some of whom were his immediate neighbors and friends, and are better prepared to suitably perform this duty than I am.

May it please your Honors, I am commissioned by the Bar of the State with the honorable duty of presenting their resolutions of respect to the memory of this distinguished jurist, with a request that the same be entered on the records of this Court.



The Hon. James V. Campbell, for thirty-two years a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, and for many years of that period Chief Justice, departed this life in this city on the 26th day of March, inst., and the Bench and Bar of the city have assembled to express and record their deep sense of the public loss, and their appreciation of his public services and private character.


The deceased Judge was born in New York, in 1823, and removed to Michigan at an early age. He received the advantages of a careful literary education, and entered upon the practice of law in this city, which has always been his home. His great natural endowments, his unblemished integrity, his untiring industry, and his special aptitude for legal business, secured him a large practice. Elected to the Bench upon the reorganization of the Supreme Court in 1858, six successive re-elections testify with what learning, with what administrative ability, with what justice, with what satisfaction to the commonwealth, he discharged his high judicial duties. His name has become a household word in every city, town and hamlet in the State, and a respect and veneration have become attached to it such as attach to the names of Shaw and Marshall. His opinions are recorded in more than seventy volumes of the Michigan Reports, and are enduring monuments to his fame. an ineffaceable impress not

His long judicial career has left

only upon the law of Michigan but upon the jurisprudence of the United States.

The State and the Federal judiciary, and the text writers of the country, have cited his judgments as high authority for more than a quarter of a century, and it may truly be said of him that he has led in placing the Michigan Supreme Court in the front rank of the appellate tribunals of the nation.


In addition to his unexampled career on the Bench, Judge Campbell served the public for twenty-five years as a professor in the law school of the University. Thousands of students sat under his instruction, many of whom are now leaders of opinion in various parts of the Union, and perpetuate his fruitful influence.


Judge Campbell was of great value to the community not only as judge and professor but also as a scholar, an author, a promoter of all good learning, and as a wise counsellor in the affairs of the State and the Nation.


In all the relations of life, as a son, husband, father, citizen and neighbor, he has been an example to all. He was an earnest Christian, without pretence and without bigotry.


Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the several members of his family on their sudden bereavement, and that we will attend the funeral in a body.


Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing be presented at the opening of the Supreme Court on April 8th, by a committee of ten members of the State Bar, to be appointed by the chair, of which the Attorney General shall be chairman, on behalf of the Bar of the State, with a request that the same be entered upon the record,

and that a suitable engrossed copy be presented to the family of the deceased.





Committee on Resolutions.

After the reading of the resolutions, Hon. BENJAMIN F. GRAVES addressed the Court as follows:

May it please your Honors:

In concurring with the request so fittingly presented by the Attorney General, I desire to add a few words.

When in this room I last met Judge Campbell, I little imagined that my next visit would be connected with the sad duty in which we are now engaged.

But, so it is! One by one the actors on our public stage pass off, and one by one our dearest and most intimate friends are snatched from us.

It only remains for the survivors to be as ready to go.

Your Honors are as conversant as myself with the great qualities which marked our deceased brother. You could not go in and out with him and not feel their influence.

My first personal acquaintance was in 1857.

It became my duty to sit as a member of the old court at the July Session of that year at Adrian. Only a little business was done, and one of the few cases presented was argued on one side by our brother, Hon. C. I. Walker, and on the other by Judge Campbell.

Some weeks later I heard the same counsel in a chancery case of considerable importance, and I thus had a little opportunity to judge of our friend's powers and facility as an advocate. However, it was not till I came on this bench in January, 1868, that I was permitted to enjoy his confidence and his intimacy, and know

him at his best.
ciation was close, confidential and fraternal.

During the sixteen years that followed our asso

We all know that his natural talents were high and commanding and happily set off by an affluence of varied and elegant learning. He was devoted to his profession, but only prized it as the handmaid of justice.

He had early bathed his mind in the well spring of the civil law, and absorbed no little measure of its wisdom.

But the essential doctrines of the common law were as the milk from a mother's breast. So deep was the veneration they inspired that he sometimes paused before giving them up to the iconoclasm of the legislature, and was near wishing to enshrine them among the mandates of the Constitution.

The ease and quickness with which he could unravel a complicated record, and state an opinion in exquisite English, was remarkable. A complex idea never seemed to stay his pen. He had the gift of PATNESS of expression. This wondrous facility may sometimes mislead. The possessor of it being used to trust to it may be self-deceived. An engineer may be endowed by nature with an extraordinary ability to measure distance with his eye, and may come to confide in his talent; but he may chance to get an inaccurate result, where a common person with his foot rule would get a correct one.

I am sure that our lamented friend was exceptionally exempt from miscarriages in this direction.

He was very independent in the formation of his opinions, and very firm in his adherence to them. At the same time he was the soul of tolerance and magnanimity, and nothing could exceed the serenity and temperance of his bearing in the consideration of conflicting views.

We recognize the nobility of his example as a lawyer and a judge, and beyond all else the excellence of his manhood in all the relations of life.

I cannot close more fitly to my own feelings, than in the words

I venture to quote:

"Green be the turf above thee,

Friend of my better days;
None knew thee but to love thee,
Nor named thee but to praise."

Judge HENRY B. BROWN, of Detroit, next addressed the Court in words and manner that made a deep impression. He said:

For the firs time in more than twenty years this Court is called upon to mourn the loss of one of its number. The sudden and wholly unexpected death of Mr. Justice Campbell has removed its oldest member, both in years and in length of service, and one who has contributed as much as any other to establish its fame as the leading judicial tribunal of the west.

Judge Campbell came to Detroit in infancy, and it is scarcely too much to say that he had been with us from a time whence the memory of no living man runneth to the contrary. He found it a trading post of few hundred inhabitants of French descent; he left it a growing and prosperous city of over two hundred thousand souls.

He was admitted to the bar in 1844, was immediately taken into one of the leading firms, and soon established a successful and lucrative practice. Upon the reorganization of the Supreme Court in 1857-an act which was virtually the creation of a new court, he was, at the early age of thirty-four, elected one of its Justices, and was, by successive re-elections, continued upon the bench until his death.

He brought to the discharge of his new duties a complete equipment of judicial qualifications-as masterful a knowledge of the law as was possible in one of his years, a fixed habit of industry, an amiable temper, unblemished integrity, an innate love of justice and that delicate appreciation of what justice demands which we call the judicial temperament, and which is of more value upon the bench than brilliant parts or profound learning. He was conservative in his nature-a champion of whatever the experience of ages had shown to be safe and wise-and looked with distrust upon any change which savored of an encroachment upon time-honored principles of justice.

He loved the common law of England-the law as administered by Coke and Mansfield and Kenyon; he loved its principles, its pleadings, its practice, its juries, its judgments. He had tender side even for its technicalities, especially when put forward in defense of the liberty of the citizen. He was a staunch defender of the sanctity of the person and his domicile, and was never so happy in his opinions as when vindicating his immunity from arrest without warrant, and his right to a trial according to the ancient forms of the law. He was even accused of an undue leaning toward the criminal, although his opinions went no farther

« VorigeDoorgaan »