|Place of Burial:||Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States|
|Birthplace:||New London, CT, USA|
|Death:||Died in Chicago, IL, USA|
|Cause of death:||typhoid fever [typhus?]|
|Occupation:||Lawyer, Circuit Court Judge|
|Managed by:||Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexicographer|
About George Manierre, I
George Manierre, I, was an active abolitionist who operated a station of the Underground Railroad in the city of Chicago. He was one of the founders of the Chicago Anti-Slavery Society on January 16, 1840, and as the organization’s treasurer, George Manierre was among its first officers. (This might have been chartered as a branch of the American Anti-Slavery Society.) The society petitioned Illinois's state legislature, "to remove from the Illinois statutes those laws collectively known as the 'Black Code' which prevented negroes from testifying against whites, and which permitted any white man to cause any black man to be thrown in jail who did not show his papers of freedom" (1884, Andreas, History of Chicago, p. 608. December 25, 1840, Chicago American). The Anti-Slavery Society was formed partly to differentiate itself from the Chicago Colonization Society, another group formed four months earlier, whose goal was to send African-Americans back to Africa.
George Manierre II wrote in 1915 that, “Between 1846 and 1854 it was quite common for runaway slaves to pass through Chicago on their way to Canada. I remember my father taking a suit of his clothes and dressing a runaway slave in the rear kitchen of our house on Michigan avenue and Jackson boulevard. (1915, p 451)” In early June of 1851 Chicago lawyers George Manierre and Edwin C. Larned, defended Moses Johnson, the first African American arrested in Illinois under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, a federal law intended to ensure the return of enslaved persons who had fled their owners in the South. The two argued before a United States Commissioner that “this man did not answer to the description of the man claimed” (Samuel May, The Fugitive Slave Law and Its Victims, published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1861, p. 17. This is available through Google Books.). The claimant was Crawford E. Smith, of Missouri. The defense was successful, and Mr. Johnson was set free. In gratitude, the African-American community of Chicago presented each of Mr. Johnson’s defenders with a silver cup. Within a decade, when Southern states passed ordinances of secession from the Union, among the grievances they cited: the Northern states’ failure to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act.
Source: excerpted from the article below.
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George Manierre, I’s father died when George was only six years old. His nephew, Charles E. Manierre remembered hearing that John’s wife, Jeanette, “felt that there was no outlook for the boys unless they went into the whaling business as sea captains.” Consequently, in 1831, eight years after her husband’s death, Jeanette Lee Manierre moved with her two sons, George, 13, and Benjamin F., 11, from New London, CT, to New York City, where they lived on Division Street, near the Bowery.
By 1810, New York City had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States. After the Revolutionary War thousands of mostly New England Yankees moved into the city. Their numbers were such that by 1820, the city had far outstripped its pre-War population, was largely middle class with a growing upper-class, and was fully 95% of American born heritage. Its economy was a vigorous artisan and craftsman society second to none in the United States, while its banking and commercial sectors were fast becoming dominant in the country as a whole. The region’s role as the principal economic center of the United States was further secured with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The canal connected New York’s Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada.
Within two years of his arrival in Manhattan, George began to serve a clerkship in the office of Judge John Brinkerhoff on Nassau Street in New York City. George avidly read works of great variety. A writer who knew him at this time said that he, “read historical, political, poetical, and biographical writers. His studies on government embraced all the eminent writers on that subject. But he especially delighted in his knowledge of general history, and more especially of French subjects” (Thomas Hoyne, in a memorial address presented to the Chicago Historical Society, on the tenth anniversary of his death. George Manierre was a charter member of the society, and a lifetime member. Hoyne was the mayor of Chicago for a short time in 1876, and had been one of George Manierre’s best friends since their boyhood in New York. The text of Hoyne’s lecture was printed in The Chicago Times, April 20, 1878). Histories of Napoleon were particularly interesting to George Manierre. He became a member of the Literary Association, and attended its weekly meetings at the corner of Oliver and Henry Streets. Members debated each other, read essays, and delivered recitations. Another member of this organization was Horace Greeley, later the editor of the New York Tribune (1841-1872), who famously said, “Go west young man!” and ran unsuccessfully for president in 1872. Between 1832 and 1835, George wrote poetry and other literary pieces for The New York Mirror. Other writers for this periodical during the same period included William Cullen Bryant and Washington Irving.
In 1835 George followed his half-brother Edward (1814?-1890) and his half-sisters Emmeline (died c.1846) and Elizabeth (died after 1885) to Chicago, which had at that time a population of about three thousand. His first residence was at Dearborn and Monroe Streets (now at the heart of the Loop). He did some work for the law office of Grant & Peyton, and worked as a copyist (also called a scribe or scrivener; this was before the invention of the typewriter) in the office of the circuit court clerk.
Although he had been a religious skeptic earlier in his youth, George Manierre became a member of the Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago.
On July 15, 1839, Manierre was admitted to the Bar, and formed a partnership with George W. Meeker. Andreas (1884, p 454) wrote that Meeker was a “thorough scholar, familiar with the English and French, as well as the Latin and Greek classics,” and that their partnership lasted until 1850. “About 1845 [Meeker] was appointed United States Commissioner, from which he derived a considerable increase to his income …. Early in 1855 he surrendered his official position in these words: ‘Being unwilling to aid in enforcing the provisions of the fugitive slave law, I hereby resign the office of the United States Commissioner for a long time held by me.’”
Chicago’s first newspaper, the Chicago Democrat was founded in 1833 by a twenty-five-year-old printer and editor named John Calhoun. In 1840, at 23 years old, George Manierre “took charge of the Chicago Democrat, the leading organ in Illinois and the northwestern states of the democratic party. It was a small sheet, a daily and weekly paper, but it was brilliant, caustic, and able…. [Manierre] contributed at that time some of the ablest political articles that had ever appeared in a western newspaper. (Thomas Hoyne, 1878)”
George Manierre I was an active abolitionist. He was a founder of the Chicago Anti-Slavery Society on January 16, 1840, and as the organization’s treasurer, George Manierre was among its first officers. (It may have been chartered as a branch of the American Anti-Slavery Society.) The society petitioned the state legislature "to remove from the Illinois statutes those laws collectively known as the 'Black Code' which prevented negroes from testifying against whites, and which permitted any white man to cause any black man to be thrown in jail who did not show his papers of freedom" (1884, Andreas, History of Chicago, p. 608. December 25, 1840, Chicago American). The Anti-Slavery Society was formed partly to differentiate itself from the Chicago Colonization Society, a group formed four months earlier, whose goal was to send African-Americans back to Africa.
In 1841 it took an average of 10.5 days for public information to be transmitted from New York City to Chicago.
September 17, 1842 George Manierre married Ann Hamilton Reid in Fontana, WI. (One source claims they were married in Detroit, Michigan.)
In 1842 George Manierre was elected to the office of City Attorney. The first city charter had been adopted in 1837. As City Attorney George Manierre undertook the revision of the laws and ordinances of the city, and “had them published in a single volume, neatly bound and arranged under proper chapters and titles, and made a convenient and well-arranged digest to the whole book. This arrangement of the charter in a single volume, constituted until about 1853, the basis of all amendments made to our municipal organization from time to time, such as the growth of our city and increase of the population required. (Thomas Hoyne, 1878)”
George Manierre served as Alderman from the first ward in 1843, and showed particular leadership in the area of public education.
He was elected to the office of School Commissioner of Cook County in 1844, and served in this post until 1852. He worked successfully to increase funds available to Chicago’s public schools.
In 1845 George and his family occupied “a brick house standing in the middle of the quarter block on the southeast corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets…. The grounds were filled with trees, shrubbery and plants.” In 1846 they moved “to a house owned by Dr. Charles V. Dyer, on the northwest corner of Monroe and Dearborn Streets… [while George] was building a two-story frame house on the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard, … and here the family remained until the Chicago fire,” in 1871 (George Manierre II, 1915, p 449).
Stephen A. Douglas arrived in Jacksonville, Illinois in 1834. After his admission to the state bar, he held a succession of state offices, including in 1841, a judgeship on the state supreme court. He resigned this post in 1843 to take a seat in the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, where he grew as a leader in the Democratic Party. He was elected to the Senate in 1847.
Thomas Hoyne joined with Manierre, and two other Illinois men, William B. Ogden, and Daniel Brainard, in 1848 to call a Free-Soil Whig convention at Ottawa, Illinois, which nominated Martin Van Buren, and opened the first formal anti-slavery movement in Illinois. Although he had long sympathized with the Democratic party, George Manierre “supported Martin Van Buren against Gen. Cass, because the south had then announced their policy of assuming that slavery could go as well into the territories, then free, while the democratic policy had always insisted that slavery must be confined, and was only permitted under the constitution, within the states in which it then existed by law. (Hoyne, 1873)”
Stephen Douglas was reelected to the Senate in 1852. Abraham Lincoln had served in the House of Representatives as a Whig Party Congressman from Springfield for one term, 1846-1848. When this term had ended, Lincoln had decided to return to his work as a Springfield lawyer. But in the early 1850s, Lincoln was greatly dismayed by legislation sponsored by Senator Douglas that allowed slavery to spread into the western territories (Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854). So much so that he debated Douglas on the question of whether slavery should be allowed to spread to the western territories. He debated Douglas on several occasions, first in October 1854 at the State Fair in Springfield. This led to Lincoln’s unsuccessful bid for Illinois’ other senate seat in the election of 1854. The inability or reluctance of the Whig Party to contain the spread of slavery was a major cause of that party’s disintegration, and of the birth of the Republican Party.
George Manierre II wrote that “Between 1846 and 1854 it was quite common for runaway slaves to pass through Chicago on their way to Canada. I remember my father taking a suit of his clothes and dressing a runaway slave in the rear kitchen of our house on Michigan avenue and Jackson boulevard. (1915, p 451)” In early June of 1851 Chicago lawyers George Manierre and Edwin C. Larned, defended Moses Johnson, the first African American arrested in Illinois under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, a federal law intended to ensure the return of enslaved persons who had fled their owners in the South. The two argued before a United States Commissioner that “this man did not answer to the description of the man claimed” (Samuel May, The Fugitive Slave Law and Its Victims, published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1861, p. 17). The claimant was Crawford E. Smith, of Missouri. The defense was successful, and Mr. Johnson was set free. In gratitude, the African-American community of Chicago presented each of Mr. Johnson’s defenders with a silver cup [likely destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871]. Within a decade, when Southern states passed ordinances of secession from the Union, among the grievances they cited: the Northern states’ failure to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. [Also see the account of the Moses Johnson episode in The History of Cook County, quoted at length below.]
People in Illinois who were present at the origin of the Republican Party said that George Manierre was greatly involved from its beginning. He was one of five men who signed the call for the convention that convened at Aurora, Illinois on September 19, 1854. He was Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions that was charged with drafting a platform. T. C. Moore, a colleague of Manierre’s, asserted that, “He it was who suggested the name Republic for the new party, and presented the same to the convention” (letter from T. C. Moore to William R. Manierre, 1888). Meanwhile there has been much debate concerning the origins of the Republican Party.
On June 8, 1855, George Manierre was elected to a six-year term as Judge of the Circuit Court in the Seventh Judicial Circuit. The court’s jurisdiction included Cook and Lake Counties. Andreas (1884, pp 454-455) wrote that during Judge Manierre's first year as the Judge of the 7th US Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois, one of the lawyers to appear before Chicago's circuit and district courts was Abraham Lincoln. Andreas doesn't say which courts — whether Lincoln appeared before one or both. (He names neither dates nor case(s), but there must certainly be a record of the cases in which Lincoln participated.)
Abraham Lincoln mounted a second campaign to be elected to the US Senate in 1858, opposing the incumbent Democrat Stephen Douglas. Although Douglas defeated Lincoln, the electrifying effect of Lincoln’s arguments in the several debates between them won the Republican candidate helped to forge strong alliances between him and other leaders of Illinois’ Republican Party.
Several of those men were instrumental in convincing the party’s national leadership to hold the Republicans’ 1860 national convention in Chicago. Among those who are known to have influenced this outcome was David Davis, Circuit Court judge for the eighth district, in Springfield, IL. George Manierre was Circuit Court judge for the seventh district.] What is the evidence that they knew each other?] Although Lincoln was the local party’s “favorite son,” nationally he was mentioned only as a potential vice-presidential candidate. The men most commonly considered likely presidential candidates were Senator William H. Seward of New York, Edward Bates of Missouri, and Salmon Chase of Ohio. The national leadership agreed to hold the convention in Chicago thinking this young city a neutral site, and did not anticipate the potency of local support for the nomination of Abraham Lincoln.
On March 23, a few weeks before the convention, Lincoln arrived in Chicago to represent his most important client, the Illinois Central Railroad in “the sand bar case,” Johnston [Johnson?] v. Jones and Marsh. Lincoln’s partner, William [?] Herndon said there were “seven federal trials to determine title to valuable accreted land at the mouth of the Chicago River.” In his final turn as a railroad lawyer, Lincoln won the case and a $350 fee. Lincoln argued the case before a federal judge in Chicago, so Judge Manierre did not preside at this trial.
Manierre and Lincoln were probably familiar with each other’s legal activities, as well as with their political ones. It would be fascinating to learn specifics about their acquaintance. The professional activities of these two men gave them reasons and opportunities to have encountered each other on several occasions, as did their affairs in Republican Party politics. George’s younger brother Benjamin, meanwhile, was active among Republicans in New York City, and had been involved in arranging Abraham Lincoln’s presentation of an important speech in that city in February of 1860. Lincoln historian Henry Holzer asserted that the speech at Cooper Union was key to Lincoln’s nomination and election to the presidency in 1860. The experiences of the Manierre brothers suggest that they are likely to have corresponded about Abraham Lincoln.
Some visitors to Chicago’s first national party convention arrived by boat or by carriage, but most made the journey by train. “Lavish preparations were made to give the arriving trains a reception to remember. Chicagoans who lived on Michigan Avenue were asked to illuminate their houses. ‘A most magically beautiful effect was the result,’ one reporter noted, ‘the lights flashing back multiplied countlessly in the waters of the Lake shore basin.’ Thousands of spectators lined the shore of the lake, and as the trains moved along the pier, ‘half minute guns were fired by the Chicago Light Artillery, and rockets shot off from the foot of Jackson Street.’ [— location of the Manierre house. Apparently the pyrotechnicians had the Judge’s permission. Perhaps he initiated the arrangements to locate them there.] No one present, the reporter observed, would forget the effect of ‘artillery pealing, the flight of the rockets, the gleaming windows from the entire residence front of our city, the vast depot edifice filled with the eager crowd.’ (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals, 2005, p 238, quoting the Press and Tribune, Chicago, May 15, 1860.)”
George Manierre I and his son George II were present at the Republican national convention (George Manierre II, 1915, p 453). The first ballot to determine the presidential nominee gave Seward 173 1/2 votes, Lincoln 102, Cameron 50 1/2, Chase 49, and Bates 48. Lincoln had the unanimous support of Illinois and Indiana delegations. On the next ballot Seward received 184 1/2 votes, Lincoln 181. Seward had gained only 11 votes, Lincoln 79. The momentum was all Lincoln’s. The question was settled on the third ballot.
Lincoln himself did not visit the convention, monitoring its progress by telegraph in Springfield, in accord with the custom of the time. A loyal supporter wired the new nominee in Springfield: “Abe we did it. Glory to God. (Francis B. Carpenter, Six Months at the White House: The Story of A Picture, New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1866, 46 [recollection by Montgomery Blair, Lincoln’s future Postmaster General])”
“During his years in Springfield [since his arrival in 1849], Lincoln had forged an unusually loyal circle of friends. They had worked with him in the state legislature, helped him in his campaigns for Congress and the Senate, and now, at this very moment, were guiding his efforts at the Chicago convention, ‘moving heaven & Earth,’ they assured him, in an attempt to secure him the nomination. These steadfast companions included David Davis, the Circuit Court judge for the Eighth District whose three-hundred-pound body was matched by ‘a big brain and a big heart’; Norman Judd, an attorney for the railroads and chairman of the Illinois Republican state central committee; Leonard Swett, a lawyer from Bloomington who believed he knew Lincoln ‘as intimately as I have ever known any man in my life’; and Stephen Logan, Lincoln's law partner for three years in the early forties.
“Many of these friendships had been forged during the shared experience of the ‘circuit,’ the eight weeks each spring and fall when Lincoln and his fellow lawyers journeyed together throughout the state. They shared rooms and sometimes beds in dusty village inns and taverns, spending long evenings gathered together around a blazing fire. The economics of the legal profession in sparsely populated Illinois were such that lawyers had to move about the state in the company of the circuit judge, trying thousands of small cases in order to make a living. The arrival of the traveling bar brought life and vitality to the county seats, fellow rider Henry Whitney recalled. Villagers congregated on the courthouse steps. When the court sessions were complete, everyone would gather in the local tavern from dusk to dawn, sharing drinks, stories, and good cheer. (2005, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals, chapter 1)”
The Civil War erupted in 1861 and lasted four grueling years. During the war, against the advice of his cabinet, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves. Then Republicans can take credit for a lot of good legislation in its first fifty years, including passing the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, the Fourteenth, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws, and the Fifteenth, which helped secure voting rights for African Americans. The Republican Party also played a leading role in securing women the right to vote. In 1896, it was the first major party to push for women's suffrage. When the 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917.
In the spring of 1860 George Manierre purchased a hundred acres of land in Walworth County, Wisconsin. His wife’s family (#41, 82 & 83) had settled there — on the western shore of Lake Geneva in the early 1840s. The original deed for this land, signed by George Manierre is in the collection of the Walworth County Historical Society in Elkhorn, WI. The deed is reproduced here in three parts. The first part, below, is a sort of summary signed by George Manierre. The parts are tied together by a bright red ribbon. The long part is the agreement authorized by the Walworth County official. The third part is a notarization performed in Milwaukee.
In 1861 George Manierre was elected to a second six-year term as Judge of the Circuit Court in the Seventh Judicial Circuit.
Judge George Manierre’s house was located at the middle of west side of the lagoon created by the railroad. Its address was 180 Michigan Avenue, at the corner of Jackson. [Referring to a photo uploaded to Geni, Jackson is the street to the left of the large building in the center of the detail.] At the time Judge Manierre built his home here, there were only sand dunes in that spot.
The Judge’s home from the late 1840s to his death was a two-story frame house he built on a quarter of a block at 180 Michigan Avenue. (This site is one block south of where the Art Institute of Chicago now stands.) “Currant bushes grew all along the fence. There were in the yard two arbors covered with grapevines, two large cottonwood trees, garden plants and shrubbery. Large locust trees were in the front and on the south side of the house and these trees extended to Wabash Avenue. (George Manierre II, 1915, p 449)” George II remembered “often seeing droves of sheep, hogs and cattle pass our house on Michigan Avenue, (p 450)” and that “we got our water from a well in the yard. (p 452)” George II described the view from the house toward the lake. In 1852 “the Illinois Central Railroad adopted its present route along the lake shore and all other railroads now in Chicago came thereafter. After the Illinois Central built its tracks in the lake on piling, a basin was left between Michigan Avenue and its tracks, and in this basin in the summer people found pleasure in rowboats, and in the winter in skating. … I have often seen from the windows of our home ships broken to pieces and lives lost on the breakwater built east of the railroad to protect its tracks. Before the railroad was built I remember going down to the beach with my nurse to see a sailor who, in a shipwreck, had been thrown up on the sands nearly in front of my father’s house. (p. 452)” (George II also recalled “the awful tragedy of the sinking of the Lady Elgin off Grosse’s Point, on September 8, 1860, and the bodies and wreckage strewn along the lake shore.” Many of the ship’s drowned passengers were Milwaukeeans, and included a niece and a nephew of Patrick Delahunt (see #16) The family continued to occupy this house until it burned in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The building that currently occupies the site was the first building in Chicago with 30 or more floors. It was originally known as the Straus Building, designed by architects Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, and erected in 1924. In 2005 it was converted into the Metropolitan Tower, also called “The Residences at 330 South Michigan.” It has 245 condominiums. http://www.themetropolitantower.com/
(MRD: George Manierre IV told me in the 1970s that a bronze plaque in the Straus Building [then called Britannica Center] presented a depiction of the Manierre house.)
Grant Park was created on the new land that resulted from filling the railroad lagoon with the rubble of the Chicago Fire of 1871. The southeastern portion of the area that burned included the site of the Manierre house. Although Mrs. Manierre and her family occupied this residence at the time, she was safely to the south of the city when her house burned. Mrs. Manierre built a new home at 1928 Calumet Avenue in 1876.
George Manierre owned several properties in Chicago, including his homestead on Michigan Avenue, a parcel at the corner of Grove and Todd (George Manierre II, 1915, p 450), 116-118 (later renumbered 81-85 West) Randolph Street (ibid, p 450), 84-86 (later 116-122) Dearborn Street.
On June 9, 1856, George Manierre was one of nineteen men who met to propose the establishment of the Chicago Historical Society. The society’s collections were entirely destroyed by fires in 1971 and 1874, but it has thrived ever since.
In 1859, George Manierre and five others presented a written protest to the city about the neglected condition of the public cemetery east of North Avenue and what is now Clark Street. They suggested that the north half of the 120 acres had never been laid out in cemetery plots, and that it might be “laid off into lots and public places.” Thus began the movement to create Chicago’s famed Lincoln Park.
The University of Chicago was founded in 1859. George Manierre was a member of the university’s first Board of Regents [aka Board of Trustees], a position he held until his death. He was also a member of the Board of Counselors in the Law Department of the University of Chicago. It was later absorbed by Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
“At the beginning of the civil war in 1861 he was one of the chief and energetic organizers of the ‘Union Defense committee’ which rendered the most invaluable services in Chicago, to aid the campaigns of Fremont and others in Missouri.”
Senator Stephen Douglas died at his Chicago residence June 3, 1861.
George Manierre wrote a letter to President Lincoln on September 17, 1861:
“His Excellency Abraham Lincoln Prest. of U.S.
I am well acquainted with Wm Donovan and have been for many years. He is a lawyer by profession, and in my opinion thoroughly qualified by education and natural constitution of mind for any position upon the bench to which he may be appointed. And I will add that such an appointment would not only give me satisfaction but also numerous friends here.
Very respectfully yr obt svt,
The original of this letter is among the Manierre Papers in the Newberry Library, Chicago. It is probably a copy Judge Manierre made to keep for his records. Lincoln had been in office for several months by this date. We do not know more about Mr. Donovan, including whether Lincoln viewed him favorably or not.
Among the most noted cases tried before Judge Manierre was the trial in the winter of 1862-63 of William Hopp for the murder of his wife. The defense argued that Mr. Hopp was innocent by reason of insanity, because he was intoxicated with alcohol. The argument that a person is innocent if he is insane was a novel one at that time. Hopp was convicted, and Judge Manierre’s opinion in the case was “cited by law-book compilers as a final and binding interpretation of the law on insanity….”
Judge George Manierre died May 21, 1863, Chicago, IL, at 46 years, of typhoid fever, a highly infectious disease caused by bacillus transmitted chiefly by contaminated food or water.
George Manierre was buried in a cemetery that was later removed for the development of Lincoln Park, a project the judge is said to have suggested. His body was reinterred in Graceland Cemetery. An imposing Manierre family monument in white marble stands within a few feet of the cemetery’s main entrance. George had this monument erected [in its previous pre-Lincon-Park site] when one of his children died in infancy. (Perhaps this was John, who died August 10, 1852, at the age of two of scarlet fever.) Graceland itself has an interesting history. Many of the most prominent Chicagoans of the 19th and 20th centuries are there. Louis Sullivan and other prominent architects designed mausoleums and monuments in a landscape resembling those designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.
Mr. C. R. Hawley gave one of the numerous eulogies presented at the judge’s funeral. It contained this anecdote: “He was not a partisan politician, but upon one occasion I remember thirteen poor, panting fugitives were in the city, and individuals called upon him for help. “Yes!” said he, “with all my heart,” and took $50 from his pocket; “if you want more, come to me again.”
George Manierre’s obituary noted that of the approximately 24,000 cased that had been disposed of by the Circuit Court by the time of Judge Manierre’s death, about 17,000 were disposed of Judge Manierre.
In 1878 Thomas Hoyne wrote a book about George Manierre I, A Biographical Memoir of Honorable George Manierre." Download a pdf of this document at http://www.artlex.com/delahunt/1878_hoyne_biog%20george%20manierre.pdf
A public school was built in Chicago and named after Judge Manierre [in c. 1910?]. George Manierre Elementary School still stands on Chicago’s near north side, at 1420 North Hudson Avenue (a half-mile east of the lake, between North Avenue and Division Street). A portion of the school was damaged in a fire [c. 1948?] and was rebuilt. When it was rededicated in 1949, Mr. and Mrs. George Manierre III participated in the ceremony [see photo here of the ceremony]. George III made a speech which he prepared concerning the achievements of his grandfather. The woman on the right in this picture is the Chicago school district's superintendent at the time.
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[The following was downloaded Feb. 2012 from http://www.accessible-archives.com/2011/07/a-penitent-lawyer-and-a-kidnap-attempt-in-1851/ where it was presented without citation. What are the particulars of its original publication?]
A Penitent Lawyer
Samuel S. Martin, Esq. of Chicago, Illinois, was Attorney for Crawford E. Smith, of Missouri, in the arrest of Moses Johnson as a fugitive slave. He has lately published a card in the Chicago papers, expressing his “regret and mortification” for the course he pursued.
He says that the business was repugnant to his feelings, and he only engaged in it at the earnest solicitations of Mr. Smith, who was an old acquaintance; and that he has “dearly” paid for doing what his better judgment and his conscience told him he should not do.
The sleepless nights and agony of mind of his wife and children may tell that better than words.”
In conclusion he says that he feels that his experience in this case “will not be lost upon his future conduct, and he trusts he will hereafter in his actions, not go counter to the advice and entreaties of his wife and friends, and his own better judgment.”
[The following was downloaded Feb. 2012 from http://www.accessible-archives.com/2011/07/a-penitent-lawyer-and-a-kidnap-attempt-in-1851/ where it was presented without citation. What are the particulars of its original publication?]
An Attempt to Kidnap Defeated
A colored man, named Moses Johnson, was arrested on the third instant, in Chicago, as a fugitive slave, and brought before Commissioner Meecker. Mr. Peck appeared on behalf of the claimant, a person residing in Missouri; Messrs. Manierre and Larned appeared for the defendant. The case produced great excitement throughout the city, and was under trial for two days.
At 2 o’clock, on the 6th, the Commissioner delivered his opinion, occupying more than an hour, and decided the following material points:
1. That the record was invalid, because the testimony of the witnesses was not set out therein; the Commissioner stating that in his opinion, it was the intention of Congress to authorize the Judges of the State Courts merely to make a record in the nature of a deposition, and not in the nature of a judicial proceeding. 2. That it was bad, because it did not show on its face that, at the time it was made, the negro man therein described owed service and labor; that, although it was stated that he escaped on the 4th of July, 1850, yet non constat but that he might have returned before the making of the record, and, meanwhile been brought by his master to this State. In the Commissioner’s opinion, the record should absolutely negative any possibility of such construction. 3. That the negro in court did not answer to the one described in the record and writ, the first being a black man five feet five inches high, and the description in the record being that of a copper-colored man, five feet eight inches high. If a certificate were to be granted by him, the description would have to correspond with the one in the record; and in the Commissioner’s opinion, if the prisoner were to be taken on habeas corpus before a judge, he would be discharged, on view, as not being the same person.
When the final decision was announced, says a Chicago paper, the pent-up feelings of the multitude found utterance in shout after shout of exultant applause; the law had been vindicated, and the sacred domain of Liberty was to be infringed upon no longer. Johnson was taken by his friends, passed out of the court-room, and down the steps to his friends below, who hurried off rapidly with him up Lake street to Wells, and down Wells to a place of safety, in case an attempt should be made to arrest him again.
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Friends of the South [in Illinois] endeavored to make political capital by recapturing fugitives. In June, 1851, they captured a negro fugitive while passing through this city on his way to Canada, put him in irons, and publicly conveyed him in a carriage to jail. The Democrat said: "Nabbing a negro was not enough; it must be done so as to outrage public decency in broad daylight. He must be gagged in this city. He must be thrown into a carriage like a stick of wood in the presence of women and children and hurried off, as if in this peaceable community there would be an effort to rescue anybody from a legal officer." This negro, Moses Johnson, was taken to the United States court room and there guarded by many special constables. In spite of the fact that no demonstrations looking to the rescue of the negro were made the militia was called out. The Demorat said: "But the insult and outrage did not stop here. The troops when called out were insulted and were not asked to guard the negro or the court, but were left to march around and overawe the people if possible." The Tribune, although one of the strongest against slavery and in favor of free soil, disapproved any attempt to rescue the negro. The Western Citizen, the organ of the Abolitionists at Chicago and edited by Z. Eastman, favored strenuous action to prevent the negro from being "kidnapped." He was claied by Crawford E. Smith, of Lafayette, Missouri, who was represented here by an agent. It was decided to make this a test case. The claimant was represented by Z. T. Fleshman, Ebenezer Peck, B. S. Morris, and A. W. Windett and the colored man was represented by George Manierre, E. C. Larned, L. C. P. Freer, Calvin DeWolf, and others. The courtroom could not hold one-tenth of those who wished to hear the trial. The negro was arrested on June 3 and brought to trial on the same day. The overseer of the owner identified the negro fugitive. The Democrat under the personal influence and ability of John Wentworth did everything in its power to defeat the claimant and free the negro. At the trial the case really hinged on the identification of the fugitive and this in turn rested with Commissioner Meeker. The points made by the defense were as follows: First, that the record to prove the escape and servitude was invalid; second, it did not show that the negro described was a slave and owed servitude; third, the record described the slave as copper-colored, while the defendant was black. The defense ably conducted prevailed and the commissioner discharged the fugitive. The Democrat of June 7 said: "No sooner had the commissioner pronounced the words 'I discharge the defendant,' than a shout arose which shook the building. The fugitive was snatched from the hands of the officers and was in the street and in a wagon hurried off by the crowd in a shorter space of time than it takes to tell it." The Democrat also said: "The agent of the owner narrowly escaped chastisement from the crowd in the street as he passed from the courtroom. He was saluted with hisses and groans and thought it best to make himself scarce as soon as quickly as possible." The trial took place in the Swedenborgian Church. The Democrat of June 6 further said: The speech of Mr. Larned for the defense was a brilliant one, every way worthy of his reputation, and is considered one of the most splendid efforts ever made in this city. . . . Mr. Fleshman, for the owner, has conducted the case remarkably well. . . . For legal ability and research, and for critical analysis and acumen, we have heard the speech of Mr. Manierre for the defense spoken of by members of the bar as an effort that would do abundant credit to a lawyer of the most extended reputation, , , , There is no doubt of the negro's discharge." This action of Commissioner Meeker was bitterly denounced by every pro-slavery advocate in the West. It was referred to for several years as a standing disgrace to Chicago, but the Abolitionists here and the free soil advocates were proud of the record and continued their tactics of every description to defeat the execution of the fugitive slave law. The Colored people of Chicago at a public meeting voted to raise means to present to George Manierre and E. C. Larned suitable gifts to reward them for their gratuitous services; silver cups suitably engraved were selected. These two men and also Grant Goodrich and John M. Wilson, who had aided them, were publicly thanked by the colored people of Chicago."
Source: Weston Arthur Goodspeed, Daniel David Healy. 1909. History of Cook County, Vol. 1, published by The Goodspeed Historical Association, pages 411-412. Downloaded Feb. 2012 via Google Books.
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Judge George Manierre, I, Chicago pioneer's Timeline
July 15, 1817
New London, CT, USA
September 17, 1842
Fontana, WI, USA
February 4, 1845
Chicago, Cook, IL, USA
March 26, 1847
Chicago, IL, USA
July 28, 1858
May 21, 1863
Chicago, IL, USA
Chicago, Cook, IL, USA