Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HANDY, Alexander Hamilton, jurist, born in Princess Anne, Somerset County, Maryland, 25 December, 1809; died in Canton, Mississippi, 12 September, 1883. After being admitted to the bar, he removed to Mississippi in 1836, and was a judge of the high court of errors from 1853 till 1867, when he resigned. He then removed to Baltimore, Maryland, and practised his profession there, also holding the chair of law in the University of Maryland till 1871, when he returned to Mississippi. Judge Handy was an active advocate of secession. In 1860 he was appointed a commissioner to Maryland by the governor of Mississippi, but failed to obtain a hearing from the legislature. On 19 December, 1860, in a speech in Baltimore, he declared that secession was only a temporary measure, and was "not intended to break up the present government, but to perpetuate it." Judge Handy's decisions form a large part of volumes 26-41 of the "Mississippi Reports." He published a pamphlet entitled "Secession Considered as a Right" (1862), and a "Parallel between the Reign of James the Second, of England, and that of Abraham Lincoln."
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