IAGenWeb Project

Iowa History

       An IAGenWeb Special Project


Join the IAGenWeb Team



History of Iowa

Volume III


The earliest settlements in Iowa were universally made in groves or along rivers or smaller streams, in the timber belts which lined their banks.  The native trees were indispensable in those days for building the cabin to shelter the family, for fencing the new farm for fuel and a score of other uses for which at that period there was no substitute.  The first consideration with the early settler was to secure a large body of good timber and as much prairie adjoining as would make a farm.  As the prairie in the vicinity of timber was usually more or less rolling, sometimes quite rough, the first settlers as a rule did not secure the richest or most productive farms.

In the early years there was little or no pine fencing lumber and little money with which to purchase such costly fencing had it been within reach.  The first generation of pioneers was almost universally insured to hard labor and considered it no hardship to handle the axe and maul day after day through the winter months, making rails for fencing their farms.  It was slow and tedious labor to fell the forest trees, chop them into rail-cuts and split them into rails, to fence a forty or eighty acre field.  Nearly all of the pioneer farms were thus fenced in .  But in later years when thousands of immigrants poured into the new State, attracted by the great fertile prairies, where a hundred and sixty acre farm, all cleared for the breaking plow could be secured for two hundred dollars, timber land was held by the early settlers at high prices and the newcomers were compelled to find some substitute for the old worm fences from seven to nine rails high.  In order to reduce expense various devices were invented - posts with three rails nailed on, Osage orange and willow hedges were resorted to and when the prairie farmers became the majority, they caused the laws to be changed so that such fences were made lawful by a vote of the people in the counties where the prairie farmers were strong enough to control the elections.  For several years these contests over "hog tight" fences were waged with varying results and no little bitterness.  As railroads were built and pine lumber from the forest regions of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan became accessible, the three rail or three board fences were made legal in most of the counties.  Even then the great expense of opening a farm was the fencing and it was a burdensome tax on farmers of limited means who made up the majority of the settlers.  Smooth wire was tired but made insecure fences.

The inventive genius of the people was stimulated to devise cheap fencing.  Several individuals in different parts of the west began to experiment with constructing various kinds of barbs to be attached to the wire to prevent animals from working through the fences.  A blacksmith and farmer in Scott County, by the name of Samuel Freeman, built a wire fence on his farm near Hickory Grove in 1859, and was troubled with cattle getting through between the wires.  In 1861 his son, Pembroke E. Freeman, devised a barb which he applied to the wire.  This proved effective in stopping the cattle and was doubtless the first application of barbed wire to fences.  No effort was made by Freeman to have his invention patented but the fence was well known to his neighbors and attracted attention from many farmers in the county.  In 1867 a Mr. Hunt devised a spur wheel to be attached to wire acting as a barb to prevent cattle from getting through the fence.  He secured a patent for his device but it never came into use.  A Mr. Glidden invented a wire barb to be attached to fence wire in 1876, had it patented and quite an amount of barbed wire was manufactured under this patent.  Other inventors were at work upon the barb device and gradually considerable wire with barbs attached came into use.

In 1875 about eight tons of barb wire were sold.  Improvements were made form year to year and barbed fencing wire began to come into quite common use on the prairies remote from timber or pine lumber.  When it was seen by shrewd observers that barbed wire was likely to be so improved and perfected as to become the popular fencing material of the country a "trust" was organized by Washburn & Moen of Massachusetts and J. M. Elwood of Illinois, for the purpose of buying up the best patents covering the most valuable inventions and thus control the manufacture of the entire product, close up all competing factories and fix the price of barbed wire for the whole United States.  This is believed to have been one of the first of the "trusts" that have since grown into a power so strong and arbitrary as to threaten to put an end to free completion and close all small manufacturing concerns in the country.  This Washburn syndicate succeeded in purchasing several patents on the various processes of barbing wire and also on various machines used in the different processes.  Thus fortified it began suits in the United States Courts to prohibit other firms and individuals from manufacturing barbed wire.  One of these suits was brought in the United States Circuit Court in Chicago where a decision was obtained which, the syndicate claimed, gave it the exclusive control of the manufacture of barbed fencing wire for the entire country.  Acting upon this assumption the syndicate succeeded in organizing a "trust" consisting of forty factories in various portions of the United States which were bound together by a secret compact.  Among the conditions of this compact were the following:

"First, plain wire to be purchased of Washburn & Moen and Elwood; second, all factories to pay a royalty to Washburn & Company on every pound of wire barbed and sold; third, no wire to be sold direct to farmers or other consumers, but all sales to be made to dealers at a price fixed by the syndicate; forth, all dealers to sell to farmers at a price fixed by the syndicate; fifth, all factories outside to the "trust" to be prosecuted in the courts for infringement of patents and closed."

The "trust" proceeded to advance the price of fence wire to farmers from seven to eight cents a pound to ten cents for painted wire and eleven cents for galvanized wire.  The farmers of Iowa held a State Convention at Des Moines on the 2d of April, 1881, and proceeded to form a "Protective Association" for the purpose of resisting, by all legal means in their power, this extortion.  The methods proposed were first, to establish a free bared wire factory at Des Moines, carried on independently of and in defiance of the "trust"; second, to sell the product of the factory to all members of the Association at as low a price as could be afforded.  W. L. Carpenter and John Given, who owned a factory, were employed to manufacture the fencing wire and fill orders from members of the Association.  Wright and Cummins were employed as attorneys to defend the Association in any legal proceedings instituted against it by the Washburn syndicate.

Attempts were made repeatedly by the syndicate and its attorneys to arrange terms of compromise with the Rangers' Protective Association under which this factory would be closed and the farmers purchase wire of the syndicate; but all propositions which contemplated the closing of the factory and leaving the field clear to the "trust", however plausible the promises, were rejected by the Association.  It had been organized to fight the powerful combination, to furnish wire fencing to the farmers at a reasonable price and to test in the courts the validity of the broad claim of Washburn & Company of the exclusive right to manufacture barbed wire.  When plausible promises, followed by attempts at intimidation failed, suits were instituted against the Association for infringement of patents and to secure a mandate of some court to close the free factory.  The Association, through its attorneys and officers, met the syndicate at every point of attack in the courts and A. B. Cummins made a special study of the patent laws and decisions and was fully prepared to meet every new assault.  The contest became one of national importance and was watched with absorbing interest by all who were interested in free factories and cheap fencing.  While the legal battle was in progress attempts were made to bribe the officers of the Association, the superintendent of the free factory, the attorneys employed and the inventor of some of the machinery used in the free factory.  These attempts were only partially successful.  A large sum of money was used by the syndicate in this way with very unsatisfactory results.  One of the patentees of machinery, employed by the Association, was bought out at a large price and one of the prominent attorneys was alienated from the Association but the free factory continued furnishing fence wire to its members at prices fifty per cent, less than those fixed by the syndicate.  The chief attorney for the Association, A. B. Cummins, the President, M. L. Devin, and the Superintendent of the factory, W. L. Carpenter, were always true to the cause in which they were engaged and none of the alluring inducements held out to them by the Washburn combination could swerve them from their fidelity to the cause in which they had enlisted.  For more than five years the contest continued.  Intimidation, costly litigation and large amounts of money were the weapons used by the syndicate in the vain efforts to close, tie up or buy this free factory which was demoralizing the powerful combination and compelling it to reduce prices which the members were bound by a compact to maintain.  A number of the most important suits brought by the syndicate were decided against its vital claims.  The example of one free factory defying all efforts of the syndicate in the end broke the combination.  Other factories were started independent of the syndicate, prices became hopelessly demoralized and the monopoly that at one time had seemed impregnable was losing its power.

the contest was of such importance to the farmers of Iowa that the Legislature came to the aid of the Protective Association.  A joint resolution was passed urging the President of teh United States to instruct the Attorney-General to bring an action in the United States Courts to set aside the [patents and reissues held by Washburn, Moen& Company, relating to barbed wire, as far as they were fraudulent, to restrain such persons from prosecuting actions under such patents and to take all steps and proceedings just and equitable in relation thereto.  An appropriation of $5,000 was made by the General Assembly to aid the Farmers' Protective Association in the contest.  These acts of the Legislature in supporting the farmers of Iowa in their conflict for justice, enabled the Association to push the work to final victory.

The free factory began by selling direct to farmers at seven and one-half cents.  As their machinery was perfected, from time to time, and expenses in other ways lessened, the price was reduced to four and one-half and five and one- half cents.  This convinced all that the syndicate prices were beyond reason and it soon became impossible to maintain them.  It became evident that unless the free factories could be closed or purchased that the syndicate prices would be obliged to follow the prices fixed by the farmers' factory.  With State aid for the  free factory and syndicate saw that the battle was lost.  Its compact with dealers was soon broken, prices fell to the farmers' prices which left only a reasonable profit and the victory was complete.  The Association had accomplished the purpose for which it was organized an the factory was closed.  Tis far reaching victory saved to the farmers of the entire country a yearly tax the most enormous in magnitude of any that had, up to that time, ever been levied by a combination of capitalists.  Among the men who organized and conducted this lengthy and stubbornly contested fight against extortion, to final success, should be named C. F. Clarkson, M. L. Devin and W. L. Carpenter of Polk County, L. S. Coffin of Webster, G. H. Crosby of Poweshiek, J. D. Whitman of Dallas, James Wilson of Tama, Andrew Hastie of Warren, J. G. Brown of Marshall, John Scott of Story, J. W. Murphy of Jasper and Eugene Secor of Winnebago.

In the Grange movement, which had brought the legislative control of railroads, and the Farmers' Protective Association, which had broken the monopoly on fencing wire, it was clearly demonstrated that it was within the power of the united efforts of the farmers of the State to bring about the overflow of oppressive extortions however powerful and shrewdly organized.

On the 12th of January, 1881, representatives from the various farm organizations of the State, such as Farmers' Clubs, Granges and Alliances, assembled at Des Moines for the purpose of uniting the various societies in a general organization for the mutual cooperation.  The State Alliance was established whose purpose was the discussion of farmers' interests and the encouragement of organization of Farmers' Clubs, Alliances and societies throughout the State.  The following officers were chosen to serve one year:  president, L. S. Coffin; vice-president, John Scott; secretary, C. F. Clarkson.  An executive committee was chosen to prepare plans for local Alliances and to urge the farmers to cooperate in their various organizations.

On the 5th of May, 1881, at Omaha, Nebraska, occurred the death of ex-Governor Ansel Briggs, the first Governor of the State of Iowa.  Under the old Constitution the term of the Governor was four years and Governor Briggs served from 1846 to 1850.  Governor Gear issued a proclamation announcing his death in which he paid a deserved tribute to the services and memory of the first executive of Iowa after its admission into the Union.

Upon the inauguration of President Garfield on the4th of March, 1881, ex-Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood of Iowa was called to his Cabinet as Secretary of the Interior.  This created a vacancy in the United States Senate from Iowa and there was a general desire expressed by the Republicans that Hon. James F. Wilson should be appointed to the vacant seat.  Governor Gear, however, tendered the place to J. W. McDill, one of the railroad commissioners, who accepted.

On the 2d of July, 1881, the country was horrified by the news of the assassination of President Garfield at Washington.  As he was about to take a train, Charles Guiteau, a disreputable lawyer from Chicago, who was regarded as partially demented, walked up to the President and shot him twice with a revolver.  He made no effort to escape and was arrested.  The President lingered, suffered greatly, until the 19th of September when he died.  Vice-President Arthur was sworn in and became President.   The members of Garfield's Cabinet tendered their resignations soon after and Kirkwood returned to private life, having served as Secretary of the Interior but seven months.

On the 2d of June, 1881, the Greenback State Convention assembled at Des Moines and nominated the following candidates:  for Governor, D. M. Clark; for Lieutenant-Governor, J. M. Holland; Superintendent of Public Instruction, Adeline M. Swain; Supreme Judge, W. W. Williamson.  The resolutions adopted in addition to affirming the platform of former conventions, declared:  "We demand a revision of our patent right laws, placing a fair limit upon the royalties of inventors and protecting the people from injustice."  They also demanded equal political rights for men and women.  The nomination of Mrs. A. M. Swain of Fort Doge for Superintendent of Public Instruction, by this convention, was a notable event in the political history of the State.  She was the first woman placed in nomination for a State office by any political party of Iowa.  She was a woman of superior qualifications for the position, an able writer on public affairs, was highly educated and a teacher of great merit.

The Democratic State Convention was held at Des Moines on the 16th of June and placed the following ticket in nomination:   for Governor, L. G. Kinne; Lieutenant-Governor, J. M. Walker; Supreme Judge, H. B. Hendershott; Superintendent of Public Instruction, W. H. Butler.  No new declarations were made in the resolutions.

The Republican State Convention was held at Des Moines on the 27th of June, 1881, and the following nominations were made; for Governor, Buren R. Sherman; Lieutenant-Governor, O. H. Manning; Supreme Judge, Austin Adams; Superintendent of Public Instruction, J. W. Akers.  The convention declared in favor of a revision of the patent laws such as would protect the people against the wrongs and abuses practiced under the then existing system.  It also declared in favor of submitting to a vote of the people the proposed amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the sale and manufacture of intoxication liquors.

The election resulted in the success of the Republican ticket by a plurality of about 31,000.

At a term of the United States Circuit Court held at Omaha in 1881, Judge George W. McCrary, of Iowa, rendered an important decision relating to the powers and obligations of railroads which was of vast interest to the public and solved one of the questions long in controversy.  A suit was brought to restrain the Iron Mountain Railroad Company from discriminating in rates charged for transportation.  the plaintiffs also sought to restrain the railroad from discrimination against the Southern Express Company in favor of itself or of other parties as to rates charged.  A temporary injunction had been obtained and, on a motion to dissolve that injunction, Judge McCrary gave his decision.  The motion to dissolve was overruled and the injunction was modified so as to enjoin and restrain the respondent from charging complainant for transportation of express matte more than fair and reasonable rates, such charges in no case to exceed the rates charged on similar matter to itself or any other express company.  The following are the main points of the decision:  "the railroad company is a quasi-public corporation and bound by the laws regulating the powers and duties of common carriers, persons and property.  it is the duty of such company as a public servant to receive and carry goods for all persons alike, without injurious discrimination as to rates or terms."

This decision confirmed a principle which the people had long been contending for, viz:  that railroads are public carriers; that as such they are bound to carry all goods offered them by any party at reasonable rates; that they have no right to discriminate in favor of preferred patrons or against individuals or corporations that patronize them.  That in cases where extortion has been practiced they may be compelled to disgorge.  Judge McCrary went still farther and declared the power of the court to fix a maximum rate where no such rate is fixed by law.  This was a decision that deeply interested the farmers and shippers of the West, where unjust discriminations had long been practiced in favor of persons and business houses who enjoyed the advantage of having special rates for transportation secretly granted them by railroad officials.

In 1881 there was living on the east side of the Des Moines River in Boone County, near the track of the Northwestern Railway, in a little cabin, the widow of a Mr. Shelly who had been killed in a railroad accident.  Her eldest daughter Kate was about fifteen years of age.  On the night of the 6th of July, a terrific storm of wind and rain swept over that region.  Honey Creek, ordinarily a small stream coming from the prairie south and west of the town of Boone, winds its way through the forest in a westerly direction emptying into the Des Moines not far from the railroad bridge which was first built across the river near the coal town of Moingona.  The banks of the river here rise to a great height.  The grade of the railroad, down the valley of Honey Creek, descends rapidly and not far from the Shelly cabin the track crosses the creek on a bridge of considerable elevation.  On this wild night the Shelly family was aroused from their sleep by the roaring torrent of Honey Creek which was rushing by the cabin with the force and volume of a small river, uprooting great trees along its banks and bearing towards the river huge masses of flood wood.  Upon striking a light they saw that it was time for a freight train to pass.  Suddenly they heard the rumble of the train and then a fearful crash of timbers and  a wild cry for help.  They realized at once that the train had gone down into the flood with the wreck of the bridge spanning the creek near the cabin.  Lighting a lantern Kate started in the direction of the bridge with the fierce storm beating in her face.  The darkness was so great that she could see nothing, but guided by the noise of the roaring torrent she reached the bridge.  Where the flood was roaring by, she soon discovered the wreck of the train which had gone down with the bridge, and heard the shout of the engineer who was clinging to the limb of a projecting tree which had been partly uprooted by the flood.  He was the only survivor and on the opposite side of the creek where it was impossible for Kate to cross to his aid but he assured her that he was out of danger.  Both knew that the night express from the west would soon be due and realized the terrible fate that awaited it, unless warned of the fallen bridge.  The engineer could not cross the raging flood to go on this mission and so brave Kate Shelly hesitated not a moment but turned her face towards the river.  The fierce wind and driving rain beat in her face and nearly carried her off her feet.  The lantern was soon extinguished.  It was a mile through the dense forest to the river with a long, high railroad bridge to cross before she could reach the Moingona telegraph office where warning could be sent to the approaching train.  Hurrying on with all the strength she could summon, she at last reached the railroad bridge four hundred feet in length and fifty feet above the river.  The tempest was now at its worst; there was no floor on the bridge, the rails resting on the crossties.  It was impossible for the girl to stand at that height against the fierce gale that swept over it and on her hands and knees with the wild gale beating in her face she slowly made her way over the ties until the farther shore was reached.  Lacerated and exhausted as she was, sufficient strength remained to enable her to reach the telegraph office, half a mile farther and give the alarm.  Almost overcome by the unparalleled exertions, she had scarcely strength to rouse the agent and tell him of the impending danger before she sank helpless and fainting.  Instantly a message flashed over the wire carrying warning to the approaching train which was fortunately reached barely in time to avert a greater horror than has ever yet overtaken an Iowa railroad.  As the train halted at the little station, the last before the wrecked bridge, the passengers learning of the narrow escape from destruction hastily gathered about the brave little Irish girl attempting to express some measure of their gratitude to her for saving them from a fate too awful to contemplate.  As her heroic deed became known through the press the story of that fearful night adventure was told in every portion of the country and the name of Kate Shelly became as widely known as that of any famous women of modern times.  The Northwestern Railroad made her a small gift in acknowledgment of the deed.  The Iowa Legislature at the session in 1882, made an appropriate recognition of the noble action of the obscure little heroine, by authorizing the Senator and Representative from Boone County, together with the Governor of the State, to procure and present to the brave girl a gold metal with an inscription commemorating the act, with two hundred dollars in money.  The Legislature also placed on record a vote of thanks for her heroic and humane deed.*

*The great new bridge built by the Northwestern Railway in 1901, across the Des Moines River, near the home of Kate Shelly, has been named in her honor.

The Nineteenth General Assembly met at Des Moines on the 9th of January, 1882, and the House was organized by the election of George R. Struble, Speaker.  After the inauguration of Buren R. Sherman as Governor and O. H. Manning, Lieutenant-Governor, the inaugural address was delivered and Lieutenant-Governor Manning assumed his position as President of the Senate.

On the 17th James F. Wilson was chosen United States Senator for a full term of six years from the 4th of March, 1883, and J. W. McDill was elected to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Senator Kirkwood.  The votes of the Democratic members of the Legislature were given to L. G. Kinne for the long term Senator and to M. M. Ham for the short term; while the Greenback members voted for D. P. Stubbs for the long term and Daniel Campbell for the short term.

But little legislation of general public interest was enacted during the session.  The most important measure considered was a bill introduced into the House to prohibit the issuing of free passes by railroad companies to public officials or delegates to political conventions.  The bill also made it unlawful for such officials or delegates to accept such free passes on railroads.  Suitable penalties were provided for violation  of the act.  The bill was framed and introduced by Charles Aldrich, the representative from Hamilton County and earnestly advocated by him on the floor of the House.  The issuing of free passes by railway officials to public officers had grown into a dangerous evil in the influence such valuable favors were likely to have upon such officials as were called upon, in the discharge of their duties, to act upon measures in which these corporations were interested parties.  These gifts were bestowed upon such officials in order to place them under obligation to the corporations.  The bill encountered most determined opposition as all of the legislators were recipients of these free passes.  The discussion extended throughout the State, among the people and in the press.  There was a strong public sentiment aroused against the practice but the favors were so liberally extended and the evil so strongly entrenched in the lawmaking powers that the bill was defeated.

Another important which met a similar fate was a bill prepared and introduced into the Senate by Pliny Nichols of Muscatine County.  It provided for the establishment of a Department of Agriculture and Industrial Arts whose object was to provide a department of State which should be under competent direction to promote the agricultural and industrial interests of Iowa.

Under the census of 1880, Iowa was entitled to eleven representatives in Congress and the Legislature therefore apportioned the State into eleven Congressional Districts at this session.

After a spirited contest to both branches, a joint resolution was finally passed proposing an amendment to the State Constitution granting suffrage to women.

A joint resolution was passed agreeing to the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the last General Assembly, prohibiting the sale and manufacture of intoxicating liquors.  An act was passed providing for the holding of a special election on the 27th of June, 1882, to enable the voters of the State to cast their ballots for or against the proposed constitutional amendment.  At this election there were 155,436 votes cast for the amendment and 125,677 against it, whereupon Governor Sherman issued his proclamation declaring the amendment adopted by a majority of 29,759 and therefore a valid part of the Constitution of the State of Iowa.

The friends of prohibition held a convention at Des Moines on the  27th of July for the purpose of taking such steps as were practicable for the enforcement of the prohibitory laws and to secure the election of members of the next Legislature who should provide such additional legislation as would be deemed necessary to fully enforce the decision of the people in favor of prohibition.  An address was issued to the saloon keepers and liquor dealers of the State urging them to discontinue a business that had been outlawed by a vote of the people and by the laws and Constitution of the State.

But the liquor dealers had no intention of abandoning the fight.  A case was made up in Scott County to test in the courts the validity of the late constitutional amendment.  Koehler & Lange, brewers, brought suit before Judge Walter I. Hayes at the October term of the District Court, for the collection of a bill for beer sold to John Hill, a saloon keeper in Davenport.  All of the parties, as well as the attorneys, were known to be unfriendly to the prohibitory laws and the suit attracted little attention.  But when the arguments were submitted the friends of prohibition saw that a powerful effort was being made before the unfriendly court to overthrow the amendment to the Constitution.  The position taken by the counsel for the plaintiff was, that the amendment had not been passed by the Eighteenth and nineteenth General Assemblies in the manner prescribed by the Constitution and consequently was invalid.  Judge Hayes held that the amendment was not legally enacted and was therefore not a part of the Constitution.  The friends of prohibition were now thoroughly aroused to the danger and employed Judge W. E. Miller to appear in the case which had been appealed to the Supreme Court.  Governor Sherman directed Attorney-General McPherson to appear for the State and in December the case was heard by the Supreme Court.  J. C. Bills and Wright, Cummins & Wright appeared as the attorneys attacking the validity of the amendment.  On the 18th of January, 1883, the Court rendered its decision and to the great surprise of the public affirmed the decision of Judge Hayes, declaring the amendment invalid.

The majority of the Court based the decision on the following facts:  the amendment proposed to the Constitution,, which passed each house of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth General Assemblies, was in the following language:

"No person shall hereafter manufacture for sale, or sell, or keep for sale as a beverage any intoxicating liquor whatever, including ale, wine and beer."

It was found upon examination of the journals of the houses that in the House of Representatives of the Eighteenth General Assembly the words "or to be used" were inserted after the word beverage and those words did not appear in the record made of the proposed amendment as copied in the other journals:  that therefore a different resolution had been adopted by that House from the one shown in the other journals.

The Court held that the journals must show that the House and Senate of both General Assemblies had voted upon the same identical resolution in form and words; and that the journals of the House and Senate of the Eighteenth General Assembly, as they appeared were the only competent evidence to prove what was adopted by these bodies in legal session.  The journals of the Eighteenth General Assembly showed affirmatively that the Senate and House did not adopt the same resolution.  No other evidence of what they did do was competent.  Therefore the amendment was void.

Judge Beck dissented from the decision in an able opinion, in which he says:

"Under the practice of the General Assembly of the State all acts and joint resolutions are enrolled and signed by the presiding officer of each house and by the Governor.  They are then deposited with the Secretary of State and become the original and authoritative acts of the General Assembly.  This enrollment is the record of the final action of the legislative department of the government in making laws and of the Governor in approving them. * * * * it is the authoritative and conclusive expression of legislative will and is a verity.  Whatever may be found in the prior proceedings inconsistent therewith, cannot invalidate the enrolled act."

Judge Beck showed that the Supreme Court of Iowa had in prior decisions held this view, (Duncombe vs. Prindle, 12th Iowa, and Clare vs. the State, 5th Iowa) and in this last case it was declared that "behind the enrolled act it was impossible for any court to go for the purpose of ascertaining what the law is."  Judge Beck was sustained in his views by the decisions of the Supreme Courts of twelve States while the majority of the Court was sustained by the courts of but two States.  Much and deserved criticism was passed upon the judges who thus, on a purely technical point where a large majority of the decisions were against their view, set aside the overwhelming decree of the people twice made by their legislative enactments and endorsed in an election which left no doubt of their will.


back to History Index