Today in History:

116 Series I Volume XLI-II Serial 84 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part II


in the determination he announced, and peremptorily refused to hear and further business. There being only two judges present, the court adjourned until the next day. When court met upon the next day Judge Knapp repeated the determination he had expressed the day before, and proposed to adjourn until the next term. It being impossible to transact the business of the term Judge Knapp refused to take any further part in the proceedings, and there not being three judges present, the chief justice concurred in a final adjournment. The court made no resolve as to General Carleton, the orders concerning passports, nor any other military matter. What Judge Knapp did or said with reference to General Carleton, the military and their conduct, was done and said by him as an individual member of the court. He stated what he had determined upon as a course of conduct for himself. To express to you the language made use of by Judge Knapp, and at the same time to give a fair and just import of what he meant, I would have to detail all the circumstances which attend the scene in court, and what prompted some remarks which were made by the judge. During his remarks upon each day he spoke language imputing despotic conduct to yourself and the military in this country destructive of the liberties of the people.

I further state that I have been clerk of the first judicial district court and the supreme court since March, 1859 (with the exception of a few months), and that I have no knowledge of your having at any time resisted or obstructed any process which has emanated from either of the courts mentioned, where I have been and now am clerk. On the contrary, I have known you to show a ready disposition to aid the execution of process in this district, when you have been applied to for such purpose. Also, that you have furnished troops as an escort to the court while traveling to the different places of holding the district court for the first judicial district, east and north of this place.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Clerk of the Supreme Court of New Mexico.

[Inclosure Numbers 5.]

SANTA FE, N. MEX., July 6, 1864.

Brigadier General JAMES H. CARLETON,

Commanding Department of New Mexico:

SIR: In reply to your communication of this date, I have to state that I certainly did understand Judge Knapp to say upon the supreme bench of this Territory, on the 4th and 5th instant, that he considered this Territory under military despotism, and that the civil courts were embarrassed by the action of the military authorities, and that for this reason he would transact no further business in the court until certain military orders were revoked. I understood him to allude throughout to some harsh proceedings which had been taken against him by the military under the passport system established by the general orders of this military department.

With regard to my own experience as to any apparent desire on your part to obstruct the operations of the civil tribunals, I will frankly state that during your former and present residence in this Territory I have witnessed no such disposition on your part, but, on the contrary, you always appear to have manifested a decided inclination to support their jurisdiction, and to furnish every facility in your power to aid in carrying out their decrees and sustaining their authority.