board a national armed ship, and send beyond seas, forty men, to be tried for their lives. I ask the learned Attorney General in his argument on this point of the case, to show what is to be the bearing of this proceeding on the liberties of the people. I ask him to tell us what authority there is for such an exercise of power by the Executive. I ask him if there is any authority for such a proceeding in the case of these unfortunate Africans, which would not be equally available, if any President thought proper to exercise it, to seize and send off forty citizens of the United States. Will he vindicate such an authority? Will this Court give it a judicial sanction?

But, may it please your Honors, what was the occasion, the cause, the motive, which induced the Secretary of State to hold

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this personal communication with the Spanish minister on the 28th of December? What had occurred, to induce the Secretary of State to send for the Chevalier d’Argaiz, and tell him that the court of Connecticut was about to pass a decree that these Africans should be delivered up, and that our government would be ready to deliver them to him! What induced the Secretary of State to come to the conclusion that there was any sort of probability that the Court of Connecticut would so adjudge? The documents do not inform us at whose suggestion or by what information the Secretary of State acted in this remarkable manner. We are left to infer, that his course was founded, probably, on the opinion of the late Attorney General, with a suggestion from the District Attorney of Connecticut. I refer to a letter of the Secretary of State to Mr. Holabird, January 6, 1840, in connection with this letter of the Spanish minister, of December 30. The Secretary says–“Your letter of the 20th ultimo,” that is, the 20th of December, “was duly received.” Now, said Mr. Adams, it is a remarkable fact, that this letter of the District Attorney, of December 20, 1839, was not communicated with the rest of the documents. Why it was not communicated is not for me to say. The call of the House of Representatives was in the usual form, for information “not incompatible with the public interest;” which, of course, gives the President the right to withhold any documents that he thinks proper. That letter, therefore, is not communicated, and I cannot reason from it, any farther than its contents may be presumed, from the intimations in the letter of the Spanish minister, in connection with the subsequent proceedings. The Secretary says–

“Washington, January 6, 1840.

“Sir–Your letter of the 20th ultimo was duly received, and has been laid before the President. The Spanish minister having applied to this department for the use of a vessel of the United States, in the event of the decision of the circuit court in the case of the Amistad being favorable to his former application, to convey the negroes to Cuba, for the purpose of being delivered over to the authorities of that island, the President has, agreeably to your suggestion, taken in connection with the request of the Spanish minister, ordered a vessel to be in readiness to receive the negroes from the custody of the marshal as soon as their delivery shall have been ordered by the court.”

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Now, what could that suggestion have been? It will be remembered that the Secretary of State had before directed the District Attorney, Sept. 11, “In the mean time you will take care that no proceeding of your circuit court, or of any other judicial tribunal places the vessel, cargo, or slaves, beyond the control of the Federal Executive.” The District Attorney had repeatedly inquired of the Secretary if they could not be disposed of by an Executive act, or before the court met. Until this time he had received no orders from the Department. From the intimation now given, it is evident that the purport of that suppressed letter was an intimation that the district court would undoubtedly deliver them up, and the difficulty then was, how to get them out of the way. There might be a Habeas Corpus from the State courts at the moment of their delivery to the Spaniards, and some new difficulties would intervene. There must have been some such suggestion to warrant or account for the subsequent proceedings. The Secretary goes on to say–

“As the request of the Spanish minister for the delivery of the negroes to the authorities of Cuba has, for one of its objects, that those people should have an opportunity of proving, before the tribunals of the island, the truth of the allegations made in their behalf in the course of the proceedings before the circuit court, that they are not slaves, the President, desirous of affording the Spanish courts every facility that may be derived from this country towards a fair and full investigation of all the circumstances, and particularly of the allegations referred to with regard to the real condition of the negroes, has directed that Lieutenants Gedney and Meade be directed to proceed to Cuba, for the purpose of giving their testimony in any proceedings that may be instituted in the premises; and that complete records of all those which have been had before the circuit court of your district, including the evidence taken in the cause, be, with the same view, furnished to the Spanish colonial authorities. In obedience to this last mentioned order, you will cause to be prepared an authentic copy of the records of the court in the case, and of all the documents and evidence connected with it, so as to have it ready to be handed over to the commander of the vessel which is to take out the negroes, who will be instructed as to the disposition he is to make of them.”

In every thing I have said of the arguments, and the zeal of the

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Spanish minister, I have admitted that the principles which may be supposed to govern him might go far to justify the sympathy he has shown for one party exclusively. But I cannot give the same credit for the sympathy shown by our own government. In this letter we meet, for the first time, something that might appear like sympathy for the poor wretches whose liberties and lives were in peril. Here is a desire intimated that they might go to Cuba, for the purpose of having an opportunity to prove in the courts of Spain their right to be free by the laws of Spain. And the President, in the abundance of his kindness, orders Lieutenants Gedney and Meade to be sent along with them, as witnesses in the case, “particularly,” the Secretary says, “with regard to the real condition of the negroes,” that is, whether they were free or slaves. But what did Lieutenants Gedney and Meade know about that? They could testify to nothing but the circumstances of the capture. And as to the other idea, that these people should have an opportunity to prove their freedom in Cuba, how could that be credited as a motive, when it is apparent that, by sending them back in the capacity of slaves, they would be deprived of all power to give evidence at all in regard to their freedom! I cannot, therefore, give the Executive credit for this sympathy towards the Africans. It was a mere pretence, to blind the public mind with the idea that the Africans were merely sent to Cuba to prove they were not slaves. So far from giving any credit for this sympathy, the letter itself furnishes incontestible evidence of a very different disposition, which I will not qualify in words.

Pursuing the case chronologically, according to the course of the proceedings, I now call the attention of the Court to the opinion of the late Attorney General of the United States, which the Secretary of the State told Mr. Argaiz had been adopted by the Cabinet, and which has been the foundation, to this day, of all the proceedings of the Executive in the case. Before considering this, however, I will advert to the letter of Messrs. Staples and Sedgwick to the President. These gentlemen were counsel for those unfortunate men. There had been reports in circulation, which is by no means surprising, considering the course of the public sympathy, that the President intended to remove these people to Cuba, by force, gubernativamente, by virtue of his Executive authority–that inherent power which I suppose has been discovered, by which the President, at his discretion, can seize

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men, and imprison them, and send them beyond seas for trial or punishment by a foreign power.

Hear Messrs. Staples and Sedgwick to the President of the United States.

“New York, September 13, 1839.

“Sir–We have been engaged as counsel of the Africans brought in by the Spanish vessel, the Amistad; and, in that capacity, take the liberty of addressing you this letter.

“These Africans are now under indictment in the circuit court of the second circuit, on a charge of piracy, and their defence to this accusation must be established before that tribunal. But we are given to understand, from authority not to be doubted, that a demand has already been made upon the Federal Government, by the Spanish minister, that these negroes be surrendered to the authorities of his country; and it is on this account that we now address you.

“We are also informed, that these slaves are claimed under the 9th article of the treaty of 1795, between this country and Spain by which all ships and merchandise rescued out of the hands of pirates and robbers on the high seas are to be restored to the true proprietor, upon due and sufficient proof.

“We now apply to you, sir, for the purpose of requesting that no order may be made by the Executive until the facts necessary to authorize its interposition are established by the judicial authority in the ordinary course of justice. We submit that this is the true construction of the treaty; that it is not a mere matter of Executive discretion; but that, before the Government enforces the demand of the Spanish claimant, that demand must be substantiated in a court of justice.

“It appears to us manifest that the treaty could never have meant to have submitted conflicting rights of property to mere official discretion; but that it was intended to subject them to the same tribunals which, in all other cases, guard and maintain our civil rights. Reference to the 7th article, in our opinion, will confirm this position.

“It will be recollected that, that if we adopt this as the true construction of the treaty, should any occasion ever arise when our citizens shall claim the benefit of this section, Spain would be at liberty to give it the same interpretation; and that the rights of our citizens will be subjected to the control of subordinate ministerial

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agents, without any of those safeguards which courts of justice present for the establishment of truth and the maintenance of rights. We submit, further, that it never could be intended that the Executive of the Union should be harassed by the investigation of claims of this nature, and yet, assuredly, if the construction contended for be correct, such must be the result; for, if he is to issue the order upon due and sufficient proof, the proof must be sufficient to his mind.

“We further submit, that, in regard to the Executive, there are no rules of evidence nor course of proceeding established; and that, in all such cases, unless the claimant be directed to the courts of justice, the conduct of the affair must, of necessity, be uncertain, vague, and not such as is calculated to inspire confidence in the public or the parties. We can find nothing in the treaty to warrant the delivery of these individuals as offenders; and the Executive of the Union has never thought itself obliged, under the laws of nations, to accede to demands of this nature.

“These suggestions are of great force in this case, because we, with great confidence, assert, that neither according to the law of this, nor that of their own country, can the pretended owners of these Africans establish any legal title to them as slaves.

“These negroes were, it is admitted, carried into Cuba contrary to the provisions of the treaty between Spain and Great Britain of 1817, and of the orders made in conformity therewith; orders which have been repeated, at different times, to as late a date as the 4th November, 1838, by which the trade is expressly prohibited; and if they had been taken on board the slaver, they would have been unquestionably emancipated.

“They were bought by the present claimants, Messrs. Ruiz and Montes, either directly from the slaver, or under circumstances which must, beyond doubt, have apprized them that they were illegally introduced into the Havana; and on this state of facts we, with great respect, insist that the purchasers of Africans illegally introduced into the dependencies of a country which has prohibited the slave trade, and who make the purchase with knowledge of this fact, can acquire no right. We put the matter on the Spanish law; and we affirm, that Messrs. Ruiz and Montes have no title, under that law, to these Africans.

“If this be so, then these negroes have only obeyed the dictate of self-defence. They have liberated themselves from illegal restraint;

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and it is superfluous to say, that Messrs Ruiz and Montes have no claim whatever under the treaty.

“It is this question, sir, fraught with the deepest interest, that we pray you to submit for adjudication to the tribunals of the land. It is this question that we pray may not be decided in the recesses of the cabinet, where these unfriended men can have no counsel and can produce no proof, but in the halls of Justice, with the safeguards that she throws around the unfriended and oppressed.

“And, sir, if you should not be satisfied with the considerations here presented, we then submit that we are contending for a right upon a construction of a treaty: that this point, at least, should be presented to the courts of justice; and, should you decide to grant an order surrendering these Africans, we beg that you will direct such notice of it to be given, as may enable us to test the question as we shall be advised, by habeas corpus or otherwise.

“We have only, sir, to add, that we have perfect confidence that you will decide in this matter with a single regard to the interests of justice and the honor of the country, and that we are, with the greatest respect, your most obedient servants,

‘Seth P. Staples,

“Theodore Sedgwick, Jr.

“Martin Van Buren, Esq.

“President of the United States.”

I read the whole of this letter, said Mr. A., to show that this extraordinary course of proceeding was not entered upon by the Executive without warning and counsel. The President of the United States was informed, on the receipt of that letter, in the month of September, 1839, of the deep principles, involving the very foundation of the liberties of this country, that were concerned in the disposal which the Executive might make of these men. That letter was with the late Attorney General when he examined the case, and when he made up his opinion. His opinion, addressed to the Secretary of State, begins thus:

“Sir,–I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 24th of September, in which, by direction of the President, you refer to this office the letter of the Spanish minister of the 6th of September, addressed to you; also the letter of Seth P. Staples and Theodore Sedgwick, Jr. Esqrs., who have been engaged as

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counsel for the negroes taken on board the schooner Amistad, addressed to the President of the United States; and asking my opinion upon the different legal questions presented by these papers.

“I have given to the subject all the consideration which its importance demands; and now present to you, and through you to the President, the result of my reflections upon the whole subject.

“The following is the statement of facts contained in your communication: The Amistad is a Spanish vessel; was regularly cleared from Havana, a Spanish port in Cuba, to Guanaja, in the neighborhood of Puerto Principe, another Spanish port; that her papers were regular; that the cargo consisted of merchandise and slaves, and was duly manifested as belonging to Don José Ruiz and Don Pedro Montes; that the negroes after being at sea a few days, rose upon the white persons on board; that the captain, his slave and two seamen, were killed, and the vessel taken possession of by the negroes; that two white Spaniards, after being wounded, were compelled to assist in navigating the vessel, the negroes intending to carry her to the coast of Africa; that the Spaniards contrived, by altering the course of steering at night, to keep her on the coast of the United States; that on seeing land off New-York, they came to the coast, and some of the negroes landed to procure water and provisions; that being on the point of leaving the coast, the Amistad was visited by a boat from Captain Gedney’s vessel, and that one of the Spaniards, claiming protection from the officer commanding the boat, the vessel and cargo, and all the persons on board, were sent into New London for examination, and such proceedings as the laws of nations and of the United States warranted and required.”

Here the Court will see he assumes, through the whole argument, that these negroes were slaves. This corresponds with the assumption of the Executive, which Mr. Forsyth, in his letter to the Spanish minister afterwards declared the Government had carried out, that the negroes were slaves, and that the only parties injured were Montes and Ruiz. The late Attorney General says it appears that the “cargo consisted of merchandise and slaves,” that the papers were “all regular,” that after the capture of the vessel by the negroes, the two white Spaniards “were compelled to assist in navigating the vessel, the negroes intending to carry her to the coast of Africa,” but “the Spaniards contrived, by

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altering the course of steering at night, to bring her to the United States.” This last is an admission of some importance, as the Court will easily see, in deciding upon the character of the voyage which the vessel was pursuing when taken by Lieutenant Gedney. He proceeds to say:

In the intercourse and transactions between nations, it has been found indispensable that due faith and credit should be given by each to the official acts of the public functionaries of others. Hence the sentences of prize courts under the laws of nations, or admiralty, and exchequer or other revenue courts, under the municipal law, are considered as conclusive as to the proprietary interest in, and title to, the things in question; nor can the same be examined into in the judicial tribunals of another country. Nor is this confined to judicial proceedings! The acts of other officers of a foreign nation, in the discharge of their ordinary duties, are entitled to the like respect. And the principle seems to be universally admitted, that, whenever power or jurisdiction is delegated to any public officer or tribunal, and its exercise is confided to his or their discretion, the acts done in the exercise of that discretion, and within the authority conferred, are binding as to the subject matter; and this is true, whether the officer or tribunal be legislative, executive, judicial, or special.–Wheaton’s Elements of International Law, page 121; 6th Peter’s, page 729.”

There is the basis of his opinion; that the comity of nations requires, that such a paper, signed by the Governor General of Cuba, is conclusive to all the world as a title to property. If the life and liberty of men depends on any question arising out of these papers, neither the courts of this country nor of any other can examine the subject, or go behind this paper. In point of fact, the voyage of the Amistad, for which these papers were given, was but the continuation of the voyage of the slave trader, and marked with the horrible features of the middle passage. That is the fact in the case, but this government and the courts of this country cannot notice that fact, because they must not go behind that document. The Executive may send the men to Cuba, to be sold as slaves, to be put to death, to be burnt at the stake, but they must not go behind this document, to inquire into any facts of the case. That is the essence of the whole argument of the late Attorney-General. At a subsequent part of my argument I shall examine this document, and I undertake to show

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that it is not even valid for what it purports to be, and that as a passport it bears on its face the insignia of imposture. But at present I will only observe that it is a most unheard-of thing, that in a question of property, a passport should be supposed to give a valid title. Papers of foreign courts and functionaries are to be credited for that which they intend to do. A passport, if it is regular, is to be credited as a passport. But when was it ever supposed that a passport stating what a person carries with him is evidence of his property in that which is described? All the decisions of this court agree that foreign papers are good only for that which they propose and purport, but not as evidence of property. And yet the opinion of the late Attorney-General rests on that ground. In a case involving the lives and liberties of a large number of men, he has not a word to say of the principles of justice or humanity concerned, but goes entirely on the force of this document, on the ground that we cannot go behind the certificate of the Spanish Captain General. He says:

“Were this otherwise, all confidence and comity would cease to exist among nations; and that code of international law, which now contributes so much to the peace, prosperity, and harmony of the world, would no longer regulate and control the conduct of nations.”

This principle of national comity, I have no desire to contest, so far as it is applicable to this case. The Attorney says:–

“In the case of the Antelope, (10 Wheaton, page 66,) this subject was fully examined, and the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the following points:–

“1. That, however unjust and unnatural the slave trade may be, it is not contrary to the law of nations.

“2. That, having been sanctioned by the usage and consent of almost all civilized nations, it could not be pronounced illegal, except so far as each nation may have made it so by its own acts or laws; and these could only operate upon itself, its own subjects or citizens; and, of course, the trade would remain lawful to those whose Government had not forbidden it.

“3. That the right of bringing in and adjudicating upon the case of a vessel charged with being engaged in the slave trade, even where the vessel belongs to a nation which has prohibited the trade, cannot exist. The courts of no country execute the penal laws of another, and the course of the American Government

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on the subject of visitation and search would decide any case in which that right had been exercised by an American cruiser, on the vessel of a foreign nation not violating our municipal laws, against the captors.

“It follows, that a foreign vessel engaged in the African slave trade, captured on the high seas in time of peace, by an American cruiser, and brought in for adjudication, would be restored.

“The opinions here expressed go far beyond the present case; they embrace cases where the negroes never have been within the territorial limits of the nation of which the claimant is a citizen.”

Here reference is made to the case of the Antelope, in 10 Wheaton, to which I shall hereafter solicit the particular attention of the Court, as I purpose to examine it in great detail, as to all the principles that have been supposed to be decided by that case and especially on the point here alluded to, concerning which Chief Justice Marshall says that the Court was divided, therefore no principle is decided. That was the most solemn and awful decision that ever was given by any Court. The Judges did not deliver their opinions for publication, or the reasons, because the court was divided. This case is laid at the foundation of the argument or opinion of the Attorney-General on which this whole proceeding is based, and it is appealed to in all the discussions as authority against the rights of these unfortunate people. I shall, therefore, feel it to be my duty to examine it to the bottom.

The second principle drawn by the late Attorney General, if he had reasoned on the subject as men ought to reason, is in favor of the claims of the Africans. The Antelope was engaged in the slave trade south of the Line, where it was not then prohibited by the laws of Spain. The decision of the Supreme Court, such as it was, was in affirmance of the decree of the court below. Judge Davies, in the District Court of Georgia, and Judge Johnson, of the Circuit Court, said that, if the slave trade had at that time been abolished by Spain, their decision would have been otherwise. That trade is now abolished by Spain.

The late Attorney General says “the courts of no country execute the penal laws of another.” I may ask, does any nation execute the slave laws of another country? Is not the slave system, the Code Noir, as peculiar as the revenue system or the criminal code? These men were found free, and they cannot now be decreed to be slaves, but by making them slaves. By


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what authority will this court undertake to do this? What right has Ruiz to claim these men as his property, when they were free, and so far from being in his possession when taken, he was in theirs. If there is no right of visitation and search by the cruisers of one nation over those of another, by what right has this ship been taken from the men who had it in their possession? The captors in this case, are Gedney and Meade, the owners are the Africans. The Attorney says,

“This vessel was not engaged in the slave trade; she was employed lawfully in removing these negroes, as slaves, from one part of the Spanish dominions to another, precisely in the same way that slaves are removed, by sea, from one slave State to another in our own country. I consider the facts as stated, so far as this government is concerned, as establishing a right of ownership to the negroes in question, in the persons in whose behalf the minister of Spain has made a demand upon the government of the U. States.”

Now, here I take issue The vessel was engaged in the slave trade. The voyage in the Amistad was a mere continuation of the original voyage in the Tecora. The voyage in its original intention was not accomplished until the slaves had reached their final destination on the plantation. This is the principle universally applicable to coasting vessels. I say further, that the object of Ruiz and Montes was illegal, it was a part of the voyage from Lomboko, and when they fell into the hands of Lieutenant Gedney, they were steering in pursuance of that original voyage. Their object was to get to Porto Principe, and of course the voyage was to them an unlawful one. The object of the Africans was to get to a port in Africa, and their voyage was lawful. And the whole character of the affair was changed by the transactions that took place on board of the ship. The late Attorney, however, comes to the conclusion that the courts of the United States cannot proceed criminally against these people, that the provisions of the Acts of Congress against the slave trade are not applicable to Ruiz and Montes, and so he recurs to the 9th Article of the Treaty of 1795. I have nothing to add to what I have before said respecting the treaty. It can have no possible application in this case.

The late Attorney General now comes to a conclusion as to what is to be done–a conclusion which it is not in my power to

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read to the Court without astonishment, that such an opinion should ever have been maintained by an Attorney General of the United States.

“My opinion further is, that the proper mode of executing this article of treaty, in the present case, would be for the President of the United States to issue his order, directed to the Marshal in whose custody the vessel and cargo are, to deliver the same to such persons as may be designated by the Spanish minister to receive them. The reasons which operate in favor of a delivery to the order of the Spanish minister are–

“1. The owners of the vessel and cargo are not all in this country, and, of course, a delivery cannot be made to them.

‘2. This has become a subject of discussion between the two Governments, and, in such a case, the restoration should be made to that agent of the Government who is authorized to make, and through whom the demand is made.

“3. These negroes are charged with an infraction of the Spanish laws; therefore, it is proper that they should be surrendered to the public functionaries of that Government, that if the laws of Spain have been violated, they may not escape punishment.

“4. These negroes deny that they are slaves; if they should be delivered to the claimants, no opportunity may be afforded for the assertion of their right to freedom. For these reasons, it seems to me that a delivery to the Spanish minister is the only safe course for this Government to pursue.”

That is the opinion, which the Secretary of State told the Spanish minister the American Cabinet had adopted! That these MEN, being at that time in judicial custody of the Court of the United States, should be taken out of that custody, under an order of the President, and sent beyond seas by his sole authority! The Cabinet adopted that opinion; why, then, did they not act upon it? Why did not the President send his order to the Marshal to seize these men, and ship them to Cuba, or deliver them to the order of the Spanish Minister? I am ashamed! I am ashamed that such an opinion should ever have been delivered by any public officer of this country, executive or judicial. I am ashamed to stand up before the nations of the earth, with such an opinion recorded as official, and what is worse, as having been adopted by the government:–an opinion sanctioning a particular course of proceeding, unprecedented among civilized countries,

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which was thus officially sanctioned, and yet the government did not dare to do it. Why did they not do it? If this opinion had been carried into effect, it would have settled the matter at once, so far as it related to these unfortunate men. They would have been wrested from that protection, which above all things was their due after they had been taken into custody by order of the Court, and would have been put into the power of “public vengeance” at Havana. Yet there was not enough. There seems to have been an impression that to serve an order like that would require the aid of a body of troops.–The people of Connecticut never would, never ought to have suffered it to be executed on their soil, but by main force. So the Spanish minister says his government has no ship to receive these people, and the President must therefore go further, and as he is responsible for the safe-keeping and delivery of the men, he must not only deliver them up, but ship them off in a national vessel, so that there may be no Habeas Corpus from the State Courts coming to the rescue as soon as they are out of the control of the judiciary. The suggestion, which first came from the District Attorney, that the Court would undoubtedly place the Africans at the mercy of the Executive, is carried out by an announcement from the Secretary of State, of an agreement with Mr. Argaiz to send them to Cuba in a public ship. Here is the memorandum of the Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy.

“Department of State, January 2, 1840.

“The vessel destined to convey the negroes of the Amistad to Cuba, to be ordered to anchor off the port of New Haven, Connecticut, as early as the 10th of January next, and be in readiness to receive said negroes from the marshal of the United States, and proceed with them to Havana, under instructions to be hereafter transmitted.

“Lieutenant Gedney and Meade to be ordered to hold themselves in readiness to proceed in the same vessel, for the purpose of affording their testimony in any proceedings that may be ordered by the authorities of Cuba in the matter.

“These orders should be given with special instructions that they are not to be communicated to any one.”

Well, the order was given by the Secretary of the Navy, that the schooner Grampus should execute this honorable service.

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The Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of State.

“Navy Department, Jan. 2, 1840.

“Sir,–I have the honor to state that, in pursuance of the memorandum sent by you to this department, the United States schooner Grampus, Lieutenant Commanding John S. Paine, has been ordered to proceed to the bay of New Haven, to receive the negroes captured in the Amistad. The Grampus will probably be at the point designated a day or two before the 10th inst., and will there await her final instructions in regard to the negroes.”

A celebrated state prisoner, when going to the scaffold, was led by the statue of Liberty, and exclaimed, “O, Liberty! how many crimes are committed in thy name!” So we may say of our gallant navy, “What crimes is it ordered to commit! To what uses is it ordered to be degraded!”

On the 7th of January, the Secretary of State writes to the Secretary of the Navy, acknowledging the receipt of his letter of the 3d, informing him that the schooner Grampus would receive the negroes of the Amistad, “for the purpose of conveying them to Cuba, in the event of their delivery being adjudged by the circuit court, before whom the case is pending.” This singular blunder, in naming the court, shows in what manner and with how little care the Department of State allowed itself to conduct an affair, involving no less than the liberties and lives of every one of my clients. This letter inclosed the order of the President to the Marshal of Connecticut for the delivery of the negroes to Lieut. Paine. Although disposing of the lives of forty human beings, it has not the form or solemnity of a warrant, and is not even signed by the President in his official capacity. It is a mere order.

“The Marshal of the United States for the district of Connecticut will deliver over to Lieut. John S. Paine, of the United States Navy, and aid in conveying on board the schooner Grampus, under his command, all the negroes, late of the Spanish schooner Amistad, in his custody, under process now pending before the Circuit court of the United States for the district of Connecticut. For so doing, this order will be his warrant.

“Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 7th day of January, A. D. 1840. “M. Van Buren.

“By the President:

“John Forsyth, Sec. of State.”

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That order is good for nothing at all. It did not even describe the court correctly, under whose protection these unfortunate people were. And on the 11th of January, the District Attorney had to send a special messenger, who came, it appears, all the way to Washington in one day, to inform the Secretary that the negroes were not holden under the order of the Circuit Court but of the District Court. And he says, “Should the pretended friends of the negroes”–the pretended friends!–“obtain a writ of Habeas Corpus, the Marshal could not justify under that warrant.” And he says, “the Marshal wishes me to inquire”–a most amiable and benevolent inquiry–“whether in the event of a decree requiring him to release the negroes, or in case of an appeal by the adverse party, it is expected the Executive warrant will be executed”–that is, whether he is to carry the negroes on board of the Grampus in the face of a decree of the court. And he requests instructions on the point. What a pretty thing it would have been, if he had received such instructions, in the face of a decree of the court! I should like to ask him which he would have obeyed. At least, it appears, he had such doubts whether he should obey the decree of the court, that he wanted instructions from the President. I will not say what temper it shows in the Marshal and the District Attorney.

On the 12th of January, the very next day after the letter of the District Attorney was written at New Haven, the Secretary of State replies in a dispatch which is marked “confidential.”


“Department of State, Jan. 12, 1840.

“Sir,–Your letter of the 11th instant has just been received, The order for the delivery of the negroes of the Amistad is here with returned, corrected agreeably to your suggestion. With reference to the inquiry from the Marshal, to which you allude, I have to state, by direction of the President, that, if the decision of the court is such as is anticipated, the order of the President is to be carried into execution, unless an appeal shall actually have been interposed. You are not to take it for granted that it will be interposed. And if, on the contrary, the decision of the court is different, you are to take out an appeal, and allow things to remain as they are until the appeal shall have been decided.

“I am, sir, your obedient servant,

“John Forsyth.

“W. S. Holabird, Esq.,

“Attorney U. S. for Dist. of Conn.”

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Now, may it please your Honors, this corrected order, the final order of the President of the United States, is not in evidence, it does not appear among the documents communicated to Congress, and I feel some curiosity to know how it was corrected. I have heard it intimated that the President of the United States never knew it had been changed, and that the alternative was made, perhaps by a clerk in the State Department, just by drawing his pen through the word circuit, and interlining the word district. I put it to your Honors to say what sort of regard is here exhibited for human life and for the liberties of these people. Did not the President know, when he signed that order for the delivery of MEN to the control of an officer of the navy to be carried beyond seas, he was assuming a power that no President had ever assumed before? It is questionable whether such a power could have been exercised by the most despotic government of Europe. Yet this business was coolly dispatched by a mere informal order, which order was afterwards altered by a clerk.

The Secretary of State further instructs the District Attorney, that “if the decision of the Court shall be such as is anticipated, the order of the President is to be carried into execution, unless an appeal is actually interposed,” and he is “NOT TO TAKE IT FOR GRANTED THAT IT WILL BE INTERPOSED.” The Government then confidently “anticipated” that the negroes would be delivered up; and the Attorney was directed not to allow them a moment of time to enter an appeal. They were to be put on board of the Grampus instantly, and deprived, if possible, of the privilege of appealing to the higher Courts. Was this JUSTICE?

But after all, the order did not avail. The District Judge, contrary to all these anticipations of the Executive, decided that the thirty-six negroes taken by Lieut. Gedney and brought before the Court on the certificate of the Governor General of Cuba, were FREEMEN; that they had been kidnapped in Africa; that they did not own these Spanish names; that they were not ladinos, and were not correctly described in the passport, but were new negroes bought by Ruiz in the depot of Havana, and fully entitled to their liberty.

Such was the disposal intended, deliberately intended, by a President of the United States to be made, of the lives and liberty of

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thirty-six human beings!–The Attorney General of the United States, at once an Executive and a judicial officer of the American people, bound in more than official duty to respect the right of personal liberty and the authority of the Judiciary Department had given a written opinion, that, at the instigation of a foreign minister, the President of the United States should issue his order, directed to the marshal to whose custody these persons had been committed, by order of the judge, as prisoners and witnesses, and commanding that marshal to wrest them from the hands of justice, and deliver them to such persons as should be designated by that same foreign minister to receive them. Will this Court please to consider for one moment, the essential principle of that opinion? Will this Court inquire, what, if that opinion had been successfully carried into execution, would have been the tenure by which every human being in this Union, man, woman, or child, would have held the blessing of personal freedom? Would it not have been by the tenure of Executive discretion, caprice or tyranny? Had the precedent once been set and submitted to, of a nameless mass of judicial prisoners and witnesses, snatched by Executive grasp from the protective guardianship of the Supreme Judges of the land, (gubernativamente,) at the dictate of a foreign minister, would it not have disabled forever the effective power of the Habeas Corpus? Well was it for the country–well was it for the President of the United States himself that he paused before stepping over this Rubicon!–That he said–“We will proceed no further in this business.” And yet, he did not discard the purpose, and yet he saw that this executive trampling at once upon the judicial authority and upon personal liberty would not suffice, either to satisfy the Spanish Minister or to satiate the public vengeance of the barracoon slave-traders. Had the unfortunate Africans been torn away from the protection of the Court, and delivered up to the order of the Spanish Minister, he possessed not the means of shipping them off to the Island of Cuba. The indignation of the freemen of Connecticut, might not tamely endure the sight, of thirty-six free persons, though Africans, fettered and manacled in their land of freedom, to be transported beyond the seas, to perpetual hereditary servitude or to death, by the servile submission of an American President to the insolent dictation of a foreign minister. There were judges of the State Courts in Connecticut, possessing the power of issuing the writ of Habeas

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Corpus, paramount even to the obsequiousness of a federal marshal to an Executive mandate. The opinion of the Attorney General, comprehensive as it was for the annihilation of personal liberty, carried not with it the means of accomplishing its object. What then was to be done? To save the appearance of a violent and shameless outrage upon the authority of the judicial courts, the moment was to be watched when the Judge of the District Court should issue his decree, which it was anticipated would be conformable to the written opinion of the Attorney General. From that decree the Africans would be entitled to an appeal, first to the Circuit and eventually to the Supreme Court of the United States–but with suitable management, by one and the same operations they might be choused out of that right, the Circuit and Supreme Courts ousted of their jurisdiction, and the hapless captives of the Amistad delivered over to slavery and to death.

For this purpose, at the suggestion of the District Attorney Holabird, and at the requisition of the dictatorial Spanish Minister, the Grampus, one of the smallest public vessels of the United States, a schooner of burden utterly insufficient to receive and contain under the shelter of her maindeck, thirty-six persons additional to the ship’s company, was in the dead of winter, ordered to repair from the navy yard at Brooklyn to New Haven where the Africans were upon trial, with this secret order which I have read to the Court, signed “Martin Van Buren,” commanding the Marshal of the District of Connecticut to deliver over to Lieut. John S. Paine, commander of the Grampus, and aid in conveying on board that schooner all the negroes, late of the Spanish schooner Amistad, in his custody, under process [now] pending before the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Connecticut.

Of this ever memorable order, this Court will please to observe that it is in form and phraseology, perfectly conformable to the written opinion which had been given by the Attorney General. It is not conditional, to be executed only in the event of a decision by the court against the Africans, but positive and unqualified to deliver up all the Africans in his custody, under process now pending. There was nothing in the order itself to prevent Lieut. Paine from delivering it to the marshal, while the trial was pending; it carries out in form the whole idea of the Attorney General’s opinion, that the President’s order to the marshal is of itself all sufficient to supersede the whole protective authority of the


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judiciary–and with this pretension on the face of the order, is associated another, if possible still more outrageous upon every security to personal liberty, in the direction to the marshal to deliver over to Lieut. Paine all the negroes, late of the Amistad, under his custody.

Is it possible that a President of the United States should be ignorant that the right of personal liberty is individual. That the right to it of every one, is his own–JUS SUUM; and that no greater violation of his official oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, could be committed, than by an order to seize and deliver up at a foreign minister’s demand, thirty-six persons, in a mass, under the general denomination of all, the negroes, late of the Amistad. That he was ignorant, profoundly ignorant of this self-evident truth, inextinguishable till yonder gilt framed Declarations of Independence shall perish in the general conflagration of the great globe itself. I am constrained to believe–for to that ignorance, the only alternative to account for this order to the Marshal of the District of Connecticut, is willful and corrupt perjury to his official presidential oath.

But ignorant or regardless as the President of the United States might be of the self-evident principles of human rights, he was bound to know that he could not lawfully direct the delivery up to a foreign minister, even of slaves, of acknowledged undisputed slaves, in an undefined, unspecified number. That the number must be defined, and individuals specifically designated, had been expressly decreed by the Supreme Court of the United States in that very case of the Antelope so often, and as I shall demonstrate so erroneously quoted as a precedent for the captives of the Amistad.

“Whatever doubts (said in that case Chief Justice Marshall) may attend the question whether the Spanish claimants are entitled to restitution of ALL the Africans taken out of their possession with the Antelope we cannot doubt the propriety of demanding ample proof of the extent of that possession. Every legal principle which requires the plaintiff to prove his claim in any case, applies with full force to this point; and no countervailing consideration exists. The onus probandi, as to the number of Africans which were on board, when the vessel was captured, unquestionably lies on the Spanish libellants. Their proof is not satisfactory beyond 93. The individuals who compose this number must be designated

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to the satisfaction of the Circuit Court.” 10 Wheaton 128. And this decision acquires double authority, as a precedent to establish the principles which it affirms, inasmuch as it was given upon appeal, and reversed the decision of the Circuit Court, which had resorted to the drawing of lots, both for the designation of the number, and for the specification of individuals.

Lawless and tyrannical; (may it please the Court–Truth, Justice, and the Rights of human kind forbid me to qualify these epithets) Lawless and Tyrannical, as this order thus was upon its face, the cold blooded cruelty with which it was issued–was altogether congenial to its spirit–I have said that it was issued in the dead of winter–and that the Grampus was of so small a burden as to be utterly unfit for the service upon which she was ordered. I now add that the gallant officer who commanded her remonstrated, with feelings of indignation, controlled only by the respect officially due from him to his superiors against it. That he warned them of the impossibility of stowing this cargo of human flesh and blood beneath the deck of the vessel, and that if they should be shipped in the month of January, on her deck, and the almost certain casualty if a storm should befall them on the passage to Cuba, they must all inevitably perish. He remonstrated in vain! He was answered only by the mockery of an instruction, to treat his prisoners with all possible tenderness and attention.–If the whirlwind had swept them all into the ocean he at least would have been guiltless of their fate.

But although the order of delivery was upon its face absolute and unconditional, it was made conditional, by instructions from the Secretary of State to the District Attorney. It was to be executed only in the event of the decision of the court being favorable to the pretended application of the Spanish minister, and Lieutenant Paine was to receive the negroes from the custody of the marshal as soon as their delivery should have been ordered by the court.

“Letting I dare not wait upon I would,” a direct collision with the authority of the judicial tribunals was cautiously avoided; and a remarkable illustration of the thoughtless and inconsiderate character of the whole Executive action in this case, appears in the fact, that with all the cunning and intricate stratagems to grab and ship off these poor wretches to Cuba, neither the President of the United States who signed, nor the Secretary of State who transmitted the order knew, but both of them mistook the

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court, before which the trial of the Africans was pending. They supposed it was the Circuit, when in fact it was the District Court.

The Grampus arrived at New Haven three days before the decision of Judge Judson was pronounced. Her appearance there, in January, when the ordinary navigation of Long Island Sound is suspended, coming from the adjoining naval station at Brooklyn, naturally excited surprise, curiosity, suspicion. What could be the motive of the Secretary of the Navy for ordering a public vessel of the United States upon such a service at such a time? Why should her commander, her officers and crew be exposed, in the most tempestuous and the coldest month of the year, at once to the snowy hurricanes of the northeast, and the ice-bound shores of the northwest? These were questions necessarily occurring to the minds of every witness to this strange and sudden apparition. Lieut. Paine and his officers were questioned why they were there, and whither they were bound? They could not tell. The mystery of iniquity sometimes is but a transparent veil and reveals its own secret. The fate of the Amistad captives was about to be decided as far as it could be by the judge of a subordinate tribunal. The surrender of them had been demanded of the Executive by a foreign minister, and earnestly pressed upon the court by the President’s officer, the District Attorney. The sudden and unexpected appearance of the Grampus, with a destination unavowed, was a very intelligible signal of the readiness, of the willingness, of the wish of the President to comply with the foreign minister’s demand. It was a signal equally intelligible to the political sympathies of a judge presumed to be congenial to those of a northern President with southern principles, and the District Attorney in his letter of 20th December had given soothing hopes to the Secretary of State, which he in turn had communicated in conference, on the 28th of December, to the Spanish minister, that the decree of the judge, dooming the Africans to servitude and death in Cuba, would be as pliant to the vengeful thirst of the barracoon slave-traders, as that of Herod was in olden times to the demand of his dancing daughter for the head of John the Baptist in a charger.

But when Lieut. Paine showed to the District Attorney the Executive warrant to the marshal for the delivery of the negroes, he immediately perceived its nullity by the statement that they were

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in custody under a process from the “Circuit Court” and that the same error had been committed in the instructions to the marshal. “In great haste,” therefore, he immediately dispatched Lieut. Meade, as a special messenger to Washington, requesting a correction of the error in the warrant and instructions; giving notice that if the pretended friends of the negroes obtain a writ of habeas corpus, the marshal could not justify under the warrant as it was; and that the decision of the court would undoubtedly be had by the time the bearer of the message would be able to return to New Haven.

This letter was dated the 11th of January, 1840. The trial had already been five days “progressing.” The evidence was all in, and the case was to be submitted to the court on that day. Misgivings were already entertained that the decision of the judge might not be so complacent to the longings of the Executive department as had been foretold and almost promised on the 20th of December. Mr. Holabird, therefore, at the desire of the Marshal propounds that decent question, and requests precise instructions, “whether in the event of a decree by the court requiring the Marshal to release the Negroes, or in case of an appeal by the adverse party, it was expected the Executive warrant [to ship off the prisoners in the Grampus to Cuba,] would be executed?” These inquiries may account perhaps for the fact that the same Marshal, after the District and Circuit Courts had both decided that these negroes were free, still returned them upon the census of the inhabitants of Connecticut as Slaves.

The Secretary of State was more wary. The messenger, Lieut. Meade, bore his dispatch from New Haven to Washington in one day. On the 12th of January, Mr. Forsyth in a confidential letter to Mr. Holabird informs him that his missive of the day before had been received. That the order for the delivery of the Negroes to Lieut. Paine of the Grampus was returned, corrected agreeably to the District Attorney’s suggestion–by whom corrected no uninitiated man can tell. Of the final warrant of Martin Van Buren, President of the United States, to the Marshal of the District of Connecticut, to ship for transportation beyond the seas, an undefined, nameless number of human beings, not a trace remains upon the records or the files of any one of the Executive Departments, and when nearly three months after this transaction the documents relating to it were, upon a call from the House of

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Representatives, communicated to them by massage from Mr. Van Buren himself, this original, erroneous, uncorrected order of the 7th of January, 1840, was the only one included in the communication.

But in the confidential answer of the Secretary of State of the 12th of January to the inquiries of the Marshal, he says, “I have to state by direction of the President, that if the decision of the Court is such as is anticipated, (that is, that the captives should be delivered up as slaves,) the order of the President is to be carried into execution, unless an appeal shall actually have been interposed, you are not to take it for granted that it will be interposed. And if on the contrary the decision of the Court is different, you are to take out an appeal, and allow things to remain as they are until the appeal shall have been decided.” The very phraseology of this instruction is characteristic of its origin, and might have dispensed the Secretary of State from the necessity of stating that it emanated from the President himself. The inquiry of the Marshal was barefaced enough; whether, if the Executive warrant and the judicial decree should come in direct conflict with each other, it was expected that he should obey the President, or the Judge? No! says the Secretary of State. If the decree of the Judge should be in our favor, and you can steal a march upon the negroes by foreclosing their right of appeal, ship them off without mercy and without delay: and if the decree should be in their favor, fail not to enter an instantaneous appeal to the Supreme Court where the chances may be more hostile to self-emancipated slaves.

Was ever such a scene of Lilliputian trickery enacted by the rulers of a great, magnanimous, and Christian nation? Contrast it with that act of self-emancipation by which the savage, heathen barbarians Cinque and Grabeau liberated themselves and their fellow suffering countrymen from Spanish slave-traders, and which the Secretary of State, by communion of sympathy with Ruiz and Montes, denominates lawless violence. Cinque and Grabeau are uncouth and barbarous names. Call them Harmodius and Aristogiton, and go back for moral principle three thousand years to the fierce and glorious democracy of Athens. They too resorted to lawless violence, and slew the tyrant to redeem the freedom of their country. For this heroic action they paid the forfeit of their lives: but within three years the Athenians expelled

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their tyrants themselves, and in gratitude to their self-devoted deliverers decreed, that thenceforth no slave should ever bear either of their names. Cinque and Grabeau are not slaves. Let them bear in future history the names of Harmodius and Aristogiton.

This review of all the proceedings of the Executive I have made with the utmost, pain, because it was necessary to bring it fully before your Honors, to show that the course of that department had been dictated, throughout, not by justice but by sympathy–and a sympathy the most partial and unjust. And this sympathy prevailed to such a degree, among all the persons concerned in this business, as to have perverted their minds with regard to all the most sacred principles of law and right, on which the liberties of the people of the United States are founded; and a course was pursued, from the beginning to the end, which was not only an outrage upon the persons whose lives and liberties were at stake, but hostile to the power and independence of the judiciary itself.

I am now, may it please your Honors, obliged to call the attention of the Court to a very improper paper, in relation to this case, which was published in the Official Journal of the Executive Administration, on the very day of the meeting of this Court, and introduced with a commendatory notice by the editor, as the production of one of the brightest intellects of the South. I know not who is the author, but it appeared with that almost official sanction, on the day of meeting of this Court. It purports to be a review of the present case. The writer begins by referring to the decision of the District Court, and says the case is “one of the deepest importance to the southern states.” I ask, may it please your Honors, is that an appeal to JUSTICE? What have the southern states to do with the case, or what has the case to do with the southern states? The case, as far as it is known to the courts of this country, or cognizable by them, presents points with which the southern states have nothing to do. It is a question of slavery and freedom between foreigners; of the lawfulness or unlawness of the African slave trade; and has not, when properly considered, the remotest connection with the interests of the southern states.

What was the purpose or intent of that article, I am not prepared to say, but it was evidently calculated to excite prejudice, to arouse all the acerbities of feeling between different sections of

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this country, and to connect them with this case, in such a manner as to induce this Court to decide it in favor of the alleged interests of the southern states, and against the suppression of the African slave trade. It is not my intention to review the piece at this time. It has been done, and ably done, by more than one person. And after infinite difficulty, one of these answers has been inserted in the same official journal in which the piece appeared. I now wish simply, to refer your Honors to the original principle of slavery, as laid down by this champion of the institution. It is given by this writer as a great principle of national law and stands as the foundation of his argument. I wish, if your Honors deem a paper of this kind, published under such circumstances, worthy of consideration in the decision of a case, that your Honors would advert to that principle, and say whether it is a principle recognized by this Court, as the ground on which it will decide cases.

“The truth is, that property in man has existed in all ages of the world, and results from the natural state of man, which is war. When God created the first family and gave them the fields of the earth as an inheritance, one of the number, in obedience to the impulses and passions that had been implanted in the human heart, rose and slew his brother. This universal nature of man is alone modified by civilization and law. War, conquest, and force, have produced slavery, and it is state necessity and the internal law of self preservation, that will ever perpetuate and defend it.”

There is the principle, on which a particular decision is demanded from this Court, by the Official Journal of the Executive, on behalf of the southern states? Is that a principle recognized by this Court? Is it the principle of that DECLARATION? [Here Mr. A. pointed to the Declaration of Independence, two copies of which hang before the eyes of the Judges on the bench.] It is alleged in the Official Journal, that war gives the right to take the life of our enemy, and that this confers a right to make him a slave, on account of having spared his life. Is that the principle on which these United States stand before the world? That DECLARATION says that every man is “endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights,” and that “among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If these rights are inalienable, they are incompatible with the rights of the victor to take the life of his enemy in war, or to spare his life and make him a

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slave. If this principle is sound, it reduces to brute force all the rights of man. It places all the sacred relations of life at the power of the strongest. No man has a right to life or liberty, if he has an enemy able to take them from him. There is the principle. There is the whole argument of this paper. Now I do not deny that the only principle upon which a color of right can be attributed to the condition of slavery is by assuming that the natural state of man is War The bright intellect of the South, clearly saw, that without this principle for a corner stone, he had no foundation for his argument. He assumes it therefore without a blush, as Hobbes assumed it to prove that government and despotism are synonymous words. I will not here discuss the right or the rights of slavery, but I say that the doctrine of Hobbes, that War is the natural state of man, has for ages been exploded, as equally disclaimed and rejected by the philosopher and the Christian. That it is utterly incompatible with any theory of human rights, and especially with the rights which the Declaration of Independence proclaims as self-evident truths. The moment you come, to the Declaration of Independence, that every man has a right to life and liberty, an inalienable right, this case is decided. I ask nothing more in behalf of these unfortunate men, than this Declaration. The opposite principle is laid down, not by an unintelligent or unthinking man, but is given to the public and to this Court, as coming from one of the brightest intellects of the South. Your Honors see what it comes to, when carried out. I will call the attention of the Court to one more paragraph:–

“Instead of having the negroes placed in a situation to receive punishment for what offences they may have committed against their masters, those who have been in Cuba in undisputed possession of property under the Spanish flag were instantly deprived of that possession, and their final title to the property peremptorily decided upon by an American court, in defiance of the plainest treaty stipulations. Not only that, but Ruiz and Montes, Spanish citizens, thus forced into our territory under appalling circumstances, where common humanity, independent of all law, demanded that they should be treated with hospitality as unfortunate guests, were actually thrown into prison under charges which the negroes were instigated to make, for offences committed against the negroes while they were in Cuba, under the Spanish jurisdiction. This is the justice of an American court,

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bowed down in disgraceful subserviency before the bigoted mandates of that blind fanaticism which prompted the Judge upon the bench to declare in his decree, in reference to one of these negroes, that, ‘Although he might be stained with crime, yet he should not sigh in vain for Africa;’ and all because his hands were reeking with the blood of murdered white men!! It is a base outrage (I can use no milder language,) upon all the sympathies of civilized life.”

That is the complimentary manner in which the courts of the United States are treated by the brightest intellects of the South, in the Official Journal, and under the immediate supervision of the Executive Administration of the Government.

During the present session, a further correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Spanish minister has been communicated to Congress. The Spanish minister seems to be ever attentive to all that is going on, in all the departments of Government, with relation to this case. In a letter dated the 20th of March, 1840, he observes that the Secretary of State had confidently asked him to furnish a copy of the existing laws of Cuba relative to negro slavery. What was this for? Was the President of the United States under the impression that before he carried into effect this exercise of despotic power, to seize MEN, by his own warrant, and send them to foreign countries for punishment by his own order–there would be some sort of decency, at least, in having a show of evidence to show that the Spanish law required that they should be delivered up? The Secretary of State asked Mr. Calderon for evidence in the case, but he had none to give. He then “confidently” asked Mr. Argaiz for the law of Spain in the case–the law, be it remembered, on which the United States were presenting a suit against individuals, solely, as they allege, in pursuance of a demand made by the minister of Spain to that effect. What is the reply? Mr. Argaiz says he cannot communicate the law officially, because he cannot recognize the jurisdiction of the Court over the case. Here is another point-blank contradiction of the material averment of the claim which the United States Government is prosecuting here–that the suit is in pursuance of the demand of Spain now pending against the Government. Mr. Argaiz, therefore, communicates a certain memorandum, “confidentially.” This memorandum begins,

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“Mr. Forsyth was pleased, some time since, to state to the Chevalier de Argaiz, that it would be expedient to obtain a copy of the laws now in force in the island of Cuba relative to slavery The Chevalier de Argaiz therefore immediately requested from the Captain General of that island every thing on the subject, which has been determined since the treaty concluded in 1818, between Spain and England.”

Now, may it please the Court, may I inquire why this demand was limited to laws subsequent to the treaty of 1818? The decree for abolishing the slave trade was issued in 1817. Why did the Spanish minister limit his request to laws passed after 1818? Why was not the decree of 1817 brought forward? Was it kept back because he thought, with Mr. Vega, that the laws had been broken so much in Cuba, that they were not in force? Or did he think the authentication of that Decree might have some injurious effect in the trial here? Whatever was the reason, it is certain that, to Mr. Forsyth’s request for “a copy of the laws now in force in the Island of Cuba relative to slavery,” only the laws since 1818 were communicated, and the Decree of 1817, making the slave trade unlawful and its victims free, was kept back. Even the treaty of 1835, which was communicated, “the Chevalier de Argaiz requests may be returned to him,” and consequently it does not appear among these papers.

In another letter, dated April 24th, 1840, the Chevalier de Argaiz refers to certain resolutions of the United States Senate, passed the 15th of the same month, commonly called Mr. Calhoun’s resolutions. I showed the other day, that if these principles are just, and if they have any application to this case, Lieut. Gedney had no right to seize the vessel at all. The resolution declares that–

“A ship or vessel on the high seas, in time of peace, engaged in a lawful commerce, is, according to the laws of nations, under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State to which her flag belongs; as much so as if constituting a part of its own domain;” and “if such ship or vessel should be forced, by stress of weather; or other unavoidable cause, into the port and under the jurisdiction of a friendly power, she, and her cargo, and persons on board, with their property, and all the rights belonging to their personal relations as established by the laws of the state to which they belong, would be placed under the penalty which the laws of nations extend to the unfortunate under such circumstances.”

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Here it is plain that the vessel was in the hands of the Africans, it was not under the Spanish flag, they were at peace with the United States, their voyage is lawful, the personal relations established among the persons on board were that the Africans were masters and the Spaniards captives, subjects;–perhaps by the laws of Mendi they were slaves. So much for the resolutions, which the Secretary of State says coincide “with principles which the President considers as founded in law and justice,” but which does not alter “the determination he found himself obliged to make on the reclamation” made for the Amistad “and the property found on board of her.”

I will now make a few observations on the passport, or permit, as it has been called, which is relied on as of authority sufficient to bind this Court and Government to deliver up my clients irrevocably as slaves, on a claim of property by Ruiz and Montes.* Here we have what appears to be a blank passport, filled up with forty-nine Spanish names of persons, who are described as ladinos, and as being the property of Don José Ruiz. Now, this on the face of it is an imposture. It is not a passport, that can be inspected as such by this Court, or by any tribunal. It appears on the face of it to be a passport designed for one person, a man, as there are blanks in the margin, to be filled up with a description of the person, as to his height, age, complexion, hair, forehead,

[Note : * It is thought best to give a copy of this celebrated passport, as it appears in the Congressional Documents, with the exception that the interpolate word negros is omitted, and the portions of the paper which were in writing are printed in italics. It will be seen that the signature of the Captain General, of which so much was made, was printed!












Senales particulares

N. Habana, 26 de Junio, de 1839.

Concedo licencia a cuerenta y nueva ladinos nombrados Antonio, Simon, Lucas José, Pedro, Martin, Manuel, Andres, Eduardo, Celedonio, Bartolo, Ramon, Agustin, Evaristo, Casimiro, Melchor, Gabriel, Santorion, Escolastico, Pascual, Estanislao, Desiderio, Nicolas, Esteban, Tomas, Cosme, Luis, Bartolo, Julian, Frederico, Salustiano, Ladislao, Celestino, Epifaneo, Tibureo, Venancio, Felipe, Francisco, Hipolito, Benito, Ysidoro, Vicente, Dionisio, Apoloneo, Esequiel, Leon, Julio, Hipolito, y Zenon. de la propriedad de Don José Ruiz, para que pasen à Puerto Principe por mar, debiendo, presentarse con esta al juez territorial respectivo.

Derechos dos real es–una rubrica.] ESPELETA.

Commandancia de Matriculas.

Pasan en la goleta Amistad à la Guanaja, patron Ferrer.


Habana, y Junio 27, de 1839.]

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eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth, beard, and particular marks. This particular description of the person is the very essence of a passport, as it is designed to identify the individual by the conformity of his person to the marks given; and a passport is nothing, and is good for nothing, if it does not accord with the marks given. The man who presents it must show by this accordance that he is the person named. Every body who has ever had occasion to use passports knows this. We are not in the habit of using passports in this country; you may go through the country from State to State, freely, without any passport to show who and what you are and what is your business. But throughout the continent of Europe, passports are everywhere necessary. At every town you show your passport to a public officer, who instantly compares your person with the description, and if it corresponds, you proceed, but if the description varies from the reality, you cannot pass. That is the nature of a passport. It says, let the person who bears these marks pass the custom-house, or the guard, as the case may be. And its validity depends on the accuracy of the description.

I once had occasion, many years ago, to see the operation of these things in a very remarkable case. I was a passenger in a merchant vessel, bound to the north of Europe. In passing through the Sound, at Elsinore, we were arrested by a British squadron, who brought us to, and sent a lieutenant on board to examine our crew. He ordered all the men to be mustered on deck, and the captain had no alternative but to comply. It was a most mortifying scene to an American. Every American seaman was obliged to show his protection, the same thing at sea as a passport on the land, to secure him from impressment by British cruisers. The officer examined every man carefully, to see whether his person corresponded with the description in his protection. He finally found one young man, who was a native of Charlestown, Massachusetts, within ten miles of where I was born; but his description was not correct, whether through the blunder of the man who wrote it, or because he had taken another man’s protection, I do not know, but the officer said he had a good mind to take him, and if I had not been on board, as the bearer of a public commission in the service of the Government, I have no doubt that man would have been taken, and compelled to serve on board a British man of war, solely for the want of correspondence

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of the description with his person. I mention this to show that the value of a passport, according to the rules of those countries where such things are used, depends on the description of the person, and this is all left blank in the paper here presented us as a passport. There is not a particle of description by which even a single individual named could be identified. It is not worth a cent. I do not say it is a forgery, but I say its incompetency to answer the purpose of a passport is apparent on the face of it. Who knows, or how is this Court to ascertain, that the persons named in this paper are the same with those taken in the Amistad? No court, no tribunal, no officer, would accept such a document as a passport. And will this Court grant its decree in a case affecting both liberty and life on that paper? It is impossible.

I now come to the case of the Antelope, as reported in 10 Wheaton, 66, and I ask particular attention to this case, not only because it brings a show of authority in favor of the delivery up of slaves, but because I feel bound to entreat the Court, whether they find a principle settled by that case or not, to settle the question now upon further and mature consideration. Chief Justice Marshall said, expressly, in delivering the opinion of the Court, that, as the Court was divided, “no principle is settled.” If there was a principle settled, and that was in favor of delivering up persons held as slaves by foreign laws, I ask this Court to re-examine that principle and settle it anew. And if, upon re-examination, by what I should deem the greatest misfortune to this country, the Court should be divided in this case, as it was in that, I respectfully ask your Honors to give your separate opinions, with the reasons. I would not call in question the propriety of the determination of the Court in that day, severally, to withhold their reasons from the public; the state of the matter is now materially altered. It has become a point in which the morals, as well as the liberties of this country, are deeply interested. The public mind acquiesced before, in postponing the discussion, but now it is no longer a time for this course, the question must be met, and judicially decided.


The case of the Antelope was of so very extraordinary a character, and the decisions of the District, Circuit, and Supreme

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Courts of the United States, on the principles involved in it, were so variant from and conflicting with one another, that a review of its history will disclose, eminently, the progress of that moral, religious, and political revolution in the opinions of mankind which has been, from a period coeval with that of North American Independence, struggling against the combined powers and dominions of the earth and of darkness for the suppression of the African slave-trade.

In the month of December, 1819, at a time when piracy, from her sympathetic and favorite haunts of Chesapeake bay, and of Cuba, was habitually sallying forth against the commerce of the world, but chiefly under the many-colored banners of the newly-emancipated colonies of Spain, transformed into a multitude of self-constituted sovereign and disunited States, capturing wherever they could be found the trading vessels of Portugal and of Spain, a privateer, named the Columbia, commanded by a citizen of the United States named Metcalf, came into the port of Baltimore under the flag of Venezuela–there clandestinely shipped a crew of thirty or forty men, not one of whom had ever owed allegiance to the Republic of Venezuela, and sailed in search of adventure, to pounce upon the defenceless upon any and every ocean for the spoils. She had scarcely got beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the United States when she changed her name of Columbia for that of Arroganta, hoisted the flag of Artigas, then ruler of the Oriental Republic of La Plata, and proceeded for the slave-coast of Africa–a mighty huntress, and her prey was man. There she fell in with sister pirates in abundance–first an American, from Bristol, Rhode Island, and borrowed twenty-five negro captives from her; then sundry ostensible Portuguese vessels, from which she took nearly two hundred; and lastly, a Spaniard from Cuba, fitted out some months before by a slave-trading house at the Havana, to catch a yet lawful human cargo from a region south of the equator; for the trade north of the equator had even then been declared unlawful by Spain. The name of this vessel was, at that time, the Antelope; and with her and her living merchandise the Arroganta steered for the coast of Brazil, for a market. There the Arroganta was shipwrecked; her master, Metcalf, either drowned, or made prisoner with the greater part of his crew; while the remainder, under the command of John Smith, a citizen of the United States, transhipping themselves and all their

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surviving African captives into the Antelope, changed her name to that of the General Ramirez, and stood for the southern coast of the United States, and a market.

In the month of June, 1820, this vessel, thus freighted, was found hovering on the coast of Florida, with the evident intention of surreptitiously introducing the negroes and effecting the sale of them within the United States. She was there in flagrant violation of two classes of their laws–those intended to suppress the unlawful interference of our citizens in the civil war then raging between Spain and her South American Colonies contending for their independence, and those prohibiting their participation in the slave trade, and denouncing it as piracy.

She was reported to Captain John Jackson, then cruising on the same coast in the Revenue Cutter Dallas, as a vessel of piratical appearance. He, thereupon, boarded her; and finding her full of negro slaves, and commanded by John Smith, holding forth at once a privateering commission from Artigas, and a protection as a citizen and seaman of the United States, he took possession of her, and brought her into the port of Savannah, in the judicial district of Georgia, for adjudication.

Upon this plain and simple statement of facts, can we choose but exclaim, if ever soul of an American citizen was polluted with the blackest and largest participation in the African slave-trade, when the laws of his country had pronounced it piracy, punishable with death, it was that of this same John Smith. He had renounced and violated those rights, by taking a commission from Artigas to plunder the merchants and mariners of nations in friendship with his own; and yet he claimed the protection of that same country which he had abandoned and betrayed. Why was he not indicted upon the act of 15th May, 1820, so recently enacted before the commission of his last and most atrocious crime?

And can we choose but further exclaim–if ever hapless African, kidnapped into slavery by one gang of ruffians, and then stolen by another, and by them attempted to be smuggled into our country as slaves, and by a fortunate casualty brought within our jurisdiction and the beneficent operation of our emancipating laws, was entitled to the blessing of freedom, and the right of being transported under our national protection to his native land, so was every individual African found by Captain Jackson on

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board of the Antelope, and brought within the jurisdiction of this Federal Union. Why were they not instantly liberated and sent home to Africa by the act of March 3d, 1819. Alas! far otherwise was, in the judicial district of Georgia, the disposal of this pirate, robber, and traitor to his country! Instead of being indicted for all or any one of his many violations of the laws of the United States, of nations, and of humanity, he was not only suffered to go at large, entirely unmolested, but was permitted to file his claim, before the District Court of the United States in Georgia, for the restitution to him of the Antelope and all her living cargo, as captured jure belli, by virtue of his commission from Artigas. This claim was, indeed, dismissed, with costs, by the judge of the District Court, William Davis. Smith appealed from that decision to the Circuit Court, the presiding judge of which, William Johnson, confirmed the decision of the District Court, and spoke with suitable severity, not of the wickedness, but of the absurdity of Smith’s pretension. And here, and in freely commenting hereafter upon the opinions and decisions upon this case, of these two judges, William Davis and William Johnson, both long since deceased, truth and justice require the remark, with all the respect due to their memories as upright judges and honorable men, that they were both holders of slaves, adjudicating in a State where slavery is the law of the land. If this circumstance may account for the fact, that the ministers of national justice in Georgia slumbered over the manifold transgressions of John Smith, for which he never was prosecuted, it will account no less for that division of opinion in the Supreme tribunal of the Union, which veiled from public examination and scrutiny the reasons of each judge for his own opinion, because, as the Chief Justice declared, NO PRINCIPLE WAS SETTLED. John Smith did not venture to appeal from the decisions of the District and Circuit Courts against his claim to the Supreme Court of the United States. His plunder slipped from his hands; but his treachery to his country for a commission from Artigas, his buccaneer and slave-trade piracies, though not even undivulged crimes, yet remained unwhipped of justice.

On the 27th of July, 1820, Captain John Jackson, in behalf of himself, and of the officers and crew of the Revenue Cutter Dallas, filed in the District Court a libel against the Antelope, or General Ramirez, for forfeiture, under the act of Congress of 20th


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April, 1818, prohibiting American citizens from engaging in the African slave-trade.

At the same Court, Charles Mulvey, vice-consul of Spain, and Francis Sorell, vice-consul of Portugal, at Savannah, filed each a libel for restitution, the former of 150, the latter of 130 African negroes, composing the cargo of the Antelope. To these two libels Richard Habersham, district attorney of the United States, interposed in their name a claim to the freedom of all the negroes, on the ground that some American citizen was interested or engaged in their transportation from Africa.

The Spanish vice-consul claimed the vessel and all the negroes in behalf of the original fitters out of the Antelope, for the slave-trading voyage, at the Havana.

And Captain Jackson claimed salvage for all the negroes who might be adjudged to the Spanish and Portuguese vice-consuls; and twenty-five dollars a head for all those who might be declared free, according to the act of Congress.

The judge of the District Court, after rejecting the claim of John Smith, on the ground of the illegality of the fitting out of the Columbia, or Arraganta, at Baltimore, and thereby settling the principle, that no capture made by that vessel could be legal, seems to have forgotten, or overlooked, the violation by the same John Smith of the laws of the United States for the suppression of the slave-trade; at least, so far as concerned all the negroes on board the Antelope, excepting only a small remnant of twenty-five, which had been taken from the American slave-trader, the Exchange, from Bristol, Rhode Island. John Smith had made no attempt to smuggle these into the United States separate from the rest. His attempt had been to smuggle them all in. Why, then, should those taken from the American vessel alone be declared free, and those taken from the Spaniards and Portuguese doomed to perpetual slavery?

The judge hunted up sundry old decisions in the Supreme Court of the United States, and, finally, the case of the Josafa et Segunda, 5 Wheaton, 338, for a principle “that, upon a piratical or illegal capture, the property of the original owners cannot he forfeited for the misconduct of the captors in violating the municipal laws of the country where the vessel seized by them is carried.” The application of which principle to the rights of the respective parties in the case of the Antelope was, that the property of the

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Spanish owners of the Antelope could not be forfeited by the misconduct of John Smith in capturing it, in violation of the laws of the United States, by virtue of a commission from Artigas. Thus far the principle was correctly applied; but to that other misconduct of John Smith, the attempt to smuggle these negroes into the United States, by which they became forfeited, and made free by the law, whoever might have been their owner; to that misconduct, the precedent of the Josafa et Segunda had no application whatever, and it was altogether overlooked in the decision of the district judge, although he decreed freedom to the chance chosen survivors of the twenty-five negroes of the very same cargo, taken from the American vessel, though forfeited and liberated by the very same attempt of John Smith to smuggle them into the United States for sale. It was perfectly immaterial to the question of forfeiture and liberation to whom all or any of the negroes had originally belonged. It was the attempt to smuggle them which induced their forfeiture by the rigor, and their consequent liberation by the beneficence, of the law.

But having once introduced this entirely extraneous question, to whom the negroes on board the Antelope, when captured by Captain Jackson, had originally belonged, the District Judge proceeded, upon such evidence as he deemed sufficient, to decide, that those captured in her by the Arraganta, were the property of Spaniards, and without one title of evidence, to infer, that all the negroes taken from vessels under Portuguese colors, had been the property of Portuguese subjects, unknown; and upon these conclusions and assumptions, to adjudge all the negroes, save the scanty surviving remnant of twenty-five taken from the Exchange of Rhode Island, to the Spanish and Portuguese Vice Consuls.

At this distance of time, who can read such an adjudication of an American judge, without amazement.

The claim of C. Mulvey [Spanish Vice Consul] was therefore sustained to the Antelope, and to as many of the negroes, as should appear to be remaining of those found on board of her at the time of her capture by the Arraganta.

The libel of F. Sorrell, the Portuguese Vice Consul, was sustained against so many of the slaves as should appear to remain of those taken by the Arraganta from Portuguese vessels.

And it was further ordered with assent of parties, (that is, of these two parties the Spanish and Portuguese Vice Consuls, and

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well they might assent!) that the claim of John Jackson to salvage, should be sustained as regarded the negroes claimed by and adjudged to them–and as regarded those adjudged to the United States, to an allowance of twenty five dollars for each according the Act of Congress of 3d March, 1819.

This decree was pronounced on the 21st of February 1821–and the clerk of the court was directed on or before the 26th day of the same month to report to the court the number of Spanish and Portuguese negroes in the hands of the marshal, distinguishing the negroes respectively belonging to each. He was also required to designate the very small number adjudged to the United States, that is, to the blessed enjoyment of themselves and their own liberty; and associating with himself two resident merchants, was at the same time to report the quantum or proportion of salvage to be allowed to Captain Jackson for the negroes thus reputably and substantially sold by the judicial authority of the United States to the Spanish and Portuguese Vice Consuls.

This unblushing bargain and sale of human captives, entitled at least by the intention of the United States laws to their freedom, was the first incident which brought to a pause the legal standard of morality of a Connecticut District Judge of the United States in the case of the Amistad captives. An estimate in dollars and cents of the value at New Haven, of from two to three hundred living men and women, for the purpose of allowing salvage upon them as merchandise, was too much for the nerves of a Yankee judge. The authority of the case of the Antelope was in this particular no precedent for him. The very proposal shocked his moral sense, and he instantly decided that men and women were not articles for a price current in the markets overt of Connecticut.

In the markets of Savannah, nothing was more simple. The clerk of the District Court, with his two associated resident merchants, in obedience to the order of the judge appraized the negroes taken from the Spanish and Portuguese vessels at three hundred dollars per head, making the aggregate of sixty-one thousand five hundred dollars [for 205 souls]; and they were of opinion that there should be an allowance of one fourth of said sum to Captain Jackson, his officers and crew, for salvage on the said negroes.

Seventy-five dollars per head! Fifteen thousand three hundred

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and seventy-five dollars for two hundred and five men and women! What a revolution in the relative value of slaves and of freemen, since the age of Homer! In the estimate of that Prince of Grecian Poets.

Jove fix’d it certain that whatever day

Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away–

and in the political statistics of the author of the Declaration of Independence the degradation of the character of man, by the infliction upon him of slavery is far greater than is asserted by the blind old rhapsodist of Smyrna. But here we have an inverted proportion of relative value, and Captain Jackson, by the decree of a Judicial Court of the United States receives twenty-five dollars a head for redeeming one parcel of Africans from slavery to freedom, while at the same time he was to receive seventy-five dollars a head for reducing by the same act two other parcels of the same company from freedom to slavery!

Nor was the manner in which the clerk of the District Court executed the order to report the relative numbers of the three classes of the captured Africans, the least extraordinary part of these proceedings.

He reported that two hundred and fifty-eight negroes had been delivered by Captain John Jackson, Commander of the Revenue Cutter Dallas, on the 25th of July, 1820, to the marshal of Georgia, from on board the General Ramirez [the Antelope.] That of that number forty-four had died in the space of seven months–one was missing and one discharged by order of court, and that the marshal returned two hundred and twelve negroes which remained to be apportioned.

What had become of the missing one neither the clerk nor the judge seems to have thought it worth his while to inquire–why should they? it was but one man–and that man a negro! no further trace of him appears upon the record.

Neither was it thought necessary to record the reason of the favor bestowed by the court upon one other man in ordering his discharge. The very nature of the order is its own justification.

But mark the mortality of the negroes! out of 258, four deaths in the space of seven months! and that, not while crammed between the decks of a slaver in the middle passage, but on the soil of the American Union, in the mild and healthy climate of Georgia–in the custody of an officer commissioned by the President

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of the United States, and under the protection of their judicial magistracy. In the case of the Amistad, the mortality ceased, as soon as the captives were admitted to the privilege of breathing in the atmosphere of freedom.

But if the death of one man in six, in the space of seven months, is deeply distressing to the sympathies of our nature, what shall we say to a mortality of eighteen out of twenty-five, which the clerk reported as the proportion of deaths among the negroes taken from the American vessel, the Exchange, and who were by the final decree of the judge to be liberated? The clerk in his report denominates them American negroes, and he reduces their number to SEVEN. Seven African captives out of two hundred and fifty-eight, was the number to whom the benignity of the laws of the American Union enacted for the suppression of the African slave trade, and expounded by the District Court of the United States in Georgia, would have extended the inestimable blessings of freedom and restoration to their country!

The clerk had been required to report the number of Spanish, Portuguese, and American negroes–distinguishing those respectively belonging to each of these classes. He could obtain no evidence worth a straw upon which to found his report, the negroes were all huddled together in one crowd–John Smith, the pirate, was the only witness who could tell him which were the negroes taken out of the American vessel, and he told him that sixteen out of the twenty-five had died, before the capture of the Antelope by Capt. Jackson. The clerk reported accordingly, and added two to the number of deaths, as the average loss since the 25th of July; that is, since they had been in the custody of the marshal.

It further appears from his report that the whole number captured by the Arraganta had been 331, of which 213 were Portuguese, 93 Spanish, and 25 American. That of the whole number 119 had died, but in what proportions from the general classes he could not ascertain. John Smith testified that sixteen of the 25 American negroes had died before the Antelope was taken by Captain Jackson, and the clerk guessed that two more had died since, because that was the average loss of 9 to 44 out of 258. But neither John Smith nor any one else could point out the individual survivors of each separate class, and the clerk therefore reported that there had been captured by the Arraganta 213 Portuguese negroes, of which the average loss was 71;–93 Spanish negroes

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of which the average loss was 30, and 25 American negroes, of whom the deaths attested by John Smith were 16, and the subsequent average loss 2, leaving as before stated 212 to be apportioned–that is, 142 to the Portuguese Vice Consul, 63 to the Spanish Vice Consul, and 7 to the United States, to be sent home to Africa; freemen by the mandate of our laws.

That the whole 212 were entitled to the benefit of the same laws, I cannot possibly doubt–but such was not the decision of the District Judge. Exceptions were taken to the report of the clerk, by the District Attorney of the United States, Richard W. Habersham, and by Spanish Vice Consul Mulvey. The District Attorney still claiming the freedom of all the negroes, and objecting to the allowance of 75 dollars a head to Captain Jackson for salvage, though not to the allowance of 25 dollars a head for their liberation. The Spanish Vice Consul insisting that the number of slaves allowed to the Spanish claimants was too few and not supported by any testimony in the case–and that the allowance to Captain Jackson for salvage was too high, and ought to be regulated by the act of Congress in relation to the compensation given in case the said slaves had been decreed to be delivered to the United States.

The Judge confirmed the report of the Clerk in all its parts; and the District Attorney, in behalf of the United States, and the Spanish Vice Consul, in behalf of the Spanish claimants, appealed to the Circuit Court, then next to be held at Milledgeville on the 8th day of May, 1821.

In these decisions of the District Court, is it possible to avert one’s eyes from the glaring light of an over-ruling propensity to narrow down, if not wholly to nullify, the laws of the United States for the suppression of the African slave trade? To sustain the claim of the Spanish Vice Consul, the irrelevant question to whom the Antelope had originally belonged, was introduced; and upon that was engrafted the deeply controverted question, whether the African slave trade was or was not contrary to the law of nations. To redeem from forfeiture the Antelope and the negroes captured in her by the Arraganta, the judge resorted to an argument of counsel in the recently reported case of the Josefa Segundas, (Wheaton, 338,) where it was said, that as piracy can neither divest nor convey property, a pirate cannot, by a subsequent violation of the laws of his own country, forfeit the property of which

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he has acquired possession by preceding piracy. This seems equivalent to a principle that a second act of piracy protects the pirate from punishment for the first. However conformable this maxim may be to the legal standard of morality, the Supreme Court did not so decide in the case of the Josefa Segunda. They decided, that the capture of a Spanish vessel and negroes by a privateer, with a commission from Arismendi, under the Republic of Venezuela, was not piracy; and that the Josefa Segunda, a Spanish vessel, and her cargo of negroes, captured by authority of such a commission, were forfeited by a subsequent attempt of the captors to smuggle them into the United States, though taken from the Spanish owners only by the Venezuelan commission from Arismendi. Now the Columbia had entered Baltimore, and there enlisted her crew under those identical colors of Venezuela, and, no doubt, with a commission from the same Arismendi. When metamorphosed into the Arraganta, she took the Antelope and her negroes, by a commission from Artigas, quite as efficient to legitimate a prize as that of Arismendi; and John Smith, when captured with the Antelope and her negroes, by Captain Jackson, produced this commission from Artigas as his warrant for his possession of the vessel and the slaves. As between the Arraganta and the Antelope, therefore, the capture of the latter by a commission from Artigas was not piratical but belligerent, it did divest the Spanish owners of the property and vest it in the captors, at least sufficiently to make it forfeitable by their subsequent attempt to smuggle it into the United States; and the decision of the Supreme Court, in the case of the Josefa Segunda, instead of sustaining that of the District Judge, in the case of the Antelope, is an authority point blank against it.

For the allotment of 142 of the negroes to the Portuguese Vice Consul, there was not even the apology of a Portuguese claimant, other than the Vice Consul himself, to the property. There was not a shadow of evidence that they were the property of Portuguese subjects, and none were ever found to claim them. He took the testimony of the capturing crew, that some of them were taken from vessels under Portuguese colors; and as he had no evidence that Portugal had then prohibited the slave trade, he took it for granted that the negroes were all slaves, and, as such, he decreed that they should be delivered to the Vice Consul.

With regard to the question, whether Slavery was or was not

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contrary to the laws of nations, his decision was such as might be expected from a judge, himself a holder of slaves, in a land where slavery has the sanction of law. The question, as I have endeavored to show, did not belong to the case. “But it is contended,” (says the District judge) “on the authority of some recent decisions in the British Admiralty Court, that Africans are to be considered free, until it is shown that they are slaves, and that the burden of proof is with those who set up a claim to them. This doctrine may be correct in England, since there negroes have always been held to be free, except in cases where they have voluntarily entered into engagements binding them to service. And yet, inconsistent and contradictory as it may be, slavery has been recognized in all the British American colonies.

“But it does not appear to me that I can admit the proposition in the form and manner in which it is here presented. The period is not very remote when all the Governments of Europe, and the several States of the United States when they were British colonies, and many of them after they became independent, recognized slavery. But a few years have elapsed since the Government of the United States permitted her citizens to engage in the African trade. Under such a state of things, it appears to me that this Court is bound to consider the unfortunate Africans, when found in the possession of the subjects or citizens of any Government which has heretofore permitted this traffic as slaves, until the contrary be shown. That this trade, however inhuman it may be, and however obnoxious it is to every benevolent feeling, must now be considered legal, notwithstanding its injustice, until it is shown to have been prohibited by that Government whose subjects claim the right of engaging in it.

“When it shall have been ascertained that the different Governments of the civilized world have consented to abolish the trade or after it shall have been ascertained that any particular State or Government has determined to abolish it, this Court would consider the claims set up in favor of Africans found in the situation of those before the Court, in a different point of view. In the one case they would, I think, uniformly be considered free, until the contrary was shown; in the other case, they would be so considered when they were found in the possession of the subjects or citizens of that Government which had determined to abolish the trade.

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“If it could be made to appear to this Court that, at the time these Africans were taken from the possession of the Spanish and Portuguese claimants, Spain and Portugal had agreed to prohibit their subjects from engaging in the trade, this Court, I think, would be bound to restore to these people their liberty.

“It is true this Court will not enforce the municipal laws of another country, by punishing the subjects of that country for the infraction of them; but this Court would feel bound to respect the rights of Africans no less than it would respect the rights of any other class of persons. Spain, however, had not, at the time I am speaking of, abolished the trade to Africa, although she had placed it under certain restrictions. Can it be permitted to this Court to examine the commercial regulations or the conventional engagement of Spain?”

It is unnecessary further to repeat verbatim et literatim this argument of the District judge to sustain his decree. Every word and letter of it teems with anxiety to sustain the institution of Slavery, and to prostrate instead of enforcing the laws of the United States for the suppression of the slave trade. What he calls certain restrictions placed on the trade by Spain, was the total prohibition of it north of the equator, even then stipulated by Spain in a treaty with Great Britain, and enacted accordingly by her law. But what of that? The judge admits that the trade is inhuman, that it is obnoxious to every benevolent feeling, but he is bound to consider it legal, notwithstanding its injustice, because many years before it had been practiced by Great Britain, and not many years before by the United States themselves.” Is this reasoning for a Court of Justice? When all the civilized nations of the earth shall have abolished the African slave trade, the judge thinks that captured Africans would be considered free, unless proved to be slaves: and if Spain and Portugal should abolish the slave trade, he thinks the burden of proof that negroes captured in their vessels were slaves, would rest upon their captors. In that case, the Court would respect the rights of Africans as much as those of any other class of persons; but, until then, how could the Court be permitted to examine into treaty stipulations of Spain, or into any restriction imposed by Spain upon the traffic of her subjects in slaves?

Such was the reasoning of a slave-holding judge upon slavery and the slave trade, and by such reasoning did he, out of two hundred

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and twelve Africans, forfeit to the United States, to receive from them the blessing of freedom, and restoration to their native country, reduce the number who should enjoy that privilege to seven individuals, consigning all the rest to perpetual, hopeless Spanish and Portuguese slavery!–Seven freemen to two hundred and five slaves!

The appeal from these decrees to the Circuit Court of the United States came up before Judge William Johnson, in May, 1821. His opinions differed toto coelo from those of the District judge. He increased the number of the Africans to be liberated, as survivors of the twenty-five taken from the American vessels, from seven to sixteen: he rejected the incredible testimony of the pirate, John Smith, that while the mortality of the whole cargo of negroes had averaged not more than one in three, the number of deaths among those taken from the American vessel had amounted to two-thirds of the whole. He reversed the decree of the District judge, which had allotted one hundred and forty-two negroes to the Portuguese Vice Consul; and reserved his claim for further proof, which never was produced. He reduced the allowance of salvage to Captain Jackson, and the crew of the revenue cutter, to fifty dollars a head for the negroes to be delivered to the Spanish Vice Consul, and expressed a strong doubt whether it was a case for salvage at all. He intimated, very significantly, an opinion, that if a claim had been interposed by an agent of Venezuela, or of the Oriental Republic, the capture of the Antelope, by Captain Jackson, must have been pronounced illegal–a mere marine trespass–punishable in damages rather than rewardable for salvage; and yet he allowed him a salvage of fifty dollars a head for the negroes surrendered to the Spanish Vice Consul. He concurred, however in the most exceptionable of all the opinions of the District judge; namely, that because John Smith had no forfeitable interest in the Antelope and in the negroes, originally belonging to Spanish owners, but then in his possession, and which he was when captured, in the act of smuggling into the United States; therefore they were not forfeited at all, and must be delivered up to the Spanish Vice Consul. The judge of the Circuit Court, sitting alone, after stating the circumstances of the capture by Captain Jackson, and the claims of the respective parties, promptly and without hesitation pronounces, that John Smith was taken in the act of violating the laws of the United States for the suppression of the slave trade;

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and that, “if the case rested here there would be no difficulty in adjudging the vessel forfeited, for taking these Africans on board at sea, with intent to dispose of them as slaves. But this, although perhaps literally within the provisions of the statute, is obviously not within the intent and meaning.” Why perhaps, literally within the provisions of the statute? No reader of the English language can read the provisions of the statute and entertain a doubt that they extend literally to the case–why not within its intent and meaning? Never was an obiter dictum of a judge more peremptory or more gratuitous! There is not a word, not a letter in the statute to authorize the intention of shielding from forfeiture a slave trading smuggler, because the captain was not her owner. The forfeiture attaches to the action, the violation of the laws against the slave trade, and to the instrument used for that violation, without inquiring to whom that instrument belongs. The mischief to be remedied by the law, was the introduction of African slaves into the United States.–The vessel is the instrument with which the violation of the law was effected, and by which the forfeiture was incurred. Neither justice nor policy could require an exemption from the forfeiture, because the captain in possession of the vessel and employing her in violation of the law, was not her lawful owner. The judge says, there are reiterated decisions of the American courts, that a capture made under an illegal American outfit is not belligerent, but void, and producing no change of right; and from this it follows, that Smith had no interest on which the forfeiture inflicted by law for this offence could attach. The judge names no one of these reiterated decisions, and we have seen that the only one specifically cited by the District judge, in support of the same principle, was a clear authority against it. There were no doubt decisions that captures of friendly foreign vessels, by American privateers illegally fitted out in our ports, and bearing South American commissions, did not so divest the property, but that it might be restored by our courts, in controversy between the captors and the original owners–but that the laws of the United States, prescribing penalties of forfeiture for crimes, should be violated with impunity, because the slave smuggler had stolen the instrument with which he committed the crime! No! I trust the Antelope is, and will for ever remain, the solitary case in which such a principle can claim the sanction of the courts of the United States!

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The wild and glaring inconsistency not only between the opinions and decrees of the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, in the case of the Antelope, but between the opinions and decrees of each of those Courts and itself discloses in crystal transparency an internal conflict of mind between the duty of suppressing the African slave trade, and the desire to maintain and fortify the institution of slavery, little auspicious to the composure of justice or to the impartial exercise of the judicial faculty. Both the Judges profess a sentimental abhorrence of the trade. The Circuit Judge discusses at great length the question whether the slave trade is contrary to the Law of Nations. He admits that the British Court of Admiralty have of latter years asserted a doctrine of this nature; but after commenting sarcastically upon the motive of the British Judges and Government, and descanting upon mental dependence, and interference with the family concerns of others, in which no nation has a right to volunteer, he quotes a passage from the decision of the British Court in the case of the Amédée [Acton, 240,] and says, “I must until better advised assume an opposite language.”

“I feel,” says he, “no inclination to justify or even palliate the trade. I thank God I have lived to see its death-blow. But it was from religion or policy, not from national humanity, that the blow was received. On the contrary, British policy struggled against the effort to abolish it, and all the efforts of the Quakers, the Methodists and Mr. Wilberforce proved abortive until the horrors acted in St. Domingo opened the eyes of Government to consequences that it became political to guard against. From that time, philanthropy like the pent up vapor, began freely to diffuse itself, and extended its spread even to the British Court of Admiralty.”

“That slavery, (says again the Judge of the Circuit Court,) is a national evil no one will deny except him [he] who would maintain that national wealth is the supreme national good. But whatever it be, it was entailed upon us by our ancestors, and actually provided for in the constitution first received from the Lords Proprietors under which the southern colonies were planted. During the Royal government it was fostered as the means of improving the colonies, and affording a lucrative trade to the mother country, and however revolting to humanity, may be the

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reflection, the laws of any country on the subject of the slave trade are nothing more in the eyes of any other nation than a class of the trade laws of the nation that enacts them.”

Both the Judges acknowledge the inherent, inextinguishable wickedness of the trade, and both have an invincible repugnance to consider it contrary to the laws of nations. The Judge of the District Court admits that the doctrine that Africans taken at sea must be presumed to be free, until proved to be slaves, may be correct in England, but cannot entirely recognize it in the State of Georgia. The Judge of the Circuit Court, repudiates it altogether–says he must until better advised hold opposite language–assails with great bitterness the decision of Sir William Grant in the case of the Amédée: thanks God that he has lived to see the death blow of the African slave trade; but allows no credit to Great Britain on the score of humanity for striking it. No! it was religion or policy. The horrors of the scenes in St. Domingo had alarmed the British Government for the safety of their West Indian colonies, and so the pent up vapor of philanthropy was let loose and extended even to the British Courts of Vice Admiralty. As for slavery, every one knows it an evil, but it was entailed upon us by our ancestors; it was provided for by the constitution granted by the Lords Proprietors; it was encouraged from motives of policy by the Royal Government, and what right has any one to question our practice of it now? It was once lawful–who shall say it shall not be lawful forever?

Upon the tone of this judicial argumentation I shall not indulge myself in commenting; but in comparing the spirit of the reasoning of these two judges with that of Sir William Grant in the decision which they reject and oppose, how stands the account of moral principle? The reasons of the British Judge glow with the flame of human liberty; those of the American Judges are wedged in thrilling regions of thick ribbed ice. Vituperation of the slave trade in words, with a broad shield of protection carefully extended over it in deeds. Slavery acknowledged an evil, and the inveteracy of its abuse urged as an unanswerable argument for its perpetuity: the best of actions imputed to the worst of motives, and a bluster of mental energy to shelter a national crime behind a barrier of national independence; these are the characteristics exhibited by American in collision with British Admiralty Courts. Or again, examine the

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respective opinions and decrees in their bearing upon the trade itself: those of the British Court went directly to its suppression; those of the American Courts, to its encouragement, security and promotion. The British Court has at least the consistency of harmonizing practice and profession. The American Courts profess humanity and practice oppression.

The decrees of the American Circuit Court are if possible more extraordinary than its opinions. After deciding that the Negroes taken by the Arraganta in the Antelope, and from the Portuguese vessels shall be delivered to the Spanish and Portuguese Vice Consuls, because he must maintain that it is a question altogether inter alios, whether the Spanish and Portuguese nations had authorized the traffic in which their vessels were engaged, the Judge adds: “Not so as to the American vessel. I have a law to direct me as to that, and the slaves taken out of her must be liberated.” The laws had literally directed that all the Negroes whom John Smith had attempted to smuggle into the United States for sale, should be liberated, but the Judge had pronounced that this was not its intent and meaning. But now another difficulty occurs. No competent witness can tell which of the surviving Negroes were taken from the American vessels, which from the Portuguese vessels, and which from the Antelope. The individuals belonging to each of the three vessels cannot be identified. How shall he distribute his doom of freedom and of slavery among the prize goods and the pirated merchandize of John Smith? With a full consciousness of the gross and glaring injustice of the decree he says, THE LOT MUST DECIDE! Where did he get his law for that? He says he has a law to direct him, and he flies in the face of that law to enslave hundreds and emancipate sixteen human beings on the cast of a die. Let me do no wrong to his words–hear them.

“I would that it were in my power to do perfect justice in their behalf. But this is now impossible. I can decree freedom to a certain number, but I may decree that to A, which is the legal right of B. It is impossible to identify the individuals who were taken from the American vessel, and yet it is not less certain that the benefit of this decree is their right and theirs alone. Poor would be the consolation to them to know that because we could not identify them we had given away their freedom to others.–Yet shall we refuse to act because not gifted with the power of

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divination? We can only do the best in our power. The lot must decide their fate, and the Almighty will direct the hand that acts in the selection. But I cannot consent to reduce this number from twenty-five to nine, [to seven,] for this depends upon testimony that was interested to deceive, since in those twenty-five, Smith could have no hope to sustain his claims though he might succeed as to the residue. The reduction of the number must therefore be averaged upon a scale with the rest, and as they consisted of twenty-three men and two boys, the lot must select them accordingly from the men and boys.

“Some doubts have been stated as to the national character of the vessel and as to the Spanish and Portuguese interest in the slaves. On the vessel I entertain no doubt. She was captured as Spanish, and the evidence is sufficient to prove the Spanish interest in her–and the slaves taken on board of her, must necessarily follow her fate. But I am induced to think that the evidence preponderates to prove that there were but ninety-three, and, that number must also be reduced by the general scale of loss. Concerning the residue, the evidence appears so conclusive, that reluctant as I feel to keep the case open I cannot adjudge them to the Portuguese Consul, without further proof.”

In examining the claim of Capt. Jackson to salvage, the judge becomes exceedingly doubtful whether it is a case for salvage at all, and enters a caveat against his own decree for allowing it. He thinks if a Venezuelan agent had interposed a claim to the property as prize of war, he should have been still more puzzled how to shape his decree than he was. He does not appear to be at all aware that if a Venezuelan agent could have claimed the property as prize of war there could have been no Spanish claimant to whom it could have been restored. The decree of restoration to Spanish owners was therefore ipse facto equivalent to a decree for salvage, the quantum of which alone remained for consideration. His caveat against his allowance for salvage, was therefore a caveat against his whole decree, and thus far was an approach to the definition of justice–Jus suum cuique.

The decrees of the Circuit Court (for there were two) like the state of mind disclosed by these opinions of the judge, were a chaos of confusion. By the first, delivered on the 11th of May, 1823, the Decree of the District Court, so far as related to the vessel, the Antelope, was affirmed, and so far as related to the

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slaves imported in her was reversed and annulled. The District Court had decreed the restoration of the Antelope to the Spanish claimants, on the ground that she had not been forfeited to the United States, for the violation of the laws for the suppression of the slave trade. She had not been forfeited, though taken by Captain Jackson in the act of smuggling into the United States for sale near three hundred Africans, and though the law literally declares all Africans thus imported free, and the vessel in which they are imported forfeited to the United States. From this forfeiture the Decree of the District Court, exempted the Antelope, because before the commission of this smuggling piracy she had been taken by another act of piracy, from certain virtuous Spanish slave traders, whose property in her, and consequently in the slaves with which she was laden, was too sacred to be divested either by piratical capture or by the laws of the United States against the importation of slaves, or against the African slave trade. With this part of the Decree of the District Court, the judge of the Circuit Court concurs. The laws of the United States for the suppression of the execrable slave trade, and against the importation of African slaves are baffled, defeated, prostrated, nullified–three hundred wretched victims of that trade, are deprived of the benefit of that just and generous provision that the very act of importing them shall operate in their favor as an act of emancipation. They are re-consigned to hopeless and perpetual slavery, from mere reverence for the property of Spanish slave traders! Well might such a decision divide the opinions of the judges of the Supreme tribunal when it came up to them for adjudication. Well might Chief Justice Marshall declare that upon this point no principle was settled, and well may every friend of human liberty, and every sincere wisher for the suppression of that detested traffic indignantly deny that the case of the Antelope can ever be cited as authority for any such principle of law.

But as the Circuit Court, reversed and annulled every part of the decree of the District Court for the disposal and distribution of the slaves, so the final decree of the Supreme Court passed the same sweeping sentence of reversal, upon all the dispositions of the Circuit Court, not excepting that reliance upon an Almighty hand to direct that designation by lot, which was to give to one man what was the right of another, and to emancipate a slave as an equivalent for enslaving a freeman.


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The judge of the Circuit Court at first decreed the manner, in which the sixteen freemen should be drawn by lot from the whole surviving cargo of the Antelope, as taken by Captain Jackson. He allowed a certain average portion of the survivors of 93 to the whole number; to be delivered to the Spanish Vice Consul, together with the proceeds of the vessels, and with suitable deductions for the salvage, forthwith–and he reserved for further consideration, and further evidence, till the next term of the court, the final distribution of the residue of the slaves between the Spanish and Portuguese Vice Consuls.

On the 16th of July, 1821, the designation was accordingly made by lot of the sixteen persons drawn from 204, and delivered to the marshal of the United States to abide the order of the court–that is, for emancipation. It does not appear that the Spanish Vice Consul received those which had been provisionally assigned to him. On the 27th day of December, 1821, the judge of the Circuit Court held, together with Jeremiah Cuyler, the newly appointed judge of the District Court in the place of William Davis deceased, a special court, at which the case was argued, and further evidence filed–and on the next day, the court “Ordered and decreed, that the residue of the negroes imported in the General Ramirez [Antelope] be divided between the Spanish and Portuguese claimants in the ratio of one hundred and sixty-six on behalf of the Spanish claimants, and one hundred and thirty on behalf of the Portuguese claimants, and that they be delivered up to the agents of the individuals as soon as their respective powers of attorney shall be duly authenticated and filed with the clerk of this court; and they shall respectively comply with the Decretal Order of this court, in paying the expenses incurred on said negroes in the ratio above stated, and in giving bond and security as therein directed for transporting them beyond the limits of the United States to some permitted port, allowing however six months from the date of the bond instead of three months as in that decretal order aforesaid, and that the proceed sales of the vessel, after deducting the costs of court, exclusive of marshal’s bills for maintenance, be paid over to the Spanish claimants.”

On the 2d of January, 1822, the District Attorney of the United States, appealed in their behalf to the Supreme Court of the United States from so much of the said decree, of the said Circuit Court as decreed the said African negroes to the Portuguese Vice Consul.

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And thus, in February, 1822, the case of the Antelope, and her cargo, came up for adjudication of the Supreme Court of the United States, the result of which is reported in the 10th, 11th, and 12th volumes of Wheaton’s Reports.

Three long years passed away before the first judgment of the court in the case was pronounced. Nearly two years before had elapsed from the capture of the Antelope by Captain Jackson. For little short of the space of five years, nearly three hundred captured Africans had been kept as prisoners of the United States, and to abide the decision of their tribunals for the enjoyment of their inalienable right to liberty. What had they been doing, during this long captivity? They had been maintained at the cost of the United States, we shall see hereafter to what tune. While the slow, solemn and majestic march of the law was progressing in the search “for the legal standard of morality” to fix the destiny of these human victims, time and chance had disposed of them more mercifully than the decrees of the District or of the Circuit Court. The marshal had bound most of them out to labor in the sweat of their brows, at the erection of fortifications, for the defence of the LIBERTIES of this, our beloved country. The judges who passed upon the fate of these their fellow men–the wives–the children–the property–the neighbors–the country of those judges were armed in panoply against foreign aggression by the daily labor of these stolen Africans, whose lives, and liberty American judges were committing by the legal standard of morality to the cast of a die. During those five years it may be well conjectured that the condition of those captives of the Antelope thus employed was less rigorous and afflicted than it was made by the lottery judgment of the court.

The judgment of the Supreme Court in 1825, reversed this lottery judgment of the Circuit Court. It reversed the whole allotment of one hundred and thirty to the Portuguese Vice Consul, and awarded to them the blessing of liberty intended for them by the law, and yet so harshly denied them by the decrees of the courts below. It reduced the number to be delivered to the Spanish claimants from a ratio of 166 to 93 to the whole number, and vigorously exacted proof to the satisfaction of the Circuit Court of the identity of every individual to be delivered up, as having been of the number taken by the Arraganta in the Antelope. The allowances of salvage and of gratuity to Captain Jackson

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and the crew of the Revenue Cutter were confirmed. One step further and the case of the Antelope would have conferred unfading glory on the Supreme Court. One step more, and the heartless sophistry would have been silenced, and the cold blooded apathy to human suffering would have been stung into sensibility, which delivered up to Spanish slave traders, a vessel, forfeited by the just severity, and thirty-nine Africans emancipated by the benignty, of the laws of this Union for the suppression of the African slave trade.

That step was not taken; there lacked one voice in a divided court to reverse the whole of that decree of the Circuit Court of which so many parts were annulled. One obnoxious principle was left to have its sway in that particular case, because there wanted a casting vote to reverse it–but Chief Justice Marshall himself, in announcing the affirmation of the sentence on this point of the Circuit Court, guarded against any and every future attempt to allege it as an authority by explicitly declaring that in this judgment of the court NO PRINCIPLE WAS SETTLED.

The opinion delivered by him on this first decision of the case in the Supreme Court, must be considered as that of the Chief Justice himself. It is in a tone entirely different from that in which the judges of the lower courts had indulged themselves. It contains no angry invective, no sneering sarcasm, no direct defiance, on the motives of the British government, and the solicitude of the British tribunals, for the suppression of the slave trade. It states with a sincere and painful effort of impartiality the reasons for and against the principle that the trade is contrary to the laws of nations. It admits and emphatically declares it contrary to the laws of nature. It cites and analyzes the general decisions upon the same point in the British Courts of Admiralty, and examines them with freedom, but without asperity. The Chief Justice says that as no principle was settled by the affirmance of the decree of the Circuit Court, the judges had concluded not to assign their respective reasons for their conflicting opinions; but as to him was assigned the duty of pronouncing the decree of the court, his argument was necessarily on the side of that division which sustained the decree of the Circuit Court, and consequently there is no counteracting opinion upon the records to balance it. But it almost balances itself. The argument with much hesitation concludes

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that the African slave trade is not contrary to the Law of Nations–but it begins with admitting, also with hesitation, that it is contrary to the law of nature. He says–“That it is contrary to the law of nature will scarcely be denied. That every man has a natural right to the fruits of his own labor, is generally admitted; and that no other person can rightfully deprive him of those fruits, and appropriate them against his will seems to be the necessary result of this admission.

“Seems, Madam–Nay it is–I know not seems.”

Surely never was this exclamation more suitable than on this occasion; but the cautious and wary manner of stating the moral principle, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, as self-evident truth, is because the argument is obliged to encounter it with matter of fact. To the moral principle the Chief Justice opposes general usage–fact against right. “From the earliest times war has existed, and war confers rights in which all have acquiesced. Among the most enlightened nations of antiquity, one of these was, that the victor might enslave the vanquished–

“Slavery, then, has its origin in force; but as the world has agreed that it is a legitimate result of force, the state of things which is thus produced by general consent cannot be pronounced unlawful.

“Throughout Christendom, this harsh rule has been exploded, and war is no longer considered as giving a right to enslave captives. But this triumph of humanity has not been universal. The parties to the modern law of nations do not propagate their principles by force; and Africa has not yet adopted them. Throughout the whole extent of that immense continent, so far as we know its history, it is still the law of nations that prisoners are slaves. Can those who have themselves renounced this law, be permitted to participate in its effects, by purchasing the beings who are its victims?

“Whatever might be the answer of a moralist to this question, a jurist must search for its legal solution in those principles of action which are sanctioned by the usages, the national acts, and the general assent, of that portion of the world of which he considers himself a part, and to whose law the appeal is made. If we resort to this standard as the test of international law, the question as has already been observed, is decided in favor of the legality of the trade. Both Europe and America embarked in it;

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and for nearly two centuries, it was carried on without opposition and without censure.”

With all possible reverence for the memory of Chief Justice Marshall, and with all due respect for his argument in this case, I must here be permitted to say, that here begins its fallacy. He admits that throughout all Christendom, the victors in war have no right to enslave the vanquished. As between Christian nations therefore, slavery as a legitimate consequence of war is totally abolished. So totally abolished that slaves captured in war, cannot be held by the captors, as slaves; but must be emancipated, or exchanged as prisoners of war.

But Africa, says the Chief Justice, still enslaves her captives in war, and for nearly two centuries, Europe and America purchased African slaves without “opposition and without censure.” This may prove that the African slave-trade was heretofore, not contrary to the international law of Europe and of Christendom. But how was it, when the Antelope was in judgment before Christian Admiralty Courts in 1820–21, and ’25? How is it now?

For nearly forty years it has been prohibited by the laws of the United States, as a crime of enormous magnitude–and when the Antelope was tried by their judicial Courts, it was proclaimed piracy, punishable with death–

It was piracy by the laws of Great Britain.

By the 10th Article of the Treaty of Ghent, concluded on the 24th of December, 1814, between Great Britain and the United States, the traffic in slaves had been declared irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and justice, and both parties did thereby stipulate and contract to use their best endeavors to promote its entire abolition.

On the 8th of February, 1815, the Ambassadors at the Congress of Vienna, from Austria, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden, had issued a Declaration, “in the face of Europe, that considering the universal abolition of the slave-trade as a measure worthy of their attention, conformable to the spirit of the times, and to the generous principles of their august Sovereigns, they are animated with the sincere desire of concurring in the most prompt and effectual execution of this measure, by all the means at their disposal, and of acting in the employment of those means with all the zeal and perseverance which is due to so noble a cause.” And again,

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“In communicating this Declaration to the knowledge of Europe, and of all civilized countries, the said plenipotentiaries hope to prevail on every other Government, and particularly on those which in abolishing the slave-trade have already manifested the same sentiments, to give them their support in a cause, the final triumph of which will be one of the noblest monuments of the age which embraced it, and which shall have brought it to a glorious termination.”

On the 20th of May, 1814, Louis the 18th, on his first restoration, had stipulated by treaty with Great Britain, to unite all his efforts with hers, at this then approaching Congress of Vienna, to induce all the Powers of Christendom to decree the abolition of the slave-trade, so that the said trade should cease, universally, as it should cease definitely, under any circumstances, on the part of France, within five years.

Within one year from that time, the Emperor Napoleon, on the 29th of March, 1815, upon his return from Elba, within the hundred days of his authority, decreed the immediate and total abolition of the slave-trade on the part of France–which decree Louis the 18th, upon his second restoration, repeated and confirmed–and on the 20th of November, 1815, a Treaty, of which the following was one of the Articles, was concluded between Great Britain and France.

“The high contracting powers, sincerely desiring to give effect to the measures on which they deliberated at the Congress of Vienna, relative to the complete and universal abolition of the slave-trade, and having each in their respective dominions, prohibited without restriction, their colonies and subjects from taking any part whatever in this traffic, engage to renew conjointly their efforts, with the view of securing signal success to those principles, which they proclaimed in the Declaration of the 8th of February, 1815, and of concerting without loss of time, through their ministers at the Courts of London and of Paris, the most effectual measures for the active and definitive abolition of a commerce so odious and so strongly condemned by the laws of religion and of nature.”

Spain had not been a party to the Declaration of the Allied Powers, at the Congress of Vienna, of 8th of February, 1815–but in a treaty with Great Britain, concluded on the 20th of August, 1814, his Catholic Majesty, concurring in the fullest manner in

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the sentiments of his Britannic Majesty with respect to the injustice and inhumanity of the traffic in slaves, stipulated that he would take into consideration with the deliberation which the state of his possessions in America demanded, the means of acting in conformity with those sentiments.

And on the 23d of September, 1817, by a treaty concluded between the same two powers, his Catholic Majesty engaged, that the slave-trade should be abolished throughout the entire dominions of Spain, on the 30th day of May, 1820; and that from and after that period, it shall not be lawful for any of the subjects of the crown of Spain, to purchase slaves, or to carry on the slave-trade, on any part of the coast of Africa, upon any pretext, or in any manner whatever; provided, however, that a term of five months from the said date of the 30th of May, 1820, should be allowed for completing the voyages of vessels cleared out lawfully, previously to the said 30th of May.

A decree of the King of Spain, of December, 1817, conformable to the above treaty-stipulation, prohibited all Spanish subjects from engaging in the African slave-trade, from and after the 30th of May, 1820.

The case of the Antelope first came before the District Court of the United States for adjudication, on the 27th of July, 1820. At that time the African slave-trade was forbidden to all Spanish subjects throughout the world, by a decree issued nearly three years before. But the Antelope had been fitted out at the Havana, upon her slave-trading expedition, and had even been captured by the Arraganta, before the 20th of May, 1820, and consequently before the legal prohibition had taken effect. The capture of her by the Arraganta had been made, not for breach of laws against the slave-trade, but as prize of war under a commission from the Oriental Republic. It was her captor who had incurred her forfeiture, and the liberation of the Africans taken in her by the violation of the laws of the United States against the slave-trade–not by purchasing or shipping the negroes in Africa, but for importing them into the United States contrary to law.–To the question of that forfeiture, that of the original property of the vessel and cargo was altogether foreign. That was res inter alios, with which the Courts of the United States had nothing to do. The smuggler was a citizen of the United States. He had proprietary possession of the vessel and of the negroes, which he

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was smuggling in to be sold as slaves. It was the identical offence against which the laws of Congress had provided, and the negroes had by those laws, and by the violation of them committed by John Smith, acquired a right to freedom, infinitely more sacred, one would have thought, in an American Court of Justice, than the property in and to them, of the Spanish slave-traders who had kidnapped or bought them in Africa, and had not yet consummated their property by bringing them within the exclusive jurisdiction of Spain.

All the Courts of the United States did however think proper to go back to the proprietary right of the Spanish slave-trader; and two of them to sanctify that at the expense of the freedom of the captives, and of the vital spirit of the laws of the Union for the suppression of the African slave-trade. This sacrifice was made, by the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, in Georgia. It was never sanctioned by the Supreme Court of the Union. On this single point, the judgment of the Circuit Court, was saved from reversal, by a divided Court; but on all the collateral points the decisions of both the lower Courts were reversed, and on the single point of the Circuit Court, affirmed: the Chief Justice in affirming it gave explicit and emphatic warning, that no principle was settled.

In all the three courts, the restoration of the Antelope, and of the Africans captured by the Arraganta on board of her to the Spanish claimants, was explicitly decreed on the fact that at the time of her expedition from the Havana, and of her capture by the Arraganta the prohibition of the slave trade by the King of Spain had not yet taken effect. All the courts agreed that if the case had occurred after the abolition of the trade by Spain, the judgment would have been different. That is, it must and would have been the emancipation and the restoration to their native country as freemen, of every individual African captured by Captain Jackson in the Antelope.

With what color of reason then was the case of the Antelope made the corner stone of the Attorney General’s report to the President of the United States, that the captives of the Amistad should be, by mere Executive warrant, delivered up in a mass, untold and unidentified, to the Spanish minister. Whatever there was or could be of authority in the case of the Antelope led directly to the opposite conclusion. The Supreme Court had toppled


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down headlong the decree of the Circuit Court for the distribution of the victims between the Spanish and Portuguese Vice Consuls by lot. They had scattered to the winds this gambling of human bones, this cross and pile distribution of justice between liberty and bondage. They had rescued from the grasp of the overseer all the prisoners taken from the vessels bearing Portuguese colors; they had exacted proof of the number and identification of the individuals, to be given up to the Vice Consul of Spain. They had allowed salvage for them to captain Jackson, to be deducted from their estimated value; and from two hundred and ninety-six adjudicated by the courts below, to perpetual slavery, they had reduced the number to an estimate which could not exceed thirty-nine. The only principle to which half the court adhered, and thereby left the decree of the Circuit Court unreversed was, that the Spanish prohibition of the slave trade had not quickened into life quite in time to save these thirty-nine unfortunates from the clutches of their oppressors.

Apply these principles to the case of the Amistad captives. They had been imported into the Havana in open and undisguised defiance of the Spanish prohibition of the slave trade enacted nearly twenty years before; but connived at by the Spanish authorities in Cuba for gold–for a doubloon a head. They had been shipped coast-wise, in continuance and for consummation of the slave-trading voyage from Africa. They had been clandestinely transferred to Ruiz and Montes, who were furnished with printed pretended passports, false and fraudulent upon their face, and these were the only title to property they could show. The captives of the Amistad were, when taken by Lieut. Gedney, not even in the condition of slaves; they were freemen, in possession not only of themselves, but of the vessel with which they were navigating the common property and jurisdiction of all nations, the Ocean: in possession of the cargo of the vessel, and of the Spaniards Ruiz and Montes themselves. Lieut. Gedney seized them as charged with the crimes of piracy and murder. The captives of the Antelope were taken by Captain Jackson in the condition of slaves. The courts of the United States were not called on to change their condition. The courts of the United must have enslaved the captives of the Amistad before they could restore them to their pretended masters.

The decision of the courts of the United States against the captives

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of the Antelope were all apologetic. They leaned almost entirely upon a decision of Sir William Scott in the case of the Louis, apparently if not really conflicting with that of Sir William Grant in the case of the Amédée. It is apparent that the Admiralty Courts of Great Britain have been divided on the question not less than those of the United States. Sir Willian Scott, who, during the war of the French Revolution, had been the main pillar of belligerent rights and arbitrary searches and visitations of neutral vessels, after the peace and the agitation of the slavery question among all the nations of Europe, took a very different lurch, and became the most fervent champion of the slave trade and of the unqualified exemption of all merchant vessels from visitation or search by the armed ships of every nation other than their own. In the case of the slave Grace, he decided that a West Indian female slave following her mistress to England, and emancipated by mere contact with English soil, became re-enslaved by returning to the West Indian Islands,–a decision the reverse of which has been repeatedly decided in one of the principal slave states of this Union. In the case of the Louis he laid it down in most unqualified terms, which Chief Justice Marshall in the case of the Antelope repeats with seeming approbation, that the right of search is confined to a state of war. That it is a right strictly belligerent in its character, which can never be exercised by a nation at peace, except against professed pirates, who are the enemies of the human race: a position which, if true, would at once decide that both the capture of the Antelope by Captain Jackson, and of the Amistad by Lieut. Gedney, were unlawful and unjustifiable. I must pause before I assent to the doctrine to that extent.

In the same case of the Louis, Sir William Scott travels out of his record, to start a hypothetical objection to the universality of this exemption of foreign vessels from visitation and search. “It is pressed as a difficulty,” says the Judge, “what is to be done, if a French ship laden with slaves is brought in? I answer without hesitation, restore the possession which has been unlawfully divested: rescind the illegal act done by your own subject, and leave the foreigner to the justice of his own country.”

Chief Justice Marshall, in the case of the Antelope, cites also this passage of the decision of Sir William Scott; but besides that it is a mere obiter dictum upon an imaginary case not before the court, it is assuredly not law within these United States. By

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the act of Congress of 2d of March, 1799, to regulate the collection of duties, &c., [section 99. U. S. Laws 3, 226,] “the officers of the revenue cutters are authorized, required and directed to go on board all ships or vessels which shall arrive within the United States, or within four leagues of the coast thereof, if bound for the United States, and to search and examine the same, and every part thereof,” for the purposes of revenue.

By the act of 2d of March, 1807, to prohibit the importation of slaves into the United States, [section 7, U. S. Laws 2, 96,] it is provided that “if any ship or vessel shall be found, from and after the first day of January, 1808, in any river, port, bay, or harbor, or on the high seas, within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, or hovering on the coast thereof, having on board any negro, mulato, or person of color, for the purpose of selling them as slaves, or with intent to land the same in any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, contrary to the prohibition of this act, every such ship or vessel, together with her tackle, apparel and furniture, and the goods or effects which shall be found on board the same, shall be forfeited to the use of the United States, and may be seized, prosecuted and condemned in any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof. And it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, and he is hereby authorized, should he deem it expedient, to cause any of the armed vessels of the United States, to be manned and employed to cruise on any part of the coast of the United States, or territories thereof, where he may judge attempts will be made to violate the provisions of this act, and to instruct and direct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States, to seize, take, and bring into any port of the United States all such ships or vessels, and moreover to seize, take and bring into any port of the United States, all ships or vessels of the United States wheresoever found on the high seas, contravening the provisions of this act, to be proceeded against according to law,” &c.

Here then are two very extensive limitations, by the laws of the United States, upon the doctrines of Sir William Scott, pronounced in the case of the Louis. These limitations embrace both the cases of the Antelope and of the Amistad. Yet in the case of the Antelope, Chief Justice Marshall cites the opinions of Sir William Scott in the case of the Louis, without any notice whatever of the statute laws of the United States contradictory to those opinions,

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and the Attorney General Grundy cites, in the case of the Amistad, the opinions of Chief Justice Marshall in that of the Antelope, as authority for a principle which in that very opinion the Chief justice declares is not settled.

The truth is, that the opinions of Sir William Scott in the case of the Louis, have reference only to the slave trade, and the shipment of slaves on the coast of Africa: the case of the Antelope was for the violation of the laws of the United States against the importation of slaves into the United States for sale. In all these cases the right of visitation and search of foreign vessels is not a merely belligerent right; it is exercised at all times, in peace or war, and if a French ship laden with slaves were found hovering on the coast of the United States, or within at least four leagues of their shores, and brought in, neither would the possession be unlawfully divested, nor would the foreigner be left to the justice of his own country. There is no act of Parliament against the importation of slaves into England for sale: the opinions of Sir William Scott look to no such case, for no such crime could then be committed. They had no application therefore to the case of the Antelope, and were very erroneously cited as warranting the surrender of that vessel and her cargo of Africans to the Spanish claimants.

I have said that the decisions of all the courts of the United States in that case directing that surrender, are apologetic. They admit that the traffic in slaves is contrary to the law of nature; that it is inhuman, cruel, odious, detestable; but that it is not contrary to the law of nations, and therefore must be acknowledged, defended, protected and carried into execution for other nations by the Courts of the United States, although as abhorrent to our laws as to the laws of nature. For this distinction also, our courts are indebted to Sir William Scott, whose ingenuity in that same case of the Louis, lays down the following position, cited also approvingly, by Chief Justice Marshall, in his opinion upon the case of the Antelope.

“A court,” says the British Judge, “in the administration of law, cannot attribute criminality to an act where the law imputes none. It must look to the legal standard of morality; and upon a question of this nature, that standard must be found in the law of nations, as fixed and evidenced by general and ancient and admitted practice, by treaties, and by the general tenor of the laws

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and ordinances, and the formal transactions of civilized states: and looking to these authorities, he found a difficulty in maintaining that the transaction was legally criminal.”

In the Declaration of Independence the Laws of Nature are announced and appealed to as identical with the laws of nature’s God, and as the foundation of all obligatory human laws. But here Sir William Scott proclaims a legal standard of morality, differing from, opposed to, and transcending the standard of nature and of nature’s God. This legal standard of morality must, he says, in the administration of law, be held, by a Court, to supersede the laws of God, and justify, before the tribunals of man, the most atrocious of crimes in the eyes of God. With such a principle it is not surprising that Sir William Scott should have found a difficulty in maintaining that the African slave trade was legally criminal, nor that one half the Supreme Court of the United States should have adopted his conclusions. It is consolatory to the friends of human virtue and of human freedom to know, that this error of the first concoction, in the moral principle of a British judge, has been, so far as relates to the African slave trade, laid prostrate by the moral sense of his own country, which has overcome the difficulty of finding the slave trade criminal, by the legal and national abolition of slavery itself.

The decree of the Supreme Court, in 1825, “proceeding to give such decree as the Circuit Court ought to have given, did direct and order that the restitution to be made to the Spanish claimant should be according to the ratio which 93 (instead of 166) bears to the whole number, comprehending as well those originally on board the Antelope as those which were put on board that vessel by the captain of the Arraganta. After making the apportionment according to this ratio, and deducting from the number the rateable loss which must fall on the slaves, to which the Spanish claimants were originally entitled, the residue of the said 93 were to be delivered to the Spanish claimant, on the terms mentioned in the decree of the Circuit Court: and all the remaining Africans were to be delivered to the United States, to be disposed of according to law.”

A mandate issued to the Circuit Court for the district of Georgia for the execution of this decree. One would suppose that the Supreme Court had sufficiently manifested its disapprobation of the mode of settling the question of freedom and slavery, by lot;

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and yet was their decree, on this point, not so explicit, but that she of the two judges of the Circuit Court believed that the selection between the Africans to be delivered to the Spanish claimants as slaves, and those claimed by the Portuguese Vice Consul, but whom the Supreme Court had declared free, might still be made by lot. The other judge understood better the spirit of the Supreme tribunal; and hence arose a difference of opinion between the two judges of the Circuit Court, which sent the case back for a second judgment of the appellate court. The second judgment of the Supreme Court, in the case of the Antelope, was rendered at their February term, 1826, and is reported (11 Wheaton, 413) as follows:–“Certificate.–A mandate having issued to the Circuit Court for the District of Georgia, to carry into execution the decree of this Court, pronounced at the February term, 1825, to deliver certain Africans, in the said decree mentioned, to the Spanish Consul for Spanish claimants; and the judges of that court having been divided in opinion respecting the mode of designating the said slaves to be delivered, and separating them from others to be delivered to the United States, whether the same should be made by lot, or upon proof on the part of the Spanish claimant, it is ordered to be certified to the said Circuit Court of Georgia, that, in executing the said mandate, the Africans to be delivered must be designated by proof made to the satisfaction of the Court.”

To understand this difference of opinion, with regard to the mode of designating the Africans to be delivered up to the Spanish claimant and to slavery, it is to be remembered, that the libel of the Spanish Vice Consul before the District Court had claimed 150 of the Africans captured by Captain Jackson, and the libel of the Portuguese Vice Consul 130. That the decree of the District Court, founded on the report of the clerk, had awarded 142 of the 212 surviving Africans to the Portuguese, and 63 to the Spanish Vice Consul; while the subsequent decree of the Circuit Court, after a delay of one term and the admission of further evidence, had allotted in the ratio of 166 to the Spanish, and 130 to the Portuguese claimants. That is, deducting from the Spanish number the 16 persons drawn by lot and liberated, this decree gave to the Spanish and Portuguese Vice Consuls the ratio of the full number claimed by each of them in his respective libel The Supreme Court, reversing this decree of the Circuit Court, had directed that the ratio of the whole number, to be delivered up to the Spanish

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Vice Consul should be reduced from 166 to 93; and that number was still to be reduced by the rateable loss, which the clerk of the District Court had reported to be 30. And all the rest, by the decree of the Supreme Court, were to be liberated. If, then, the Africans to be delivered to the Spanish Vice Consul had been drawn from the whole number by lot, he would have received 63; but the Supreme Court having, upon this second appeal, decreed that the Spanish claimant must identify by proof of having been taken by the Arraganta, in the Antelope, every individual, to be delivered up to him, explicitly rejected, for the second time, the lot, as a mode of ascertaining freemen among slaves, and actually diminished the number of victims delivered up to the Spaniard, from 63 to 39. And this was the number finally delivered up by the decree of the Supreme Court of the United States of the captives of the Antelope to the Spanish Vice Consul. But this was not the last decision of the Supreme Court in the case.

It was remanded to the Circuit Court, with directions to make a final disposition of the controversy between the parties pursuant to the principles of the decrees of 1825 and 1826. And now came up the question, to use a vulgar but significant phrase, Who should pay the piper?

“The Circuit Court, [says the Report, 12 Wheaton, 547,] in order to enable it to decree finally in the case, directed the register to take and report an account of the costs, and also of the expenses of keeping, maintaining, &c. of the Africans, by the marshal, and which account (amounting to upwards of thirty-six thousand dollars) was accordingly reported. Exceptions were filed to the report by both the Portuguese and Spanish claimants. The Circuit Court also caused proofs to be taken, for the purpose of identifying individually the Africans to be delivered to the Spanish claimants, as directed by the decree of 1826.

Thus circumstanced, the case came on for final hearing before the Circuit Court. The Court decreed that the Portuguese claimant should not be made liable for costs, or any proportion of the expenses and charges of the marshal, for maintaining, &c. the Africans: and being of opinion that 39 of the Africans were sufficiently identified, by proof, as being the property of the Spanish claimants, directed the 39 Africans, so identified, to be delivered to the Spanish claimants, upon their paying a proportion of the costs and expenses reported by the registrar, in the ratio of the number

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of Africans delivered to the whole number. And the Circuit Court was further of opinion, that the residue of the Africans not directed to be delivered to the Spanish claimants should be delivered to the United States, to be disposed of according to law: but on the question, whether they shall be delivered absolutely, or on condition of payment of the balance of the expenses which will remain unsatisfied, after charging the Africans adjudged to the Spanish claimants in their due ratio, the judges of the Circuit Court being divided in opinion, ordered this difference of opinion to be “certified to this Court.”

The United States District Attorney appealed from so much of this final order of the Circuit Court as related to the apportionment among the several parties of the costs and expenses in the preservation, maintenance, and custody of the said Africans, and of the costs and expenses of the various proceedings had in relation to the said Africans; and also from so much of said order as decreed 39 of the said Africans to the Spanish claimants.

So extraordinary, so anti-judicial is every thing upon the records in this case of the Antelope, that the Supreme Court actually did not know what was the question upon which the judges of the Circuit Court were opposed in opinion–they supposed it was, whether the Africans not directed to be delivered to the Spanish claimants should be delivered by the marshal to the United States, absolutely and unconditionally, to be disposed of according to law, that is, to be liberated and sent home; or whether it should be imposed on the United States, as a condition precedent to their delivery, that the United States should pay to the marshal his claim for expenses, at the rate of sixteen cents a day for each African, (for several years) in the ratio of the number to be delivered to the United States.

This, it will be perceived, was still the question of freedom or slavery to the poor Africans. If the decree had been, that the payment of these expenses, amounting to about 350 dollars a head, was a condition precedent to their delivery to the United States, in the event of nonpayment, the marshal had a lien upon the Africans, and they would have been his slaves.

The mode of proof admitted by the Circuit Court to identify the individuals to be doomed to slavery and delivery to the Spanish claimants cannot commend itself to the sense of justice, of humanity, or of freedom. Fifty of them, employed upon the fortifications,


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had been selected by the marshal, and recognised by a man named Grondona, who had been second officer on board the Antelope when the slaves were purchased and shipped in Africa. Grondona had since disappeared, and was said to be dead; but there were witnesses in Court who had been present at the examination when Grondona recognized thirty-four of the negroes and they him, by speaking together, and by signs, though the witnesses knew nothing of the language in which they spoke. Other witnesses testified to his having recognized five more. The Africans had no notice that their fate, as freemen or slaves, was to depend on this recognition. They had no one to defend them, and protest for them, against the manner of disposing of their freedom. The examination was in open court, but the only evidence furnished was testimony to individuals whom Grondona had recognized and who had recognized him. Hearsay evidence of one whose language the witnesses did not understand!

Yet the Supreme Court thought this evidence sufficient, under the very peculiar circumstances of this case, reasonably to satisfy the mind of the identity of thirty-nine of the Africans, as belonging to the Spanish claimants, and affirmed the decree of the Circuit Court for their delivery up to the Spanish Vice Consul.

Under the very peculiar circumstances of the case, in order to enslave 39 human beings, otherwise entitled to freedom, evidence was deemed sufficient, which, upon an ordinary question of property, of five dollars value, between man and man, would have been rejected as inadmissible.

The very peculiar circumstances of the case are quite as strongly marked, in the opinion of the judge of the Circuit Court, in December, 1826, as they had been in his preceding opinion, delivered in 1821. In apologizing for the enormous amount of the marshal’s bill, allowed by the court, which he is aware must expose the court, and the administration of justice in the country, to certain imputations, he says, “What could the court do? The United States regard the subjects of this suit as men and not things. They could not be sold, and the money lodged in the registry. They were then prisoners, and necessarily to be kept and treated as such.” Had he judge allowed his reason to advance one step further, he would have seen, that precisely because they were men and not things, precisely because they could not be sold, precisely because they must be kept and treated, if at all, as prisoners,

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they could not be restored entire as merchandize, nor, therefore, come within the purview of the 9th article of our treaty with Spain.

“The next question,” says the judge of the Circuit Court, “is, by whom these costs are to be paid? That the maintenance of the Africans was a legal charge on the United States, in the first instance, is perfectly clear. By the act of February 28, 1799, in forcing them into the hands of the marshal, the United States became bound for their subsistence.”

The judge of the Circuit Court further affirms, that the Supreme Court, by its decree of 1825, and explanatory decree of 1826, established seven principles; the first of which, in his enumeration, is–“That the law of nations recognized both slavery and the slave-trade.”

But Chief Justice Marshall, in delivering the opinion and pronouncing the decree of the Supreme Court in 1825, declared that, on the question of the restitution to the Spanish claimant, which depended entirely upon the recognition of the slave-trade by the law of nations, “the Court is divided on it, and, consequently, NO PRINCIPLE IS SETTLED.”

The judge of the Circuit Court was, therefore, in manifest error when he said that the Supreme Court had, by the decrees of 1825 and 1826, established the principle, that the law of nations recognized both slavery and the slave-trade. And this mistake discloses the source of that great perplexity, which troubles him, to find a consistency between the principle which he erroneously supposes them to have established, and their decree for carrying it into execution. It is not our business to inquire into the reasons of that Court. “We must give effect to it according to what we understand to be its meaning. And, upon collating and combining their decree of 1825 with the explanatory decree of 1826, the two will be found to amount to this–that the rights of the Spaniards shall be recognized; but, in reducing that right to possession, they shall be held to have established a claim originally to ninety-three, which number shall be reduced by the average of deaths; and to the number so ascertained, they shall be held to produce proof of individual identity. But all the cargo, with the exception of those to be thus identified, shall be delivered over to the United States. This will be doing what that Court certainly intended

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to do: it will make a final disposition of a most troublesome charge. It is our duty (says he) to find out the meaning of the decree of the Supreme Court, and to obey it. And here it is evident, that although their reasoning, and the principles recognized, would seem to go fully up to the maintenance of the Spanish right, yet the decree, in its details, sustains those rights under very important limits and modifications.”

And such is the history of the case of the Antelope in the judicial tribunals of the United States. That vessel, commanded by a citizen of the United States, was taken in the very act of smuggling 258 Africans into the United States for sale as slaves, and by the plain, unquestionable letter of the 4th section of an act of Congress of 20th April, 1818, was forfeited; while, by an act in addition to the acts prohibiting the slave-trade, of 3d March, 1819, every African thus imported in the Antelope was made free,–subject only to safe keeping, support, and removal beyond the limits of the United States, by direction of their President.

After seven years of litigation in the Courts of the United States, and, of course, of captivity to nearly all of these Africans who survived the operation; after decrees of the District Court, reversed by the Circuit Court, and three successive annual reversals by the Supreme Court of the decrees of the Circuit Court; what was the result of this most troublesome charge?

The vessel was restored to certain Spanish slave-traders in the island of Cuba. Of the Africans, about fifty had perished by the benignity of their treatment in this land of liberty, during its suspended animation as to them; sixteen, drawn by lot from the whole number, (by the merciful dispensation of the Circuit Court, under the arbitrary enlargement of the tender mercies of the District Judge, which had limited the number to seven,)–sixteen had drawn the prize of liberty, to which the whole number were entitled by the letter of the law; and, of the remainder, THIRTY-NINE, upon evidence inadmissible upon the most trifling question of property in any court of justice, were, under the very peculiar circumstances of the case, surrendered! delivered up to the Spanish vice-consul–AS SLAVES! To the rest was at last extended the benefit of the laws which had foreordained their emancipation. They were delivered over to safe keeping, support, and transportation, as freemen, beyond the limits of the United States, by the Chief Magistrate of the Union.

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And now, by what possible process of reasoning can any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of the Antelope, be adduced as authorizing the President of the United States to seize and deliver up to the order of the Spanish minister the captives of the Amistad? Even the judge of the District Court in Georgia, who would have enslaved all the unfortunates of the Antelope but seven, distinctly admitted, that, if they had been bought in Africa after the prohibition of the trade by Spain, he would have liberated them all.

In delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court, on their first decree in the case of the Antelope, Chief Justice Marshall, after reviewing the decisions in the British Courts of Admiralty, says, “The principle common to these cases is, that the legality of the capture of a vessel engaged in the slave-trade depends on the law of the country to which the vessel belongs. If that law gives its sanction to the trade, restitution will be decreed: if that law prohibits it, the vessel and cargo will be condemned as good prize.”

It was by the application of this principle, to the fact, that, at the time when the Antelope was taken by the Arraganta, the slave-trade, in which the Antelope was engaged, had not yet been made unlawful by Spain, that the Supreme Court affirmed so much of the decree of the Circuit Court as directed restitution to the Spanish claimant of the Africans found on board the Antelope when captured by the Arraganta.

But by the same identical principle, applied to the case of the Amistad, if, when captured by Lieutenant Gedney, she and her cargo had been in possession of the Spaniards, and the Africans in the condition of slaves, the vessel would have been condemned, and the slaves liberated, by the laws of the United States; because she was engaged in the slave-trade in violation of the laws of Spain. She was in possession of the Africans, self-emancipated, and not in the condition of slaves. That, surely, could not legalize the trade in which she had been engaged. By the principle asserted in the opinion of the Supreme Court, declared by Chief Justice Marshall, it would have saved the vessel, at once, from condemnation and from restitution, and would have relieved the Court from the necessity of restoring to the Africans their freedom. Thus the opinion of the Supreme Court, as declared by the Chief Justice, in the case of the Antelope, was a fact, an authority in point, against the surrender of the Amistad, and in favor of the

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liberation of the Africans taken in her, even if they had been, when taken, in the condition of slaves. How monstrous, then, is the claim upon the Courts of the United States to re-enslave them, as thralls to the Spaniards, Ruiz and Montes! or to transport them beyond the seas, at the demand of the Minister of Spain!

I said, when I began this plea, that my final reliance for success in this case was on this Court as a court of JUSTICE; and in the confidence this fact inspired, that, in the administration of justice, in a case of no less importance than the liberty and the life of a large number of persons, this Court would not decide but on a due consideration of all the rights, both natural and social, of every one of these individuals. I have endeavored to show that they are entitled to their liberty from this Court. I have avoided, purposely avoided, and this Court will do justice to the motive for which I have avoided, a recurrence to those first principles of liberty which might well have been invoked in the argument of this cause. I have shown that Ruiz and Montes, the only parties in interest here, for whose sole benefit this suit is carried on by the Government, were acting at the time in a way that is forbidden by the laws of Great Britain, of Spain, and of the United States, and that the mere signature of the Governor General of Cuba ought not to prevail over the ample evidence in the case that these negroes were free and had a right to assert their liberty. I have shown that the papers in question are absolutely null and insufficient as passports for persons, and still more invalid to convey or prove a title to property.

The review of the case of the Antelope, and my argument in behalf of the captives of the Amistad, is closed.

May it please your Honors: On the 7th of February, 1804, now more than thirty-seven years past, my name was entered, and yet stands recorded, on both the rolls, as one of the Attorneys and Counsellors of this Court. Five years later, in February and March, 1809, I appeared for the last time before this Court, in defence of the cause of justice, and of important rights, in which many of my fellow-citizens had property to a large amount at stake. Very shortly afterwards, I was called to the discharge of other duties–first in distant lands, and in later years, within our own country, but in different departments of her Government.

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Little did I imagine that I should ever again be required to claim the right of appearing in the capacity of an officer of this Court; yet such has been the dictate of my destiny–and I appear again to plead the cause of justice, and now of liberty and life, in behalf of many of my fellow men, before that same Court, which in a former age I had addressed in support of rights of property I stand again, I trust for the last time, before the same Court–“hic caestus, artemque repono.” I stand before the same Court, but not before the same judges–nor aided by the same associates–nor resisted by the same opponents. As I cast my eyes along those seats of honor and of public trust, now occupied by you, they seek in vain for one of those honored and honorable persons whose indulgence listened then to my voice. Marshall–Cushing–Chase–Washington–Johnson–Livingston–Todd–Where are they? Where is that eloquent statesman and learned lawyer who was my associate counsel in the management of that cause, Robert Goodloe Harper? Where is that brilliant luminary, so long the pride of Maryland and of the American Bar, then my opposing counsel, Luther Martin? Where is the excellent clerk of that day, whose name has been inscribed on the shores of Africa, as a monument of his abhorrence of the African slave-trade, Elias B. Caldwell? Where is the marshal–where are the criers of the Court? Alas! where is one of the very judges of the Court, arbiters of life and death, before whom I commenced this anxious argument, even now prematurely closed? Where are they all? Gone! Gone! All gone!–Gone from the services which, in their day and generation, they faithfully rendered to their country. From the excellent characters which they sustained in life, so far as I have had the means of knowing, I humbly hope, and fondly trust, that they have gone to receive the rewards of blessedness on high. In taking, then, my final leave of this Bar, and of this Honorable Court, I can only ejaculate a fervent petition to Heaven, that every member of it may go to his final account with as little of earthly frailty to answer for as those illustrious dead, and that you may, every one, after the close of a long and virtuous career in this world, be received at the portals of the next with the approving sentence.

“Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Dr Churchill


Source: Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Argument of John Quincy Adams, before the Supreme Court of the United States : in the case of the United States, appellants, vs. Cinque, and others, Africans, captured in the schooner Amistad, by Lieut. Gedney, delivered on the 24th of February and 1st of March, 1841 : With a review of the case of the Antelope, reported in the 10th, 11th, and 12th volumes of Wheaton’s Reports.
New York : S.W. Benedict, 1841.
135 p. ; 22 cm. — Amistad (Schooner) — Slave trade.

When life gives you lemons — just go ahead and squeeze. Squeeze your cheeks until you make a “lemonade.”

Sounds simple enough…

Just do it and stop complaining.

And then we are asked to be Grateful about the lemons that life keeps throwing at our heads too.

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I am asked to be grateful for that?

Really now…

All the personal gurus, the life coaches, the new age healers, the hateful angry “Namaste” yoga bitches — all ask you to be Grateful for whatever comes down the pike…

Doesn’t that kinda set a rather low standard?

Even the alcoholics are asked at the AA meetings where they hang out with other hard-core “Alkies” — to be GRATEFUL for the depth of despair that they have fallen down to.


But I think that sometimes instead of being grateful — we gotta erupt in rebellion against the “Fates” and go scream Bloody Murder and unload lest we actually commit murder on the assorted idiots, assholes, and the morons that surround us.

Don’t go quietly into the night. Fight for your Life. Fight like you mean it and maybe you’ll win, or die in bloody honor.

Do that once, and you’ll understand the value of WAR to set you free. Do that twice and you’ll soon come to enjoy it. Do that three times and you’ll be a Warrior.

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And guess what?

Only a Warrior wins in this Life of ours. Truly wins that is. Victory doesn’t come to the weaklings, or to the ones who refuse to fight and instead start calling Grateful for the Slavery they have been thrown into.

And if it is the cloudy or the foggy days of London, that makes me think of these things, and refuse to be grateful for whatever bullshit other people throw in my way — so be it.

London sometimes is so Victorian — it’s scary. Prince Harry is finally getting married with a sweet heart that me thinks will ditch him in a fortnight when her tribal instinct rise up against the patriarchy and the white men out there.

Yet for now all of London is festive and depressed at the same time. Happy for Harry and Meghan, and still depressed that we have to pay the Krauts of Berlin, and their Commissars of Brussels, 50 Billion quid, because our lovely aunt Teresa May, wants to make merry with the Fuhrer of Berlin, … Frau Merkel.

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And we have to pay for this nonsense of the old gals getting it on together?

Fvck me — this is the London of today. Bowing to Berlin… Sad and lovely, but there you have it. Maybe the Unionists of the Northern Ireland will save our bacon because the Orangemen know how to stand tall…

We need their help because the fight has gone out of the soul of our leaders. Auntie Teresa is more interested to school Mr Trump and shake her fan at him, rather than deal — really deal with terrorism from Berlin, from Brussels, and form the domestic jihadists like those fruitcakes of Allah that we see attacking our Society each and every day.

Yet for a school mark, Teresa is not doing too bad, considering that Thank God she is not Saddiq (Svck-a-dick) Khan who gives aid and comfort to the enemy considering the jihadists like dog poop on the sidewalk — a necessary part of everyday life… Who are these people? Are they some Victorian functionaries who towards the end of the long reign of the Queen, were doing whatever the hell they pleased without much supervision from Parliament or from the old Bird that was more interested in learning Urdu and carrying a white romance with a Muslim from the Raj, rather than dealing with reality. Its like they all are Neo-Victorians, wading in the foggy wetness, and walking in London town amidst the open sewers on the middle of the streets where the housemaids unload the bedpans out of the windows of the first floor and above, from where they toss it onto the unlucky passers-by bellow, who deal with the smog and the gray air and fail to properly protect themselves from the human waste missiles falling atop their head from callous maids — without any regard for the people’s well being, or for their clothes, and dignity, who run shelter-sceter as the brown rain comes down.

This pretty much sums up the situation today with Teresa May and her cabinet playing the role of the Furies, as those chambermaids used to be called… who rained the “Brown Rain” upon the heads of their unsuspecting victims. A bunch of truly Victorian house cleaners and nothing more.

Perhaps that is why, when in London, taking the tube is the best transportation choice going from point A to point B. Walking is for the birds… and those that don’t mind the brown rain coming down with a stench of excrement … and landing the poop on their top coat and hat.

And that is why in the City, everyone has an umbrella handy, always deployed each and every day, even though the rain might not be visible at the moment… Trust the Londoners – the rain will come. At least the brown sort — even when we experience a drought during the middle of Summer…

So, pray – tell: Are you going to be Grateful for that too?

You can tell, the utter lack of sunshine makes me introspective…



My living in those large dark cities is a personal choice.

A choice that I have always made in order to live, work, and walk on the streets of this intelligent megalopolis with plenty of culture and life, to keep my brain supple and my creative juices flowing.

Yet today London, makes me feel somewhat stressed and perhaps a bit anxious, and antsy, with the constantly rising tempo of the surprisingly complex working of one of my AeroSpace startups and of the World Politics that I invariably delve into and on the other hand, my achieving the impossibly Big Goals of the Big Life I’ve chosen for myself, and the demands of Leadership that were placed upon my shoulders since early age, and weigh on me each and every day of my peripatetic walking life…

So it absolutely makes sense that sometimes as I am feeling a bit out of tune, or un-synced with my London community, family, tribe, and colleagues, and with all of my fellow travelers in this path of Life — I refuse to be grateful for that mess.

A mess that was none of my making, and of which I am not responsible, and it is such a royal mess that makes me feel lonely, disappointed, and disconnected. But certainly it does not make me feel grateful.

Why would I be grateful for that mental slavery that people think proper and correct to throw my way?

Maybe in the past, gratitude was the key they used to lock us away and make us slaves for life. The lovely passive aggressive full of feminine wiles ladies we marry know how to use the guilt trip quite well and they freely use it to send us down the hole to the permanent dog house.

It seems to be happening to everyman today too. It is hard to be a man today. I went to a public seminar that I participated into because I was invited by a TV personality, and because it has a smart title: “What a Man gotta do? How to be a Good Man today.”

And when I showed up it was full of feminists, transgender benders, a couple of Queers and a Lesbian, and they all jumped on me and started judging me as if I were named Harvey Weinstein.

So quite soon, I told all of them, to go stuff themselves and report to duty as Christmas turkeys come BOXING DAY.  Or to put their mitten on and make it a Boxing Day today. Let me tell you — it didn’t go down well.

Soganged up on me and started shrilling and crying as if I had grabbed their “vajajay” and they labelled me a CaveMan, and a Donald Trump. (?)

What’s with that?

And that’s what I am supposed to be grateful for?

Now there are a couple of things about gratitude and me, that need some attention. First off, is that although I have many things to be grateful for, since I can almost always point a finger in a certain direction in time and space and say: There I go but for the Grace of God…”

But that is my religion — it has nothing to do with being grateful for the bollocks that i have been receiving for the last fortnight.

Sure the beggar in the corner of the High Street has it worse, and he is asking for alms — and I give always, and “Thanks be to God” for me not doing that is my normal default response.

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But not expressing Gratitude for the beggars being begging. Because although maybe this makes us feel good — it is also WRONG. We need to change the situation so that all children have enough to eat and a bed to sleep with a roof over their head. And if that is not the case — let’s fvckin make it so, but let’;s not be grateful for the shit that we have put so many children into even in a rich city like London town.

Because if we are grateful for all these things — then where is the incentive to change them? Which is where the sickness begins. Gratitude sickness. Gratitude enslavement. Gratitude blindness.

By now — you are probably want to kill me like those transgender LGBTQ crazies and their uber-feminst allies. I get it. Believe you me. I know there’s science about this Gratitude Shit.

Serious scientific SCIENCE. Somewhere out there there are studies and lamas and gurus with electrodes sticking out of their brains and physicians, and physicists, and internet trolls, and all the liberal cannabis smoking establishment like Arianna Huffington and Hillary Clinton, and her Success Coach Toni Robbins, who maybe have done serious experiments, and made equations with calculus, and offered high particle Quantum physics theories, and derivatives and proofs about space and time, and found out that Gratitude makes you happy.

Except it doesn’t.

But You don’t like that answer. You still want Gratitude to solve all your problems and keep you quiet, like some kind of sleeping pill, or the eternal forgetfulness potion, that takes aways your desire to protest…

Think of it in a different way…

What if gratitude is taking away your ambition, and is just making you a SLAVE and worse. What if this New Age BS, called Gratitude is slowly killing you?

It didn’t help Hillary win the White House, now, did it?

Yet, she instead won the Outhouse, and she must be Grateful for that.

Imagine for a moment, if there wasn’t an outhouse in the woods for her and Billy to cram together and take a pee, or whatever they do as Power Couple — the woods would be full of the proverbial Brown Rain…

Now seriously — think about that.

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Surely, there are worse things that can happen to you than losing an election, as this Japanese politician found out swiftly, when the sharp blade of the katana sword came in contact with his abdomen.

He must be thinking now how Grateful he was to win the elections?

Or maybe that it might have been better to have lost the elections and to have lived…

What if gratitude is keeping You slave to your inadequacies, to your desperate straits, by keeping you chained to your current circumstances?

Do You think the President is grateful for the stupid BS he has to put up with?

If I know The Donald — he unleashes the furies of Hell to all those soul sucking idiots out there, who make his life worse and make his decisions for the country more difficult.

Do you think he is Happily Grateful for the morons of Congress who are the perfect swamp creatures and want to keep things as they are?

And should we be grateful for the shit that sometimes causes us to fall off the expectations ladder, and feel deeply unhappy, and maybe even a little disappointed with the miracle of Life, family, friends, work and community that surrounds us.

Of course Not.

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And there are remedies for all that — especially if you choose to not be grateful for all the things that don’t fit you anymore. Because only when you are Un-grateful, You an start breathing free all over again and you can start fighting and trying harder to change things and declare that this LIFE is the WAR you have to fight for yourself.

Ad maybe Yoga, Meditation, Love, Work, Thankfulness, and Spiritual grounding — all help. But methinks that fighting for you rights is what does it.

And maybe going to church solves most all of that, but there are some different solutions out there too… and those take WAR and FIGHTING to get through to the other side.

And it has got to be true because even the ancient people thought that something entirely different might fix all of that psychological bubble, the mental fugue, the fog of despair, and the constant soul malaise, that many members of our Society experience on a daily basis…

And this might help the fog that i have been in that resembles the strong single malt whisky fueled Jetlag that I have been suffering through the last 24 hrs or so…

Would you believe me if I said,WAR is the father of us all?

Would you care that I state that an old fashioned BLOODY WAR, can cure all of that soul fog? And that it would do it rather swiftly?

Yes, thought so…

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Let’s examine the evidence…

The positive effects of war on mental health were first noticed by the great sociologist Emile Durkheim, who found that when European countries went to war, suicide rates dropped. Psychiatric wards in Paris were strangely empty during both world wars, and that remained true even as the German army rolled into the city in 1940. Researchers documented a similar phenomenon during civil wars in Spain, Algeria, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland. An Irish psychologist named H. A. Lyons found that suicide rates in Belfast dropped 50 percent during the riots of 1969 and 1970, and homicide and other violent crimes also went down. Depression rates for both men and women declined abruptly during that period, with men experiencing the most extreme drop in the most violent districts. County Derry, on the other hand — which suffered almost no violence at all — saw male depression rates rise, rather than fall.

So, in short — war is good for you.

Holly Cow… what a revelation. Let me go start little war so that we can all feel better. Is that why bar fights that we survived and didn’t get arrested by the Police seem so much better in retrospect?

Hold on a second, don’t start the email and internet flaming war against me, just yet — because I’m not suggesting starting a war as a solution to our emotional ills…

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But if there is a WAR going on — take the opportunity to enjoy it. Don’t waste a good crisis. Be grateful for it. Thrive within it and declare “I’m with Her” and bite the bullet…

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Fight fire with fire.

But, that being said …


What the fvck is going on here?

Wars are supposed to be bad.


But if WAR is bad — then why are people feeling less depressed, less crazy, less violent and less suicidal, when something we can all agree is bloody awful, horrible life loss, full of civilian collateral damage, and is the kind of thing that you try to keep your children aways from, while it is threatening to snatch the life force from all of us?

Maybe because war and natural disasters force people to unite together.

War forces you to help yourself and all others around you. Assuming you are a Good person — you will step up and help others and be helped out too. Maybe because during the time of war we all act as a community.

And if you survive the War — you cannot but feel special. And that maybe is akin to coming close to be feeling grateful for being alive, as I do…

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As a matter of fact, the Journal of Psychosomatic Research in 1979 put it this way: “When people are actively engaged in a cause of great magnitude, their lives have more purpose… with a resulting improvement in mental health. It would be irresponsible to suggest violence as a means of improving mental health, but the Belfast findings suggest that people will feel better psychologically if they have more involvement with their community.”

We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding–“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.

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Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians-but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, we explore what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. This might explain why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.

Friendship is a good thing. That’s hardly front-page news — but somehow we all forget how important it is.

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We take friends for granted. As we raise families we neglect friends. We don’t put in the effort to make and keep friends. And the problem is growing. In 1985 most people said they had 3 close friends. In 2004 the most common number was zero.

In a survey given in 1985, people were asked to list their friends in response to the question “Over the last six months, who are the people with whom you discussed matters important to you?” The most common number of friends listed was three; 59 percent of respondents listed three or more friends fitting this description. The same survey was given again in 2004. This time the most common number of friends was zero. And only 37 percent of respondents listed three or more friends. Back in 1985, only 10 percent indicated that they had zero confidants. In 2004, this number skyrocketed to 25 percent. One out of every four of us is walking around with no one to share our lives with.

This is sad, and for more reasons than you might expect. We need friends to keep us healthy. Lack of social support predicts all causes of death.

Having few friends is more dangerous than obesity and is the equivalent health risk of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Indeed, it might appear that we need a community to feel good. And community is something we sorely lack in the modern world because all of our technology and top down force feeding of information, causes vast disconnecting and separation as the social bonds are severed in favor of Facebook likes and dislikes. Sadly, Facebook friends are not real friends but a digital simulacrum, of the actual true friendship, and yet we often make that mistake and mistaken the simulation for real. And then we feel the negative effects of it, on those days when we are somewhat forced to be truly introspective in the few quiet moments we snatch between the barrage of the constant noise and information overload. Modern digital millennial society has perfected the art of making people feel that community is not necessary, and family does not matter, tribe does not exist, and perhaps we are all unnecessary to each other as well…

It smacks of a well designed dystopia, and it causes many of us to not only live alone, but to feel utterly alone and perhaps in many cases lonely. Because we are often surrounded by strangers rather than family or friends — we take it as the new normal and the oppressive nature of Facebook communication masks our true desire for Communities of Purpose. And here comes war that pits all of us together fighting towards a common aim. This disruption s monumental and we are truly blessed when we feel the company of other men at the war front, because surviving and winning is all that matters. Everything else pales by comparison. The primal needs take over and all psychobabble goes out the window.

But in normal life, we communicate by text rather than using voice, or attempting a face to face meeting. We hire a service instead of getting the help of a buddy. We have virtual sex with porn helpers over the Internet, instead of attempting and keeping real sexual and fulfilling relationships.

These are all new developments in the existence of the Homo Sapiens, and not all of them are bad. But all of them are disconcerting and disconnecting. And while efficient and effective, these digital tools, don’t contribute to the feeling of community we all need in order to feel whole.

So it’s no surprise that empathy is dropping fast amongst the Millennials and those always behind their small screens that rule their lives… and maybe that is why we need a WAR to get these fast becoming transgender Millennials getting some sense and manning up all over again. Men and Women that is…

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A recent study at the University of Michigan revealed a dramatic decline in empathy levels among young Americans between 1980 and today, with the steepest drop being in the last ten years. The researchers, claim that the shift in behaviors is in part due to more people living alone and spending less time engaged in social and community activities that nurture empathetic sensitivity.

And of course we all know that when you feel like you don’t belong to a group — your health, your well-being, and even your self-control plummet. If that doesn’t register with you maybe that’s because when you feel disconnected, your IQ drops too…

When people’s sense of social connectedness is threatened, their ability to self-regulate suffers; for instance their IQ performance drops. Feeling lonely predicts early death as much as major health risk behaviors like smoking and drinking or eating to excess.

I know what some people are thinking … But I have friends. Got a bunch of them, actually.

That isn’t the issue.

We’re talking about a community. A group. A band of brothers. A syndicate of sisters. Your fantasy football league. Your sewing circle. Your syndicate. Your cartel. Your platoon, your posse. Your wing-men and your wing-girls…

Those ready to die for you.

Or at least take a bullet for you as a friend…

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Get my drift?

But they’re all relationships, right?

Maybe the difference isn’t clear.

So what’s the difference?

Well, I’m glad you asked…

It’s all about going to church.

And also it is about not being a Conformist like the moffos bellow.

No real man or real woman would get caught dead in the Nazi Thanksgiving celebrations…

But the 99% of the Germans were all with Hillary Clinton of their time. The fvckin Nazi bastard Adolf Hitler, that Hillary still channels today…

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And which country was the only European country that although occupied by the German Nazis — still managed to save her Jews by spiriting them away to Sweden in the middle of the night.

And the reflection of their being fighters and denying the German Murderers their prey reverberates to this day.

And today research shows Denmark is still home to the happiest people in the world.

And methinks that the fact that these people were real fighters against the NAZIs and didn’t just surrendered but first helped their Jews escape and then allowed the NAZI criminal war machine to come inside their country — still gives them happiness today.

And it helps the children of those second world war generation, and it’s not just the ones that belong to a church community.

The Danes are uncomfortably HAPPY. And the only other group of people that get that high on the HAPPINESS Index are pretty much all the religious people who are happier than the agnostics, than the anti-God brigades, and than the non-religious folks. Their happiness is clearly due to being in a community as 92% of Danes are also today part of some kind of church group, and are maintaining their status as being the happiest people in the world.

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The sociologist Ruut Veenhoven and his team have collected happiness data from ninety-one countries, representing two-thirds of the world’s population. He has concluded that Denmark is home to the happiest people in the world, with Switzerland close behind… Interestingly enough, one of the more detailed points of the research found that 92 percent of the people in Denmark are members of a church and also some sort of group, ranging from church choirs, and sports groups, to cultural interests, or language learning and group traveling groups.

And these are only the measurable and visible happiness effects of religion, yet we find evidence that other private or subjective aspects of religiosity also affect life satisfaction independent of attendance and congregational friendship.

Most of the happiness benefit from faith comes from the socializing associated with religious attendance:

Although the positive association between religiosity and life satisfaction is well documented, much theoretical and empirical controversy surrounds the question of how religion actually shapes life satisfaction. Using a new panel dataset, this study offers strong evidence for social and participatory mechanisms shaping religion’s impact on life satisfaction. Our findings suggest that religious people are more satisfied with their lives because they regularly attend religious services and build social networks in their congregations. The effect of within-congregation friendship is contingent, however, on the presence of a strong religious identity. We find little evidence that other private or subjective aspects of religiosity affect life satisfaction independent of attendance and congregational friendship.

Membership has its privileges and we ain’t just talking about smiles. Seems like everybody is yakking about “grit” these days. Apparently, the subject of grit promotes grit, but only when it comes to walking the talk about grit — and not just talking about it.

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What promotes resilience?


Belonging to groups, such as networks of friends, family, clubs and sport teams, improves mental health because groups provide support, help you to feel good about yourself and keep you active. But belonging to many different groups might also help to make you psychologically and physically stronger. People with multiple group memberships cope better when faced with stressful situations such as recovering from stroke and are even more likely to stay cold-free when exposed to the cold virus.

Being a part of many different social groups can improve mental health and help a person cope with stressful events. It also leads to better physical health, making you more able to withstand — and recover faster from — physical challenges, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Belonging to groups, such as networks of friends, family, clubs and sport teams, improves mental health because groups provide support, help you to feel good about yourself and keep you active. But belonging to many different groups might also help to make you psychologically and physically stronger. People with multiple group memberships cope better when faced with stressful situations such as recovering from stroke and are even more likely to stay cold-free when exposed to the cold virus.

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And if happiness and resilience aren’t enough for you, let’s talk about the ever-popular benefit of not dropping dead, because as Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, did a meta-analysis of 148 longevity and well being studies — she concluded that a lack of social support predicts all causes of death. People with a solid group of friends are 50 percent more likely to survive at any given time than those without one.

Okay, groups are good — to say the least. But maybe the local bowling league doesn’t seem that appealing…

So how do you start your own little community? What’s it take to form a group of friends and get all those wonderful benefits? Here’s what the research says:

Arrange Regular Meetings, because same as drinking Kool-Aid once, does not make you an astronaut, so it is that one get-together is not a community building, but it is a party.

If you don’t have regular, consistent meetings, the thing is probably going to fall apart and you certainly won’t get the bonding, trust and all them good “feels” that you’re wanting.

Two of the biggest boosters to overall well-being are exercise and religious attendance. It’s because both give consistent, scheduled benefits:

We suggest that while major events may not provide lasting increases in well-being, certain seemingly minor events – such as attending religious services or exercising – may do so by providing small but frequent boosts soul warming thrusts. It follows that if people engage in such behaviors with sufficient frequency, they may cumulatively experience enough boosts to attain higher well-being.

It’s like having a few extra engines in your airplane… and a few extra wheels to drive it around the grounds when not in the mood for flying…

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It’s comical when you think about it.

We have set work hours, but no time for anything soul liberating.

We schedule our hair appointments with the rigors of the NAZI party, and the Gestapo gets scheduled in our lives but not the party time. So often, when it comes to relationships, you know, that one thing that pretty much every variety of religion, philosophy, and scientific psychological or mental health discipline all agree with — is that it makes life worthwhile — and yet that’s the one area where, we just kinda wing it…

Does that make any kind of sense?

Priorities, people … priorities.

You want datapoints?

Seeing friends and family regularly, is the equivalent of making an extra $199,000 per year:

So, an individual who only sees his or her friends, or relatives, less than once a month or never at all, would require around an extra £99,000 a year to be just as satisfied with life as an individual who sees his or her friends or relatives on most days.

So make a plan. Set a schedule. Once a week, once a month, whatever. But consistency is key.

Okay, you’ve got a schedule. But who is coming?

Time to play recruiter. For a solid group, what kind of people do you want to invite?
First try to invite all those who makes you feel good, and follow it up with those whom you admire.

You want people who make you feel good. Yeah, I know. Obvious. But it’s worth repeating.

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You know why old people are so happy and mellow? The research shows it’s because they’ve deliberately pruned their social circles over the years:

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down.

Often times we include people because we “should” and this can lead to problems. Spending time with fake friends — or “frenemies” — is worse than spending time with real enemies:

Friends that we feel ambivalently about raise our blood pressure more — cause more anxiety and stress — than people we actively dislike.

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And you want to have people in the clan who you admire. People you aspire to be like. Because you are going to become similar to the people around you — like it or not.

The Longevity Project, which studied over 1000 people from youth to death had this to say:

The groups you associate with often determine the type of person you become. For people who want improved health, association with other healthy people is usually the strongest and most direct path of change.

When you take a job take a long look at the people you’re going to be working with — because the odds are you’re going to become like them, they are not going to become like you.

Who do you like and who do you look up to? Who do you trust to watch your back? That’s who. That’s your platoon. That’s your squad.

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Alright, we know you want to be surrounded by people you want to be like, and people you feel good around.

So what’s the next step?

Fight together, struggle, help, and celebrate together.

So what’s your group gonna do?

Hopefully something you all enjoy. But if you want to accelerate the bonding process, make it something with a touch of struggle to it. A bloody war will not do for a weekend holiday, but an excursion with guns at the paintball park will do…

Sports, games, volunteer work, or building something all qualify. I’m not saying you all have to get together to build Noah’s Ark … but it’s not a terrible idea, either. Do get started with something smaller, interactive, and perhaps with a bit of struggle in it, just to give the participants, a communal sense of accomplishment.

Anthropologists found that groups that went through “high-ordeals” bonded far more than those that went through “low-ordeals.” Struggling together made people closer. This is why fraternities haze. Why soldiers feel like they are kin. And why we feel the divine spirit within the church.

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Communitas. Yes is the right word. Community with us. Community is a Latin word that means coming together bearing gifts and it still holds true today. That is why Communitas, is the best descriptor of what I am trying to teach you here.

Because helping each other builds Community. And Humans thrive with Community, but not alone.

Communitas, also fulfills the other axiom of why we get together. You and I both want to surrounded ourselves with people we admire, and respect.

Because maybe we think that they’re gonna rub off some of their Greatness on us. But there’s almost always a way for us to give back and bring value to their lives as well. And that is Communitas… And there is an American anthropologist that has written a book about it — except that her name escapes me right now…

And this lady is like a hundred years old and this may surprise you but the people who live the longest aren’t the ones who receive the most help — they’re the people who give the most help, and make sure to belong to strong community, as this lady has done all her life.

Beyond the size of our physical and not the “fakebook” type of digital social networks, the clearest benefit of social relationships comes from helping others to live and go on. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, by advising and caring for others, tended to live the longest towards their advanced old age.

And after the struggle, after you’ve given and received help, you must rest and go out to celebrate your success. It’s no big shocker, but leading happiness researchers have shown that sharing our achievements with others and celebrating with others — definitely boosts our sense of well-being, and our overall health…

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Sharing successes and accomplishments with others has been shown to be associated with elevated pleasant emotions and well-being. So, when you or your spouse or cousin or best friend wins an honor, congratulate him, or her, and yourself, and celebrate.

Okay, we’ve covered a lot on what your little group needs to survive and thrive. Let’s round it up and see how this plays out in the long term…

To Sum it all up, be bullish on the future and a bear with your past. Work hard and play hard. Help all others, and remember the hadn’t that gives the rose retains the perfume…

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Don’t be afraid to be a Contrarian.

You can build a great group by consistent get-togethers, because by leaving happiness to chance — you might find this is an excellent way to be unhappy. If you can make a dentist appointment, you can also make an appointment to enjoy “Game of Thrones” or “Game of Cards” together with friends, each and every week.

Recruit people you like and people you look up to: If you don’t like anyone and think everyone is beneath you, create an Antisocial Narcissists Club. Nobody will come but everyone will think they deserve to be the leader.
Struggle, Help, and Celebrate: Build or make something. Engage in friendly competition. Help each other. And when you succeed, party like rockstars.
Nobody wants deathbed regrets and everyone would like a good life.

When people are dying, what do they regret the most? Coming in at #4 is: “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.” A group is a way to solve the problem efficiently and on a consistent basis. Oh, and it’s a lot of freakin’ fun.

How do you live a good life?

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Well, The Grant Study has followed a group of 268 men for over 80 years. They have learned a lot about what does and doesn’t make for a good life. When the lead researcher was asked “What have you learned from the Grant Study?”

His response was: “Keep in mind that the only things that really matter in life, are your relationships to other people.”

Great study…

Dr Churchill


This landmark study – which Dr. Andrew Weil (New Age guru) calls “a remarkable achievement with surprising conclusions” upends the advice we have been told about how to live to a healthy old age, or about gratefulness, or about all that other psycho bubble out there from the likes of Tony Robbins and his ilk of nutcrackers.

We have been given a bag of lies.

Because we have been told that the key to longevity involves obsessing over what we eat, how much we stress, and how fast we run.

But based on the most extensive study of longevity ever conducted, “The Longevity Project” exposes what really impacts our lifespan — and this is to not forget to include a healthy dose of friends, family, personality, special interests, hobbies, passions, projects, and work communities, into our life.

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Gathering new information and using modern statistics to study participants across eight decades, Dr. Howard Friedman and Dr. Leslie Martin bust all the popular “New Age” myths about achieving a healthy long life.

For example, people do not die from working long hours at a challenging job – many who worked the hardest lived the longest. Getting and staying married is not the magic ticket to long life, especially if you’re a woman. And it’s not the “happy-go-lucky” ones who thrive. Instead, it is the social butterflies, the imprudent partiers, and the persistent socializers, who flourish through the years.

So if you are heading on the longevity spectrum and need some good advice about how to stay healthy and live longer — go out and find some new friends and ask them about it. Regardless of their advise — You’ll at least have the Community that will surround you so that you can live longer…

This is a game changer, because it changes the conversation about how to go about living a long & healthy life.

So make a plan to get together regularly with your family, your community, your tribe, and with your crazy friends — because waiting for the next war to enlist, and fight in order to feel good about yourself, is just a cop-out and maybe it would be the laziest way to die.

Do that, or go die by a self inflicted wound.

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Posted by: Dr Churchill | November 27, 2017

The Aftershocks of the Sexism Earthquake…

Seeing something on the news today about the Miss Universe pageant — I was reminded of the other side of the coin of willing and thriving female objectification and it’s counterpart, masculine macho culture.

And this international pageant of beautiful and scantily dressed women leaves no doubt about this Society’s idolization of Sex and Sexual Beauty. But let’s also recall that this is the Society of the Spectacle and all these beauty pageants are spectacularly entertaining events, more akin to a dog and pony show that to real women competing on their looks alone.


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And as this past couple of months have reminded us of another beauty pageant of powerful men and women getting it on in the lurid details of the tabloids — it has been a pageant of whirlwind allegations and accusations of sexual assault and misconduct and we are called to judge, which one has merit and which one does not.

Because the allegations of sexual misconduct come agains those denizens of the dizzying heights of Hollywood, and the halls of the US Congress, to the boardrooms of the Big Media, and the Venture Capital Finance industry offices, to the casting couch of the Producers in our entertainment industry, to the newsrooms and the back rooms of the Mass News Media, and beyond. Accusations erupt each and every day,

Oh, how the powerful have fallen…

Mighty Men, and Mad Men, from all walks of life, political beliefs, economic status, and social class, are all losing their minds, their marriages, their positions, and their livelihoods, not the mention their reputation — due to the offensive sexual assaults and unwanted heterosexual attention they have bestowed on women, and in some cases even perpetrated on men in their lives, or in their circles of power & influence. We will not speak about the Homosexual group of offender because these folks are so far out there, that they are not even surprised by the antics of the Pedophile Mayor of Seattle, Democrat Ed Murray, or the uber-Democrat George Takei, or the Clinton friend Kevin Spacey. Instead, we will concentrate on the more regular male heterosexual powerful person that uses their position of Power to extract sexual favors from his inferiors…

The power dynamic is unbalanced on all of these cases because as the old Machiavellian saw goes, “Power Corrupts” and absolute Power corrupts absolutely. And amongst these powerful persons, the irony is that in most of these situations the ones being exposed, happen to reside within the warm cocoon of the liberal cultural elite that pretty much governed this country for the last fifty years, largely unopposed in pursuing its globalist agenda, that included a “Free For All Freaks” ideology of permissible behavior ala Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby. This is an enjoyable turn of events, because most of these people have spent a lifetime, and a great deal of effort and money, sneering at and debasing the culture of faith, respect for women, and respect for the institutions of traditional marriage and family, and the practice of being a Man and a Father. In shoe the Clintons of this world made fun of the Common Folk by portraying men they disparaged, as religious freaks, unenlightened peasants, deplorables, despicable, and akin to being uneducated felt earth barbarians.

Yet, now it appears that these powerful men who mounted these cultural assaults, both literally and figuratively, and who espoused and promoted identity politics, were nothing but exploiters of the Power Dynamic that favored them, and thus placed them in a pedestal position, to be able to demand and receive sexual favors from women, and even from children. And all of this going on for fifty years while they remained in Power unopposed and unpunished. And whether you believe in Pizzagate, or not, this is what they mostly did, and all the Democratic women obliged, them and covered up for them, in order to have them help advance their careers or worse. Just look at Hillary Clinton enabling Billie the dick, just so that he can satisfy his lustful loins and that she can satisfy her lust for Power and worse. Indeed this perverted power couple, gave us the essence of the dynamic that has existed for a long time.


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Much like Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards, the Clintons, and Al Franken, define this practice of enablement and corruption with the cover ups, and the terror against women that dared to speak up. And all these Democrats cover up for each other as Senator Patty Murray offered patronage and protection for her nephew, the Democrat blue dog Pedophile Mayor of Seattle Ed Murray.

This cover-up thing has been going on for so long and it has gotten so bad, that today it is the normal Men who complain about these other perverted and power hungry Men — who are actually the true deplorable and despicable barbaric troglodytes living like the Cavemen of the Stone Age. Because these power hungry Democrats, are so deprived, and depraved, since the only women they can get, are the ones, they have to beat over the head with the wooden mallet of Power, and then drag them into their man-cave to devour — methinks, that, as a Society, we could somehow come to an agreement to ban these folks from the Modern Era, and allow them to reside alone in a Flintstones cartoon.  But, you and I both know, that this is not going to happen. At least let’s get them to wear the scarlet letter for good, so that the children and the fragile women will recognize them.

Unfortunately instead of doing that — we take the big brush today, the brush of infamy, which is extra wide, and tars all the Men as misogynists or worse. That is why we’re seeing major CNN commentators, and many important women, including ethical and powerful women such as Michelle Obama, who actively enabled the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Al Franken, Bill Clinton, and John Conyers, as long as they were fellow Democrats — now pinning their problems on the prevailing “toxic masculinity” as if all men are responsible for, and capable of, abusing the people around them in this crazy way, on a serial basis.

Comme on now Michelle, that’s all bogus bollocks, and You know it, because while there is delicious irony in seeing those individuals who treated traditional culture like their personal scratching posts being run out of town on rails feathered and tarred — there remain in their places those who share these hateful views about the “rest of us” and who are seizing upon this time as an excuse to launch a modern day Salem witch hunt, and attempt to lynch all the rest of us, especially all the “whitemen” as if we are all called Harvey or something crazy like that.

Of course we all know that people like Michelle, the many permanently enraged feminists, and the CNN talking heads — all suffer from “Daddy Issues” or as Sigmund Freud diagnosed, they suffer from a strong “Oedipus Complex” and this is why they deeply hate “all things masculine.” And of course this has been the rallying cry of the left over the last 50 years, of globalization against the Patriarchy, or anyone reasonably sane, as the forces of radicalism and socialism rally on behalf of the equality, feminist, transgender, LGBTQ movement and all the other assimilators and collectors of grievances. Indeed, the movement for women’s equality under law, was and remains a good and just endeavor, yet it should also be acknowledged that there remains much to be done, due in no small part to the actions of the various weirdos, such as Conyers, Clinton, Cosby, Franken, Jurvetson, Weiner, Weinstein, and so many other, who clearly did not practice what they preached, but instead hid behind a facade of wanting to be helpful to women with their careers and their mentorship, and along the way took advantage of the situation to literally expose themselves.

And now, all the rest of us have to suffer the price of infamy and mistrust, in all of our encounters with the other half of the human species. As for flirting and engaging in the lost art of “Cherchez La Femme” forget about it. Flirting and Coupling are not allowed in the politically correct, Neo-Puritan age, of Liberal Hypocrisy. Am already looking out to other men as I walk in the street, just to see if there are any men wearing the infamous scarlet letter “A” on their suit lapels.

But how in hell’s name did we get here?

Is it because we abandoned the inner Search for Meaning, or lost our Purpose, or forgot how to be Real Gentlemen, and missed the Memo about the virtues of proper Manly conduct?

Or maybe it is because we relaxed all of our gentlemanly standards?

Maybe both, because when you consider that the “sex positive” culture of the 1960s and ’70s turned sex from a function of emotional love and committed relationships working towards the goal of procreation into a casual, transactional exchange at the whims of the participants, it’s not hard to understand how the likes of Clinton, Spacey, and Conyers “evolved.” The former put the emphasis on the other, the latter on the self. Five decades of Hollywood and the media assaulting the institutions of marriage and the family, culturally objectifying women in print and in film, and normalizing abhorrent behavior and lifestyles can do that.

Beyond mainstream Hollywood, we have another serious problem: easy access to pornography for young men online who are conditioned thereby to view women as objects. After years of conditioning, we are “shocked” to find their behavior in line with their conditioning? Are we not being irrational to think there will be rational behavior in the face of such conditioning?

Moreover, as we have embraced the worthy effort of opening up all doors to women—and by extension girls—the culture has also embraced what I think is an unintended consequence of taking the “boy” out of the boy in our educational and organized activities systems. Christina Hoff Sommers’s almost two-decade-old research looks downright prophetic on the effects our culture wars have had on the next generation of men. What’s even more disappointing is that this campaign, given the recent news cycle about bad male behavior, appears to have accomplished little.

So, how do we continue to empower women while ending the campaign against masculinity that has, in part, created this crisis in our culture?

We all make choices every day: to objectify or not, to harm or not, to respect or not. Whatever happened to self-control and dignity? While we’re at it, whatever happened to being faithful and being true to a promise? Whatever happened to being virtuous? The Latin root word of virtue is “vir,” meaning man. Definitionally, to be a “man,” means to partake in virtue. “Manly” does not mean showing off with Gaston-like bravado, boasting about one’s power over others, but instead possessing strength of will, honor, and compassion.

The “masculine gentleman,” focused on self-sacrifice, self-discipline, honor, and gentle strength was a character Hollywood used to embrace—with Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, and John Wayne filling the roles. But somewhere along the line, in an effort to “equalize” the sexes, these values became deficiencies. Service for others, using strength to sacrifice for families and communities—once paramount to being a true and good man—became demerits that undercut the standing and role of women.

But these are the very values that required discipline, holding back passions and base desires, and building out of self-control some dignity and respect. Isn’t self-control what in many ways sets us apart from the beasts?

Toss them out, and it’s not a surprise that we become more like beasts than men.

We ought to always seek to set a Noble Course, because without the gentlemanly virtues, of self-sacrifice and self-discipline, the world in many ways devolves into nothing but a collection of objects.

And then, when objectification occurs — whether it is men or women doing the objectifying, a human being, an eternal soul of unfathomable value, is reduced to nothing but an object for selfish pleasure. But then again, if the teaching is that we are nothing but products of chance, with no particular value beyond, say, a tree or a light bulb, then perhaps all of this was inevitable. Is it possible that this really does come back to what we believe about who we are as human beings, the immortal soul, and what our purpose for existence really is?

I am trying to teach my sons to be noble, to be magnificent, to be epic, to be courageous. The word noble is an archaic one, but it’s one that should come back into fashion because it captures the essence of everything we seek in men; the ideas of self-sacrifice and discipline and courage and gentle strength. So we must seek to be noble in a world that wants us to be anything but a world that wants us to conform to it. A quarter of a century ago, the nonconformists were the likes of Weinstein, the Cosbys, the Clintons, and their ilk, but today it is all the rest of us normal red blooded males that seek to do the Right thing, regardless of the fads of Society, Mass Media, and the Kardashians.

Dr Churchill


How ironic that today, I am raising boys to be the nonconformists, pushing back, making the right choices every single day. Divine spirit, just like the Devil both reside in the details. Little small things matter a whole lot. Little choices make the man, and by degrees, people shift with daily decisions to find themselves years later miles off course.

The world is a better place with masculine gentlemen in it, who as Atticus Finch carry forth their solemn duty and humbly do what they are expected to do to keep our Society upright and bring up the family at the same time that they work hard enough to put food on the table.

We still have some of these Great Folks, but methinks, that we need more of them.

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