[Harrisburg? 1861]. Elephant folio broadside, 9.5" x 24". Printed in three columns using different typesettings, surrounded by ornamental border. Old folds [splits along fold edges affecting occasional letters, a few old tape repairs on verso], small hole affecting a couple of letters, a few crimps. Tanned, several pencil underlines. Good copy of an unrecorded, and perhaps unique, document.
Judge Pearson was appointed to the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, bench in 1849. After Pennsylvania opted to elect judges, he was returned without opposition in 1851, 1861, and 1871. A popular man, he "had a deep rooted interest in the county" [Judge Homer L. Kreider, 'History of Dauphin County Courts. An Address Before the Historical Society of Dauphin County. January 21, 1952'].
This lengthy Charge discusses the Nation's "fearful, bloody, and as we apprehend, protracted war, forced upon it without cause or reason by the so called Confederate States. It is the bounden duty of the Federal government to use every possible exertion, and strain every nerve, to suppress the rebellion, restore the Union, and re-establish the Constitution over the whole United States, and it is equally the duty of every citizen to contribute toward the support of a beneficent paternal and most indulgent government, in every way that his circumstances will permit..." Judge Pearson warns against "traitorous correspondence with enemies of the United States, or of this State," and denounces the "secret orders in our State, having for their object the subversion of the Government, in whole or in part." Pearson counsels against selling liquor to soldiers, and tells "vendors of intoxicating liquors through the county and more especially in and around Harrisburg" that care should be taken in giving out "so dangerous an article... more especially at the present when the country is filled with newly levied soldiers, who with arms in their hands, and unrestrained by regular military discipline, are the most dangerous to the community," with the liquors rendering them "barbarous and desperate."
The Grand Jury's Report discusses overcrowding in the prison, so extensive that solitary confinement was impossible; expresses regret that "some, standing prominently before this community have prostituted that position by attempting to prevent the true object of the war, and to damp the ardor of the people"; and asserts the duty of the press not to "spread doctrines and sentiments calculated to create disaffection to the government."
Not located on OCLC, the online catalogues of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, or the American Antiquarian Society as of October 2014. Not in Sabin, Bartlett. Item #31459