Why Did Judge Hall Choose John Jameson for Celia’s Defense?

Topics: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 13 (4849 words) Published: July 29, 2011
Why did Judge Hall choose John Jameson for Celia’s defense? Given the impact of the slavery issue upon Missouri’s politics at the time, the Judge Hall hoped for the trail to be conducted as expeditiously and decorously as possible, in a manner that ran the least risk of arousing the ire of either camp. Judge Hall needed a capable attorney, one of considerable standing in the community. He needed an attorney with proven political sensibilities, one who had not participated significantly in the slavery debates. In short, he needed an attorney who could be depended upon to give Celia a credible defense, one whose presence would make it difficult for slavery’s critics to label the trial a farce or sham and one who would not arouse the emotions of Missouri’s more militant proslavery faction in the process. And John Jameson emerged as the superior candidate for the assignment of defending Celia. Judge Hall’s choice of John Jameson as Celia’s counter appointed defense attorney seemed a savvy political move, if not a stroke of genius. Critics could not charge that Celia had been denied adequate representation. Jameson had practiced law in the community for 3 decades and had a reputation as an excellent trial lawyer. He was a respected citizen, a successful man, a three-term member of Congress, former speaker of the Missouri state legislature. He had never become involved in the heated slavery debates. He was a slave-owner, yet there is no record to indicate that he was anything other than the “good” master, a proposition that he recent interest in the ministry would support. Nor is there any indication that he was a fire-eating southerner, determined to see the spread of slavery into the western territories regardless of the consequences to the Union. While he had acquired a reputation as a bit of a tippler during his active political career, there is no evidence that alcohol abuse rendered him incompetent, or for that matter, that he had continued drinking after leaving politics. In fact, there seemed t be every reason for Judge Hall to suppose that John Jameson would give Celia a good, sound, of predictable and unimaginative defense. Besides, Judge Hall appointed 2 attorneys to aid Jameson with Celia’ defense. This appointments again underscores the probability that Hall withed the trial procedures to be perceived as correct and fair, insofar as the laws of Missouri allowed.

Dred Scott Decision
The case stretched back to 1833, when Hon Emerson, an army surgeon from Missouri, was assigned to Fort Armstrong, Illinois, and took a slave named Dred Scott with him. Slavery was illegal in Illinois. Back in Missouri in 1846, Dred Scott sued his owners, claiming that several years of residence on free soil make him legally free. Dred Scott lost his case. In order to render a sweeping decision covering some of the most explosive issue of the day. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney argued, first, that Dred Scott or a black was not a citizen. Second, Taney ruled that slaves were property that remains forever. Third, neither congress nor western settlers could legally exclude slavery from the territories, because any such exclusion would trample on the slaveholders’ sacred rights of properity. The main effects of the decision in history were the rise of the Republican Party over the Whig Party,[citation needed] the subject of the Lincoln–Douglas debates, the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln,[citation needed] and the American Civil War.[citation needed] Although the Supreme Court has never overruled the Dred Scott case, the Court stated in the Slaughter-House Cases of 1873 that at least one part of it had already been overruled by the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868:[4]

The cause of the civil war:
Election of 1860
The United States presidential election of 1860 set the stage for the American Civil War. The nation had been divided throughout most of the 1850s on questions of states' rights and slavery in the territories. In 1860, this issue...
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