Columbus, OH: Isaac N. Whiting, 1843. First Edition. Leather-bound. Small octavo, 5 x 8.25. pp. 4 (advertising) + xvii + 332. Full light calf with stitched frame; gilt title on red panel to six-banded spine. Rubbing to extremities. Top front corner nudged. Hand-drawn ink writing to top of cover. Previous owner's signature (Henry Finley) to front free endpaper. Moderate foxing throughout. Spine and hinges tight. Good. Item #85592
Joseph Rockwell Swan (1802-1884) was born in Westernville, Oneida County, New York, and educated in Aurora, New York. In 1824, he moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he studied law in the office of his uncle, Judge Gustavus Swan, and was admitted to the bar. In 1830 he was made prosecuting attorney, and in 1834 he was elected judge of the court of common pleas He returned to private practice in 1845.
In 1854, he was elected judge of the supreme court, serving until 1859, when his most important decision was delivered. The supreme court of the state, under a writ of habeas corpus, sought to override the judgment of the United States district court in Ohio in attempting to discharge from jail a prisoner that had been sentenced by that court for violation of the fugitive-slave law. Judge Swan decided that the state could not interfere with the action of the United States courts, and the discharge of the prisoner was refused. At the same time he said that if he were appealed to personally he would protect any slave from his pursuers.
He was the author of important statutes that were passed by the legislature and a delegate to the Constitutional convention of Ohio in 1850. In 1860, he became president of the Columbus and Xenia railroad.
He published "Treatise on Justices of the Peace and Constables in Ohio" (Columbus, 1836 ; 12th ed., 1885) ; " Statutes of Ohio " (1841) ; "Manual for Executors and Administrators" (1843) ; " Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law in Ohio and Precedents in Pleading" (2 vols., 1845) ; " Swan's Pleading and Practice" (2 vols., 1851) ; " Commentaries on Pleadings under the Ohio Code" (Cincinnati, 1860): and "Supplement to the Revised Statutes of Ohio, etc., in Force August, 1868," with notes by Milton Taylor (1869).
(from Famous Americans).
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