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HOLLIS 601717

Greenleaf, Simon. Papers, 1792-1853: Finding Aid.

Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA 02138


Harvard Law School
December 1988

© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Summary Information

Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 601717
Creator: Greenleaf, Simon, 1783-1853
Title: Papers, 1792-1853
Quantity: 26 Boxes (24,000 items)
Abstract: Contains Greenleaf's professional and personal correspondence, notes for moot court, material relating to Christ Church, Cambridge and the Massachusetts Bible Society, and miscellaneous legal materials. Papers concern temperance, Harvard Law School, and the colonization of Liberia. Correspondents include Joseph Story, Lemuel Shaw, Charles Sumner, and Willard Witte.

Processing Information:

Processed by David de Lorenzo, December 1988.
Finding aid updated by Margaret Peachy, 2012.

Acquisition Information:

The Simon Greenleaf Papers were acquired through donation in 1975.

Access Restrictions:

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.

Use Restrictions:

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.

Scope and Content

The papers of Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853) span the years 1792-1853, with the bulk of the material falling in the 1820-1850 period. The collection includes correspondence (both letters received and drafts of letters sent); legislative and legal documents such as drafts of briefs, contracts, agreements, depositions, wills and deeds, commonplace books, manuscripts, reports, speeches, sermons, and printed materials including pamphlets, brochures, circulars, and clippings.
Simon Greenleaf's papers relate to the various aspects of his professional life, with little reflecting his public activities or personal matters. An interesting segment of his papers titled, Greenleaf Reports, focus on his work as a practicing attorney in Maine. These eight manuscript boxes include a variety of materials regarding cases he litigated. A majority of cases relate to probation of wills and property conflicts involving deeds and titles. Another interesting group are the three manuscript boxes Greenleaf accumulated while a professor of law at Harvard Law School (1833-1848). This group includes Greenleaf's extensive notes on the Moot Court, as well as correspondence from his pupils. Greenleaf's involvement with Christ Church of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and other religious topics are documented in Series IV. Religious Matters. This group includes a manuscript box of correspondence and other documents touching on such issues as the Western Baptist Theological Institute and the Tract Society of Massachusetts.
A major drawback of the collection is its lack of depth into Greenleaf's personal life. Only one box covers such matters as his household expenses and house insurance. In fact, very little of the collection reflects a personality distinct from his formal dealings. In addition, due to the fact that the collection has been acquired in pieces on various occasions and has been tampered with by several individuals, the collection suffers from an inconsistency of organization and arrangement.
Simon Greenleaf papers can also be found in the following repository:
The Joseph Story Papers, 1796-1845
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan

Series List

Historical/Biographical Information


Alternative Form Available:

Nearly the entirety of the Simon Greenleaf Papers, 1792-1853 has been digitized. To access individual folders, please click the appropriate link in the container list below.

Additional Index Terms

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Chandler, Peleg W. (Peleg Whitman), 1816-1889.
Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859.
Kent, James, 1763-1847.
Lieber, Francis, 1800-1872.
Palfrey, John Gorham, 1796-1881.
Parker, Joel, 1795-1875.
Quincy, Josiah, 1772-1864.
Shaw, Lemuel, 1781-1861.
Story, Joseph, 1779-1845.
Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874.
Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852.
Christ Church in Cambridge (Mass.)
Harvard Law School -Faculty.
Harvard Law School.
Law -Study and teaching.
Liberia -Colonization.
Liberia -History to 1847.
Massachusetts Bible Society.
Massachusetts -Religion -19th century.
Moot courts.