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© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College
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.
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 I. Correspondence, 1820-1853.
This Series, arranged alphabetically by name, covers a variety of topics from his involvement in the American Colonization Society to his work at Harvard. This Series is divided into two (2) Subseries:
- Series II. Legal Materials, 1792-1852.
This Series, divided into three Subseries, includes materials related to Greenleaf's work in the field of law, both as a practicing attorney and as a legal scholar.
- Subseries A. Cases and Opinions
Contains, in an alphabetical arrangement, briefs of cases which he authored, notes on cases which set precedents in various areas of the law, and hand-written opinions regarding cases he was asked to consult on.
- Subseries B. Greenleaf Reports
Also arranged alphabetically, is titled, "Greenleaf Reports," and essentially contains what were bound materials that Greenleaf kept relating to cases he litigated.
- Subseries C. Treatise on Evidence
Manuscript copy of his work titled, "A Treatise on the Law of Evidence." Much of the arrangement and folder titles in this Series is derived, due in part to the chaotic state the papers were found.
- Series III. Harvard Law School, 1833-1851.
This Series, divided into two Subseries, contains papers relating to Greenleaf's activities as a member of the faculty of Harvard Law School.
- Series IV. Religious Matters, 1826-1850.
Greenleaf's extensive involvement with Christ Church in Cambridge, as well as, other religious matters is well documented in this Series. The Series, arranged alphabetically and divided into two Subseries, also includes his correspondence with a variety of individuals discussing church activities as well as his activities and involvement with other local protestant denominations and religious organizations.
- Series V. Personal Papers, 1787-1853.
This Series is arranged alphabetically and includes some peripheral activities Greenleaf was involved with such as, the Mutual Protection Society, Bowdoin College, and the American Peace Society. Also included are household related documents and several essays in tribute to Joseph Story, his friend and colleague.
- Born December 5 in Newburyport, Massachusetts
- Attended the Latin School, Newburyport
- Entered apprenticeship in law office of Ezekiel Whitman of Gloucester, Maine
- Admitted to the Bar of Cumberland County, Maine in June
- Married Hannah Kingman, daughter of Capt. Ezra Kingman of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts on September 18
- Practiced law in Gray, Maine
- Moved law practice to Portland, Maine
- Reporter for the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine
- Published, Cases Overruled
- Appointed to Royall Professorship of Law at Harvard Law School
- Published, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence
- Appointed Dane Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
- Resigned teaching position at Harvard Law School
- Appointed judge to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, but declined
- Died, October 6 in Cambridge, Massachusetts