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DEATH OF MR. DAVID LOGAN.
At the opening of the district court at Portland, Oregon, on April 18, 1874, Mr. Rufus Mallory, United States district attorney, on behalf of a committee of the bar, presented the following resolutions and asked to have them entered on the journal of the court:
WHEREAS, The members of the bar of Portland have learned with unfeigned sorrow of the death of Hon. David Logan, who has been stricken down in the full vigor and prime of mature manhood; and,
WHEREAS, We desire to pay our last tribute of respect to his memory, and to express our admiration of his ability, zeal and learning, and our sympathy with his bereaved and sorrowing family in this their hour of affliction; therefore,
Resolved, That in the death of Hon. David Logan, thé bar of this State has lost one of its brightest ornaments and ablest members; one of its earliest pioneers and oldest practitioners; one whose name will ever shed a luster on the profession. Wise and trusted in counsel, he was firm, untiring and eloquent in his advocacy of the interests placed in his charge.
2. That in his decease the State has lost one of its most honored and distinguished citizens; his wife, a loving and tender husband, and his aged father a noble-hearted and generous son.
3. While we bow in humble submission to the decrees of that Providence to which all must submit, we sincerely deplore the untimely death of an honored brother and friend.
4. That we tender to the relatives of the deceased our heartfelt sympathy in this their sad bereavement.
5. That the chairman of this meeting be requested to communicate these resolutions to the widow and the aged father of the deceased, and that Hon. Rufus Mallory, United States district attorney for Oregon, be requested to present
them to the United States circuit and district courts for the district of Oregon, and move their entry upon the records of those courts.
Upon presenting the resolutions, Mr. Mallory addressed the court as follows:
May it please the court: Pursuant to the request expressed in the resolutions adopted at a meeting of the Portland bar on the occasion of the death of Hon. David Logan, late a member of the bar of this court, I here present the said resolutions and move that they be_spread upon its records. I have been selected to present these resolutions and to make this motion on account of my position as United States district attorney, and it will not, therefore, be expected, nor will it be proper that I take any considerable time of the court in speaking of Mr. Logan. My acquaintance with Mr. Logan, personally, was very limited, and I could not, therefore, if I would, speak of him in that behalf. But I have known something of him as a public man and a lawyer. I first heard of David Logan in the year 1859, when he was fast rising above the legal horizon, and was attracting the public attention as one of the bright, particular stars of the profession. He was in that year nominated as a candidate for congress, and made one of the most able campaigns that was ever made in the State. I met him at the bar for the first time in the somewhat celebrated trial of Beale and Baker, for the murder of Delaney, in Marion county, at which time I happened to be district attorney for the third judicial district of the State. The evidence for the State was purely circumstantial, and in the cross-examination of the multitude of witnesses who were sworn on the trial, Mr. Logan displayed a skill and tact that showed him a master in this branch of the profession, and in the argument which he made to the jury—which was of five hours duration-he demonstrated to all who heard him that he was, indeed, a great criminal lawyer. I met him at the bar but a few times afterwards, but was always impressed with the idea that he was justly entitled to the high rank which he held in his profession.
But I must not take time to speak of all that I could say in his memory, for others are here who know him better, and can speak of him to better purpose. He is dead. The cold grave now holds him, and we shall meet him no more forever. These halls, that in times gone by have resounded with his eloquence, will echo it no more. His place at this bar is forever vacated. Juries will no more be moved by his appeals, nor will the court, ever henceforth, listen to his law or logic. Let us, in his case, reverse the custom that Mark Anthony said was common among the Roman people, and asked that they observe in the case of Julius Cæsar, and let our Logan's evil deeds (if indeed he had them, and who has none?) be buried with his bones, and let his good live after him. I was present at his funeral, and saw the long imposing train, sable and slowpaced, as it moved onward toward the cemetery, following the hearse that bore the casket which contained his body. I saw the casket as it was lowered into the grave, and beheld the solemn ceremonies of the noble brotherhood, of which he was a member, as they performed the last sad rites of burial over their deceased brother, and, at last, as the cold, damp earth fell on him and hid him out of sight, I could but ask myself, “Is this, indeed, all that is left of Logan?” I knew that within the casket was but clay, and ere long would mingle with the clay that covers it. It was no small pleasure then to know that that of Logan, which could sway the minds of juries, to see the justice of his causes as he viewed it, was not clay and was not in the casket; that that of Logan, which made courts, before whom he had occasion to appear, admire his arguments, observe his logic and sustain his law, was not clay, and was not in the casket; that that of Logan by which he held the multitude spell-bound by his matchless pathos, or moved them to wild enthusiasm by his fiery eloquence, was not clay, and was not in the casket; in short, that that of Logap which made him Logan was not clay, and was not in the casket. That which is not in the casket is the bright immortal. But we call him dead, and thousands of hearts
are shocked and saddened with the tidings of his death. But
“Death loves a shining mark---a signal blow,
After remarks made by Messrs. SHATTUCK, REED, PAGE and STRONG, Mr. Justice DEADY replied as follows:
It now lacks but a few days of twenty-four years since I first met David Logan in all the strength and pride of youth, in the then comparatively unknown territory of Oregon.
Since that day down to a period near his death, the circumstances of our lives have brought us in constant contact--sometimes as rivals and adversaries, but oftener otherwise.
During the twenty-three years that I have had the honor to occupy a seat upon the bench in Oregon, no one of them but has witnessed Mr. Logan engaged before me in some important cause; and during the past ten or twelve years he has been particularly prominent at the bar of this court.
His general attainments were respectable, and his knowledge of the elementary principles of the common law, thorough and practical. His natural gifts were both great and rare.
He had an active, robust mind, a remarkably quick and clear perception, vivid and often grotesque imagination, well tempered with prudence and common sense. Above all, the coinage of his mind was so well minted, that his mere utterances, by force of their clearness, aptness and simplicity, often carried conviction to the minds of his hearers.
Without being an orator in the highest sense of the word, few men were more interesting or effective as public speakers, either at the bar or on the stump.
In the supreme court, in the argument of questions which turned largely upon the comparative number and weight of precedents, he was not particularly distinguished. He disliked the drudgery of looking up the cases and analyzing and classifying conflicting authorities. Besides, he loved the forum rather than the study, and to read men rather than books. He relied more on the "ounce of mother wit" that nature had given him in good measure, than on mere learning or accomplishments.
But in the off-hand and rough-and-tumble discussion of questions of law as they arose in the trial of a cause at nisi prius, he was in his element, and always excelled. Fertile in forcible propositions, full of seductive analogies and apt and ready in question and retort, he often won his case in the progress of getting it before the jury. He intuitively took the measure of a juror and leveled his argument at his most vulnerable point. He could lead a willing and drive an unwilling witness with great power and adroitness. He knew when he had said enough, and when to let a witness go or stop offering evidence, and seldom lost his case by what may be called overtrying it. Take him all in all, he had no superior, if any equal, at the bar, as a jury lawyer.
In his profession and business affairs he was a scrupulously honest man-a prudent and safe counsellor, generally advising against litigation, and therefore most often appearing for the defense. He had a good sense of justice between man and man in the ordinary affairs of life, and lived according to it.
But he lacked, I think, great and sustained aspirations and deep sympathy with the welfare of mankind, and therefore passed through life without feeling the impulse or purpose necessary to call into continued and full action his great abilities. For this reason he was not well fitted for a leader, and was always most effective in public affairs while acting with the minority. That was his natural element, and throughout all the mutations of party he was seldom or long in the majority.
May his faults, which were few and without the stain of meanness, and mostly harmful to himself, be forgotten and avoided by those whom he has thus prematurely left behind him !