Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Short Intermission

Consider this the “short intermission” in the “food is family” series.

I decided this small nugget was too good to pass up, and if I waited till the end of the “food” posts, I’d slip into other things and probably leave it behind, despite my good intentions.  

Here’s the story behind it:

I spent the past three days (along with several other members of the NYG&B’s Education Committee) at the New York State Library and Archives in Albany, providing research advice and assistance to participants of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s 2011 Albany Research event.  Participants from  all over the US got to pick our brains – for whatever that might be worth – on potential solutions to their “brick wall” problems.

In between appointments, I did some of my customary grazing in the 7th floor library stacks, discovering research treasures in some of the “non-genealogical” sections that I never spent much time with before.

While skimming the first issue of the Kansas Law Journal for its potential for family history gold, I happened upon this “filler” piece.  I love it when you find stuff like this in unexpected locations.  It reminded me of the little pieces that David Greene inserts here and there occasionally on a “space available” in The American Genealogist  (TAG).

I couldn’t help capturing this law journal piece and passing it on.  Best of all, it's all about the consequences of providing advice.  Enjoy!

It is narrated that John R. Porter of the State of New York, now famous throughout that State for his brilliant attainments, when a young man, was assigned by the court the defense of a man charged with assault in the second degree, to give the accused the best advice he could under the circumstances, and to bring the case to trial with all convenient speed.  Porter immediately retired to an adjacent room to consult with his client, and returned shortly without him.

“Where is your client?” demanded the astonished Judge.

“He has left the place, I guess,” replied Porter with the most refreshing sang froid.

“Left the place! Why, what do you mean, Mr. Porter?”

“Why, your Honor directed me to give him the best advice I could under the circumstances.  He told me he was guilty, so I advised him to cut and run for it.  He took my advice, as a client ought, opened the window and skedaddled.  He is about a mile away now.”

The very audacity of the young barrister deprived the court of the power of speech,  and nothing came of the matter.

Notes”, Kansas Law Journal, Volume 1, Topeka, 1885, page 44.

1 comment:

  1. Love the story and, of course, it was good advice:) How wonderful to find little treasures in unexpected places.