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HOLLIS 5999640

The Law Office of Robert and Theodore Sedgwick III, Esqs. New York. Records, 1723-1890: Finding Aid

Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University

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Harvard Law School

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 5999640
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: The Law Office of Robert and Theodore Sedgwick III, Esqs. New York.
Title: Records, 1723-1890
Date(s): 1723-1890
Date(s): 1752-1890
Date(s): 1814-1853
Date(s): 1814-1858
Date(s): 1723-1860
Quantity: 103 boxes (45 linear feet)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Records (1723-1890) of Robert Sedgwick (1787-1841) and Theodore Sedgwick III (1811-1859). Theodore Sedgwick joined the New York law office of his uncle, eventually taking over the business after his uncle's death. The collection contains materials relating to that law office, primarily Robert and Theodore's papers, but also including materials created or received by other employees/partners of the law office. There is also a small amount of personal business material relating to family business and personal affiliations.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Please contact Curator of Modern Manuscripts

Processing Information:

Processed by Jessica Reeder, June 2009

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.

Existence and Location of Copies:

The Amistad materials have been digitized; click here for images.

Historical/Biographical Information


Robert Sedgwick was born on June 6, 1787 in Stockbridge, MA. A stroke forced him to relinquish control of his law practice to his nephew, Theodore, who had joined him in 1838. He died in Sachem's Head, CT on September 2, 1841.
Theodore Sedgwick III was born in Albany, NY on January 27, 1811. He was admitted to the NY bar in 1833. He joined his uncle Robert's law practice in May of 1835. Illness forced him to retire from the law in 1850. He died in Stockbridge, MA on December 9, 1859.

Series List/Description

Scope and Contents

The records span the years 1723-1890, with the bulk of the material falling between 1810 and 1855. The documents in this collection reflect the trials, legal operations, and correspondence of the Sedgwick brothers as well others involved in the law practice: lawyers, attorneys, partners, etc., with the bulk of the material relating to the work and life of Theodore Sedgwick, and another large section being the work and life of Robert Sedgwick.
Materials included are: trial record material which includes everything from the minutes of trials to correspondence regarding the trial; correspondence including letters and telegrams, as well as notes indicating callers. Receipts, both personal and business related, deeds, promissory notes, checks, and other legal documents. There is also a small amount of personal correspondence that primarily deals with business amongst family members and membership information for various New York societies, including the New York Antislavery Society, which Theodore Sedgwick worked with during the Amistad trial.

Container List