Of Evil, Of Interest, Of Feeling, Of the Heartsburning, Of the Common Union Between Us

231. In Pennsylvania, as early as 1780, an act was passed providing for the abolition of slavery, but excepting from its operation “slaves attending upon delegates in Congress, foreign ministers and consuls, and persons passing through or sojourning in” the State. In the case of sojourners, it was “provided, that such slaves be not retained in the State longer than six months.” Many decisions have been made, construing this statute, in none of which have the views of the court denied the principles for which we contend.

In New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, similar statutes were passed soon after the adoption of Federal Constitution.

232. In Illinois this question underwent a most searching and thorough examination in the case of Willard v. The People. It was argued by the counsel, and fully considered by the Court. The case made was that of the transit of a master with his slave through the territory of Illinois. The whole Court concurred in the opinion, that the master’s rights were in no wise affected by this transit; and Justice Scates, who delivered the opinion of the Court says, ” It would be productive of great and irremediable evils of discord, of heartburnings, and alienation of that kind and fraternal feeling which should characterize the American brotherhood, and tend greatly to weaken the common bond of union among us, and our nationality of Character, interest and feeling. It would be startling indeed, if we should deny to our neighbors and kindred that common right of free and safe passage which foreign nations would hardly dare deny. The recognition of this right is no violation of our Constitution. It is not an introduction of slavery into this State, as was contended in argument, and the slave does not become free by the Constitution of Illinois, by coming into the State for the mere purpose of passage through it”


Thomas R.R. Cobb, An inquiry Into The Law of Negro Slavery  In The United States of America, Vol.1, 1858

P. Finkelman, An Imperfect Union, Slavery, Federalism, and Comity, 2000


Cobb was a lawyer, politician writer and a Confederate officer.

In 1843 Sarah Liles was traveling  from Kentucky to Illinois, during the journey her slave Sarah escaped and was hidden by Julius Willard. Harboring a slave or servant “owing service or labor to any other” was a criminal offense in Illinois, resulting in ether a $500 fine or 6 months imprisonment. Willard was convicted and failed in his appeal to the state supreme court; here his lawyers argued that in a State were slavery does not exist the slave becomes free, further arguing that slavery was “unnatural and artificial.”   The court favored the perspective that a common right of free and safe passage without disturbing property was a constitutional right of citizens and also an international obligation.

Perfectability and The Savage Mind: A Miscellaneous Poem By Several Hands

The Savage: Occafioned by the bringing to Court a Wild Youth, taken in the Woods in Germany, in the Year 1725.

If with Language foft and fair

You instruct him to enfnare,

If to foul and brutal Vice,

Envy Pride, or Avrice,

Tend the Precepts you impart;

If you taint his fpotlefs Heart:

Speechlefs Fend him Back agen

To the Woods of Hamlen;

Still in Defarts let him stray,

As his Choice directs his way;

Let him ftill a Rover be,

Still be innocent and free.

He, whofe lustful lawlefs Mind

Is to Reafons Guidence blind,

Ever imperious Paffion’s Sway,

Smooth and Courtly tho’ he be,

He’s the Savage, only he.


D. Lewis, Miscellaneous Poems By Several Hands, 1726

The Mysterious Madame H.

In This Manner, The philospher will difcover a ftate of nature, very different from what is commonly known by that name: And from this point of view, he will fee,- That thefe fuperior faculties of mind, which diftinguish our nature from that of any other animal on this earth, are not congenial with it, as to the exercife or energy, but adventitious and acquired, being only at first latent powers in our nature, which have been evolved and brought into exertion by degrees, in the courfe of our progreffion above mentioned, from one Ftate to another.- That the rational man has grown out of the mere animal, and that reafon and animal sensation, however diftinct we may imagine them, run into one another by such infenfible degrees, that it is as difficult, or perhaps more difficult, to draw the line betwixt thefe two, than betwixt the animal and vegetable.- That nature will not fubmit to be confined by our definitions and divifions, and therefore, in the study of man, as well as of other animals, and, in general, of every natural thing, we ought to attend to facts and experience, and not to fyftems or opinions- That if we will have a diftinguifhing characteriftic of our nature, the most certain feems to be, that we are more capable than any other animal yet known, of improvement in the mental faculties: And, accordingly, it was by this capability, that the antient peripatetic fchool defined our nature, when they faid, that man was an animal capable of understanding science.


Madame H, Account of A savage Girl, Caught in The Woods of Champagne. Translate From The French of Madam H-T. With A Preface Containing Feveral Particulars Omitted In The Original Account, Edinburgh, 1768

Time Whereof The Memory of Man Runneth Not To The Contrary

A Sense of Time

Memory, Time Of.- In the old books, when a person alleges in legal proceedings, that a custom or prescription has existed from time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, that is as much as to say that no man then alive hath heard any proof to the contrary.  This is also called “time of living memory” as opposed to “time of legal memory,” which runs from the reign of Richard I…….


A Dictionary of American and English Law with Definitions of the Technical Terms of the Canon and Civil Laws. Also, Containing a Full Collection of Latin Maxims, and Citations of Upwards of Forty Thousand Reported Cases, in which Words and Phrases Have Been Judicially Defined or Construed, 1888.

Time Out of Mind

Living Within An Immemorial Landscape


Thomas Cranmer was the son of a gentleman of Nottingham, who traced his descent from one of the followers of the Conqueror. He was born at Aslacton, in that county, on the second day of July, 1489: and it is stated that so recently as the year 1790, traces might be seen of the walks and pleasure-grounds which belonged to the mansion of his fathers. Tradition also long pointed out a small rising ground or mount in the immediate neighborhood of his house , from whose summit the future primate of England was accustomed to survey the beauty of the surrounding scenery, and to hearken to the music of the village bells. These memorials have disappeared: and although such traditions are of little biographical value, they are interesting as indicating the sort of circumstances by which plain but not unpoetical minds imagine that the early footsteps of an illustrious man should be traced.


C. Cox, The Cabinet Portrait Gallery of British Worthies, 1845, p.p 91

Happiness is Egg- Shaped

Of Others, Eggs, Graves, Worms, Epitaphs

“His Lordship was very partial to a boiled egg, and often used to say, “Show me any of your French cooks who can make a dish like this.”

Lord Monboddo died on the 27th May, 1799, at the advanced age of eighty-five.”


John Kay, A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings By the Late John Kay, with Biographical Sketches and Illustrative Anecdotes, Volume 1, 1838

Life Would be Wonderfull

“Susan Lebway to draw the affections of Theobald Young to herself, so that he shall never have any rest or peace until he do return to her, and make her his lawful wife. Let the spirits of the planets continually torment him until he do fullfil this, my request; Cossiel Lachiel Samuel Michail Araiel Rhaphail Gabriel, I continually stir up his mind therto. Fiat fiat cito cito cito. Amen.”

This 19th century Northern English magical love charm was discarded (or given its sensitive nature probable lost) by Susan Lebway in the 1840’s  and shortly afterwards found by Llewellynn Jewitt a noted illustrator, engraver and natural scientist.

What he found was a small silk bag, which contained the above formula alongside human finger nails and toenails and a small piece of linen, which local tradition suggests may have come from Susan Lebway’s undergarments. The objects were carefully folded in the formula, wrapped in linen and then stitched in an outer covering of silk.

Jewitt notes that from its appearance the object had been worn for a very long time. Traditionally such charms were tied or fastened to the inside of clothing under the left armpit. This one would appear to have been worn for years and was clearly an important and precious object for its owner.

The formula also contains a magic square and a number of signs depicting the sun, the moon and other heavenly bodies. These formulas were often drawn up by people who specialized professionally in such activities the cunning men and women and it would seem probable that in this case Susan Lebway may have engaged the services of one in drawing up this item.

No further details of Susan Lebway’s life other than this intimate and precious item are known. Whilst it is impossible to determine if it was the case here with certainty , the use of these magical items was one means to deal and cope with the social and cultural difficulties surrounding a broken promise. In this period an engagement was considered a legally binding act and claim for a broken promise or hearts balm (the terms used in English common law) could be perused in common law, although these cases were often difficult or awkward particularly for the female plaintive. What- ever the case Susan Lebway choose a different route to attempt to deal with a difficult situation and to bind Theobald Young to her and to make her his “Lawful Wife.” Wither Theobald Young returned to her or not is matter lost in time.


LLewellynn Jewitt, Notes on a Curious Love Charm, The Reliquary: A Depository for Precious Relics-Legendary, Biographical and Historical, Vol 5, 1869

W. Mackenzie, The Gaelic Incantations and Charms of the Hebrides, Transactions of The Gaelic Society of Inverness, 1891

Of A Common Sense

This inward light or fenfe is given by Heaven to different perfons in different degrees. There is a certain degree neceffary to our being fubjects of law and government, capable of managing our own affairs, and anfwerable for our conduct towards others: This is called common fenfe, becaufe it is common to all men whom we can tranfact bufinefs, or call to account for their conduct.

The laws of all civilifed nations diftinguish thofe who have this gift of heaven, from thofe who have it not. The laft may have rights which ought not to be violeted, but having no understanding in themsleves to direct their actions, the laws appoint them to be guided by the understanding of others. It is eafily difcerned by its effects in mens actions, in their fpeeches, and even in their looks: and when it is made a question, whether a man has this natural gift or not, a judge or jury, upon a fhort converfation with him, can, for the moft part, determine the question with great affurance.


Thomas Reid, Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, 1786