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THE OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

And in those close encounters with his opponents he showed his rare powers as a debater. In this arena he was a dextrous Saladin, armed with keen analysis, legal acumen, and ready wit, any one of which he wielded with telling effect. We said that in "trying cases" he held the crowd like an old player. He did. For, from the time the case was called, to its close, unlike the great player who appears in but few acts of his play, Van Arman appeared in every "act" of his. and in the last scene he gave a grand summing up of the whole performance. Van Arman was not merely a lawyer. If he excelled at the bar, he was just as able and eloquent at the hustings, or on the platform discussing temperance, education, or any of the important questions of the day. He was one of the ablest democratic orators in Michigan. His address at Battle Creek to the volunteers about to go to the Mexican war under him as captain, had the bugle blast of military ardor and eloquence. By the power of his temperance, logic and oratory he twice closed up the liquor saloons in Battle Creek, and he did the same effectual work for the people of Augusta. For many years he has lived in Chicago. He has attained the foremost rank as a criminal lawyer.
In the presidential election of 185C, Buchanan and Breckenridge were the democratic standard bearers, while Fremont and Dayton led the young republican party, in its first effort to win presidential honors.
At a democratic mass meeting in Marshall, in the fall of '56, after Stephen A. Douglas had spoken, John Van Arman was "called out. " And the democrats were proud, on an occasion that had been honored by a speech from the "little giant, " to introduce their favorite orator. Van Arman was equal to the occasion.

Michigan


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