previous next

[226] to assess Mr. Effingham's damages. The trial, of course, was ex-parte, Mr. Weed being absent and defenceless. Cooper's lawyer made a wordy, windy, abusive appeal for exemplary damages. The jury retired, under a strong charge against Mr. Weed from Judge Willard, and after remaining in their room till twelve o'clock at night, sealed a verdict for $400 for Mr. Effingham, which was delivered to the Court this morning.

This meagre verdict, under the circumstances, is a severe and mortifying rebuke to Cooper, who had everything his own way.

The value of Mr. Cooper's character, therefore, has been judicially ascertained.

It is worth exactly four hundred dollars.

Col. Webb's trial comes on this afternoon; his counsel, C. L. Jordan, Esq., having just arrived in the up train. Cooper will be blown sky high. This experiment upon the Editor of the Courier and Enquirer, I predict, will cure the “handsome Mr. Effingham” of his monomania for libels.’

The rest of the story shall be given here in Mr. Greeley's own words. He begins the narrative thus:—

The responsible Editor of the Tribune returned yesterday morning from a week's journey to and sojourn in the County of Saratoga, having been thereto urgently persuaded by a Supreme Court writ, requiring him to answer to the declaration of Mr. J. Fenimore Cooper in an action for Libel.

This suit was originally to have been tried at the May Circuit at Ballston; but neither Fenimore (who was then engaged in the Coopering of Col. Stone of the Commercial) nor we had time to attend to it—so it went over to this term, which opened at Ballston Spa on Monday, Dec. 5th. We arrived on the ground at eleven o'clock of that day, and found the plaintiff and his lawyers ready for us, our case No. 10 on the calendar, and of course a good prospect of an early trial; but an important case involving Water-rights came in ahead of us (No. 8) taking two days, and it was half-past 10, A. M., of Friday, before ours was reached—very fortunately for us, as we had no lawyer, had never talked over the case with one, or made any preparation whatever, save in thought, and had not even found time to read the papers pertaining to it till we arrived at Ballston.

The delay in reaching the case gave us time for all; and that we did not employ lawyers to aid in our conduct or defense proceeded from no want of confidence in or deference to the many eminent members of the Bar there in attendance, beside Mr. Cooper's three able counsel, but simply from the fact that we wished to present to the Court some considerations which we thought had been overlooked or overborne in the recent Trials of the Press for Libel before our Supreme and Circuit Courts, and which, since they appealed more directly and forcibly to the experience of Editors than of Lawyers, we presumed

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Ballston (New York, United States) (3)
Saratoga (New York, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fenimore Cooper (4)
Effingham (3)
Weed (2)
J. Fenimore Cooper (2)
Willard (1)
James Watson Webb (1)
E. G. Stone (1)
C. L. Jordan (1)
Horace Greeley (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 5th (1)
May (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: