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THE OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

There were but few important suits during the early days of the Marshall bar in which he was not retained as counsel on one side or the other. And he was nearly as well known at the Kalamazoo bar as at home. A defect in his palate rendered his voice husky. But while one noticed this defect as he began his speech, one soon became so interested in what he said as to forget the defect and only listen to the argument of the speaker. The writer has often heard Gordon at the bar and "on the stump, " and has invariably found that the charm of his reasoning made one oblivious to this defect. It was a triumph of the reasoning powers over a poor voice.
Gordon got his political education at the feet of the Gamaliel of whigism at Ashland. The old whig party in Michigan had no abler nor bolder leader than he was. His opponents in the political field were usually the same that he had met at the forum—Bradley, Pratt, Church, Stuart, Balch, Chipman and Van Annan. He was a foeman worthy of their steel in either contest.
Gordon, in 1847, was the whig candidate for congress, against Bradley, the democratic candidate. I remember that the news of Bradley's election came to Gordon while he was addressing the jury in an important case in the old court house at Marshall. Every one present noticed the change wrought on his countenance as it was announced to him that he was defeated for congress ! Van Annan was his opponent in the case, and Gordon had been making one of his most powerful arguments against the strong points and skillful logic of his wily antagonist. He was nearly half through and seemed determined to win the suit.

Michigan


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