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Browsing named entities in a specific section of Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones). Search the whole document.

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Prentiss appeared to most advantage before that court, and a distinguished judge of the Supreme Court of Alabama, who had heard him before the chancellor of Mississippi, expressed to me the opinion that his talents shone most conspicuously in that forum. These were men who could be led from a fair judgment of a legal argument by mere oratory, about as readily as old Playfair could be turned from a true criticism upon a mathematical treatise by its being burnished over with extracts from Fourth of July harangues. Had brilliant declamation been his only or chief faculty, there were plenty of his competitors at the bar who, by their learning and powers of argument, would have knocked the spangles off of him and sent his cases whirling out of court, to the astonishment of hapless clients who had trusted to such fragile help in the time of trial. It may be asked how is this possible? How is it consistent with the jealous demands which the law makes of the ceaseless and persevering at
September 30th, 1808 AD (search for this): chapter 1.2
Sergeant Smith Prentiss and his career. An estimate of the man by a contemporary. John G. Baldwin. Sergeant Smith Prentiss was born in Portland, Me., September 30, 1808, and died at Natchez, Miss., July 1, 1850. Forty-four eventful years have come and gone, and yet the name and fame of Prentiss is as green in the memory of those who admire talent and love chivalry as when he was here in the flesh. With one or two honorable exceptions, his contemporaries are all dead. Much has been written and printed of this wonderful man. Every reminiscence, however, with which his name is connected is eagerly read, not only in Mississippi but throughout the Union. Not one Mississippian, perhaps, in 10,000 ever saw a likeness of Prentiss. The one contained in several metropolitan papers last year was a miserable caricature—no more like Prentiss than Prentiss was like Hercules. Of all the sketches written of Prentiss, the following, from J. G. Baldwin, a contemporary of Prentiss, who af
rds removed to California and was elevated to the Supreme Court of that State, is believed to be the best: The character of the bar, in the older portions of the State, of Mississippi, was very different from that of the bar in the new districts. Especially was this the case with the counties on, and near the Mississippi river. In its front ranks stood Prentiss, Holt, Boyd, Quitman, Wilkinson, Winchester, Foote, Henderson and others. It was at the period first mentioned by me, in 1837, that Sergeant S. Prentiss was in the flower of his forensic fame. He had not, at that time, mingled largely in federal politics. He had made but few enemies, and had not staled his presence, but was in all the freshness of his unmatched faculties. At this day it is difficult for anyone to appreciate the enthusiasm which greeted this gifted man, the admiration which was felt for him, and the affection which followed him. He was to Mississippi, in her youth, what Jenny Lind is to the musica
e parties, had voted the Democratic ticket from coroner up to governor, threw up their hats and shouted for him. He was returned to Congress by a large majority, leading his colleague, who ran on precisely the same question, by more than 1,000 votes. The political career of Mr. Prentiss after this time is a matter of public history, and I do not propose to refer to it. After his return from Congress, Mr. Prentiss continued to devote himself to his profession, but subsequently to 1841 or 1842, he was more engaged in closing up his old business than in prosecuting new. Some year or two afterwards the suit which involved his fortune was determined against him in the Supreme Court of the United States, and he found himself by this event, aggravated as it was by his immense liabilities for others, deprived of the accumulations of years of successful practice, and again dependent upon his own exertions for the support of himself and others now placed under his protection. In the meant
on of the parties, had voted the Democratic ticket from coroner up to governor, threw up their hats and shouted for him. He was returned to Congress by a large majority, leading his colleague, who ran on precisely the same question, by more than 1,000 votes. The political career of Mr. Prentiss after this time is a matter of public history, and I do not propose to refer to it. After his return from Congress, Mr. Prentiss continued to devote himself to his profession, but subsequently to 1841 or 1842, he was more engaged in closing up his old business than in prosecuting new. Some year or two afterwards the suit which involved his fortune was determined against him in the Supreme Court of the United States, and he found himself by this event, aggravated as it was by his immense liabilities for others, deprived of the accumulations of years of successful practice, and again dependent upon his own exertions for the support of himself and others now placed under his protection. In t
July 1st, 1850 AD (search for this): chapter 1.2
Sergeant Smith Prentiss and his career. An estimate of the man by a contemporary. John G. Baldwin. Sergeant Smith Prentiss was born in Portland, Me., September 30, 1808, and died at Natchez, Miss., July 1, 1850. Forty-four eventful years have come and gone, and yet the name and fame of Prentiss is as green in the memory of those who admire talent and love chivalry as when he was here in the flesh. With one or two honorable exceptions, his contemporaries are all dead. Much has been wri Natchez he was taken to the residence of a relation, and from that time, only for a moment, did a glance of recognition fall, lighting up for an instant his pallid features, upon his wife and children weeping around his bed. On the morning of July 1, 1850, died this remarkable man in the forty-second year of his age. What he was we know. What he might have been, after a mature age and a riper wisdom we cannot tell. But that he was capable of commanding the loftiest heights of fame, and markin
judgments were thus confirmed—when they received the endorsements of such men as Clay, Webster and Calhoun, they felt a kind of personal interest in him; he was their Prentiss. They had first discovered him—first brought him out—first proclaimed his greatness. Their excitement knew no bounds. Political considerations, too, doubtless had their weight. The canvass opened—it was less a canvass than an ovation. He went through the State, a herculean task, making speeches every day, except Sundays, in the sultry months of summer and fall. The people of all classes and both sexes turned out to hear him: He came, as he declared, less on his own errand than theirs, to vindicate a violated constitution, to rebuke the insult to the honor and sovereignty of the State, to uphold the sacred right of the people to elect their own rulers. The theme was worthy of the orator, the orator of the subject. This period may be considered the golden prime of the genius of Prentiss. His real effe
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