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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601655

Samuel Williston papers

Overview

The Samuel Williston Papers encompass Williston's work as a private legal counselor, a reporter for the American Law Institute (ALI), and especially his work as an individual author on the law of sales.

Dates

  • 1927 - 1951

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.

Extent

4 boxes
The Samuel Williston Papers encompass his work as a private legal counselor, a reporter for the American Law Institute (ALI), and especially his work as an individual author.

Williston's extensive manuscript revisions on the second edition of his work, The Law Governing the Sales of Goods at Common Law and Under the Uniform Sales Act, make up the bulk of the collection. The collection contains Williston's work on p. 774-827 and p. 1002-1954. Williston individually and comprehensively annotated each page of the text, almost certainly for his next edition of The Law Governing the Sales of Goods.

The collection also contains correspondence between Williston and and the law firm of Gang, Kopp, & Tyre. Together they served as legal counsel for Gene Autry in the case of Autry v. Republic Productions, Inc. 30 Cal. 2d 144 (Cal. SC, 1947). The case affirmed Autry's petition to retain some rights under his motion picture contract with Republic, though Autry was not able to fulfill the all the duties of his contract because of military service during 1942-1945.

Other miscellaneous items in the Williston Papers include a draft of a speech which he was to deliver at the dedication of the Harkness Graduate Commons, a few personal letters, and correspondence relating to Williston's drafting of ALI's first Restatement of the Law of Contracts.

Historical/Biographical Information

  • 24 September 1861 Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, son of Lyman Richards and Anne E. (Gale) Williston.
  • 1882 A.B., Harvard
  • 1888 A.M., LL.B.
  • 1910 LL.D.
  • 1923 LL.D., Amherst College
  • 1926 Yale University
  • 12 September 1889Married Mary Fairlie Wellman. Mary and Samuel Williston had two daughters: Dorothea Lewis (Mrs. Murray F. Hall), Margaret Fairlie (Mrs. Chester B. McLaughlin, Jr.)
  • 1889 Private secretary to Justice Gray of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • 1889- Private practice, Boston and Cambridge, affiliated with Hyde, Dickinson and Howe,
  • 1890-1895 Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • 1895-1903 Professor of Law
  • 1902-1903 Lecturer, Law School, University of Chicago
  • 1903-1919Weld Professor
  • 1909Acting dean, Harvard Law School
  • 1909, 1915, 1921Lecturer, University of California
  • 1910-1929Massachusetts Commissioner for Uniform State Laws
  • 1919- Dane Professor
  • 1923-1925 Vice President of American Bar Association for Massachusetts
  • 1929 Mary Fairlie Wellman dies
  • 1929Awarded first gold medal of American Bar Association, for "conspicuous service to American jurisprudence."
24 September 1861
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, son of Lyman Richards and Anne E. (Gale) Williston.
1882
A.B., Harvard
1888
A.M., LL.B.
1910
LL.D.
1923
LL.D., Amherst College
1926
Yale University
12 September 1889
Married Mary Fairlie Wellman. Mary and Samuel Williston had two daughters: Dorothea Lewis (Mrs. Murray F. Hall), Margaret Fairlie (Mrs. Chester B. McLaughlin, Jr.)
1889
Private secretary to Justice Gray of the U.S. Supreme Court
1889-
Private practice, Boston and Cambridge, affiliated with Hyde, Dickinson and Howe,
1890-1895
Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
1895-1903
Professor of Law
1902-1903
Lecturer, Law School, University of Chicago
1903-1919
Weld Professor
1909
Acting dean, Harvard Law School
1909, 1915, 1921
Lecturer, University of California
1910-1929
Massachusetts Commissioner for Uniform State Laws
1919-
Dane Professor
1923-1925
Vice President of American Bar Association for Massachusetts
1929
Mary Fairlie Wellman dies
1929
Awarded first gold medal of American Bar Association, for "conspicuous service to American jurisprudence."
Author:
  1. Member, American BarAssociation
  2. Fellow, AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences
  3. Reporter forContracts, American Law Institute
Editor:
  1. Parsons on Contracts, 8th edition, 1893.
  2. Cases on Contracts, 1894; 3rd edition, 1930.
  3. Cases on Sales, 1894; 3rd edition, 1919.
  4. Stephen on Pleading, 1895.
  5. Cases on Bankruptcy, 1902; 2nd edition, 1919.
  6. Cases on Contracts, 1903-1904; 2nd edition, 1922.
  7. Wald's Pollock on Contracts, 1905.
  8. Some Modern Tendencies in the Law, 1930.

Series List

  1. Series I. Correspondence Related to Autry v. RepublicProductions, Inc.

    Correspondence from SamuelWilliston and the firm Gang, Kopp and Tyre. Williston's letters are typescript and manuscript while those fromthe law firm are carbon copies. These documents deal exclusively withAutry v. Republic Productions, Inc. 30 Cal. 2d 144 (Cal. SC, 1947).This series is organized chronologically.

  2. Series II. Miscellaneous Papers

    Correspondence to and from Williston, mostly relating to his workas reporter for the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Lawof Contracts. Also included is a draft of a speech and a few personalletters. This series is also organized chronologically.

  3. Series III. Notes on The Law Governing the Sales of Goods atCommon Law and Under the Uniform Sales Act, 2nd ed., 1924

    Pages 774-827 and 1002-1954 from the second edition ofWilliston's The Law Governing the Sales of Goods that contain extensive manuscript revisions by Williston,likely for the next edition of the book. Though these annotations andcorrections are not dated, they intuitively fall somewhere betweenthe publishing of the second edition in 1924 and the next, "revisededition" in 1948.

  4. Series IV. Addenda
Within each series and/or subseries individual items or folders are identified by box and folder number. For example, the number 5-12 corresponds to box 5, folder 12.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials in Series I, correspondence between Samuel Williston, and the law firm of Gang, Kopp & Tyre relating to Gene Autry v. Republic Productions, Inc., were presented to the Harvard Law School Library as a gift from the firm of Gang, Tyre & Brown in March 1975. The Cornell University Law Library presented the materials in Series II to the Harvard Law School Library in September 1987.

Transferred Material:

Certificate of Honorary Membership in the ABA. Feb 1957. Transferred to the Diplomas and Certificates collection.

Processing Information

Erica Bicchieri, n.d., Sally Vermaaten, 2004.
Link to catalog
Title
Williston, Samuel. Papers, 1927-1951: Finding Aid
Author
Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA
EAD ID
law00162

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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