The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 1

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THE
SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL
QUARTERLY
VOL. XIX JULY, 1915 No. 1
The publication committee and the editor disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to Tea QUARTERLY
TEXAS VERSUS WHITE
WILLIAM WHATLEY PIERSON, JR
CHAPTER III
THE OPINION OF THE COURT
The opinion of the court was read by Chief Justice Chase on
April 15, 1869. The case had attracted attention from all sec-
tions of the country, and it was expected that a great working prin-
ciple of law would emerge from the clash of vital forces. The in-
terests immediately involved were inconsiderable in importance,
but, in order to justify in some measure the course of that branch
of the government which at the time was pre-eminently strong, it
was necessary to depart from established precedent and legal tra-
dition. The opinion was of political significance; and the public
awaited the contribution to constitutional law and political theory
with interest and, probably, on the part of some, with anxiety.
At the outset, the court acknowledged that, in view of the varied
interests and division of public opinion, it did not expect to
satisfy the judgments and anticipations of all.
We are very sensible of the magnitude and importance of this
question, of the interest it excites, and of the difficulty, not to
say impossibility, of so disposing of it as to satisfy the conflict-
ing judgments of men equally enlightened, equally upright, and
equally patriotic.
Some idea of the importance of the case, both to contemporary

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/9/ocr/: accessed October 1, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.