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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 9375301

William Alexander Gaston briefs


Court documents, briefs, and manuscripts pertaining to various cases in Massachusetts Superior and Supreme Judicial Courts.


  • Creation: 1876 - 1897

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.


1 collection (2 Paige boxes; 8 vol.)

The collection consists of eight volumes of briefs, court documents, and inlaid manuscripts from attorney William A. Gaston's practice in the Boston firm of Gaston and Whitney.

Most documents pertain to cases in the Massachusetts Superior Court and the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth. The cases span across the breadth of Gaston's general practice and include controversies in tort, contract, and bankruptcy law in the Boston area.

Historical/Biographical Information

Gaston, William Alexander

b. May 1, 1859, Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts

Son of William Gaston [(1820-1894): Democratic mayor of Boston (1871-72) and governor of Massachusetts (1875-76)]

A.B., Harvard University, 1880

Studied law at Harvard Law School (class of 1882, no degree) and at his father's Boston firm of Gaston & Whitney, a law office in civil and general practice "too well known to need any special description" ( Bench and Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1895 ed.)

Admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1883

Partner, Gaston & Whitney, 1883

Assistant adjutant-general for Governor Russell

Director, Manufacturers' National Bank

m. Mary D. Lockwood, Apr. 9, 1892

Reorganized firm as Gaston & Snow (later Gaston, Snow, Saltonstall & Hunt), c. 1895

Failed run for governor of Massachusetts, 1903

Author, The Problems of Peace; A Study of the Essential Needs of Massachusetts During the Reconstruction Period, ca. 1918.

Failed run for U.S. Senate, 1922

d. July 17, 1927, Barre, Worcester County Massachusetts,

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired by the Harvard Law Library October 7, 1927 in a gift of nine volumes from Gaston, Snow, Saltonstall and Hunt.

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Carter, 2004.

Gaston, William Alexander. Briefs, 1876-1897. Finding Aid
Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Law School Library, Historical & Special Collections Repository

Harvard Law School Library's Historical & Special Collections (HSC) collects, preserves, and makes available research materials for the study of the law and legal history. HSC holds over 8,000 linear feet of manuscripts, over 100,000 rare books, and more than 70,000 visual images.

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