780 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
“One result of all this has been that we have grown to be one of the great
Powers of the world. Another result has been that we probably have more
laws per square mile of territory than any other country in the world.
“There were eight Presidents of the United States who were not admitted
to the Bar. George Washington was first. But the law, in the person of John
Adams, took over when Washington stepped out. Jefferson, Madison, Monroe,
John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin Von Buren, who
moved into the White House in that order, were lawyers. It must be admitted
that there were extenuating circumstances in the case of Andrew Jackson.
Old Hickory was famous as a soldier, too. But there is no denying that
he studied law in North Carolina and practiced it in Tennessee.
“The second non-lawyer who became president of the United States was
William Henry Harrison. He was a soldier and it was his military fame that
carried him into office. In early life William Henry Harrison had a narrow
escape from becoming a doctor. That, of course, would have barred him from
the White House. Though the lawyers have never written a law to that effect,
it’s a matter of record that no physician ever has been elected President.
“The twelfth President of the United States was Zachary Taylor, a soldier.
He also planted a bit of cotton, but the voters gave that little thought. They
elected him because of the distinction he had gained on the field of battle.
At that point in our history the presidential score was: Lawyers, 9; Soldiers,
3; All Other Trades and Professions, 0. Yet there was no feeling among the
butchers, the bakers and candlestick makers that they should rise in revolt
against such limited leadership.
“The seventeenth President and the fourth non-lawyer was Andrew Johnson,
who was a tailor. But the tailoring trade couldn’t point to him as one of
their own who was elected President of the United States. He was shot into
it, in a manner of speaking. He was Vice-President when Lincoln was assassinated
and thus he moved up to become President for a turbulent time.
“Strange as it may seem, he was succeeded by another non-lawyer. That
was Ulysses Simpson Grant, a soldier pure and simple. The next or sixth
non-lawyer to appear as President was Theodore Roosevelt, soldier, author,
and naturalist. The seventh was Warren Gamaliel Harding, a newspaper
publisher. The eighth was Herbert Hoover, an engineer.
“So we have had twenty-three lawyers, five soldiers, one tailor, one publisher
and an engineer in the White House. It’s probable that anyone who
delves into the archives of Maine, Michigan and Mississippi or thumbs
through the City Hall history in any large city hall will find that the lawyers
have maintained the same overwhelming lead as governors and mayors
ever since the polls were opened. And to think that all this time the soap
box orators have been bellowing that the bankers ruled this country!”