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HOLLIS 601644

The Lotta Crabtree Will Case, 1870-1928 : 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 601644
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Chase, Frederick H.
Title: The Lotta Crabtree Will Case
Date(s): 1870-1928
Quantity: 1 collection (9 linear feet in; 21 boxes and 1 oversize box.)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Materials relating to legal action resulting from the probate of the will of Lotta Crabtree, actress, of Boston. Papers assembled and used by the defense (special administrators of the estate) comprise the bulk of the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

These materials relating to the Lotta Crabtree Will Case were presented to the Harvard Law School in January 1969 by Theodore Chase, Esq., the son of the late Frederick H. Chase, who was counsel for the special administrators of the Lotta Crabtree Estate. These Papers were loaned by Mr. Chase to Raymond P. Baldwin and David Dempsey in connection with the research they conducted while writing their book The Triumphs and Trials of Lotta Crabtree (New York: William Morrow, 1968) which deals with the actress' life and the legal contest that arose out of the probate of her will. At the time of the will contest, Mr. Baldwin had just joined the law firm of Stewart and Chase which represented the special administrators of the Lotta Crabtree Estate.

Processing Information:

Prepared by Erika Chadbourn, April 1969.

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 majority of the approximately 2,000 items in the collection of papers relating to the Lotta Crabtree Will Case span the years 1924 to 1928; however, some of the research material such as genealogies, play-bills of Lotta's theatrical appearances, birth certificates, etc. date back well into the 1800's. There are a few post-trial items that date later than 1928.
The Papers include correspondence, notes taken by counsel, research notes, so-called "day-books" of correspondence, lists, printed briefs, cancelled checks and bank deposit books (financial records), photographs, Photostats, scrapbooks, registers, clippings, play-bills, and other printed material.
The Papers relate to the legal actions which arose out of the probate of Lotta Crabtree's will. Since Mr. Chase's father was counsel for the special administrators of the Estate, the actual documents in these files are mainly papers assembled and used by the defense, such as the detective reports, lists and statements of witnesses, etc. The collection includes two New Testaments and a copy of The Triumphs and Trials of Lotta Crabtree.
The major portion of the correspondence is with Frederick H. Chase and Frank H. Steward, counsel for the Estate.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Decedents' estates.
Crabtree, Lotta, 1847-1924.
Earp, Wyatt, 1848-1929.
Stewart, Frank H., 1873-1948.