New Special Collections Titles – Feb. 2012

Special Collections’ recent acquisitions include a unique 18th century annotated compilation of European treaties, an 1760 collection of Portuguese and Papal laws for the colony of Brazil, a first edition of the first official Tennessee law reports, and an early 19th century American legal apprentice’s notebook.

The eight volumes of the Corps Universel Diplomatique du Droit des Gens; ou Recueil des Traitez d’Alliance, de Paix, de Treve, etc. faits en Europe, depuis Charlemagne, jusqu’a Present; avec les Capitulations, Imperiales et Royales, et autres Actes Publics and the five volumes of the Supplement au Corps Universel Diplomatique du Droit des Gens were bound into twenty-four multi-part volumes. Begun by Jean Dumont, Baron de Carlscoon (1667-1727), this compilation of European treaties in their original languages from 315 to 1730 CE was then completed by Jean Rousset de Missy (1686-1762) and Jean Barbeyrac (1674-1744), and published from 1726 to 1739. In addition to being worthy of inclusion and notice a century later in the 1847 American Marvin’s Legal Bibliography as “still hold[ing] the first rank among all collections of this description,” (quoting James Reddie, Inquiries in International Law (Edinburgh 1842)), this particular set is a fine example of 18th century speckled calf binding with gilt-stamped spines and speckled text-block edges.

The 1760 second imprint of the Colleccao dos Breves Pontificios, e Leys Regias, que Forao Expedidos, e Publicadas desde o Anno de 1741, sobre a Liberdade das Pessoas, Bens, e Commercio dos Indios do Brasil is bound together with the 1760 Supplemento a Colleccao dos Breves Pontificios, Leys Regias, e Officios que Sepassaram Entre as Cortes de Roma e Lisboa. These are collections of laws affecting the rights of persons, property and commercial activities in Brazil, many of which were promulgated to limit the activities of the Jesuit Order within the colony. The last set of laws in the Supplemento are concerned with the expulsion of the Jesuits from Brazil, which was part of a more extensive effort to expel the Jesuits from Portugal and all its colonies. Our newly acquired copy is a beautiful example of 18th century "cats-paw" decorated sheep binding with a gilt-stamped spine.

 

Tennessee Reports, Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Superior Courts of Law and Equity, and Federal Courts for the State of Tennessee, edited by John Overton, and Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Court of Errors and Appeals of the State of Tennessee, from the year 1816 to 1817, edited by John Haywood, report territorial, state, and federal decisions from 1791 to 1817. Overton and Haywood were early Tennessee judges during the period covered by their reports. They were also both natives of North Carolina, where Judge Overton had served as a delegate to the 1789 convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution and Judge Haywood had compiled two volumes of North Carolina’s first court reports. After settling in Tennessee, Judge Overton became a friend and business colleague of Andrew Jackson and leading supporter and organizer of Jackson’s presidential campaigns in the 1820s. Judge Haywood subsequently authored two of the leading early works of Tennessee history – The Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee and The Civil and Political History of Tennessee. Our copies of these five volumes have been recently rebound in period-style calf.

 

The manuscript notebook of Robert Frame (1800-1847) contains outlines of legal subjects written while Frame read the law as an apprentice in the law office of a John M. Clayton (1796-1856), who would subsequently become a U.S. Senator, Chief Justice of Delaware, and later a U.S Secretary of State in the 1830s, 40s and 50s. Frame himself would later be appointed Attorney General of Delaware when he was 30 years old, and went on to serve in the General Assembly. His apprentice’s notebook was compiled at some point between 1820 and 1823 (his index is dated 1823), with some entries likely being added after that period. He was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1824. Frame’s Notebook is an example of how many early American lawyers taught themselves the law by ‘reading the law’ in an established attorney’s office. The blank notebook was purchased for $3 by Robert Frame circa 1820, and is in its original faux tree-calf sheep binding .

Special Collections is located in Williams 210, and may be contacted at specl@law.georgetown.edu.

 

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