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Juneau GenWeb Project


Monday, December 17, 1894

THE ALASKA SEARCHLIGHT

Court Records

District Court Adjourned

Friday afternoon to open at Sitka to-day. The session has been most satisfactory one to the public, the only regret being that sufficient funds were not available to continue the term here until every case, civil and criminal could be disposed of. Words of harty commendation are heard on every side for Judge Truitt. Ability and fairness have characterized all his rulings. The other court officers have lent material assistance to the smooth running of the car of justice; grand jurors and trial juries have felt the responsibility resting upon them and the records of the court stand a lasting testimonial to their integrity.

Grand Jury

The importance of a good Grand Jury is throughly realized by every thoughful citizen and their drawing is always awaited with interest. There was a general feeling of satisfaction when the following names were drawn:

  • B. M. Behrends, Foreman
  • D. E. Lutes, Clerk
  • James Blaine
  • E. Percy Pond
  • R. M. Adams
  • Jacob M. Hall
  • Henry Berry
  • T. D. McManus
  • Louis Levy
  • Frank Young
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Sylvester McMahon
  • N. H. Bertram
  • Frank Guertin
  • William McLernon
  • William A. Finn

Judge Truitt's Charge

Was a strong appeal to the grand jurors to do their duty in strict accordance with the oath they had taken. It had the true ring in it; an able plea for the upholding and carrying out the laws of the land, even though some of these were against public sentiment. He dwelt upon the necessity of written laws; how they have been evolved, one by one, founded upon the wisdom of experience, and the danger to life and property when these laws are disregarded or trampled upon by the people. Regarding the liquor question, after reviewing it at some length, he said: "It is a violation of the law to sell to any person whatever and the question of race is not to be regarded as involved in the transaction. Then unless section 1891 of the laws of Oregon was adopted by Congress as applicable in the District there is no law to prevent the exchange or giving of liquor to the natives or Indians here. This section declares it a criminal offense to sell, barter or give to any Indian or half-breed who lives and associates with Indians, any spirituous, malt or vinous liquor without the authority of the United States or some authorized officer thereof. And I charge you, that, at least as to bartering and giving, the law applies in this district. In a country so isolated as this and in which the Indian population is so large in comparison with the whites, it is of the utmost importance that the laws relating to the sale, barter and giving of intoxicating liquors to them should be strictly enforced to protect property and preserve the lives of its inhabitants.

Gentlemen, my observation and experience in Alaska lead me to belive that all our better class of people are strongly in favor of enforcing the laws prohibiting the sale or disposal in any manner of intoxicating liquor to Indians, and grand juries of the terms of this court at which I have presided have, I think, always convicted persons brought before them in these cases. Bit I regret to say that those same juries failed or refused to indict for violations of the same statutes when the sales were made to white men. Some members of each jury were in favor of enforcing the law honestly and fearlessly in such cases, but there were enough jurors who, disregarding their duty, refused to indict on the plainest and strongest kind of evidence. I feel it is my duty to tell you frankly that I deprecate this state of affairs, and earnestly hop this term of court may mark the beginning of a new order of things in this respect, and that you will show the government and the world that as grand jurors you have the moral courage to enforce all the laws of this land impartially, whether you as individuals believe they are expedient and just, or not.

With this one exception of the people of Alaska are generally law abiding, and I do not believe a more intelligent, peaceable, or honest citizenship can be found in any other part of the United States, notwithstanding the slanders written to the eastern press by occasional scribblers who would probably like to cover their own poverty of principles with an amplitude of cant and hypocrisy".

The Grand Jury commenced their work at once and proceeded in a business like manner to investigate and dispose of all the cases brought before them fairly and impartially. They found fifty-five "true bills," thirty-one of which related to the liquor traffic, four to smuggling and twenty to other crmies. Their final report was submitted last Tuesday and accepted by the Court, with a few well spoken remarks expressing his satisfaction and gratitude.

Grand Jury's Report

Ture Bills:

  • No. 388 - Mike Toomey selling intoxicating liquor to Indians; convicted, fined $42.50


  • No. 389 - Mike Toomey, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; case continued until next term.


  • No. 390 - Ahn-too-yehl-lee, murder; convicted, sentenced to eight years imprisonment.


  • No. 391 - Tla-koo-yehl-lee and Tak-ke, murder; Tla-koo-yehl-lee not found, Tak-ke convicted, sentenced to ten years imprisonment.


  • No. 392 - Skun-doo-ooh, murder; convicted of manslaughter, sentenced to three years imprisonment.


  • No. 393 - Chris Fuehr, receiving stolen property; defendant did not appear, $5000 bond forfieted.


  • No. 394 - Frank Jurgens, larceny; acquited.


  • No. 395 - Frank Jurgens, receiving stolen property; convicted, sentenced to fifteen months imprisonment.


  • No. 396 - Bob Mattox and James Gleason, smuggling; Mattox not found; Gleason acquitted.


  • No. 397 - Bob Mattox and James Gleason, Smuggling; Mattox not found; Gleason acquitted.


  • No. 398 - Charles N. Hubbard and Hiram Schell, larceny; plead guilty, sentenced to ten months imprisonment.


  • No. 399 - A. A. Meyer, larceny; case continued until next term.


  • No. 400 - A. A. Meyer, forgery; case continued until next term.


  • No. 401 - A. A. Meyer, larceny; case continued until next term.


  • No. 402 - Frank Gleason, carrying on the business of retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; convicted, sentenced to one year imprisonment.


  • No. 403 - Frank Gleason, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case dismissed.


  • No. 404 - Julius and Oscar Bartels, attempt to murder; did not appear for trial, bond forfeited.


  • No. 405 - Oscar Bartels, aiding a deserter; did not appear for trial, bond forfeited.


  • No. 406 - J. R. Heckman, obstructing a salmon stream, plead guilty, fined $100


  • No. 407 - Frederick Brockman and A. S. Wadleigh, obstructing a salmon stream, case continued.


  • No. 408 - J. W. Harris, malicious injury to property; acquitted.


  • No. 409 - Sah-koo-yeh, mayhem, dismissed.


  • No. 410 - Sah-koo-yeh, assault with a dangerous wepon; convicted, sentenced to one year imprisonment.


  • No. 411 - Ed Moran, selling liquor to Indians; case continued.


  • No. 412 - Albert Chameaux, smuggling, fined $50.


  • No. 413 - Frank M. Berry, smuggling; plead guilty, fined $50.


  • No. 414 - A. Gunther, assault with a dangerous weapon; acquitted.


  • No. 415 - John McLaughlin, selling liquor to Indians; case continued.


  • No. 416 - John McLaughlin, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; case continued.


  • No. 417 - Barney Duffy, assault with a dangerous weapon; case continued.


  • No. 418 - William Conrad, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; plead guilty, sentenced to ten days in jail.


  • No. 419 - William Farrell, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; plead guilty, sentenced to ten days in jail.


  • No. 420 - William Farrell, carrying on the buisness of a retail liquor store without having paid the special tax; case dismissed.


  • No. 421 - O. W. Ashby, Harry Ash, F. M. Berry, John Curry, H. Corcoran, L. B. Grainer, Sam Kohn, G. F. Miller, Charles Morse, J. D. Matthus, James Winn, A. Marks, P. Lynch, A. Lylistrand, Oscar Ohman, William Hindle, F. M. Kane, H. McArthur, James Alfred, Silas Gibson, Charles Wells and Esquire Howe, [trading as Wells & Howe and conducting the Arctic Saloon]; Thorne & Wallastd, J. Thompson and Gus Germershausen, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; plead guilty, fined from $17.50 to $35 each.


  • No. 422 - O. W. Ashby, Frank M. Berry, John Curry, Thomas Graham, L. B. Grainer, Frank Kane, Sam Kohn, Charles Morse, J. S. McCauley, G. F. Miller, Philip Starr, James Winn, Joseph Wilson, A. Lylistrand, carrying on the business of retail liquor dealers without having paid the special tax; compromised.


  • No. 423 - R. Albertstone, Thomas Mooney, Alexander Long, Otto Nelson, Peter Startsoff, George Allard, carrying on the business of retail liquor dealer without having paid special tax; case continued.


  • No. 424 - William Joyce, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 425 - William Joyce, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; case continued.


  • No. 426 - Oscar Swanson, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 427 - Archie Shelp and George Cleveland, carrying on the business of retail liquor dealers without having paid the special tax; case continued.


  • No. 428 - George Cleveland, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; case continued.


  • No. 429 - Archie Shelp, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the speical tax; case continued.


  • No. 430 - Ah-you, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; no appearance; bond forfeited.


  • No. 331 - Ah-you, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; no appearance, bond forfeited.


  • No. 432 - Sam Sing, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 433 - Sam Sing, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; case continued.


  • No. 434 - Ah Bong, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 435 - Ah Bong, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax; case continued.


  • No. 436 - R. Witz, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 437 - John F. Gray and M. J. Cohen, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 438 - P. Peterson, perjury; case continued.


  • No. 439 - R. Witz, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 440 - Charley Jones and Fred Lynch, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 441 - Jack Fairfield and Jack McLaughlin, unlawfully selling liquor in Alaska; case continued.


  • No. 442 - Jack Fairfield and Jack McLaughlin, carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the spical tax; case continued.


Not Ture Bills:

  • Chris Primage - Giving intoxicating liquor to Indians.
  • Joe Hutchins and Harry Anderson - Larceny.
  • Chris Fuehr - Larceny
  • L. M. Chruchill - Fornication.
  • Patrick Laflin - Fornication.
  • James Weaver - Conduct contrary to good morals.
  • Brad Cole - Carrying on the business of a retail liquor dealer without having paid the special tax.
  • Brad Cole - Selling liquor to Indians.
  • A. T. Anderson - Larceny.

"To the Honorable Warren Truitt, Judge U.S. District Court for Alaska:

"The Grand Jury for the District of Alaska, at the November term, 1894, would respectfully submit the following for your consideration of certain public matters that occur to them:

"The enformenent of the law. The law so far as the province of the Grand Jury is concerned has been faithfull executed, without fear or favor. We bear witness that this Territory is one of the most orderly countries in existance, aside from classes of crime that exist everywhere. To Alaska has been credited the report that certain laws were ignored publicly. This is no longer true. All laws are enforced. We urge the most stringent measures to adopted to enforce the law forbidding the sale of intoxicants to Indians and that certain places in the ranches on Douglas Island be abated as public nuisances, and that the sale of lemon extracts and other componds used to evade the law, be prohibited.

"We ask that the Pacific Coast Steamship Company be not allowed to sell intoxicants on board of its steamers in the waters of Alaska. That said company be required to execute the bond required by law forbidding this traffic.

"We respectfully recommend that a suitable person, be appointed as U.S. Deputy Marshal at Chilkat."

Public Buildings

The condition of the public buildings at Juneau is good, and kept in an orderly conditiion. Owing to the long season in winter much oil is necessarily used, and the risk from fire is great. We recommend that the electric lights be substituted, and that fire plugs be placed near the building, and that a fire-proof vault be placed int he Court house.

Understanding that Congress will be asked for an appropriation for a capitol building, we suggest the propriety of locating it a Junea be considered, by reason of its location, population and wealth.

We recommend that an asylum for the sick and the insance be provided for, and would suggest the hot springs at Baranoff Island, and that the same be maintained by licenses received from dealers in dealers in intoxicating liquors.

License Law

We recommend that a license law be adopted, and believe that this will be satisfactory to all classes, and a solution of the liquor question. By reason of the season, and owing to the nature of employment to the white people a diffusible stimulant is absolutely essential, and whisky is the best known agent among civilized people.

We urge that the canneries be required to pay a license and prohibited from employing Chinese labor, and that turst or combine now existing be enjoined, which regulates the price of labor and product.

Edmunds Law

The well known Edumnds law, by common consent, is respected so far as we have been able to discover. The sentiment is maintained in favor of moralty and decency, and all over the Territory encouraging reports come that the evil is abating.

Public Officials

The bonds and qualifications of officials are largely committed to your honor, and having full confidence in you, we respectfully ask that you supervise the same.

Thanking your honor, and the district annotrney for kindnesses shown us and expressing our grateful appreciation of the same with the highest resepct, B. M. Behrends, Foreman."

Civil Cases

The civil calendar presented a long array of cases but few of which were tried, some being dismissed, many going over the term on motion of attorneys and several being continued for lack of time for trial.

Continued over the term, 52; dismissed, 8; tried by jury, 7; referred, 2; total number, 69.

Cases Tried

  • Takou Mill & Mining Co., Johnson & Heid, attys, vs. George Stellar et als, J. F. Malony, atty - Action to recover possession of mining calims; judgment in favor of defendants.
  • John W. Arvey, Bugbee & Blackett, attys, v. Takou Mill & Mining Co., Johnson & Heid, attys - Action bought to recover wages for services as watchman, verdict for plaintiff.
  • The Silver Queen Mining Co., A. K. Delaney, J. F. Malony, and Bugbee & Blackett, attys, v. Emma C. Noyes et als, Johnson & Heid, attys - Plaintiff adverses application of defendants for a patent to the Glacier lode claim on the ground that there was; 72-100 acres of Sliver Queen ground included in the survey. Judgment in favor of the Silver Queen Co.
  • M. W. Murry, Johnson & Heid, attys, vs. Philip Starr, administrator of the estate of R. Dixon, dec., Bugbee & Blackett, attys - action to recover payment of accont; verdict for plaintiff.
  • George Kyrage, Bugbee & Blackett, attys, vs. A. Von Gunther - For payment of promissory note; judgment by default.
  • J. H. Carman, F. D. Kelsey, atty, vs. Alaska Treadwell Gold Mining Co., J. F. Malony, atty - Action brought to recover damages; verdict for defendant.
  • F. D. Kelsey, Kelsey, atty, vs. New York Life Insurance Co., J. F. Malony, atty - Action to recover for services; judgment for plaintiff.

 

 

 
 

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