Resolutions on the Death of Nathaniel Pope, 3 June 1850
Proceedings of the Circuit and District Courts of the United States at Springfield Illinois on the death of Judge Nathaniel Pope– "Present the Hon: Thomas Drummond–
“Monday June 3d 1850
On the opening of the Court this morning the Hon: Abraham Lincoln a member of the bar of this Court suggested the death of the Hon Nathaniel Pope late a Judge of this Court, since the adjournment of the last term, Where upon in token of respect in the memory of the deceased it is ordered that the Court do now adjourn until tomorrow morning at 10 oclock and that the motion be entered of record.1
“Wednesday June 5th 1850
On the opening of Court this morning Mr Williams, the District attorney of the United States made the following remarks,
The proceedings of the Bar meeting held yesterday, have been placed in my hands this morning with a request that I would communicate them to your Honor. They are designed to express the sentiments of profound sorrow and regret with which the death of Judge Pope
has impressed those who have adopted them. I need not say how sincerely I feel the melancholy event which has deprived the Bench of an honored incumbent, the Bar of a wise, judicious and affectionate Counsellor, the Community of a just man, a good Citizen, an high minded gentleman. A proper appreciation of his virtues and qualifications by those who have long known him, has dictated the tribute to his worth embodied in the resolutions which I have now the honor to present to the Court, and respectfully ask that they may be placed upon its records.
To which His Honor Judge Drummond responded as follows,
The Court very willingly Complies with the request made on the part of the Bar.
It is proper that upon the records of the Court when he a distinguished Justice for so many years, there Should be placed an enduring memorial of the worth and high qualities as a Judge and a man of the subject of your resolutions.
His mind and memory are intimately connected with the political and judicial history of the State– He assisted at its admission into the Union, when admitted he was immediately appointed a Judge of the Circuit ^District^ Court and for more than thirty years he acted in that
capacity upon all the events and acts with which he was connected during a long and distinguished career, he impressed the stamp of his firm and decided character. It is felt now– it will be felt always
While the history and reputation of our great men are the property of the Country, it is peculiarly the province and the duty of the members of your profession and of the Courts to cherish the virtues and venerate the character of one eminent at the Bar or on the Bench and to take a pride and high gratification in aiding to transmit his name to posterity.
The memory of the Judge whose virtues and services your resolutions record, will long be preserved by the members of the Bar throughout the State, where his ability and integrity have furnished to us all a guide and example.
It is now the order of the Court, that the proceedings of the Bar be entered upon the records of the Court and that the Judge will wear the usual badge of mourning during the Term, as an expression of his entire concurrence with the feelings of the Bar, Which proceedings are as follows–
At a meeting of the Bar of the
Bar of the Circuit and District Courts of the United States in and for the District of Illinois held in the Court room in Springfield on Monday the 3d day of June A.D. 1850 the Hon: Samuel H. Treat Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois was appointed Chairman and E. N. Powell Esq[Esquire] Secretary..2
The Hon: Stephen T. Logan, the Hon Norman H. Purple, the Hon: David L Gregg, The Hon. Abraham Lincoln and George W Meeker Esq were appointed a Committee to prepare resolutions expressive of the sentiments and feelings of the meeting on the melancholy event of the death of the Hon Nathaniel Pope late Judge of the District Court of the United States for the District of Illinois.
Where upon the Hon Stephen T Logan in behalf of the committee presented the following preamble and resolutions
The Hon Nathaniel Pope District Judge of the United States Court for the District of Illinois having departed this life, during the late vacation of said Court and the members of the Bar of said Court entertaining the higest veneration of his memory, a profound respect for his ability, great experience and learning as a Judge, and cherishing for
his many virtues, public and private, his earnest simplicity of character, and unostentatious deportment, both in his public and private relations, the most lively and affectionate recollections have resolved,
That as a manifestation of this deep sense of the loss which has been sustained in his death they will wear the usual badge of mourning during the residue of the Term.3
That the Chairman communicate to the family of the deceased a copy of these proceedings, with an assurance of our sincere condolence on account of their heavy bereavement–
That the Hon: A. Williams District attorney of this Court be requested in behalf of this meeting to present these proceedings to the Circuit Court and respectfully to ask that they may be entered on the recordsSamuel H Treat
ChairmanE. N. Powell
2There is some discrepancy regarding the date of this meeting. In his remarks to the court, Archibald Williams indicated that the gathering was on June 4, but the court proceedings here indicate that it occurred on June 3. The Daily Register for June 4 confirms the meeting occurred on the evening of June 3.
Daily Register (Springfield, IL), 4 June 1850, 2:1.
Copy of Autograph Document Signed, 5 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).