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Chester A. Arthur As Counsel For Colored People In Abolition Times

Chester A. Arthur As Counsel For Colored People In Abolition Times image
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Chestcr A. Arthur, the republiean nom incc tbr vice-presidont, was admitted to the bar in 1850, and aequired a remunera tive practico in New York. His first dis tinguished caso was the well-known suit oi Jonathan Lemtiion, of Virginia, to recover possession of cight slaves that had been declared free bv Judge Paine, of the superior court of this city. ïjcmmon hac ineautiously pnseed through New York with his slaves, intending to ship theiu te Texas, when they were discovered and freed by order of Judge Paine. The Judge was of the opinión that the fugitivo slave law did not hold these slaves. The state of Virgiania direoted its attorney geueral to appeal i'roni Judge Paine's decition. The legislature of this state responded to the challenge by requesting the governor to employ counsel to defend the caso. E. D Culver and Joseph Hlunt were appointed Afterward they withdrew and Mr. Arthu was appointed. He aasocinted with him self Williatn H. Kvarts as counsel, and ar gued the oase before the siipreme court that court sustained Judge Paino's deciü ion. The case was then appealed to the court of appeals. Thero also tho judg ment of Judge Paine was affirmed - an henoeforth no nlave-holder dared to ventim into New York state with his slaves. This was not the solo in which Mr. Arthu busied hiuiself in behalf of the colored slaves. Kven as late as 1856, colored people wore not permitted to ride on the Fourth avenu street oars. Liïxie Jenkins, a oolored wom an of excellent character, supcrintenden of a Sunday-school, was roughly cxpellei frotn a Fourth avooue car because sho wa bhvek. Sho brought a suit against the rail road company, and applied to Mr. Arthu for advicc. He accepted charge of th case, and managod it before Judge Rock well in a Biooklyn court. The jury gave a verdict of 5(K) damages in favor ot th colored womao. The $ü()O was paid by tl railroad company, and hencotorth oolore peoplo rode without question on the cars o all the street lines in New York. All thesa led to the forniation of tho republican par ty in this state, in wbich Mr. Artbur took a prominent part.