A Slave Case
Catherin Oliver, and others, of the State of Maryland, vs. Daniel Kaufman, of Cumberland County, Pa. The above case, which was tried last week in Carlisle, before Judge Hepburn, and his Associates, in the Court of Common Please, excited a great deal of interest. A Carlisle correspondent of the Public Ledger gives the following report of the case, which is substantially correct—The plaintiffs, Catherine Oliver and others, of the State of Maryland, instituted a suit against Daniel Kaufman of this country, for aiding the escape, and harboring 13 slaves, claimed as the property of the plaintiffs, and Gallagher, Graham, and Adair for defendant. A great number of witnesses were produced by plaintiff’s counsel, who proved that the slaves were brought on the evening of the 24th of October, 1847, to the barn of Kaufman, and after remaining there part of the night, were taken in his wagon across the Susquehanna river.—Several witnesses were called, who were immediate neighbors of Kaufman, and obstinately refused to answer any question or inquiries propounded by the court or counsel. Being apparently determined to keep silent, one of them, (Mode Griffith,) was given into the custody of the Sheriff and conveyed to jail. But after remaining there a short time he and they concluded it was better to come forward and give evidence, and accordingly did so in a very humble and submissive manner. The defendant’s counsel took the ground that a case of this kind did not come under the jurisdiction of this court. Able and lengthy speeches were made by the counsel on both sides, and the Judge’s charge, though brief was to the point.
The jury retired, and after being out some eighteen hours, returned a verdict of $2,000 damages for the plaintiffs.
In the surrounding neighborhood of Kaufman’s residence, there appears to be a number of most inveterate abolitionists, who are strongly suspected as part of a grand chain extending from Mason and Dixon’s line to the northern section of this State, who aid in the escape and secreting of runaway negroes. This spirit of false philanthropy cannot be otherwise than deleterious in its tendency, and should receive the frown of every good citizen. Slaves have been recognized in the constitution as property, and every sensible man, until they are proven otherwise, should acquiesce in the recognition. The law should not be trampled upon, and individual rights should not be oppressed by a wild and dangerous fanaticism.