1817: The Year of Deployment
The groundwork for the vindication of Story's Martin opinion was laid even before the year 1816 was out. It derived from three widely separated events -- a statute passed that June in New Hampshire, a lawsuit filed that October in Massachusetts, and a bank opened that December in Maryland. However diverse, these matters were all to occasion the assertion of a strong national judicial power. Story was associated in an extrajudicial way with some facet of each.
The first episode began in the spring of 1816, almost as Story was returning home to Salem from the completed term of the Court. Over the border in New Hampshire, William Plumer, an old friend, was elected governor and carried the Democrats into control of the state legislature. Plumer won office in an unusual campaign whose issues involved a college and a court. The first was Dartmouth, where the self-perpetuating trustees had exercised their rights under a royal charter to turn the president out of office, only to see his cause taken up by the Democrats. The second issue concerned the state's highest tribunal. A Federalist