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The Scot in America
Statesmen and Politicians


WE enter upon the subject-matter of this chapter with fear and with trembling, and would fain dismiss it altogether, pass its theme by, as it were, but for the sake of the completeness of our survey of the Scot in America. The subject is practically an inexhaustible one. From the beginning of the Colonial history Scots have been prominent in public affairs, and at the present time it is safe to say there is not a Legislature or municipality in the country that cannot produce one or more members who are able to trace Scotch blood in their veins. The connection of the Scots with America, in fact, began long before the Colonial period, and has steadily waxed in importance and numerical strength ever since. Sometimes, we must confess, the claim of Scotch descent is decidedly infinitesimal, but the claim, even when made on the slenderest grounds, is a compliment to the "Land of the Heather."

However that may be, there is no question that a complete survey of the story of the Scottish race in America, even within the limitations imposed by the title to this chapter, would bring us face to face with the task of writing a tolerably complete American dictionary of biography. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Patrick Henry, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Benton, John C. Calhoun, James Buchanan, J. C. Breckinridge, U. S. Grant, R. B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, and James G. Blaine, all claimed descent from Scotland, and so did Robert Fulton, the steamboat pioneer; C. H. McCormick, of thrashing machine fame; Davy Crockett, the fighter; Joseph Henry, the scientist, and if the student of this subject were to incorporate, as he would have a perfect right to do, the legion describing themselves as of the Scotch-Irish race, he would be confronted with an appalling task. Even George Washington had a little mixture of Scotch blood in his cornposition—so it is said.

In these circumstances it is absolutely necessary to draw the line somewhere, and instead of attempting anything like a complete survey, to rest content with selecting a few instances from early times until the present day. Of course many who might claim a place in this chapter have already been spoken of in other connections, and so we must pass over a large number of names which would add greatly to the brilliancy of the present record.

One of the earliest of the minor Scotch office holders in the history of the continent was Thomas Gordon, who was born at Pitlochry, in the parish of Moulin, Perthshire, in 1650. In 1684 he settled at Scotch Plains, and in 1698 was elected Attorney General of the Eastern district of Jersey and Secretary and Registrar in 1702. Despite these legal appointments, it was not until 1707 that he was licensed as an attorney, and the same year he was elected to the Legislature and served as Speaker of the Assembly. These appointments and elections show that he must have enjoyed considerable popularity among his fellow colonists. But he rose still higher when he was appointed Chief Justice of the Province, and, later on, its Receiver General and Treasurer. He died at Perth Amboy in 1722, having a record as an office holder that would have won for him the envy of a modern politician had he lived in later times and been as successful. But, unlike the majority of modern instances of success in that regard, old Thomas Gordon's good fortune was undoubtedly due to his honesty and ability, two qualities which do not figure very largely in the qualities of our contemporary office seekers.

A man who loomed up even more prominently in the public eye of his day was Andrew Hamilton, who was called by Gouverneur Morris "the day star of the American Revolution." There is a good deal of mystery about the earl- career of this man. He was born, it is believed, in Edinburgh about 1656 and settled in the American colonies in 1695. Of his family or history until landing in America nothing is certain. For some reason or other he never referred to such matters. It is known, however, that when he first settled in the Colonies he bore the name of Trent, although he soon discarded it for Hamilton, which is believed to have been that of his family. Probably he was concerned in some of the Covenanting troubles and his own strict religious views would seem to warrant this suggestion, for when he settled in Philadelphia he was received into communion by the Quakers and was one of the most strait-laced of that sect, although a lawyer. His first resting place in America was in Acconiac Parish, Virginia, where he got a position as steward on an estate and added to his income by conducting a classical school. After a while the owner of the estate (lied and the widow became the wife of Hamilton, who thereby not only became a landed proprietor, but at once got a standing in social life which started him in a signally favorable way toward the success which he afterward attained. He entered upon the study of the law with all the zeal of a determined Scot, and in due time was admitted to practice. Then, seeing that the opportunities of the profession lay in the large cities, he removed to Philadelphia, and as the saying goes, "hung out his shingle." This was some time prior to 1716. In 1717 he became Attorney General of Pennsylvania, and in 1721 a member of the Provincial Council. He became Recorder of Philadelphia in 1727, and the same year was elected a member of Assembly from Bucks County. He continued to be a Representative until 1739, and was several times Speaker of Assembly. It is worthy of note that the ground on which Independence Hall in Philadelphia stands was bought by Hamilton for the purpose of the erection of a suitable building to accommodate the Legislature and tit courts, these public bodies having previously been sheltered in private houses, and, though the scheme was not completed until after Hamilton's death, it is curious to know that a spot so famous in the history of the country and so sacred to ever- lover of freedom was once in the possession of one whose country has been famous for its struggles on behalf of liberty.

Notwithstanding his public duties, Hamilton continued zealously to practice his profession, and gradually advanced to the front until he became the undisputed leader of the Pennsylvania bar. His fame had extended far beyond the boundaries of his own State—and fame did not travel as quickly then as now—and he was noted not only for his fearlessness in maintaining the rights of his clients, but in his adherence to what he perceived to be the rights of all citizens and the inherent liberties of the Colonies. All this gave him the opportunity which has won him a place in American history and caused Gouverneur Morris to characterize him by the proud title with which we began our reference to him, a title which any American family would be proud to possess among its ancestral glories.

A printer in New York—John Peter Zenger—had printed in the columns of the "New York Journal," a little newspaper issued by him, some strictures on the then Chief Magistrate, Gov. Crosby. The strictures were very unpalatable, mainly because they were for the most part true, and as a 'warning to others, as much as for his own offenses, Zenger was arrested. It was proposed to deal summarily with the prisoner, but public interest was aroused in his case, and it was seen that if he was convicted all hope of free speech would, for the time at least, he gone. As the public became interested the authorities became determined and harsh. In pursuance of his rights Zenger's counsel made an objection to the Judges who were to try the case, and they were promptly disbarred, while a lawyer was assigned by the court to carry on the defense. All this time public sentiment had been forming and consolidating, and the "Sons of Liberty," as representatives of the spirit of liberty among the people. took a hand in fighting the Executive and in defending what they regarded as the inalienable rights of all freemen--that of free speech and discussion. When Zenger was finally called on to face a jury, the authorities were confident of making short work of his case and of establishing a precedent which would crush out what they deemed "sedition" in the future. It was not known to them that Zenger's friends were doing any practical work on his behalf, but they were letter enlightened when the court was open and Andrew Hamilton walked in and announced that he had been re- tamed as counsel for the prisoner. The fame of the venerable attorney, his standing at the bar, the prominent offices lie had held, and his position as a member of Assembly forbade his being treated in the summary fashion of Zenger's earlier counsel, and the representatives of the prosecution could do nothing but submit. They had great hopes from the jury, and, besides, they knew that the ,judges were with them.

The prosecution held that all the jury had to determine was whether the publication which was scheduled as libelous had appeared, and that they had nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the libel. Hamilton demurred from this, saying he was prepared to admit the publication of the strictures and to prove their truth, leaving the issue to the jury to be whether truth was a libel or not. He was overruled by the Court on the inferred ground that anything reflecting on the King was a libel. Hamilton then denied that the King's representative had the same prerogatives as the sovereign himself, and claimed the right of proving the truth of every statement that had been made in Zenger's paper. This the Court again overruled, and Hamilton confined his attention to the jury and made a glowing speech on behalf of personal liberty and the right of free criticism, which still ranks as one of the masterpieces of American legal eloquence. His speech was productive of effect far beyond the limits of the courtroom in which it was delivered, or the case in which it was used. It started a train of thought which fired men's minds and did more than anything else to give expression to the popular desire for freedom--for the freedom which the people deemed their birthright as British subjects—for independence was not then thought of, though it was the natural and unavoidable result, as men's minds and men's experience then went in Britain and in America. He practically admitted again the publication of the words deemed libelous. "Then the verdict must be for the King," broke in the prosecuting attorney. But Hamilton proceeded to contend that, the words must be considered by the jury as to whether they constituted a libel or no, and quoted texts of Scripture to show how even they might be considered as libelous, by a zealous lawyer, against the then government of the Colony. Therefore lie urged the jury, even though the Court might decide otherwise, to consider the words for themselves, and put their own construction on them. In concluding he said: "You see I labor under the weight of many years, and am borne down by many infirmities of body; yet, old and weak as I am, I should think it my duty, if required, to go to the uttermost part of the land where my service could be of any use in assisting to quench the flame of prosecutions upon informations set on foot by the Government to deprive a people of the right of remonstrating and complaining, too, against the arbitrary attempts of men in power. Men who oppress and injure the people under their administration provoke them to cry out and complain, and then make that very complaint the foundation for new oppressions and prosecutions. * * * The question before the court is not of small or private concern. It is not the cause of a poor printer nor of New York alone which you are now trying. No! It may in its consequences affect every freeman that lives under the British Government upon the main of America. It is the best cause; it is the cause of liberty; and I make no doubt but your upright conduct this day will not only entitle you to the love and esteem of your fellow-citizens, but every man who prefers freedom to a life of slavery will bless and honor you as men who have baffled the attempts of tyranny, and by an impartial and incorrupt verdict, have made a noble foundation for securing to ourselves and our posterity and our neighbors that to which nature and the laws of our country have given us a right—the liberty of both exposing and opposing arbitrary power in these parts of the world, at least by speaking and writing truth."

The prosecution replied, and the Court charged against the prisoner, but Hamilton's eloquence was irresistible, and the jury, after a few minutes' deliberation, acquitted Zenger, much to the disgust of the powers. But the public delight was unbounded, and Hamilton became the hero of the hour. The next day he was entertained at a public dinner, received the freedom of the city from the corporation, the certificate being inclosed in a gold box purchased by private subscription, and he was escorted by a large crowd to the barge which was to carry him back to Philadelphia. Hamilton died in Philadelphia, in 1741. His son, James, became Governor of Pennsylvania.

Sometimes, in the course of this work, we have traced the fortunes of a family for two or three generations, mainly for the sake of showing how the qualities which distinguished the founder have not been lost in his descendants. Another instance of the same sort may be recorded in this place in connection with the Auchmuty family. The first of the name to settle in America was Robert Auchmuty—horn in Fifeshire, in 1670. His American experiences seem to have been confined to Boston, where he appears to have arrived in 1699, and at once assumed a prominent position as a lawyer. He was active in local affairs, and was held in general esteem. In 1741 he was sent to England as agent for the Colony of Massachusetts, an appointment that is sufficient testimony to his standing as a citizen and his honesty as a man. He died, in Boston, in 1750. His eldest son succeeded to his law business, and carried it on in Boston until 1776, when, being an intense loyalist, he left the country and went to Britain, where he remained till his death.

A younger son, Samuel, born in Boston in 1722, was educated for the ministry, and became assistant rector of Trinity Church, New York, becoming rector in 1764. The Revolution brought him into a sea of troubles. As intensely loyal as his brother, he continued to read prayers for George III. long after the Revolution had broken out and the rule of monarchy was declared at an end. When ordered by Gen. Alexander, titular Earl of Stirling, to discontinue such loyal petitions, he closed the church and left the city. New York was at that time in possession of the Continental troops, and when, by a turn in the tide of war, it fell again into the hands of the British, in 1777, Dr. Auchmuty returned to his post of duty, only to find his beloved church in ruins and its records destroyed. The shock was too much for him, and he died, broken-hearted, in March, 1777. His son, Samuel, born in New York in 1758, entered the British Army and served in it during the Revolutionary War. Obtaining a Captaincy, he served in India from 1783 to 1796, and in 1800 was in Egypt under Abercrombie. In 1803, for his services, he was knighted, and soon after proceeded to South America, where he distinguished himself by his skill and bravery. In 1811 he reduced Java, and was regarded as one of the best officers in the service. Returning to Britain, he was commissioned a Lieutenant General in 1813. He died at Dublin, in 1822, while Commander in Chief of the forces in Ireland, leaving behind him the record of a long and honorable career, unmarked by reproach or blame.

In the history of the City of Richmond, one of the most prominent of its residents in civil life during the Revolutionary War, and for many years after it had he-come reminiscent, was John Harvie, a native of the Parish of Gargunnock, Stirlingshire. He was born about 1740, and is believed to have emigrated to the Colonies shortly after reaching his majority. He settled in Albemarle County, Va., and began the practice of law. In this he was eminently successful, and his ability was so generally acknowledged that in 1774 he was commissioned by the General Assembly to make a treaty with the Indians, a task that was always reckoned a delicate one, requiring unlimited diplomacy, cool judgment, and the utmost firmness. He also threw himself devotedly into the cause of the Colonies against the motherland, and in 1775 and 1776 represented Augusta County in the Virginia Conventions of these years. Then he was sent to Congress, where he served during two eventful years, and he afterward held several State offices, including that of Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia. His latter years were spent in Richmond, and lie took an active part in every movement designed to add to the importance and beauty of that city. Indeed, it was while superintending the erection of a handsome new building which he intended to be an ornamental landmark that he met with the accident which, in 1807, caused his death.

Another Indian-treaty-making Scot was David Brodie Mitchell, a native of Paisley, who crossed the Atlantic in 1783, in his seventeenth year, to take possession of some property in Georgia which had been bequeathed to him by his uncle, David Brodie. He took up his headquarters in Savannah, and the work necessary to enable him to acquire his property led to his devoting himself to the study of law, and in due time he was admitted to the bar, having assumed citizenship in the young Republic. His studies were so well directed to acquiring the mastery of his profession that he soon enjoyed a widespread reputation as a lawyer, and, in 1795, was chosen to be Solicitor General of Georgia. A year later he was elected to the State Legislature, and he was afterward elected several times Governor of the Commonwealth, and each term justified the public confidence by the executive qualities he displayed. In his dealings with the Indians he was ever just and humane. In any treaty negotiations he tried to be honorable in his claims and concessions, and his treatment of these people won for him their regard. Gov. Mitchell also took a deep interest in educational matters, and did much to extend their progress in the State he had adopted, and which he loved and served so well.

A curious instance, for America, of a man eminently fitted for public life, yet utterly regardless of its honors —a man with ability to have reached and retained a high position in the service of the country, yet who preferred the pleasures of home life to the allurements of office—is afforded by a consideration of the career of John Greig of Canandaigua. Born at Moffat, Dumfries, in 1779, and educated at Edinburgh University, he settled in America in 1800, and applied himself to the practice of law. He in time acquired a competency, and, though often urged to run for Congress, he steadily refused, excepting once. He had hosts of admirers, and the graceful hospitalities which were so marked a feature of his home life made him even better understood and more endeared to his associates and friends than though he had met their wishes and embarked on the stormy and uncertain, sometimes dirty, sea of politics. Among others of his guests was the illustrious Lafayette, the "patriot of two hemispheres," as he has been called, who was entertained by Greig on his triumphal return visit to the States in 1824. In 1825 Greig accepted the office of Regent of the State University, hoping thereby to do some service to the cause of education, and he attended to the duties of the office with all the zeal they gave opportunity for. He was induced to stand as a representative of his district for Congress, and was elected in 1841, but he served only one term, having no taste either for life in Washington or the duties and requirements of a Congressman. So he gladly retired when the term for which he was elected had expired, and returned to his home and his law practice. In 1845 he was made Chancellor of the State University, and that position, of which he was very proud, he retained until his death, at Canandaigua, in 1858.

It may have been noticed in the last few cases mentioned, and in several others in the course of this volume, how easily and naturally many Scots on settling in America turned to the law as a profession. Another and conspicuous instance of this was Judge Mitchell King. He was born at Grail, Fifeshire, in 1783. In 1805 he began his long connection with the City of Charleston by securing an appointment as an assistant teacher in Charleston College, having been a teacher for a short time before leaving Scotland. While attending to his duties in the college and prosecuting the studies necessary to advancement in the teaching profession, he saw that there were more possibilities in the practice of law, and in 1807 he began its study. Three years later he was admitted to the bar, and gradually won a front rank. In 1819 he became a Judge of the Charleston City Court, and served on the bench many years. Throughout his career Judge King took a deep interest in what is now called "higher education." He founded, in 1809, the Philosophical Society of Charleston and lectured before it frequently, and he was the author of many treatises on scientific and agricultural subjects. An exemplary American citizen, Judge King seemed to grow more and more enthusiastic over his native land as time cast it deeper into the shadows of remembrance, and his nationality was always with him a matter of pride. In 1808 he joined the Charleston St. Andrew's Society, and served it in many ways, notably as its President for several terms. In 1829, when that organization celebrated its centenary, he delivered an oration which is a model of its kind. Judge King continued to take an active part in the work of the society, and so to do something for pair Auld Scotland's sake, until his death, at Flatwick, N. C., in 1862, when his adopted country was in the throes of the great civil war.

Hugh Maxwell of New York, one of the best known and, in some quarters, best hated, of the public men of that city in his day, was equally conspicuous during his life for his prominence in Scottish circles. The older he got, the closer Scotland came to him, although in his case the love was purely sentimental, as he was carried from his native city of Paisley when very young. He was born there in 1787. His early schooling was in one of the grammar schools of New York, and he studied at Columbia College with the view of engaging in the practice of law, and passed successfully. He began business as an attorney soon after he attained his majority, and in 1814 was appointed an Assistant Judge Advocate General in the United States Army. In 1819 he was elected District Attorney of New York, and won a flattering reputation in his administration of that difficult and unenviable position. He so won the confidence of the public that he was again elected to the office, and continued to hold it until 1829. He was truly a terror to evil-doers, Uniting the cleverness of a detective to the genius of a lawyer, and leaving no effort undone to bring the guilty to book. But he never, like so many modern prosecuting attorneys, rejoiced in a conviction for the sake of conviction alone. He shielded the innocent as determinedly as he crushed the guilty, and, unlike some of his successors, never used his office to aid a "pull" or to defeat the majesty and power of the law. He took a particularly active part in the prosecution of the so-called conspiracy trials, which created a great amount of excitement at the time. Mr. Maxwell's work in this connection raised tip for him many enemies, among them Halleck, the poet, who held him up to ridicule in some rather commonplace verses.

Mr. Maxwell's last public office was that of Collector, of the Port of New York, which he held between the years 1849 and 1852, covering the terms of the Administrations of Presidents Taylor and Fillmore. In the St. Andrew's Society, of which he became a member in 1811, he passed through the office of manager and the Vice Presidential chairs to the Presidency, which he held in 1835 and 1836, and at the time of his death, in 1873, he had long been the oldest living member, having paid dues into its treasury for sixty-two years.

A public man of a stamp not too common in America, one who united the shrewdness of a lawyer, the breadth of a statesman, and the humble piety and aggressive zeal of a true Christian, must be the verdict of every one who, after a study of his career, passes judgment on Walter Lowrie, for many years Secretary of the United States Senate. Born in Edinburgh in 1784, he settled with his parents in Pennsylvania in 1791. He was brought up on a farm owned by his father, a man of sincere piety, who, although unable to give his son a thorough general education, took care that his religious training was as full and deep reaching as though he were designed for the ministry. This was, in fact, the utmost legacy the Scottish farrier could give his son, but it was enough, as a foundation, to carry him safely through life and exalt him to high places.

When eighteen years of age, Lowrie resolved to study for the ministry, but after a time he abandoned the idea and determined to enter the legal profession. When twenty-seven years of age his neighbors, with a high appreciation of his character, elected him as their representative in the Senate of Pennsylvania. After serving in that body for seven years, he was chosen as one of the Senators from his State to the United States Senate, and when his term expired, in 1824, he was elected Secretary of the Senate, and held that important office for twelve years, when he voluntarily retired, to the regret of all the members of that body.

The rest of Mr. Lowrie's life was spent in doing good, and the influence he exerted, even upon Congress, was very great. He founded the Congressional prayer meeting, and was active in the formation of the Congressional Temperance Society, and, although these institutions have now long been abandoned, they did much good in their day, and some time in the future their influence may be revived. In 1836 Mr. Lowrie was elected Corresponding Secretary of the Western Foreign Missionary Society, and in the following year was called to a similar position in the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, which latter office he held for thirty-two years. He was particularly interested in the evangelization of the American Indian tribes, and spent much time in visiting the red men on their reservations and throughout the West. It is impossible to calculate the full value of this man's life work. Wherever he went, his thoughts were always directed to noble ends, and his blameless career as a politician stands out in pleasant relief in the somewhat muddy atmosphere of American practical politics. Several of his sons, emulating his example, became missionaries of the Gospel in foreign lands, and his eldest son succeeded him in the Secretaryship of the Presbyterian Foreign Mission Board, after preaching the gospel in India for three years, and so having practical experience in that nobless of all the outcomes of Christian practice and teaching.

In 1765 there arrived in Boston from Dornoch, Sutherlandshire, a Scotch crofter-fisherman named Adam McCulloch. He settled at Arundel, afterward known as Kennebunkport, in Maine. He joined in with the Revolutionary movement and accepted citizenship in the young Republic with equanimity, and, if he did not wax rich, he at least became comfortable in his circumstances through his own exertions, although the life of a pioneer in Maine in those days was one of much hardship and danger. His son became a ship owner, and when the War of 1812 broke out was one of the largest merchants of the ship-owning class in New England and in a fair way to becoming one of the recognized wealthy men of the northern seaboard. The business interests of Maine, however, suffered sadly in the war, and the ship owner sustained such losses that his operations had, temporarily, to come to a complete standstill. His son Hugh—the grandson of the Scotch crofter—who had been born at Kennebunk in 1808, had been entered a student at Bowdoin College, but his health gave way, and this, together with the condition of his father's financial affairs, caused him to leave the institution long before the usual course was completed.

At seventeen years of age, Hugh McCulloch began to earn his own living by teaching school, and continued at that occupation until 1829, when he commenced the study of law. That study he completed in Boston in 1832, and a year later he went to Fort Wayne and entered upon the practice of his chosen profession. But it was soon discovered that his talents were those of a financier rather than a lawyer, and he entered on his real career, when, in 1835, he became manager of one of the branches of the State Bank of Indiana. A year later he became one of the Directors, and finally, as President of a great banking company, became known as one of the financial authorities in the West. He entered public life in 1863, when he accepted from Secretary Chase the position of Controller of the Currency, and in 1863 he became himself Secretary of the Treasury, with a seat in President Lincoln's Cabinet, and he continued to hold the office under President Johnson. When his term expired he retired from official position, until, at President Arthur's request, he again returned to the Cabinet as the head of the Treasury. From that time he lived mainly in retirement, enjoying the glorious sunset of a busy life, until his death, in 1895.

Hugh McCulloch was by no means what is commonly regarded in the States as a politician. He had no political fences to keep in order, no wires to manipulate, no leaders to conciliate, or heelers to propitiate. Every public office he held came to him unsolicited, and he cared nothing for intrigues or for personal popularity. He did simply what he thought was right; he had no motive in any of his acts as a public man beyond serving the best interests of the country. In the Cabinet councils his cool, practical, common-sense view of whatever topic came up for discussion proved of incalculable value, and his shrewdness and sterling honesty were always conspicuous. In the Treasury Department his policy was always regarded as safe, and his reputation as a financier was of infinite value to the country, especially immediately after the war, when so many wildcat schemes were on foot. His innate Scotch practical nature showed him clearly that there was no royal road to national wealth, no sidetracks from the strait path of national integrity.

An equally noteworthy exponent of Scotch industry, honesty, and common sense was James Gilfillan, who from 1869 till his death, in 1895, was, with the exception of a short interval, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Minnesota. Judge Gilfillan was born at Bannockburn in 1829, and was brought to this country in his childhood. He received his early education in New York City, studied law at Ballston Spa and Buffalo, and in 1850 was admitted to the bar at Albany. He practiced at Buffalo for some seven years, and then removed to St. Paul, Minn., which became his home city thereafter. When the civil war started he joined the Seventh Minnesota Regiment, and in 1862 was commissioned as Colonel of the Eleventh Minnesota. He commanded that regiment until it was mustered out of service at the close of hostilities, in June, 1865. He then settled down again to the practice of law at St. Paul. In 1869 he was appointed Chief Justice of Minnesota, to fill a vacancy, and held a seat on the bench until the next election. In 1875 he was again appointed temporarily, but at the election that year he was elected to it by the votes of the people, and his subsequent re-elections demonstrated their satisfaction with his services. During his long term on the bench not a whisper was ever heard reflecting on his impartiality, and his thorough knowledge and grasp of the law, national as well as State, was conceded. His opinions and judgments were models in their way. They were couched in plain language, and terse in their expression and so written that they could be clearly understood by whoever chose to read them, a quality which is seldom characteristic of legal documents of any kind. It seems essential to the extreme sentiment of trades unionism which prevails in the legal profession to clothe everything with a disheartening and unmeaning mass of verbiage, as well as to multiply forms and procedures, and, of course, costs. This brings grist to the legal mill, but is of no service for any other purpose in the world—certainly not for any purpose of right or of justice. Some day this extraneous mass of legal cobwebs will be swept away by a disgusted people, and then Judge Gilfillan's clear-cut decisions may be taken as models of what such judicial utterances ought to be--terse, sound, logical, and conclusive, and thoroughly understandable by any man possessing mere common sense.

A jurist with an even more national reputation was, (or is, for he still lives in honorable retirement,) Arthur MacArthur, who in 1887 retired from the bench as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States under the act which permits judicial retirement after the occupant of the bench has reached the allotted span of threescore years and ten. Judge MacArthur was born at Glasgow in 1815, and settled in America when very young. In 1841 he was admitted to the bar in New-York, and began practice at Springfield, Mass. In 1849 he removed to the then new city of Milwaukee, resolved to `'grow up" with it, and two years later was elected its City Attorney. In 1855 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, and acted as Governor for a time. His first appointment to the bench was in 1857, when he became Judge of the Second Judicial District of the State, and was re-elected in 1863. He was called to the Supreme Court in 1870, and in that position his merits as a jurist became recognized all over the country. With the exception of serving as one of the United States Commissioners to the Paris Exposition of 1867, Judge MacArthur has held no other public office, confining himself mainly to the pursuit of his profession, and, as a recreation, to the study of literary and historical subjects. As an orator he held high rank in Wisconsin, where his principal efforts in that line were made, and his services as a lecturer were for many years in constant demand. In the St. Andrew's Society of Milwaukee he was long a leading figure, presided over it for several terms; and at its banquets on St. Andrew's day, or in connection with the Burns anniversary celebrations, his presence and speeches were for years regarded as prominent features.

Another noted figure in public life, who began his career as a lawyer, was James Burnie Beck, for many years United States Senator from Kentucky. He was horn in Dumfriesshire in 1822, and settled with his parents in Lexington, Ky. He was elected to the lower house of Congress in 1867, and served until 1875, (through four terms,) and was then chosen one of the representatives of his adopted State in the National Senate, and so continued till his death, in 1889. He was noted in public life as an authority on financial and currency matters, and was devoted in his adherence to free-trade principles. His honesty was admitted on every side, and his addresses on any question were listened to with marked attention, for his ripe judgment and wide range of information made his utterances well deserving of careful consideration. He had a contempt for such legislative pranks as filibustering, or talking against time, and, although pronounced in his own opinions and zealous in every cause he adopted, he never stooped to tactics that were unworthy of his high legislative position or derogatory to the assembly of which he was a member. Scotsmen in the lover house of Congress have been plentiful enough all through its history, and in the Fifty-first Congress, for instance, there were no fewer than five Congressmen—D. B Henderson of Dubuque, Iowa, a native of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire; David Kerr of Grundy Centre, Iowa, a native of Dalry, Ayrshire; J. M. Farquhar of Buffalo, N. Y., a native of Ayr; W. G. Laidlaw of Ellicottville, N. Y., a native of Jedburgh, and John L. Macdonald of Shakopee, Minn. This, considering that Scotsmen do not take professionally to politics, like their Irish cousins, seems to us a pretty fair showing.


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