Litchfield Law School Article

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Tapping Reeve House and Law School
A brown wooden house with wing, lit by the sun from above. At the foot of a small tree in front of the building at the center, an oval sign identifies it as the Tapping Reeve House and Law School
East elevation and north profile of Tapping Reeve House, 2010
Litchfield Law School is located in Connecticut
Litchfield Law School
Litchfield Law School is located in the US
Litchfield Law School
Location Litchfield, CT
Coordinates 41°44′38″N 73°11′19″W / 41.74395°N 73.18851°W / 41.74395; -73.18851
LITCHFIELD LAW SCHOOL Latitude and Longitude:

41°44′38″N 73°11′19″W / 41.74395°N 73.18851°W / 41.74395; -73.18851
Built1773
NRHP reference # 66000879
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966 [1]
Designated NHLDecember 21, 1965 [2]

The Litchfield Law School of Litchfield, Connecticut was the first law school in the United States, having been established in 1773 by Tapping Reeve, who would later became the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. By the time the school closed in 1833, over 1,100 students had attended the institution including Aaron Burr, Jr. and John C. Calhoun.

The law school, including Reeve's house, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965 as the Tapping Reeve House and Law School. [2] [3] The Tapping Reeve House and Law School are owned and operated by the Litchfield Historical Society as a museum displaying life in a 19th-century period school.

The Society also operates the Litchfield History Museum, and admission includes both sites.

Tapping Reeve

Reeve was born on Long Island, New York in 1744. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1763, serving for seven years as a tutor at the Grammar School that was connected with the college. There he met the children of the Princeton College's president, Aaron Burr, Sr.: Aaron Burr, Jr. (later Vice President of the United States) and Sally Burr, who were both his students.

Tapping Reeve moved to Connecticut and studied law under Judge Root of Hartford, and was admitted to the bar in 1772. In the same year he married his former student, Sally Burr. They then moved to Litchfield and Reeve started his own law practice. Tapping Reeve built his six-room Litchfield house in 1773 and settled in with his frail wife. In 1780 he added a downstairs wing for Sally, who found it difficult to climb stairs.

Law School

1784 Litchfield Law School building, adjacent to Reeve's home, pictured in a 1906 postcard

Reeve decided to start a law school, and his first student was none other than his brother-in-law, Aaron Burr. The law school students lived in the homes of town residents and traveled to Reeve's house on South Street to receive their morning lectures on the common law in Reeve's downstairs parlor. As the number of students increased, they outgrew the space in the parlor and so in 1784 Reeve built a one-room school building adjacent to his house. [4] James Gould became Reeve's associate when Reeve was elected to the Supreme Court in 1798. Reeve withdrew in 1820 and Gould continued until 1833. The school's lectures covered the entire body of the law including real estate, rights of persons, rights of things, contracts, torts, evidence, pleading, crimes, and equity. [5]

Notable alumni

The list of students who attended Tapping Reeve's law school includes two Vice Presidents of the United States (Aaron Burr and John C. Calhoun), 101 members of the United States House of Representatives, 28 United States senators, six United States cabinet secretaries, three justices of the United States Supreme Court, 14 state governors and 13 state supreme court chief justices. Litchfield Law School students also held state and local political office and became business leaders. Students went on to found university law schools and become university presidents. [6] Framed pictures of students are still hung in the school, including George Catlin, Horace Mann (the educator), Aaron Burr, Jr., Oliver Wolcott, Jr., and US Senator & Connecticut Governor Roger Sherman Baldwin. Each name in this list is followed by the year that the student finished, when known. [7]

See also

Bibliography

  • Baldwin, Simeon Eben. James Gould: A Sketch. Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1909.
  • Beecher, Lyman. A Sermon Preached at the Funeral of the Hon. Tapping Reeve: Late Chief Justice of the State of Connecticut, who Died December Thirteen, Eighteen Hundred and Twenty-Three, in the Eightieth Year of His Age, with Explanatory Notes. Litchfield, CT: S.S. Smith, 1827.
  • Blondel-Libardi, Catherine, "Rediscovering the Litchfield Law School Notebooks," Connecticut History 46 (Spring 2007): 70-82.
  • Calder, Jacqueline. 1978. Life and Times of Tapping Reeve and his Law School. Typescript.
  • Collier, Christopher. "Tapping Reeve, The Connecticut Common Law, and America's First Law School." Connecticut Supreme Court History 1 (2006): 13-25.
  • Farnham, Thomas J. "Tapping Reeve and America's First Law School." New England Galaxy 17 (1975): 3-13.
  • Fisher, Samuel H. The Litchfield Law School: Address by Samuel Fisher. Litchfield, CT: Litchfield Enquirer Press, 1930.
  • Fisher, Samuel H. Litchfield Law School, 1774-1833: A Biographical Catalogue of Students. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1946.
  • Halow, D. Brooke. Litchfield's Legacy in Law: A Study of the Litchfield Law School's Influence on Legal Training in America, 1784-1833. American Studies 493, Yale Law School, 1996.
  • Kilbourn, Dwight C. The Bench and Bar of Litchfield County, Connecticut, 1709-1909: Biographical Sketches of Members, History and Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School, Historical Notes. Litchfield, CT: Self Published, 1909.
  • Kronman, Anthony, ed. History of the Yale Law School. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.
  • Litchfield Historical Society. The Litchfield Law School, Litchfield, Connecticut: A Brief Historical Sketch. Litchfield, CT: Litchfield Historical Society, 1952.
  • Litchfield Historical Society. Presentation of the Reeve Law School building to the Litchfield Historical Society at Litchfield, Conn., August 22d, 1911. Litchfield, CT: Litchfield Enquirer Press, 1911.
  • Litchfield Historical Society. The Noblest Study: The Legacy of America's First School of Law. Permanent Exhibition, Tapping Reeve House, Litchfield, CT.
  • Litchfield Law School. Catalogue: Reprint of 1900. Litchfield, CT: Litchfield Enquirer Press, 1900.
  • Litchfield Law School Students. Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School From 1798 to 1827 Inclusive. Litchfield, CT: S.S. Smith, 1828.
  • McKenna, Marian C. Tapping Reeve and the Litchfield Law School. New York: Oceana, 1986.
  • Pruitt, Jr., Paul M. and David I. Durham. Commonplace Books of Law: A Selection of Law Related Notebooks from the Seventeenth Century to the Mid-Twentieth Century. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Law Library, 2005.
  • Sheppard, Steve, ed.. The History of Legal Education in the United States. 2vols. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, Inc., 1999.

References

  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b "Tapping Reeve House and Law School". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  3. ^ Blanche Higgins Schroer and S. Sydney Bradford (January 16, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Tapping Reeve House and Law School" (PDF). National Park Service. and Accompanying 5 photos, exterior, from 1965 and 1974.
  4. ^ Litchfield Law School, Litchfield Historical Society
  5. ^ Litchfield Law School
  6. ^ Litchfield Law School Students, Litchfield Historical Society
  7. ^ "Litchfield Law School History". Litchfield Ledger. Litchfield Historical Society. 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  8. ^ "John Allen". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Ezekiel Bacon". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  10. ^ "William J. Bacon". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Joshua Baker". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Henry Baldwin". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Roger Sherman Baldwin". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  14. ^ "James Bell". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  15. ^ Old Colony Historical Society (1878). Collections of the Old Colony Historical Society. The Society. p. 128.
  16. ^ "Aaron Burr". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  17. ^ "Chester Pierce Butler". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  18. ^ "John Caldwell Calhoun". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  19. ^ "George Catlin". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  20. ^ "John M. Clayton". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  21. ^ Litchfield Law School (1900). The Litchfield Law School, 1784-1833. Litchfield, CT: Litchfield Enquirer. p. 25.
  22. ^ "John A. Collier". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  23. ^ "Joel Crawford". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  24. ^ "William Crosby Dawson". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  25. ^ "Thomas Day". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  26. ^ History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, Volume 1. H. Z. Williams & Bro. (Cleveland). 1878. p. 182.
  27. ^ "Amos Ellmaker". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  28. ^ "Henry Leavitt Ellsworth". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  29. ^ "John Myers Felder". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  30. ^ "Thomas Flournoy Foster". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  31. ^ "Samuel A. Foot". National Governors Association. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  32. ^ "John Brown Francis". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  33. ^ "Albert Collins Greene". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  34. ^ "Hopkins Holsey". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  35. ^ "Ward Hunt". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  36. ^ James Gore King, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
  37. ^ "Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  38. ^ "Horace Mann". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  39. ^ New England Historic Genealogical Society (1907). New England Historic Genealogical Society. The Society. p. 185.
  40. ^ "Rutger B. Miller". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  41. ^ "Eugenius Aristides Nisbet". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  42. ^ "Elisha Phelps". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  43. ^ Ullery, Jacob G. (1894). Men of Vermont Illustrated. Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company. pp. 183–184.
  44. ^ "Horatio Seymour". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  45. ^ "Roger Minott Sherman". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  46. ^ "Richard Skinner". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  47. ^ "Perry Smith". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  48. ^ "Truman Smith". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  49. ^ "Benjamin Swift". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  50. ^ "Frederick A. Tallmadge". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  51. ^ "Uriah Tracy". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  52. ^ John J. Duffy, Samuel B. Hand, Ralph H. Orth, eds. (2003). The Vermont Encyclopedia. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England. p. 290.
  53. ^ "Stephen Upson". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  54. ^ "Nicholas Ware". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  55. ^ "Lemuel Whitman". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  56. ^ "Elisha Whittlesey". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  57. ^ "Frederick Whittlesey". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  58. ^ "Thomas T. Whittlesey". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  59. ^ "Oliver Wolcott, Jr". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  60. ^ "Levi Woodbury". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  61. ^ "Augustus Romaldus Wright". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  62. ^ Fisher, Samuel H. (1946). Litchfield Law School, 1774-1833: A Biographical Catalogue of Students. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

External links