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oppressed by the strong! Now if I was in favour with any judge of the land, and had a trial pending, whether for debt, or life and death, and he was to decide in my favour through motives of friendship or other sinister views, what am I to expect from his judgment when he changes his mind and becomes my enemy? and I do most solemnly declare that if any judge was to give a charge (for that has great weight oftentimes with a jury) for or against me through bribery, I would be the first to oppose him and bring him to that punishment which his demerits deserve; on the other hand, if any man was to traduce and vilify my reputation, (were I a judge of a court of law), I would if innocent of the charge, bring the aggressors to punishment, and I think it is a circumstance which ought to be looked into, for if they are guiltless, they have nothing to fear; but if otherwise, the people have the bad effect to feel in all its horrors, and I hope the hon. judges will be able to extricate themselves and free themselves from such vile reports, for it weakens the hands of government, and totally subverts all good order if such practices are winked at; now some will be apt to say, I publish this because of different sentiments in politics; but I do assure you it is no such thing, for I don't know any of the persons accused. As 10 politics I care nothing about them, for I am an Englishman by birth, but an enemy to all oppression let it be committed by whom it will, for none were ever more opposed to tyranny than myself, and if judges are allowed to be bribed, I think it has a tendency to oppression and tyranny in the greatest extreme.”
"WM. P. LAW." “ Montgomery County."
The foregoing article not appearing in the paper, led the writer to address himself to me again. In his second communication, in order to remove all doubts as to his willingness to support his charge, he gives me (as will be seen below). his place of abode as well as his name. Indeed, I afterwards found him to be a very respectable man. « Worcester Township, Montgomery County,
March 27th, 1799 • “SIR,
" On the 8th instant, I brought a piece to your office for publication, respecting Adney Evans's assertion of his cousin Frederick Evans's bribing three of the judges of N************* county; but from its not appearing in the papers, I suppose you have either forgotten it, or have been doubtful of its truth; I assure you, it is a true statement as related by Adney Evans, and I am willing to hazard the consequence of its publication ; and you will very much oblige me if you will publish it as soon as you can, for though I am neither Democrat nor Aristocrat, but an Englishman, and I always love to see justice, done to all men,* whether in public or private life, for if the judges are guilty, they ought to be expelled from office as soon as possible, and if innocent, the slanderer ought to be
* There is no branch of government on which an Englishman, both from babit and the natural turn of his mind, sets so much value, and watches so narrowly, as the judiciary. And, in fact, no reasonable man expects liberty, real liberty, from any other source. When the courts of justice are corrupted, all true freedom is at an end. VOL. IX.
punished; when I called at your house, you were engaged with company, and I was desired to call next morning; but, from the badness of the weather, and other business, I was prevented; and, whatever may be the consequence of its publication, I am willing to risk it at any rate ; therefore, Sir, I hope you will publish it both in the town and country papers.
“ WM. PARRIN LAW.”
.“ To Mr. WM. COBBE
· Mr. Colbert.-By publishing the following in - your Gazette, you will oblige many labouring under difficulties.
66 BANK DIRECTORS.
“The evident inconveniencies to which a number of the merchants of established credit, character, and property, are reduced, from the repeated disappointments experienced by thein in the Banks, on whom they depend for their occasional accommodations to meet engagements, are of a nature, no less serious, than oppressive to the honest industrious fair traders; at the same time, that a line of conduct, embarrassing to those engaged in commercé, tends to favour the unrelenting usurious train of harpies and connections, well known to be ruinous to numbers, to the manifest disgrace of the country, and of the institutions from whom they receive encouragement.
66 This to This being notorious, and a well established fact. it cannot be deemed forward, nor improper in any person, interested in the happiness of the city, to call the attention of the Directors to the causes and complaints, which, in their consequences, must be destructive to the happiness of both merchants and many others.
“That causes do exist, to justify the strongest suspicions of secret influence, and a glaring partiality in the management of the Banks, can scarcely admit of a doubt; especially, if any stress, or depen. dance can be placed on common opinion, and the freedom with which the subject is treated and talked of, it is nevertheless known, and understood well, that there are Gentlemen in the Direction of each of the Banks, not only independent, but too tenacious of their honour, to countenance, or overlook abuses, had they come to their knowledge.
“ The Banks, with the funds they possess, are more than competent, under proper regulations, to give ample support to the merchants, if conducted to give facility to commerce and agriculture only, without favour, or friendship, and in conformity to the actual original intention and object of the establishments.
“But the avarice of certain characters, and of their partisans combined, forming a system, at an early period, (both shameful and disgraceful) to encourage a train of Stock-jobbers, Speculators, Usurers, and their Agents, as their customers in ihe Banks, under one pretext or other; rendered it impossible to do justice to the trust. Such has been the encouragement and influence they have had, that the accommodations of merchants (not immediately connected with one or more of the Directors), were at times dealt out but sparingly, unless obtained through a Director, by a previous application; a most distressing and mortifying situation this in
deed! to men of character and property, useful in their line, to be reduced to the necessity of soliciting favours, and frequently disappointed by a decided preference to Speculators and Usurers, although the Directors could not be ignorant, nor blind, to the use those harpies employed the monies they had been supplied with.
"There can be no hesitation therefore, to suspect, that the advocates for this usurious and dangerous tribe, in particular, must be interested, and the instruments of the ruin to numbers, more useful in their honourable pursuits, than the bloodsuckers alluded to. .“ The frequent Bankruptcies, that have taken place for years, may, with truth, be imputed to this horde of harpies, and their agents—The Directors may attempt to vindicate their conduct; but they cannot contend, that a pointed partiality, to a group of Usurers and connections, can have the tendency to give greater security and dignity to the institutions under their management, than the merchants, traders, and farmers can give.
“ In England, the Change-alley gentry are avowedly guarded against, as well as their Brokers, and precluded from a credit in the Bank; and, moreover, the instant it is discovered that any of the merchants are reduced to the necessity of having recourse to Usurers, for anticipation, their Bank accounts (if they have any), are closed, and their credit immediately stopped.
“The laws of England, to discourage and punish Usurer3, are just, and rigidly enforced, to protect and encourage commerce, and the industrious part of the conimunity.-But, the ascendancy and influence of Usurers, their agents, and secret connections in Philadelphia, seems to have thrown the whole profitable trade of the City, into the hands of their Brokers; and so independent and distinguished