He was a judge with an eye problem so bad he often could not read. Sometimes he wore goggles or blindfolds when he condusted court. He often had someone else read his decisions from the bench. Despite this handycap he was one of our most distinguished early jurists. He saw many doctors in an attempt to cure the eye inflammation which prevented him from being in brightly-lighted areas at times. He once wrote his brother, “I have bathed them much in brandy and water…I have likewise applied to them as an eye water, a solution of opium…I have derived no benefit…I am satisfied that cold water is injurious. “My eyes are not a whit better than when I returned from Philadelphia.” James Hawkins Peck never was able to get rid of the problem.

AUDIO: AOWM April 5, 2005 (mp3)