Half a Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about Half a Century.

Nothing more was heard of a libel suit.  Two years after, James McMasters was sued for harboring a fugitive; was to be tried before Grier, and spoke to his lawyer about summoning the editor of the Visiter.  The attorney exclaimed: 

“Oh bring her, by all means!  No matter what she knows, or whether she knows anything; bring her into court, and I’ll win the case for you.  Grier is more afraid of her than of the devil.”

The editor was summoned, gave testimony, and found Judge Grier a most courteous and considerate gentleman, with no signs of fear.  The case hung on the question of notice.  The Judge reversed his former decision, and those who were apt to feed beggars, breathed more freely.

A case was tried for the remanding of a slave, and lawyer Snowden appeared for the master.  The Visiter sketched the lawyer as his client’s dog, Towser; a dog of the blood-hound breed, with a brand new brass collar, running with his nose to the ground, while his owner clapped his hands and shouted:  “Seek him, seek him Towser!”

This caught the fancy of the street boys, who called him, “Towser, where’s your collar?” “Seek him, Towser.”  He was the last Pittsburg lawyer who took a case against a slave, and public sentiment had so advanced that there never afterwards was a fugitive taken out of the county.

CHAPTER XXIV.

MINT, CUMMIN AND ANNIS.

While the bench and bar were thus demanding the attention of the Visiter, the pulpit was examining its morals with a microscope, and defending the sum of all villainies as a Bible institution.  The American churches, with three exceptions, not only neglected “the weightier matters of the law, judgment and mercy,” but were the main defense of the grossest injustice, the most revolting cruelty; and, to maintain an appearance of sanctity, were particularly devout and searching in the investigation of small sins.

A religions contemporary discovered that the Visiter did actually advertise “Jayne’s Expectorant,” and such an expectoration of pious reprehension as this did call forth!  The Visiter denied that the advertisement was immoral, and carried the war into Africa—­that old man-stealing Africa—­and there took the ground that chattel slavery never did exist among the Jews; that what we now charge upon them as such was a system of bonded servitude; that the contract was originally between master and servant; the consideration of the labor paid to the servant; that in all cases of transfer, the master sold to another that portion of the time and labor of the servant, which were still due; that there was no hint of any man selling a free man into slavery for the benefit of the seller; that the servants bought from “the heathen around about,” were bought from themselves, or in part at least, for their benefit, to bring them under general law and into the church; that nothing like American slavery was ever known in the days of Moses, or any other day than that of this great Republic, since our slavery was “the vilest that ever saw the sun,” John Wesley being witness.

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Half a Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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