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now mentioned seem to me not only to lack any warrant of authority, but to be inconsistent with the express ratio decidendi of the authorities, which, here at any rate, must be received as decisive.”


The Harvard Law School has been peculiarly favored in the men who, from its earliest days to the present time, have filled the positions of professors and lecturers. The oldest professorship is the Royall professorship, which was endowed by Hon. Isaac Royall in 1779. The first incumbent was Hon. Isaac Parker, Chief Justice of Massachusetts, who held the position from 1816 to 1827. His successors have been: John H. Ashmun, 1829–1833; Simon Greenleaf, 1833–1846; Hon. William Kent, son of Chancellor Kent, 1846–1847; Hon. Joel Parker, Chief Justice of New Hampshire, 1847–1867; Hon. Nathaniel Holmes, Associate Justice of Missouri, 1868–1872; James B. Thayer, 1874–1883; John C. Gray, 1883– —.

When Chief Justice Parker was appointed to the Royall professorship, Hon. Asahel Stearns was selected as a colleague, and was assigned to the University professorship, a position which he held from 1817 to 1829. Subsequent holders of this professorship are Hon. F. H. Allen, 1849–1850; Hon. Emory Washburn, 1855–1862.

In 1829, a date of reorganization in the history of the School, Hon. Nathan Dane gave funds for Dane Hall, and to endow a professorship, to which Hon. Joseph Story was to be appointed. Judge Story was the Dane professor from this date till his death, in 1845. Certain precedence was attached to this professorship, and therefore on Professor Story’s death, Professor Greenleaf was advanced to the vacant place. Theophilus Parsons was his successor in 1848. When this professorship again became vacant, in 1870, C. C. Langdell was selected, and later, by the choice of the Faculty, became the Dean, or executive head of the School.

In 1862, funds left by Benj. Bussey became available. The endowment of the University professorship was increased, and it was then called the Bussey professorship. Emory Washburn was the professor till 1876, and on his death, Hon. Chas. S. Bradley, Chief Justice of Rhode Island, was appointed. In 1879 James Barr Ames became the Bussey professor. In 1881 an anonymous gift was made to the School, by means of which a new professorship was endowed. Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., held it until his appointment to the supreme bench of Massachusetts, whereupon James B. Thayer was transferred from the Royall professorship.

In 1883 an assistant professorship was established, and Wm. A. Keener selected to fill it.

Besides these many noted writers and teachers who have been professors, the following have been lecturers or instructors in the School:—

Charles Sumner, J. C. Alvord, Henry Wheaton, Luther S. Cushing, Franklin Dexter, Edward G. Loring, Edward Everett, Richard H. Dana, Jr., Benj. R. Curtis, Benj. F. Thomas, Nicholas St. John Green, John Lathrop, Edmund H. Bennett, Henry Howland, Brooks Adams, G. F. Bigelow, Louis D. Brandeis, Charles M. Barnes, Henry W. Torrey, Jos. B. Warner, William Schofield.


We have received from Mr. P. Edward Dove of London, the Hon. Secretary of the Selden Society, a learned opinion given by him on a