William Maxwell Evarts papers
- 1849 - 1887
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Extent1 collection (5 boxes, 1 Paige box)
The Evarts Papers include a limited amount of correspondence, but extensive handwritten case notes and memoranda relating to cases, handwritten and printed briefs, points, and arguments, as well other legal and legislative documents, newspaper articles, charts, and maps. The bulk of the collection is made up of Evarts' manuscript case notes and printed case documents that Evarts annotated and corrected.
The cases that these papers represent cover a variety of subjects and seem to either be cases that Evarts argued himself, or they were cases whose documents Evarts used for reference. Most of the cases involve public or private transportation, especially railroads, land claim cases, cases argued by Evarts for the U. S. Government, or are cases dealing with problems that arose in the South after the Civil War period.
b. February 6, 1818 in Boston
Son of Jeremiah and Mehitabel (Sherman) Barnes Evarts; grandson of Roger Sherman
Graduated from Yale College in 1837, LL.B, Dane Law School of Harvard College
Admitted to the New York bar in 1841
1843 formed law firm in N.Y.C. with Charles E. Butler. Cases included: Monroe Edwards, forger; Savannah privateers; Prize cases during Civil War
1843, he married Helen Minerva Wardner; they had twelve children.
1849-1853 Evarts served as assistant district attorney for the southern district of N.Y.
1860 became chairman of the New York delegation to the Republican National Convention
Served as counsel for Johnson's defense in the Impeachment trial of President Johnson in 1868
Attorney general of the U.S. under President Johnson, July 1868-March 1869.
1870-1880, Evarts served as president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York
1871-1872 one of the counsel for the U.S. in the Geneva arbitration proceedings on the Alabama claims
1877 argued claims before electoral commission for Rutherford B. Hayes and the Republican party in the Hayes-Tilden presidential election dispute
U.S. Secretary of state during the Hayes administration (1877-1881)
U.S. Senator, 1885-1891
- Series I. Papers re. New York City Ferry Franchise, 1851-1860.1851-1860.
Copiesof court proceedings and Evarts' notes and memos on two cases. Mostpapers relate to the complaint brought by New York State against NewYork City disputing which governing body had the right to establishand control the operation of ferries between New York, Long Island,and the city of Brooklyn. William Maxwell Evarts acted as attorneyfor the City.
- Series II. Papers re. U.S. Navy Yard, East River, New YorkCity, 1853-1862.1853-1862.
Suitbrought by United States Government against HenryRuggles. Ruggles obtained a permit from the State of New York allowing him to erect a dockand wharf on shoreline adjacent to a U.S. Naval Yard and Hospital onthe East River. The U.S. sued, saying that the docks and wharveswould negatively affect the shoreline and the yard's accessibility toships. Also includes material from a related suit brought by thePeople of the State of New York v. Ruggles over water rights.
- Series III. Papers re. New York City Street Railways, 1858-1885.1858-1885.
Includes printed, annotated, and manuscript court records andrelated documents from trials that Evarts was involved in thatconcerned railway rights in New York City.
- Series IV. Papers re. U. S. Government interest in CottonSalvage Cases, 1865-18691865-1869
- Series V. Papers re. the Missouri Test Oath Cases, 1866-18691866-1869
- Series VI. Newspaper clippings re. The Geneva AwardDisposition, 18731873
- Series VII. Papers re. The Cañon del Rio de Chama Land Grant,New Mexico, 18741874
- Series VIII. Papers re. Railroad Cases, 1856-18691856-1869
- Series IX. Papers re. Miscellaneous Litigation
- Series X. Miscellaneous Papers
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Evarts, William Maxwell. Papers, 1849-1887: Finding Aid
- Harvard Law School LibraryCambridge, MA 02138
- EAD ID
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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