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THE OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

Bradley defended the bachelor. The nature of the suit gave him a fine field for the display of his power of wit and drollery. Senator C. E. Stuart says that Bradley's speech at this time, was equal to the celebrated case of Charles Philips in the case of Blake, vs. Wilkins. Judge Ransom laughed at his sallies of wit till his sides shook, and the whole court room was convulsed with his wonderful power of humor and ridicule. The changes he rung on "Hepsey, " the young lady's name, added an indescribable mirthfulness to the speech. Bradley won the suit; and, it was said, mainly by the effect of his ridicule and droll humor on court and jury. This case was one in which ridicule, or humor, could be used as a legitimate weapon, and perhaps was the only effectual one for the occasion. In such a field Bradley had no rival. There was not a member of the old bar who could so "steal away the technical heart of the stern judge, and weave seductive tales in the honest ears of sworn jurymen. "
In 1844 the whigs had a mass meeting at Marshall. The next week Gordon, too full of whiggery to stay at home, came to Kalamazoo and made one of his most telling speeches. In it he gave a glowing description of the monster mass meeting of whigs at Marshall. This aroused the jealousy of the Kalamazoo democrats, and Bradley was sent for. He must come and answer Gordon. He came. The meeting was held in the old court house. Gen. H. H. Comstock presided. George Winslow sang his famous song "Old Roanoke, " and Hiram Underwood, Kalamazoo's gifted singer, sang a rousing democratic ballad. As Bradley came forward he was greeted with thundering applause. He was never in finer spirits.

Michigan


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