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[180] cooks, etc., of Northern vessels trading to Charleston. Massachusetts, therefore, at length resolved, through the action of her Legislature,1 to test its constitutionality by instituting legal proceedings, which should bring it ultimately to an adjudication by the Supreme Court of the United States. To this end, Gov. Briggs appointed Hon. Samuel Hoar--one of her most eminent and venerable citizens, who had served her with honor in many important trusts, including a seat in Congress — to proceed to Charleston, and there institute the necessary proceedings, in order to bring the matter to judgment. Mr. Hoar accepted this new duty, and left home accordingly in November, 1844, for Charleston; reaching that city on the 28th of that month. So utterly unsuspecting was he of giving offense, or provoking violence, that his young daughter accompanied him.

On the day of his arrival, Mr. Hoar addressed a letter to the Governor of South Carolina,2 announcing the fact, and stating the purpose of his mission to be, “the collecting and transmission of accurate information respecting the number and the names of citizens of Massachusetts, who have heretofore been, or may be, during the period of the engagement of the agent, imprisoned without the allegation of any crime.” He further stated that he was authorized to bring and prosecute one or more suits in behalf of any citizen so imprisoned, for the purpose of having the legality of such imprisonment tried and determined in the Supreme Court of the United States.

The next morning, Mr. Hoar called on Mr. Eggleston, who had been appointed to the same agency before him, and requested of him an introduction to the Mayor of Charleston, his object being to procure access to the records of orders or sentences, under which citizens of Massachusetts, it was understood, had been imprisoned. Mr. Eggleston acceded to his request, but said it would be best that he should first see the

1 Resolves of March 24, 1843, and March 16, 1844.

2 Hon. James H. Hammond, since distinguished as a U. S. Senator.

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