Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small]

was made to show that Mr. Rusling and Mr. Matthias that Mr. Shermer refused to make any defence, threat-
made the appointment of the committee. Their con ened to appeal to the laws of his country, and with.
nexions with it fully appears in the evidence of Mr. drew.
Thatcher.

It is not enough that the plaintiff shows he made ob
The committee met.

jections ;-he must prove that he sustained damage by Several witnesses, Messrs. Walton, Zeigler, Thatch their being overruled ;-he must also exbibit something er, and others, gave an account of what took place be more than a mere error of judgment; the malice and fore them.

the want of probable cause should be made to appear. Mr. Thatcher's testimony has been attacked by the Now when the question as to John Gable's having plaintiff's counsel, under circumstances which require prejudged the cause is examined, it appears from the some notice from the Court.

statement of John Ribble, as in evidence before you, He held the station of Presiding Elder of the district; that Gable had told him that A. Shermer ought to go an office of high rank in the Methodist Episcopal out; and it is somewhere in evidence that Gable alluded church, conferred only on ministers of experience and to this as having been spoken in fun. The true queselevated character, with powers and duties which ap. tion would have been : Has Gable formed and expres. pear from the work already quoted to be of a very im- sed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of A. Sherportant nature. He was produced as a witness by the mer in regard to the particular charges about to be plaintiff himself, and his testimony taken before arbitra- tried ? If no proof that he liad formed such an opinion, tors has now been read in his absence, under an agrer could have been offered, the objection should have ment of counsel comprehending this and other evi: been overruled on its merits. You, Gentlemen, will, dence. His statement is clear, consistent, and marked upon all this, determine for yourselves, how far there with intelligence. Why then should it be questioned ? was error here at all. If there was any—then how far It was not until it was found that it would not aid the it was Mr. Thatcher's only, or was shared by any or all cause of the plaintiff, who had thus produced him, that of these defendants ;-and whether it was honestly com an effort was made in the argument of the plaintiff, to mitted or was wilfully and maliciously perpetrated to the throw doubts upon his motives and his accuracy. In this actual oppression and injury of the plaintiff. state of the matter, I deem it my duty to say, that Mr. Then as to the claim of a trial with Burnett. It seems Thatcher appears to me to be entitled to all respect and from some of the evidence that Burnett bad declared confidence at the hands of the court and jury. While that Mr. Shermer had said that Mr. Rusling had made a I do this, however, I repeat what has been stated as to false statement. This is all the explanation we have the other witnesses that the degree of weight which will upon this subject. This also will be finally passed upon be given to his testimony, is still to be ultimately deter. by you ; but I cannot resist remarking that I am at a loss mined by the jury.

to perceive how a demand for a trial with Burnett for (The Judge then referred to the record of the pro. merely making such a declaration, could have furnishceedings of the committee, and read an extract from ed the slightest reason for a postponement of the trial it.]

before the Committee. No formal accusation appears Taking the whole testimony into view, it would to have been presented against Burnett, and the com. seem, that the facts mentioned in the charges were plaint alleged, would seem to have involved one of strictly proved; namely, that Mr. Shermer had propa. the very questions which were about to be investigated, gated, that Mr. Rusling had made a false statement ; A decision either that Mr. Burnett had, or that he had that Mr. Shermer had, in class, declared he did not not, made such a declaration, would have determined know why his class was taken from him ; and again, nothing as between Mr. Shermer and Mr. Rusling. that he did know why it was taken from him. The offences charged to be the result of the facts,

It has been contended that the allegation of Mr. Sher. and which the Committee believed to be made out by mer, even if not correct, did not amount to slander ; in the

proof of the specifications, were slander and false other words, that the charge of making a false statehood.

ment meant nothing more than the charge of making It would seem also, from the whole evidence, that an erroneous or mistaken statement. The Committee Mr. Shermer objected, as soon as the charges were sta- I gave a different construction to the words, and as he ted before the Committee, to going on with the trial, did not attempt to substantiate bis assertion, they convictfor three reasons :

ed him of slander. 1. That one of the Committee, John Gabel, had pre.

I incline to the opinion, that, without consulting lexijudged his cause.

cographers, ninety-nine men in every hundred would 2. That he was entitled, in the first place, to a trial agree with the Committee in their construction of the with Burnett.

words “ false statement;". would feel that a charge 3. That two of the Committee had made out or sign. against themselves of making a false statement, was an ed the annual report which furnished the ground of the imputation upon their characters for integrity and honstatement alleged to be a false one.

or ; would suppose that such an accusation contained This third objection has been since ascertaine: to an implication that the statement itself, and the thoughts have been made under a mistake in point of fact, and of the party making it were not in harmony. If however the other two are the only points relied on here.

a reasonable doubt could be ingeniously raised, courts The objections were overrules), under the circumstan- and juries should require a very strong case indeed beces and in the manner stated by Mr. Thatcher and oth-fore ihey would undertake to shield an individual from ers; Mr. Shermer withdrew; the committee proceeded the effects of the obvious and usual inferences to be in the case, and gave their decision upon it.

drawn from his own language. Even if the phrase had It is contended on the part of the plaintiff that there been ambiguous, would it not have furnished probable was error in overruling these objections, and in the ground for mistake ? and if so, the law would not have whole proceeding ; and that this furnished evidence of awarded damages for any injury that might by possibilicombination and malice in the defendants, some of ty have resulted. Every man employing such language, whom were members of the Committee.

does it at his own risk. How stands the matter? Mr. Thatcher states that he But further, one of the counsel for the plaintiff has told Mr. Shermer that if he had asked the names of the contended that Mr. Rusling had actually made erroneCommittee at the time of the notification of trial, and ous statements, both on the 14th of April, 1829, as to then objected, he (Mr. T.) would have done any thing certain temporal affairs of the church, and on the 28th in his power to have got those to whom he would not day of December, 1828, relative to the pay of the Rev. have objected, but that the discipline did not admit of Mr. Miller, designated by the witnesses as father Mil. objections at that stage of the business. He adds, ler. The facts do not appear to have been investigated

[ocr errors]

1833.]

IMPORTANT TRIAL.

5

by the Committee, but they have been thoroughly ex. And here it may be well to notice an argument of the amined here.

plaintiff's counsel, charging the committee and presidIt would seem from Mr. Walton's testimony, confirm- ing elder with having holdly undertaken to denounce ed on this point by other proof, that the statement in the plaintiff to eternal punishment. It is due to a requestion on the trial of Mr. Shermer before the Com- spectable religious denomination, to these defendants, mittee, was that of the 14th of Apríl, giving an outline to the plaintiff himself, and to the cause of candor and of the annual report.

truth, that we should scrupulously avoid suffering our Mr. Walton and Mr. Hulzert substantially agree in judgments to be influenced by misconception or error their accounts of this statement. Among other things, on such a point as this. A fair statement of the matter Mr. Rusling said, “the gallery built cost $900, and all exhibits it thus: The committee having declared Mr. “paid ; the blinds $100, and paid ; the fixtures, bench. Shermer guilty of slander and falsehood, the presiding “es, lamps, building a front wall cost about $500, and elder gives his opinion that these are crimes "express" this was all paid but $150, and that was in a note not ly forbidden by the word of God, and sufficient to ex“yet due and supposed it would be met.”. These are clude a person from the kingdom of grace and glory.” the very words of Mr. Walton the principal witness for the expulsion by the minister consequent thereon, dethe plaintiff. He adds, "the Church certainly owed prives Mr. Shermer of "all privileges of society or of “upwards of $3000 at that time; this was the state- sacraments, in the Church, until after contrition, confes“ment as ito which the dispute arose ;" and again, sion and proper trial.” The legal effect is to deprive “there was no general balance for and against the him of his rights as a corporator. “ Church stated at that time by Mr. Rusling.

There was a suggestion on the part of the plaintiff Now it is very clear that when Mr. Rusling said "this that the conviction was under a wrong clause of the sewas all paid but $150,” he expressly referred to the venth section of the second chapter of the discipline; sum of $500 mentioned immediately before, and to no- that the proceeding, if attempted at all, should have thing else ; and it is in evidence by the books of the been under the provision relative to “indulging sinful Church that he was so far right,

tempers or words.”

This is denied on the other side. Under these circumstances, Mr. Shermer insisted It would seem that a similar expulsion might have rethat Mr. Rusling had made a false statement, because sulted to an individual obstinately persisting in offendthere was a much larger sum than $150 due by the ing even under this clause. You will determine here Church on a general balance of its accounts. And it also, whether there was error or not; and if there was, struck me as not a little extraordinary that Mr. Walton how far it attached to the members of the committee, appeared to labour under the same error, even while or any other of the defendants; and wbether it was comgiving his evidence here, and furnishing a history of mitted in good faith, or was wilfully and maliciously Mr. Rusling's statement, having the effect (though not perpetrated to the actual damage of the plaintiff. so designed) of preventing misconception in any im Now it is, clear, that if, so far, no cause of action expartial mind.

ists, nothing that took place after this stage of the As to the statement about father Miller, I will refer to transaction could possibly create one. The subsequent it presently.

proceedings consisted of an unsuccessful effort to have T'he next step was the decision of the Committee. ihe decision of the committee, and the expulsion grow

They unanimously pronounced him guilty of the ing out of it, reversed; the very expulsion which forms charges; which were slander and falsehood.

the basis of the plaintiff's suit. If the conduct of the Mr. Thatcher testifies as follows: “Having received defendants up to this period was right, then there is an their decision, and taking the discipline in my hand, I end of the case. If that conduct was wrong, and yet wrote the language "guilty of crimes expresssly for- was without the ingredient of malice, still the plaintiff bidden by the word of God, and sufficient to exclude has no legal cause of action. If again that conduct him from the kingdom of grace and glory ;" (Sect. 2. was wrong, and there was malice in it, yet if the par-, Chap. 2.) further than this I could not go, these are ties had probable cause for their proceedings, the plainthe terms of the judgment."

tiff is not entitled to a verdict. Should you adopt The presiding elder having given his opinion in wri- either of these views of the case, you need hardly trou. ting that slander and falsehood as proved against Mr. ble yourselves with a further examination of the facts Shermer were crimes, “ expressly forbidden,” &c.— relative to the appeal to the quarterly conference. pursuing the words above quoted, refers any further Should you however adopt neither of them, and believe action to Mr. Rusling the minister in charge, whose that the plaintiff is entitled to your verdict, then the duty, by the same section, is declared to be, in the subsequent occurrences become important as furnishing case of a conviction of any such crime, to expel the matter either in mitigation or aggravation of the injury party,

done to the plaintiff, and may seriously affect the quesWhat does the expulsion amount to? In the same section of damages. tion of the second chapter it is laid down that “After such Some attention is therefore due from the Court to this forms of trial and expulsion, such persons shall have no part of the case. privileges of society or of sacraments, in our church, The doubt at first expressed as to Mr. Shermer's without contrition, confession, and proper trial.” right of appeal to the conference, was waived on the As soon as Mr. Thatcher had reduced his opinion to wri- part of vir. 'Thatcher and Mr. Rusling. ting, he delivered the document to the minister. This was It is alleged on the part of the defendants that Mr. on the 23d of June, 1829. He adds "I went over imme- Rusling refrained, for several days, from expelling Mr. diately and notified Mr. Shermer, and added that there Shermer, in the hope of an arrangement of the difficulwould be a space allowed him to consider and propose ty; and that it was not until the first of July, after a note terms of peace to the Church, and save his expulsion. had been received from the plaintiff's counsel, proposThere was no imperious necessity to his being expelled ing a full hearing before another tribunal constituted if he had made terms. As he appeared agitated, i ob- according to the laws of the Church, that Mr. Rusling served that he had demanded the trial and must take pronounced the expulsion, which was deemed necessathe consequences. He then said no terms would satis- ry in order to give Mr. Shermer another trial before the fy him but his being restored to his leadership: only proper tribunal, namely, the quarterly conference,

After some intermediate proceedings, which will be of all this and its effect you will form your own opin. noticed in a moment, Mr. Rusling, on the 1st of July, ion. The expulsion being declared however on the 1st 1829, writes a note to Mr. Shermer, in which he says, of July, Mr. Shermer on the 3d of July “enters his ap“I do hereby according to the discipline of the M. E. peal to the next quarterly conference.' Church, pronounce you expelled from the aforesaid The conference met. 'How is it constituted? Church."

In the fifth section of the first chapter of the Disci

pline, it is said, that a quarterly meeting conference to those three witnesses, and thus affects their testimony. receive and try appeals, shall consist “of all the travel.

of the weight of all this you will judge. ling and local preaches, exhorters, stewards, and leaders of the circuit, and none else.”

4. One word as to the alleged refusal of the Books. Mr. Thatcher and three of the committee appear to fused to Mr. Shermer, or at what precise time his de

The witnesses do not agree exactly as to what was rehave been members of this conference; several other mand was made. It seems that he was not allowed to defendants were also members. Zeigler, James and others, relative to the proccedings ber of a corporation like this has a legal right to inspect You have heard the testimony of Messrs. Walton, take with him the books of the church, but that copies

any parts he desired were offered to him. A mem. of the conference; and you have before you the record its books, but he cannot of his own authority take them kept by the Secretary. The decision of the committee from the custody of the person regularly entrusted with was approved of and confirmed. You have had the bene, them. Mr. Shermer's object was to prove that Mr. fit of a full discussion at the Bar as to the character and Rusling was in error as to the statement of the 14th duty of this body, and can determine

for yourselves up. of April. The books have been produced here, and on every question which seems to me to be essential to be decided. Believing that on this part of the case they plainly sustain Mr. Rusling when his language is there is no legal point requiring an opinion from me, it

fairly understood. is submitted to you to say upon the principles already of George Thumlert one of the defendants. I received

5. The plaintiff offered in evidence the declarations presented touching mere error of judgment, malice, them as evidence at least against himself

. It seems, and probable cause, whether the doings of the confer- however, that he is the brother-in-law, and the avowed ence affect the plaintiff's case at all, and if they do, to friend of the plaintiff, and that he was guilty of the inwhat extent I have thus, gentlemen, noticed the whole case, as is fendants to the office of their counsel, in the

confidence

defensible and undefended act of going with other depresented by the pleadings. Various other matters, not of the relation of a co-defendant, and immediately embraced in the issue formed between the parties, have communicating to the plaintiff what had taken place. been given in evidence, and freely discussed, as bearing It further appears that he made declarations for the exupon that issue or some branch of it. I will briefly pressed purpose of having them given in evidence to notice some of these.

1. The topic of Reform has been adverted to affect the other parties, while he avowed he would not Though I refused to allow a general inquiry into it, yet aware that in Court he would be put upon his oath, and

come into Court and be a witness. He doubtless was I feared we should be obliged to hear incidently more be subject to a cross-examination. I 'need hardly adof it that has actually reached us through the evidence vise you that any thing proceeding from such a source, I need only remark that we have nothing to do with it. under such circumstances, should be wholly rejected,

2. Much has been said relative to a statement made the plaintiff's counsel have very properly refrained by Mr. Rusling, in December 1828, that his predeces from relying on his declarations. sor the Rev. Mr. Miller has not been paid. Mr. Miller's allowance was to consist partly of salary

6. This dispute with Mr. Burnett at the love feast, and partly of board. In truth the salary was all paid, growing out of Mr. Shermer's attempt to enter without but the board was not all paid.

a ticket and without permission; the circumstance that There was some testimony, though it was denied to Quarter Sessions refused to Aind a bill against Burnett

on Shermer's own testimony the Grand Jury in the be true, as to a complaint by Mr. Shermer, at the con for assault and battery; the attempt of Mr. Shermer to ference held within a day or two afterwards, that Mr. Rusling had made an incorrect statement on this point; in connection with his order to his child; his language

vote at the election for trustees; his letter to Mr. Kirk and as to the matter being taken up and acted upon in to Mr. Fraley and to Mr. Samuel Miller, have, with the conference. Again it appears that Mr. Walton accused Mr. Rusling

other matters, been adverted to,to prove a spirit of bitter. of telling a lie on this subject; and that a committee,

ness and determined hostility on the part of Mr. Sherafter trial, convicted Mr. Walton of having falsely ac- that this suit is brought not for the purpose of obtaining

mer towards Mr. Rusling and his friends, and to show cused Mr. Rusling of telling a le. Mr. Shermer being the present plaintiff and Mr. justice, but with a view to harrass and vex the defen

dants. Walton his leading witness, it is alleged on the part of the defendants that the conduct of the plaintiff in this

On the other hand, the acts and language of the de. business of Mr. Miller, evinced a disposition to seize fendants, on various occasions, particularly those of Mr. and distort every expression of Mr. Rusling which Rusling at the leader's meeting, before the committee, could by possibility be misconstrued; and that it there and before the conference, have been minutely noticed, fore exhibits the plaintiff as entitled to no favour with as manifesting a settled purpose to remove Mr. Sher. this jury; and that as to Mr. Walton, his conduct mani. mer from the

station of class leader, and expel him from

the Church, whether his conduct would warrant it or fested a similar disposition; and that this transaction presents, in the conviction to which he was subjected, a ground of resentment on his part against Mr: Rusling, remarks of the counsel on both sides.

Upon all these suggestions you have heard the able which tends to disqualify him from speaking impartial. ly as a witness in this case.

In reviewing the whole case, Gentlemen, an impor. These positions have been commented on by the tant and interesting duty devolves upon you.

In relaCounsel on both sides, and the effect of the whole is for tion to the credibility of the witnesses, I repeat that you your decision.

are the exclusive judges. In the discharge of your 3. Then as to the sermon of the 8th of August 1830, obligation on this head, you will consider as to each in which Mr. Rusling used these words "vagabonds on witness, the degree of intelligence which he exhibited, the face of the earth."

his opportunities of knowledge, his temper, his man. This was after the present suit was brought. Both ner, his consistency, and every actual or probable Mr. Rusling and the plaintiff have agreed that the plain ground of bias or impartiality in regard to him. When tiff was not alluded to. It is by no means clear, from you have done all this you can safely decide. the evidence, what was the exact language of Mr. The question of damages is entirely for your decision. Rusling in that sermon, or what was its application. The plaintiff contends, that by reason of the acts of the But in connexion with it, a printed circular signed by defendents

, he has suffered pain and distress of mind, J. Walton, J. Shermer and J. Biddle, was put in evi- has lost the good opinion of his friends and neighbours, dence on the part of the defendants, and it is alleged has been deprived of his share of the real estate of the that it shows prejudice and animosity on the part of corporation, and has been put to great expense in the

not,

1833.]

EARLY OPINIONS RESPECTING ARDENT SPIRITS.

7

prosecution of his claim. All this will be carefully heat or cold, are to be removed with much more safety weighed by you.

and certainty by the use of cider or malt liquors. The plaintiff's counsel have carefully designated the

Your memorialists, therefore, pray, that your Honourseveral parts of the evidence which they deem to affect able House would take the facts herein stated, into their the defendants respectively. If you determine that the serious consideration, and as the guardians of the health plaintiff is entitled to a verdict, you will consider and lives no less than of the liberties and morals of their whether it shall be against all or only some of the de- constituents, that they would enact such a law, for the fendants, and will discriminate accordingly. There is another point which it is my duty to notice, as to their wisdom and humanity may seem proper."

checking the improper use of distilled spirituous liquors, as it is controlled by the settled rules of law. This being an action for a 1ort, the damages cannot be severed, ed a committee

consisting of Doctors Jones, Rush, and

On the 7th of December, 1790, the college appointascertain how much the most culpable of the defendants Parke to draught an address to be presented to the ought to pay, and assess that amount against all whom Senate and House of Representatives of the United you may hold to be guilty. If you find

that there is no States, praying them to take speedy and effectual means cause for action, your verdict will be generally for the to discourage as much as possible the importation and

use of distilled spirituous liquors.” On the 27th of the defendants.

same month the following Address was adopted and orVERDICT— For the defendants.

dered to be presented.

“To the Senate and House of Representatives of the PHILADELPHIA COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS.

United States in Congress Assembled, Its early opinions respecting Ardent Spirits, 'The Memorial of the College of Physicians of the ciserving to show the opinions held even at that time by tion of a national government, which has established As part of the history of Temperance Reform, and ty of Philadelphia respectfully sheweth,

That they have seen with great pleasure the operamany estimable and learned physicians, we publish the following extract from the minutes of the College of order in the United States.

They rejoice to find amongst the powers, which be. Physicians of Philadelphia, for which we are indebted to its present Secretary, Dr. Bond. — Journal of Health. long to this government, that of restraining, by certain

duties, the consumption of distilled spirits in our counOn the 4th of September, 1787, it was resolved by try. It belongs more peculiarly to men of other prothe College of Physicians that a committee be appoint- fessions to enumerate the pernicious effects of these ed, consisting of Doctors Jones, Rush and Griffitts, “to liquors upon morals and manners. Your memorialists draw up a petition to the Assembly of this Common will only remark, that a great proportion of the most wealth, (Pennsylvania,] setting forth the pernicious ef: obstinate, painful, and mortal disorders, which affect fects of Spirituous Liquors upon the human body, and the human body, are produced by distilled spirits—that praying that such a law may be passed as shall tend to they are not only destructive to health and life, but that diminish their consumption.”

they impair the faculties of the mind, and thereby tend On the 6th of November, this committee made a re- equally to dishonour our character as a nation, and to port which was adopted, as follows, the following mem- degrade our species as intelligent beings. bers being present:

Your memorialists have no doubt, that the rumor of a Doctors John Redman, President; John Johns, Wil- plague, or any other pestilential disorder, which might liam Shippen, Jr., Adam Kuhn, Benjamin Rush, Tho. sweep away thousands of their fellow citizens, would mas Parke, George Glentworth, James Hutchinson, produce the most vigorous and effectual measures in our Benjamin Duffield, Nathan Dorsey, Samuel P. Griffitts, government to prevent or subdue it. Benjamin Say, John Carson, William Currie, William

Your memorialists can see no just cause why the more W. Smith, John R. B. Rodgers.

certain and extensive ravages of distilled spirits upon

human life should not be guarded against with corresTo the Honourable the Legislature of the State of ponding vigilance and exertions by the present rulers of Pennsylvania:

the United States,

Your memorialists beg leave to add further, that the The Memorial of the College of Physicians of the ci- habitual use of distilled spirits, in any case whatever, is ty of Philadelphia, respectfully sheweth,

wholly unnecessary-that they neither fortify the body That your memorialists have seen with great concern against the morbid effects of heat or cold, nor render the numerous evils which have followed the intemper- labour more easy, nor more productive-and that there ate use of distilled spirituous liquors in the State of are many articles of diet and drink, which are not only Pennsylvania. They decline taking notice of the bane- safe and perfectly salutary, but preferable to distilled ful effects of these liquors upon property and morals, spirits for each of the above purposes. and beg leave to confine this memorial to their influence

Your memorialists have beheld with regret the feeble upon the health and lives of their fellow citizens, and influence of reason and religion in restraining the evils, the population of their country,

which they have enumerated. They centre their hopes, That among the numerous diseases which are produ- therefore, of an effectual remedy for them in the wisced by the use of distilled spirituous liquors, they would dom and power of the United States; and in behalf of only mention, the dropsy, epilepsy, palsy, apoplexy, the interests of humanity, to which their profession is melancholy, and madness; which too seldom yield to closely allied, they thus publicly intreat the Congress, the power of medicine.

by their obligations to protect the lives of their constiThat where distilled spirituous liquors do not produce tuents, and by their regard to the character of our nathese terrible and obstinate diseases, they generally im- tion, and to the rank of our species in the scale of bepair the strength of the body, so as to lessen its ability ings, to impose such heavy duties upon all distilled spirits to undergo that labour, either in degree or duration, as shall be effectual to restrain their intemperate use in which it is capable of without them,

our country.” That the prevailing ideas of the necessity and advan. Members present at the adoption of this address: tages of using distilled spirituous liquors to obviate the Doctors John Redman, President, John Jones, Vice injurious effects of extreme heat or cold upon the hu- President, Robert Harris, Nicholas B. Waters, Thomas man body, are altogether without foundation, and that Parke, William Currie, Benjamin S. Barton, Nathan they increase the evils, which they are taken to remove. Dorsey, Benjamin Rush, Michael Leib, William W. That the inconvenience arising from excessive labour, Smith, Adam Kuhn, Samuel P. Griffitts, Secretaries.

[ocr errors]

From the Philadelphia Gazette.

To the President and Members of the Select and ComPROCEEDINGS OF COUNCILS.

mon Councils. Thursday evening, Muy 23, 1833. Gentlemen—The Watering Committee respectfully SELECT COUNCIL:—The annexed communication report, that since submitting their annual statements to from the Treasurer of the Girard fund, was received, Councils, they have received petitions to have Iron pipes and referred to the committee of accounts to audit,

laid down in various parts of the city-the petitioners To the President and Members of the Select and Com-pipes shall be furnished, and will pay a rent equal to the

agreeing to take out permits for the water, as soon as mon Councils.

interest; and they further remark, the improvements of

the petitioners, protection in case of fire, and the gene

May 23d, 1833. ral comfort and convenience of the citizens, would Gentlemen,-By the 16th section of the Ordinance for seem to require a compliance with their desires. They the management of the Girard Estates, enacted on the haye also been requested by the Commissioners of the 31st January, 1833, it is ordained “That a Standing district of Spring Garden, forth with, to pave and curb Committee of Accounts consisting of three members of Coates street from Fair Mount to the river Schuylkill. each Council, shall be chosen annually by ballot, of each The committee submit the annexed resolution, authoriz

Council, at a stated meeting of Councils in October, ing contracts to be made for pipes, &c. and for the paywho shall examine quarterly or oftener, if they shall ment of the same. deem it necessary, the Treasurer's accounts, comparing Very respectfully, the actual receipts and expenditures with the Entries

JOHN P. WETHERILL, and Exhibits thereof, &c. and report the same to Coun

Chairman of the Watering Committee, cils.”

This ordinance having been passed in January last, Resolved, That the Watering Committee be, and they no regular election will take place for the Standing are hereby authorised and requested forthwith, to conCommittee of accounts until October next, I therefore tract for Iron Pipes, and for the paving and curbing of beg leave to request that Councils will appoint a Spe. Coates street, in front of the city property, at Fair cial Committee to audit my accounts for the last quar- Mount, together, not to exceed in amount the sum of ter, ending on the 31st of March, and for the two suc- Fifteen Thousand dollars, and the Mayor is hereby auceeding quarters.

thorised to draw his warrant on the City Treasurer, for With much respect, your very ob't. servant.

the above amount, and charge the same to appropriation BRITAIN COOPER,

No. 16.
Treasurer. Mr. Massey, presented the following petition of Hazall

Thomas, which was referred to the Commisioners of the Mr. McCredy, presented the following petition, which Girard estate. was referred to the Committee on Rittenhouse Square.

To the President and Members of the Select and ComTo the Select and Common Councils of the city of Philadelphia.

mon Councils of the City of Philadelphia. The'memorial of the subscribers respectfully repre

The memorial of the subscriber, respectfully shewsents, That they are the owners and occupiers of pro. eth, That Richard Sparks, by his will dated 14th Januaperty situated near the south west (or Rittenhouse) ry, 1715–6, devised “100 feet of the back end of (his) Square. The said Square has for many years been a lot on the south side of High street, in Philadelphia, for place of deposit for the manure collected in the streets a burying place for the use of the people or society call. of the city. This manure is composed of the garbage ed the Seventh-day Baptists. The lot thus devised is and vegetable offal of the city, which when collected in that which fronts on Fifth street between Market and heaps and exposed to the action of the warm rains and Chesnut, immediately north of a house formerly the the sun's rays in summer, emits a most offensive, and as property of Mr. Girard, and now under his will belong. your memorialists believe a very noxious effluvium, which ing to the City of Philadelphia. The devise above reoperates on the health of the surrounding inhabitants cited went into effect: and burials took place in that greatly to their prejudice. As evidence of the truth of ground. The Society referred to were incorporated by this remark, we state as a fact that no spot in or around the Legislature of Pennsylvania, in 1787, with power the city has suffered more severely by fall and bilious to take all lands therefore devised to their use. An fevers than the neighbourhood of this square: thus con- ejectment was brought by the Society in the Supreme verting what was intended by the philanthropic founder Court in the year 1803, (or thereabouts) against James of our city as the means of health and recreation, into Simmons who then owned the house above referred to, a nursery of disease and death to the surrounding inha- and under whose title has been devised to Mr. Girard. bitants. Moreover, the public school of over one hun. In this ejectment a verdict and judgment passed for the dred children, the improvements now in progress in the plaintiff: and Mr. Simmons subsequently occupied the neighbourhood of the square as, well as those in contem- lot permissively and as the agent of the society. Mr. plation so soon as they can be made in safety, and a hope Girard in his lifetime under some claim not understood of their being soon occupied, all call loudly for a change by your memorialist, enclosed great part of this lot with of deposit for the filth which has so long annoyed the a solid brick wall. The north end of it was then occusurrounding poor industrious inhabitants. Your memo. pied, under the society, by a house or engine company rialists believe that a place might be procured at a trifling —who subsequently removed their building: Mr. Giexpense south of the city and quite as convenient, where rard then took in that portion also, and enclosed it in the manure might be disposed of with equal advantage like manner-and the Society are thus excluded. to the city.

Your memorialist now holds the legal title by a deed For the foregoing reasons and many others which from the Society, and for the purpose of the original de. might be advanced, your memorialists request that vise, and conceives the possession taken by Mr. Girard another place of deposit for the said manure may be to be illegal. It is his duty to assert the rights of the procured, and that Rittenhouse Square may be levelled Society: but, believing that the City of Philadelphia and converted to the uses for which it was originally in- will not persevere in the assertion of a wrong, (if they tended.

can be satisfied that it is so) respectfully invites the at. Mr. J. P. Wetherill as Chairman of the Watering tention of the Councils to the subject of this memorial: Committee, offered the annexed report and resolution, prays them to cause their title to be investigated, and which were adopted.

asks of them a surrender of the possession--or their con

9

« PreviousContinue »