Captain Lewis Van Blarcom Sussex County Bench and Bar Memorial 1904
I was recently sent some documents from a cousin and descendent of Captain Lewis Van Blarcom (1835-1904). Enclosed was a memorial written by colleagues and friends of the Captain after his passing. Wonderful words echo the actions and compassion of a great man. One could only hope for such a touching tribute and remembrance. Many thanks to Mark Ballantine for sharing this important tribute! Full text follows below.
A. Watson Slockbower
Attorney and Counselor-at-Law
Sussex, New Jersey, April 29th, 1904
Dear Mrs. Van Blarcom and family:
I enclose herewith a certified copy of the memorial of your late husband and father, Captain Lewis Van Blarcom, as adopted by the bench and bar of Sussex County.
Thinking that it may be satisfaction to you to know something about the details of the same, I will inform you of some of them. At the first session of court which was held in the courthouse at Newton after his death, it was resolved by the bench and bar that the court should appoint a committee of three members of the bar to prepare a proper memorial of him and submit the same to the bench and bar on the first day of the next term, which would be on the fifth day of April, 1904. The court appointed for that committee, Senator Lewis J. Martin, Judge Henry Huston and myself. I wrote the memorial and submitted it to Senator Martin and Judge Huston. Senator Martin said it was right, but a little long. Judge Huston said he liked the sentiments it contained but it was too long. Judge Huston abridged it by striking out about one third of it, then as shortened it was submitted to and approved and adopted by the bench and bar and recorded in the minutes of the court.
Dear Friends: The news of the death of Captain Lewis Van Blarcom was a great shock to me. He was my friend. I cherished him, I esteemed him, I loved him. He had a warm place in my heart. His name will ever be green in my memory. I know your loss is great. You have my deepest sympathy since I first heard of his death. I trust that he is in the realms of bliss and that you and I shall meet him when we shall have finished our course and passed from the world below.
A Watson Slockbower
Memorial of Captain Lewis Van Blarcom
April 5th, 1904
Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to remove from us Captain Lewis Van Blarcom who was a brave solider in his country's service in the war of the Great rebellion, and who was many of the last years of his life a practicing member of the Bar of Sussex County, and
Whereas, In recognition of his worth and character it is proper that the bench and bar of Sussex County unite in practicing upon the records of this court, a tribute to his memory:
Now we, the committee appointed to perform this sad duty, do hereby tender this our sincere memorial.
We declare that in the death of Captain Lewis Van Blarcom, the bar of Sussex County has lost one iof its ablest and most esteemed members, and that Sussex County has lost one of its best citizens.
Captain Lewis Van Blarcom possessed the elements which make up the fair, manly, noble lawyer and citizen. He stood high as a practitioner in his profession, and great numbers sought his counsel. He had a keen intellect, and an accute, ready, broad and penetrating mind, and a good memory.
He was a systematic and logical reasoner, and when he arrived at a conclusion, he generally was right.
When he was engaged in trial at a suit his readiness of thought and quick comprehension vested him with power to place all the advantages possible to be commanded, on his side of the case.
His mind was clear, his judgement was good, and his opinions had the attention and respect of the judiciary of this State.
Many were the times when the side he represented of a case was obscure and cloudy before he commenced argument, but before he finished, his analytical mind and logical words cleared away the clouds and mist and elucidated the obscurity and made plain and clear the object and end to which his convincing powers had attained.
He frequently was employed by large and important corporations.
When he was in his prime of practice he attained such eminence in his profession that he was at some terms of the Sussex County Circuit Court, employed on one side or the other of almost every case on the calendar.
He was appointed Prosecutor of Sussex County by Governor Randolph, March 25th, 1869, and filled that office with much sagacity, skill, ability and distinction for the full term of five years.
He was a favorite of the Sussex County Bar, every one of whom esteemed him, and he being one of the oldest members and possessing great knowledge of the law was frequently sought for consultation and advice by younger members of the bar to whom with pleasure he always responded.
As a soldier he was gallant, courageous, heroic and brave. When President Lincoln issued a call for men to enlist and go forth to battle and save the Union. Lewis Van Blarcom, who was then young, full of life and vigor, a law student, prompted by his patriotic spirit, laid aside his law-books, left the office, promptly subscribed his name to the list of volunteers, and went forth to the place of conflict to defend his country in fighting for the Union. He served as First Lieutenant of Company "D" in the noted Fifteenth Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers, sometime, and for meritorious conduct was promoted in June, 1863, to Captain of Company "C" in that same famous Fifteenth Regiment, known as the "Fighting Fifteenth," because of the valor, the courage, the bravery and the hard and tenacious fighting of that regiment in every battle in which it was engaged. The record shows that he was heroic, brave, and true to his country in all of his military service, ever loyal to the Union flag, never shrinking from peril or danger, but always in the line of his duty, meeting the enemy face to face. At the battle of Spottsylvania on Virginia's soil, he fell severely wounded in one of his legs by the enemy's rifle ball, was captured and his leg amputated by the rebels, and then he was cast into a Southern Prison Pen and there kept for many months suffering with hunger, privations and hardships; and when he was released was unable to perform further army duty. He then came home, resumed the study of law in the office of the late John Linn at Newton, New Jersey, vigorously applied himself to the law-books, and at June term, 1865, was admitted to the Bar of New Jersey, and rapidly rose to eminence in the profession of law as has been said.
As a citizen he was one of the best of men, generous, accommodating, sympathetic and friendly, and his heart and means were always open and ready for the promotion and advancement of every good enterprise. His manly disposition and kind made it a pleasure for him to do a favor for another. His life was full of usefullness and the world is better because he lived in it.
He leaves behind a record of which the Bar of Sussex County, his State, his country and his friends may justly feel proud, a record which will do honor to his posterity.
In his name of the united Bench and Bar of Sussex County we extend our most sincere and heart felt sympathy to the family of the departed one in their great sorrow and bereavement.
Now in further respect to the memory of this kind and beloved member of the bar, true friend, valiant soldier, and cherished citizen, we move this Honorable Court to cause this tribute which we tender, to be spread upon the minutes of the court, and also reccommend that a copy thereof be sent to the family of the departed and that a copy of the same be published in each of the Sussex County papers.
Respectfully submitted, April 5th, 1904.