Page images
PDF

1840.] Jurist Reports.-Phillipps and Amos's Evidence. 247

and fifty titles. The names of the authors (we prefer this term, when speaking of such a work, to that of “compilers”) are a sufficient guarantee that their task has been well performed ; and the very slight examination, we have been able to give their work, entirely confirms the favorable judgment we should be inclined to form beforehand. We think it not extravagant to say, that this work will be to the United States, what Comyns's Digest has been and is to England.

5.—Reports of Cases argued and determined in the several Courts of Law and Equity, in England, during the year 1839. Jurist Edition. Vol. I. New York: Halsted and Voorhies, 1840.

We presume that this volume contains the cases republished from the Jurist, by Messrs. Halsted and Voorhies, in their monthly publication of the same title. We have already expressed our favorable opinion of the reports contained in the work from which this volume is made up ; and we need not therefore reiterate it on this occasion. This volume is got up in good style, and contains within a moderate compass the English Cases in law and equity, for the last year. We wish the publishers all the success, which their enterprize deserves; and cannot doubt, that they will find it for their advantage to continue the work.

6.—A Treatise on the Law of Evidence. Fifth American from the eighth London edition, with considerable additions. By S. MARCH PHILLIPPs, Esq., and ANDREW AMos, Esq., Barristers at Law. With notes and references to American Cases. Parts I and II. New York: Halsted & Voorhies, 1839.

Mr. Phillipps's valuable treatise has been long and favorably known to the profession. The present work is not a new edition, however, but an enlargement of the first volume, of that publication, disconnected with the details of particular actions. It is confined to an inquiry into the general principles of the law of evidence, and the rules of evidence, applicable to particular actions, as referred to for example and illustration. We are glad this work has been republished in this country. We should say more of it, if we had room.

INTELLIGENCE AND MISCELLANY.

The late Andrew Stuart, Esq. We extract from the Quebec Gazette of March 13th, the following obituary notice of the late Andrew Stuart, Esq., a distinguished member of the legal profession in Canada.

The decease of the late Andrew Stuart, Esq., her majesty’s solicitor general in this province, has left a blank so difficult to be filled up in the public mind, that it is humbly conceived, some further tribute than has yet appeared to his memory will meet with a willing reception.

Mr. Stuart was the son of the late reverend John Stuart, D. D. and minister of Kingston, Upper Canada, a gentleman well known and highly respected in these provinces, and particularly noted for his generous patronage of humble merit, and his zealous efforts to promote the cause of education. His son, who is the subject of these remarks, was born at Kingston, in 1786. He received his classical instruction under the venerable archdeacon Strachan, then residing at Cornwall, now bishop of Toronto, with whom he held a most friendly correspondence to the period of his death. His proficiency in his studies, if we may judge by the correct habits of thinking to which it was the prelude, must have been conspicuous. He afterwards continued to prosecute his studies at Union college, Schenectady.

His commencement of the study of the law took place in 1802, and his admission to the bar, on the fifth of November, 1807. He rose almost immediately into extensive practice, his success being secured by three of the greatest qualities a lawyer can possess, extensive knowledge both of the principles and of the practice of the law, convincing and overpowering eloquence, and the strictest regard to the interest of his client. In 1810, he defended Mr. Justice Bedard, then exposed to a state prosecution. From that time to the period of his death, his assistance was sought for in every difficult and important case that occurred. His pleading was conducted with great eloquence, sometimes highly impassioned. He was remarkable for the use he made of general principles. It was a maxim with him, and which he professed to have derived from Aristotle, of whom he was an enthusiastic admirer, “that all knowledge consists in universals.” Having once established his general position in some undeniable principle of reason, he seemed to come to his conclusion with irresistible conviction, as to a corollary of necessary and unavoidable consequence. Yet on proper occasions, he had the happy art of introducing those clear and palpable topics that rivet attention and touch all hearts. His argument in 1832, against the right of colonial assemblies to commit for breach of privilege in case of libel, is a beautiful specimen of forensic eloquence. His jurisprudential studies were not confined to the laws of the country, or to those which regulated the decisions of its courts. He studied law as a science, founded in reason and governing man in all stages of civilization; and took delight in tracing the principles that have directed the various systems of legislation that have prevailed in different periods. Among the legal objects extending beyond the usual limits, that claimed his attention, was the boundary question, so long the quaestio vexatissima between the British and American governments. His pamphlet on this subject evinces great research, and exemplifies those extended views with which he contemplated every subject to which he at any time bent his attention. It was first published in Quebec, in 1830, and again at Montreal, in 1839. His attachment to justice, and consequently to established constitutional law, was ardent and invariable. He could not be drawn aside from that sacred path, as far as his judgment could mark its course, either by the authority of men in power and office, or by the prejudices, threats and murmurs of those who happen to be the dispensers of popular applause. He considered that to be the only free state in which law was the supreme power; and in which its authority was uncontrollable. In October, 1838, he was nominated solicitor general of the province, by his excellency the earl of Durham. Upon receiving this appointment, he removed his residence to Montreal ; but was prevented by ill-health from taking any very conspicuous part in the business before the courts. On this occasion he may be said to have terminated his professional career. Mr. Stuart entered public life in 1815, when he was returned as one of the members for the lower town of Quebec. He represented the same respectable constituency in the two succeeding parliaments. He afterwards represented the upper town, and continued to do so in every parliament, except one, till the suspension of the constitution in 1838. To one of these he was elected in his absence. During the course of his public life, he took part in the discussion of every important question that arose, in a period of peculiar interest and pregnant with important consequences to the future prosperity of this province. He sat in every committee, in which any important topic was to be discussed, or any difficult question to be investigated. His vast and varied information furnished assistance in all these inquiries, and he in no case shrunk from the communication of his ideas, either from the inconvenience of long and tedious attendance, or the obloquy it might raise against him amongst those who differed from him in opinion. Mr. Stuart's views were, on all occasions, those of a liberal mind. He delighted to unfold them to the attention of others, both from the thorough conviction which he entertained of their truth, and still more from the enthusiastic persuasion that they were inseparable from the best interests of society. His arguments were founded on those extended principles which ever must be true. He raised his voice with equal fervor and equal sincerity, against the abuses practised by men in power, and the encroachments of popular violence. To neither would he yield the slightest deference beyond that which was sanctioned by justice and constitutional right.

At the time of the general election in 1834, he made at the hustings a candid and manly avowal of the principles which had uniformly guided his public conduct. His speech on that occasion is accurately reported in the Quebec Gazette of the 22nd of October of that year, and well deserves a perusal, from the independent spirit which it not only breathes, but proves by a reference to his past conduct. After a modest, yet dignified apology for speaking of himself, unavoidable on such an occasion, ‘Never,’ says he, ‘when the property or the liberty of the subject had been infringed by men in power, have I shrunk from giving my entire energies, such as they were, to the defence and relief of the sufferers.’ He then proceeds to remind the electors of his labors in the house, in regard to the abuses that had existed in the granting of land, to the improper combination of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions in the same persons, and to the protracted diversion of the Jesuits’ estates from their just and legitimate objects. He states his determination to be, what it always had been, to pursue the same course by just, lawful, and constitutional means; but at no time by violence or passion. “Much,” he further states, “as I esteem the good opinion of my fellow-citizens, and the honor of representing them in the provincial parliament, I will not purchase even these boons at the cost of ceasing to deserve them.”

In 1832, he published at the Montreal press, an octavo volume, under the title of “A Review of the proceedings of the Legislature in the session of 1831.” This work is replete with profound views of government, and contained ample warning of the perilous encroachments of the misguided democratic influence then evidently drawing to a crisis.

The election of 1834, already mentioned, led to the rejection of almost all the candidates favorable to the constitution, as it then existed, and to the connexion of these provinces with the United Kingdom. Such a state of things naturally led the friends of these important privileges to consider what was to be done to preserve them. A public dinner was given at Quebec in honor of Mr. Stuart, and other candidates who had been rejected for their constitutional and loyal conduct. The interchange of sentiments

« PreviousContinue »