LAWYERING AT THE EDGE: UNPOPULAR CLIENTS, DIFFICULT CASES, ZEALOUS ADVOCATES: HENRY LORD BROUGHAM - ADVOCATING AT THE EDGE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2007 Hofstra Law Review Association
Hofstra Law Review

LAWYERING AT THE EDGE: UNPOPULAR CLIENTS, DIFFICULT CASES, ZEALOUS ADVOCATES: HENRY LORD BROUGHAM - ADVOCATING AT THE EDGE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Winter, 2007

Hofstra Law Review

36 Hofstra L. Rev. 311

Author

Monroe H. Freedman*

Excerpt



Introduction
 
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln, who is renowned today throughout the world as the Great Emancipator, gave the following racist speech to his fellow citizens in the Lincoln-Douglas debates:


 
I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races ... I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office ... . I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. 1
 
By contrast, in 1838 - twenty years before that white-supremacist speech by Abraham Lincoln - Henry Lord Brougham 2 made this speech on the same subject to the aristocratic and prideful House of Lords:

"The slave ... is as fit for his freedom as any English peasant, ay, or any Lord whom I now address. I demand his rights; I demand his liberty without stint... . I demand that your brother be no longer trampled upon as your slave!" 3

Although Henry Brougham is widely known among lawyers in the United States, it is neither for his extraordinary work to end slavery on an international scale, nor for his many other campaigns to advance human rights. Rather, he is known only for a single quotation 4 - one that has stood for almost two centuries as the rallying call to zealous advocacy by lawyers. 5 In it, ...
 
 
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