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HOLLIS 601615

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

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 601615
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Evarts, William Maxwell, 1818-1901
Title: William Maxwell Evarts papers
Date(s): 1849-1887
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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Contact Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives.

Processing Information:

Processed by David de Lorenzo, October, 1989; edited by Sally Vermaaten, April, 2004.

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 Note

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 N.Y.
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 in 1868
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 New York
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
d. 1901.

Series List

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.

Scope and Contents

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.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Ferries--Law and legislation
Land grants--New Mexico
New York (N.Y.) --History --19th century
Public utilities
Evarts, William Maxwell, 1818-1901
Ruggles, Henry Joseph, 1813-1906
Stone, Charles Francis 1834-1910