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Obituary for Judge Leonard Henderson

From the New England Magazine, October, 1833

 

In Granville County, N.C. , in August last, Hon. M. Henderson, chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Judge Henderson was distinguished for his private worth, his integrity and his urbanity.  At a meeting of the members of the Bar, in Granville County, a series of resolutions was unanimously adopted declaring - "The loss which the state has sustained in the death of the venerable Chief Justice Henderson, is calculated to elicit our deep regret.  The judicial office in a government of laws, is that in which the community have the profoundest interest; for in proportion to the moral and intellectual elevation of him who fills it, is the respect felt for the laws themselves; and good men deplore, as a public calamity, that such an office should ever be feebly filled: as to the mass of mankind, the step is easy, from a contempt for the organ, to contempt for the law itself.  As a judge, the deceased was of inestimable value to North Carolina.  The genius, the learning, the firmness which characterized him, ensured the faithful execution of the laws, and commanded the universal confidence of the public.  For a series of years, he presided in the supreme court of this state, and by his profound learning assisted much to establish the high character which that court sustains.  To its reported decisions, we may refer with confidence as the imperishable monument of his fame.  But it was not in intellectual endowment alone that he stood pre-eminent.  He possessed a gentleness and benignity of nature, which threw a charm around his character, and gave to its sterner features a mellow relief.  It was this blending of the virtues of the man with those of the magistrate, which endeared him to us, and to all who knew him.  To pay the last sad tribute of respect to departed worth, to treasure the memory of his virtues, and to imitate his example, is all that is left to us."


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