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6 > Page 6 of Argument of Hon. Henry L. Stone of Mt. Sterling, Ky. : delivered May 20th, 21st, and 24th, 1880, before the jury in the Jefferson Court of Common Pleas, at Louisville, in behalf of the defendant on the trial of the celebrated libel suit of Thomas M. Green vs. Thomas F. Hargis / reported by Charles A. Graham ; with an appendix containing the pleadings, instructions, verdict, judgment, executions, officer's returns thereon, and sketches of the jurors.

ARGUMENT OF HON. hIENRY L. STAONE. published in the Mercury, at Carlisle, in Nicholas county. That letter was circulated all over the Fourteenth Judicial District. It was pub- lished in the newspapers throughout that District. These charges having been first intimated by the plaintiff, without stating the facts, or supporting the charges by record and oral evidence, as appears in that letter, the defendant charged that the plaintiff was a venal writer-that he was a willful and malicious liar, slanderer, and coward. But what does the plaintiff do Does he bring a suit for libel Does he take any personal action in the matter He contents himself by shooting paper bullets at the defendant through the columns of his villainous sheet, the Maysville Eagle. For five years the matter rests in that shape What more could Judge Hargis do After the plaintiff had thus submitted to the denunciations contained in that Open Letter, neither instituting suit for libel against defendant, nor taking any other steps as a man thus denounced ought to have done, there was no other course for Judge Hargis to pursue than to treat his publications with the silent contempt they deserved. Judge Hargis took no notice of him until i879, and even then in the article on which this action is brought he does not mention the name of Mr. Green. Yet, this man who swallowed the words of Judge Hargis in' 1874, when he called him a malicious liar, slanderer, and coward, comes into this court-house, having slept on the Open Letter for five years, and says now that he is greatly slandered because Judge Hargis has, in the Cowrierjozurmnal article, called him a willful calumniator. With what consideration, I ask you as honest men, should you treat a man that acts in that way What consideration does he deserve at your hands He is too long in discovering that his reputation can be injured by the defendant. Why didn't he bring his suit in the county of Nicholas, the residence of Judge Hargis, where the Open Letter thus denouncing him was published, when all these matters were fresh in the recollec- tion of witnesses, when some of the most important witnesses in this controversy were then alive and could have testified, among whom were judge Apperson, Stevens Roe, Samuel R. Elliott, C. E. Johnson, Wm. L. Sudduth, Judge Elliott, and divers others who are now dead and gone. No, he did not choose to bring his action then and there, but he chose to bring it out of the county of Judge Hargis' residence, away from the people of his section, among strangers, but among plaintiff's own kinsmen, college-mates, and personal friends in the city of Louisville. Judge Hargis brought his witnesses and attorneys here at frightful expense in railroad- and hotel fare, hundreds of miles. to make good the charge against the plaintiff-that he is a willful calumni- ator. Upon Mr. Green's own chosen ground the defendant has not been afraid or failed to meet him, and asks no quarter. Do you believe, after all these facts, that the plaintiff brought this action in good faith Do you believe that this action was instituted by the plaintiff for the purpose of recovering damages from the defendant on account of an alleged injury to his character In April, i874, John R. Taber was the clerk of the Rowan Circuit Court, and the custodian of its records Sometime in that month it was discovered that certain mutilations had been made upon his books. ,First, that a leaf had been taken out of Order Book, No. 2, containing a portion of the orders of the 28th of August, i866; that a leaf had been cut from the Minute Book corresponding with those orders; that 6