In re Charge to Grand Jury

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
Citation62 F. 828
Decision Date10 July 1894
PartiesIn re CHARGE TO GRAND JURY.

62 F. 828

In re CHARGE TO GRAND JURY.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois.

July 10, 1894


[62 F. 829]

GROSSCUP, District Judge.

Gentlemen of the Grand Jury: You have been summoned here to inquire whether any of the laws of the United States within this judicial district have been violated. You have come in an atmosphere and amid occurrences that may well cause reasonable men to question whether the government and laws of the United States are yet supreme. Thanks to resolute manhood, and to that enlightened intelligence which perceives the necessity of a vindication of law before any other adjustments are possible, the government of the United States is still supreme.

You doubtless feel, as I do, that the opportunities of life, under present conditions, are not entirely equal, and that changes are needed to forestall some of the dangerous tendencies of current industrial tendencies. But tendencies. But neither the torch of the incendiary, nor the weapon of the insurrectionist, nor the inflamed tongue of him who incites to fire and sword is the instrument to bring about reforms. To the mind of the American people; to the calm, dispassionate sympathetic judgment of a race that is not afraid to face deep changes and responsibilities, there has, as yet, been no appeal. Men who appear as the champions of great changes must first submit them to discussion, discussion that reaches, not simply the parties interested, but the outer circles of society, and must be patient as well as persevering until the public intelligence has been reached, and a public judgment made up. An appeal to force before that hour is a crime, not only against government of existing laws, but against the cause itself; for what man of any intelligence supposes that any settlement will abide which is induced under the light of the torch or the shadow of an overpowering threat?

With the questions behind present occurrences, therefore, we have, as ministers of the law and citizens of the republic, nothing now to do. The law as it is must first be vindicated before we turn aside to inquire how law or practice, as it ought to be, can be effectually brought about. Government by law is imperiled, and that issue is paramount.

The government of the United States has enacted laws designed, first, to protect itself and its authority as a government, and, secondly, its control over those agencies to which, under the constitution and laws, it extends governmental regulation. For the former purpose,-- namely, to protect itself and its authority as a government,-- it has enacted that every person who incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in, any rebellion or insurrection against the [62 F. 830] authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, 'and any two or more persons in any state or territory who conspire to overthrow, put down, or destroy by force the government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof; or by force to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, ' shall be visited with certain penalties therein named.

Insurrection is a rising against civil or political authority,-- the open and active opposition of a number of persons to the execution of law in a city or state. Now, the laws of the United States forbid, under penalty, any person from obstructing or retarding the passage of the mail, and make it the duty of the officers to arrest such offenders, and bring them before the court. If, therefore, it shall appear to you that any person or persons have willfully obstructed or retarded the mails, and that their attempted arrest for such offense has been opposed by such a number of persons as would constitute a general uprising in that particular locality, then the fact of an insurrection, within the meaning of the law, has been established; and he who by speech, writing, or other inducement assists in setting it on foot, or carrying it along, or gives it aid or comfort, is guilty of a violation of law. It is not necessary that there should be bloodshed; it is not necessary that its dimensions should be so portentous as to insure probable success, to constitute an insurrection. It is necessary, however, that the rising should be in opposition to the execution of the laws of the United States, and should be so formidable as for the time being to defy the authority of the United States. When men gather to resist the civil or political power of the United States, or to oppose the execution of its laws, and are in...

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7 practice notes
  • Herndon v. State, No. 9871.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • May 24, 1934
    ...the of-[174 S.E. 610]fense of insurrection, since the offense could be committed by two or more persons. In re Charge to Grand Jury (D. C.) 62 F. 828; 33 C. J. 159. Force must have been contemplated, but, as said above, the statute does not include either its occurrence or its imminence as ......
  • State v. Calloway
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1906
    ...77 P. 322, counsel's contention that this ordinance prohibits and does not restrain and regulate, is not well taken. (In re Grand Jury, 62 F. 828; City of Emporia v. Volmer, 12 Kan. 622; Cantini v. Tillman, 54 F. 969; Smith v. Knoxville, 3 Head (Tenn.), 245; Black on Intoxicating Liquors, s......
  • Herndon v. State, 9871.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • May 24, 1934
    ...the offense [174 S.E. 610] of insurrection, since the offense could be committed by two or more persons. In re Charge to Grand Jury (D. C.) 62 F. 828; 33 C.J. 159. Force must have been contemplated, but, as said above, the statute does not include either its occurrence or its imminence as a......
  • United States v. Fischer, 373
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • February 27, 1922
    ...to a declaration of the existence of that organized resistance to authority known as insurrection. In re Charge to Grand Jury (D.C.) 62 F. 828; Alleghany County v. Gibson, 90 Pa. 397, 35 Am.Rep. 670. When a state of war or insurrection exists, and the Governor has legally called into action......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Herndon v. State, No. 9871.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • May 24, 1934
    ...the of-[174 S.E. 610]fense of insurrection, since the offense could be committed by two or more persons. In re Charge to Grand Jury (D. C.) 62 F. 828; 33 C. J. 159. Force must have been contemplated, but, as said above, the statute does not include either its occurrence or its imminence as ......
  • State v. Calloway
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1906
    ...77 P. 322, counsel's contention that this ordinance prohibits and does not restrain and regulate, is not well taken. (In re Grand Jury, 62 F. 828; City of Emporia v. Volmer, 12 Kan. 622; Cantini v. Tillman, 54 F. 969; Smith v. Knoxville, 3 Head (Tenn.), 245; Black on Intoxicating Liquors, s......
  • Herndon v. State, 9871.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • May 24, 1934
    ...the offense [174 S.E. 610] of insurrection, since the offense could be committed by two or more persons. In re Charge to Grand Jury (D. C.) 62 F. 828; 33 C.J. 159. Force must have been contemplated, but, as said above, the statute does not include either its occurrence or its imminence as a......
  • United States v. Fischer, 373
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • February 27, 1922
    ...to a declaration of the existence of that organized resistance to authority known as insurrection. In re Charge to Grand Jury (D.C.) 62 F. 828; Alleghany County v. Gibson, 90 Pa. 397, 35 Am.Rep. 670. When a state of war or insurrection exists, and the Governor has legally called into action......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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