The Winterthur Library
The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and
Creator: Joseph Story, 1779-1845.
Call No.: Col. 756
Acc. No.: 77x640.1-.10
Quantity: 10 items
Location: 34 K 4
Joseph Story and Simon Greenleaf were professors at Harvard Law School, which had been established
in 1817. Although they were different
temperamentally, they worked well together and built up the school. Joseph Story was born in 1779 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the son of Mehitable Pedrick and Elisha
Story. He graduated from Harvard in 1798
and read law. At the age of 31 in 1811,
he was appointed to U.S. Supreme Court, the youngest person ever to have been appointed.
He died in 1845. Simon Greenleaf was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1783, the son of Lydia Parsons and Moses
Greenleaf. He did not attend college but
read law. In 1833, Story offered him a
professorship at Harvard Law School. Greenleaf wrote several law books and oversaw
the expansion of the law school library.
He retired from Harvard in 1848 and died in 1853.
Nine letters written to
Joseph Story and Simon Greenleaf about donating busts to Harvard Law School library,
and one letter from Baron Cranworth, Lord Chancellor
of England, thanking Greenleaf for a book which had been sent to him. The men whose busts had been solicited were
judges. The letter writers were J. or I.
Mason (probably Jeremiah Mason), William Prescott, Lemuel Shaw, Joseph
Hopkinson, Charles Jackson, John Bannister Gibson, Marcus Morton, John Amory
Lowell (writing on behalf of his father John Lowell), and James C. Danne (writing on behalf of his father-in-law Judge Paine,
probably Elijah Paine). Several of the
letters mention the artist of the bust in question: Shobal Vail Clevenger
(mentioned in two letters), Henry Dexter (also mentioned in two letters), John
Frazee, and E. Luigi Persico.
The letters are in
Purchased from Goodspeed’s Book Shop, Boston, Mass.
Dexter, Henry, 1806-1876.
Clevenger, Shobal Vail, 1812-1843.
Perisco, E. Luigi, 1791-1860.
Frazee, John, 1790-1852.
Harvard Law School. Library.
Sculpture, American – 19th
Sculpture – Massachusetts – Cambridge.
Judges – United States.
Greenleaf, Simon, 1783-1853.
DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
Location: 34 K
.1 Letter, J. [or
I.] Mason, Boston, July 13, 1840, to Justice Story and Professor Greenleaf,
Cambridge. Has a spare copy of his bust
which he is delighted to give them for display in the law library.
Jeremiah Mason, 1768-1848. He was born
in Connecticut, graduated from Yale, became a lawyer and
moved to New Hampshire, where he also served as U.S. Senator and
state legislator. He moved to Boston in 1832 and practiced there
for six years before retiring.]
.2a Letter, Wm. Prescott, Nahant, July 13, 1840, to
Justice Story and Simon Greenleaf, Cambridge. When he finds an artist to do his bust, he
will gladly present it to the university’s law library. .2b is the envelope which contained Prescott’s letter.
[Judge William Prescott was the
father of the noted historian William Prescott.]
.3 Lemuel Shaw, Boston, 15 July 1840, to Simon
Cambridge. Is honored
“to have a likeness of myself in plaster by Clevenger” placed at Harvard’s Law
Institute; will have Messrs. Chickey & Gary [or Garey] deliver it.
1781-1861, lawyer, public official, chief justice of Massachusetts Supreme
[Shobal Vail Clevenger,
sculptor, 1812-1843. He was born in Ohio and was a stone cutter who
began carving busts and working in plaster.
He eventually moved to Europe but became very ill and died on the voyage
back to the United States.]
.4 Letter, Jos. Hopkinson, Philadelphia, July 16, 1840, to Jos. Story and Simon Greenleaf, Cambridge,
Mass. Has a bust of himself by Mr. Clevenger
which he is honored to donate to Harvard.
1770-1842, born in Philadelphia, graduate of University of Pennsylvania; lawyer; judge; wrote “Hail
Clevenger, see .3 above]
.5 Letter, Chas.
Jackson, Brookline, [Mass.], July 21, 1840, to Joseph Story and Simon Greenleaf. Mr. [Henry] Dexter is not yet ready to take a
cast of his bust, but when one is done, he will donate it to Harvard.
[Charles Jackson, 1775-1855,
born Newburyport, graduated from Harvard, lawyer, on Massachusetts
[For information on sculptor
Henry Dexter, see Col. 405 at this repository.
He writes about this bust in acc. 67x31.97, item 23.]
.6 Letter, John B. Gibson, Sunbury, Pa., July 26, 1840, to Joseph
Story and Simon Greenleaf, Cambridge.
Will be happy to donate a copy of his bust by Persico to Harvard, but he
cannot attend to having a copy made until he returns to Philadelphia in December.
[John Bannister Gibson,
1780-1853, born in Westover Mills, Pennsylvania; attended Dickinson College, read law, was a justice on
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court]
[E. Luigi Persico was born
in Naples in 1791. He
lived in the United States 1818-1855 and then returned
to Europe, dying in Marseilles in 1860. While in the U.S., he chiefly worked on the
Capitol in Washington, D.C.]
.7 Letter, Marcus
Morton, Boston, July 30, 1840, to Joseph Story and Simon
Greenleaf, Harvard University. “Will you do me the honour
to accept, for the department of law in your library, a bust of myself,
executed by Henry Dexter?”
[Morton, 1784-1864, born in Freetown, Mass.; graduated from Brown;
lawyer, judge, governor of Massachusetts]
[For information on sculptor Henry
Dexter, see Col. 405 at this repository.
He lists this bust in acc. 67x31.97, item 27.]
.8 Letter, J.A.
Lowell, Boston, September 7, 1840, to Judge Story and
Professor Greenleaf, Cambridge. Will have a cast of his
father’s bust sculpted by Frazee done for the law library.
[The letter writer was John Amory
Lowell. His father was John Lowell,
1769-1840, who was born in Newburyport. He was a lawyer and political writer.]
[John Frazee, 1790-1852, was born in
Rahway, New Jersey. He was a
bricklayer who took up stone carving. He
was largely self-taught. He was one of
the founders of the National Academy of Design.]
.9 Letter, James
C. Danne, Boston, October 27, 1840, to Joseph Story, Cambridge. Offers a bust of his
father-in-law, Judge Paine of Vermont. Currently, it is at Chickey
& Garey’s in School Street.
[The Judge Paine mentioned in this
letter was probably Elijah Paine, 1757-1842.
He graduated from Harvard and was a lawyer and judge in Vermont.]
.10a Letter, Cranworth,
London, January 31, 1853, to
Professor Greenleaf, Cambridge. Thanks Greenleaf for sending him a copy of
his latest work [possibly Treatise on the
Law of Evidence, which was printed several times]. .10b is the envelope for this letter.
was Roberty Monsey Rolfe,
1790-1868, lord chancellor of England. Rolfe was created
Baron Cranworth in 1850.]