MY RAILROAD FIGHT IN
AND OUT OF COURT.
Atlantic MonthlyMay, 1873
IN the Atlantic
Monthly for December last, I told the story of The Fight of a
Man with a Railroad; and related how, while travelling on the
New York and New Haven Railroad, from New York to New Haven, tendered
in payment for my passage a coupon-ticket marked, "Good from
New Haven to New York," and was dragged from the train because
I refused to pay my fare in any other form, and subjected to severe
bodily injuries. The facts of this case are so familiar to the
public that they need not be recapitulated here. The sequel of
the contesta suit for damages which, after four trials,
resulted in a verdict of $3,500 in my favor is also well known.
But some interesting and characteristic facts of the legal struggle
still remain to be told; and by way of preface, it should be stated
that my suit against the New York and New Haven Railroad Company
was an action for damages for physical injuries sustained by me
at the hands of its employees; not for its refusal to receive
the ticket which I offered, and which I claimed was a legal and
sufficient tender. I believed, and still believe, that if I pay
for seventy-four miles of transportation on a railroad, I am entitled
to such transportation on presentation of the evidence of my payment
in the form of a ticket, at whichever end of the route I claim
my due. But the basis of my suit was not the denial of my rights
as a traveller. I sued the New York and New Haven Railroad Company,
demanding damages for its wrongful act in beating and maiming
me,for an assault, in fact. I brought the suit in a Massachusetts
court, first, because the superintendent of the New York and New
Haven Railroad had said that, if I wished to test the case, "he
would give me all the law I wanted, and would show me that the
laws in Connecticut were different from those where I came from";
secondly, because most of the witnesses on my side were residents
of Boston and vicinity, and could attend court in that city without
much inconvenience; and thirdly, because I believed that the Massachusetts
courts represented the highest type of judicial purity.
On the day of the first trial, I entered the court-room laboring
under the agitation natural to the novice in legal contests, and
worn with the labors of preparation. When the examination of witnesses
was begun, I was first called to the stand. I was required, as
is the custom, in direct examination, to tell who I was, where
I lived, what my business was; and, these preliminary questions
having been answered, to give a full history of the collision
between myself and the railroad authorities. What was said and
what was done I was permitted to tell, under constant interruptions
from the counsel for the railroad, with, "Your Honor, I object!"
and thanks to these interruptions, and to the slow pen of the
judge, which lagged in note-taking and had to be waited for, I
gave, instead of the concise, straightforward, and symmetrical
account which I intended to give, confused and piecemeal sketches,
which did no justice to my case before the jury. I was wholly
unable to show the animus of my antagonists,the contemptuous
insolence which characterized their treatment of me in the earliest
stages of the affair, and the reckless brutality which marked
its catastrophe. I was allowed to tell the jury that I was ejected
from the train and received bodily harm: the law recognizes the
fact of an ejection; but it ignores the fact that the victim has
"senses, affections, passions," and that the insult
was put upon him in the presence of a car full of ladies and gentlemen.
The hasty retrospect of my evidence which I involuntarily made
gave me no courage for the next and severer ordeal,the cross-examination.
The first questions of the counsel for the corporation were gentle,
soothing, and seductive; but, finding that I refused the hidden
pitfalls into which he would fain lead me, he changed his method,
and strove to make me exhibit myself as a "common travelling
agent," who had deliberately plotted to swindle the railroad
company by trumping up a claim for damages for a pretended injury.
He interrogated me as to the particulars of my physical discomforts:
on what days did I suffer pain from my injury? at what hours of
the day? Did the weather affect my state of health? Then he required
me to consider what a mean, contemptible fellow I was, to try
to save two dollars and a quarter by using an old ticket. Then
he demanded, to know why need I be such a "rough," and
get into that disgraceful quarrel, disturbing the other passengers,
assaulting the railroad officials, and making them leave their
business and come all the way to Boston, when I might have paid
my fare, and every thing would have been smooth?
trial the lawyer who conducted the case in behalf of the railroad
company thundered out this command: "Now, sir, look upon
the jury and tell them why you broke the rules of that road,why
you attempted to use that ticket! A man of your age and your experience
in travelling must have known better. What made you think you
could do it?" A bush followed this indignant outburst. Every
eye in the courtroom was fixed upon me; the spectators straightened
themselves in their seats to listen; the reporters lifted their
heads, and fingered their pencils nervously; the lawyers within
the bar winked at each other significantly; and the presiding
judge bent forward in an attitude of grave expectation.
My answer was deliberate, for I had outgrown my original nervousness,
and was hardened to the asperities of judicial inquisition: "On
general principles, when I pay a dollar for a thing, I am entitled
to the equivalent of that dollar, whether I buy a railroad ticket
"Ye-e-s," rejoined the lawyer, slowly, and with a
sneer in every word, "and when you buy potatoes,
you think you can take it out in sugar or tea, if
you prefer." He had made a good point, he thought, and he
cast about the room a look inviting congratulation.
"No," I said; "I do not think I can take it
out in sugar or tea. But I think, if I buy a barrel of potatoes,
it's nobody's business but my own whether I take the head out
of the barrel and eat through that way, or tip it
the other end up, and go through that way!"
For once I had the whole court with me in a laugh, in which
judge, jury, lawyers, and spectators took eager part; and my inquisitor
dashed his papers on the table, and dropped into his seat.
During the last trial I had testified that I knew tickets had
been used "backwards" on the road, and I believed such
usage amounted to a custom. My tormentor asked why I did not bring
witnesses to prove such a custom. I replied, that we did introduce
a witness for that purpose, but the defendant's counsel refused
to permit him to testify, declaring that the custom of the road
had nothing to do with the case; only the rule of the road
was to be considered. The counsel denied this, and affirmed that
be would not have objected to such testimony, if we had been able
to produce it. A gentleman sitting among the spectators rose and
whispered to my lawyer; and as soon as I left the witness-stand,
he was called and sworn, the opposing counsel watching the proceeding
with undisguised curiosity. "Mr. Witness," asked my
lawyer, "you have travelled a good deal on the New York and
New Haven Railroad, have you not?" "Yes, sir."
"State whether or not you ever had any tickets to go in the
reverse direction, and how they were marked."
Before the witness could answer, the counsel for the railroad
sprang up and vehemently protested against the introduction of
the evidence. The judge evidently did not comprehend the situation,
and turned an inquiring look upon my lawyer, who answered it by
saying, "Your Honor, the defendants have asked me why we
did not call witnesses to prove the custom of using tickets 'backward,'
and said that they should not object if we did so. Now we have
put this gentleman on the stand to show that he had such tickets"
"Yes, and used them too," interrupted the witness. "Stop,
sir!" cried the judge, "you are not to testify until
you are told to do so." But the caution was too late; the
mischief was done; and again all present, appreciating the humor
of this breach of legal etiquette, united in a hearty laugh. It
was plainly unnecessary to pursue the examination of this witness
further, and he was permitted to stand aside.
The other witnesses for the plaintiff, ladies and gentlemen
who were in the car at the time of my ejection, gave their evidence
on each trial, clearly and impressively, corroborating my own
in all material points, and resisting successfully the diligent
efforts of the opposing counsel to lead them into self-contradiction
and confusion. They, too, were badgered and brow-beaten, as I
had been; and their plight in the grasp of the cross-examining
lawyer, though not edifying, was instructive in so far as it proved
that the law is no respecter of persons. All the evidence 'for
the plaintiff having been put in, the defendants' counsel opened
their case in a brief speech, in which he quietly assumed, and
seemed to take the jury into partnership in the assumption, that
I had deliberately laid a plan to cheat the railroad company,
and coolly stigmatized my suit for redress as a "fraud."
He then introduced his witnesses,"the honest, hard-working
men who had been styled 'roughs' by the other side," and
whose advent was now witnessed by the spectators with ill-concealed
amusement. The contrast, in fact, between the witnesses for the
two sides of the case was too glaring to be ignored,
The first honest witness was as prompt as a well-drilled recruit.
He described the incidents of my ejection: the conductor called
upon him and some of the other "boys" to take a man
out of the car; they attempted to carry out his order quietly,
but the man refused to go; therefore they laid gentle bands on
him, whereupon the man kicked and struck and bit, and he (the
witness) had to take hold of the man's hands to restrain his violence.
He swore positively that it took six men to move the man. In answer
to an inviting question, he eagerly testified that he saw Mr.
Coleman bite one of the boys on the arm,right through the
woollen garment that the man wore. The story was clear, concise,
and told with an air of confidence that was quite impressive.
"Mr. Witness," said my lawyer, beginning the cross-examination,
"you said just now that you saw Mr. Coleman bite one of the
men?" "Yes, sir; on the arm. "Which arm?"
The witness hesitated; he was well prepared in generalities, but
not in details. Presently be answered, "The left arm."
"How many men had hold of Mr. Coleman at this time? "
One man was on his left side and another on his right, others
had him by his legs, and I was in front." "These men
were abreast of Mr. Coleman, taking him out squarely through
the car, were they?" "Yes sir." "Will you
swear to that positively?" "Yes, sir," said
the witness, resolutely. "Careful, now; are you sure of
that?" Yes, sir; I am sure of it." "On
which side of Mr. Coleman was the man who was bitten?" Again
the witness hesitated, and his face, hitherto calm, grew flushed
and anxious. But he answered at last, "The left side, sir."
"Will you swear positively to that also?" "Yes,
sir; I swear positively to it." "Now, sir,"
resumed the lawyer, "do you not know that a man of Mr.
Coleman's breadth in that narrow car aisle would completely fill
it, so that neither two men nor one could stand at his side, as
you swear they did?" Flustered, but not daunted, the witness
explained, "The men were a little back of Mr. Coleman";
and witness quitted the stand, leaving the court to meditate on
the strange spectacle of a man curving his giraffe-like neck,
and fastening his teeth in the left arm of a man who stood
on his left side, and a "little back of him!"
Several other honest witnesses gave similar testimony as to
the biting, and as to the violent behavior of the plaintiff, and
the gentle but firm deportment of the railroadmen; these latter
struck no blows, but several were delivered by the plaintiff.
The harmony of the witnesses was beautiful. They seemed to have
beheld the scenes which they described with a single eye: as to
the biting, the arm bitten, and the position of the biter, their
agreement was perfect. At this stage of the proceedings a recess
was taken. On the reassembling of the court, other witnesses for
the railroad were examined; but, strange to say, not one of them
could give any particular information as to the biting; they swore
that Mr. Coleman did bite, but, though they had enjoyed the same
opportunities for observation with their predecessors on the stand,
they "couldn't exactly remember the details." Such is
the effect of lunch.
The conductor told a plausible story, modelled carefully on
my own statement, but differing in certain points that could be
turned against me. It will be remembered that he told me in the
cars that the directors had made a "rule," forbidding
him to take tickets backward. On cross-examination, my counsel
asked him where he was accustomed to turn in his tickets to the
company. He attempted to evade the question again and again, but
finally answered, with painful reluctance, "in New York."
It was further extorted from him that the tickets were turned
in at New York whether taken in going to or from that city; that
it made no difference which way my coupon was used; and,
finally, that, the directors of the road had never given him (as
he asserted to me) a rule against taking coupons "backwards,"
but that the superintendent had verbally ordered him not to take
them, about three years before! This superintendent, who, with
his son, wrenched me from the train at Stamford when I attempted
to re-enter it after my ejection, was obliged to swear that it
was the exclusive right of the directors to make "rules,"
and, further, that they never had made a "rule" touching
the ticket question; he himself having verbally instructed the
conductors not to take tickets "backward," which be
had no shadow of authority to do. Thus it seems that the "rule"
for the violation of which I had been mildly rebuked by the servants
of the railroad,a violation which was the soul of the defence,
its single excuse and answer to my allegationswas not
a " rule" at all, but a mere verbal order given
by an unauthorized person. Yet, in the face of the declaration,
by one of the highest officers of the road, that there was no
"rule," the judge charged the jury that a "rule"
had been broken, that I was a trespasser, and that the railroad
company had a right to eject me from the train, employing the
necessary force and no more! Such a charge concerns every person
in the community; for it seems that any of us, for disobedience
to a non-existent rule, may be brutally dragged from a railway-car,
and, seeking redress, shall be informed by the court that the
railway company is responsible only for "excess of violence."
The examination of the superintendent having been concluded,
the counsel for the railroad stated to the court that the victim
of Mr. Coleman's carnivorous ferocity had been discharged from
the road immediately after his misfortune; that diligent search
had been made for him, but in vain. By one of those dramatic felicities,
so frequent in fiction and so rare in real life, just at this
juncture a telegram was brought in announcing that the bitten
man had been found, and would arrive on a train due in ten minutes.
The judge granted the delay asked for, and the spectators brightened
up in anticipation of new and measurably tragic revelations. The
delay was brief. In a few minutes the door of the courtroom was
thrust open, and in rushed the witness, breathless with haste.
A brisk, bronzed person he was, self-contained and self-satisfied,
with locomotive gait, and a habit of gesture suggestive of brake-rods.
He mounted the witness-stand, was sworn, and delivered his direct
testimony with easy indifference, coupling his sentences as he
would couple cars, with a jerk. This is his story in brief: "The
conductor c'm out the car 'n' said,'' S man in there want ye t'take
out.' Went in the car, and he said, 'That's th' man: put 'im out!'
I jes' took 'im up and carried him out through the car out on
t' th' platform th' depot, an' took 'n' set 'im down, an' never
hurt him a mite." "Did Mr. Coleman bite you?" inquired
the counsel for the railroad. "Yes, sir." "Did
he bite you on the arm?" "Yes, sir." The lawyer
asked him no more questions, evidently satisfied with the effect
of his evidence thus far, and possibly remembering that, unlike
the other witnesses for the road, he had not enjoyed the benefit
of lunch. Remitted to my counsel for cross-examination, the witness,
well pleased with his success, and confident in his own powers,
met the inquisitorial onset with calm dignity.
"Mr. Witness," said the lawyer, "you were in
the car on the day when Mr. Coleman was taken out, were you? Yes,
sir; I took him out myself." Ah! you assisted the men to
take him out, did you?" "No, sir; didn't have no men;
took him out myself." "O, you took him out alone, then?"
"Yes, sir; took him out alone." "You swear to that?"
"Yes, sir; swear to it." "Nobody helped you?"
"No, sir; took him out myself" Well, sir," pursued
the lawyer, "you must be a stout fellow, to handle a man
like that. Won't you please describe just how you took him out."
"Well, I jes' went up to th' man, reached one arm 'round
his neck, so fashion, had his head right up here on my arm, 'n'
I jes' took 'im right through the car out on t' the platform th'
depot, an' set 'im down and never hurt 'im a mite."
Every face was intent upon the witness and not a sound was
heard save his voice, though there were premonitory symptoms of
laughter. With a suavity delightful to see, the lawyer said, while
he scanned the compact frame of the witness, "Why, you must
be a powerful fellow!" "Yes, sir.; I'm big enough for
him." "Well, now, will you be kind enough to tell the
jury, did Mr. Coleman strike anybody?" "No, sir; I didn't
give 'im no chance; I had 'im." "You swear to that positively?"
"Yes, sir." A look of dismay and disgust settled upon
the faces of the earlier witnesses for the road, who had graphically
and minutely described my violent resistance, my kicks and blows.
The spectators giggled, and even the judge relaxed the solemnity
of his visage. "Did anybody strike Mr. Coleman?" continued
the lawyer. "No, sir; I had 'im and didn't give 'em no chance."
"You swear to that, too? " "Yes, sir." "Well,
Mr. Witness, when you had Mr. Coleman's head upon your arm, as
you described, I suppose you had his face turned a little toward
your breast?" The witness, eagerly following this description
of the situation and the gestures which illustrated it, his face
now flushed and beaded with perspiration (for the work was harder
than he had thought it), nodded assent. "Mr. Coleman's mouth,
then, would come about there?" inquired the lawyer, pointing
to the inside of the arm, next to the body. "Yes, sir; that's
just the place where he bit me." "You swear to that
positively?" "Yes, sir, positively." All the witnesses
for the road, except the conductor, who did not commit himself
as to the biting, swore emphatically that the bite was on the
outside of the left arm, some of them placing the bitten man upon,
the left of the biter; and now comes a third untutored witness,
who claimed to be the sufferer and who of course ought to know
the place of the bite, testifying with equal positiveness that
the bite was on the inside of his arm. Even the counsel for the
road could not refuse to join in the universal merriment which
On subsequent trials all this testimony as to the biting was
rearranged. The victim of my ferocity was obliged to share the
honor of taking me out with five auxiliaries, and the bite was
transferred to his right arm. Being a draughtsman, I had measured
the car, and was ready with a drawing to show that the new theories
of the defence as to the method of taking me out left just three
inches for the movement of each stalwart brakeman as he walked
at my side.
I Suppose that I need give no extended report of the argument
of the road's counsel. He took the highest ground,the ground
that the public had no right to question the management of the
road; that the company owned it, and had the right to manage it
as any other property is managed by a private corporation: that
is, he denied the fact that the public is virtually a partner
in railroad companies, which it creates and lifts into power
by grants of franchises and land. Indeed, this distinction between
public and private corporations has been carefully ignored by
the judiciary of the country; and to this the present alarming
domination of railroad corporations is mainly traceable.
I may say, for the encouragement of those who look to the courts
for deliverance from a railroad tyranny, whose bonds the judiciary
seems willing enough to rivet, that, in every trial, my counsel
carried the jury with him, one single juror of the forty-eight
excepted. This juror was said to have been formerly an employee
of the New York and New Haven Railroad. The action of the several
juries, so far as the public is concerned in it, is satisfactory
and cheering; for it indicates unmistakably that the spring of
railroad power in our courts is not in the deliberate judgment
of intelligent men; but the judges' charges were in effect restatements
of the arguments of the counsel for the railroad touching the
general question of the rights and powers of railroads. The juries
were instructed that the public has no voice in the affairs of
railroads; that contracts with passengers were to be made on conditions
fixed by one party, the railroad; that if a passenger violated
its regulations, an assault upon him by the agents of the corporation
was justifiable, though these latter must be careful to avoid
excess of violence. The juries were also instructed that if they
found that, in this case, the defendants had employed an excess
of violence, they must not allow punitive damages, but only such
as would compensate the plaintiff for his injuries. Despite these
instructions the four juries promptly brought in verdicts in my
favor, each one giving heavier damages than its immediate predecessor.
On the second trial the jury disagreed, owing to one of its members;
I am informed that many of his associates desired to award me
$15,000. The first jury agreed upon a verdict of $10,000; but
one of their number, versed in the ways of courts, suggested that
it would probably be set aside, and that I would consequently
be subjected to great trouble and expense; so they reduced the
figures to $3,300, which was increased to $3,500 on the last trial.
Such, briefly sketched, were some of the features of my railroad
fight in court. The reader will recollect that Ia man not
rich and ill able to afford the time or expense of such a contest
with an opulent corporationwas compelled to repeat this
fight three times: first, because the verdict of $3,300 awarded
excessive damages for one of the most brutal assaults ever committed,
and the infliction of lifelong injuries; and subsequently upon
pretexts even more trivial. The judges ruled that the roads had
all the rights in the case, and I had none. They ruled that an
order given by an unauthorized person, and confessedly no regulation,
was a regulation, and that, if I violated it, I must take
the consequences. They declared in effect that a railroad ticket
was a contract, though it bore no government stamp, and was made
by a single party. They suffered the wild and contradictory swearing
of the road's witnesses to go unnoticed. But in spite of the judges,
and their rulings, the juries were for me.
My fight out of court has been a different matter. The publication
of my first article has called forth comments from the press in
every part of the country. I have seen more than one hundred notices
and articles based upon it, all of which, with three or four exceptions,
applaud my course, and express the public sympathy with me in
terms which I could not reproduce without seeming to turn to my
own honor a matter which I am anxious to regard in an impersonal
light. These articles have appeared in the most important journals
of the country; I believe that no journal of influence has left
the case unnoticed; and the country press has treated it as generously
and courageously as the great newspapers of the city, which are
supposed to be less susceptible to local influences, and more
independent to advertisements and free passes. Nothing could be
more instructive and interesting than this almost universal expression
of public opinion by the public press in regard to the arbitrary
and despotic management of our railroads. Many of the journals
recur to the subject again and again, and all testify to the fact
that every railroad passenger has seen or felt some outrage or
oppression against which he has longed to protest.
This fact is even more vividly enforced by the private letters
which have not, ceased to come to me since the publication of
my paper. They are from women as well as men, and from persons
in every station of life and every department of business, in
nearly every State of the Union; and they congratulate me, not
only upon my personal victory, but also upon my demonstration
of the fact that it is possible for an individual to stand up
in defence of his rights against a railroad corporation. They
recite the tyrannies and meannesses of different railroads, and
catalogue the stratagems by which railroad managers bind the hands
that should protect the people from their encroachments. If it
were possible to print these letters together, they would constitute
an indictment whose force would impress even the most easy-going
and spiritless citizen. I make an extract from one of them which,
brief as it is, carries a tremendous significance. The letter
was written by a resident of another State, who, like myself,
had dared to sue a railroad.
"But I am not yet out of the woods, as
the case is again before the lower court, where it is delayed
from the fact that most of our judges are disqualified from trying
the case; one is secretary of the company; others are stockholders;
others, before their elevation to the bench, were regular counsel
for the company."
What is true in that State is true in all; the trail of the
railroad is over every judicial bench in the country. In one of
the great States of the West, a correspondent writes that one
of the judges of the Supreme Court permits a railroad corporation,
which is party to several suits pending before him, to transport
free of charge building material for his new house, thereby saving
him from five hundred to one thousand dollars in freight money.
In New York some judges had become openly vendible; in other States
they are more coy and circumspect; but in no State are they above
suspicion, as judges ought to be. It is a notorious fact that
railroad corporations regard the free-ticket system as one of
the strongest bonds wherewith they have bound the American people.
On the press, on the legislature, and on the judiciary they bestow
"passes" with lavish hand, well knowing that every man
who accepts one virtually assumes an obligation to favor the corporation
which gives it. They do not count upon an immediate return, but
are content to bide their time. Some day their road may need defence
in the newspapers; or it may need an extension of its privileges
at the hands of the legislature; or it may be a party in an important
lawsuit. For all these contingencies it is prudent to provide.
One of the most curious and interesting of the letters I have
received is from a former railroad man, in the West, who gives
me his full name and address, and says,
"I wish to express my thanks to you for
having benefited the country by your victory over a railroad,
and by the article just sent forth; the statements of which I
can testify are true, having been a railroad agent in a Western
From Albany a prominent merchant writes to congratulate me,
and to express his own feeling in regard to the "arrogance,
tyranny, and oftentimes brutality exhibited by railroad officials
and employees"; and from Washington a gentleman, distinguished
in literature and society, sends me his thanks. "I have for
years," he adds, "called the attention of the public
to the extortions and illegalities of our railroads. But it is
slow work, because, as you have very well shown, the companies
bribe indirectly, by propitiation, men who are, some of
them at least, too honest to be bribed directly ..... But let
us hope, some day or other, those fellows may hustle or maim a
senator by mistake"; or, let me suggest, as even more to
the purpose, a judge of the courts.
A letter from a well-known firm in Boston asserts that our
merchants are doing business under a worse despotism than exists
under any arbitrary government of the Old World. I need hardly
say that my correspondents abound on the line of the New York
and New Haven Road, and that they one and all hail my success
with joy, and reiterate those well-known complaints of the road.
I may be excused, I trust, for copying finally a letter from
a lawyer of Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is remarkable for
the practical turn of the writer's sympathy:
"Accept my sincere thanks for your
article in the December Atlantic. I have been intending to write
you a letter of thanks for two weeks past, but am now specially
moved to do so, as I can add to my own the high commendation of
my friend Mr. , our United States minister to ,
who spent last night at my house. If you will accept it, I will
send you fifty dollars as an earnest of my thanks, and as my contribution
to your good work."
Naturally, I could not accept my correspondents offer, but
I valued it as a movement in the right direction. The impulse
which prompted it has already taken a practical shape in the West,
where, as I learn, the farmers and merchants have already begun
to form unions for their common defence against the railroads.
The members contribute to a fund which is to be used in attacking
the illegalities of the roads in the courts, and for defraying,
at the common cost, the expenses of suits which private persons
would not dare to undertake. This is a thoroughly practical movement,
and altogether preferable to the secret political organization
against the roads which has also been set on foot. Such a party
is predestined to be the prey of politicians, who will betray
it on the first occasion; but a co-operative society seeking justice
in the courts must succeed, even though the judges who make railroad-law
preside, with free passes in their pockets. There, with jurors
who have never been connected with railroads, jurors chosen
only half as carefully in this view as jurors in murder cases
are chosen,the victim of railroad tyranny is sure of justice
at last. No compromises should ever be accepted. A thousand suits
at law would do more to right the public than any amount of legislation.
The most encouraging and satisfactory characteristic of my
railroad fight out of court is that it is still going on, and
I trust that it will continue till the insolence of these railroad
corporations is curbed, and they are taught their single and true
function of common carriers for the sovereign people. They are
servants who have usurped the mastery. It is time they relinquished
John A. Coleman.
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