American Legal History—Spring 2020—Assignments

 1. REMEMBERED FOLK LAW IN 17TH-CENTURY MASSACHUSETTS

 

--John Childe, Remonstrance and Petition of Robert Child to Massachusetts General Court, in New-England’s Jonas Cast up at London (1646), reprinted in 4 Peter Force, Tracts and Other Papers, Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies of North America no. 3, at 8-14 (Washington, Wm. Q. Force 1846).

 

--John Winthrop, Little Speech on Liberty (1645), in The History of New England, from 1630 to 1649, at 228-30 (Boston, Little Brown & Co. 1853).

 

--The Book of the General Lawes and Libertyes Concerning the Inhabitants of the Massachusets, at iii-50 (Harvard Univ. Press, facsimile ed. 1929) (1648).

 

2. 17th-CENTURY CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

--Colonial Justice in Western Massachusetts (1639-1702): The Pynchon Court Record, An Original Judges' Diary of the Administration of Justice in the Springfield Courts in the Massachusetts Bay Colony 203-13 (Joseph H. Smith ed., Harvard Univ. Press 1961).

 

--William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation 459-66, 473-75 (Wright & Potter Printing Co. 1900).

 

--Proceedings of the Provincial Court of Maryland 1663-1666, in 49 Archives of Maryland (J. Hall Pleasants ed., Md. Historical Soc’y 1932).

 

--Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County (The Essex Inst. 1913) (1664).

 

3. SPECIAL CLASS ON THE FEDERALIST PAPERS AND IMPEACHMENT

 

--The Federalist Nos. 10 & 37 (James Madison), Nos. 65, 66, & 78 (Alexander Hamilton).

 

4. 17TH-CENTURY COURTS AND LABOR

 

--Proceedings of the County Court of Kent (1648-1676), in 54 Archives of Maryland 224-25, 246-48 (J. Hall Pleasants ed., Md. Historical Soc’y 1937).

 

--H[enry] R[ead] McIlwaine (1864-1934), ed, Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, 1622-1632, 1670-1676, with Notes and Excerpts from Original Council and General Court Records, into 1683, Now Lost (Richmond : The Colonial Press, Everett Waddy Co., 1924).

 

--1 The Records of the Virginia Company of London (1619-20) at 241-47 (Susan Myra Kinsbury ed. Gov’t Printing Office 1906-35).

 

5. 18TH-CENTURY COLONIAL HISTORY

 

--Johnathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (July 8, 1741). (skim pages 3-25.)

 

--George Whitefield, The Eternity of Hell-Torments (1738).

 

6. REVOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE

 

--The Declaration of Independence (U.S. 1776).

 

--4 Laws of New Hampshire: Including Public and Private Acts and Resolves (Revolutionary Period 1776-1784) (Henry Harrison Metcalf ed., Musgrove Printing House 1916).

 

--Pa. Const. of 1776

 

7. EXCESSES OF DEMOCRACY

 

--John F. Grimke’s Eyewitness Account of Camden Court Riot, April 27-28, 1785, 83 S.C. Hist. Mag. 209, 210-213 (Robert A. Becker ed. 1982).

 

--Camden Memorial (1785), in Grimke Family Papers (S.C. Historical Soc’y).

 

--Execution Sales Act, no. 1293, S.C. Statutes at Large (1785).

 

--David Ramsay to Thomas Jefferson (Apr. 7, 1787) in 11 The Letters of Thomas Jefferson, 279-80 (Julian Boyd ed., Princeton Univ. Press, 1955).

 

--2 David Ramsay, The History of South-Carolina, from Its First Settlement in 1670, to the Year 1808 at 391-401, 425-33 (Charleston, David Longworth 1809).

 

8. NATIVE PEOPLE

 

--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 1.

 

--3 James Kent, Commentaries on American Law (6th ed., New York, William Kent 1848).

 

--Tecumseh to Governor Harrison at Vincennes (1810), in The World’s Famous Orations 14-15 (Williams Jennings Bryan ed., Funk & Wagnalls 1906).

 

--Dawes Severalty Act of 1887, 25 U.S.C. ch. 9 § 331 et seq.


--John W. Nobel, Sec’y of the Interior, Rules of Indian Courts and “What is an Indian?”, H.R. Doc No. 1, pt. 5 at 28-37 (1892).

 

9. 1619 AND THE FIRST CENTURY OF AMERICAN SLAVERY

 

--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 2.

 

--1 The Records of the Virginia Company of London (1619-20) at 241-47 (Susan Myra Kinsbury ed. Gov’t Printing Office 1906-35).

 

--Virginia Act of General Assembly, Jan. 6, 1639-40, 2d ser. 4 Wm & Mary Q. 145, 146-47 (1924).

 

--1 William Waller Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619 (R. & W. & G. Barton 1923).

 

10. THE EVERYDAY LAW OF SLAVERY

 

--Slaves and Free Persons of Color, ch. 107, §§ 26-77, in Revised Code of North Carolina, Enacted by the General Assembly at the Session of 1854 (Boston, Little Brown & Co. 1855).

 

--Jacob B. Wheeler, A Practical Treatise on the Law of Slavery (New York, Alan Pollock; New Orleans, Benjamin Levy 1837).

 

--Bryan v. Walton, 14 Ga. 185 (1853).

 

--George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South (Richmond, A. Morris 1854).

 

--U.S. Const. art. I, §§ 2, 9.

--U.S. Const. art. IV, § 2.

--U.S. Const. art. V.

 

--Fugitive Slave Act, ch. 60, §§ 1-10 (1850).

 

11. SLAVERY, THE CONFEDERACY, AND THE CIVIL WAR

 

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857).

 

--CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES (1787) AND THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA (1861).

 

--Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation (Jan. 1, 1863).

 

12. Expansion and Use of (Non-Slave) Property

 

--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 3.

 

--The Northwest Ordinance (1787).

 

--Public Lands Statutes, in Public Statutes at Large in the United States (1796-1850).


--Merritt v. Parker, 1 N.J.L. 460 (N.J. 1795)


Review of Joseph K. Angell, A Treatise on the Common Law in Relation to Water Courses, 2 Am. Jurist 25, 30-34 (1829).

 

--Massachusetts Mill Dam Act, ch. 0074 (1795).

 

--Snow v. Parsons, 28 Vt. 459 (1856).

 

13. ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND CORPORATIONS

 

--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 4.

 

--Alfred B. Street, The Council of Revision of the State of New York (Albany, W. Gould 1859).

 

--Currie v. Mutual Assurance Soc’y, 14 Va. (4 Hen. & M.) 315 (1809).

 

--Andrew Jackson, Veto of the Second Bank (July 10, 1832), in 2 James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897 (1900).

 

--Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, 36 U.S. 420 (1837).

 

--New Jersey Turnpike Incorporation Act, ch. 158, N.J. Laws (1856).

 

14. REGULATION, LABOR, AND THE WIZARD OF OZ.

 

--Oliver Wendell Holmes to Emily Hallowell (Nov. 16, 1862), in Touched with Fire; Civil War Letters and Diary of Oliver Wendell Holms, Jr., 1861-1864 (Mark De Wolfe Howe ed., Harvard Univ. Press 1946).

 

--The Rebellion at Homestead, 1892 Harper’s Wkly. 674.

 

--William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold, in Speeches of William Jennings Bryan (Funk & Wagnalls 1909).

 

--Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905).

 

15. MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND PROPERTY

 

--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 6.

 

--Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions at the Seneca Falls Convention (1948).

 

--Wightman v. Coates, 15 Mass. 1 (1818).

 

--Askew v. Dupree, 30 Ga. 173 (1860).

 

--Divorce Act, ch. 89 § 2, Me. Laws (1847).

 

--Divorce Act, ch. 116 § 1, Me. Laws (1849).

 

--Married Woman’s Property Act, ch. 200, §§ 1-4, N.Y. Laws (1848).

 

--White v. White, 5 Barb. 474 (N.Y. 1849).

 

--Married Woman’s Property Act, ch. 375 §§1-3, N.Y. Laws (1849).

 

--Married Woman’s Property Act, ch. 90, §§ 1-11, N.Y. Laws (1860).

 

--Buckley v. Wells, 33 N.Y. 518 (1865).     


17. CRIME FROM THE 17TH INTO THE 19TH CENTURIES


Zoom School of Law Video Lecture


--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 5.

 

--Gustave de Beaumont & Alexis de Tocqueville, On the Penitentiary System in the United States and Its Application in France (1833).

 

--Charles Dickens, American Notes For General Circulation 81-93 (London, Chapman & Hall 1850).

         

Penitentiary Law, § 25, Tenn. Laws (1829).

 

--Thomas J. Dimsdale, The vigilantes of Montana; or, Popular Justice in the Rocky Mountains (Virginia City, D.W. Tilton & Co. 1866). 

 

18. CRIME IN THE 19TH CENTURY WITH A FOCUS ON PENTITENTIARIES

 

Zoom School of Law Lecture

 

19. TORTS I: 19TH-CENTURY WORKERS WITH A BIG DOSE OF THEORY


Zoom School of Law Video Lecture

 

--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 7.

 

--Farwell v. Boston & Worcester R.R., 45 Mass. (4 Met.) 49 (1842).

 

--Crystal Eastman, Work Accidents and the Law (1910).

 

—Video in class: A Trip Down Market Street (1905).


20. TORTS II: NON-EMPLOYEES, STREETCARS, AND A FANTASTIC VIDEO


Zoom School of Law Video Lecture


—Video in class: A Trip Down Market Street (1905).

 

21. LEGAL PROFESSION

 

--G. Edward White, American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (2014), Chapter 8.

 

--1 Jesse Root, Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors from July, A.D. 1789 to June, A.D. 1793 (New York, The Banks Law Publishing Co. 1899).

 

--William Kent, Memoirs and letters of James Kent (1898).

 

--James Kent, Commentaries on American Law (2d. ed., New York, O. Halsted 1832).

 

--Thomas Shearman, The Judiciary of New York, 105 N. Am. Rev. 148, 148-176 (1867).

 

--David Dudley Field, The Laws and Lawyers of New York (Oct. 13, 1886), in 3 Speeches, Arguments and Miscellaneous Papers of David Dudley Field (Titus Munson Coan ed., New York, D. Appleton & Co. 1890).

 

--Henry W. Taft, A Century and a Half at the New York Bar (1938).

 

--Robert Taylor Swaine, The Cravath Firm and Its Predecessors (Ad Press 1946-48).

 

--Louis D. Brandeis, The Opportunity in the Law (May 4, 1905), in Business, a Profession (Small, Maynard & Co. 1914).

 

22. LEGAL EDUCATION & JURISPRUDENCE

 

--Columbia College Law School Act, ch. 202, N.Y. Laws (1860).

 

--Christopher Columbus Langdell, Summary of the Law of Contracts (1871).

 

--Joseph C. Hutcheson, Jr., The Judgment Intuitive: The Function of the “Hunch” in Judicial Decision, 14 Cornell L. Q. 274 (1929).

 

--Fred Rodell, Goodbye to Law Reviews, 23 Va. L. Rev. 38 (1936).


22.5 QUARANTINE AND MARTIAL LAW?

 

23. HEALTHCARE

 

--Themes: Healthcare efforts in Progressive Era, New Deal, Truman/Nixon, Physician/Reagan opposition to Medicare, Secretary Clinton, Obamacare

Docs: TBA

 

24. THE NEW DEAL

 

--Themes: Alphabet soup of agencies.

         Docs: Second Bill of Rights

 

25. RECONSTRUCTION AND THE ERA OF LYNCHING

 

--Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address (Mar. 4, 1865).

 

--Civil Rights Act, ch. 4-6, Miss. Laws (1865).

 

--Civil Rights Act of 1866, ch. 31, 14 Stat. 27 (1866).

 

--William Stewart Simkins, Professor of Law Univ. of Tex., Why the Ku Klux (November 1914), in 4 The Alcalde 735 (1916).

 

—Add link to Stevenson Museum

 

26. 20TH-CENTURY AFRICAN-AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS

 

--Civil Rights Act of 1875, ch. 114, 18 Stat. 335 (1875).

 

—Add: Civil Rights Act of 1864.

 

—Add. King, Letter from Birmingham Jail.

 

—Add. Sweatt v. Painter

 

27. 20TH-CENTURY WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

 

28. GAY RIGHTS WITH AN EMPHASIS ON STONEWALL


29. IMMIGRATION


--Themes: 19th-20th century trajectory

Documents: Chinese Exclusion Act, TBA

 

30. THE AGE OF REAGAN FORWARD

 

--Themes: Push back against Great Society and New Deal

Docs: TBA

 

31. CONCLUSION

© Thomas D. Russell 2020