Litchfield Law School Notebooks

After graduating from Harvard Law School's LL.M. program and while serving as a Visiting Scholar and American Bar Foundation Fellow in Legal History at the Yale Law School, Charles C. Goetsch '76 began identifying and collecting the most important Litchfield Law School Notebooks.  The Litchfield Law School was the first law school in America and was founded by Judge Tapping Reeve in 1784.  Charles C. Goetsch traveled to university libraries and historical societies where he obtained copies of the most representative notebooks from the Early Period (1790-1798) when Tapping Reeve alone lectured, the Middle Period (1798-1820) when Reeve and Gould lectured, and the Late Period (1820-1833) when Gould alone lectured: Eliphalet Dyer (1790-1793); Asa Bacon Jr. (1794); Seth P. Staples (1798); Daniel Sheldon Jr. (1798); Aaron Burr Reeve (1802-1807); Ely Warner (1808-1809); Timothy Follet (1812-1813); Origen Storrs Seymour ((1824-1825) and George Flagg Mann (1826-1827).

Box 1    Project Description

Box 2   Project Description

Box 3   Project Description

Box 4-9   Origen Storrs Seymour (1824-1825)

   Origen Storrs Seymour (1804-1881) graduated from Yale in 1824.  He represented Litchfield in the General Assembly and was elected Speaker of the House in 1850.  He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1851, again in 1853, and after serving his term became a superior court judge.  In 1863, he returned to practice with his son, Edward W. Seymour.  In 1870 he became a judge on the Connecticut Supreme Court and in 1873 was elected Chief Justice. Originals can be found at the Litchfield Historical Society

Box 10-14  George Flagg Mann (1826-1827)

   George Flagg Man (1807-1885) graduated from Yale in 1826.  He practiced law in Providence, Rhode Island.  Originals can be found at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Box 15  Asa Bacon Jr. (1794)

   Asa Bacon, Jr. (1721-1857) graduated from Yale in 1793.  He was the law partner of the Hon. James Gould and age 60 was appointed president of the Phoenix Bank of Litchfield.  Originals can be found at the Litchfield Historical Society

Box 16  Moot Court Reports, July 1978

Box 17  Seth P. Staples (1798)

   Seth Perkins Staples (1776-1861) graduated from Yale in 1797. He practiced law in New Haven from 1801-1824 and represented the defendants in the Amistad trial. He founded a private law school which was recognized in 1846 as the Law Department of Yale.  Originals can be found at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Box 18  Daniel Sheldon Jr. (1798)

   Daniel Sheldon, Jr. (1780-1828) graduated from Yale in 1798.  He was the Secretary of Legation in France.  Originals can be found at the Litchfield Historical Society

Box 19-20  Aaron Burr Reeve (1802-1807)

   Aaron Burr Reeve (1780-1809), son of Tapping Reeve, founder of Litchfield Law School. He graduated from Yale in 1802.  He practiced law in Troy, New York. Originals can be found at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Box 21  Eliphalet Dyer (1790-1792)

   Eliphalet Dyer (1771-1840) graduated from Yale in 1790.  Originals can be found at the Connecticut Historical Society

Box 22-24  Ely Warner (1808-1809)

   Ely Warner (1785-1872) was elected to represent Haddam in the General Assembly in 1825 and 1831.  From 1829 to 1835 he served as Chief Justice of Middlesex County Court and served as Middlesex County Commissioner for two terms.  Originals can be found at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Box 25-30  Timothy Follet (1812-1813)

  Timothy Follett (1793-1857) graduated from the University of Vermont at age 17.  He was a member of Congress from Vermont from 1833-1954.  He became President of the Rutland and Burlington Railroad.  Originals can be found at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library


A Difference of Customs / Ellen Holmes Pearson (2000)

Tapping Reeve and the Litchfield Law School / Marian C McKenna (Oceana:1986)

More Chronicles of a Pioneer School, Litchfield, Conn / Emily Noyles Vanderpoel (Cadmus Book Shop:1927)

George Wythe, Teacher of Liberty / Edward M. Riley (Virginia Independence Bicentennial Commission:1979)

The Handwriting of American Records / E. Kay Kirkham (Everton Publishers: 1973)

The Bench & Bar of Litchfield County, Connecticut, 1709-1909 / Dwight C. Kilbourn ( Author:1909)

Litchfield, Portrait of a Beautiful Town / Henry L. Shepherd (Litchfield Historical Society:1969)

Litchfield Law School, 1774-1883: Biographical Catalogue of students / Samuel fisher (Yale University Press:1946)

Reports of cases adjudged in the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut from the year 1788 to May 1788; //Ephraim Kirby (Collier & Adam: 1789)