xt7s7h1dk576 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7s7h1dk576/data/mets.xml Stone, Henry Lane, 1842- 1881  books b92-161-29919543 English Printed at the Roundabout Office, : Frankfort, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Green, Thomas Marshall, 1837-1904 Trials, litigation, etc. Hargis, Thomas Frazier, 1842-1903 Trials, litigation, etc. Trials (Libel) United States. 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. text 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. 1881 2002 true xt7s7h1dk576 section xt7s7h1dk576 





           OF MT. STERLING, KY.,

              BRATED LIBEL SUIT



     (Reported by Charles A. Graham, Official Stenographer),

                       WITH AN


        FRANKFORT, KY.:
         GEORGE A. LEWIS,


              A R G U M RE NT




           R     z3qi2 vs         A tCZSt'.

May it Please the Couzrt: Gentlemen of t/e Jes:
  I must compliment you for the patience you have shown in the
progress of this long and laborious trial. I regret that it becomes my
duty to still -further tax your patience. You have doubtless already
discovered that an excellent opportunity is afforded plaintiff's counsel,
in the discussion of this case, to vent their malice against Judge Hargis.
You have just had an example of that character in the speech of Mr.
Larewv, the gentleman.who last addressed you in plaintiff's behalf. I
shall have occasion, as I proceed, to refer to some of his remarks, and
the points he attempted to make upon the testimony.
  Before entering into the discussion of the evidence bearing on the
main issues, I desire to call your attention to some of the events which
immediately preceded the institution of this suit.'
  From the record we learn that on the 26th day of March, 1879, Hon.
John M. Elliott, one of the Judges of the Court of Appeals of Ken-
tucky, was shot down in the streets of Frankfort by an assassin. His
tragic death sent a thrill of horror throughout the Commonwealth. His
life was taken for no imaginable cause other than his faithful discharge
of official duty in rendering a decision adverse to his slayer. Wherever
known, Judge Elliott was beloved. In his death his wife lost an affec-
tionate husband, and his State a pure and upright Judge.
  Thirty days afterwards the defendant, Hon. Thomas F. Hargis, then
Judge of the Criminal Court in the Fourteenth Judicial District, was nom-
inated at Owingsville to fill the vacancy on the appellate bench, by the
accredited delegates of the Democratic party, from the forty counties
composing the First Appellate District. On the 12th day of May fol-
lowing, at the special election held under the Governor's proclamation,
the defendant was elected over his opponent, Hon. William H. Holt, a
popular and talented Republican lawyer of Mt. Sterling, by a majority
of 3,555 votes. On the 4th day of June, having received his commis-
sion, he was duly qualified as the successor of the lamented Elliott, and
entered upon the arduous labors of his high office.
  But what had occurred in the meantime The defendant, thus
chosen, elected, and qualified as one of the supreme judicial officers



of -the State, had been attacked by the plaintiff, Thomas M. Greenf,
through the public press, with a recklessness and desperation perfectly
amazing to all fair-minded people. Once more a Judge of the Court of
Appeals was sought to be stricken down. This time, however, the
assault is not upon his life; but upon that which is far more sacred-
his character. The weapon used is not the knife or the shot-gun of the
assassin; but the poisonous and more deadly pen of the calumniator.
  As early as Monday, the 28th of April, 1879, but two days after
the nomination of Judge Hargis for Appellate Judge, W. B. F. Clift,
of Mason county, held a conversation with judge Andrews, at his office
in Flemingsburg, upon the propriety of reviving the charges that had
been made against Judge Hargis in 1874. Judge Andrews repudiated
such a course, to his honor be it said, but in that conversation Mr. Clift
tells Judge Andrews he had learned from Mr. Green it was his purpose
to again revive these charges against defendant. On the 5th of May,
the plaintiff, having been in the city of Louisville, arriving at Maysville
on the night of the 4th, is met in the street by one Mr. Hutchins, and
there occurs the beginning of the revival of these charges in the year 1879,
Mr. Green does not take Mr. Hutchins' proposition, he does not base
his action upon what Mr. Hutchins says to him, but shortly afterwards,
on the same day, Mr. Wadsworth, the leading counsel for the plaintiff'
in this action, sees Mr. Green. A similar interview to that with Mr,
Hutchins takes place between them upon the subject of these charges.
Mr. Green says to Mr. Wadsworth: "I can take no action in this.
matter upon verbal statements. I am willing to act upon information
given to me by responsible men, but that information, and that basis.
upon which I propose to act, must be put down in black and white,
So Mr. Green himself testified.
  Now what interest in this matter had Mr. Wadsworth  Why didn't
he leave it as it was  But instead of that we learn from the testimony
of Mr. Green himself that Mr. Wadsworth, later in the day, came to
him.with a letter which forms the text and basis of the article of the
7th of May, i879, written out in full with his name signed to it. For
what For the purpose, I am authorized to say, of giving Mr. Green
an excuse to revive these charges against the defendant. That letter is
as follows:
                                              MAYsvII.LK, May 5, i179.
My Dear Sir:-I have heard for some time that the statement was in circulation that
you had changed your opinion, heretofore often and plainly expressed, of the charge
against Thos. F. Ilargis, of mutilating the records of the Courts of Rowan county.
  I now learn from Col. R. H. Stanton, that when he was in Clark county, recently, a
gentleman there asked him if you hadn't taken it all back, and if Taber hadn't confessed
that he did the crime, at the same time telling him it was freely so reported in Clark,
Mr. W. B. F Clift, of this county, also says it is so reported about Mason county.
  It is right that you should know this, explicitly.
                                  Very truly yours
                                                 W. H.WADSWORTH.
  We thus see from the record, and from the lips of the plaintiff him-
self, the manner in which this controversy was revived in the month of
May, i879, at the instigation of his leading counsel. Not a candidate
against Judge Hargis, not personally interested in the contest for
Appellate Judge, for some unexplained reason Mr. Wadsworth takes it
upon himself to write this letter, to afford Mr. Green a pretext for reviv-
ing this controversy.



   The gentleman who preceded me (Mr. Larew) would have you
 believe that he is the most disinterested gentleman imaginable; that
 for the mere supposed good of the Commonwealth and his love of jus-
 tice, he is here to-day to prosecute the defendant. Were I to inform
 you, gentlemen of the jury, that Mr. Larew was in the Owingsville
 Convention as a delegate from the county of Mason; that he was one
 of the Committee on Resolutions which reported that they had confi-
 dence in the integrity and qualifications of all the candidates before the
 Convention, and that whoever obtained its nomination should receive
 the cordial support of the entire Democracy of the District, and that
 he was then present in making that nomination, you would doubtless
 be astonished. We learn, further, from the testimony of Mr. Green,
 that Mr. Larew, on the night of the 5th of May, 1879, was the amanu-
 ensis- of Mr. Green in the revival of these charges, copying his two
 letters, afterwards published in the Cincinnati Contmercial, dated the
 5th and 6th of May. Yet, he comes before this jury and tells you he
 is the most disinterested man in the world, and that he has said nothing
 in malice against the defendant. Of course he has none of the motley
 jingling in his pockets which has come out of the bank of Pearce,
 Wallingford  Co., and he is here prosecuting this case without fee or
 We thus see, from the evidence, gentlemen of the jury, that this
 controversy was revived in the town of Maysville upon a letter written
 by Mr. Wadsworth, whose law office was about fifty yards from the
 Eagle office, the plaintiff's printing establishment. It will strike you
 as something remarkable that one gentleman residing in the same town
 with another shou!d write a letter of the character of the one which
 has been read of the 7th of May, 1879-the letter which heads the arti-
 cle of that date. Mr. Green says that of that issue of his paper he got
 off three thousand three hundred extra copies, and of the articles pub-
 lished in the Cincinznati Commrcial there were some four thousand extra
 copies printed. They were received by Mr. Green or his agents for
 the purpose of being circulated against the defendant the week before
 the special election of the I2th of May, 1879. They were sent by ex-
 press, by mail, and special messengers, all over the accessible parts of
 the District As to who paid for those extra copies, and at whose
 expense they were distributed, we called upon the plaintiff to testify.
 The moment we struck that point the gentleman representing him
 objected. Judge Hargis was traveling in company with Mr. Holt, his
 competitor, up in the Sandy Valley, one hundred and fifty miles away,
 with no time or opportunity afforded him to meet these charges or
 counteract their baneful effects before the election, while these gentle-
 men in Maysville were getting off these extras and circulating them by
 thousands among the people, in remote counties where he had no pos-
 sible chance to contradict them previous to the election. These gen-
 tlemen who acted as the amanuenses of the plaintiff in getting up those
 articles for publication, now have the hardihood to come before an hon-
 est jury of Jefferson county and say that they have said nothing in
 malice, and are as innocent as doves in this whole transaction.
 Not stopping, however, with what had already been done, chagrined
 at the fact that Judge Hargis was elected, this infamous warfare upon
 him is kept up after the election under the pretense of correcting mis-
statements of the public press. Article after article is written to the




Paris Trite Kentuckian, the. Lexington Ga-ette, the Richmond Regis/er,
the Kentucky Sentinel, and the Courier-Journal. On th7 i i th of June,
1879, the defendant, out of respect for that portion of the people of
Kentucky who were not acquainted with the author of these charges
against him, or familiar 'vith its origin, wrote an article to the Cowier-
JoIrnal, in which he denounced the charges as false, and those who
had theretofore circulated them, and those who might thereafter do so,
as willful caluminators; and upon that article the plaintiff brought this
action for libel, on the i8th day of June, in the Jefferson Court of
Common Pleas, claiming damages in the sum of ten thousand dollars.
Mr. Green, after the appellate election, had gone about over the State
wherever he could obtain a listening ear, upon the street, in the office,
in the store-everywhere his tongue and pen were busy upon the repu-
tation of the defendant.  Here and there a bar meeting was instigated.
Prejudices were engendered against the defendant in the minds of the
people, and especially among the legal profession. Here in the city of
Louisville, justly regarded as the center of legal knowledge in Ken-
tucky, the plaintiff was at work with an object perfectly apparent to
my mind. He and his friends in this city were then preparing the soil
where they expected to pitch their crop. Many of the legal profession,
and especially the younger members, were prejudiced against the
defendant by the ex parte statements of Mr. Green. In answer to this
suit Judge Hargis pleads that he wvas justifiable in denouncing these
charges as false, and that the plaintiff is, in fact, a -willful caluminator.
  What constitutes a willful calumniator, gentlemen  A T-an who
writes and publishes a charge of an infamous 'character against another,
which turns out to be false, is in law a' calumniator. When through the
the same journal or channel of publication the party accused denounces
the charge, and characterizes the author as a willful calumniator, the
author cannot sue the accused in an action for libel and recover damages
unless he makes out the truth of his charge; and even then it is doubtful
vhether he would have a legal cause of action. If a man could with
impunity utter and publish in the n ewspapers, a charge which was false
against another, and then turn around and say by way of defense -that
he did not know that the charge was false when lie made it, thus trying
to escape the consequences of his own wrongful act, no man's reputa-
tion would be safe in the community. But the law says he must abide
the consequences of his charge whether he knew it or not to be
true. He must know that it is true before he makes it. If he makes
it and it should turn out to be false, he does it at his peril. But we
find counsel representing the plaintiff in this case sta'uggling before this
Court two or three days for what   Virtually acknowledging that
they have made a failure in this prosecution, that they have been
unable to satisfy a reasonable jury of the guilt of the defendant in 'this
case, yet asking the Court to instruct the jury that if the plaintiff did
not knovw his charge was false that he still has the right to recover dam-
ages from the man he has denounced in the face of the public who calls
him a willful calumniator, thereby endeavoring to crawl out of the main'
issue involved in this case, to escape its consequences and recover a ver-
dict for damages upon the ground of the plaintiff's want of knowledge.
  But, gentlemen of the jury, you know from the instructions of the
Court, such pretended law was not given for your consideration, and
your verdict must turn, in this case, upon the guilt or innocence of the



defendant, Judge Hargis, on the charge of mutilating the Rowan county
records. Unless he is shown to be guilty of that crime, there is no
instruction upon which you can base-a verdict for the plaintiff. In other
words, if the defendant is innocent of these charges, it is your duty to
so find, and you cannot go further, upon any instruction, and find a ver-
dict for damages for the plaintiff. On that point alone does your ver-
dict turn. In the decision of that question the defendant has involved
all that is near and dear to him. Not so with the plaintiff in this case.
He has not the same great interests at stake. He has, in a measure,
gained all that he set out for, let the result be as it may-that is, noto-
riety, and the gratification of his unbounded malice towards Judge Har-
gis. To quote his own language, in the Lexington Gazette: " If what
I have stated is not true, even though believing it to be true, if I have
made such serious charges upon insufficient testimony, then I have
been guilty of a grave offense against the good of society, and the dig-
nity of the Commonwealth,. and ought to be severelv punished for it.
If Judge Hargi- be innocent, my offense is not that of a mere libeller
of individual character, but if I have gone deliberately to work to utter
and publish falsehoods, the effect of which, until they may be put
down by jutdicial investigation, will be to destroy the confidence of a
large body of the people in the integrity of one of the judges of the
court of last resort, then I ought to be sent to jail."
  You have no power, in this form of action, to send the plaintiff to
jail or otherwise punish. him,, but if upon this investigation his charges
arc false he cannot complain of a mere judgment for defendant's costs
against him, which he himself acknowledges cannot be made out of him
by law. His own costs and expenses, according to his testimony, are
not borne by himself. All this litigation has been carried on without
cost to Mr. Green in any particular. So we see he at least has nothing
to lose.
  A solid year almost has been consumed in the preparation and trial
of this case, during which time the parties and their attorneys have
been almost constantly engaged. Nearly four months of your time
have been taken up since you were sworn and impanelted as a jury, but
I would remind you, gentlemen, that it has not been our fault. Judge
Hargiis did not bring this Litigation into this court to vex and annoy the
good people of Louisville. He came here, however, when sued, and
entered his appearance, without objection to the court or the county in
which he was sued, not even making the objection, which he could per-
haps have made successfully, that he was not sued in the county of his
residence. We have no' asked even for a change of venue. He has
come willing to submit this case to a jury of honest men, whatever may
be their avocations in life, and let them be obtained from whatever por-
tion of this broad Commonwealth they inay. He is willing to trust his
all in your hands.
  You have seen in the testimony of this case, however, that this con-
troversy is six years old. It began in the heat and partisan strife of a
race for Judge in the Fourteenth Judicial District in I874. It was
revived in the canvass for Appellate Judge in 1879. One remarkable
fact appears in the history of this controversy, and that is, that as early
as June, 1874, Judge Hargis, after the plaintiff had made this charge
for the first time in the early days of June, i874, wrote what is known
in this record as the Open Letter, dated the 8th of June, 1874, and



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



the index to the Record Book had been erased to some extent on the
numbers of pages opposite the name of the defendant, leaving but the
figures 82 and his name. and that a forgery had been committed, forging
some names on said index, the exact names not being intelligible; that
at the February Term of that court, i866, an order appointing and
qualifying the defendant as examiner had been partially erased, while
the minute corresponding with that order had been left untouched;
and that the Common Law Docket had been so altered as to insert the
initials E and H, representing Elliott  Hargis, in certain cases on that
Docket for the February Term, i866.
  In April, 1874, Jas. W. Johnson was the clerk of the Rowan County
Court and the custodian of its records. rhe Order Book, containing
the record of proceedings in the year i866 in that court, was mutilated
in this manner: First, an order qu alifying James Carey as administrator
of John Carey at the regular February term, upon the i9th of Febru-
ary, 1866, was partially erased, and the top of the order relating to the
guardian settlement of J. B. Zimmerman was also erased; and at the
regular May term, the 21st of May, t866, an order was almost entirely
erased, and at the regular June term the same year, two orders were
forged at the foot of the page-one purporting to qualify the defendant
as an attorney in that court, and the other appointing one Robert Hen-
derson surveyor of a certain road. At the July term of the same court,
its regular term upon the (6th of July, r866, was an order which orig-
inally read releasing this same man Henderson as surveyor of that road,
and altered so that it would read as having been done upon the motion
of the defendant. Thus you see there were three books mutilated in the
circuit court clerk's office, and one '-ook in the county court clerk's office.
  The fact that these mutilations were committed is beyond all
question.  That is a conceded proposition.  There is no positive
proof, however, as tn who committed these acts.  No witness in this
entire rccord has undertaken to swear lwho did commit these acts, or
either of them. The best and the most that either the plaintiff or
the defendant has been able to obtain upon the question of the guilt or
innocence of the party who committed these mutilations, is circumstan-
tial in its nature. The plaintiff claims that in April, 1874, the defend-
ant was ineligible to the office of Circuit Judge, for which he was a
candidate, and that the record showed the fact that he was ineligible,
and for the purpose of destroying the evidence of his ineligibility these
records were destroyed by him or ar his instance. On the other hand,
the defendant asserts that he was eligible to that office, that the records
showed his eligibility to the office, and that the mutilations were made,
not in his interest, but in order to destroy the evidences of his eligibil-
ity, and that it was done by some one opposed to him, in the interest of
aRd by his enemies. Such is the attitude of the parties to this contro-
versy. This question of eligibility, I grant you, has entered into this
controversy to a very large extent Upon your decision in that regard,
depends in a great degree your decision as to the guilt or innocence of
the defendant You have learned, in the progress of this trial, that, for
an attorney to be eligible to the office of circuit judge at the August
election, 1874, it was necessary that he should have been a licensed
practicing lawyer for a period of eight years. You have learned further
that, as a preliminary step in obtaining a license to practice law, the
statutes directed that he should obtain a certificateof his honesty. prob-




ity, and good demeanor from the county court of the county of his
residence. The court has instructed you as to the certificate as follows:
  " The law in i866 made it necessary, before a license to practice law
could be granted, that the applicant therefor should first obtain from
the county court, of the county of his residence, a certificate that he was
a man of honesty, probity and good demeanor, and that such certificate
should be produced or presented to the judges to whom the applica-
tion for license was made. No special time was necessary within which,
after the obtention of the certificate, it should be so presented to the
judges to whom the application for license was made. In this case the
jury are instructed that the signing and granting of the license to defend-
ant by Judges Andrews and Apperson is to be regarded by them as con-
clusive evidence that the requisite certificate of his honesty, probity and
good demeanor had been theretofore obtained, and presented or pro-
duced by him to said judges; but not as to the particular day or time
when said order of the County Court of Rowan was made. "
  Thus under that instruction it is not a question as to whether Judge
Hargis ever had such a certificate. You are not to inquire as to whether
he ever obtained such a certificate. The court, has said to you that
the license itself is conclusive upon that question, and the only
open question under that instruction is the time whenl he obtained
such certificate. The gentlemen who tlave argued this case so far
for the plaintiff have undertaken to show to you that it was neces-
sary for that certificate to be recorded. I deny it. The court has not
so told you. These same gentlemen struggled hard to get such an,
instruction, and they know it was oveLruled.. The county judge cam
call his court in session at any time and hold a special term.  The
orders and proceedings. at special term, and the acts of the judge
thus performed, are as binding and obligatory and as conclusive uporb
the rights of parties as if made at a regular term. I believe the only
two things that a county judge cannot hold a special term for are the
granting of tavern license and the probate of wills. It is conceded that
the defendant was sworn into the circuit court upon the 28th of August,
i866. I maintain from the evidence in this case that five propositions,
which I will undertake to discuss, have been established:
  First. That the defendant obtained his certificate prior to the first
day of the February Term of the Rowan Circuit Court, 1866.
  Second. That Judge Andrews signed his license upon the night of
the 26th of February, the first day of the February Term of the Rowan
Circuit Court, 1866.
   Thiid. That Judge Apperson signed his license at Grayson upon the
2d day of April, the first day of the April Term of the Carter Cir-
cuit Court, i866.
  Fourtk. That he was sworn in on the 2ist of May, at the regular May
Term of the Rowan County Court, 1866, as an attorney at law.
  Fifth. That he practiced his profession as an attorney after the May
Term of the Rowan County Court, i866, and before the 1st day of-
August, i 866.
  Befbre going into a discussion of these propositions, I desire to calt
your attention to the preceding history of Judge Hargis. We learm
from this record that he was born in the county of Breathitt on the
24th day of June, i842. Among the rugged mountains of Eastern
Kentucky, without any of the appliances of wealth, or influential and




distinguished relatives to surround him, with no educational advan-
tages. he spent the first fourteen years of his life. He was not born
upon some estate in the bluegrass region, bearing some aristocratic
name, as the plaintiff says he was. He cannot boast a long line of
ancestry, but he is of poor and honest parents.  He was not even
blessed with the early love and training of a mother, who died while
he was an infant in her arms. This untutored boy we find in the new
county of Rowan, at Morehead, in 1856, toiling in the Valley of the
Triplett, upon his father's farm, among the rocks and the pines of that
sterile region. On court occasions he -was engaged waiting upon his
father's guests, blacking their boots or currying, watering, and feeding
their horses. On one occasion, graphically described by Charlton H.
Ashton (who in after years by the force od circumstances became his
warm and ardent friend), while seated in the porch at his father's
hotel, being up there on a fishing excursion, Ashton saw some young
man coming up the road driving an ox team. He drove it around in
front of the porch, and he asked Col. Hargis who that was. He made
him the answer: " It is my son Tom."  Ashton says the young man
had on brown jeans pants, ragged and torn, and rolled up to the knees,
no coat, bare-footed, in his shirt sleeves, with a broad-brimmed straw hat
on his head, much worn. He was apparently about seventeen years of
age, and much freckled. That is the way that the defendant first pre-
sented himself to Charlton H. Ashton. My friend, Mr. Larew, says
that there is nothing remarkable in the history of the defendant, that
he was like other mountain bovs. Mr. Larew has not traveled the
same road with the defendant. He does not appreciate the fact that
the defendant is a self-made man, and when he undertook upon the
cross-examination of Mr. Ashton, to bring this touching picture of
the early life of Judge Hargis into contempt and ridicule, he only
increased a sympathy which is natural in the bosom of every one.
Mr. Larew asked: "Why, Mr. Ashton, how did I appear to you
when you first saw me," and Ashton describes my fri