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OF THE WHOLE TRIAL OF
GEN. MICHAEL BRIGHT,
WASHINGTON & PETERS,
CIRCUIT COURT, OF THE UNITED STATES,
IN AND FOR
THE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
IN THE THIRD CIRCUIT;
FOR OBSTRUCTING, RESISTING, AND OPPOSING THE
WRIT OF ARREST,
ISSUED OUT OF
THE DISTRICT COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA;
IN THE CASE OF GIDEON OLMSTEAD AND OTHERS, AGAINST THE
BY THOMAS LLOYD,
TEE ARGUMENTS OF COUNSEL, AND CHARGE OF THE JUDGE, RÈVISED
PRINTED FOR P. BYRNE,
DISTRICT OF PENNSLYLVANIA, TO WIT:
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the Sixth day of May, in the Thirt Third Year of the Independence of the ted States of America, A. D 1809, Patrick Byrne of the said Dis rict, hath deposited in this Office. the Title of a Book the Right whereof he claims as proprietor in the Words following, to wit: "A Report of the wh le Trial of Gen. Michael Bright and others before Washington and Peters, in the Circuit Court of the United States, in and for the District of Pennsylvania, in the Third Circuit, on an Indictment for Obstructing, Resisting, and Opposing the Execution of the Writ of Arrest issued out of the District Court of Pennsylvania, in the case of Gideon Olmstead, and others against the Surviving Executrices of David Rittenhouse, deceased. By Thomas Lloyd; the Arguments of Counsel and Charge of the Judge revised by each respectively
In Conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intituled, "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies during the Times therein mentioned" And also to the Act, entitled, “An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled, "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies during the Time therein mentioned," and extending the Benefits thereof to the Arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other Prints."
D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the
CIRCUIT COURT, OF THE UNITED STATES
DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
WASHINGTON AND PETERS, Judges.
THE U. S. versus M. BRIGHT, et al.
This cause was managed on the part of the United States, by Alexander J. Dallas, Esq. District Attorney; and on the part of the defendants by Walter Franklin, Esq. Attorney General of Pennsylvania and Jared Ingersoll, Esq. who had been retained by the Commonwealth to assist in the defence.
On Wednesday the 26th April 1809, Mr. Ingersoll, for himself and Mr. Franklin, prayed that the cause might be continued until Friday next; some opposition on the part of the United States was made by Mr. Dallas, grounded on a supposition, that the request was intended to procrastinate the trial of the cause to the next term; but on being assured by Mr. Ingersoll that nothing of that kind was intended, the Court ordered the cause for trial peremptorily on Friday next at 10 o'clock.
past 10 o'clock.
On Friday the 28th of April at The names of the defendants were called over but none of them answered. Mr. Dallas stated to the Court, that he thought the defendants ought to appear and answer in person to the bill of indictment, and be present also at the time the verdict of the jury was given in. He therefore was inclined to delay the cause a few minutes under the indulgence of the Court, the attorney general of Pennsylvania having assured him, that the parties would be here in a short time, as he had sent a messenger to the house of one of them who would punctually attend.
Mr. Franklin would have mentioned to General Bright if he had thought it important that he should appear at the hour the Court met, but conceiving that the trial might proceed in his absence he had not done so before ; but find
ing a difficulty was likely to arise he had sent for him, and no doubt but the General would attend the moment he found it was required by the attorney of the district.
Peters, J. The defendants are bound in a recognizance to appear and not depart the Court without licence; but I do not want to hurry on this trial; I am content for my own part to wait still longer on this business, though God knows it has been so long before me that I am tired of it. Mr. Dallas did not wish to press any thing on the defendants, but what the law required. He had been informed, that Mr. Bright was out on duty, and might not easily be found.
Mr. Franklin said that he had sent for Gen. Bright, and one of the defendants had engaged to collect the others together. He had not yet heard from him.
Peters, J. You had better send down along the wharves, where in all probability Gen. Bright will be found, as he is inspector of flour for this port.
Mr. Dallas. You may have the assistance of one or two of the Marshal's men as messengers to go in search of him.
Mr. Franklin asked the Marshal to send a person for him on that occasion.
After waiting some time, Mr. Dallas observed that as this is a case of the highest importance not only to the United States, but to the State of Pennsylvania, and to the defendants, he had wished to obtain the personal attendance, of Gen. Bright and his companions. It was indeed, incumbent on them to appear, but there seemed to have been some misapprehension on this point between the attorney general of Pennsylvania, and his clients; to which Mr. Dallas said, he could not have contributed, in any degree, as he was certain that his opinion had not been asked upon the subject. It was sufficient, however, that the absence of the defendants arose from mere mistake, to induce him to ask the indulgence of the Court, for the time necessary to procure their attendance.
Mr. Franklin. I am so confident that Gen. Bright will appear the moment that he is informed it is required, that I will answer for him upon my own responsibility.
Mr. Dallas. The attorney general of the Commonwealth having assured me, that there is no disrespect or contumacy intended on the part of the defendants, but, on the contrary, that they are disposed to pay every respect and deferrence to the Court; andfinding that there has been a prece
dent set by one of my predecessors of going to trial, in a simi lar case of misdemeanor, without the personal attendance of the party charged, I am content to proceed in the cause in the absence of the defendants. The measure has not, however, altogether my approbation; but I yield to the peculiar circumstances of the case; and to an apprehension, that the near approach of the termination of the session, will render it inconvenient to the Court to delas the trial any longer. General Bright came into Court while the pannell of the jury was calling over.
The following persons were severally sworn or affirmed to try the cause,
1 Benjamin Thaw,
6 Charles Barrington,
7 Thomas Algeo,
Mr. Caldwell, Clerk of Court, then read the indictment, which is in the following words,
In the circuit court of the United States of America, of the third circuit, holden at Philadelphia, in and for the district of Pennsylvania, at April sessions, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine.
Pennsylvania District, ss.
THE grand inquest of the United States of America, enquiring for the body of the district of Pennsylvania, upon their respective oaths and affirmations, do present, that heretofore, to wit, on the twenty-fourth, day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine, a certain judicial writ of arrest directed to the marshal of the said district of Pennsylvania, was duly awarded and issued by and out of the district court of the United Statesin and for the said district of Pennsylvania. in a certain cause, civil and maritime, between Gideon Olmstead, Artimus White, Aquila Rumsdale, and David Clarke, libellants, and Eliza beth Sergeant and Esther Waters, surviving executrices of David Rittenhouse, Esquire, deceased, respondents; which said judicial writ of arrest was duly delivered to John Smith, Esquire, an officer of the said United States, to wit, marshal of the said district of Pennsylvania, at Phila delphia, in the district aforesaid, on the said twenty-fourth