Page images
PDF
EPUB

tions to that house in which it shall a law without his sanction. If his have originated, who shall enter objections be not thus overruled the objections at large on their the subject is only postponed, and journal, and proceed to recon is referred to the states and the sider it.'

people for their consideration and “ The preservation of the consti decision. The President's power tution from infraction is the Presi. is negative merely, and not affirmadent's highest duty. He is bound tive. He can enact 110 law. The to discharge that duty at whatever only effect, therefore, of his withhazard of incurring the displeasure holding his approval of a bill of those who may differ from him passed by the Congress, is to suffer in opinion. He is bound to dis- the existing laws to remain uncharge it, as well by his obliga- changed, and the delay occasioned tions to the people who have clothed is only that required to enable the him with his exalted trust, as by states and the people to consider his oath of office, which he may and act upon the subject in the not disregard. Nor are the obli- election of public agents who will gations of the President in any carry out their wishes and instrucdegree lessened by the prevalence tions. Any attempt to coerce the of views different from his own in President to yield his sanction to one or both Houses of Congress. measures which he cannot approve It is not alone hasty and incon- would be a violation of the spirit siderate legislation that he is re of the constitution palpable and quired to check, but if at any time fagrant; and, if successful, would Congress shall, after apparently break down the dependence of the full deliberation, resolve on mea Executive department, and make sures which he deems subversive the President, elected by the peoof the constitution, or of the vital ple and clothed by the constitution interests of the country, it is his with power to defend their rights, solemn duty to stand in the breach the mere instrument of a majority and resist them. The President of Congress. A surrender on his is bound to approve or disapprove part of the powers with which the every bill which passes Congress constitution has invested bis office and is presented to him for his would effect a practical alteration signature. The constitution makes of that instrument, without resortthis his duty, and he cannot escape ing to the prescribed process of it if he would. He has no elec- amendment. tion. In deciding upon any bill "But it is, in point of fact, untrue presented to him, he must exer that an act passed by Congress is cise his own best judgment. If he conclusive evidence that it is an cannot approve, the constitution emanation of the popular will. A commands him to return the bill majority of the whole number to the House in which it origin- elected to each House of Congress ated, with his objections; and if constitutes a quorum, and a mahe fail to do this within 10 days jority of that quorum is competent (Sundays excepted), it shall become to pass laws. It might happen a law without his signature. Right that a quorum of the House of or wrong, he may be overruled by a Representatives, consisting of a vote of two-thirds of each house; single member more than half of and in that event the bill becomes the whole number elected to that

House, might pass a bill by a ma · Besides, in most of the states, jority of a single vote, and in that the members of the House of Recase a fraction more than one- presentatives are chosen by plu. fourth of the people of the United ralities, and not by majorities of all States would be represented by the voters in their respective disthose who voted for it. It might tricts; and it may happen that a happen that the same bill might majority of that House may be rebe passed by a majority of one, of turned by a less aggregate vote of a quorum of the Senate, composed the people than that received by of senators from the fifteen smaller the minority. states, and a single senator from a “The power of the Executive veto sixteenth state, and if the senators was exercised by the first and most voting for it happened to be from illustrious of my predecessors, and the eight of the smallest of these by four of his successors, who prestates, it would be passed by the ceded me in the administration of votes of senators from states having the Government, and it is believed but fourteen representatives in the in no instance prejudicially to the House of Representatives, and con- public interests. It has never taining less than one-sixteenth of been, and there is but little danger the whole population of the United that it ever can be abused. No States. This extreme case is President will ever desire unneces. stated to illustrate the fact that sarily to place his opinion in opthe mere passage of a bill by Con. position to that of Congress. He gress is no conclusive evidence must always exercise the power that those who passed it represent reluctantly, and only in cases where the majority of the people of the his convictions make it a matter of United States, or truly reflect stern duty which he cannot escape. their will. If such an extreme Indeed, there is more danger that case is not likely to happen, cases the President, from the repugnance that approximate it are of constant he must always feel to come in occurrence. It is believed that collision with Congress, may fail not a single law has been passed to exercise it in cases where the since the adoption of the constitu- preservation of the constitution tion upon which all the members from infraction, or the public good, elected to both Houses have been may demand it, than that he will present and voted. Many of the exercise it unnecessarily or wanmost important acts which have tonly. passed Congress have been carried “Invoking the blessings of the by a close vote in thin houses. Almighty upon your deliberations Many instances of this might be at your present important Session, given. Indeed, our experience my ardent hope is, that, in a spirit proves that many of the most im- of harmony and concord, you may portant acts of Congress are post. be guided to wise results, and such poned to the last days, and often as may redound to the happiness, the last hours of a session, when the honour, and the glory of our they are disposed of in haste, and beloved country. by houses but little exceeding

* James K. POLK the number necessary to form a “ Washington, Dec. 5, 1848." quorum.

CHRONICLE.

JANUARY, 1848.

1. MURDE

URDER AT NailsEA. – lockjaw, arising from the wound.

A coroner's inquest was From the description given by the held at West Town, near Nailsea, deceased, a youth named Manfield Somerset, to inquire into the cir was on the following day apprecumstances attending the death of hended by the constable of NailJohn Wall. The murdered man, sea, who also found the gun with who bore the character of being a which the crime was perpetrated, sober, industrious, and inoffensive and traced it to Manfield's posman, was about 42 or 43 years of session. The prisoner, when taken age. It appears from his state- before the deceased, was at once ment, that, at between three and recoguised by him as the man four o'clock in the evening of the whom he saw looking in through 17th Dec., while it was quite the window. He was subsequently light, he was in his cottage, en taken before a magistrate of the gaged near the fire preparing some county, and when about to be confood for pigs; he was stooping veyed to prison he said that he down, and while in that position ought not to be taken alone, but he heard the crash of a pane of that his brother, Charles Manfield, glass in the window. He rose up, and a relative named Robert Jakeand saw a gun pointed through the ways, ought to be taken with him. broken glass, but before he could It appears, from a statement which move the gun was discharged, and he made, that the prisoner himhe received the contents in his self, his brother Charles, another thigh. In an instant after he saw brother, quite a boy, and Robert a man looking in, evidently to see Jakeways, were out shooting in the whether the murderous deed had neighbourhood of deceased's house, been accomplished. The wounded and, not being very happy in findman rushed out of the cottage and ing game, Jakeways said, “Come, saw some young men running let us shoot the old fellow.” This across the fields, but could not re was agreed upon; but either not cognise them. He then contrived wishing to implicate the boy, or to reach the surgery of Mr. Bisdee, probably from the fear that he at West Town, by whom the wound might betray them, they sent him was dressed ; but, after lingering away under the pretence that he nearly a fortnight, he expired from should gather some "Christmas” VOL. XC.

B ·

in a neighbouring wood, they say. The bed-clothes were in a state ing that they were going to shoot which showed that a most violent a wild duck down by the drain. struggle had taken place on the Jakeways then took the gun and part of the murdered children for fired in at the window at the de- the preservation of their lives. ceased, and the prisoner looked in There were no other marks of vioto see the effect of the shot. These lence about the bodies. statements were corroborated by It appeared by the evidence evidence, and the jury returned å given by Robert Blake, the father, verdict of “Wilful Murder" against that the deceased children were Charles Manfield, and against Ro- born in wedlock, but that he had bert and Anthony Manfield as ac- separated about four years ago cessories.

from their mother; and had since, - DOUBLE MURDER IN GOLDEN for two years and a half, cohabited LANE.-Great excitement was cre with Harriet Parker, the person ated in this densely peopled neigh now accused, who is a widow. She bourhood by the discovery of a passed for his wife. He saw his double murder, the victims of children last between five and six which were two children, Amina o'clock on Friday evening, when Blake, aged eight years, and Ro- he put them to bed. Blake then bert Blake, aged five years, whose left the house, intending to go to father, Robert Blake, a grinder, the theatre with a male friend. resided at No. 3, Cupid's Court. He and Parker had had no serious A woman, named Harriet Parker, quarrel before, but she followed who had cohabited with Blake, was him out, intending to annoy him arrested on the charge of having and to prevent him from going. committed the deed.

She threatened to follow him step A coroner's inquest was held on by step wherever he went; and the bodies.

she did follow him to several The coroner and jury proceeded places. At the Duke of Bedford to view the bodies, which lay on a public-house he told her to go bed on a turn-up bedstead, in the home, for he did not mean to go front room on the ground floor at to the theatre. A person came the house No. 3, Cupid's Court. in at the time, with whom she enThey were in the exact position tered into conversation, and he they were left by the accused. took that opportunity of making The elder child (the girl) was at the his escape. He had not seen her foot of the bed, with her head near since. He slept at the house of a the wainscot, in a position from friend in Goswell Street, and about which it was evident a struggle 11 o'clock the next morning, as he must have taken place. It was the was going down Golden Lane to his opinion of the jury that the poor work with his shopmate, a person child had been suffocated by a pil- stopped them and told them of the low having been placed over its murder. mouth. There was a scratch across Stephen Hewlett, Blake's comher throat, about three inches in panion, corroborated his statement, length. The other child was at adding that when the woman the head of the bed, and presented Parker missed him she ran out appearances of his death having greatly excited. She returned in been caused in a similar manner. about five minutes, and said, " It is

son.

a good job you did not go out with on witness's shoulders, and said, him. He shall repent of this be- “He has not come home, and what fore the morning. I will do some a pretty spectacle there is for him thing that he shall repent of, and when he does.” Witness asked I will die like a trump at New- what she meant; when she replied, gate." She then went away. Some “ I have murdered his two chiltime after he went to her house, dren." Witness said, “ You don't No. 3, Cupid's Court, Golden mean to say that ?" when she re

She opened the window, plied, “I do, and I am now going and he said to her, “Mrs. Blake, to give myself up." She then what is the matter with you?” went away.

She afterwards saw She replied, “I have something her at the police-station, and heard very black on my mind, and I'll her say that she hoped she should stop it before long."

not be dragged through the streets The Coroner.-Did she say any to the police-office, but go in a cab, thing else?

as she knew she must go to priWitness.--Yes; she said “ You will hear of me before you see me." Lucy Matthews, of No. 8,

A Juror.—What induced you to Cupid's Court, said that Harriet go to Parker's house?

Parker came to her house about Witness.- I pondered over what eight o'clock on Friday night for a she had threatened, and I thought light. She was then trembling, I had better go and see her. and appeared in a very excited

Jane Moore, of No. 9, Cupid's state. She said that Blake did not Court, stated, that on Saturday intend to go with her when he morning, about four o'clock, she went out. The deceased Amina heard a knocking at the door. Her Blake came for another light behusband opened the window, when tween eight and nine o'clock, and Harriet Parker called out, “ It is witness heard at four o'clock the me, Mr. Moore; I want to speak next morning the knocking at the to your wife, and do not hinder street door. She heard Parker's her; I'll not detain her five mi- voice, and asked her if she had not nutes." Upon going down stairs gone in doors yet? She (Parker) she found Harriet Parker waiting replied, “ No, I have not; and I at the door. She went into the shall never go in again; my heart lower room and sat down, exclaim- is bleeding.” Witness got up, and ing, “Oh! Mrs. Moore, I have heard from Mrs. Moore that Parker done it." Witness asked what she had murdered the two children. had done? when Parker replied,

Mr. F. Wright, surgeon, gave " Blake came home last night to evidence as to his examination of take me to the play, and on going the bodies, from which it appeared out he met with a strumpet, who that death had in both cases re took his arm, and they ran away sulted from a forcible compression immediately; saying that she was of the mouth and nostrils by the Blake's mistress.”

Witness con

hand of some party, such violence sidered that she was greatly ex- causing suffocation. cited, and told her that it was not After a careful inquiry of three the proper time to call her up to days' duration, the jury returned a tell her of it. Parker then got up verdict of "Wilful Murder" against from her seat and placed her hands Harriet Parker in both cases.

« PreviousContinue »