The Constitutional Doctrines of Justice Harlan - Vol. 4

The Constitutional Doctrines of Justice Harlan - Vol. 4

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The Constitutional Doctrines of Justice Harlan - Vol. 4

The Constitutional Doctrines of Justice Harlan - Vol. 4

Read FREE!

Excerpt

John Marshall Harlan was born on June 1, 1833, in Boyle County, Kentucky. His father, the Honorable James Harlan, was an active lawyer of that State, and christened his son for the judgeship, giving him the name John Marshall in honor of that highly respected formulator of the principles of our constitutional law. The subject of our study grew up at a time when the air was hot with abolition sentiment, and in a State where opinion was sharply divided. Though his father was not an abolitionist, he was an emancipator, and some time before the war he set his slaves free. The young Harlan imbibed this spirit of emancipation, and when the test came he espoused the cause of freedom. He and his father fought valiantly to turn the tide of opinion in Kentucky against secession, and were influential in preventing that State from joining the Confederacy. When Kentucky refused to furnish its quota of soldiers to the Union, Harlan was one of those who volunteered to fight on the northern side. He organized a regiment of militia, and led them in battle against the South. He was thus, to start with, colonel of the Tenth Kentucky Infantry, but he rose rapidly in rank, and in 1863 was acting-commander of a brigade. At this time, however, the death of his father made it necessary, for family reasons, that he return to civil life. At the time of his resignation from the army his name had just been sent by Mr. Lincoln to the Senate as a full brigadier-general, but his services in the army were ended. He remained loyal to the northern cause throughout his career, and many times asserted his disapproval of the deprivation of the rights which the . . .

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