John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

The bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) online

. (page 23 of 83)
Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 23 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


of slavery. To that result he directed all of his efforts. How well he succeeded
will appear from Mr. Douglas' speech at Freeport. It will be observed further
in the progress of this debate that Mr. Douglas professed absolute indifference
to the extension of slavery into the territories. He seemed only anxious that
the white people of the territories should exercise their own judgment upon that
question, and appeared to be oblivious of the fact that the public mind had



756 THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS.

reached the condition that the existence of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska
had become one of the great points of sectional controversy.

From this point I will consider the several speeches made by Mr. Douglas
and Mr. Lincoln, commencing on the 2ist of August, at Ottawa, and terminat-
ing at Alton on the I5th of October, 1858, simply with reference to the great
qualities of those two eminent men. I ought further to remark that some of
the questions considered by them were disposed of by the Civil war, to which
it is not too much to say the debate may be regarded as the mere preliminary.
Slavery no longer exists in the United States; therefore it must be held that upon
that question the views of Mr. Lincoln have prevailed over those advanced by
Mr. Douglas. There is no doubt but that the public conscience of Illinois,
even as early as 1858, revolted against the theories of Mr. Douglas as to the
right of all men to liberty and equality before the law. In addition to that,
Judge Douglas evidently entertained expectations of future political advance-
ment which could only be secured by the harmony and unity of the Democratic
party. In order to promote that end he seized hold of the doctrine of popular
sovereignty largely modified by the constitutional theory of the rights of the
states, two propositions irreconcilable, and diverse in their influence upon the
slavery question. The right of the states in which slavery then existed to main-
tain slavery anil defend it by their constitutions and their laws was admitted by
both parties to the great debate. The equality of the states, as asserted by Mr.
Douglas, carried with it consequences that were at no time defined with such
accuracy as to prevent the mischievous consequences that all were equal in the
territory and every right of property recognized by states attended citizens of
the several states in emigrating to new territorial acquisition. Undoubtedly
Mr. Douglas felt the difficulties of his provision, and he exhibited the highest
qualities as a debater in eluding his logical embarrassments. Mr. Lincoln
pressed those apparent inconsistencies upon him with great force, and there are
but few better examples during the history of oratory than are afforded by these
remarkable debates. Still it will be perceived that as the debates progressed
the real points of controversy, not only between Douglas and Lincoln as rival
candidates, but the issues between the sections of the Union, the supporters
and the assailants of slavery, were found and denned. I have said that Mr.
Douglas was embarrassed by what was apparent to all, the difficulty of har-
monizing what may be justly called the northern and southern Democratic views
of the system of slavery. He himself, in his report upon the Nebraska bill, had
stated the different views entertained by different parties in different sections of
the Union. He sought to find ground for a new compromise of the slavery
question, and he supposed he had done so in the doctrine which he asserted,
of the right of the people to regulate their own institutions in their own way,
subject only to the constitution of the United States; or, as he stated the same
doctrine in his Alton speech, that "The people of the territory, like those of the
state, shall decide for themselves whether slavery shall or shall not exist in
their limits." This statement of the doctrine by no means solved the difficulty,



THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 757

nor did it meet the public judgment. It was still a subject of popular inquiry:
Wliat is the true and proper construction of the constitution of the United
States with reference to the existence of slavery in the territories? It was
asked, Can the people by the action of the territorial legislature, admit or ex-
clude slavery from the territories? Or, Is it the true interpretation of the con-
stitution that while the territories remain common property the constitution
carries slavery into the territory as incidental to the rights of the states in which
slavery existed? Mr. Douglas was never able to answer that and similar ques-
tions to the satisfaction of the popular mind. In the Freeport speech, in reply
to the question propounded to him by Mr. Lincoln, he maintained that even
though slaves under the constitution might be carried into the territories,
friendly legislation might be adopted for the protection of the institution, or
it could be excluded by the failure of the territorial legislature to provide police
regulations for its protection. These views advanced by Mr. Douglas satisfied
neither of the parties to the controversy. The pro-slavery party, I use now a
term long since obsolete, were not satisfied, and denounced the doctrine among
unfriendly legislation, as being as objectionable as the assertion of the right to
exclude slavery from the territories by local legislation; while to the anti-
slavery party the theory that slaves could be taken into the territories and
retained there until excluded by territorial action, practically yielded the whole
question. A careful reader of the speeches of Mr. Douglas delivered during
the great debate will perceive the difficulties which surrounded him, and observe
the remarkable argumentative strength he exhibited in his attempt to recon-
cile propositions so embarrassing. After the Freeport speech the positions of .
Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln were changed. At Ottawa Mr. Douglas was the
assailant, and undoubtedly the speeches there terminated to Mr. Lincoln's dis-
advantage. At Freeport Mr. Douglas was driven to definitions, and from that
time forth Mr. Lincoln took the offensive. It has been said by a great military
writer that a purely defensive war is rarely successful; and so it is in great in-
tellectual contests. In 1858 slavery in the United States reached its greatest
strength. It was even then condemned in the northern states of the Union, not
only as wrong in itself, but it had come to be feared as a menace to the peace
and integrity of the Union. In the south many opposed the institution on
moral grounds, while still other practical men had reached the conclusion that
as a system of labor it was wasteful and, as compared with modern methods of
industry, no longer profitable. These considerations greatly increased the
embarrassment of Mr. Douglas. From his great eminence as a party leader
his contest with Mr. Lincoln was closely observed by political leaders in all
parts of the country. Mr. Buchanan and his cabinet did not conceal their desire
for his overthrow. The southern leaders were prepared to be dissatisfied with
whatever course he might think proper to pursue, and perhaps nothing in our
political history can be found to equal the magnificent struggle made by him in
the last and greatest battle of his life.

Mr. Lincoln entered upon the contest of 1858 without the full confidence



758 THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS.

of even his own supporters. I remember the trepidation of the anti-slavery
party occasioned by his celebrated declaration that "a house divided against
itself cannot stand." It was expected by many of those who desired his suc-
cess that he would fail in his contest with Douglas, and it was only after re-
peated essays which he had given of his power that he established himself in
the full confidence of his supporters. I think it is apparent in the earlier speeches
of Mr. Lincoln that he felt the want of the full confidence of his party adherents,
and I think it can be perceived that he grew bolder as he became more con-
scious of his own power and received a larger share of the confidence of his
friends. I trust in what I have said as well as what I will say hereafter I have
kept within the line of just and proper appreciation of the intellectual and
logical force exhibited by these great leaders in the contest of 1858. I knew
them both and esteemed them both, although I confess that while the prelim-
inaries of the discussion were being arranged I doubted Mr. Lincoln's ability
to cope with Mr. Douglas. That series of discussions, which I have called a
mere continuous debate, is historic and it made history. Mr. Douglas, who
had been the idol of the Democracy of Illinois and was without doubt the
greatest man of his party in the United States, yielding to the influences which
surrounded him at Washington, and forgetful of what he so well said on an-
other occasion, "I never knew the Democratic party to fail in one of its prin-
ciples out of policy or expediency, that it did not pay the debt with sorrow,"
attempted that which is always dangerous to a political party which is in the
possession of power; he attempted to make a new issue for the consideration
of the American people.

If it had been possible at the time to have made the question of the future
existence of slavery in the states, or of its extension, by the occult force of the
constitution, into the territories, and had it admitted of exact definition and a
clear declaration of its purposes, it might have succeeded, but it was apparent
even in 1858 that what was known as the slave power was determined to de-
fend that system, even to the extent of the overthrow of the Union, and the
north was aroused and was equally determined that slavery in the United States
should never be allowed to enter any of the territories. Between parties thus
resolved no compromise was possible, no make-shift, no scheme could be
devised which would state the recognized propositions of the sections. In 1858
Mr. Lincoln by no means satisfied the extreme men who considered themselves
to be his supporters, in that he failed, as much as Mr. Douglas did, to satisfy
the southern element of his own political party. The debate defined the real
points of difference between the advocates and opponents of slavery extension;
it disclosed the chasm which separated sections. Mr. Douglas succeeded in
securing a re-election to the senate; Mr. Lincoln, as the result of his part in
the discussion, became the leader of a great and powerful party. Mr. Doug-
las, disappointed in his expectations of presidency in 1860, accepted the result
of the election of his successful rival, and when the secessionists attempted to
overthrow the Union, he became the champion of the national Union. His



THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 759

speeches in Illinois in 1861 were magnificent in their power; they were sublime
in their patriotism; and he died in June, 1861, giving his last words and his
last thoughts to his country, Mr. Lincoln was elected to the presidency; was
called by the American people to lead them out from the domination of an
arrogant section; he was true to his mission, and died the death of a martyr.

He said to me once: "I have no policy; my hope is to save the Union.
I do the best I can to-day, with the hope that when to-morrow comes I am
ready for its duty."



CHAPTER XXXVI.

MEMBERS OF THE CHICAGO BAR.

FREDERICK SEYMOUR WINSTON. History is a record of events,
of things attempted and accomplished; biography is the record of the
life experiences of individuals who produce the events which form the
history of city, state or nation. History deals with effects, biography with
causes. The latter indicates what will produce certain results, what qualities
will produce success, what forces will result in leadership, what characteristics
will awaken respect. Biography becomes of value, therefore, only when it in-
dicates the path to be pursued by those who attain to the best things in life, and
fails of its true province when it emphasizes aught else. It accords to merit
its real place in the world and acknowledges the worth of true ability. In the
life of Mr. Winston we find that the causes which have led to his brilliant suc-
cess in the legal profession are all such as command respect and awaken ad-
miration. His life also illustrates another truth, that though one has back of
him an ancestry honorable and honored, of which he may be justly proud,
it is after all only individual and long sustained effort that counts in the race of
life; it is only this that can give intellectual prowess and maintain a leadership
once gained.

Mr. Winston comes of two of the best families in America, but it is his
own labors that have brought him legal pre-eminence. He is descended from
the Winstons of New York and the Mclntoshes of Georgia, families long prom-
inent in the history of the country. His grandfather, Rev. Dennis M. Winston,
who was a graduate of Hamilton College, of New York, and Princeton College,
of New Jersey, became a minister of the Presbyterian church and on account
of failing health removed to the south, where he met and married Miss Mary
Mclntosh, the granddaughter of the distinguished General Mclntosh. The
lady inherited a large number of slaves, but as the years passed the Rev. Win-
ston and his wife, believing, like many of the more advanced southern people,
that the practices of slavery were wrong, removed to Woodford county, Ken-
tucky, in order there to liberate those who were their bondsmen. This change
in residence was made in 1835, and in 1837 Mrs. Winston died, while her hus-
band survived only until 1842.

Their son, Frederick Hampden Winston, was married August 20, 1855,
to Miss Maria G. Dudley, and their eldest child is Frederick Seymour Winston,
whose name begins this review. He was born in Kentucky, October 27, 1856,
but with the exception of a few months has always lived in Chicago. Having
acquired his preliminary education in this city, he entered Yale College at the
age of sixteen; and although he left that institution at the beginning of his

760




J. <f.




THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 761

senior year, he was awarded his degree by the faculty on the basis of three years'
study. Subsequently he entered the Columbia College Law School, in New
York, and in 1878 was admitted to practice by the supreme court of Illinois.
Returning then to Chicago he became his father's law partner and had the
benefit of his counsel and experience. His success was marked and immedi-
ate, for he was recognized as a young man of indefatigable energy, laudable
ambition and firm purpose. His knowledge of law is comprehensive and ac-
curate: he has strong powers of analysis, is a clear reasoner, logical in argu-
ment, and concise and forceful in his pleadings.

In 1881 Mr. Winston was appointed assistant corporation counsel of Chi-
cago, and in April of the following year was accorded the unanimous endorse-
ment of the city council as the appointee for the office of corporation counsel,
being the youngest man ever appointed to that position. During his incum-
bency Mr. Winston conducted many important cases to a successful conclu-
sion, but perhaps we can best give an estimate of his efficient service in that
capacity by quoting a letter written by the lamented Carter H. Harrison, Sr.,
then mayor of Chicago, on receiving Mr. Winston's resignation. The letter
read :

"You have performed the duties of that office so beneficially to the city
and so satisfactorily to me that it is a really disagreeable task to accept your
resignation, and thus finally sever your connection with the city's administra-
tion. The public has seen the value of your services in the many suits you have
won for the city, whereby large sums of money were directly saved or import-
ant principles settled in the interest of the municipality. But the public cannot
know how often your opinions have been a safe guide to the council, or have
upheld the executive department, enabling it to act with promptness and de-
cision. In losing your services the municipality will lose an able counselor and
a safe friend. It is of some consolation to me that you have promised during
the remainder of my term of office to aid your successor by your free advice,
and to attend to the important causes now in the courts, which you can under-
stand so much better than any new attorney can, and that you will not accept
a retainer in opposition to the city. Five years ago you accepted from me a
subaltern position in the law department. You were young and untried. I
thought I saw the stuff that .was in you. I made no mistake, and it will always
be to me a source of unalloyed pleasure that I had the opportunity to enable
you to show the mettle of which you were made. In the performance of your
duties you have been unbending in the right, and yet so courteous that no sting
remained after the right was done."

In 1886 Mr. Winston resigned his position as corporation counsel of the
city to accept the position of counsel for the Michigan Central Railroad Com-
pany. He represents this company and many other corporations, and has
confined himself exclusively to corporation law, undoubtedly the most difficult
as well as the most important branch of jurisprudence. The firm of Winston
& Meagher, of which he is the head, has probably the largest corporation prac-



762 THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS.

lice in the west. Mr. Winston is always courteous to his opponents, and his
1'airness has won him the highest respect of bench and bar.

Edward T. Glennon, of the prominent law firm of Pam, Donnelly & Glen-
non, is a native son of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Woodstock, this
state, on the 2ist of August, 1856. He is a son of Thomas Glennon, and in the
public schools of his native county he acquired his literary education, making
his home during the time under the parental roof. After leaving school he
spent eleven years in journalistic work and found therein a school which broad-
ened the mind and quickened the intellect as few other lines of work do. At
one time he was proprietor of the Woodstock Sentinel, but desiring to enter the
legal profession, he at length abandoned the newspaper field, and in 1881 took
up the study of law. The following year he entered the Union College of Law
of Chicago and received his diploma of graduation from that institution in
1884.

In June of the same year Mr. Glennon was admitted to the bar and began
practice, winning success by the result of his thorough preparation, close ap-
plication and ability to apply the principles of jurisprudence of the litigated
question. In April, 1887, he entered the law department of the city of Chicago
as assistant special assessment attorney under the then corporation counsel,
Oliver H. Horton, and acceptably filled that position until December, 1888,
when he resigned in order to accept the position of assistant state's attorney
under Joel M. Longenecker. He served in that capacity until May I, 1891, at
which time he resigned, having been appointed police magistrate by Mayor
Hempstead Washburne. He resigned from that office in November, 1896, and
became a member of the law firm of McFadon & Glennon, representing the
Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, a partnership that was
dissolved in 1897, while in February, 1898, Mr. Glennon became the junior
member of the law firm of Pam, Donnelly & Glennon, with office in the Rook-
ery building. In 1897 he was appointed master in chancery of the circuit court.
He has wide experience as a lawyer in the conduct of all classes of litigation
and his knowledge of the law is comprehensive and accurate. His mind is
naturally analytical and logical and his ability to determine and present with
great effect the strong points in a case had been one of the strong elements in
Ris success.

In 1885 Mr. Glennon was united in marriage to Miss Julia Donnelly, of
Woodstock, a friend of his youth. He gives his political support to the Re-
publican party and is deeply interested in its growth and success, but his en-
ergies are devoted not to politics but the law, in which he has achieved con-
siderable distinction.

Robert D. Martin is one whose close application, studious habits, keen
analytical powers and clear insight have enabled him to master the various
departments of the legal science. He is now an able member of the Chicago
bar, with which he has been identified since 1891. His advancement toward
success and fame has been that of a steady and substantial growth, and each
passing year marks a further step in his progress toward the highest legal



THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 763

eminence. To solve the intricate problems of jurisprudence requires ability
of high order, and the diversified interests of human life are all the time aug-
menting the complexity of the laws which govern man in his relation to his
fellow man.

A native of Illinois, Robert Delos Martin was born in the town of Free-
port, August 28, 1859, and is a representative of one of the pioneer families of
the state. His father, Dr. Chancellor Martin, was a native of Martindale,
Columbia county, New York, and a man of unusual prominence and ability,
wTio served with distinction in various official positions to which he was called.
During the war of the Rebellion he was one of the most active surgeons in the
state and one of the most prominent members of the Illinois examining board.
He came to Illinois before railroads were extended west of Chicago, and during
the era of pioneer development he was an important factor in the progress and
advancement made in his section of the state. He wedded Mary F. Hall, sister
of Luther A. Hall, one of the talented lawyers of northern Ohio. Their eldest
son, Chancellor Martin, was appointed to a cadetship at West Point, by Elihu
B. Washburne, and after his graduation served in the regular army for sev-
eral years, or until his appointment by General Sherman as one of the five men
with rank of major, to instruct the Egyptian army in American military tactics,
and was then stationed at Cairo, Egypt. Later he resigned, and is now deputy
collector of customs in New York.

In the common schools Robert D. Martin acquired his preliminary educa-
tion, which was supplemented by a course in Phillips Academy, of Andover,
Massachusetts. His collegiate course was pursued in Yale University, which
he entered in 1876, as a member of the freshman class. He remained four years
as a student within the classic walls of that time-honored institution, and was
graduated with honor. Turning to the profession of the law, his preparatory
studies were pursued in the law department of Columbia College, where he was
graduated in 1882, with the degree of LL. B. A comprehensive grasp of all
subjects presented for consideration had well fitted him for his chosen voca-
tion, and he connected himself with the law firm of Nash & Nash, of New
York city. Subsequently he removed to South Dakota, where he practiced law
for six years, and then went to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he followed his
profession until 1891, securing a large clientele and doing a profitable busi-
ness. He was a resident of Utah at the time of the change in the state ad-
ministration from Mormon to Gentile.

As before stated, Mr. Martin has been a member of the Chicago bar,
where he has built up a large practice, mostly in civil law. A contemporary biog-
rapher has said of him: "Although he has practiced at the Chicago bar only
since 1891, he is already well known to the craft for his successful methods
and his large clientage. Like all lawyers well versed in the common law, he
easily and readily adapted himself to the Illinois statutes and now is undoubt-
edly one of the most reliable practitioners of Chicago. He is clean, conserva-
tive and able, and clients find that he is qualified to preserve and maintain all
their rights under the law." He has a natural legal mind, given to analytical



764 THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS.

investigation, is careful and conservative in judgment, positive yet courteous
in expression, and has a capacity to comprehend and apply legal principles to
the solution of evidential problems.

Mr. Martin was married in 180,1 to Harriet S. Joy, a daughter of the late
Colonel Edmund L. Joy, of Newark, New Jersey, who was a prominent resi-
dent of that state, and who also served as one of the government directors of
the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have two chil-
dren. Joy Delos and Helen Theresa.

In his political affiliations Mr. Martin is a Republican and is a valued



Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 23 of 83)