Memphis (TN) Appeal, "Arrest of Judge Kane," November 20, 1855

    Source citation
    "Arrest of Judge Kane," Memphis (TN) Appeal, November 20, 1855, p. 2: 5.
    Original source
    Newspaper: Publication
    Memphis Daily Appeal
    Newspaper: Headline
    Arrest of Judge Kane
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Zak Rosenberg
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    ARREST OF JUDGE KANE.- The Abolitionists have given another evidence of their want of confidence in the justice of their actions by their recent arrest of Judge Kane, while on a visit to his wards in Delaware county. The Judge, we believe, is the administrator of the estate of the late Samuel Lelper, of Delaware county, and guardian of his children. A day or two since, he paid a visit to the family in that county, in reference to matters connected with the estate. While sitting at the breakfast table, he was arrested by a deputy sheriff of Delaware county, at the suit of Passmore Williamson. He had probably been tracked from Philadelphia by some of the underground railroad committees, whose business hitherto has been to steal negroes in a clandestine manner, and, after working them nearly to death on their own or their friends farms, chasing them away penniless, when naked for money, with the cry that "their masters were in the neighborhood and looking after them." The judge must have been under a complete state of surveillance by the abolitionists, as his visits to Delaware county are not very frequent. But why arrest him in that county, and not in Philadelphia? In the latter, a majority of the State judges entertain free-soil principles, and as his suit for damages could be tried either in the common pleas, district, or national courts, he had a fair chance to have an abolitionist to preside, selecting that court, and that term, which would best suit his purpose. Each judge has his period  to preside, and no one knows this fact better than Passmore Williamson and his friends. Why, then, select Delaware county as the place to try the merit of his case? Is he convinced of his own wrongdoing, and afraid to trust his friends and neighbors? Or is it because he expects to have an abolitionist judge and jury in the lower country to try his cause? Has he had such assurances from the sheriff or county commissioners, who draw the jurors, or from the judge who must try the cause, if tried at all in the county? Abolitionist as Judge Haines is known to be, he is too honorable a man to have counselled such a course; but his prejudices, and that of the jury which will be summoned to his aid, have been counted upon to wrest justice from her propriety.

    This is not a matter between Passmore Williamson and Judge Kane. It is a contest between the constitution and the designs of a band of the wretched fanatics. From the high-toned character of the judge, he would doubtless be totally indifferent where this mockery of an action against him he tried, so conscious is he of the rectitude of his own intentions and his just rendering of the law. But where it appears, as it does in his arrest in Delaware county, while on a visit connected with fiduciary business, that a scheme has been planned to obtain a verdict against the constitution, through him, to be hereafter quoted as a precedent, would Judge Kane be doing justice to the South, and to the friends of the constitutional right everywhere, to permit the cause to be tried everywhere, to permit the cause to be tried in Delaware county, if the fanaticism of Williamson and his friends should push its trial? We think not, and feel that we speak the sentiment of the great mass of community. It appears to us that Judge Kane is bound, even as a defendant, to see tthat no undue advantage to be taken of the law and constitutional privleges by prowling abolitionists, who so much dread a verdict of the people of their own vicinage that they track their victim to a distant place in secret in order to secure him, as they are in the habit of burrowing in darkness when about to steal other people's property. There are various modes of having his liability to Williamson tested, and we strongly incline to the opinion that it is Judge Kane's duty to have it tried in that court, and in such a manner as will nearest approach in a constitutional decision. The rubics of the abolitionist must be either killed or cured. There is no intermediate mode of treatment.-Pennsylvanian


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