Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 26, 1844 >> Page 92

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Page 92

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 92
which they are commissioned. They are also un-
doubtedly too numerous. If one Magistrate, and only
one, was appointed in each beat company in the State,
the number, I apprehend, would be sufficient, the
location more convenient, and the chances of procuring
the most intelligent citizens to fill a station so respon-
sible greatly increased. As, however, but few of the
Magistrates can be expected to be lawyers, or to have
a law library at their command, I believe it to be indis-
pensable to the regular administration of the law
within their jurisdiction, that a Manual should be com-
piled and published, by the authority of the State,
explaining in a clear manner the powers and duties of
Magistrates, and prescribing the proper forms of pro-
ceedings in their courts ; to which might be added a
codification of the common and statute laws, and re-
ported decisions, with which it is necessary that they
should be familiar. The expense of such a work
would bear but a small proportion to its value to the
people at large, as well as to the Magistrates. The
law strikes many of its severest blows through the
agency of the common Magistracy ; and it is but fair
that the humblest as well as the highest citizen should
be dealt with by the same rule, well defined and
thoroughly understood by those who are its ministers.
The act of 1839, prescribing the manner of elect-
ing District officers, requires some amendment. In
case of the death of the Clerk of the Court, the mode
of filling the vacancy is not distinctly stated. To pre-
vent great and pressing inconvenience and loss, I have
been compelled to make an appointment under the
act of 1815, which it was probably the intention of
the Legislature of 1839 to supersede. Its requisitions,