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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 601614

James Angell MacLachlan papers

This collection includes materials relating chiefly to MacLachlan's activities as teacher, writer, and expert in bankruptcy law. The bulk of the collection (1932-1959) relates to his role as member of the National Bankruptcy Conference. It includes material relating to Harvard Law School matters, JAM's pre-World War II intervention activities, efforts for the Atlantic Union (1949-1959), cases in which he served as counsel, and personal affairs.

Dates

  • 1925-1960

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

1 collection (20 boxes and 2 Paige boxes)

The 6000 items in the Papers of James Angell MacLachlan (1891-1967), lawyer, educator and legal scholar, span the years 1925 to 1960. The collection includes correspondence (both letters received and carbons of letters sent); agenda and minutes of meetings; memoranda; reports; research notes; outlines; bibliographies; drafts; typed manuscripts of writings; legal and legislative documents; newspaper clippings and other printed material.

The bulk of the MacLachlan Papers relate to his professional activities as teacher, writer and expert in bankruptcy law. His teaching and writing materials, although spotty, are representative of his major field of professional expertise, namely legal aspects of finance such as bankruptcy, credit, creditors' rights, property, price policy, securities and suretyship. This Series, Teaching, Writing and Harvard Miscellany, covers the years 1930 to 1960.

By far the largest Series within these professional papers, one-half of the MacLachlan collection, relates to Professor MacLachlan role and activities as a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference which was founded in 1935, with the aim of modernizing the antiquated U.S. bankruptcy laws of the late 19th Century through amendments. MacLachlan participated in the annual meetings of the Conference, and in the drafting and reviewing of the proposed amendments. he retained a full set of these papers, covering his active years in the Conference, 1932 1959, and including correspondence, agenda and minutes of meetings, drafts, authorities; and legislative bills.

A small group of papers relates to Harvard Law School matters. The remainder of the collection concerns MacLachlan's pre-World War II intervention activities as a private citizen, mainly October 1939 to October 1941; his efforts on behalf of the Atlantic Union Committee in the post-World War II era, covering the years 1949 to 1959; and a group of personal miscellany, 1937 to 1960, including documents relating to legal actions in which MacLachlan served as counsel, and correspondence about personal investments. There also is a smattering of personal Harvard items.

Correspondents include: John Foster Dulles; Felix Frankfurter; Harry S, Gleick; Professor Gokhale of India; Erwin N. Griswold; Charles A, tlorsky; Milton Katz; Estes Kefauver; Milton P. Kupfer; Edmund M. Morgan; Peter B. Olney; Nathan M, Pusey; Owen J. Roberts; Clarence Streit; Jacob A, Weinstein; and Joseph N. Welch.

Historical/Biographical Information

MacLachlan, James Angell, lawyer, educator, legal scholar.

  • August 15, 1891 b. Ann Arbor, Michigan. s. Professor Andrew Cunningham and Lois Thompson (Angell) McLaughlin.
  • 1912 A.B., University of Michigan
  • 1916 LL.B., Harvard University
  • 1928 m. Mary Jane Carrier; children: Helen Campbell, David Blair, Bruce Birge, James Angell, Rhoda Wilson.
  • 1912-1913 Taught, Bay City Eastern High School, Michigan
  • 1916-1917, 1919-1924 Practiced law in Chicago
  • 1924-1927 Assistant professor, Harvard Law School
  • 1927-1960 Professor, Harvard Law School
  • 1960-1967 Professor, emeritus, Harvard Law School
  • 1942-1945 On leave, Harvard Law School
  • 1917-1919 Served as captain, 333rd Heavy Artillery, U.S. Army
  • 1942 Special counsel, Office of Price Administration, Washington D.C.
  • 1942-1943 Assistant solicitor, War Relocation Authority
  • 1943-1945 Contract negotiator, U.S. Maritime Commission
  • 1932 Co-founder of National Bankruptcy Conference, which was initiated to consider ways of improving the then-existing National Bankruptcy Act (of 1898); as member of National Bankruptcy Conference, MacLachlan formulated substantial amendments to the Bankruptcy Act, chiefly those embodied in the Chandler Act of 1938 and the amendment to the law of preferences in 1950.
  • April 17, 1967 d. in automobile accident.
Member:
August 15, 1891
b. Ann Arbor, Michigan. s. Professor Andrew Cunningham and Lois Thompson (Angell) McLaughlin.
1912
A.B., University of Michigan
1916
LL.B., Harvard University
1928
m. Mary Jane Carrier; children: Helen Campbell, David Blair, Bruce Birge, James Angell, Rhoda Wilson.
1912-1913
Taught, Bay City Eastern High School, Michigan
1916-1917,1919-1924
Practiced law in Chicago
1924-1927
Assistant professor, Harvard Law School
1927-1960
Professor, Harvard Law School
1960-1967
Professor, emeritus, Harvard Law School
1942-1945
On leave, Harvard Law School
1917-1919
Served as captain, 333rd Heavy Artillery, U.S. Army
1942
Special counsel, Office of Price Administration, Washington D.C.
1942-1943
Assistant solicitor, War Relocation Authority
1943-1945
Contract negotiator, U.S. Maritime Commission
1932
Co-founder of National Bankruptcy Conference, which was initiated to consider ways of improving the then-existing National Bankruptcy Act (of 1898); as member of National Bankruptcy Conference, MacLachlan formulated substantial amendments to the Bankruptcy Act, chiefly those embodied in the Chandler Act of 1938 and the amendment to the law of preferences in 1950.
April 17, 1967
d. in automobile accident.
Editor:
  1. National Bankruptcy Conference
  2. American Bar Association
  3. Federal Union
  4. Atlantic Union Committee Council (treasurer, Massachusettschapter)
  5. Phi Beta Kappa
Author:
  1. Cases on the Federal Anti-Trust Laws of the United States, 1930, 1933.
  2. Cases on Creditors' Rights (with John Hanna), 1939; 2 vol. Revision, 1948-1949;consolidated edition, 1951; supplemented by annotated editions of National Bankruptcy Act, 1939, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953.
Subjects taught at Harvard Law School:
  1. Property: Liability
  2. Bankruptcy
  3. Partnership
  4. MunicipalCorporations, Government Control of Business
  5. LaborLaw
  6. Creditors' Rights
  7. CorporateReorganization
  8. Torts
  9. Sales
  10. Security
  11. Suretyship
  12. Water Law andRegulation

Series List

  1. Series I. Bankruptcy, 1925-1959. 1925-1959.

    Material in this Series relates largely to James A. MacLachlan'srole and activities as a member of the National BankruptcyConference. MacLachlan was a founder and active member of thisConference, serving on both its Executive and its DraftingCommittees. He and the other members were engaged in draftingamendments to the Bankruptcy Act of 1898.

    Folders includeprinted and typed drafts, handwritten notes, mimeographed agenda ofmeetings, and correspondence. Frequent correspondents included: HarryS. Gleick, Charles A, Horsky, Milton P. Kupfer, Peter B. Olney, andJacob A. Weinstein. Among MacLachlan's other bankruptcy-relatedactivities was membership on the American Bar Association's Committeeon Bankruptcy. His colleagues on this committee included, again,Barry S. Gleick and Milton P. Kupfer. In addition, MacLachlanpublished articles, pamphlets and a casebook on bankruptcy.

  2. Series II. Teaching, Writing and Harvard Miscellany, 1930-1960. 1930-1960.

    Seriesconsists of material relating to the courses MacLachlan taught at theHarvard Law School and at special institutes and forums; to hiswritings; and to Harvard Law School matters. Included are researchand teaching notes; course outlines; teaching schedules; examinationquestions; citations; printed programs; bibliographies;correspondence; drafts of writings; memoranda; directories; poems;reports; clippings; other printed items. Correspondence is withcolleagues; former students; classmates; publishers. Correspondentsinclude: Felix Frankfurter; Erwin N. Griswold; Edmund M. Morgan;Nathan M. Pusey; Joseph N. Welch.

  3. Series III. Atlantic Union Committee, 1949-1959. 1949-1959.

    The"Atlantic Union Committee for a Federal Convention of Democracies"was organized in 1949 with the purpose of developing support for aCongressional resolution asking the President of the United States tocall a Federal Convention of the democracies sponsoring an AtlanticPact. The Committee envisioned a federal union of the freedemocracies within the framework of the United Nations. Former U.S.Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts was one of the founders andfirst president of AUC; MacLachlan was one of the founders and acommittee member of the First Massachusetts Chapter of AUC. Seriesincludes correspondence, publicity items, drafts of speeches,statements; other printed material. Correspondence is with nationaland local members of the AUC, with members of the U.S. Congress, andwith interested citizens. Among MacLachlan's correspondents were:John Foster Dulles; Professor Gokhale of India; Milton Katz; JosephB. Keenan; Estes Kefauver; Owen J, Roberts; and Clarence Streit,author of Freedom and Union.

  4. Series IV. World War II, 1939-1946. 1939-1946.

    ThisSeries covers the period 1939 to 1946, with the bulk of the materialfalling into the 1940/1941 span. It contains correspondence, MSS ofarticles, speeches and other writings by MacLachlan, news releases,bulletins and printed items. In his correspondence, speeches, essaysand letters-to-the-editor, MacLachlan advocated militant patriotismas against isolationist pacifism. He was in sympathy with theideology of organizations such as the American Student DefenseLeague, Fight for Freedom, and the Committee to Defend America byAiding the Allies, and assisted them in their activities. Some of thematerial relates of MacLachlan's service in Washington with variouswar time agencies such as the War Relocation Authority. Seriesincludes correspondence about and excerpts from anti-U.S. articles inGerman newspapers from the years 1938 and 1939.

  5. Series V. Personal Miscellany, 1937-1960. 1937-1960.

    ThisSeries contains correspondence, legal documents, newspaper clippingsand memorabilia. The bulk of the material relates to legal cases inwhich MacLachlan served as an attorney, and day-to-day mattersconcerning some of his personal investments. Harvard memorabiliainclude programs, letters-of-appointment, and news clippings; some ofthe news clippings relate to a proposed mandatory loyalty oath formembers of academic institutions.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were a gift of Mary Jane Greve (MacLachlan's widow) in 1979.

Paige Boxes 1 and 2

Bills, Amendments to Bills, and Hearings relating to the Bankruptcy Act. Both U. S. House and Senate Bills and Hearings. Mainly printed; unbound and soft-bound. Some marginalia in MacLachlan's hand.

Processing Information

Prepared by Kim Webster and Nikki Leger, October, 1979
Link to catalog
Title
MacLachlan, James Angell. Papers, 1925-1960: Finding Aid.
Author
Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA 02138
EAD ID
law00037

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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