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U.S. Legal History

U.S. Legal History - (1800's)

Resources in this category:
   A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation - Congressional Documents and Debates 1774 - 1875 (Library of Congress)
Includes Journals of the Continental Congress, Letters of Delegates to Congress, Elliot's Debates, Farrand's Records, Bills and Resolutions, Statutes at Large, American State Papers, U.S Serial Set, House Journal, Senate Journal, Senate Executive Journal, Maclay's Journal, Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, Congressional Globe, and the Congressional Record.

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   David Hoffman and the Science of Jurisprudence (Thurgood Marshall Law Library)
"The works of David Hoffman, founder of the Law Institute at the University of Maryland, have long played an influential role in the development of American legal education and thought."
   Gammel's The Laws of Texas (University of North Texas Libraries)
"H.P.N. Gammel's The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 [is] one of the most important primary resources for the study of Texas' complex history during the Nineteenth Century. [This] compilation charts Texas from the time of colonization through to statehood "
   Smith's Laws (Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau)
"These volumes contain certain public and private laws of the Province and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted from 1700 through 1829."
   The Common Law by Holmes, Olliver Wendell, Jr. (February 8, 1881) (Harvard Law School Library)
  • Lecture I. Early Forms of Liability
  • Lecture II. The Criminal Law
  • Lecture III. Torts -- Trespass and Negligence
  • Lecture IV. Fraud, Malice, and Intent. - The Theory of Torts
  • Lecture V. The Bailee at Common Law
  • Lecture VI. Possession
  • Lecture VII. Contract. -- I. History
  • Lecture VIII. Contract -- II. Elements
  • Lecture IX. Contract -- III. Void and Voidable
  • Lecture X. Successions -- I. After Death -- II. Inter Vivos
  • Lecture XI. Successions -- II. Inter Vivos
   The Law of Husband and Wife (1890) by Robinsoin, Lelia Josephine (Lee and Shepard / Google Book Search)
"There is probably no subject on which information is more sought or more needed by the people of the United States than the law defining the mutual rights of husband and wife, the respective claims of each on the property of the other during the continuance of the marriage relation and after its termination by death or divorce, the ability or disability of married women to make contracts, sue and be sued, enter into business or trade relations, or to form business partnerships, either with third persons or with their husbands; and unfortunately also there is a very considerable demand for information on the subject of separation, divorce, the custody of children, and alimony. Such information should always be obtained from some reliable lawyers when especial occasion arises therefor; and all the facts of the particular case should be set forth carefully, so that his advice may be intelligently given and safely followed. But people in this age of individualism have an irrepressible desire for knowledge of their own on all subjects which appertain to every-day life, and they are not willing to rest ignorant of the laws governing the marriage relation, nor will they be content with such stray fragments of knowledge as they may obtain in the way of legal advice when occasion imperatively demands that it be asked and paid for."


"Especially since the common-law status of married women, and provisions for the distribution of property of a deceased husband or wife, have been changed almost beyond recognition in nearly every State of the Union, no two of which entirely agree on these points, the result has been that people have confused ideas of their legal rights, and .... act without either advice or knowledge, to their own disadvantage. ...


A strong demand has been made on me for such a work as this ever since my larger book, "Law Made Easy," was published a few years ago; and from no source has the call been louder or more persistent than from clubs and societies of women all over the country who are banded together for study, and who seek among the first branches of knowledge some information regarding the laws that especially concern women[.]"

Ed. note: While Google lists this book as published in 1890, its Introduction is dated June, 1880. 163 pages.

   The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: A Narrative Overview by Lupton, John A. (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency)
"Abraham Lincoln practiced law for nearly twenty-five years in the Illinois courts. Other than part-time service in the Illinois legislature and the United States Congress, law was his full-time occupation. Lincoln handled cases in almost all court levels: justice of the peace, county, circuit, appellate, and federal."
   Women Lawyers and State Bar Admission (Law Library of Congress)
History of women's attempts to be admitted, and ultimate success in being admitted, as members of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and state bars.
   Archives of Maryland Online (Maryland State Archives)
   Litchfield Law School Sources (Yale Law School Library)
"[B]rings together text, images, interpretive material and bibliography about Litchfield Law School [in Litchfield, Connecticut] and the law notebooks kept by its students [d]uring the school's years of operation, 1774 to 1833[.]"

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