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patents that were declared to cover what they actually invented. They had discovered that their patents were inoperative or invalid for that purpose, and reissued them and enlarged the claims of their patents. In many instances those reissues have not been made immediately, because the courts have held that they were valid if they were made any time during the life of the patent. The Supreme Court, however, found, in 1881, that this law had been misunderstood and abused. This, then, shows the importance of making the Patent Office a separate executive department, with none but skilled and trained officials, in order that the patents granted for inventions may be carefully and skilfully prepared in the first instance. In this way the inventors will be able to have their patents so drawn as to obviate the necessity of reissue The fact that the courts had misunderstood and misconstrued this law is a good reason why there should be a separate judiciary especially qualified in this branch of law, with judges capable of understanding letters patent, and devises covered thereby, as well as correctly construing and applying the law relating thereto.



May it Please the Court:

At a meeting of the members of the bar of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the Stato of Illinois, held at the Court House, in Carlinville, on the 28th day of August, 1888, for the purpose of taking action in regard to the death of the Hon. Wm. R. Welch, one of the Judges of that circuit, and also one of the Judges of the Appellate Court for the Second Judicial District, the following resolutions were adopted, which I will now read:

Resolved, That in the death of Hon. Wm. R. Welch, one of the Judges of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Illinois, the judiciary of the State has lost one of its ablest and purest members, the bar one of its brightest ornaments and best exemplars, and the community one of its noblest citizens.

Resolved, That we respectfully tender to the family of the deceased our kindliest sympathy in their bereavement, and, in token thereof, that a copy of these resolutions be presented to the family and furnished the press.

At that meeting, the duty was devolved upon me to present these resolutions to the Honorable ('ourt, and, in the discharge of that duty, it may not be unacceptable to the Court and bar if I should offer a few brief remarks upon the character and public services of the deceased. About twenty-four years of the life of Judge Welch have been spent in this community. We have seen him in all the walks of life, and we know him to have been a citizen of unswerving honesty and integrity. It has been said that “an honest man is the noblest work of God," and we can justly claim for our deceased friend that position, whether we look at him in his daily transactions with his fellow-men, or in his opinions, his aspirations or purposes in life. The Judge was no greedy and unconscionable seeker after wealth. His heart was not set after personal aggrandizement. He was a man of plain and simple habits I have often heard him remark, and I believe it to have been an honest expression, that he had never desired to be rich. He doubtless desired to have a competency for the support of himself and family. He labored assiduously for that support; but, to procure it, he never overstepped the boundary of honesty and fair dealing. He would have preferred even poverty to unprofessional and disreputable practices. He was, however, diligent in business, always at the post of duty and ready to perform the part assigned him. Promptness in business was characteristic of the Judge; tardiness was contrary to his nature. Although a man of naturally feeble constitution, and with a disease that for years had gnawed at his vitals, he still worked with zeal and determination worthy of the health and sprightliness of youth. I have often wondered how so feeble à constitution could endure such mental strain. He undoubtedly possessed an indomitable will, and though disease drew steadily and heavily upon him, and early death marked him for its victim, he fought manfully for life and heroically bore its burdens. In the midst of all these discouragements he maintained a laudable ambition. He was by no means indifferent to worldly honors. He desired to come out honorably in the race of life. He, no doubt, started with high aims and purposes, and pain and sickness could not divert him from them. He adhered with devotion to his chosen profession, determined to do faithful work until the sands of life should all run out. When Judge Welch was elevated from the bar to the bench, he carried with him the same energy and devotion to duty. He was proud of his position of Judge; he fully appreciated its dignity and importance; he felt deeply the necessity of being faithful to the trust. To him the duties were not irksome, but pleasant. He was polite and affable to the bar, and always watched with deep interest the progress of the case being tried before him. I think he watched the evidence in the case as closely as did the jury, and endeavored to know all the facts and the law applicable to them. When he was assigned to the Appellate Bench, we all felt that it was a deserved honor. We rejoiced at his promotion, and only felt sorrowful that his weak and enfeebled constitution might deprive him of the power to fulfill its arduous duties. Judge Welch loved the law. He loved to dive into its intricacies. He took great pleasure in applying the principles of the law to the facts of the case before him. He had a discriminating legal mind. He was well versed in the principles of the law, but he was also diligent in looking for adjudged cases. He loved to search among the musty volumes of judicial reports to find some adjudged case where the law and facts were similar to the one before him, and oftentimes when a case had been submitted to him upon the adjournment of court, he would spend the weary and wakeful hours of a sleepless night in consulting the books, and bring them in the morning to fortify his opinion in the case. The Judge was probably not always right in his judgment; like all other men, he sometimes erred; but we always regarded it as a mistake of the head, while in his heart he desired to be right. While he desired to be right and to do justice in the case before him, he strove to have that right and justice in accordance with law. Hence, he was a technical lawyer. Sometimes we thought him too technical He was one of those judges who thought that every man's case should be tried by the law, that a principle applicable to one man's case should apply to all men, under similar states of fact. Hence, while he was a technical lawyer, he was an impartial Judge. But whatever Julge Welch's opinion or judgment might be in the given case, we never for a moment doubted his integrity. And I might add that what I have already said as to the impartiality and integrity of Judge Welch, may be truly said of our Judges generally. No country can boast of a purer judiciary than ours. Notwithstanding our Judges are elected by the people, and are to some extent dependent upon popular favor for their continuance in office, yet it is the rarest instance that any of our Judges have ever been suspected of partiality or corruption; and we are told that in England, from whom we derived our system, only two instances of judicial bribery have occurred during its long history. Our friend was not, in every sense, what we might denominate a learned man, but he was learned in the law; his mind ran in that direction more than in that of science or general knowledge. His reading was mostly confined to the law books, yet he was a man of decided opinions in politics and religion, and was well informed on both subjects. No man held to his opinions on these subjects with more tenacity than Judge Welch. He leaned strongly to the side of publie morality, and believed in a strict enforcement of the laws made to promote it. But, while so doing, he was liberal to his opponents and polite and affable in controversy. Rather than offend an adversary, he would sometimes yield the point, though not change his opinion. He was earnestly and devotedly attached to his own political party, but still not an offensive partisan. Hence, be had numerous friends in the opposite party, and he so far enjoyed the contidence of all who knew him that, when a candidate for office, he always secured a large vote from the opposite party. In short, he was faithful as an officer, honest as a man, and upright as a citizen. In all these various relations we respected and loved him. We can commend him as an example to ourselves, his brothren of the bar and of the bench; and to the young lawyer and future member of the bar we can hold him up as a model worthy of their imitation.

In behalf of the bar, I ask that the resolutions just read may be accepted by your Honor, and that they be ordered spread upon the records of this court.





Gentlemen :

There has been alotted to me for discussion the subject of “voluntary assignments.” For two reasons I must disappoint the expectation of speaking upon that subject, if it be a disappointment, but will speak upon another.

There is a cause now pending and under consideration by our Supreme Court, in which the subject of voluntary assignments in some of its important features is involved, and I would prefer not to speak upon that topic while the matter is under consideration in the Supreme Court.

Again, the subject first proposed to me by the committee was “the law of elections," and to that subject I had given, at the request of the committee, some thought.

Perhaps the most lasting reform or change is that which proceeds by slow steps and by easy grades. And, impressed with that idea, I desire to call your attention, and through you the attention of the legislature, to two points in the new election law, commonly so called, now in force in the city of Chicago and the adjacent municipalities.

This new election law has been in force in Chicago for over three years, and during that time, so far as I know,-and the whole administration of the law is committed to my charge,- -no illegal vote has been cast, no legal vote has been excluded, no fraud has occurred or been successful, that could be attributed to the act of commission or omission of the officers in charge of the machinery elections established by that law. But that law was in the nature of a sweeping reform. Several provisions were incorporated into it, which, with profit to a fair, full and free election, could be improved upon.

At this time I will dwell only upon two of these features; and I do so to the end that, so far as may be, the members of this association will be able to offer intelligent opinions upon the propriety or impropriety, as the case may be, of a bill which I have framed, and which I shall cause to be submitted to the legislature.

By this statute no man can vote at an election who has not been registered on one of the two days of registration provided by law. Neither sickness, absence from the city, from the State, or from the country, nor pressure of business, nor forgetfulness, nor any other cause or circumstance, is regarded as an excuse for not registering, nor as the basis of a right to vote if registered.

I believe strongly in the need of a proper and sufficiently guarded registration law, to prevent the well-known evils of illegal voting and repeating on the day of election, by means of false affidavits, false impersonation, and false representations. But I am satisfied that there is a large number of very intelligent and honest voters admirably equipped to express a judgment upon public and political questions at the ballot box who are excluded from the right of franchise by reason of the provisions of this law. The body of commercial travelers is a noted illustration of the kind of men I mean when I refer to the class excluded by the operation of the present law. Of course there are many others,-newspaper men, lawyers, physicians, merchants, sailors, and others engaged in the lake marine and commerce, men engaged in various laborious occupations, railroad engineers, conductors, train men of various kinds, men engaged in various building operations, who are away from their home in the city, engaged in their several occupations. Very many of these classes, at each election, are absent on both days of registration, and are thus deprived of the opportunity of voting. The name of one individual will afford an instance of a double proposition, which is, that the law is no respecter of persons, and that this feature of the law might well be amended. I would name the Chief Justice of the United States, Hon. Melville W. Fuller. Had this distinguished citizen desired to vote in Chicago, his place of residence at the late election, it would have been necessary for him to have relinquished, for the time being, his duties at Washington, come to Chicago for the purpose of registration, and either stay there unull the day of election, or again come back to vote.

Now a remedy, I think, can be found for this injustice to such useful members of the community, without impairing the efficacy of the law. That remedy would be, perhaps, by providing that the Board of Election Commissioners should have a registration book or books at their office, their office being by law open through the entire year, that each citizen might apply for registration at any time during business hours, and be there subjected to the same examination and serutiny as to his right to vote as is provided for at the place of local registration, this privilege or right of being registered at the election commissioner's office to cease one day prior to the last day of registration, so that all the names registered throughout the year and prior to the first day of registration might be placed upon the registry books before they went from the office to the local board of registration, thus giving the judges of elections and the clerk of the election an opportunity of again eramining, for purposes of revision, as to the correctness of the answers given by the persons registered, and to the information obtained by the Board of Election Commissioners, lists to be published by the Board of Election Commissioners from time to time, in at least two leading newspapers of different political parties ; and the Board of Election Commissioners to be also directed to make inquiry similar to that that local boards of registration must make touching the right of the applicant to registration.

In line with this suggestion may be considered those provisions of the law by which a person duly registered as a qualified voter in one precinct, and who removes to another precinct during the year, is required to procure a certificate of removal from either the board of registration, in the original precinct, on the day of registration, or at any time prior thereto, from the election commissioners, but in all cases he must produce such certificate before the board of registration in his new precinct on the day of registration, and can not be registered without it. The operation of this provision works considerable hardship, and in the bill I refer to it is provided that application can be made at any time to the election commissioners, who may not only issue a certificate of removal, but place the applicant's name on the registry book of his new precinct.

Possibly it may seem at first blush that these are minor matters, appertaining to a locality, and rot of general interest to the whole State, but I felt justified in submitting them here because I believe that every voter in the State has an interest in the vote of every other voter, to see that it is an honest vote, and that it may be deposited freely and without undue and unnecessary hindrance. Fortunately, corruption in elections is not conspicuously prevalent in Illinois, hence a general discussion of such an evil and its remedy is not specially called for. But as Illinois and her citizens are and have a right to be interested in a fair and uncorrupted election in all other States, so the whole people of Illinois have a right to manifest interest in elections in every portion of the State,

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