John Pitman, 1785-1864, correspondence from Joseph Story and others
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Extent1 boxes (.3 linear feet)
During this time period, the Supreme Court worked closely with the federal circuit courts, overseeing hearings and advising judges. Each circuit had a Supreme Court justice assigned to it, and Joseph Story served as the justice for New England . Much of his correspondence to Pitman concerned legal matters, often touching on the disbursement of costs. One legal matter that dominated the end of their correspondence was the Dorr Rebellion, and the case of Luther v. Borden, which went to the Supreme Court after Story’s death. However, the two were friends before Pitman took up his position in Providence, and their friendship grew stronger as they worked together. Many letters touch on personal matters such as family illnesses and deaths, as well as happy events such as weddings and graduations. Although Story began teaching law at Harvard University in 1829, none of his correspondence to Pitman touches upon Harvard or his teaching.
Pitman was born February 23, 1785, in Providence, RI, and at age 10 entered college at Rhode Island College (now Brown University). He remained tied to the University, earning his JD in 1843 and serving as a trustee or fellow for 36 years. In the seven years between graduating college and becoming eligible to become a member of the bar (at age 21), Pitman studied law in New York. In 1806 he was admitted to practice both in the mayor’s court of New York and in the New York Supreme Court. Pitman practiced law in New York, and then moved to Kentucky for two years. In 1809 he made his final return to New England where many of his professional relationships flourished. He practiced law in Providence for three years until moving to Salem. From there, Pitman worked in Portsmouth, NH for four years, finally returning to Providence in 1820, where he remained until his death, November 17, 1864.
- Series I. Correspondence - Joseph Story to John Pitman, 1817-1845 1817-1845
- Series II. Correspondence - Supreme Court Justices to JohnPitman, 1850-1864 1850-1864
- Series III. Other correspondents to John Pitman, 1818-1857 1818-1857
- Series IV. Business and Personal records, 1820-1869 1820-1869
Withineach series and/or subseries individual items or folders areidentified by box and folder number. For example, the number 5-12corresponds to box 5, folder 12.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Existence and Location of Copies
- Pitman, John, 1785-1864. Correspondence from Joseph Story and others, 1817-1869
- Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA 02138
- EAD ID
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