May 30, 1873, New York Times,
The Winston-English Libel Suit-The Defendant's Bail Reduced to $2,000.
In the suit for libel brought by Frederick S. Winston, President of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, against Stephen English, publisher of the Insurance Times and in which defendant was imprisoned in default of $20,000 bail, a motion was made yesterday on behalf of defendant for a reduction of bail. The facts of the case have already appeared in the columns of THE TIMES, not only when it has been before the Court, but also when the subject of investigation before the Legislature at Albany. Defendant, as grounds for the reduction asked for, stated that he had been in close confinement since the 23rd of January last; that he has suffered and is suffering great pecuniary loss and mental and physical hardship by his imprisionment; that his health and standing, his business and property have suffered already great injury, and that they will be ruined by the further continuance of his confinement in jail, and that he is unable to procure bail. It also appeared that he is held to bail on $10,000 in another suit brought by George F. Hope in the Supreme Court.
Judge Curtis, in deciding to grant the motion, said: The law, in requiring bail, seeks only to have security that the defendant's person will be within the jurisdiction of the court, to be amenable to its final judgmnet. There is no element of punishment in its requisition. There is nothing in the papers showing that the defendant will probably seek to escape beyond the jurisdiction of the court. On the contrary, it appears that he voluntarily came within its juruisdiction, and submitted to arrest, The plaintiff's counsel, on the argument stated that they did not desire to be considered as strenuously opposing the defendant's application for a reduction of the amount of bail. The defendant's counsel asked to have it reduced to $2,000. In view of these considerations, and without undertaking to pass in any degree upon the merits of the controversy, I think there should be an order reducing the amount of bail to the sum of $2,000.
Whatever happened to her passionate "our roots are growing together like the roots' of Aspens'" crap?
My handy inflation calculator, westegg.com which I always feared was extravagantly high and off-the-mark, puts Stephen's former bail at $359,617.10, in 2010 dollars--that is if you were buying goods and not freedom---while CPI the Inflation Calculator, which only goes back to 1913, spat out a not-collaborating $457,666.67. So did the search's at bls.gov, and John William's Shadow Government Statistic, give $457,666.67 going back only to 1913, while www.dollartimes.com, came to $438,358, and www.moneychimp even higher at $554,800, both again. extending back only to 1913. So what happened again, so earthshatteringly in 1913? Oh, yeah, I remember...and the great fire of London in 1666 too.
I guess I can take my Free Judy Miller bumper sticker off my truck now. 119 days of real incarceration in the Tombs sounds like it could break a man if not Judy.
If you want some kick-ass good reading, try the collected year for 1869 of Stephen English's The Insurance times: Volume 2. I've kindly made a Google Doc with many tens of thousands of words of perfected article transcripts, and a link-able index in progress. It's just my little contribution to the cause of digitalization. English was good-guy Elizur Wright's close partner and confidant---and boy, we can sure tell each other apart now, though I'm sure it was just as clear back then. I believe I read somewhere that Winston et al. finally broke English, but then gave him a $35,000 stipend in the slap-cuddle-hug-slap...which, let's see...that would come out to....