By the death of Horace White American journalism loses a figure of distinction and the nation a publicist of weight and discernment.
Mr. White was an American, veille roche, one of those men whose conception of American principle and destiny gave to the nation its moral structure and to the democratic experiment its hope of sane and pure accomplishment. He was, in his eighty-second year, one of the oldest of the American liberals, a forward looking man of his day and of our day as well. As a student of finance Mr. White’s opinion had an especial influence, but he was also a veteran of the unending struggle for sound political reform.
Mr. White was for a time editor and a controlling stockholder of THE TRIBUNE and retained to the end not only a financial but also a kindly personal interest in this newspaper. We express there in a special sense the country’s loss of a high minded, patriotic, and useful citizen.
At Bloomington he became a close friend of Judge David Davis. In his travels through the Eighth Judicial District in the years between 1850 and 1860 he met Lincoln, often practiced in the same courts with him, and they became the warmest of personal friends. The admiration of each man for the other was genuine and strong.
Judge Davis and Mr. Swett both appreciated Lincoln. They saw that he was the man the Nation needed, and it was largely their efforts which led to Lincoln’s nomination. Mr. Swett was a prime mover in this and was a controlling influence in planning and executing that remarkable campaign which resulted in his nomination and election.
The political prominence which his successful championship of Lincoln brought led to his being the most prominent candidate for Governor of Illinois. He was defeated in the convention by the supporters of all the other candidates, who united on “Dick” Yates. After Lincoln’s election Mr. Swett went to Washington to urge the appointment of Judge Davis to the Supreme Bench. Judge Davis had but a local reputation. He was opposed by O. H. Browning, a man of National repute who had already made his mark in the United States Senate. Lincoln heard Mr. Swett’s plan and said: “But what will I do with you?”
“I’ll give you a receipt in full,” said Mr. Swett, “but if anything ever does come around to me give me something that will pay.”
SWETT AS A LAWYER
As a young man it was said that Mr. Swett greatly resembled Abraham Lincoln in personal appearance. He was tall, angular, and dark, with prominent features strikingly like his great friend’s. The coincidence in physical similitude extended in a considerable degree to the mental characteristics of the two men. He possessed the same class of humor and often employed the same quaint, epigrammatic methods of expressions peculiar to Mr. Lincoln.
As a lawyer Mr. Swett stood in the front rank in the Northwest. His special excellence lay in the direction of the trial of cases and possibly in the handling of criminal cases. As a speaker he had few or no superiors at the bar. He required scarcely any preparation, and he was always ready with imagination, humor, and pathos in abundance. He possessed the subtle power to touch effectively men’s emotional natures.
His first murder case was that of a young man at Shawneetown. The boy had shot down the clerk of the court because the clerk had posted some scurrilous matter about his father. Lincoln had first been engaged to defend the boy, but he had said that Swett was the man to defend that case, and he had come. Among the young lawyers who crowded the courtroom to hear the defense were John A. Logan and Robert Ingersoll. Mr. Swett put in the defense of temporary insanity. It was the first time that defense had been urged in this country, and it was successful.
OZIAS M. HATCH IS DEAD.
He Was Secretary of State of Illinois from 1856 to 1864.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. March 13 – [Special.] –
Ozias M. Hatch died at noon today at his home in this city. Although he had been in feeble health, his death was unexpected and came after a brief illness. With the exception of Gen. Allan C. Fuller of Belvidere Mr. Hatch was the last survivor of the men who became famous in the administration of State offices during the troublous period of the Civil War. He was a genial companion and an able man, who was held in high esteem by a great circle of warm friends all over the State, including particularly those older citizens who were at the front curing the Civil War, and he will be sincerely mourned by all who knew him. The funeral will be held here at 2 p. m. Wednesday and will no doubt be largely attended by friends from different parts of the State.
[Mr. Hatch was born at Hillsborough, N. H., April 14, 1814. His father was Dr. Reuben Hatch, who came from New Hampshire and located in Pike County, Ill., in 1835. In 1811 O. N. Hatch was appointed clerk of the Circuit Court of Pike County by Judge Samuel D. Lockwood and held that office for seven years. From 1847 to 1851 he was engaged in mercantile business at Griggsville and in the latter year was elected to represent Pike County in the Legislature. In November, 1856, he was elected Secretary of State on the Republican ticket, when that party first came into power in Illinois, and was reelected in 1860 serving in all eight years and during the most trying period in the history of the State. Since his retirement from office he had lived quitely at Springfield. He was one of the original members of the National Lincoln Monument Association and had been one of the most active members of the Board of Trustees and Secretary of the association ever since its organization. Mr. Hatch is survived by his widow and two sons, Ozias Hatch Jr. and Pacal E. Hatch, the latter a student at Harvard University.]
JUDGE SIDNEY BREESE
Illinois has lost one of her ablest and purest officers. Judge BREESE died yesterday at an advanced age, at Mount Vernon, where he had been attending the session of the Supreme Court. For over fifty years he has been in the public service, and in every position has won distinction and honor by his inflexible integrity, his industry, and his great ability. For twenty-five years he has been a member of the Supreme Court of this State, and to the latest hour of his life worked faithfully in the public service. Though he has been known to the people of Illinois principally because of his brilliant judicial career, he was otherwise distinguished. His arrival in Illinois antedated the admission of the State into the Union, and one of the remarkable incidents of his history is the story, graphically described by himself, how, when the State Capital was changed from Kaskaskia to Vandalia, young BREESE packed the “State Government” in a buggy and transported it across the State to its new location. Judge BREESE has outlived all his contemporaries. For many years he had been accumulating and preparing the materials of a history of the State of Illinois, with which history he had been personally identified from its beginning. Large portions of this history he had written in detached pieces, requiring only such labor as might be necessary to make it a connected volume. He intended to publish this, expecting that from its sale he would have an income in his old age, and be some aid to his family after his death. But the Judge never felt himself old enough to conclude the work or prepare it for publication. Once, we believe, he had brought from his home at Carlyle as far as Ottawa a trunkful of his manuscripts, intending to put them in order, but, finding there was time enough, the papers were sent back, and remain until this day incomplete and unedited. There are but few men who can now supply such a history as he might have given to the public. The Judge was a scholar and a man of large and varied reading. He had peculiar ability and vigor as a write, and this last accomplishment adorns even the latest of his judicial opinious. He has fallen at his post, just where he would have selected to fall; he has lived a life of usefulness; has added to the world’s stock of knowledge; has died full of years and of honors, after a public life of unblemished character, and will take his place in the list of the great men of the State who, though younger than he, have gone before him.
OTTAWA, Ill., July 23. – [Special.] – The death of Judge Dickey, who was so many years identified with Ottawa, adds to the general mourning. A public meeting of citizens, called at Mayor Allen’s request, was held this evening relative to the funeral, which is announced for Sunday at 3 p. m. The body of the deceased Judge is expected to reach here Saturday, and he will be buried in the family cemetery on the north bluff, where lie other members of his family, including W. H. L. Wallace.