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HOLLIS 601609

Magruder, Calvert. Papers, 1920-1965: Finding Aid.

Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard Law School

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 601609
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Magruder, Calvert, 1893-1968
Title: Calvert Magruder papers
Date(s): 1920-1965
Quantity: 42 boxes
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The papers of Calvert Magruder relate to his professional career as a law teacher, judge and public servant. The largest group of papers consists of materials on the cases in which he wrote opinions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Gift of Magruder, Anna W. and Magruder, Michael in 1974, 1982 and 1984.

Processing Information:

Prepared by Erika S. Chadbourn, October, 1974.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Historical/Biographical Information





Series List

Scope and Contents

The 12,000 items in the papers of Calvert Magruder (1893-1968) span the years 1920 to 1965, beginning with the notes he assembled for the courses he taught at the Harvard Law School. The collection includes correspondence; memoranda; agenda of meetings; reports; legal documents; bibliographies; drafts of opinions and speeches; research notes; telegrams; clippings and other printed items; sets of index cards containing citations. The material is in handwritten, typed, printed and photo-duplicated form.
The papers of Calvert Magruder relate to his professional career as a law teacher, judge and public servant. The largest group of papers consists of materials on the cases in which he wrote opinions (33 manuscript boxes). These case materials include first drafts of his opinions; correspondence with his "brethren" concerning his and their own drafts; slip-sheets; final form of his opinions; research notes on the legislative history for some of the problems raised by specific cases and briefs and petitions.
Judge Magruder occasionally served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 9th, and District of Columbia Circuits, and on the U.S. District Courts for Massachusetts and for Puerto Rico, and he kept with his papers files on some of the important cases which were on appeal before these courts, such as CROWN ZELLERBACH v. FTC (9th Circuit before Pope, Magruder, Merill); PEARL ASSURANCE CO., Ltd. v. HARRINGTON (U.S. District Court, Massachusetts, before Felix Frankfurter, Circuit Justice, Magruder, Circuit .Judge, and Ford, District Judge); UNITED STATES v. COSTELLO (2nd U.S. Circuit before Magruder, Moore, Friendly). There is also material on some of the cases in which he sat on the U.S. Emergency Court of Appeals to which he was designated a judge in 1942.
By far the most interesting case file which Judge Magruder kept is that of CROWN KOSHER SUPER MARKET v. GALLAGHER, a civil action brought before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Magruder sat on this case as a member of a three-judge court. The case involved the so-called "Sunday Blue Laws", and Judge Magruder, writing for the majority (Magruder and Woodbury), declared the Massachusetts "Lord's Day" statute unconstitutional. The case, combined with similar ones, eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court as McGOWAN v. MARYLAND (366U.S.420) in which Chief Justice Warren wrote for the Court, upholding the constitutionality of Sunday laws of the different states, and in which Justice Frankfurter wrote a long, separate concurring opinion. The eight folders on this case in the Magruder papers include his own drafts and memos, also briefs, petitions and other legal documents; there is a large amount of fascinating correspondence. Calvert Magruder's correspondence files are limited to a few selected exchanges with fellow judges on his own and other federal courts.
The most significant and extensive of these sequences is his correspondence with Felix Frankfurter which spans the years 1928 to Frankfurter's death in 1965. Magruder had been a law student of Frankfurter's, and he and Frankfurter were colleagues together on the Law School faculty for 18 years; they were close personal friends, and when both left within a year of each other to join their respective courts they kept in close touch, commenting on each other's opinions and on court problems. Magruder was also thought of very highly by Luis Munoz Martin, Governor of Puerto Rico, because Magruder took a special interest in the political status of Puerto Rico and its relation with the United States, and his discussions with the Governor in this correspondence, which spans the years 1953 to 1959, are highly illuminating.
Another Latin-American country with which Magruder became actively involved was Bolivia. His Papers contain four folders dealing with the workings and findings of the Joint Bolivian - United States Labour Commission which studied the labor conditions in Bolivia, particularly in its mines. This Joint Commission was sponsored by the International Labour Office of the United Nations, and Judge Magruder served as Chairman of the American Section of the Joint Commission. The Commission carried out its investigations during February and the first half of March of 1943, and its report, drafted simultaneously in English and Spanish and included in the Papers, was signed at La Paz on 14 March, 1943. Magruder travelled throughout Bolivia during the six weeks of the investigation, most of the time at elevations above 11,000 feet, and his day-by-day correspondence with Bolivian and American mine experts, officials of the International Labour Office and the Bolivian Government, the American Embassy, the U.S. Department of State and Labor, are truly fascinating. The most interesting item perhaps is a carbon copy of a five-page letter, typed, single-spaced, which Magruder sent to Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, on March 22, 1943. In this report, marked "confidential" by Magruder, he presents to the Secretary many of his own personal observations on the Bolivian mission, particularly its relation to various Bolivian officials, and the hopes, true or false, which the presence of the Commission had raised.
One of Judge Magruder's most important post-retirement assignments was his Chairmanship of the President's Advisory Panel on Ethics and Conflict of Interest in Government. This report was submitted to President Kennedy on March 22, 1961. Magruder's files on his work on this Panel include papers outlining the scope of and commentary on the inquiry, newspaper editorials, correspondence, a carbon copy of the typed report, and a personal letter of President John F. Kennedy, dated 10 February 1961, addressed to Judge Magruder, thanking him for his willingness to serve on this Panel.
There is a small group of teaching material, consisting mainly of excerpts from case-books and federal reports, and drafts and reprints of some of Magruder's occasional writings and speeches.
Calvert Magruder's major correspondents were:

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Crown Kosher Super Market - Trials, litigation, etc.
Law - Study and teaching.
Law - United States.
Law and ethics.
Law teachers.
Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971
Biddle, Francis, 1886-1968.
Bingham, George H.
Cohen, Benjamin V.
Fishman, Fred N.
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965.
Hand, Learned, 1872-1961.
Laws, Bolitha J.
Lippmann, Walter, 1889-1974.
Lowell, A. Lawrence (Abbott Lawrence), 1856-1943.
Magruder, Calvert, 1893-1968.
Mahoney, John C.
McCarthy, William T.
Morris, George F.
Muñoz Marín, Luis, 1898-
Peters, John A.
Stone, Harlan Fiske, 1872-1946.
Warren, Earl, 1891-1974.
Welch, Joseph N.
Wilson, Scott
Woodbury, Peter.
Wyzanski, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1906-