Logan Edwin Bleckley : memorial : proceedings in the Supreme Court of Georgia

Collection:
Georgia Government Publications
Title:
Logan Edwin Bleckley : memorial : proceedings in the Supreme Court of Georgia
Publisher:
[S. l. : s. n
Date of Original:
1907
Subject:
Georgia. Supreme Court
Judges--Georgia
People:
Bleckley, Logan Edwin, 1827-1907
Location:
United States, Georgia, 32.75042, -83.50018
Medium:
state government records
Type:
Text
Format:
application/pdf
Metadata URL:
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/id:dlg_ggpd_s-ga-bj800-ps9-bm1-b1907-bb56
Digital Object URL:
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/do:dlg_ggpd_s-ga-bj800-ps9-bm1-b1907-bb56
Language:
eng
Extent:
16 p. ; 23 cm.
Holding Institution:
University of Georgia. Map and Government Information Library
Rights:
Rights Statement information

'-
10gan lS~wtn :l31echle~
Memorial
tn ~roceeotngs tbe
Supreme ~ourt of <Beorgta

IN MEMORIA~f.
Supreme Court of Georgia, July 3, 1907. Present all of the Justices.
The committee appointed to prepare a memorial commemorative of the life and character of Logan E. Bleckley, deceased, formerly Chief Justice of this court, submitted its report through Judge John L. Hopkins, its chairman.
Addresses on behalf of the bar were made by Judge John S. Candler, Judge Joel Branham, and Mr. Z. D. Harrison, and papers were read from Mr. Frank H. Miller, and Col. 1. E. Shumate.
Response for the court was made by Associate Justice J. H. Lumpkin.
The court directed that a page of the minutes be set apart, dedicated to the memory of the deceased; that the report of the committee, copies of the addresses made, and response of Justice Lumpkin for the court be filed and published in the 128th volume of Georgia Reports; and that copies thereof be furnished to the family of Judge Bleckley.
At the conclusion of the reading of the response of the court the Chief Justice announced that, as a further mark of respect to the memory of the late Chief Justice Bleckley, the court would stand adjourned until nine o'clock of the next day.
MEMORIAL OF HON. LOGAN E. BLECKLEY.
HEPORT OP Co""unTTEE.
To the Honorable the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Committee appointed to prepare and report a memorial commem
orative of the life and character of Logan E. Bleckley, formerly Chief Justice of the Court, respectfully submit the following report:
Logan Edwin Bleckley, second son of James and Catherine Lutz Bleckley, was born near Clayton, Rabun County, Georgia, July 3, 1827. Both parents were natives of North Carolina. His father's blood was English and Irish combined; his mother's German. His father was a poor man. He was of strong intellect; was clerk of three courts: the S ferior, and Ordinary, and was a sterling character. At
1

age Logan went into his father's office as an assistant. His relish for law came to him in that office, and at the age of seventeen he borrowed books and began the study. Before he was nineteen he was admitted to the bar. He had no instructor. He practiced in that county for two years, his income for the time being between thirty-five and fifty dollars per annum. In order to accumulate a fund that would enable him to locate elsewhere, he obtained employment as bookkeeper in the State Railroad Office at Atlanta, at a salary of forty to sixty-six dollars per month. In the fourth year of that employment he was appointed secretary to the Governor, at a salary of twelve hundred dollars. On a change of administration he retired from that office, and in March, 1852, he opened a law office in Atlanta and resumed the practice. In 1853 he was elected solicitor-general for the Coweta circuit, the term being four years. He continued the practice until 1861. In that year he joined the Confederate army, but was discharged on account of extreme general debility. After his disc; ,arge he served the Confederacy in legal business in Atlanta. In 1864 he was appointed Supreme Court Reporter. He reported the 34th and 35th volumes, and resigned in 1867. He resumed the practice and pursued it until 1875, when he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. That office he held until the September term, 1879, when he resigned. In 1887 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which office he held until he resigned in 1894. During the remainder of his life he lived in comparative retirement, doing occasional legal work for lawyers or others, who consulted him as an oracle of the law. He was married May 13th, 1857, at LaGrange, Georgia, to Miss Clara Caroline Haralson. Five children were born of that marriage.
Mrs. Bleckley died March 9th, 1892. His second marriage was to Miss
Chloe Herring. It occurred in New York City, August 2d, 1893. Five children were born of this marriage.
Judge Bleckley was something over six feet tall. He wore his hair to his shoulders, and his beard to his breast. He dressed inexpensively, and had his garments made to suit himself regardless of fashion. His com- II manding form and noble presence made him a noticeable figure. In all the rounds of his life, privately, publicly, everywhere, he was at all times distinctively Logan E. Bleckley. The purity of his life and the gentleness of hh nature, were in his face. He died at Clarksville, Georgia, on Wednesday, March 6th, 1907. His body was brought to Atlanta and taken to the residence of his son-in-law, Hubert L. Culberson, Esq. On Thursday morning it was placed in the center of the Capitol rotunda. A guard of honor, composed of a committee appointed by the Atlanta Bar Association, kept vigil over the remains as they lay in state. At 3.15 o'clock the remains were carried to the Supreme Court room, where the funeral rites were held, conducted by Rev. J. W. Lee, pastor of Trinity Church. The ceremony being over, the body was taken to Oakland Cemetery and placed in the family lot. The entire proceeding was conducted with great simplicity. There was no display. When the death occurred the news was flashed over the State, and everywhere it was received with expression of profound sorrow. The Supreme, superior and city courts throughout the State adjourned. The State of Georgia went into mourning, closed its offices and put its flag at half-mast. The honorary escort
2

was composed, perhaps, of a greater number of distinguished men than had ever before followed a Georgian to his grave. From every quarter of the State men of all classes came to pay respect to his memory. There was one thing that was most noticeable. It was the solemn silence that everywhere prevailed. Men felt-they did not talk. It was silence that was born of deep respect and love. Such respect and love as do not find expression in the blare of trumpet, or the roar of cannon. In the respect that was shown there was a depth and genuineness which can never be forgotten. The silence was a voiceless expression of the conviction that the State had never lost a better man.
In view of this unparalleled manifestation of esteem, we are impelled to inquire, what manner of man was he? What was there in his character, his life, which called forth this wonderful tribute to his memory? Whatever it was, it should be known, for certainly it was, and must continue to be, worthy of emulation.
We make no apology for departing from beaten paths in shaping this report.
The Chairman of this Committee makes this statement: "For more than forty years I was on terms of close friendship with Judge Bleckley. The relation was an intimate one. The interchange of thought between us was unreserved. During all those years I never heard him utter an ignoble or ungenerous sentiment. I never heard him express ill feeling toward any human being. I never heard him use a word which might not, with propriety, have been spoken in any presence." Each member of the committee gives testimony similar in character, with varying terms of acquaintance. Each member knew him well, and was on terms of friendship with him. We are confident that all who knew him would corroborate this testimony. He was certainly a gentleman of the loftiest type.
We do not believe that any man can say truthfully that Judge Bleck ley ever looked upon him in unkindness. Animosity was a stranger to him-that element was not in his character. In the year 1847, he being in his twentieth year, he was in the town of Clayton, on his way to Milledgeville to seek employment at the then approaching session of the legislature. In Clayton he saw a woman who was held a prisoner by the sheriff. Her offense was that 'she owed a debt which she had not paid because she could not. She was exposed to public gaze, and was about to pass into the debtor's prison. Some generous gentleman paid the debt for her, and she was discharged and went her way. Young Bleckley had been licensed, the year before, to practice law. After reaching Mil ledgeville he prepared an act abolishing the imprisonment of women for debt. It was introduced and became a law. It was a great step in the ascent of a people's life. That act of his was deeply prophetic of the life he was to live, and did live. We are warranted. in saying, that, from that day to the day of his death, there never was an hour when his great heart was not full of sympathy for his fellowman. If at that time the curtain had dropped upon his life, and no more had been known of him, still, as the person who took the initiative in abolishing the imprisonment of women for debt, his name should have been held in everlasting remembrance.
3

Where principle was involved he was uncompromising. He made no concession to error. There was no such thing in him as a conscious, voluntary compliance with wrong. In standing by what was right, he
could rise to as grand a moral height as any man. His intellectual life
was candid. His mind was an honest one, and it was fixed habit with him to present a fair mental attitude to everything. He thought for himself, and in doing that he never lost sight of the importance of dealing 40nestly with himself. He accepted no opinion merely because it was current. He was not in any respect the slave of conventional opinion or practice. He did not blindly follow anything or anybody. His dominant purpose was to follow the truth and do right, not by paroxysms, but
always. His love of truth gave a sublime rhythm to his life.
He did not follow truth as he saw it reflected in what people said or did. His standard was a higher one; and if ever man was true to a high standard, he was. He lived to exalt life-not to debase it. To his conception of right and wrong he referred everything. Necessities, emergencies, had nothing to do with it. He was just and honest to the core, and whatever the matter was it had to stand or fall according to merit or demerit. Justice, the foundation of all law, he styled "the pontifical virtue." His sense of justice was not merely academic-intellectual, it Was a governing motive, a controlling element of life, and with him it never stood aside for anything, not even self-interest. Prior to the year 1861, he collected seventy-five dollars for a client, who disappeared and the money never was called for. Forty years afterward, he directed in his will that that should be treated as a just debt and paid. The lapse of time had made a legal assertion of any claim impossible, but the lapse of time had nothing to do with his sense of justice. Mere materialism had no place in his life.
Proof of his merit, and of the public confidence that was reposed in him, may be found in the fact that he held office for nearly one third of his lifetime, although he knew no more about the ways of an office seeker than did a little child. "Electioneering" was truly an occult science with him.
As a practitioner his cardinal rules of action were observed. He held to the principle that a right could not exist in a client to have him knowingly do anything wrong. His uprightness never was called in question.
As a counselor he was one of the safest. He went to the study of the law to find out what was true law, and not to get something to be used in support of the necessities of a case. His arguments were strong, logical, impressive, but he was not what is called a "popular orator." He did not have that element which sometimes, innocently enough, stirs the emotions, until juries are swept off their feet to the doing of injustice. He practiced on a plane where reason prevailed, and where there certainly was no purpose to drive it from its throne. The first place at the Georgia bar was accorded to him, as matter of right, by the profession.
Such a character as we have described could wake but one kind of a judge, and Judge Bleckley was of that kind. In the judicial office to have been dull of intellect, shallow of learning, unjust, acrimonius, impatient or unkind, would have been contrary to his moral makeup, and to the course of his whole life. The character thus formed was simply pro-
4

jected into the judgeship, and at the instant of judicial birth he stood a fully equipped, ready-made judge. No change in thought, manner, or principle of action, was needed to adapt the man to the office. The result was, what is so well known, that there is no judicial work superior to his. This statement is a broad one, but it is deliberately made, and we rely on the record for proof of its truth.
In the year 1892 there was doubt as to whether Judge Bleckley wished to remain on the bench, and a letter was addressed to him asking him to allow it to be announced that he was a candidate for re-election. That letter was signed by 139 lawyers from different parts of the State, and no doubt would have been signed by every lawyer in the State if opportunity had been offered. In it this paragraph occurred: "For many years we have given much study and scrutiny to y~ur work as one of the judges of the highest judicial tribunal of this State. That work furnished proof of your patience, industry, intellectual grasp and clearness, and of your devotion to truth and justice, to a degree rarely in any judge equaled, and by none excelled." That was the estimate of his work by the profession at that time. That it was just can not be doubted. It was confirmed by subsequent service, and time has but served to strengthen the opinion that now prevails, which is, that there is not to be found anywhere finer judicial work.
.As to style, his opinions "are terse, crispy, graceful, animated and entertaining." Indeed, we know of no legal literature that is more entertaining or instructive. His thoughts are clothed in plain, simple, yet well-chosen English. The expression is always felicit<}us. There is affluence of thought, and imagery, but no verbal finery. "Intellectual grasp and clearness" and" devotion to truth and justice" appear on every page, and furnish incontestable evidence of his goodness and his greatness. His judicial work will not fail with the passing of the years. It will link his name in honor with the history of the State for all coming time.
He resigned as Supreme Court Reporter in order to give his undivided time to the practice. He resigned as Chief Justice because the busines~ of the Court had become too heavy to be adequately handled by three Judges. It was a mental and physical impossibility. The people had twice rejected proposed amendments to the constitution increasing the number to five Justices. His resignation settled the matter, and the number was promptly increased to six Justices.
In 1879 he resigned as .Associate Justice of the Supreme Court because he was an overworked man. He had reached a state of physical exhaustion. With him industry was a cardinal virtue, and he was one of the most industrious of men. He believed that work was essential to happiness, and yet he was compelled to put it aside in order to save his life. In moments of leisure he had written some exquisite little poems, and on this occasion he read from the bench what he has styled a "judicial poem." It was spread upon the minutes of the court, and we reproduce it. It is well worthy of preservation for its beauty, and also for the lesson it teaches. .As he was then turning away from "the bliss of toil," there is much of sadness to be read between the lines:
5

IN THE MATTER OF REST.
Rest for hand and brow and breast, \ For fingers, heart, and brain! Rest and peace! a long release
From labor and from pain; Pain of doubt, fatigue, despair-
Pain of darkness everywhere, And seeking light in vain.

Peace and rest! are they the best For mortals here below?
Is soft repose from work and woes A bliss for men to know?
Bliss of time is bliss of toil; No bliss but this, from sun and soil,
Does God permit to grow."

Great intellectuality, love of justice, deep learning, simplicity, integrity,

unfailing kindness and gentleness, combined to call forth the wonderful

expression of re~pect of which we have spoken. In last analysis, the hope

of progress in good among men lies in individual excellence. Purity of

the individual points the upward way to a people, and the lesson taught

by right living rises above all other teaching. That lesson Judge Bleck-

ley taught.

Many centuries ago a wise man said: "By two wings a man is lifted

up from things earthly, namely, by simplicity and purity. Simplicity

doth tend towards God, purity doth appJehend and taste him." Without

reference to dogma or formulated faith, we can not doubt that the good

and great man of whom we write will share in whatever reward there may

remain for the pure in heart, who, in all truth and fidelity; have trod the

.weary way of human life.

In the year 1892 Judge Bleckley wrote: "The favorable opinion of the

bar, that grand tribunal to which every judge is accountable, is precious

to me in a degree which no words can measure or express." And now, we,

as representatives of the bar he loved so well, offer this memorial of his

life and character, that it may be placed upon the records of the high

tribunal of which he was once so distinguished and brilliant an ornament.

John L. Hopkins, Chairman.

Spencer R. Atkinson.

Wm. A. Little.

Samuel B. Adams.

John S. Candler.

Joseph R. Lamar.

John C. Hart.

Z. D. Harrison.

George W. Stevens.

John M. Graham.

Henry C. Peeples.

John W. Akin.

'-.. Albert H. Russell.

W. P. Price.

Robert McMillan.

Joel Branham.

W. L. Grice.

Frank H. Miller.

W. M. Hammond.

John 1. Hall.

Peter W. Meldrim.

J. H. Merrill.

Leon A. Wilson.

Henry R. Goetchius.

1. E. Shumate.

6

W. D. Kiddoo. Isaac Hardeman. Joseph W. Bennett.

H. D. McDaniel. T. B. Cabaniss. R. L. Gamble.

ADDRESS 0);' JUDGE JOHN S. CANDLER.
May it please your Honors,-I fear that to attempt to add one word to the report of your Committee, as prepared llnd presented by its chairman, himself the life-long friend and associate of our great Chief Justice, may be considered of doubtful propriety; but from my childhood I was taught to love, honor and respect the names of Hiram Warner and Logan E. Bleckley, and to look upon their lives as representative of all that was best and greatest among Georgia's great judges and able lawyers. My father died when I was a child, but my sainted mother kept up the lessons that my father had begun; and to-day, upon the anniversary of her death, I wish to testify that to these lives and characters, as I was directed to study them, and to love them, I owe much of whatever success I may have had in my life as a lawyer and a judge; and if I have done any good for my fellow-man, much of my inspiration has come from them.
.At this time, and at this particular hour, we may, with great benefit to ourselves, consider the leading elements in the character of the one whose recent departure from this life we mourn. Probably the most striking and conspicuous trait in the character of Judge Bleckley, and the one which most surely and distinctly marked him out among his fellow-men, and placed him upon that pedestal which has been erected for him in the hearts of those who knew and loved him, was his unswerving fidelity to his ideals of right. Even as he made the search for truth the sole object of his judicial labors, so, in his private life, the only question that ever determined his course of action in doubtful matters was, what is right? Once that question was answered in his mind, all other considerations were brushed aside, and questions of expediency or policy were eliminated as unworthy of the great mind of the man.
Theoretically, he shared this trait with the majority of men, for nearly all of us want to be guided only by the good and true ;-it was the practice of the theory, the ability to see and the courage to do the right, regardless of all conflicting considerations, that made of Judge Bleckley a man among men. This trait in his character sometimes led to unexpected and apparently paradoxical situations. By nature, gentle and urbane; having a heart big enough to embrace all humanity in its tenderness and love; preferring to speak good of all men rather than evil, there were yet times when a righteous rage possessed him, and the dove became a lion. It was easy to impose upon the gentle, good nature of Judge Bleckley, but it was never possible to impose upon his sense of right and wrong, and there are those to-day who can bear witness to the fact that when the lion within him was aroused the object of his anger was always made to feel the blow which only a strong man and a good man can deliver. But his wrath was against the wrong, and not the wrong-doer; and when its object had been achieved, the serene calm, of which only great minds are capable, again possessed him, and he was once more the loving friend whose hand was always extended to uplift. and Bupport.

7

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this pathetic drift between the eternities, like a dreamer enthralled by sleep who struggles with all his might to move an arm or raise an eyelid, his great soul labored to know the unknown. He could only sn.y, "I know I do not know." May we not hope that in the full liberty of a disembodied soul he now sees face to face and knows even as he is also known?

ADDRESS BY MR. FRANK H. MILLER.

There is so much to be said of this wonderful man that, as a member

of the Committee, I shall confine myself mainly to my personal recollec-

tions.

Mustered out of active service, I was employed as Assistant to the Con-

federate States District Attorney, and as my duty frequently called me

to the Supreme Court, there, in 1864, I met the new Reporter, Mr. Bleck-

ley, who aided me greatly with advice and assistance. It was a case

of "love at first sight," which grew through years into profound admira-

tion, regard, and respect. After he resigned his position as Reporter, in

1867, I failed to see much of him until he was appointed Associate Jus-

tice of the Supreme Court in 1875. It was then that his profound learn-

ing, patient industry, and untiring perseverance became well known to me,

and was noised abroad.

.

In those days I generally spent the summer months with my family

on the coast of Maine. There I met many of the most distinguished

Canadian judges and barristers, from Montreal and elsewhere, and in

conversation with them learned how greatly he was admired. Each and

all expressed to me their admiration of his learning, his originality, his

genius, his conciseness, and with all his tenderness.

Later, when in response to the universal demand he returned to the

bench, he added to all his other qualities a paternal manner and solici-

tude as to the personnel of the bar, and was lovingly called by the younger

attorneys "the old Chief." He would sit and discuss with us things that

were the subject-matter of interest at the time. As an instance I recall

his views as to aerial navigation, then under consideration by the Army

and Navy authorities, as to what form protection ~hould assume against

such attacks, then prominent from the publication of a book known as

"Cresar's Column," undertaking to predict as to warfare in the future

from and in the clouds. I was much impressed by what he said, and

never have forgotten it. It was substantially to the effect that so long

as man was unable to navigate the air at will he could and would be

controlled, and there would be law and order on the face of the earth;

but if ever he was successful in navigating the air, go whither he would,

with vessels of sufficient tonnage to carry war supplies, he could not and

would not be controlled, and the world would become pandemonium.

Nothing is more often referred to in the books than JUdge Bleckley's

famous apothegm, "There are many cardinal virtues, but justice is the

pontifical virtue." This he lived up to in all his relations in life, as a

man, and in his judicial administration, day by day. As evidence of his

conscientious discharge of his duty, I recall one. occasion when attending

the Supreme Court that I found him stretched upon a cot, beside the

bench, in the court-room. On this cot he had laid for days, a sufferer

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from acute sciatica, but still hearing the causes as they were argued. r
happened to have with me the remedy of a famous physician, which I promptly tendered, and which aided materially in relieving him, and enabling him to resume his seat on the bench.
Judge Bleckley never knew how to spare himself. The constant application, careful preparation, close attention which he gave, simply exhausted his nervous energy; and after twelve years' service he was forced unwillingly to leave the bench and retire for rest to the mountainous climate of Rabun and Habersham counties.
I had the honor once to have the Judge as a client. I had been of counsel in the administration of the estate of his wife's father. Financial misfortune had come to one of Mrs. Bleckley's investments of mill stock, which she had inherited, and, with the Judge, I sought to save it. It was about the success which finally attended, and was about to be realized, that I received his last message.
I never knew what a tender spot was in his heart for me and others, until I was shown a letter he had written to Major Cumming, after he had retired from the bench, in which he said: "Allow me to mention what I often deplore, the restriction of my intercourse with many whom I most esteem and admire. Three such men besides yourself belong to Augustaindeed four such: Miller, Fleming, Black, and Lamar. One of my standing regrets is that I must leave the world without seeing of these a tithe as much as would be pleasant and profitable to me. I pity myself for being excluded most of the time from such company, but solitude has a beneficence of its own, and I am highly blest in many respects; so, on the whole, I am reasonably content."
As a philosopher and seeker after truth he was unequaled. In his death we must bow to the inevitable, thankful to Providence for having been permitted to live in his generation. Of him we can say, just as he did of Judge Benning:
"In peace it was his lot to die; In peace, 0 may his ashes lie!
And sweetest peace, while ages roll, Attend his noble, manly soull"
ADDRESS BY MR. Z. D. HARRISON.
May it please your Honors,-Such an opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of Judge Bleckley should not be lost by one who truly loved him, and for whom he so often mallifested kindliest regard.
All that has been said in the report of your committee has been so well said that I dare not venture to speak of the characteristics there described. But no mention of the religious side of the life of Judge Bleckley is made in that report, nor in either of the addresses to which we have listened, except in the brief reference made by Judge Branham. To my mind it is impossible for such a lover of truth and justice as is pOl" trayed in the report and in those addresses to be irreligious. Judge Bleckley loved nature, and he believed in nature's God. He praised the works of the Lord and worshipped him. How truly he praised and worshipped could be known only by those who had opportunity, such as I once had,
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to witness his rapture and delight as he stood on the cliff of a high mountain, viewing the works of the Lord, while his great spirit seemed to commune with his God, and to strive, in the language of your committee's report, to "apprehend and taste him." Judge Bleckley's religion was not superstition, it was faith. Hear it declared in his own words:
FAITH.
Cast out into space For life and for death;
No ultimate base, No bottom beneath,
No limit or bound Above or around,
No wall at the side Or roof overhead,
No cover to hide Me, living or dead,
No refuge for thought or for sense: Yet I will not despair
As I drift through the air, Afloat in the boundless immense;
In the depth of the night Cometh faith without light,
Cometh faith without sight, And I trust the great Sovereign unknown;
No finite or definite throne, But the infinite, nameless, unthinkable One.
ADDRESS BY COL. 1. E. SHUMATE.
May it please the Court,-For more than a quarter of a century, my relations with the distinguished Judge whose character we commemorate were delightfully cordial-may I not say, mutually affectionate? I esteem it a privilege to add a few paragraphs commemorative of my distinguished friend.
A number of years ago I read a description of the "Legal Mind," which impressed itself so indelibly upon my memory that I can recall it substantially, in part at least: It is more than a reservoir in which to store fragments of so-called legal lore; it is something more than an index of cases; something more than a filing case in which to pigeon-hole court records; something more than a digest of the decisions of the Supreme Court of a particular jurisdiction. A man may be familiar with the statutes; familiar with the best forms of pleading; familiar with precedents, and yet know but little law. Law is not always the latest dictum of a court of last resort; an able lawyer may sometimes prevail upon the highest tribunal to change its decision, or upon mature deliberation the court itself may reverse or modify its decision. Law is the principle which must prevail, if justice is to prevail. He is a great lawyer who, in the light of great learning bearing directly or incidentally upon a matter at issue, clearly perceives the principle which controls it, and luminously presents and logically applies that principle. Tested by this definition, or
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description of the "Legal Mind," it can not be doubted that Judge BIeckley's was a legal mind of high order. A study of his discussion upon the law in his Revised Thoughts, read before the Georgia Bar Association at its meeting in 1905, will disclose a close resemblance between his conception of the law and the lawyer, and that embodied in the description I have attempted to give. When a young man I was concerned in a complicated case involving various difficulties, then pending in this court. In the division of labor among the members of the court, then but three, that case fell to Judge BIeckley. He did not hand down his decision during the term at which the case was argued, but held it over until the following term. During the vacation I chanced to meet him and ventured to ask, "Have you reached a decision of that case?" calling it by its title. He went into a statement of the difficulties involved, and said that he had devoted considerable time to thinking upon the case, but had failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion; that he had laid it aside and dismissed it from his mind for the present; but after a while he would take it up from a new point of departure and see if he could not discover the justice of the case. This is illustrative of his judicial method with difficult cases.
Not every legal mind is a judicial mind. \Ve have all seen successful and even brilliant lawyers who were comparative failures when promoted to the bench; and we have seen lawyers of moderate ability and limited learning make creditable records as judges. Judge BIeckley was an eminent judge as well as a great lawyer. I do not err when I say that his was a legal mind of high order cast in a judicial mold.
It would be incorrect to say that important principles of law are always discovered and molded i~ the heat of discussion at the bar; and that the bench merely selects between conflicting theories and frames the theory selected in judicial form and phrase. Many recondite and controlling principles have been discovered and wrought out by the judges, often by a single judge, with but little reference to the contentions of opposing counsel. Judge BIeckley delighted to build upon bedrock.
His equipment for an ideal judge and lawyer was admirable. Richly endowed by nature, his powers were thoroughly disciplined. It would be exaggeration to say that his knowledge was encyclopredic; yet his learning, legal and general, took a wide range and was remarkably accurate. There was scarcely a suggestion of eloquence in his spoken style; yet his clear, terse English, his analytical and incisive methods, and his faculty for apt and forceful illustration gave to his written page a striking individuality of style, which is distinctly impressed upon every page of his writings, whether in law-books or in literary productions. Added to this was a commanding character, integrity absolutely inflexible, a well-tempered judicial temperament, and a most agreeable and winsome personality-personal magnetism, if you please, which attracted to him scores of choice friends from every walk of life. These he "grappled unto his soul with hooks of steel."
Judge BIeckley said of his own mind, "that it produced its products in fragments, and that in order to connect them and give them unity of substance, he had to consider and reConsider, revise and re-revise them." May not this mental habit (if not necessity) explain in large degree his
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great fondness for retiring from the thronged thoroughfares and bustling life of the city to the quiet and romantic scenes of his mountain home? Was not this a favorite resort for the evolution of some principle, or the development of some theory, by which to solve more satisfactorily grave questions of law, or of religion, or of statesmanship, or of science, held in his mind for solution?
Not long since, in conversation with a clergyman, I read to him this from the JUdge: "Religion, as I understand it, and that religion you can rest on and be safe in standing by to the last, may be defined as the essential relation between man and his Creator." Said I, "The Judge had faith in the source of his being; and sought to be in right relation with that source." This, too, I read: "If you have faith that whatever is is right, and can be depended on to take you out of the world, as wcll as to bring you into it, your hope may be equally broad with your faith." And this also:
"And I trust the great Sovereign unknown; No finite, or definite throne, But the Infinite, nameless, unthinkable One."
I asked: "What do you think of that?" My friend answered: "Too indefinite-too intangible-lacks some essential elements of faith." I replied: "In what does his conception of Deity differ from this, which I have heard learned theologians use in their invocations?
"0 Thou eternal One, whose presence bright, All space doth occupy, all motion guide. ***
"Whom none can comprehend, none explore, Who fill'st existence with thyself alone,
Embracing all, supporting, ruling o'er, Being whom we call God and know no more."
His simple (shall I say sublime?) faith challenges the respect of thoughtful minds of whatever creed or church. I venture to ask, was any faith, different from this in kind, possible to a mind so keenly analytical, so severely logical, and as sincere as sunlight?
A remarkable incident occurred during the argument of the Dartmouth College case in the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Webster, in speaking of his Alma Mater, threw such emotional energy into a few sentences as to visibly affect the learned Chief Justice Marshall. In the July number of MUll.sey's Magazine, a writer says of this incident: "Never before and never since has the spectacle been seen of a great and stern Chief Justice of the United States bending forward with tears welling to his eyes, while he listened to a legal discussion."
Often have we seen the tears welling to Judge Bleckley's eyes-another illustrious example of a great intellect and a great, tender heart harmoniously blended. in the same great personality.
These two strong men were patrons of the drama, especially when one of Shakespeare's masterpieces was on the boards and a star actor held the stage. I have heard Judge Bleckley criticise an actor thus: "He broke the force of the thought by a misplaced emphasis-he marred the
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beauty and changed the sense of this line by a false punctuation,"-himself repeating the line correctly.
Senator George Graham Vest, who had often thrilled the United States Senate by his eloquence, a short time before his death, when exceedingly feeble, and when the silver trumpet was muffled under the shore, produced a most respectful silence in that august body by repeating Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar." Before reading an account of that impressive incident, I had not read, or so much as heard of that beautiful poem. Since then I have run it through my mind a hundred times. It does not grow old. Frequently when I have thought of Judge Bleckley's poetic temperament and of his poetic genius; when I have thought of his unique religious creed, and of his implicit, yet anxious and questioning faith, this beautiful poem
has recurred to my mind as being appropriate to our friend when about to
put out to sea:
"Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell when I embark; For though from out our bourne of time and place the flood may bear
me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face, when I have crossed the bar."
Mr. Justice LUMPKIN responded for the Oourt, as follows:
Some of the friends present may have known Judge Bleckley longer than I. None, I think, admired and loved him more than I. For over thirty years I knew him. It was my good fortune to serve this court first as assistant reporter, and then as reporter, while he was on the bench. And I deem it a privilege on behalf of the court to add a few words to what has already been said.
To think of the great man, whom but yesterday we all saw antI loved, as dead, seems strange indeed. That the form we knew so well will move among us no more; that the wondrous brain which grappled with the profoundest problems of law, of thought, of life, has fallen asleep; that the great heart has ceased to beat; that the tireless hands, always ready to take up life's burdens and duties, are folded forever on the breast of peace, seems passing strange. And yet, he himself did not look upon death as a disaster or an unmixed evil. It was Nature's call to her children to come home to rest, in Nature's own good time. He believed that
"The something that ought to befall Will happen at last unto all."
Indeed, when he looked at life, with its cares, its mixture of joy and sorrow, its hopes and disappointments, its unsatisfied longings, its endless strivings, and the cost of it all, and compared it with the peacefulness of death, he said:
"How costly is life, what countless expense To temper the blood and comfort the sense, And nourish the mind and chasten the breast, And keep the heart ruled in its stormy unrest; But death unto all is offered so cheap; There's nothing to pay for falling asleep, Save closing the eyes and ceasing to weep." 14

Death was to him not only inevitable, not only natural, but it was also a part of the plan of infinite wisdom, and that plan must be good. He -said:
"Nor at this should we murmur, or sigh, or repine; Man's weakness, as well as his strength, is divine;
The day is no better bestowed than the night, And darkness is precious as well as the light."
And thus when his work was done, esteemed, loved and honored, he lay down beside the rugged pathway of life; and it being evening, he fell asleep.
On his eightieth birthday, we come to pay some tribute to his memory, to place in the official reports, which he dignified with his learning, and illumined with his utterance, a permanent memorial of his greatness and his worth; and then to separate, bearing in each breast a sense of loss which words can not adequately express. But no monument of bronze -or marble, no written words of ours, though earnestly and lovingly penned, will be his most permanent memorial. His real monument he builded himself. It is in the Reports of the Supreme Court of this State. His real memorial will not be inscribed on written page or chiseled on dull, cold marble, but it is written deep in loving memory in the hearts of the bar and people of Georgia.
Born amid the mountain scenes of Rabun County, he was imbued with something of the lofty views and far visions of the peaks that raised themselves toward heaven. And yet he loved the valleys too, the fields, the woods, the winding streams. I have sometimes thought that his love -of nature was not merely of its inanimate beauty, but that he saw in it a deeper, subtler meaning, a pervading power of the Infinite, and that he felt a kind of friendship and fellowship for mountain and valley, for wood and stream. As he has often been seen standing on some hilltop, gazing out into the infinite blue, and turning his face toward the rising or setting sun, it has tempted one to say of him:
"The bush hath friends to meet him, And their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the rivers on their bars, He sees the vision splendid of the sunlit rays extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars."

It has been said that" art is the joy which a man has in his work." Measured by this standard, how great an artist was Judge Bleckley. Material gain and pecuniary rewards were of small importance to him. It was work well done in which he found delight. And thus it was that from the serene nobility of his soul in perfect candor he could say, "Service is better than salary, and duty more inspiring than reward."
It seems to me that one of the best tests of a man's greatness is the effect he produces on those of a younger generation. The love of friends of our own age may overlook our faults; but he is great indeed who leaves his impress for good on the lives of those who come after him. The young men loved Judge Bleckley, even those who knew him only when his face was turned to the west, his shadow fast lengthening toward the east. As it is written that Elijah, mounting upward on his blazing chariot wheels, did drop his mantle, which young Elisha caught up as it fell, oh may it be that the mantle of this great man may fall upon the shoulders of some young prophet who shall arise to point the way not merely to material wealth, but better far, to truth, to honor, to eternal right, for this our beloved Georgia!
Poet, philosopher, jurist, friend, farewell. While others may tell of his fame and his work, this be my humble tribute to my much loved friend: 'When each year the sunshine warms to life the flowers of spring-coming in the morning to gladden the earth, or resting at eve on the mountains he loved-no sun ray will fall with purer light nor brighter flowers bloom above a truer breast than tnu~e that rest and blossom on the grave of Logan E. Bleckley. The court concurs in the high estimate and the sincere regard which has been expressed for our departed brother, both as a man and as a judge. His memory shall be cherished while the court exists. A page of the minutes will be set apart and dedicated to his memory, and the proceedings will be published in the Georgia Reports. Let a certified copy be furnished to his family.
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Locations