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THE OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

The excited democrat tracked him down to that place, and in one of bis bitter pro-slavery onslaughts, assailed this disturber of the public peace again. In this fight Pratt gave no quarter. At such times, like Tristam Burgess, he had no humor "but an infernal sarcasm. " "Renze" Coe, of Climax, had sued Jim Pierce for sheep killed by his dog. The case was tried before Judge Pratt, without jury, at Kalamazoo. The judge objected to Coe's being sworn, as he was a party to the suit, the general law then not allowing either of the parties in a suit to testify. The plaintiff's lawyer claimed the law allowed Mr. Coe to testify. The judge said he knew of no such law. The lawyer then produced a special law that covered the case. Judge Pratt took the book, read the clause referred to, and replied: "That is the most damnable law on the statute books; it is a premium on prejury!" Then turning to Coe, he said. "You can swear if you want to, but I shall not believe a word that you say. " Mr. Coe did not swear. Pratt read enough in the man's face to justify what he had said in regard to not believing him under oath. In 1848 Pratt and Hughes were at Cassopolis looking up testimony^ in the "Kentucky slave case. " George B. Turner, of Cassopolis, was assisting them. Pratt, always an inveterate joker, had at this time played several severe ones on Hughes. One day Turner espied Dr. Lamborn in the streets. Dr. Isaac Lamborn was learned and erratic, and keen in analyzing character. Polititally he hated Pratt, although he had never met him. Turner seeing a "good thing" ahead, invited the doctor into the office.

Michigan


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