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408 DOUGLASS' MONTHLY. FEBRUARY, 1861. [[line]] [[3 columns]] [[column 1]] having negotiated the treaty, and stated that the substance of his lordship's remarks was that, under the treaty, the slave was not liable to be reclaimed for doing anything he needed to do in order to effectuate his escape from slavery. He shewed that this to, was the doctrine recognized by the British Government, shortly before the negotiation of the treaty, in the Creole case, and subsequently in the debates which took place in the Imperial Parliament during the passage of the Act to give effect to the Ashburton Treaty. He contended further that the treaty could not apply to fugitive slaves, because there was no reason for believing that Lord Ashburton and Mr. Webster intended to depart from the law of nations in this matter, which had never required the surrended of fugitives from justice on the ground of local crimes. Again, it could not apply to fugitive slaves, because slaves were the captives of war, and there were no prisoners in an enemy's country who had a clearer right than slaves had to avail themselves of all possible advantages within their reach for accomplishing their escape. Further, the court here would not apply the provisions of the treaty with respect to robbery and forgery to fugitive slaves. If a slave, to effect his escape, stole a horse or a boat, or made use of forged passes, or even forged money, the Canadian Court would not send him back to be tried for those offences. Why then, should he be sent back on the charge of murder, because to make good his escape he had slain a man who sought to capture him and return him to bondage? He then commented on the very narrow interpretation placed by the court on the words in the treaty, 'evidence of criminality.' He said the court had acknowledged a two-fold allegiance--allegiance on the one hand to British law, and on the other to slave law--but its allegiance to British law was merely in the matter of the technicalities of testimony, whilst the allegiance to the slave law was in respect to the very soul and substance of the case. What a pity was it--since the court had divided its allegiance--that it would not accord the large share of its obligations to righteous British law, and the small share to the wicked slave law. (Cheers.) What a pity was it, since it must make a division between Anderson and his enemies, that, instead of giving Anderson the husk and his enemies the kernel, it did not give him the kernel and them the husk. (Cheers.) Mr. Smith then adverted to another reason for believing that Lord Ashburton and Mr. Webster never intended that the three words should be interpreted by our courts as they had been interpreted. The treaty was negotiated in 1842. The first month of that year the first address ever made to the American slaves was put forth in a great State Convention, held in central New York. Inasmuch as that address inculcated the doctrine that the slave might take without leave in his flight a horse, a boat, food or clothing, it was much in the minds and mouths of men for months, and was ever the subject of frequent and extended comments in the public press. The question was raised, was slave law valid law? It was especially asked whether it was valid law between different states and nations.--Now, it was fair to assume that Lord Ashburton and Mr. Webster answered this question, by putting words into the treaty which should require British courts to look in such cases to the nature of the offence, as well as to the kind and mode of proof given to sustain it. The Chief Justice said it was very probable that in the framing and in the ratification of this treaty an eye was had to the fugitive slaves. But he seemed to think it was an eye not to their protection, but to their destruction. But he (Mr. Smith) must differ from the Chief in this. He must think it was with an eye to their protecion--(cheers)--and he thought that, therefore, it was carefully provided in the treaty that our courts should be required to govern themselves in such cases by a references to the law of the place where the fugitive was found. (Loud applause.) In the Creole] case, Daniel Webster [[/column 1]] [[column 2]] had argued that the slaves must be surrendered. And why? Because they were taken from an American vessel, which, he held, even within a British harbor, still contained American law and American rights; and then, in the enforcement of his argument, he said, 'Where slaves have made good their escape to British territory they are absolutely irreclaimable.' (Loud cheers.) In that, Mr. Webster yielded the whole point. If the Queen's Bench had decided this matter in the light of Daniel Webster's saying, it would have discharged Anderson. (Cheers). The Chief Justice had said there might be circumstances of provocation so great that even the international killing of a master by his slave would not be murder. The Chief Justice would like the man who tried to kill him. (Cheers.) The Chief Justice would rather be killed than enslaved. (Cheers.) The Chief Justice would rather see all his children killed than see one of them under the yoke of slavery. (Cheers.) Then he (Mr. Smith) put it to the Chief Justice with the whole power of his understanding and of his heart, in the presence of God and of man, he put it to him under the confession that there might be circumstances in which a slave might intentionally kill his master and yet be innocent, and that he (the Chief Justice) was bound by his premises, and by all the inevitable deductions of logic from those premises, to set Anderson free. (Loud cheers.) Suppose the Chief Justice were in Anderson's place, would he not have killed Diggs?--(Yes, yes.) Suppose their circumstances were now reversed, and the Chief Justice were lying in Anderson's cell, and Anderson on the Bench, would not the Chief Justice desire with all his heart that Anderson's judgment should be such as to release him? (Yes, yes.) 'Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them'---(cheers)---'for this,' Jesus straightway added, 'is the law and the prophets.' Was he to be told that the Chief Justice was on the Bench and must conform to the rules of law? He avowed, whether on or off the Bench, the obligation to bow to that command was perfect. (Loud cheers.) Mr. Smith then proceeded to argue that sufficient care had not been taken to ascertain what Missouri law really was, even admitting that Anderson was to be judged by it, and closed by an eloquent appeal to the people not to cripple the cause of freedom in the U.S., by allowing that slavery was in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic. Upon retiring he was saluted with a round of hearty applause. Dr. Willis notified the assembly that upon retiring a collection would be taken up for the Anti-Slavery Society. Mr. SCOBLE, at the request of Dr. Willis, made a few remarks. He most heartily concurred with Mr. Smith in his general arguments, and had himself arrived at the same conclusion with regard to the Ashburton Treaty. Since he addressed a Toronto audience a few weeks ago, he had found the positions he had taken were amply and fully corroborated. He was sure, however, that at this stage of the proceedings it would be ill-judged in him to do more than to refer to that fact. He would therefore conclude by proposing a vote of thanks to Mr. Smith. The thanks were voted unanimously, the whole audience rising and giving three cheers. Rev. Mr. RICHARDSON felt for humanity, but also for the honor of his country. He had for years been persuaded that the time would come when God would manifest His displeasure upon the people who are guilty of slavery. Therefore he was not surprised to hear what was now going on in the United States. And let the people of Canada be sure of this, that if they were partakers in the sin they would assuredly be partakers in the punishment. [[short line]] AN ENGLISH OPINION OF THE CASE. From the London News. Excessive respect for the Judicial Bench is an error that leans to virtue's side. It is, however, unfortunate that so many public [[/column 2]] [[column 3]] writers have assumed the correctness of the law as laid down by the Canadian Judges, without much consideration, or without ascertaining the possible means of correcting them if they are wrong. It may well be that the unfortunate man Anderson will never be delivered up to the hands of his masters. At the same time it is satisfactory to know that the decision which has been pronounced is probably incorrect, and that, at all events, there must be an appeal to a higher tribunal. Now, in the first place, it is clear that, had it not been for the Ashburton Treaty, no application for the rendition of Anderson could have been made. In the absence of such an agreement there is no international obligation to deliver up any criminal. A State can only execute process within its own limits--its jurisdiction does not extend beyond. And at common law a crime must be committed within the territorial limits of a Government in order to give that Government jurisdiction over the offender. By a special treaty, an international contract, however, this limitation has been taken away: still it is clear that if any human being is to be deprived of security which he would have had in the absence of that engagement, it must be shown that the terms of the treaty are strictly applicable.--These terms, moreover, are not to be taken by themselves. The circumstances of the contracting parties must be considered, and their intention in concluding the contract must be adverted to. For instance, it cannot be supposed that this country, in making an engagement with the United States or with Spain, would agree to do anything to encourage, or even to sanction, the slave trade.-- Prima facie it is not impossible to imagine that England could consistently with her policy, sign any treaty which should compel her to ignore the right of every man to accomplish his freedom by every possible means. From mistake it may certainly happen that we have concluded an engagement inconsistent with this, but any lawyer will demand the most cogent proof--the clearest words--before he admits that a country so committed against slavery has voluntarily bound itself to restore a fugitive slave under any circumstances. Nevertheless, this is the very mistake which, according to the two Canadian Judges, the British Government has committed in the Ashburton Treaty. It is certain that in the absence of that treaty the act of Anderson in killing Diggs, instead of being an act of murder, would have been considered an act of righteous self-defence. It certainly never was intended by those who negotiated the treaty, nor by the Parliament which made it part of Canadian law, that any man who, like Anderson, should kill his pursuer in self-defence of his life and libery, should be considered guilty of murder, and delivered up to his masters. If any such case had been suggested as possible, some special provision would unquestionably have been made to meet it. If such a case does come within the terms of the treaty, it must be by the merest misadventure. The whole question, then, resolves itself into this--whether the words of the treaty are so stringent, so incapable of a different construction, that a negro who kills a man in a slave State in order to effect his escape, is guilty of murder within the meaning of that term as used in the treaty. The words of the statute are these: 'A person charged with committing within any of the United States of America any of the offences in the treaty--that is to say, murder, piracy, arson, robbery, or forgery--and charged upon such evidence of criminality as, according to the law of the place where the fugitive or person so charged shall be found, would justify his apprehension and commitment for trial if the crime or offence had there been committed, may be apprehended on complaint,' in order to be brought before the person who had caused him to be apprehended, 'to the end that the evidence of his criminality may be heard and considered; and that if on such hearing the evidence be deemed sufficent by law to sustain the charge according to the law of Canada, he shall certify [[/column 3]]
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