Evarts, William Maxwell. Papers, 1849-1887: Finding Aid
Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard Law School
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 601615
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
William Maxwell, 1818-1901
Title: William Maxwell Evarts papers
Quantity: 1 collection (5
boxes, 1 Paige box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The William M. Evarts papers relate to Evarts' professional concerns. They deal mainly
with transportation, especially railroads, land claims, problems which arose in the
South in the post-Civil War period, and cases argued by Evarts for the U. S. Government.
Contact Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives.
Processed by David de Lorenzo, October, 1989; edited by Sally Vermaaten, April, 2004.
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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.
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William Maxwell Evarts
b. February 6, 1818 in Boston
Son of Jeremiah and Mehitabel (Sherman) Barnes Evarts; grandson of Roger Sherman
Graduated from Yale College in 1837, LL.B, Dane Law School of Harvard College
Admitted to the New York bar in 1841
1843 formed law firm in N.Y.C. with Charles E. Butler. Cases included: Monroe Edwards,
forger; Savannah privateers; Prize cases during Civil War
1843, he married Helen Minerva Wardner; they had twelve children.
1849-1853 Evarts served as assistant district attorney for the southern district of
1860 became chairman of the New York delegation to the Republican National Convention
Served as counsel for Johnson's defense in the Impeachment trial of President Johnson
Attorney general of the U.S. under President Johnson, July 1868-March 1869.
1870-1880, Evarts served as president of the Association of the Bar of the City of
1871-1872 one of the counsel for the U.S. in the Geneva arbitration proceedings on
the Alabama claims
1877 argued claims before electoral commission for Rutherford B. Hayes and the Republican
party in the Hayes-Tilden presidential election dispute
U.S. Secretary of state during the Hayes administration (1877-1881)
U.S. Senator, 1885-1891
Note: This collection was originally arranged, inventoried, and recorded by an unknown
individual. Because the arrangement of the collection may have been done by a relative,
secretary, or Evarts himself, the Evarts Papers have been kept in this original order.
- Series I.Papers re. New York City Ferry Franchise, 1851-1860.1851-1860.Copiesof court proceedings and Evarts' notes and memos on two cases. Mostpapers relate
to the complaint brought by New York State against NewYork City disputing which governing
body had the right to establishand control the operation of ferries between New York,
Long Island,and the city of Brooklyn. William Maxwell Evarts acted as attorneyfor
- Series II.Papers re. U.S. Navy Yard, East River, New YorkCity, 1853-1862.1853-1862.Suitbrought by United States Government against HenryRuggles. Ruggles obtained a permit from the State of New York allowing him to erect a dockand wharf on shoreline adjacent to a U.S. Naval Yard
and Hospital onthe East River. The U.S. sued, saying that the docks and wharveswould
negatively affect the shoreline and the yard's accessibility toships. Also includes
material from a related suit brought by thePeople of the State of New York v. Ruggles
over water rights.
- Series III.Papers re. New York City Street Railways, 1858-1885.1858-1885.Includes printed, annotated, and manuscript court records andrelated documents from
trials that Evarts was involved in thatconcerned railway rights in New York City.
- Series IV.Papers re. U. S. Government interest in CottonSalvage Cases, 1865-18691865-1869
- Series V.Papers re. the Missouri Test Oath Cases, 1866-18691866-1869
- Series VI.Newspaper clippings re. The Geneva AwardDisposition, 18731873
- Series VII.Papers re. The Cañon del Rio de Chama Land Grant,New Mexico, 18741874
- Series VIII.Papers re. Railroad Cases, 1856-18691856-1869
- Series IX.Papers re. Miscellaneous Litigation
- Series X.Miscellaneous Papers
These 6 boxes of papers were collected and produced by William Maxwell Evarts from 1849 to 1887 and they span from his tenure as an Assistant U.S. District Attorney,
through his service as U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of State, into his first term as a U.S. Senator.
The Evarts Papers include a limited amount of correspondence, but extensive handwritten
case notes and memoranda relating to cases, handwritten and printed briefs, points,
and arguments, as well other legal and legislative documents, newspaper articles,
charts, and maps. The bulk of the collection is made up of Evarts' manuscript case
notes and printed case documents that Evarts annotated and corrected.
The cases that these papers represent cover a variety of subjects and seem to either
be cases that Evarts argued himself, or they were cases whose documents Evarts used
for reference. Most of the cases involve public or private transportation, especially
railroads, land claim cases, cases argued by Evarts for the U. S. Government, or are
cases dealing with problems that arose in the South after the Civil War period.
- Series: The New York City Ferry Franchise, 1851-1860
- 1-1. Benson et al. v. Mayor et al. of New York. Documents relating to arguments and opinion.
1851. Items 1-5
- 1-2. Union Ferry Co. pamphlet, " Leases of Ferries" N.Y.C Common Council volume, 1852-1885. Items 6-7
- 1-3. Memos, N.Y. Senate Bill, 1860, n.d. Items 6-10
- 1-4. People v. The Mayor and Robert Haws. Affidavits, summons, and judicial orders. 1859-1860. Items 11-15
- 1-5. People v. The Mayor and Robert Haws. Pamphlet opinion, newspaper clippings, judicial order. 1859-1860. Items 16-24
- 1-6. People v. The Mayor and Robert Haws. Affidavits on Motion for Injunction in volume form. 2 copies, one inscribed and annotated
by Evarts, 1860. Items 25-26
- 1-7. People v. The Mayor and Robert Haws. N.Y. Legislative Committee hearings. Mss notes, testimony and arguments, other proceedings, pamphlet opinion.
1860. Items 27-37
- Series: U.S. Navy Yard, East River, New York City, 1852-1862
- 1-8. The United States v. Henry Ruggles. Copy of Defendant's Answer, Draft Injunction,
Bill in Equity, testimony, 1861, n.d. Items 38-42
- 1-9. The United States v. Henry Ruggles Proceedings, memos, maps [transferred to Map Case
S2, Drawer 13 folder 4], and decision. 1852-1862. Items 43-52
- 1-10. The People of the State of New York v. Henry Ruggles. Defendant's points and notes
including a letter from Charles O' Conor. 1853, n.d. Items 53-54
- 1-11. The People of the State of New York v. Henry Ruggles. Records of proceedings in volume
form, includes maps, 1859. Item 55
- 1-12. The People of the State of New York v. Henry Ruggles. Records of proceedings in volume
form, includes maps, 1859. Mss. annotations by Charles Francis Stone. Item 56
- 2-1. The People of the State of New York v. Henry Ruggles. Records of proceedings in volume
form, includes maps, 1859. Mss annotations by unknown author (Evarts?) Item 57
- 2-2. The People of the State of New York v. Henry Ruggles. ALS from Charles Francis Stone
to Evarts, memo. 1859,1861, n.d. Items 58-59
- Series: New York City Street Railways, 1858-1885
- 2-3. The People of the State of New York v. The Mayor, Aldermen and Commonality of the
City of New York (or the Yonkers Railroad Co. Case) pamphlet and volumes of records, 3 annotated (by Evarts?) Items 67-71
- 2-4. The People of the State of New York, the Trustees of the Sailor's Snug Harbor, et.
al v. John Kerr et. al ( 7th Avenue Railroad or Gridiron Railway Case), pamphlet and volumes of records several annotated and inscribed by Evarts,
who was Counsel for the Defense. 1860 and n.d. Items 72-79
- 2-5. The People of the State of New York, the Trustees of the Sailor's Snug Harbor, et.
al v. John Kerr et. al ( 7th Avenue Railroad or Gridiron Railway Case) Pamphlet of case in Supreme Ct. and volume of Case on Appeal. Both inscribed
and annotated by Evarts. 1862, n.d. Items 80-81
- 2-6. The People of the State of New York, the Trustees of the Sailor's Snug Harbor, et.
al v. John Kerr et. al ( 7th Avenue Railroad or Gridiron Railway Case) In the N. Y. Court of Appeals. Pamphlets, mss. notes, and case records in volume form, annotated and inscribed by
Evarts. 1863, n.d. Items 82-87
- 2-7. John Craig v. Rochester City and Brighton Railroad Co. 2 pamphlets of records from the N.Y. Supreme Court case. 1863. Items 88-89
- 2-8. Miscellaneous N.Y. railroad trials: printed and mss. documents:
- - Libertus Van Bokkelen v. The Brooklyn City Railroad Co.; U. S. Circuit Court Case
- - John H. Osborne v. The Brooklyn City Railroad Company; U. S. Circuit Court Case. Argument of Evarts against Motion to dissolve injunction
- - James Wager v. Troy Union Railroad Company; N.Y. Court of Appeals
- - The Brooklyn Central and Jamaica Railroad Company v. the Brooklyn City Railroad Company; N.Y. Supreme Court
- - In the matter of the Seventh and Ninth Avenue Railroad
- - John A. Currier v. West Side Elevated Railway Co.; U.S. Circuit Court Case
- 2-9. Miscellaneous N.Y. railroad trials: printed and mss. documents.
Legal and court documents including some relating to the
- - West Side Patented Elevated Railway Co. (including diagrams of proposed project)
- - N.Y. Cable Railway Co.
- - City Corporation
- - Metropolitan Elevated Railway Co.
- Series: U. S. Government interest in Cotton Salvage Cases, 1865-1869
- 2-10. Alexander M. Douglas v. " S. S. Davis" copies of Douglas' complaints, the U. S. Answer, and ALSs from Edward Jordan, Charles Blake and Edward Jordan (Solicitor of the Treasury). 1865. Items 110-116.
- 2-11. Alexander M. Douglas v. " S. S. Davis" ALSs from Edward Jordon, Custom House, N.Y., Quartermaster's Office, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Evarts; receipts, trial records and notices. 1865-1867.
- Series: Papers re. the Missouri Test Oath Cases, 1866-1869
- 2-12. Francis P. Blair v. John S. Thompson, Stephen Ridgley, 1865-1869. Newspaper reprints of Reverdy Johnson' speech [Transferred to Map case S2, Drawer 13 folder 5], court record pamphlets annotated
by Evarts, notesJohn A. Cummings v. The State of Missouri, brief 1865-1868, n.d. Items 130-139
- 2-13. Blair v. Thompson. (The Missouri Suffrage Case) Evart's notes, copy of a poem. 1869,
n.d. Items 140-144
- Series: Newspaper clippings re. The Geneva Award Disposition, 1873
- 2-14. Newspaper sheets from the Daily Globe and the N.Y. Trade Reporter, 1873-1876. [Transferred
to Map case S-2, Drawer 13 folder 5]. Items 145-152
- Series: Papers re. The Cañon del Rio de Chama Land Grant, New Mexico, 1874
- 3-1. Correspondence between William Blackmore, John Dunn, J. G. Potter, Charles Mench, William Maxwell Evarts (acting as legal advisor), and T. S. Watts re J. G. Potter's deed of grant. Note, extracts from agreement, report by surveyor-general
of New Mexico. 1873-1874. Items 153-169
- 3-2. Letter from Charles Mench to Evarts, copies of official and legal documents related to the land title, owners,
and New Mexico law. 1874, n.d. Items 170-176
- Series: Papers re. Railroad Cases, 1856-1869
- 3-3. Pennock and Hart v. Coe, Pierce et al. v. Emery et al., printed court records in pamphlet form, annotated by Evarts.
Notes and a volume on the Sabine and Galveston Bay R.R. and Lumber Co. 1856-1868. Items 177-181
- 3-4. Articles, acts, and other documents re. The Milwaukee and Prairie Du Chien Railway Co. Documents, letters by C. D. Coffin and Theodore Gaylay, re. the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad Co. and their suit against the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad Co. 1860-1866 Items 182-191
- 3-5. Cheever et al. v. Rutland and Burlington R. R. Co. 3 copies of petition (Chittenden and Rutland Counties), and a volume record (in Windham Co.) with mss. annotations and pasted in corrections and additions of the case in chancery
re. the appointment of trustees under a second mortgage of the company in place of
2 dead trustees. 1862-1863. Items 192-196
- 3-6. Cheever et al. v. Rutland and Burlington R. R. Co. Printed court proceedings and records from case in chancery, Windham Co., most inscribed and annotated by Evarts, MSS case notes, 1863. Items 197-210
- 3-7. Cheever et al. v. Rutland and Burlington R. R. Co. Printed copies of some answers and petitions of Case in Chancery, Rutland. 1864. Items
- 3-8. Cheever et al. v. Rutland and Burlington R. R. Co. Volume of complaint, subpoena, and exhibits, with corrections and signatures of approval
by W. C. Danton, L. C. Kellogg, George B. Ai[?], Charles Arnold, etc. Defendant's points, opinion of Chancellor. 1864-1869. Items 214-217
- 3-9. Philadelphia and Erie Rail Road Co. and the Pennsylvania Rail Road Co. v. The Catwissa Rail Road Co. et al. Opinion. Sioux City and Pacific Rail Road Company Bonds [transferred to Map case S-2, Drawer 13 folder 5] 1864, 1866. Items 218-219
Date: 1864, 1866.
- 3-10. Northern R.R v. Ogdensburgh and Lake Champlain R. R. Letter from John C. Pratt, trial papers, etc. 1867-1868. Items 220-224
- 3-11. Campbell v. Texas and New Orleans R. R. ( U.S. Circuit Court case) annotated bill of equity, defendant's answer, motion re. injunction, notesMoran
et al. v. Texas and New Orleans R. R. et al. , bill of complainants, 1868-1871. Items
- 3-12. Campbell v. Texas and New Orleans R. R. Memo, notes on equity v. state law debate, injunction; Campbell et al. v. Moran et
al. Stipulation, 1871, n.d. Items 231-235
- 3-13. Campbell v. Texas and New Orleans R. R. Depositions, telegrams ( William G. Hale to John Terry, L. H. Terry and Co. to Ed. Morgan and Co.), letters, ( George Paschal to John Sessions, John Sessions to John Terry), act, hearing notes. 1861, 1871. Items 236-242
Date: 1861, 1871.
- 4-1. Pacific R. R. v. Maguire ( Supreme Court of MO, U.S.) Statements, briefs of appellant/defendant in error (annotated), notes. 1871-1873,
n.d. Items 243-250
- 4-2. Murdoch and Clark v. Woodson, et al. complaints, opinion. Union Pacific R. R. Co. Bond claims. Texas and Pacific R.R. Land Grant Case. Opinion by Evarts. 1873-1876, n.d. Items 251-255
- 4-3. Missouri and Niobrarce Valley R. R. Co. Print (annotated and inscribed by Evarts) and mss. appeals to the U.S. President,
letters ( W. A. Matchett to Evarts, Evarts to Matchett); Oregon and California R. R. Co. Land Grant, legal doc. 1878-1882. Items 255-261
- 4-4. Denver and New Orleans R. R. v. Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe R. R. Letters (VP and General Solicitor of A. T. and S. F. R. R. to Evarts); New York Central and Hudson R. R. Evarts' opinion on payment regulation, 1883-1886. Items 262-267
- Series: Papers re. Miscellaneous Litigation
- 4-5. Thomas Powell et al. v. Francis Stryker, Sherriff, Kings Co. ( N.Y. Supreme Court) Opinion; Farm Loan and Trust et al. v. Hendrikson et al. (N.Y. Supreme Court) Plaintiff's points, notes, memo of
cases; (Court of Appeals) argument, notes, appellants' points, 1858-1862. Items 268-279
- 4-6. Trial documents ( 1864-1868. Items 280-289) from:
- -People v. Robert Murray et al. (N.Y. General Sessions) Brief
- - Charles Goodyear v. Phoenix Rubber Co. ( N.Y. Supreme Court, Appeals)
- -Markham v. Jaundon and Jaundon ( N.Y. Supreme Court, Court of Appeals)
Arguments, points, case and statement of facts and points (both annotated by
Evarts), appellant's briefs, notes
- 4-7. Trial documents ( 1868-1869. Items 290-295) from:
- -Jaundon and Jaundon v. Carpenter ( N.Y. Court of Appeals)
- -Steamboat " James Guy" et al. v. Young Tall. ( U.S. Supreme Court No. 37) Transcript,
points, Evarts' notes
- -Hazelburst and Weigand v. The steamer "Lulu" ( U.S. Supreme Court) transcript
- 4-8. State of South Carolina v. Bank of the State Letters from S. G. Ward to Evarts and Governor of SC, case statement. 1869, n.d. Items 296-298
- 4-9. Frishi v. Whitney ( U.S. Supreme Court) Notes on arguments, defendant's points, memos, 1870, n.d. Items 299-304
- 4-10. Rogers and Rogers v. Wheeler et al. ( Supreme Court of N.Y.) Respondent's points, points on appeal, appellants points, papers on appeal, Evart's
notes on respondent's points. 1871, n.d. Items 305-311
- 4-11. Trial documents n.d. Items 312-316 from:
- -Beall et al. v. The Territory of New Mexico for use of W. W. Griffin ( U.S. Supreme Court) case memo.
- - Robert W. Lowber v. The Mayor...of New York
( N.Y. Supreme Court) annotated, large "D"
symbol drawn at top
- -Farrington v. Saunders ( U.S. Supreme Court) notes on briefs
- -Cooke v. Second National Bank memos for
- Series: Miscellaneous Papers
- 5-1. Small stitched pamphlet, " Opinions of Daniel Webster, Chief Justice Jones, George Wood and Judge Skinner," on insurance 1857. Item 317
- 5-2. Lyman Fremain's (Attorney General's) opinion on insurance 1858. Item 318
- 5-3. Acts on Life, Health and Fire Insurance Companies in N. Y. 1862. Items 319-322.
- 5-4. Copy of letter, Adolph Gosling to William Seward 1863. Item 323
- 5-5. Decision by Joseph Lewis on the liability of foreign consul to U.S. Income Tax, 1862. Item 325
- 5-6. Unsigned opinion on insurance cases, n.d. Item 326
- 5-7. " Is the Tax Constitutional" in the N.Y. Herald, 9 April 1868; N.Y. Daily Transcript, Thursday Oct 22, 1868.
[Transferred to map case S-2, Drawer 13 folder 5]. Items 327-328
Date: 9 April 1868;
Date: Oct 22, 1868.
- 5-8. Bark [ship] Margherita v. Bark Hobart. 1868. Item 329
- 5-9. ALS Franklin Haven to Evarts, May 26, 1870. Item 330
Date: May 26, 1870.
- 5-10. Proposed amendment (N.Y. Constitution) re. canal expenses, 1874. Item 331
- 5-11. Correspondence to and from C. S. Wescott and an advertisement draft for a new automated movable type printing press machine.
1875, n.d. Items 332-334
- 5-12. Claim of Albert Grant, argument, brief, ALS from Grant to Evarts, judgment. 1880-1886 Items 335-338
- 5-13. Lowe, R. P. ALS, 1883. Items 339-342
- 5-14. Appeal of Capt. Douglass Ottinger, 1887. Item 343
- 5-15. Robinson, Tracy. ALS, 1887. Item 344
- 5-16. Miscellaneous case notes. Items 346-351
- 5-17. Addenda:
- -ALS, Evarts' resignation as U.S. Attorney General addressed to the outgoing President Andrew Johnson, 1869.
- -ALS, Evarts to Lloyd Aspinwall, 1879.
- -"Envelope of a letter sent by Sir Roundall Palmer, now Lord Selbourne, through W. M. Evarts, Esq. To R. H. Dana, Jr. Esq- apropos of the Geneva Arbitration, in November, 1872."
For an item level descriptive list of materials, see file in manuscripts office.
Ferries--Law and legislation
Land grants--New Mexico
New York (N.Y.) --History --19th century
Evarts, William Maxwell,
Ruggles, Henry Joseph, 1813-1906
Stone, Charles Francis 1834-1910