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crime or misdemeanor, except crimes punishable with death, and imprison. ment in the Newgate Prison, unless the offence is prosecuted within one year after it shall have been committed.
The Supreme Court of Errors is the highest tribunal of the state, and is constituted of one chief judge and four associate justices; and their judgments are conclusive. They possess final jurisdiction of any judgment or decree of any superior court, wherein the rules of law or the principles of equity appear in that court to have been mistaken, and they possess the power to carry into effect their judgments.
The Superior Court is constituted of one judge of the Supreme Court, and is holden annually in each county of the state. Its jurisdiction extends to all causes of a criminal nature which are prescribed by law. It also has cognizance of all causes, real, personal, or mixed, of a civil nature, which shall be brought before it by appeal, writ of error, scire facias, complaint, petition, or otherwise according to law; and the same is tried by a jury or otherwise, as the law shall direct. It then proceeds to judgment, and awards execution thereupon. But in capital cases, wherein the punishment is death, two judges are required. This court also has equity jurisdiction of all suits for relief in equity, wherein the matter or thing in demand exceeds the sum of three hundred and thirty-five dollars, and cognizance of other cases wherein the matter in demand is seventy dollars.
County Courts are also established in each county, consisting of a chief judge and two associate judges. The County Court has the cognizance of all civil cases legally brought before it, and also jurisdiction of all suits in equity wherein the matter in demand does not exceed the sum of three hundred and thirty-five dollars, excepting suits for relief against any judgments rendered or cause depending at law in the superior courts.
Justices of the peace are annually appointed by the legislature, for the several towns in the state, to hold courts and have cognizance of all actions wherein the sum claimed is not over thirty-five dollars, and of all criminal actions where the penalty inflicted is not over seven dollars. They pos. sess, moreover, the power to bind over offenders to keep the peace, or to take their trial in the higher courts.
TIMES OF HOLDING COURTS.
County of Hartford.— The Supreme Court of Errors on the second Tuesday in June. The Superior Court on the last Tuesday of January, and on the fourth Tuesday in September. The County Court on the fourth Tuesday in March, on the second Tuesday in August, and on the second Tuesday in November.
County of New Haven.—The Supreme Court of Errors on the Tuesday following the fourth Tuesday in June. The Superior Court on the fourth Tuesday in January, and on the second Tuesday in October. The County Court on the third Tuesday in March, on the fourth Tuesday in June, and on the fourth Tuesday in November.
County of New London.—The Supreme Court of Errors on the third Tuesday in July, alternately at New London and Norwich, beginning at New London. The Superior Court on the third Tuesday in March at
Norwich, and on the second Tuesday in September at New London. The County Court on the second Tuesday in February, alternately at New London and Norwich, beginning at Norwich; on the second Tuesday of June at New London ; on the second Tuesday in November at Norwich.
County of Fairfield.--The Supreme Court of Errors on the fourth Tues. day in June, alternately at Fairfield and Danbury, beginning at Danbury. The Superior Court on the last Tuesday in October at Danbury, and on the Tuesday next following the first Monday in April at Fairfield. The County Court on the first Tuesday in January at Fairfield, and on the second Tuesday of August at Danbury.
County of Windham.—The Supreme Court of Errors on the fourth Tuesday in July. The Superior Court on the fourth Tuesday in January, and on the first Tuesday in October. The County Court on the second Tuesday in August, on the first Tuesday in March, and on the second Tuesday in December.
County of Litchfield.-The Supreme Court of Errors on the third Tues. day in June. The Superior Court on the third Tuesday in February, and on the third Tuesday in August. The County Court on the second Tues. day in April, on the second Tuesday in October, and on the third Tuesday in December
County of Middleser.—The Supreme Court of Errors on the second Tuesday of July, alternately at Middletown and Haddam, beginning at Middletown. The Superior Court on the fourth Tuesday in February at Middletown, and on the first Tuesday in September at Haddam. The County Court on the Tuesday after the first Monday in April at Haddam, and on the third Tuesday in October at Middletown.
County of Tolland. - The Supreme Court of Errors on the Tuesday fol. lowing the fourth Tuesday in July. The Superior Court on the third Tuesday in April, and on the third Tuesday in October. The County Court on the fourth Tuesday in March, and on the fourth Tuesday in August, and fourth Tuesday in December.
Appeals are allowed from justices' courts to the county courts where the matter in demand exceeds seven dollars, the appellant giving bonds to prosecute his appeal to effect. All matters wherein the matter in demand does not exceed the value of seventy dollars, and all actions brought on bond or note given for the payment of money only, vouched by two witnesses, excepting such matters as may be tried by a justice of the peace, shall be heard and finally determined by the County Court. In all actions brought before the County Court, where the title to lands is involved, or where the debt, damage, or matter in dispute shall exceed the value of sev. enty dollars, except it be on bond or note vouched by two witnesses, an appeal is allowed to the next superior court in the same county; and in actions of trespass quare clausum fregit, wherein the damages demanded shall be less than seventy dollars, and a title to land is involved, an appeal is aliowed to the next superior court.
Whenever a defendant, in an action founded on contract, shall be ar.
rested on original process, he may require the officer making the arrest to take him forthwith before a justice of the peace for the county wherein the arrest shall have been made, who may by law judge between the parties, and administer, if he see cause, the oath prescribed for insolvent debtors; and thereupon the defendant shall be liberated from such arrest. But this oath cannot be administered if the plaintiff or his agent will make affidavit that he verily believes that the defendant has assigned his property for the purpose of defrauding his creditors, or is about to remove out of the state. If this oath is taken, the plaintiff or his attorney must have notice before the oath is administered. A recent law provides that when a debtor is unable to pay the demand against him, he may make application to the County Court to administer to him the oath provided for insolvent debtors, and such debtor shall cause notice to be given to the creditor or creditors, if inhabitants of the state, or otherwise to their attorney, to appear and show cause why such oath should not be administered, and give twelve days' notice inclusive before the sitting of the court, and the court shall inquire into the matter, and if no contrary reason appear, shall cause the oath to be administered, and a record to be made of the same.
Such debtor is not thereafter to be imprisoned on any execution issued upon any judgment then in force, or which may afterwards be recovered of the court aforesaid, or any court of this state, upon any claim founded upon contract existing at the time of the administration of such oath in favor of any creditor so notified, or under any writ of attachment on such judgment or claim, unless such creditor shall allege in his writ on such claim, and satisfy the court, that the debtor has property to the amount of seventeen dollars, at least, above what he is entitled to retain, on which inquiry the creditor is a competent witness. All persons taking the insolvent oath, without perjury, are discharged from imprisonment. In all other cases in which a review is allowed by law, after the administration of the poor dehtor's oath, notice of his intended review shall be given in writing by the creditor to the debtor, and the same must be returned to the court of review within five days after the oath shall have been administered, which court of review may be held by a judge of the County Court alone, or by a judge of probate, and justice of the peace, residing in the county wherein the oath is administered.
ART. V.-LEATHER MANUFACTURE.
Of the leather manufacture of Great Britain, McCulloch remarks, that it“ ranks either third or fourth on the list, being inferior only, in point of extent, to those of cotton,* wool, and iron, if it be not superior to the lat
* From a summary prepared by the Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Mas. sachusetts, from returns made by the assessors of all the towns and cities, concerning certain branches of industry for the year ending April 1, 1837, we findThat the value of boots and shoes manufactured in the commonwealth was $14,642,520
Persons employed, 39,068.
13,056,659 Persons employed, 19,754.
ter;" and, in quoting from Dr. Campbell, (Political State of Great Britain, vol. ii. page 176.) he says, “ If we look abroad on the instruments of hus. bandry, on the implements used in most mechanic trades, on the structure of a multitude of engines and machines, or if we contemplate at home the necessary parts of our clothing, breeches, shoes, boots, gloves, or the furniture of our houses, the books on our shelves, the harness of our horses, and even the substances of our carriages, what do we see but instances of human industry exerted upon leather? What an aptitude has this single material, in a variety of circumstances, for the relief of our necessities, and supplying conveniences in every state and stage of life! Witbout it, or even without it in the plenty we have it, to what difficulties should we be exposed !"
Of a manufacture which thus enters so largely into the economy of life, and employs such a vast amount of labor, capital, and art, so little statisti. cal information has been given to the public, as to excite surprise. With the exception of some valuable observations and statistical facts, communi. cated in two lectures before the “ Eclectic" Society, by the Hon. Gideon Lee, we have hardly known where to seek for information in regard to the subject, as connected with the manufactures of this country.
It is within the last twenty years that the manufacture of leather, sole leather more particularly, has risen to high character and importance in the state of New York.
Previous to this period the tanning of leather had been carried on chiefly in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, and in the eastern states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, the former tanning exclusively with oak bark, and the latter chiefly with hemlock.* Indeed, it may be truly asserted that the New York market was supplied almost entirely with leather from these different sections of our country; and behold the change: the state of New York has become now the tanning region, the city of New York the great leather market of the Union, and there are more foreign hides imported into the city of New York than into any other city in the world.
The first effort of consequence made to establish large tanneries in this state was by an association of gentlemen, under act of incorporation, styled the “ The New York Tannery.
The company located their tannery in the town of Hunter, Greene county, twenty miles west of the North river; and, after prosecuting the business for a period of five years unsuccessfully, were compelled, finally, to close up their affairs, sell their lands and buildings, and abandon to in. dividual enterprise the task of rearing up and firmly establishing this business in the new region.
The spur, however, had been given, the impulse felt, and long before the company had ceased its operations, many extensive tanneries, capable of competing successfully with those of other states, and rivalling the great incorporated pioneer, had started into existence. Indeed, when we recur to that early period in the history of tanning in this state, and then dwell on the present, we are struck with wonder at the rapid progress and stirring enterprise every where exhibited. In every hemlock forest, on
* “It is observable that in this country, wherever the hemlock forests terminate in regions too warm for its production, there the oak forests commence;" consequently, the oak is used in the middle and southern states, almost exclusively, while in the latitudes north of the city of New York the same remark may be applied to hemlock.
every falling stream, and accompanying the interior settlements in every direction, may be seen tanneries of the largest structure, giving employment to the wood-cutter, the bark-peeler, the teamster, and the wheelwright; and under the consuming fires of their never-glutted“ leeches," the forests of hemlock are rapidly giving place for the plough of the husbandman; villages and mills arising as by the bidding of an enchanter's wand, where before was the inaccessible waterfall,—and macadamized roads and turn. pikes, traversing mountains heretofore deemed impassable.
In noticing the rapidity with which these tanneries have been erected, and their extensive operations, we are enabled to present some facts of interest.
In the region of the “Catskill mountains," the great sole-leather tanning district, and in an extent embraced within the limits of the counties of Greene, Delaware, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster, there were in the year 1820 but three tanneries of any considerable size, and the amount of leather manufactured in them of trifling importance,-in the aggregate, perhaps, 40,000 sides ; value, some 100,000 dollars. There are now in the same district, without enumerating many small ones, 56 tanneries of capacity sufficient to manufacture annually 328,000 hides, equal to 656,000 sides, or 9,840,000 pounds sole leather, and in value 1,672,800 dollars!! The rise, progress, and extent of this great branch of industry of the northern and eastern states—the growth of twenty years! What an aptitude of natural advantages to enterprise does it not evidence! We are indebted to no foreign nation for aught save the raw material ; to none for capital ; to none for skill; to none for the strong arms which have grappled with the mountains, and stripped from their immemorial peaks millions of hem. lock; and certainly to none for that energy and perseverance which so particularly distinguish this class of manufacturers.
In the December number (1838) of the Journal of the American Institute was a brief notice of the “Prattsville Tannery,” the largest and most extensive in its operations of any in the country. We have since been furnished with a plan of this establishment, and which, as it exhibits the leading and latest improvements, we have caused to be engraved for refer. ence ; and we deem it not inappropriate, in connection with the subject under consideration, to give a short history of the tannery and village, and we do this with the more pleasure, as it affords us an opportunity of paying a just tribute to the enterprising character of the founder, the Hon. Zadock Pratt, late member of congress.
Colonel Pratt commenced the world with that sometimes useful com. panion, Poverty; and, after struggling through the early period of his life with the difficulties and embarrassments incidental to such a connec. tion, he resolved to seek his fortune “ farther west.? With this deter. mination, he penetrated what at that period (1824) was deemed almost a . wilderness, the interior of the Catskill mountains. A situation on the banks of the Schohariekill presenting to his mind great natural advantages, he resolved to establish himself there. In the incredibly short space
of ninety days, (we have the fact from himself,) he had his tannery erected, and ready to commence operations. He then procured a stock of hides* in the city of New York, which he
Colonel Pratt connected his tanning operations with the house of Gideon Lee & Co., in the city of New York, with whom he continued it for a period of fifteen years until the senior members of that house retired from active business.