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Case Of Drayton-cruelty And Injustice To The Boy English

Case Of Drayton-cruelty And Injustice To The Boy English image
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Wa8HIBW0!I D, C, SatifMay Aug, 5th. Tlio case uf Drayton, found guilly by n jury of this district of stcaling slaves, is destined yet tü mnke a great noise in the country, and to nttract the public tttentionto a most earnest serntiny oftho law and practises of Slavery ns they exist here. In no Stnte of the Union lias it ever yet been held that assisting slares to regain their liberty is stcaüng. On the contrnry the Supremo court of Alabaran, in a reported cnse, after solemn argument, repudiated with indignntion so attrocious a doctrine. Tlio infamy "f having (hst prupounded it from the Judicial Bench belongs to Thomas H. Cmwford, a Pennsylvnniari, uppointed by Tylor Judge of the Criminal Court of this District. He first annomiced this extraordinary law in the case ofone Smith. a colored, steward, tried Iwo years ngo in Alexandria, ttaen a a part ofthis District. - Smith had assisted in concealing a colored woman on board the ship to whicfa he belonged, with a view to help her to escape out of slavery ; and he is now a prisoner in the, penitentiary here, convicted of stealing en the strongth of Judgo Crawford's direction to the jury. To this same law lie has ndhored in the present case. Contrary to wbat is laid down in evo'ry law book that treats of the subject, he instructed the jury in Driiyton's case that to constitutfi stealing, il, was not necessary that tin; taking should be with a design to oonvert the thing taken to the prisoners uso, and that the expectalioaofa money gain, or any olher inducing advantnge to tho prisoner, was sufficient to cODStitUte larcony. Notwitbatftnding this tremendous inroad upon llu; best settled principies of Criminal Law, to which as well ns to tnnny other false rulings, the prisoner has excepted, even upon the Inw as laid down by tho Judge, it was impossible for miy fairminded jury to convict the prisonér. Kor the Judgo dcclared that to mko outlarceny. it must be proved that, the prisoner seduced and corrnpted the slaves, and induced thera to leavethe service of their rnaster and to come on board the vessel. Now ofthis Üicvo was nat one partiële of evidence. The only thine proved was" that he transported the slaves out oftho District, nod saiJ he was going to carry them to a Freo State, and was to be pak! for it- The very case provided for by a spe. cial act of Maryland, io foree in this District, under which seventy-four imlictmeuts for carrying off these negroes are now hanging over Dniytou's head. In ddition to the transportatioo thua proved, constitutiog by the law of this District a separate offence, an acnoinraodating jm-y at the requeetof the District Attorney, presumed out of the Wholecloth, a Bqducing and enticmg, anu a teionious uitent; - . and because tho slavea were fonnd as passengers on boai-d the prisonoi's vesael, on the way to a Freo Stille, they have declarad bim on thcir oaths guilty of stealiog ? May r.ut a slave concenl himseiron board :iny vnssel ? Should a slavo bc foünd so concealed, vrouW it not prove tho master and crew nll thieves ? The sneond ense ngainst Drayton is now n progress. To try nll tho indictinents npainst him, nt tho rate of progresa Iiitherto made will take nbout threo years. Tho evidence givcn in those two cases bas disclosed, as respects the bpy E-ngüsh, a cold-blooded nnd wanton cruelty, nnparallefed in the aftaals of criminal jurisprudenen, and for which all tho parties concorneel will yet be Callad to a pretty strict account. E nglish is amere boy. 'J'ho wholo party of thirty-four by wliom the capturo waa made, from examiuing tho case on thespot, were perfectly satisfied that he was entirely ■ ' the transasticn, An exarainfition on boai'd the Bteamerafterherarrival at Wnshii istrate of the capturiug party, wl ia_vton and Searg to prison, aml ili ■ ih. - W hen a ferocious mob rusheO on i wltfidrawa dirks, on their way to th i j lish, too, was called for by Ihoso minions of Ju Lynch; but he was told by thoso in whose èompany he was, to minglo with tho crowd and savo bimself. Ho wandorod over tu Georgetown, where he wns seized upon nnd committcd to prison by a magistrato Aere. Tho suni of 876,000 was domnndfid of him as bail; nnd though nodody pretenda that there was a partióte of evideoce agaiast him, and all the eovernment witnesse3 proclaim thoir conviction of bis inocence, he has been kept in prison for four montbs and the D3trct Attorney hag preferred ngainst him ono hundred an 1 ten iodictmenta. Qa each of tliose indictments, that amiable offleer 3 entitled to a fee of $10. - What othor exphinntion can be given of this most grievous case of injustice and opprossion remaina to bo seen. It will be loudly called for, and all tho partios concerned will do well to be preparad with thfiir answer. EAt a meeting Mil in Dsrrsit on tl I4th in . i 341 50 ""13 absfcribed in vï il th i