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from two of them, that one of the ladies, while attempting to escape from the chapel, was arrested by a tap on the shoulder, which caused her to turn round, so that she unintentionally was brought vis-a-vis with one of the inquisitors, who proceeded to avail himself of the opportunity he had so rudely sought. It is quite probable that, as the ladies were Catholics and nuns, the party thought that they might be dealt with as rare curiosities, rather than as cultivated and respectable ladies who had dedi. cated their lives to the work of education, and as such entitled to more than a common share of respectful consideration. Hence perhaps the difference between the opinion they had of their own deportment and the opinion of it entertained by the ladies themselves.

The investigating committee were unanimous in their report, which, in view of the peculiar composition of the Legislature, was very skilfully drawn up by the chairman, Mr. Griffin, of Charlestown. It was quite delicate and velvet-footed on the sensitive points of civility and propriety of deportment; but the decided conviction was apparent that the committee regarded the order directing the visitations as asked for by the nunnery committee without any sufficient evidence that there was cause for such inquests; and that the order was unwarrantably passed, and executed in a manner equally unwarrantable, on account of the large number of unauthorized persons who participated in it. On the subject of the large retinue enlisted for the occasion, the report facetiously quotes the remark of Falstaff, — “I have misused the king's press damnably.” And that was as fair a compromise as the committee could be expected to make between their convictions of right and their desire to deal as mercifully as possible with their sworn brethren of the order, whose

sprees and rambles" at the expense of the Commonwealth had been so unpleasantly made public. They find that the information communicated to the editors of The Daily Advertiser justifies them in animadverting upon the transactions complained of; but they do not find all the facts stated proved.

With the conduct of the party after leaving the Roxbury institution we have no particular concern. The nineteen had a good dinner at the Norfolk House, where some of them drank liquors, furnished in violation of law, and

paid for out of the State treasury, which, as they were nearly all Maine Liquor Law men, need excite no surprise or comment.

We now come to the pamphlet of Mr. Charles Hale, the junior editor of The Daily Advertiser. In it will be found ably, warmly, and manfully discussed, in its full length and breadth, the unwarranted nature of the visitations for the purpose of examination, in violation of the provision of the Constitution on the subject of unreasonable searches.* The manner of the visit and the incidents connected with it, the denials in the Senate and House by the members implicated, and the unsatisfactory statements of the accused before the investigating committee, are also vigorously and sharply handled. On both lines of attack, the assault is completely successful, and the substantial correctness of the first article in The Daily Advertiser, which was written by the author of the pamphlet, fully established; and we tender Mr. Hale our respect and our cordial thanks for his able, straightforward, and manly defence of our constitutional rights. Mr. Hale gives the ingenious, half-condemnatory and half-exculpatory report of the committee on the proceedings of the nunnery committee entire in his appendix, and to it and his pamphlet generally we refer our readers.

But there are yet two other documents named at the head of this article, on which we must make a remark or

In the course of the hearing before the committee whose report we have just commented on, some facts were unexpectedly drawn out, tending to show that the conduct of Mr. Hiss at the hotel in Lowell demanded investigation, and another special committee was appointed. Mr. Hiss at first protested against the jurisdiction of the committee, but did not persevere in his protest. The hearing was private, and the testimony taken was of such a character that the committee had objections to reporting even the substance of it in open session of the House. lated to a female, for whose accommodation at the hotel Mr. Hiss made provision before her arrival, and he had her hotel bill included in that of the committee, which was paid by the State; yet, notwithstanding the character of the evidence, the committee reported that they could not


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* Mass. Const., Part I. Art. 14.




say they had obtained indubitable evidence" of criminal conduct on the part of Mr. Hiss on the occasion referred to. This queer report, and a summary of the evidence, were considered in a secret session of the House, and the conclusion of the report modified by a most unintelligible amendment. The report was thus accepted, as amended, in the House. This result appeared to be very satisfactory to Mr. Hiss, for upon the strength of it he forthwith addressed a letter to the Speaker of the House, setting forth that, inasmuch as his “personal honor” had been "entirely vindicated” by the action of the House, he would resign his seat for the benefit of the “ American party,” that it might not be injured by its enemies, through him.

Unfortunately for Mr. Hiss, a large majority of the House did not regard the action of the House in the same agreeable light; and instead of accepting his resignation, they referred it to a new committee, with instructions to re-examine his conduct both at Lowell and Roxbury. He was defended by counsel before this committee. Several days were occupied in the re-hearing, and the testimony from the hotel was somewhat enlarged on some pressing points. On the fifth day of this examination, Mr. Hiss sent in a letter withdrawing his resignation. On the sixth day, the committee reported. The report, drawn up by Mr. Kimball of Salem, was a shrewd and decided production. Its design was to make a scape-goat of Mr. Hiss, and, in order to insure this result, it was artfully framed so as to secure the support of those who voted for the visitation order, of the remaining members of the nunnery committee, and of the members of the House who were implicated with them, as attachés on the Roxbury visit. With this view the new report from new hands justified the passage of the order, acquitted the nunnery committee and their invited friends of all impropriety in executing the order at Roxbury, and even praised Mr. Hiss for surpassing his colleagues in fidelity to his duty by the greater thoroughness of his inquiries and investigations at that humble institution. The anti-Catholic sentiment of the House is angled for by adroit allusions to the interference of the bishop, the priests, a Jesuit, and a political lawyer, who is much opposed to those innocent victims of persecution, the Know-Nothings. And then comes the fatal conclusion. The evidence in relation to the female at the hotel in Lowell is stated and reviewed, and the unanimous judg. ment of the committee against Hiss rendered in the following terms:-“ We consider his conduct upon the committee at Lowell highly improper and disgraceful both to himself and this body, of which he is a member, and we deem it such as to render him unworthy longer to occupy a seat upon

the floor of this House.” Mr. Hiss met this report by a memorial demanding a trial at the bar of the House, with liberty to introduce testimony that other members were no better than himself, in certain respects.

The report, however, was accepted by a vote of 203 to 30; and then, after an excited debate, protracted beyond midnight, Mr. Hiss was expelled by a vote of 137 to 15.

There is one feature of the last report which displays an audacious confidence in the disposition of the House to whitewash the Roxbury visit. In regard to the affair at Lowell, the committee find distinctly that Hiss did not tell the truth when under oath, and yet, when the entire Roxbury visit is to be protected, the committee profess to believe Hiss in preference to believing the Lady Superior, by whom he is directly contradicted, upon a point in relation to which she could not, under the circumstances, have been mistaken. She testified that, at the close of his conversation with her, Hiss requested permission to call again for the purpose

of further conversation on the subject of his religious condition, and that she asked his name, in order that she might know it was he when he should call again. He replied that his name was Evans. Now Hiss, not denying the name thus given, undertook to explain it by saying that he understood her as asking the name of the chairman, Mr. Senator Evans, and that he answered accordingly. But as the conversation had no reference to the committee or its chairman, but was wholly in relation to Mr. Hiss's feelings and wishes, and compunctions for backsliding from the faith of his childhood, and his desire for another and more private interview, it is utterly incredible that he could have understood her as asking about the chairman of the committee, who was not then within sight or hearing. It would have been quite remarkable if she had not asked for Hiss's own name, when he spoke of another visit, and it is altogether improbable that he could have misunderstood her. At Lowell he had registered a female under a false name, and then denied under oath

all knowledge of the affair; and why may he not have intended to use his chairman's name in his future private visit at Roxbury? It is not a sufficient answer to say that he could have had no motive for such an apparently senseless attempt at deceit; for who can understand the motives which occasionally influence a man so destitute of correct moral sense as the investigations have shown this unhappy man to be.

The constitutional power of the House to expel Mr. Hiss was tested on a writ of habeas corpus before Chief Justice Shaw of the Supreme Judicial Court, who affirmed the existence of the power, and held that the claim of Hiss to the privilege of a member was concluded by the record of his expulsion, signed by the Clerk of the House. And thus terminated a Know-Nothing drama which extended over a period of seven weeks.

We could find matter equally illustrative of what we should have to expect from the accession of the KnowNothing order to power, in the address of the two Houses of our Legislature to the Governor to remove Judge Loring from the office of Judge of Probate, because as Commissioner he had executed faithfully, as he was bound to do, a law of the United States; and also in what is called the Personal Liberty Bill, evidently in direct conflict with the Federal Constitution; but we pass these abusive measures over for the present. The sketch we have given of the nunnery committee, or smelling committee as popularly designated, is sufficient for our purpose. The maxim of the common law is that our houses are our castles, and the Constitution of this State secures our houses from unreasonable searches.

Yet the Legislature disregard both law and Constitution, and appoint a committee of inspection of the private establishments of education. Our houses of education are not public schools; they are in law and in fact simple private residences, - as much so as the private dwellings of any of our citizens. No instances of abuse in any of these were alleged, no criminal transaction on the part of their occupants was specified, and consequently the visitation and search authorized by the legislature was a high-handed violation of the natural and constitutional rights of their inhabitants. The fact that the occupants were Catholics, and engaged in instructing Catholic youth, makes no difference as to the character of

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