Book: Luther Martin «Selections from the Original Editions of Luther's Bible Translations»

Selections from the Original Editions of Luther's Bible Translations

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Издательство: "Книга по Требованию" (2010)

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Luther Martin

Luther Martin (February 9, 1748 – July 8, 1826) was a politician and one of United States' Founding Fathers, who refused to sign the Constitution because he felt it violated states' rights. He was a leading Anti-Federalist, along with Patrick Henry and George Mason, whose actions helped passage of the Bill of Rights.

Early life

Like many of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Martin attended the College of New Jersey (later Princeton), from which he graduated first in his class of 35 in 1766. Born in Metuchen, New Jersey, in 1748, Martin moved to North Carolina after receiving his degree and taught there for three years. He then began to study the law and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1771.

Martin played the violin and this was the single most important part of his childhood.

Political activity

Martin was an early advocate of American independence from Great Britain. In the fall of 1771, he served on the patriot committee of Somerset County, New Jersey, and in December attended a convention of the Province of Maryland in Annapolis, which had been called to consider the recommendations of the Continental Congress.

Maryland appointed Martin its attorney general in early 1778. In that capacity, he vigorously prosecuted Loyalists, whose numbers were strong in many areas of the state. Tensions had even led to insurrection and open warfare in some counties. While still attorney general, Martin joined the Baltimore Light Dragoons. In July 1781, his unit joined General Lafayette's forces near Fredericksburg, Virginia; but the unit apparently saw no action, and Martin may have been recalled by the governor to prosecute a treason trial.

From 1778 to 1805, he was Attorney General of Maryland; in 1814-1816 he was chief judge of the court of Oyer and Terminer for the city of Baltimore; and in 1818 to 1822 he was again Attorney General of Maryland.

Constitutional convention

In 1785, he was elected to the Confederation Congress by the Maryland General Assembly, but his numerous public and private duties prevented him from traveling to Philadelphia.

Martin was elected as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. When he arrived on June 9, he expressed suspicion of the secrecy rule imposed on the proceedings. Opposing the creation of a government in which the large states would dominate the small ones, he consistently sided with the small states, helping to formulate the New Jersey Plan and voting against the Virginia Plan. On June 27 Martin spoke for more than three hours in opposition to the Virginia Plan's proposal for proportionate representation in both houses of the legislature. Martin served on the committee formed to seek a compromise on representation, where he supported the case for equal numbers of delegates in at least one house. Before the convention closed, he became convinced that the new government would have too much power over state governments and would threaten individual rights. Failing to find any support for a bill of rights, Martin and another Maryland delegate, John Francis Mercer, walked out of the convention.

Ratification fight

In November 1787, in a speech to the Maryland House of Delegates, he assailed the Constitutional Convention not only for what it was attempting to do but for how it was going about the job. He broke the pledge to secrecy under which the convention had met and informed the Maryland legislators that the Framers -- already regarded with reverence -- had wantonly violated their instructions to meet "for the sole and express purpose of revising" the Articles of Confederation.

Instead, convention delegates had taken it upon themselves to make a fresh start by creating an entirely new system of government. To Martin, such an effort was akin to launching a coup d'état. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin had backed the change of direction of the convention, but, Martin said, we should not "suffer our eyes to be so far dazzled by the splendor of names, as to run blindfolded into what may be our destruction."

In an address to the Maryland House of Delegates in November of 1787 and in numerous newspaper articles, Martin attacked the proposed new form of government and continued to fight ratification of the Constitution through 1788. He lamented the ascension of the national government over the states and condemned what he saw as unequal representation in Congress. He owned six slaves of his own and opposed including slaves in determining representation and believed that the absence of a jury in the U.S. Supreme Court gravely endangered freedom. At the convention, Martin complained, the aggrandizement of particular states and individuals often had been pursued more avidly than the welfare of the country. The assumption of the term "federal" by those who favored a "national" government also irritated Martin.

Maryland largely ignored Martin's warnings. In April 1788, it voted to ratify the Constitution, the seventh state to do so, though on condition that a Bill of Rights be added. In June, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify, the required threshold had been reached, and the new Constitution took effect. Three years later, the first 10 amendments were added.

Around 1791, however, Martin turned to the Federalist party because of his animosity toward Thomas Jefferson, who in 1807 spoke of him as the "Federal Bull-Dog".

Legal career

Martin's postwar law practice grew to become one of the largest and most successful in the country.

The first years of the 1800s saw Martin as defense counsel in two controversial national cases. In the first, Martin won an acquittal for his close friend Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase in his impeachment trial in 1805. Two years, later Martin was one of Aaron Burr's defense lawyers when Burr stood trial for treason in 1807.

After a record 28 consecutive years as state attorney general, Martin resigned in December 1805. In 1813, he became chief judge of the court of oyer and terminer for the City and County of Baltimore. He was reappointed attorney general of Maryland in 1818, and in 1819 he argued Maryland's position in the landmark Supreme Court case "McCulloch v. Maryland". The plaintiffs were represented by Daniel Webster, William Pinkney and William Wirt.

Martin's fortunes declined dramatically in his last years. He also continued to drink heavily, sinking into bankruptcy and madness. By the mid-1820s he was subsisting on a special tax imposed on Maryland lawyers solely for his personal support. Eventually, he was taken in by Aaron Burr, whom he had defended at the disgraced ex-vice president's 1807 trial for treason. By this time, an irrational detestation of Thomas Jefferson, his one-time decentralist ally, led Martin to embrace the Federalist Party, in apparent repudiation of everything he had argued for so strenuously. Paralysis, which had struck in 1819, forced him to retire as Maryland's attorney general in 1822.

On July 8, 1826, at the age of 78, Luther Martin died in Aaron Burr's home in New York City and was buried in an unmarked grave in St. John's churchyard. His death came four days after the deaths on July 4 of Jefferson and John Adams.

Martin married Maria Cresap (daughter of Captain Michael Cresap) on Christmas Day 1783. Of their five children, three daughters lived to adulthood.

References

* [http://www.infoplease.com/t/hist/antifederalist/lmartin5.html Luther Martin, Friday, March 28, 1788, Number III, To the Citizens of Maryland]
* [http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_2_5s16.html Luther Martin, Impeachment Trial of Justice Samuel Chase, Senate, 23 Feb. 1804, Annals 14:429-32, 436]
*Kauffman, Bill, Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin. Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2008. ISBN-10: 1933859733; ISBN-13: 978-1933859736.
*Crawford, Alan Pell, [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122204297442161385.html Bookshelf: Uncouth, Unheeded ] The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2008, p. A21.
*Reynolds, William L., "Luther Martin, Maryland and the Constitution", 47 Maryland Law Review 291 (1988).

*

He Luther Martain was important to the signing of the declaration of imdependce!

Источник: Luther Martin

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