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THE WESTERN MONTHLY.
VOL. I.-APRIL, 1869.-NO. 4.
ANSON S. MILLER. AMONG the distinguished men of the venor's school, like himself, emigrated to A West, we know of no nobler repre. Illinois at an early day. Among these sentative of its spirit of progress, free. were Hon. N. B. Judd, Judge John D. dom of thought and independence of Caton, Sylvester Talcott, Esq., the late speech, than our own Illinois citizen, the Dr. Daniel Brainard, Thomas Wright, Hon. Anson S. MILLER, of Rockford. Esq., and other prominent citizens.
Judge Miller is of New England Spending four years at college, where parentage, and a descendant from Revo- he received a number of honors, he lutionary ancestors, both of his grand graduated in the summer of 1835. fathers having been at the battle of Among his class-mates at college were Bunker Hill.
the Rev. Dr. Benjamin W. Dwight, a Toward the close of the last century, well-known educator and author; Hon. his father, the late Luther Miller, Esq., Calvert Comstock, late editor of the a native of Massachusetts, removed to · Albany (N. Y.) Argus; Hon. Nathaniel the Mohawk country, then a wilderness Bennett, Judge of the Supreme Court region, and settled at Fort Stanwix, now of California, and others who have since Rome, N. Y.; near which, in the adjoin- achieved distinction. ing town of Lee, the subject of this bio Immediately after his graduation, he graphical sketch was born, Sept. 24,1810. commenced the study of the Law, pur
His early years were spent at the suing it at Rome and Delta in his common school and on his father's farm. native county of Oneida. CompletInheriting a vigorous constitution, and ing his term of legal study, he was imbued with a love of nature, he en admitted to the Bar of the Supreme gaged with rare fondness and efficiency Court of New York, at Utica, in 1838, in agricultural pursuits, for the promo- and in the autumn of that year went to tion of which he has, in his maturer the West. He stopped temporarily at years, so successfully labored.
Terre Haute, Ind., where he formed a When but a youth, he had acquired law partnership with Wm. W. Heaton, a thorough English education, and he Esq., also from that Oneida county, N.Y., taught school a number of terms in his which has furnished so many Western native town and elsewhere, sustaining emigrants. Both of the partners, howthe reputation of a skillful instructor. ever, went to the Rock River country,
Subsequently he prepared for college Illinois, in 1840, one settling at Rockat Grosvenor's High School at Rome, ford and the other at Dixon, where they and entered Hamilton College shortly now respectively reside, having pracbefore attaining his majority.
ticed their profession there, and each Some of his associates at Mr. Gros- occupied the Judicial Bench.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by REED, BROWNE & Co., in the Clerk's Office
of the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois,
From Mr. Miller's settlement in versed in law and stored with useful Rockford to his election as Judge, in learning, and he has a noble and com. 1857, he practiced law in partnership manding presence, combined with & with his brother, Cyrus F. Miller, Esq. high moral and intellectual character. In 1842 he declined the proffered nomi. Previous to the election of Attorneynation of Senator at the Whig Conven- General, he was nominated by the Whigs tion, wishing to confine bimself to his for that office, which he declined. As profession. In 1844, upon the agita- forensic debater, he is logical, clear tion of the State debt question, he con- and persuasive. His arguments are sented to represent Winnebago county characterized by strength and solidity, in tbe Legislature, and upon his elec- and often by finished elegance; yet no tion to the House of Representatives, force of expression is sacrificed for took an active part on the Judiciary mere beauty of diction. His style as a Committee with the Hons. Stephen T. speaker and writer is concise, compact Logan, Richard Yates, Julius Manning and vigorous. When speaking, his usual and others, in revising the Statutes; and manner is earnest, candid and deliberon the Canal Committee with the Hons. ate—sometimes vehement; and, when I. N. Arnold, Hart L. Stewart, Benj. aroused, he is often eloquent. He is a L. Smith and others, in providing to pay bold and independent thinker, and never interest on the canal debt and restoring shrinks in his position from exposing the credit of the State. He also, at the abuses of government or the evils this session, 1844–5, introduced the first of the age. His manners are polished bill to repeal the “Black Laws," and and courteous, and respect for the opinsupported the measure in an eloquent ions and feelings of others is a marked and powerful speech, which was reported characteristic. in the papers at the capital, and circu. “He has no enemies here, but many lated throughout the State; and, in warm personal friends in all parties. 1865, he had the satisfaction of seeing Age, thirty-six years; height, six feet; all those laws swept from our Statutes. black hair and eyes; dark complexion, In 1845–6 he traveled through portions and compactly built. of Northern Illinois, with the Hon. Wm. “He has amassed a large fund of B. Ogden and Hon. J. Young Scammon, law-learning, and has hitherto been for the purpose of awakening an inter. eminently successful in practice. Yet est in the Galena and Chicago Union in the morning of life, imbued with Railroad, then projected, and in secur- bonorable principles, and blessed with ing its construction.
a fine constitution, we conceive that his In 1846 he was elected to the Senate, progress in usefulness and distinction and took a prominent part in the meas is but just begun." ures of that important period of the State history.
Time has happily verified these preThe following, extracted from a sketch dictions. of Senators, written from the seat of It is interesting to look back upon government, and published at the time the men and parties in Illinois at the in the Mississippian, a Democratic period when Mr. MILLER entered the paper of Rock Island, gives a true view Senate. Among the leading Whigs were of our subject:
John J. Hardin, Stephen T. Logan,
Edward D. Baker, John T. Stuart, Abra. “Hon. Anson S. MILLER. " ham Lincoln, Ninian W. Edwards, 0. H. “Among the Whigs, Senator Miller Browning, Joseph Gillespie, Jesse K. stands conspicuous. His mind is well Dubois, David Davis, Thomas Drum.
mond, Usher F. Linder, Benjamin R. ral endowments and high attainments Sheldon, Richard Yates, E. B. Wash- and character rendered him eminently burne, Richard J. Oglesby, J. Young worthy, Scammon, James C. Conkling, S. Lisle The same year, he was nominated by Smith, John Wood, E. B. Webb, J. L. the Republican State Convention as D. Morrison, Richard S. Wilson, Wm. Presidential Elector of his Congressional Gooding, and many other gifted public District for the re-election of President men.
Lincoln, and spent the autumn precedProminent among the Democrats of ing the election in speaking and can. that period were John Reynolds, Rich. vassing in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. ard Young, Sidney Breese, Thomas His was the banner district of the Ford, Stephen A. Douglas, Wm. A. State and Nation, and he was chosen Richardson, Lyman Trumbull, Wm. B. messenger of the Electoral College of Ogden, Joseph Knox, John Wentworth, Illinois to bear its vote to Washington. Murray McConnell, John Dement, John The following brief extracts from pa: A. McClernard, Wm. H. Bissell, Julius pers in his Electoral District show the Manning, James Shields, James A. Mc public estimate of his services in this Dougall, Joel A. Mattison, I. N. Arnold, campaign : Gustavus Koerner, John M. Palmer, N. B. Judd, I. N. Morris, J. Dougherty, “Among the strong and patriotic men Thompson Campbell, and others. of Illinois who have battled for the
Seldom has any State presented such right, our able and eloquent Elector an array of talented men as Illinois at has held his position in the first rank that period. Since then, the revolutions throughout the great conflict." of party have changed the political rela "Judge MILLER is a powerful and tions of many. Democrats have be successful canvasser, a champion of the come Republicans, and some of the true principles of our Government, who, Whigs, on the extinction of their party, in the last as well as in former political went over to the Democratic ranks. campaigns, has devoted his efficient ser.
In 1857, he was elected orator of the vices to the cause of the country." Alumni Association of Hamilton College, “The selection of the Hon. Anson S. and on the following Annual Commence. Miller for Presidential Elector was a ment of that institution in 1858, delivered wise thing, and he was everywhere rehis oration on Self-Culture, which was ceived with favor. Whilst he is an extensively published and greatly ad- ardent politician, he is a courteous gen. mired at the time, and which must con- tleman, and his genial influence did tinue to be regarded as a model. much to allay unprofitable excitement
In 1860, various Republican papers wherever he appeared. He is an able proposed Judge Miller for the next lawyer and an upright man." Governor of Illinois, but he promptly declined the candidacy.
President Lincoln, in the course of the During the war of the Rebellion, he canvass, tendered him a United States labored devotedly and efficiently in rais- Judgeship, which he declined, as it ing Union troops and providing for would necessitate the removal of his their wants in the field, for which he family. will long be gratefully remembered by In 1865, President Lincoln made him the soldiers. .
Postmaster of Rockford, a position In 1864, his Alma Mater, Hamilton which he still holds, although twice College, conferred on him the degree superseded by President Johnson (to of LL.D., an honor of which his natu- whose “policy" he was opposed); but
the Senate not concurring, no change was made.
In 1866, he accepted the invitation of the New York State Agricultural Society to deliver the annual address at the Saratoga Fair, and his speech on that occasion was applauded as one of great originality and power. It was reported and copied in many papers, and published in permanent form by the society, and will doubtless stand as a classic in its department.
In 1868, upon Gen. Palmer's de. clining to be a candidate for Governor, Judge MILLER, who had favored his nomination, was proposed for the position — as we have reason to know, with out his agency or seeking — and strongly urged by many of the leading papers of the State. We quote briefly from some of the many commendations in different journals:
“We want for Governor a true and loyal man, whose moral and business character entitles him to the respect and confidence of the people, a man who will carry with him into the Execa. tive office a heart full of principle and a dignity befitting his high position; and among the candidates, our mind! reverts to no one more eminently qualified, or who would do greater honor to the State, if elected, than the Hon. Ar Son S. Miller, of Winnebago county. His purity and dignity of character are proverbial; he is known as the leader in all worthy and patriotic movements in that part of the State where he has for many years resided, and where his opinion on all State and National ques. tions is sought and respected.
“During the war he was the friend and advocate of the loyal soldiers, working persistently for the success of their
“The nomination of the Hon. Anson S. Miller to the Chief Magistracy will be an honor to the Republican party, who will thus have for their leader a man of eloquence, learning and tried patri. otism, whose private character and public acts will be strong elements of the campaign.”
“Among the nominees for the Gov. ernorship is the Hon. Anson S. MilLER, of Rockford, a gentleman every way worthy of the position, and who at one time declined the nomination. He has eminent qualifications, and is known as one of Illinois' most honored men; an accomplished scholar and orator, who has worked in the Republican ranks with unshrinking fidelity."
“A man whom thousands know and love; able, honest, magnanimous and true; a statesman and jurist of extensive experience and culture; a gentle man of unspotted reputation and unexceptionable habits ; Judge Miller, of Rockford, stands forth as the equal in qualifications and deserts of any other man in the State.”
“In agricultural interests, he has a national reputation. In 1866, he deliv. ered the Annual Address before the New York State Agricultural Society, which is said to have been one of the finest ever delivered in the United States.
“He is every way qualified to fill the Gubernatorial office, and we believe the Republicans of Illinois would do themselves credit by selecting him as their standard bearer in the campaign soon to be inaugurated."
“Many of the ablest papers in the State, and some of the strongest Republican counties, are for Hon. Anson S. MILLER, and his claims are urged with great dignity and fairness. His eminent fitness as an estimable and Christian gentleman, a ripe scholar, a learned jurist, an eloquent speaker, and a sound Republican, will secure him an almost unanimous support.”
“At an era of unequaled enterprise and progress in every department of industry in the West, wherein Illinois is rising to the first rank of States, Anson S. Miller is the right man for
her Governor. He is justly recognized Governor, and Judge Miller magnani. as one of the ablest and most influen- mously requested his friends not to use tial of her citizens-a statesman of ex- his name so long as Gen. Palmer was perience and high character, whose ele before the Convention, as he would not vation to the Chief Magistracy would oppose him. Gen. Palmer was thus reflect honor on the State.”
nominated, and he had no stronger sup
porter than Judge MILLER, who gave These extracts from journals in dif- liberally of his best efforts and resources ferent portions of Illinois, show the to the support of the State and National public estimation of Judge Miller bet- Republican ticket, in the memorable ter than anything we can say, and indi- campaign of 1868. Had Gen. Palmer dicate the general favor with which his continued withdrawn from the canvass, nomination would have been received and withheld his name from the ConPrevious to the Convention, however, it vention, Anson S. MILLER would probabecame evident that Gen. Palmer would bly have been the present Governor of be brought before it as a candidate for Illinois.
SCIENCE, MONOTHEISM AND POLYTHEISM.
BY THOMAS CLARKE.
UR old friend, Herbert Spencer, Even here there is much difference
makes the following remark, which of opinion, and, we confess, there are we heartily endorse, namely:
some grounds for such difference; for, " Little as it seems to do so, fearless
it may fairly be inquired, what reason inquiry tends continually to give a firm
have we for the belief that this solar basis to all true religion. The timid
system, this earth and all it contains, sectarian, alarmed at the progress of
were ever produced from nothing,
since it is admitted that nothing can knowledge, secretly fears that all things
spring from nothing, “ Ex nihilo nihil may some day be explained.”
fit?” Nothing, we say, is so good for truth Again, if the laws of nature are fixed, - that is, true religion — as fearless in eternal and irreversible, why should we quiry; and that religion which can not suppose that this beautiful and harendure such a test, is not worth much. monious system of worlds, with which
In a former article we have shown all space seems to be filled, was even that if transmutation of one species for a single moment in a state of chaos into another had ever been one of the or confusion, as those who maintain the laws of nature, we should find some nebular theory suppose? If the law of specimen in the past, or we should still universal gravitation prevails, by what see the process going on in our own power could that law have been over. day; and if this mode of development come, and the mighty globes and their is proved to be negatived, it follows that satellites hurled into even temporary creation was the only mode by which chaos and confusion ? Is not this to the phenomena we now behold could concede the existence of a Power supehave been produced—that is, if we grant rior to the laws of nature, who upsets that this system, with all it contains, or modifies them at his pleasure, and ever had a beginning, or ever will have who commands order and harmony to an end.
re-assert their sway, by imposing his own