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Hon. John S. Barry

Hon. John S. Barry image
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This gentleman has received the nomination of the Democratic party of this State for Governor. We have abstained from all remarks upon his qualifications, political or religious, which been quite fully discussed in the papers, and we merely intend now to allude to the course he pursued last winter, in reference to the petition of Nathan Power and others, relative to a trial by jury of fugitive slaves. When this petition was presented to the Senate, Mr. Fuller, of this county, moved its reference to the Committee on State Prison. We considered this motion at the time, as intended for an imposition upon us, but Mr. Fuller subsequently explained his course, by stating to us that he was Chairman of that Committee - that he was favorable to the passage of such a law as was asked for, and he wished the petition to come into his hands, that justice might be done to the petitioners. Mr. Barry said: "That our Southern friends contend that the Legislatures of the free State's had no right to pass laws interfering with their rights by granting to slaves who are fugitives from justice, a trial by jury . - The other States had not passed any such laws as is contemplated by the petitioners. When a demand was made for such fugitive, the southern owner had the right to lake back to the State from which the fugitive escaped, his; property." In the above paragraph, we understand Mr. Barry to declare himself opposed to granting our colored population a jury trial, when clamed by a slaveholder. When the slaveholder claims the colored man's dog or his horse, a jury trial is secured to him. - the rights of property must be preserved by all the safe-guards of law. But when a man is at stake - his liberty and all his interests for life, this candidate for Governor thinks a jury trial would be 'an interference' with the facilities which the slaveholder ought to possess for seizing his prey, and he therefore thinks it better that any colored citizen of this State may be liable every night to seizure at midnight, and without ever knowing the testimony against him, be hurried out of the State before day-light, without a trial, without, counsel, without witnesses or an adjournment of court, and Without the least opportunity of proving his title to freedom. Every colored person in this State is thus exposed continually. Shall the friends of equal rights support a candidate for Governor who is desirous of thus perpetrating these facilities for land piracy and of continuing the oppression of a down trodden race, just to please the man-catcher? - We have no confidence in that Statesman, of whatever party he may he, who wishes to deprive any portion of his fellow citizens of their just and equal rights. Such a man ought not to be entrusted with power. Secondly, we object to him on the ground of his ignorance on the subject of human rights. He had been a legialator for several years, and has not learned that several States had passed such a law as was contemplated by the petitioners. Did he not know that the question was then up before the N. Y. Legislature, and had not that fact excited his attention to the subject? New York has now passed such a law; and we would inform Mr. Barry and all whom it may concern, that it is so effectual, that not a single case of a claim under it has yet been reported. The 50,000 colored people of that State can now sleep at night without the fear of being dragged from their beds at midnight by the man thieves, and hurried off to bondage without a moment's warning. We are aware that many of our most intelligent citizens have not yet fully examined this subject, and we shall do what we can to spread before them and before our Legislators such statements respecting it as will enable them to see that what we ask for ought to be granted, and that such a legislative act will not only do justice to the colored man, but will be no detriment to those legislators who shall advocate the measure, of whatever party they may be.