Secession Era Editorials Project

The Supreme Court.

Albany, New York, Evening Journal [Republican]

(19 March 1857)

Five of its nine silk gowns are worn by Slaveholders. More than half its long Bench is filled with Slaveholders. Its Chief Justice is a Slaveholder. The Free States with double the population of the Slave State, do not have half the Judges. The majority represent a minority of 350,000. The minority represent a majority of twenty Millions!

It has long been so. Originally there were three Northern and three Southern Judges. But the South soon got the bigger share of the black robes, and kept them. Of the thirty-eight who have sat there in judgment, twenty-two were nurtured "on plantation." The Slave States have been masters of the Court fifty-seven years, the Free States but eleven! The Free States have had the majority only seven years, this century. Even the Free State Judges are chosen from Slavery extending parties. Presidents nominate, and Senates confirm none other. Three times a new Judgeship has been created, and every time it has been filled with a Slaveholder. The advocate who pleads there against Slavery, wastes his voice in its vaulted roof, and upon ears stuffed sixty years with cotton. His case is judged before it is argued, and his client condemned before he is heard.

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