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SUPREME COURT OF MICHIGAN,
AT THE OPENING OF THE APRIL TERM, 1890,
IN MEMORY OF
James Valentine Campbell
FOR THIRTY-TWO YEARS A MEMBER OF THAT COURT.
OHARLES CLARK HOPKINS, CLERK SUPREME COURT,
AND PUBLISHED BY DIRECTION OF THE COURT.
MEMORIAL EXERCISES ON DEATH OF
HON. JAMES V. CAMPBELL died suddenly at his residence in the city of Detroit, Wednesday morning, March 26, 1890. Upon receipt at the Capitol, of the intelligence of his death, Governor Luce immediately issued the following:
Judge James V. Campbell died at his home in Detroit on Wednesday morning, March 26. He was sixty-seven years of age; sixty-four years a resident of the city in which he died, and for thirty-three years, and since its organization, a member of the Supreme Court of this State.
Through more than seventy volumes of the reports of that distinguished body has he builded for himself a monument of jurisprudence that shall abide and be read of men through the changing storms of passion and opinion.
His kindly, genial and honest face shall long remain with us, so fortunate as to have known him; but when our memory has gone out, others, less favored than we, will through the centuries gather inspiration and thought from his works and daily extol his wisdom.
Some time before his death, in writing of a deceased friend, he said: "He was pure, brave, tender, honest, faithful. He loved God and loved men." So much, but not enough, do these words signify to convey the sentiments of love and respect that labor for expression in this bereavement.
So long has he walked among us, pleasant and obliging in manner, broad and unassuming in mind and exemplary in the
virtues of a noble Christian character, that without distinction a common people mourn a common loss.
In recognition of a general sentiment and as a slight but fitting tribute to the memory of a truly great and good man, I deem it proper that observance be made on the day of his funeral.
Therefore it is hereby directed that flags on the capitol building be placed at half mast until after his burial, and that on Friday, the 28th day of March, the day appointed for the funeral, all ordinary business in the Executive Chamber and in the other Departments of State Government be suspended.
The April Term of the Supreme Court opened Tuesday, April 8, 1890. The Supreme Court Room was appropriately draped in mourning in memory of the distinguished jurist, who, for more than a quarter of a century, had never been absent at the convening of a term of Court. Standing room could not be obtained in the Court room for all those who desired, by their presence, to testify to their admiration, respect and love for the deceased judge.
Court was opened by the Crier in due form, and the Attorney General, with the other members of the Committee appointed by the Bench and Bar of the State, to attend the opening of Court, together with the Governor, and other State officers, and many distinguished citizens, came forward and took seats near the Bench.
After formal opening of the Court, Hon. B. W. HUSTON, Attorney General, arose and addressed the Court as follows:
May it please your Honors:
Since the last adjournment of this Court, it has pleased Divine Providence to remove by death your able and eminent associate, Judge James V. Campbell.
Judge Campbell died at his home in the city of Detroit, March 26th, 1890.
The first of January, 1858, he assumed the duties of one of the Justices of this Honorable Court, and continued in the performance of the same until his death.
It was at the organization of this Court in its present form, that he first took a seat on the bench of this Court, and he was the last to retire from the same, and then only when summoned by the dark-winged messenger, "Death, great proprietor of us all."
During the long period of over thirty years that he was a member of this Court, he performed the duties of his high office with pre-eminent ability, and to the entire satisfaction of the bar and the people of the State of Michigan. Surely it may be said of him "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Judge Campbell was born in Buffalo, New York, February 25, 1823, and came to Detroit with his father in 1826, and had been a resident of the metropolis of our State ever since.
In 1844 he was admitted to the Bar in the city of his adoption, and commencing the practice of his profession there, he soon became one of the leading members of the Bar of the State. At the early age of thirty-four, he was elected to the high office he held until, at the age of sixty-seven, he was called to take a seat in that, "House not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Judge Campbell's reputation as an able, and upright, and painstaking Judge is not confined to the boundaries of our State; his renown extends throughout the length and breadth of the government; his wisdom as a lawyer, and fame as a Judge, have an enduring monument in the printed records of this Court.
He was a man for whom I entertained the very highest regard for many years on account, not only of his distinguished abilities as a lawyer and Judge, but on account of his honorable life, his integrity of purpose, and his pure and spotless Christian character. He was indeed an able, upright Judge, and a courteous Christian gentleman.
How much the State of Michigan owes to this noble life well spent, who can tell, it is beyond estimation.
Well may this Honorable Court pause a short time to do honor to the name and memory of this good man. In doing so it honors itself.
What a priceless memento the example of our brother is to us if we will only imitate his virtues.
I will content myself with these few general remarks in regard to this great man, and leave the duty of doing honor to his great name and justice to his memory to the able gentlemen present,