Slave Case in Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Columbian gives the facts of the slave case which has been lately on trial in that city:
Two colored men, named, Alfred Raney and Emanuel Points, have been the slaves of a man who resided about three miles from Dover, Kentucky. He owed some three or four thousand dollars to one Baldwin Haurl, of Missouri, who took the slaves, it is said, at a valuation of $1,400, according to the bill of sale, but with a verbal contract that the said slaves should be returned upon the repayment of the said assessed value.
The slaves were placed in charge of Stokes Anderson and Paskett Anderson, as agents of Mr. Haurl, and they brought them down from Dover on the steamer Kenton. When the boat reached here, last (Tuesday) night, they were fastened together by a heavy trace chain locked around their bodies, and were thus taken from the steamer Kenton and walked along the wharf of our city to the steamer Jacob Strader, which was to take them on.
This fact having leaked out, a habeas corpus was sued out against the captain of the steamer Jacob Strader. At the hearing before Judge Spencer and Judge Storer, S.P. Chase appeared with Judge Walker, and Messrs. Joliffe and Stallo, in behalf of the colored men.
The evidence before the court sustained the statement of facts above given. On the 16th inst., the case was argued by A.O. Sullivan, Esq., for the claimants, and by Judge Stallo, for the negroes. Mr. Sullivan admitted that Slavery was an institution depending upon local law, and that the presumption of the law was in favor of freedom; but he contended that by comity in the law of nations, “an alien friend, subject of a foreign, power, when he sojourns abroad, is allowed the rights and property of his own land.”
Judge Stallo made a very brilliant argument on the other side.
We have no report of the proceedings of Saturday, on which day it was expected that arguments would be heard from Messrs. Walker, Joliffe, and Hon. S.P. Chase, for the slaves, and T. Chambers, Esq., for the master. But by telegraph, we learn that on the 21st the two negroes were brought into court, when Judge Storer informed them that they were at liberty to go free, but they preferred to return with their master, and were at once conveyed across the river without excitement.
The case is of great value, as sustaining the doctrine laid down in the Lemmon case in New York, and in other cases, that slaves brought by their masters into free States become free, unless they choose to return. An effort is to be made to induce the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn this law, and set up instead of it the universal law of slavery, but with the signs, now in full view of the tribunal, of a spirit on the part of the State courts to maintain State rights, it is likely that the effort will not be successful.
The National Era, March 29, 1855