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dale, Mr. Bernard Carter, Mr. DeLancey Nicoll, Mr. Frank P. Flint, Mr. Charles E. Patterson, Mr. William F. Mattingly, prepared and presented resolutions which were adopted, and the Attorney General was requested to present them to the court.



Mr. Attorney-General Wickersham addressed the court as follows:

May it please the court, I am requested by the members of the bar of this court to present for entry upon your records the resolutions recently adopted expressing their profound sorrow in the death of MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM and their sincere tribute to his high character and eminent service to the country. These resolutions are as follows:

"Resolved, That the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States deeply deplore the death of Rufus W. Peckham, associate justice of the Supreme Court, and desire to place upon record an expression of the respect and esteem in which JusTICE PECKHAM was held and of regret for the loss which the court, the bar and the country have suffered in his untimely death.

"For twenty-four years he was an able and successful advocate at the bar of his native State of New York. For twelve years, by the election of his people, he was a member of the highest court of original jurisdiction and of the court of last resort of that State. For fourteen years he sat upon the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States. For a full half century he served the cause of justice without fear and without reproach. His learning and strong powers of reasoning

preserved the standards of the law. His knowledge of affairs and the breadth and vigor of his sympathies with the life and men of his time saved his judgments from pedantry and made them effective instruments for the application of the old principles to new conditions. His published opinions constitute a substantial and valuable contribution to the development of American law. The virile and courageous independence of his strong character, its integrity and its purity, created and justified universal confidence in his judicial acts. The influence of his life and the effect of his work have contributed powerfully to promote that respect for law and for the courts of our country which underlies all of our institutions.

"Resolved, That the Attorney-General be asked to present these resolutions to the court, with the request that they be entered upon the records, and that the chairman of this meeting be directed to send to the family of the late MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM a copy of the resolutions and an expression of our sympathy for them in the loss which they have sustained."

These resolutions of the bar are intended, in some measure, to express not alone the sense of personal bereavement which is so deeply felt by the immediate friends and associates of MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM, but a just and fitting estimate of his life and labors as they are known and esteemed by his country


The extent of the contribution to the work of this court of a single member is as difficult of exact ascertainment as is his influence upon its judgments. Only as he speaks through the published opinions which he is directed to announce can the bar or the people know the extent or the character of his service. His devotion to the duties of his high place, his persuasive insistence upon the right as it is given him to see it, his painstaking industry, his aid in council, his personal characteristics-all these are attributes which intimate friends may know, and which may be revealed now and again in the convincing earnestness of some striking opinion, but which have their full, free play only among his colleagues on the bench.

Looking back with this light upon the services of Rufus Wheeler Peckham, it is not beyond the truth to say that in the period of his service on the bench no man contributed more than he to the learning and development of the law.

He came of a family of lawyers and judges. His father, his brother, his sons made this profession the work of their lives. Though the span of his own life was little beyond seventy years, more than half of it was devoted to the public administration of the law of his State or his country. Though the period of his service in this court was less than fifteen years, it is perhaps not too much to say that in no other period of our history has the jurisprudence of the country been more profoundly affected by the new conditions and the new problems that have arisen as incident to our national growth and development. It has been largely during these fifteen years that the graver questions involved in the effort of the National Government to cope with the great industrial problems arising out of our unexampled commercial expansion have found their way to this court. It has been wholly within these fifteen years that our relations with foreign possessions and the interpretation of our laws for the government of alien peoples have been here debated and determined.

In this work MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM did his full share. No one can examine, even cursorily, the deliverances of this court during the last decade and a half without being impressed by the tremendous volume of it which came from his hand and brain. In that time he wrote nearly four hundred opinions. They dealt with every aspect of the law. But more striking than the number is the fact that so many of them are to-day, and will ever remain, the leading and familiar cases upon the great questions with which they dealt. No tribute to the life and work of MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM could find a higher sanction than the mere citation of his opinions in such cases as Maxwell v. Dow, Hopkins v. United States, the Addyston Pipe case, the Trans-Missouri and the Joint Traffic Association cases, Montague v. Lowry, Lochner v. New York, Ex parte Young, which reveal his great learning and industry.

But we can not garner up his work as men would bind the

harvest of a season. It has enriched the whole field of our national jurisprudence, and for all time the yield will be the better for his labor.

If it please the court, I have the honor to move that the resolutions adopted by the bar be entered at large upon the records of this court.


The resolutions and the remarks by which they are accompanied will be spread upon our records as deserved tributes to the memory of the brother who has so recently been taken from us. Whatsoever things are true and honest, just and of good report, these are the things which the record of the life of MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM displays. Its most striking characteristic is the singlemindedness of his devotion to judicial duty. It may be said of him as it was of MR. JUSTICE STORY that "in all his commerce with the world and in his intercourse with the circle of his friends the predominance of his judicial character was manifest." He discharged his judicial duties not as upon compulsion, but because he loved them. It ran in his blood, and he profoundly believed that justice was "the great interest of man on earth."

"As a man thinketh, so is he," and as this man was, so was his style, simple, forcible, and direct. He aimed to do substantial justice in an intelligible way, dealing in no strained inferences, nor muddling definite results by qualifying his qualifications.

His opinions from the first in volume 160 of our reports to the last in volume 214 are all lucid expositions of the matter in hand, and many of them of peculiar gravity and importance in the establishment of governing principles. He sought to avoid the curse denounced on the removal of landmarks while meriting the blessing accorded to their wise reënforcement. His death is a serious loss to the cause of jurisprudence, to this court, and to his country. I cannot trust myself to speak of the loss to his brethren of this lovable and beloved comrade. We cannot but be exceeding sorrowful as we recall the touch

of the vanished hand and the sound of the voice that is still. "Let us alone," sang the Lotos-Eaters, "what is it that will last?" We find the answer in the example of this distinguished, faithful, and thorough life which. "though the whole world turn to coal, then chiefly lives."

Mr. Elihu Root presented to the court the resolutions adopted at a meeting of the members of the bar of the State of New York in memory of MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM, and it was ordered that they be placed on file.

They are as follows:



The undersigned, appointed as Committee to present Resolutions to this Association with regard to the late MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM, hereby present the accompanying Resolutions.

Dated December 9, 1909.









Resolutions adopted by the New York State Bar Association at a special meeting held in the city of Albany on the evening of Thursday, December 9, 1909:

Resolved, That the New York State Bar Association desires to express its profound sense of the great loss which the Judiciary, the Bar and the public at large have suffered by the death of MR. JUSTICE RUFUS W. PECKHAM, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The members of the Bar of this, his native State, feel that loss in a peculiar and special degree, and we adopt the following memorial to be spread upon our minutes.

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