assumed and acted upon when they captured the schooner Enchantress. I cannot see its relevancy. Even under all the liberal offers of the Government here as to what may be deemed testimony I cannot see that it is the best which could be offered. If it were at all pertinent, relevant or in any wise conclusive we should not object.
Judge CADWALADER. The question at present is not the effect of it but its competency. Mr. Harrrison says if I undertand him that he desires to prove that all able - bodie men in that country were required by law to render naval or military or naval service or leave the country. Mr. Wharton adds, " We desire to prove that this man was in fact compelled to enter into military or naval service or leave the country. "
Mr. WHARTON. As an existing state of facts there where he was.
Judge CADWALADER. That is to say the existing state of facts produced the necessity. Is that what you mean?
Mr. WHARTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. ASHTON. I should like to know which offer is before the court; that of Mr. Harrison or that of Mr. Wharton?
Mr. WHARTON. Both.
Mr. HARRISON. I thought it was agreed that this was a case in which we were not to be very particular as to form?
Judge GRIEG. I think we heve got very wide already but this is extravagantly wide.
Mr. HARRISON. I respectfully submit that we may be able by this testimony to show such a state of facts as if not amounting to actual, positively physical force would at least amount to that degree of moral and legal force which would constitute that kind of duress which would be a good legal defense to the accused here. That, however, is a question for argument hereafter and I do not propose to go into it now. I did suppose that under the peculiar state of things existing here, in view of the impossibility of gerring copies of these laws, we should be allowed to show be a witness who knows the fact that these laws so far as they were susceptible of producing duress were brought to bear on the prisoners at the bar, and that under their influence he was induced to take the position which he did take at the time of the commission of the agelled offense.
Judge GRIEG. A sort of moral duress.
Mr. HARRISON. Something more than that. If this man's home and property lay South he may not have been able to afford to leave them. It may have been impossible for him without an absolute sacrifice of everything to leave the country in which he lived, and to which as we shall contend before your t elast an involuntary if not a voluntary allegiance. How are we to get the benefit of this point? It is an important point in the case.
Judge GRIEG. You might more justifiably I think plead the total insanity of the people in the South altogether. The question was once asked whether a nation could be insane as well as an individual. I have no doubt it can. You might as well set up national insanity. If, however, my brother Cadwalader has any doubt about it your question shall be admitted.
Mr. HARRISON. I hope your honors will give us the benefit of that doubt.
Judge GRIEG. I do not know that he has any.
Judge CADWALADER. I am of opinion that this witness is nt competent to testify as to the law oa Georgia. When a question is put tending to prove any particular fact that occurred it will be time enough to consider its competency.