Letters and Literary Memorials of Samuel J. Tilden, Vol. 2 (Classic Reprint)

Samuel J. Tilden

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Letters and Literary Memorials of Samuel J. Tilden, Vol. 2 (Classic Reprint) - Samuel J. Tilden

Excerpt from Letters and Literary Memorials of Samuel J. Tilden, Vol. 2

"My object in addressing you is to submit certain suggestions for consideration.

"When the present leading counsel for Tweed fell into a line of practice which, steadily pursued for years as it has been, might well have led to his being dubbed Attorney-General for Rascals, it was my lot to be much in professional antagonism to him. I found him to be neither wise, learned, nor, properly speaking, able, but essentially a trickster. He seems capable of being very troublesome, and to a negligent or unskilful adversary he may be regarded as dangerous.

"In dealing with his class, one will generally find a central device around which all their series of tricks revolve, and from which all their force and effectiveness are drawn. This man's course and career furnish an admirable illustration of this fact.

"Our multitude of judges, with equal powers, were perceived by him to furnish a hopeful quarry. One wicked, weak, or manageable could be found somewhere. The next item in his scheme for making judicial proceedings do the work which a bolder thief might seek to accomplish by piracy, highway robbery, or counterfeiting was to engage himself in quarrels where an unlimited number of separate suits by separate plaintiffs might be brought before different judges - all aimed at the same substantial object. This enabled him to make almost at random all sorts of harassing movements against the same parties. Slap-dash, hit or miss, he poured his shot upon the selected victims, the loss of a suit or failure of a movement troubling him not, the number of strings to his bow making this of no more consequence to him than the loss of a single soldier to the general of an army.

You are aware that any single stockholder in a private or trading corporation may file a bill in equity against the corporation itself, its managing officers, and any one else suggesting malversation, and, of course, such a suit has all the usual incidents of receivership, injunctions, etc., etc. With a desperate Wall Street swindler for plaintiff, an utterly unscrupulous legal practitioner to direct it, and an unprincipled or manageable judge, the blackmailing capabilities of such a suit are not slight.

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