COLLECTION GUIDES

1648-1923

Guide to the Microfilm Edition


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the papers of lawyer, congressman, and chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Lemuel Shaw. Included are Lemuel Shaw papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Social Law Library of Boston.

Biographical Sketch

Lemuel Shaw was born in Barnstable, Mass., on January 9, 1781, the son of Rev. Oakes Shaw and Susanna Hayward Shaw. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 1800, taught for a year at South Reading School in Boston, and, in the fall of 1801, entered the law office of David Everett. In 1804, he was admitted to the bar of Hillsborough County, N.H., and the bar of the Court of Common Pleas, Plymouth County, Mass. He opened a private practice in Boston in 1805 and joined the office of Thomas A. Selfridge later that year.

Shaw took a strongly Federalist position in politics and made several speeches in support of the candidacy of Christopher Gore for governor. From 1811 to 1815, Shaw served as a representative to the Massachusetts General Court and became a prominent leader in the community: he was a director (and later counsel) of the New England Bank and the first secretary of the Washington Benevolent Society, a Federalist political organization. He addressed the Humane Society of Massachusetts and delivered the 1815 Fourth of July oration in Boston. After his tenure at the General Court, Shaw returned to full-time practice of the law, partnering with Daniel Rockwood. Between 1818 and 1820, he was a selectman of Boston, a member of the Boston School Committee, and a fire warden of Boston.

In 1820, Shaw returned to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he was one of the managers of the impeachment proceedings against Probate Judge James Prescott. He also served as a member of the 1820 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention. A state senator from 1821 to 1822, he worked with Asahel Stearns and Theron Metcalf on a commission to revise the laws of the Commonwealth and drafted the act of incorporation and the charter of Boston. Shaw resumed his law practice in 1822 with a new partner, Sidney Bartlett, but he continued to participate in local politics: he was a school committeeman from 1827 to 1831, a representative in 1829, and the head of a Boston committee opposing the tariff in 1829. An active participant in Harvard affairs, he served as a member of the Board of Overseers from 1831 to 1853 and a fellow from 1834 until his death.

As a young man, Lemuel Shaw had been engaged to Nancy Melvill, the daughter of Major Thomas Melvill, but she had died before the couple could marry. In 1818, Shaw married Elizabeth Knapp, the daughter of Boston merchant Josiah Knapp. She died in 1822, leaving him with two children: John Oakes Shaw and Elizabeth Shaw. (Elizabeth Shaw would later marry author Herman Melville.) Lemuel Shaw re-married in August 1827, and he and his second wife, Hope Savage Shaw, had two sons: Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and Samuel Savage Shaw.

When Chief Justice Isaac Parker of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court died in July 1830, Governor Levi Lincoln appointed Lemuel Shaw to the post. During his 30-year tenure on the bench, Shaw wrote approximately 2,200 opinions and presided over many cases dealing with emerging industry and public utilities. He had enormous influence in railroad and common-carrier cases. With Farwell v. Boston & Worcester R.R. (1842), he established the "fellow servant" rule in American law, which prevented an employee, injured through the negligence of a fellow employee, from bringing suit against his employer. Shaw's ruling in Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842) repudiated criminal-conspiracy prosecutions of labor unions. And in the case of Commonwealth v. Alger (1850), he helped to delineate more clearly the police power of the state.

Though Shaw's reputation as chief justice is based primarily on his decisions related to problems of industry, he presided over many controversial cases, including cases of arson and murder. Commonwealth v. Buzzell (1834) involved the burning of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Mass., by anti-Catholic rioters. In Commonwealth v. Rogers (1844), Shaw sought to broaden the tests for legal insanity by incorporating the doctrine of "irresistible impulse." His opinion in Roberts v. City of Boston (1850) was the first American ruling on the subject of segregation. And in Commonwealth v. Webster (1850), Shaw sentenced John White Webster, convicted of the murder of George Parkman, to hang. Shaw was also involved in various fugitive slave cases, including that of Thomas Sims (1851), who was arrested in Boston and whom Shaw refused to release. Shaw's opinion in the Sims case was the first extensive sustention of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act.

Lemuel Shaw died on March 30, 1861.

Sources

Adlow, Elijah. The Genius of Lemuel Shaw: Expounder of the Common Law. Boston: Massachusetts Bar Association, 1962.

Chase, Frederic H. Lemuel Shaw: Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1830-1860. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1918.

Levy, Leonard W. The Law of the Commonwealth and Chief Justice Shaw. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957.

Shaw, Samuel S. "Lemuel Shaw, Early and Domestic Life." Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. Vol. 4. Boston: New England Historic and Genealogical Society, 1885. 200-229.

Collection Description

This microfilm edition consists of Lemuel Shaw papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) and the Social Law Library of Boston. Papers at the MHS include two collections: the Lemuel Shaw papers (Ms. N-919) and the Lemuel Shaw papers II (Ms. N-920).

The Lemuel Shaw papers (Reels 1-19) contain personal and professional papers, as well as papers of the interrelated Shaw, Savage, Melvill, Cargill, and Knapp families. Family papers include correspondence of Susanna Hayward Shaw, Elizabeth Knapp Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, Elizabeth Shaw Melville, Herman Melville, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and John Oakes Shaw, as well as an account book of Oakes Shaw and diaries of Samuel Savage Shaw and Caroline Cobb Shaw. Lemuel Shaw's professional papers relate to his legal practice and his career as chief justice and include correspondence, writ books, and account ledgers. Among the subjects covered are the Goldthwaite land patent in New York and the Penobscot Bank in Maine. Correspondents include William Sullivan, Daniel Henshaw, Charles G. Loring, Daniel Webster, Charles P. Curtis, James T. Austin, Charles Sumner, Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882), Leverett Saltonstall, Timothy Fuller, and many other prominent lawyers, jurists, and politicians. This collection also contains papers of Thomas Melvill and records of Charles Savage of Savage & Co. (Louisville, Kentucky).

The Lemuel Shaw papers II (Reels 20-21) contain papers related to Shaw's study and practice of law, including correspondence, writ books, and account books. Shaw family papers in this collection consist of letters from his son Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and diaries of Samuel Savage Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, and Caroline Cobb Shaw.

The Lemuel Shaw papers at Social Law Library (Reels 22-46) consist of correspondence, memoranda, deeds, printed items, and other papers related to Shaw's private practice; miscellaneous family papers; and 52 volumes of the minutes of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court kept by Lemuel Shaw during his tenure as chief justice.

Note: Beginning in the 1830s, some members of the Melvill family began to spell their surname "Melville." The name is spelled "Melvill" throughout this guide, except in the case of Herman Melville and members of his immediate family.

Acquisition Information

The first Lemuel Shaw papers were given to the Massachusetts Historical Society by Samuel Savage Shaw in 1911. After his death in 1919, the bulk of the Shaw papers came to the MHS from Josephine MacChord Shaw, Lemuel Shaw's granddaughter. From 1919 to 1932, she continued to add to the MHS's collection, donating such items as the diaries and almanacs of Hope Savage Shaw, Caroline Cobb Shaw, and Samuel Savage Shaw. In 1946, Frederic H. Chase, an early biographer of Lemuel Shaw, gave some Shaw papers to the MHS, and additional papers came later from Theodore Chase and the estate of Frank W. Grinnell.

The Shaw collection at the Social Law Library began in 1910, when Samuel Savage Shaw gave the library the 52 bound volumes of the minutes of the Supreme Judicial Court in Lemuel Shaw's handwriting. The legal correspondence that forms the rest of that collection was most likely added by Josephine MacChord Shaw after the death of Samuel Savage Shaw.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Lemuel Shaw papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1648-1923

A. Loose papers, 1648-1923

Arranged chronologically.

This subseries contains the personal and professional papers of Lemuel Shaw and papers of the Shaw, Savage, Melvill, Cargill, and Knapp families. Included in the family papers are letters from Lemuel Shaw to his mother, Susanna Hayward Shaw; papers of Thomas Melvill; records and accounts of Charles Savage of Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky.; and correspondence among the interrelated families. Correspondents include Elizabeth Knapp Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, John Oakes Shaw, Elizabeth Shaw Melville, Herman Melville, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and Samuel Savage Shaw.

Shaw's professional papers relate to his legal practice and his career as chief justice. Included is correspondence with clients and colleagues on cases, points of law, and current legal and political issues. Among the subjects covered are the Goldthwaite land patent in New York and the Penobscot Bank in Maine. Correspondents include William Sullivan, Daniel Henshaw, Charles G. Loring, Daniel Webster, Charles P. Curtis, James T. Austin, Charles Sumner, Richard H. Dana (1815-1882), Leverett Saltonstall, Timothy Fuller, and many other prominent lawyers, jurists, and politicians.

Reel 1Folder 1Frame 1-124
1648-1732

Deeds, letters, and other papers of the Savage and Cargill families. The Cargill papers deal primarily with the settlement of Londonderry, N.H., and Newcastle, Me.

Reel 1Folder 2Frame 125-401
1733-1758

Deeds, letters, and other papers of the Savage and Cargill families and material related to the Scots' Charitable Society of Boston. The Cargill papers deal primarily with the family of David Cargill while in Newcastle, Me.

Reel 1Folder 3Frame 402-710
1759-1774

Papers of the Savage, Cargill, Hayward, and Melvill families and material related to the Scots' Charitable Society of Boston. The Savage and Cargill papers consist mostly of accounts and family letters. The Hayward papers include letters to and from Susanna Hayward, later Lemuel Shaw's mother. The Melvill papers are primarily accounts of Thomas Melvill.

Reel 1Folder 4Frame 711-1029
1775-1784

Papers of the Shaw and Savage families. The Shaw papers consist primarily of letters and papers of Oakes Shaw and Susanna Hayward Shaw. The Savage papers include Revolutionary War letters and business items.

Reel 2Folder 1Frame 1-364
1785-1792

Papers of the Shaw, Savage, Melvill, and Cargill families. The Shaw papers include letters of Susanna Hayward Shaw, John Hayward Shaw (Lemuel Shaw's brother), and Oakes Shaw. The Savage papers relate primarily to Samuel Phillips Savage. Included are papers of Thomas Melvill while he was naval officer for the port of Boston.

Reel 2Folder 2Frame 365-643
1793-1794

Papers of the Shaw, Cargill, and Melvill families. Included are letters from John Hayward Shaw (Lemuel Shaw's brother) to Oakes Shaw and Susanna Hayward Shaw, papers on Oakes Shaw's financial troubles with his parish, and papers related to the financial affairs of David Cargill. The Melvill papers primarily concern the war between Britain and France.

Reel 2Folder 3Frame 644-1006
1795-1798

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, Cargill, and Savage families. The Shaw papers include family letters and material on Lemuel Shaw's admission to Harvard. The Melvill, Cargill, and Savage papers consist primarily of business papers.

Reel 2Folder 4Frame 1007-1196
1799-1801

Papers of the Shaw, Savage, Melvill, and Knapp families. Included are Shaw family letters; letters of Samuel Savage dealing with the estate of his father, Samuel Phillips Savage; business papers of Thomas Melvill; and a letter to Elizabeth Knapp, later Lemuel Shaw's first wife.

Reel 2Folder 5Frame 1197-1332
1802-1803

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Savage families. Included are Shaw family letters, business papers of Thomas Melvill, and one letter to Samuel Savage.

Reel 3AFolder 1Frame 1-338
1804-1806

Letters, diaries, and business papers of the Shaw family and a few Melvill and Savage papers. Included is correspondence between Lemuel Shaw and Susanna Hayward Shaw.

Reel 3AFolder 2Frame 339-475
1807

Papers related to the death of Oakes Shaw and receipts of Lemuel Shaw for professional services.

Reel 3BFolder 3Frame 476-790
1808-1810

Professional papers of Lemuel Shaw, correspondence with Susanna Hayward Shaw and John Hayward Shaw, and Melvill and Savage papers. Included are drafts of Lemuel Shaw's speeches on the Embargo and the candidacy of Christopher Gore for governor.

Reel 3BFolder 4Frame 791-999
1811

Letters and professional papers of Lemuel Shaw, particularly concerning the failure of the Penobscot Bank in Maine. Also included are Savage and Melvill papers.

Reel 3BFolder 5Frame 1000-1325
1812-1813

Correspondence and accounts of the Shaw family, professional papers, and a few Savage and Melvill papers. The Shaw family letters consist primarily of correspondence between Lemuel Shaw and Susanna Hayward Shaw. The professional papers include material related to claims against the Penobscot Bank, as well as a speech and a letter of Lemuel Shaw on political matters.

Reel 3BFolder 6Frame 1325-1660
1814-1815

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, Savage, and Knapp families. The Shaw papers consist of family letters and professional papers of Lemuel Shaw, especially related to the Goldthwaite Patent in New York and the Penobscot Bank. Also included are papers of Thomas Melvill as surveyor of the port of Boston and Savage and Knapp family letters.

Reel 4Folder 1Frame 1-286
1816-1817

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, Savage, and Dall families. The Shaw papers include family letters concerning Lemuel Shaw's approaching marriage to Elizabeth Knapp and professional correspondence of Lemuel Shaw with clients and other attorneys. Melvill, Savage, and Dall family papers consist of letters and accounts.

Reel 4Folder 2Frame 287-567
1818-1819

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, Savage, and Craigie families. The Shaw papers consist of family letters and professional papers, especially on the Goldthwaite Patent in New York. The Melvill papers include material on the Scottish estates of the Melvill family and business correspondence. Also included are family letters to Hope Savage and her daughter Hope, later Lemuel Shaw's second wife, and papers concerning the estate of Andrew Craigie.

Reel 4Folder 3Frame 568-964
Jan.-Feb. 1820

Business papers of Charles Savage and Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky., as well as a few Shaw papers on the Goldthwaite Patent.

Reel 4Folder 4Frame 965-1275
Mar. 1820

Business papers of Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky., and a few Shaw and Melvill papers.

Reel 5Folder 1Frame 1-113
Apr. 1820-Aug. 1821

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, Savage, and Craigie families. The Shaw papers consist of family letters, papers related to the Goldthwaite Patent, and material on Lemuel Shaw's political career. Also included are Melvill family letters; letters from Susan Savage in Kentucky to Hope Savage, later Lemuel Shaw's second wife; and a few papers on the estate of Andrew Craigie.

Reel 5Folder 2Frame 114-255
Sep. 1821-Feb. 1822

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Craigie families. The Shaw papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with clients about debt collections and three letters to Lemuel Shaw concerning bills before the Massachusetts General Court. The Melvill papers relate to the debts of Thomas Melvill, Jr. Also included is one item on the estate of Andrew Craigie.

Reel 5Folder 3Frame 256-393
Mar.-June 1822

Personal, political, and legal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Included is Lemuel Shaw's correspondence on the death of Elizabeth Knapp Shaw; papers related to Harvard; a letter from Congressman Timothy Fuller on events in Washington; and professional correspondence with clients, especially Long Wharf and the New England Bank. Attorney William Sullivan is a frequent correspondent. Also included are a few Melvill and Savage papers.

Reel 6Folder 1Frame 1-224
July-Aug. 1822

Papers of the Shaw and Savage families. The Shaw papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with clients and other attorneys and papers related to Harvard College. The Savage papers include material on Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky.

Reel 6Folder 2Frame 225-446
Sep.-Oct. 1822

Papers of the Shaw and Savage families. The Shaw papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with clients and friends on pending cases. The Savage papers include material on Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky., and on Charles Savage's attempts to purchase lead mines on the Upper Mississippi.

Reel 6Folder 3Frame 447-635
Nov.-Dec. 1822

Papers of the Shaw and Savage families. The Shaw papers include Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with clients on deeds and debts, as well as Shaw family letters. The Savage papers consist of business papers of Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky., and Savage family letters.

Reel 6Folder 4Frame 636-835
Jan.-Feb. 1823

Papers of the Shaw and Savage families. The Shaw papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with clients, including material on the Goldthwaite Patent and Long Wharf, as well as three letters to Lemuel Shaw from Congressman Timothy Fuller on political developments in Washington. Also included are business papers of Savage & Co., Louisville, Ky.

Reel 6Folder 5Frame 836-1051
Mar.-Aug. 1823

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Savage families. The Shaw papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with Long Wharf, the New England Bank, and other clients, as well as letters from Andrew Ritchie to Lemuel Shaw on life in Europe. Also included are papers related to Allan Melvill's financial problems and Savage business papers.

Reel 7Folder 1Frame 1-167
Sep.-Dec. 1823

Professional correspondence of Lemuel Shaw with clients and other attorneys about cases, depositions, wills, and deeds. The principal correspondents are Mary Cochran, the directors of Long Wharf, Daniel Henshaw, and William Sullivan. Also included are a few Savage papers.

Reel 7Folder 2Frame 168-446
Jan.-June 1824

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Savage families. The Shaw papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with Mary Cochran, Daniel Henshaw, Long Wharf, and other clients, as well as letters from Congressmen John Reed and Timothy Fuller on the Washington political scene, Webster's speeches, and the tariff debates. Included are papers of Thomas Melvill, Charles Savage, and Dr. Samuel Savage.

Reel 7Folder 3Frame 447-660
July-Dec. 1824

Professional correspondence of Lemuel Shaw about debts, promissory notes, pending cases, and depositions, as well as papers on Lemuel Shaw's activities serving Boston. Correspondents include Reverend Jacob Norton, Congressman John Reed, Daniel Henshaw, Leverett Saltonstall, and Justice Joseph Story.

Reel 7Folder 4Frame 661-880
Jan.-June 1825

Papers of the Shaw and Savage families. Included is Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with Mary Cochran, Daniel Henshaw, William Sullivan, and others; letters from Josiah Quincy, mayor of Boston, on city affairs; letters from John Knapp, Elizabeth Knapp Shaw's brother, on Washington political news; and letters from the New South Meeting House about the Harvard Theological School. The Savage papers consist of family and business papers.

Reel 7Folder 5Frame 881-1096
July-Dec. 1825

Professional correspondence of Lemuel Shaw with clients about trials, depositions, debts, and receipts. Also included are papers related to the settlement of Daniel Henshaw's estate; material on Lemuel Shaw's concern with the Boston school system; and a few Savage items.

Reel 8Folder 1Frame 1-221
Jan.-July 1826

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Savage families. The Shaw papers consist of professional papers of Lemuel Shaw, including items on the Goldthwaite Patent and Abiel Holbrook's debt, as well as a letter from John Knapp to Lemuel Shaw about his argument before the Supreme Court and debates in Congress. Included are letters and receipts of Thomas Melvill and a few papers related to Charles Savage.

Reel 8Folder 2Frame 222-455
Aug.-Dec. 1826

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw and a few Savage papers. The Shaw papers include correspondence with clients and attorneys related to the Long Wharf, Suffolk Bank, Worcester Bank, and Mary Cochran cases; papers concerning Lemuel Shaw's election as a trustee of the Social Law Library and a member of the Boston School Committee; and letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage, soon to be his second wife.

Reel 8Folder 3Frame 456-751
Jan.-May 1827

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Correspondence with clients and attorneys relates to Mary Cochran, the Goldthwaite Patent, and the lands of Josiah Knapp. Also included are letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage, one of which mentions the Charles River Bridge case.

Reel 8Folder 4Frame 752-1113
June-Dec. 1827

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Correspondence with clients and attorneys relates to legal matters, including the case of Shaw v. Poor. Also included are letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage and others about their marriage and a letter from Congressman John Reed on events in Washington.

Reel 9Folder 1Frame 1-247
Jan.-May 1828

Papers of the Shaw and Savage families. Included is Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence about the Long Wharf case, the Goldthwaite Patent, and other matters; Shaw family letters; a letter to Lemuel Shaw from Congressman Benjamin Gorham on Congressional debates over slavery; and letters to Lemuel Shaw from his brothers-in-law William Henry Savage and Charles Savage. The letters from Charles Savage were written from Guatemala.

Reel 9Folder 2Frame 248-550
June-Dec. 1828

Papers of the Shaw and Melvill families. The Shaw papers include Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with Attorney William Sullivan and others on such matters as the Charles River Bridge case; an anecdote about an exchange between Daniel Webster and Chief Justice Isaac Parker; and Shaw and Savage family letters. The Melvill papers consist of receipts and deeds of Thomas Melvill and a letter from Allan Melvill that mentions Herman Melville.

Reel 9Folder 3Frame 551-904
1829

Papers of the Shaw and Melvill families. The Shaw papers include Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence on Andrew Craigie's estate, the Holbrook debt, requirements for admission to the Massachusetts bar, Lemuel Shaw's Kentucky lands, and other matters, as well as Shaw family letters. The Melvill papers consist of receipts, accounts, and correspondence of Thomas Melvill with John DeWolf, Joseph Anderson, and others.

Reel 9Folder 4Frame 905-1308
1830

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw and a few Melvill items. The Shaw papers include material on the Charles River Bridge case and the Goldthwaite Patent; two letters to Lemuel Shaw from Daniel Webster; and correspondence between Lemuel Shaw and Hope Savage Shaw discussing, among other things, whether or not Lemuel Shaw should accept the chief justiceship.

Reel 10Folder 1Frame 1-298
Jan.-July 1831

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw and receipts of Thomas Melvill. The Shaw papers include Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with lawyers and county court clerks about cases and appointments; letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage Shaw about his election to the Harvard Board of Overseers and other matters; and a letter from Dr. Timothy Jennison to Lemuel Shaw about Dr. Benjamin Church and his allegedly treasonable activities during the Revolution.

Reel 10Folder 2Frame 299-538
Aug.-Dec. 1831

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw, receipts of Thomas Melvill, and papers related to the estate of Dr. Samuel Savage. The Shaw papers consist of Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with lawyers and clerks about court calendars, selection of jurors, case reports, and other matters, as well as letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage Shaw. Included are papers related to the centennial celebration of Worcester County, Mass., at which Lemuel Shaw spoke, and a short autobiographical sketch of Lemuel Shaw.

Reel 10Folder 3Frame 539-973
1832

Papers of the Shaw and Melvill families and a few papers related to the estate of Dr. Samuel Savage. Included is Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with Melvill family members about the death of Thomas Melvill and his role as executor of his estate; letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage Shaw; and correspondence related to Lemuel Shaw's Kentucky lands and to Harvard.

Reel 10Folder 4Frame 974-1123
1833

Papers of the Shaw and Melvill families. Included is Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with Melvill family members about the estate of Thomas Melvill; letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage Shaw; correspondence related to his Kentucky lands, the Goldthwaite Patent, and the Andrew Craigie estate; and letters from clerks and attorneys on court business.

Reel 10Folder 5Frame 1124-1300
1834

Papers of the Shaw and Melvill families. Included is Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with Melvill family members about the estate of Thomas Melvill; letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage Shaw; correspondence related to his Kentucky lands, the Goldthwaite Patent, and Harvard matters; and three items on the trial of those accused of burning the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Mass.

Reel 11Folder 1Frame 1-420
1835-1836

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Included is correspondence about juries, court rules, new trials, pending decisions, points of law, and other matters. The primary correspondents are Marcus Morton, Samuel Putnam, Benjamin Curtis, Charles P. Curtis, Charles G. Loring, and Ellis Gray Loring. Personal papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with John Oakes Shaw, Susanna Hayward Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, and his college classmate Timothy Boutelle.

Reel 11Folder 2Frame 421-554
Jan.-June 1837

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw, Knapp family papers, and letters from Thomas Melvill, Jr., about his father's estate. The Shaw papers include Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with Charles P. Curtis, William Sullivan, Charles P. Huntington, and others about clerkships, the court calendar, court rules, and reports. Personal papers consist of letters from John Oakes Shaw and Hope Savage Shaw.

Reel 11Folder 3Frame 555-663
July-Dec. 1837

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Included is correspondence with Justice Samuel Putnam, Justice Charles Dewey, Massachusetts Attorney General James T. Austin, Charles P. Curtis, and others on legal matters; letters from John Oakes Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, and Dr. Amos Nourse; business correspondence about the Goldthwaite Patent and Lemuel Shaw's Kentucky lands; and letters from Thomas Melvill, Jr., and his son Robert Melvill.

Reel 11Folder 4Frame 664-794
1838

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence with Leverett Saltonstall and others on legal matters, as well as business letters related to the Goldthwaite Patent and Lemuel Shaw's Kentucky lands. Personal papers include letters from Rev. Enoch Pratt about the history of Barnstable and letters from Rev. Joseph Allen about the education of Lemuel Shaw, Jr. Additional correspondents are Hope Savage Shaw, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., Thomas Melvill, Jr., and Robert Melvill.

Reel 11Folder 5Frame 795-998
1839

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence with Justice Samuel Putnam, Justice Charles Dewey, and others on legal matters, as well as business letters related to the Goldthwaite Patent and Lemuel Shaw's Kentucky lands. Personal papers include letters from Rev. Joseph Allen about the education of Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and letters from Justice Joseph Story and Josiah Quincy on Harvard matters. Additional correspondents are Hope Savage Shaw, John Oakes Shaw, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., Dr. Amos Nourse, Lucy Melvill Nourse, Thomas Melvill, Jr., and Robert Melvill.

Reel 12Folder 1Frame 1-228
Jan.-May 1840

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers include correspondence with Justice Samuel Putnam, Justice Charles Dewey, lawyers Simon Greenleaf and Charles Warren, and others on legal matters. Personal papers consist of letters from Hope Savage Shaw, John Oakes Shaw, Dr. Amos Nourse, and Josiah Quincy. Also included are letters from Thomas Melvill, Jr., and his son Robert Melvill.

Reel 12Folder 2Frame 229-476
June-Dec. 1840

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers include correspondence about the Boston courthouse, clerkships, oral arguments, case reports, and other matters. Personal papers consist of letters from Hope Savage Shaw, John Oakes Shaw, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., Timothy Boutelle, and Dr. Amos Nourse. Also included are letters from Rev. Joseph Allen about Lemuel Shaw, Jr.'s unhappiness at school, as well as letters from Thomas Melvill, Jr., and his son Robert Melvill.

Reel 12Folder 3Frame 477-694
1841

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence on matters before the Supreme Judicial Court and a petition from members of the Suffolk Bar to revise chancery rules. Also included are personal letters from Hope Savage Shaw, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., Dr. Amos Nourse, and Rev. Joseph Allen; letters from Captain John Percival about various grievances; notes from Josiah Quincy on Harvard matters; correspondence between Lemuel Shaw and Artemas Ward about a bequest to Harvard; and letters from Thomas Melvill, Jr., and his son Robert Melvill.

Reel 12Folder 4Frame 695-1034
1842

Papers of the Shaw and Melvill families. The Shaw papers include Lemuel Shaw's professional correspondence with Charles Dewey, Charles P. Curtis, Henry H. Fuller, and others on matters before the Supreme Judicial Court and the legislature; Lemuel Shaw's personal correspondence with Hope Savage Shaw, Lucy Melvill Nourse, Amos Nourse, Rev. Joseph Allen, and Timothy Boutelle; letters to Lemuel Shaw from Andrew Ritchie, writing from Paris, about French politics; letters of introduction for John Oakes Shaw prior to his going to Chicago; and letters to Lemuel Shaw from John Oakes Shaw after his arrival. The Melvill papers consist of letters to Lemuel Shaw from Thomas Melvill, Jr.; Robert Melvill; and Maria G. Melville, Herman Melville's mother. Included are letters from Herman Melville's oldest brother, Gansevoort Melville, describing his life as a young lawyer in New York City.

Reel 12Folder 5Frame 1035-1174
1843

Papers of the Shaw, Knapp, and Melvill families. The Shaw papers consist of personal letters to Lemuel Shaw from family members, especially letters from John Oakes Shaw about business prospects in Illinois. The Knapp papers relate to Josiah Knapp and his death. The Melvill papers include letters to Lemuel Shaw from Thomas Melvill, Jr., about Melvill property in Pittsfield, Mass.

Reel 13Folder 1Frame 1-297
1844

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with court clerks and lawyers about cases, juries, trials, and court calendars. Included is correspondence with Richard Henry Dana, Jr., about the case of Commonwealth v. York. Personal papers consist of correspondence with family members, including letters from John Oakes Shaw about his marriage in Illinois to Caroline Sarah Cobb. Also included are letters from Thomas Melvill, Jr., and his son Robert Melvill and papers related to the estates of Josiah Knapp and Andrew Carnegie.

Reel 13Folder 2Frame 298-459
Jan.-July 1845

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers include Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with lawyers and judges on legal matters. The primary correspondent is Judge Samuel Hubbard. Personal papers consist of correspondence with family members, school report cards of Lemuel Shaw's sons, letters of introduction for Lemuel Shaw's trip to Illinois, and Harvard College papers. Also included are letters from Thomas Melvill, Jr., Robert Melvill, and Gansevoort Melville.

Reel 13Folder 3Frame 460-584
Aug.-Dec. 1845

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence with Samuel Putnam, Charles Dewey, Henry Fuller, Charles P. Curtis, and others on legal matters; papers related to Lemuel Shaw's address at the dedication of the Worcester County courthouse; papers concerning aid for the victims of a fire in Pittsburgh; and a draft of a letter from Lemuel Shaw to Edward Everett about the presidency of Harvard. Also included are letters from Lemuel Shaw to John Melvill, Robert Melvill, and Mary Melvill about the death of Thomas Melvill, Jr.

Reel 13Folder 4Frame 585-970
1846-1847

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of Lemuel Shaw's correspondence on legal matters, including a letter from Horace Mann about a school tax case, a letter from William Story requesting material for a biography of his father Joseph Story, and one letter each from Daniel Webster and Nathaniel Bowditch. Personal papers include letters from John Oakes Shaw about his business difficulties, other Shaw family correspondence, and letters from members of the Melvill family.

Reel 14Folder 1Frame 1-213
Jan.-June 1848

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence with court clerks and lawyers, including Daniel Webster, Charles Sumner, Charles P. Curtis, Benjamin R. Curtis, and Josiah Quincy, Jr. Personal papers consist of letters to Hope Savage Shaw from Lemuel Shaw and to Lemuel Shaw from Lemuel Shaw, Jr., Samuel Savage Shaw, and Andrew Ritchie in Europe.

Reel 14Folder 2Frame 214-353
July-Dec. 1848

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Included is correspondence with Justice Charles Dewey, Charles P. Curtis, Charles Sumner, and others on legal matters; letters from Benjamin R. Curtis and Samuel Eliot on Harvard affairs; and personal letters from Hope Savage Shaw, Samuel Savage Shaw, and Andrew Ritchie in Europe.

Reel 14Folder 3Frame 354-512
1849

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence with judges and lawyers on legal matters, including letters from Benjamin R. Curtis on the revision of pleading and other legal practices in the state. Personal papers consist of correspondence between Lemuel Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and Samuel Savage Shaw, as well as letters to Lemuel Shaw from Herman Melville and Mary Melvill.

Reel 14Folder 4Frame 513-857
1850

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist primarily of material related to the case of Commonwealth v. Webster, including many letters, both positive and negative, about Lemuel Shaw's handling of the case and newspaper clippings about the case sent to him. Personal papers consist of letters from Jared Sparks and Samuel Eliot on Harvard matters, a few letters from Lemuel Shaw to Hope Savage Shaw, and two Melvill items that mention Herman Melville.

Reel 14Folder 5Frame 858-1066
1851

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Included are extensive notes by Lemuel Shaw on the case of the fugitive slave Thomas Sims; letters from Massachusetts Attorney General John Clifford and Harvard Law School Professor Joel Parker; and letters from Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and Samuel Savage Shaw while on a western trip.

Reel 15Folder 1Frame 1-256
Jan.-July 1852

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence with Judge George Bigelow, Judge Charles Dewey, Judge Theron Metcalf, Charles P. Curtis, Charles G. Loring, and Henry Fuller on legal matters. Personal papers include correspondence of Lemuel Shaw and Hope Savage Shaw with Lemuel Shaw, Jr., about his trip to Europe, together with letters of introduction for him. Also included are letters to Lemuel Shaw from Jared Sparks, Samuel Eliot, and Charles G. Loring on Harvard matters, as well as letters from Mary Melvill, Priscilla Melvill, and Dr. Amos Nourse. One of Amos Nourse's letters mentions Herman Melville.

Reel 15Folder 2Frame 257-471
Aug.-Dec. 1852

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence with judges and lawyers on routine court matters. Personal papers include correspondence between Lemuel Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, John Oakes Shaw, and Lemuel Shaw, Jr. Correspondence with Lemuel Shaw, Jr., relates primarily to his trip to Europe and contains references to Herman Melville.

Reel 15Folder 3Frame 472-831
Jan.-July 1853

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Included is correspondence with Charles Holmes, Charles P. Curtis, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., and other judges and lawyers on legal matters; letters from Caleb Cushing, one about an appointment for Herman Melville; and letters from Lemuel Shaw in Europe to Hope Savage Shaw, together with letters of introduction used by Lemuel Shaw on that trip.

Reel 15Folder 4Frame 832-957
Aug.-Dec. 1853

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw and a few Melvill family papers. Included is Lemuel Shaw's correspondence with Charles G. Loring, Charles P. Curtis, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Sidney Bartlett, and other judges and lawyers on legal matters; letters from Lemuel Shaw in Europe to Hope Savage Shaw; and letters from Lemuel Shaw, Jr.

Reel 15Folder 5Frame 958-1232
1854

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Included is correspondence with Judge George Bigelow, Judge Richard Fletcher, Judge Theron Metcalf, Charles P. Curtis, Charles G. Loring, Sidney Bartlett, and others on legal matters, as well as letters from Priscilla Melvill, Mary Melvill, and Dr. Amos Nourse. One of Amos Nourse's letters mentions Herman Melville.

Reel 16AFolder 1Frame 1-334
1855

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw, Shaw family letters, and a few Melvill papers. Lemuel Shaw's papers consist of correspondence on the everyday business of the Supreme Judicial Court and a letter from Gov. Henry Gardner concerning questions posed by the Executive Council. Also included are letters from Rev. George Ellis, Charles P. Curtis, Charles G. Loring, Robert Winthrop, Emory Washburn, and others on Harvard matters. One of the Melvill items describes a visit from Herman Melville.

Reel 16AFolder 2Frame 335-781
1856

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence about the business of the Supreme Judicial Court, including two letters from Benjamin R. Curtis. Also included are papers related to Harvard; letters from Edward Everett on electoral college procedure in Massachusetts prior to 1832; a letter from Dr. Amos Nourse about Daniel Webster's speech on fugitive slaves; a letter about the Dowse Library at the Massachusetts Historical Society; Shaw family letters, primarily from Samuel Savage Shaw in Europe, one of which contains news of Herman Melville; and letters from Mary Melvill and Priscilla Melvill.

Reel 16BFolder 3Frame 782-1192
1857

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw and a few Melvill papers. Professional papers consist of correspondence with Charles Dewey, Pliny Merrick, Theron Metcalf, Benjamin Thomas, and others about the business of the Supreme Judicial Court. Also included are papers related to Harvard and Shaw family letters, primarily from Samuel Savage Shaw in Europe. Two of the Melvill items mention Herman Melville.

Reel 16BFolder 4Frame 1193-1546
1858-1860

Professional and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw. Professional papers consist of correspondence on the business of the Supreme Judicial Court, including letters from personal friends, fellow judges, and others about Lemuel Shaw's resignation. Personal papers consist of Shaw family letters and letters related to Lemuel Shaw's efforts to get a bust of Christopher Gore for Harvard. Correspondents include sculptor Louisa Lander, Edward Lander, Philip Marett, and Robert Winthrop.

Reel 17AFolder 1Frame 1-334
1861-1870

Shaw family papers. Included are letters of condolence and other papers related to the death of Lemuel Shaw, as well as correspondence of Hope Savage Shaw, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and Samuel Savage Shaw with Louisa May Alcott, Charles Francis Adams, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Henry Sanford Gansevoort, and others.

Reel 17AFolder 2Frame 335-712
1871-1877

Shaw family papers, including letters and business papers of Hope Savage Shaw, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and Samuel Savage Shaw.

Reel 17AFolder 3Frame 713-970
1878-1889

Personal and business papers of Lemuel Shaw, Jr., and Samuel Savage Shaw. Included is a copy of the will of Ellen Gifford, with provisions for Elizabeth Shaw Melville, Herman Melville, and others.

Reel 17BFolder 4Frame 971-1498
1890-1899

Personal and business papers of Samuel Savage Shaw, primarily concerning William T. Rice and his estate.

Reel 17BFolder 5Frame 1499-1819
1900-1923

Papers of Samuel Savage Shaw until his death in 1915 and letters of Josephine MacChord Shaw on family genealogy. The papers of Samuel Savage Shaw include correspondence with Robert Rantoul on Harvard matters.

Reel 18AFolder 1Frame 1-120
Undated

Legal papers and lists of books. The legal papers, written by Lemuel Shaw, include material on Dr. Lemuel Hayward and Captain John Percival.

Reel 18AFolder 2Frame 121-309
Undated

Genealogical papers on the Shaw, Melvill, and Knapp families.

Reel 18AFolder 3Frame 310-601
Undated

Papers related to the operations of Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky.

Reel 18AFolder 4Frame 602-774
Undated

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Knapp families. The Shaw papers include material on the antecedents and descendants of the Shaw family.

Reel 18AFolder 5Frame 775-869
Undated

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Knapp families.

Reel 18BFolder 5Frame 870-1081
Undated

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Knapp families.

Reel 18BFolder 6Frame 1082-1485
Undated

Papers of the Shaw, Melvill, and Knapp families, including papers related to David Cargill and land on the Sheepscot River in Maine.

B. Volumes, 1787-1867

This subseries contains account books, diaries, and notebooks of the Shaw and Savage families. Included is an account book of Oakes Shaw, 1787-1807; accounts and diary notes of Susanna Hayward Shaw; Lemuel Shaw's translation from the French of A Political and Historical View of the Civil and Military Transactions of Bonaparte, First Consul of France, by J. Chas of Nîmes; historical notes copied by Hope Savage Shaw; a list of letters of introduction for Lemuel Shaw's European trip; papers related to Samuel Savage Shaw and the case of Munroe vs. Ward; notebooks on English history, Massachusetts colonial history, the Gospels, and other subjects; and several account books and ledgers of the Savage family and Savage & Co. of Louisville, Ky.

Reel 19Frame 1-1020

II. Lemuel Shaw papers II at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1745-1920

A. Loose papers, 1777-1920

This subseries contains correspondence regarding Lemuel Shaw's studies and law practice; papers related to his private interests, 1839-1852; a journal of his activities written by Hope Savage Shaw, 1859-1861; and papers related to his retirement in 1860, including a draft of his farewell address to members of the Massachusetts bar and their testament to him. Also included are letters from Lemuel Shaw, Jr., describing a trip to Europe, 1852-1853, with references to Abbott Lawrence, Jr., tours of colleges at Oxford, and social gatherings given by George Peabody.

Reel 20Folder 1Frame 1-265
1777-1920

Papers of the Shaw family. Included are two sermons of Oakes Shaw; two letters from Josiah Quincy to Lemuel Shaw; correspondence between Lemuel Shaw and the citizens of Barnstable about the town's bicentennial; 30 letters from Lemuel Shaw, Jr., to his family, written from Europe, 1852-1853; a diary kept by Hope Savage Shaw detailing Lemuel Shaw's last illness, 1859-1861; and a few letters from Josephine MacChord Shaw, Lemuel Shaw's granddaughter, to Frederic H. Chase, one of his biographers.

Reel 20Folder 2Frame 266-297
1818-1861

Personal papers of Lemuel Shaw, Shaw family letters, and photographs. Lemuel Shaw's personal papers include invitations for engagements while he was in England.

B. Volumes, 1745-1917

This subseries contains writ books, letterbooks, and ledgers of Lemuel Shaw, including accounts with clients, 1815-1861; diaries of Samuel Savage Shaw, Hope Savage Shaw, and Caroline Cobb Shaw (Mrs. John Oakes Shaw); an account book with occasional diary entries by Thomas Melvill, 1815-1818; and other papers of the Shaw family.

Reel 20Book 1Frame 298-385
Lemuel Shaw writ book, 1804-1814
Reel 20Book 2Frame 386-443
Lemuel Shaw letterbook, 1807-1828

Included are copies of letters from Lemuel Shaw to clients and other attorneys.

Reel 20Book 3Frame 444-623
Lemuel Shaw ledger, 1815-1830

Included are accounts with clients for legal services rendered. The ledger book contains an index in front.

Reel 20Book 4Frame 624-661
Thomas Melvill account book, 1815-1818

Included are occasional diary entries.

Reel 20Book 5Frame 662-748
Lemuel Shaw account book, 1821-1830

Included are entries listing payments made by Lemuel Shaw's clients.

Reel 20Book 6Frame 749-812
Lemuel Shaw account book, 1822-1831

Included are accounts of the Cochran family. Lemuel Shaw had been appointed guardian of the Cochran children.

Reel 20Book 7Frame 813-843
Lemuel Shaw ledger and letterbook, 1825-1830

Included are papers related to Lemuel Shaw's work as co-counsel, with Eliphalet Hale, for Timothy Wiggin, Joachim de Absedo, and Henry Hughes, all of London, in the settlement of their American claims.

Reel 20Book 8Frame 844-857
Lemuel Shaw account book, 1858-1861

Included are accounts related primarily to the administration of various trusts for the Melvill family.

Reel 20Book 9Frame 858-1026
Writ book and account book, 1847-1871

Included are papers related to the affairs of Charles E. Allen.

Reel 21ANumber 1Frame 1-1520
Samuel Savage Shaw diaries, 1851-19121 box

Hope Savage Shaw diaries and almanacs

The diaries of Hope Savage Shaw contain occasional brief entries about the activities of Lemuel Shaw, Elizabeth Shaw Melville, Herman Melville, Lemuel Shaw, Jr., Samuel Savage Shaw, and other members of the Shaw and Savage families. Subjects include visits, correspondence, deaths, and daily events. The early diaries contain a few brief entries for years prior to Hope Savage Shaw's marriage. Diaries for the years 1839-1878 are written on pages of the Boston Almanac.

Reel 21BNumber 2Frame 1521-1889
1816-18621 box
Reel 21BNumber 3Frame 1890-2067
1863-18781 box
Reel 21BNumber 4Frame 2068-2113
Caroline Cobb Shaw diaries, 1850-18791 box

Included are copies of the Farmer's Almanac used as diaries by Caroline Cobb Shaw (Mrs. John Oakes Shaw).

Reel 21BNumber 5Frame 2114-2123
Josephine MacChord Shaw papers, 1859-1917

Included are inquiries to Josephine MacChord Shaw, granddaughter of Lemuel Shaw, about photographs of Lemuel Shaw.

Reel 21BNumber 6Frame 2124-2127
Shaw family Bible, 1745-1847

Included are pages of the Shaw family Bible, kept by Lemuel Shaw, containing vital statistics of the family.

III. Lemuel Shaw papers at the Social Law Library of Boston, 1783-1867

A. Loose papers, 1783-1867

Arranged by subject.

This subseries consists primarily of papers from Lemuel Shaw's private law practice, including correspondence, notes, printed matter, and other papers. The subseries also contains papers related to personal and family matters and political subjects, as well as some material from Shaw's tenure as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.

Reel 22A-BFile 1Frame 1-878
1820s

Papers from Lemuel Shaw's private practice. Subjects include copyright, apprenticeship, smuggling, probate, the Charles River Bridge case, and other cases.

Reel 22B-CFile 2Frame 879-1916
1820s

Papers from Lemuel Shaw's private practice. Included are papers related to various estates, Long Wharf, and the town of Nantucket.

Reel 23A-BFile 3Frame 1-920
1820s

Papers from Lemuel Shaw's private practice. Subjects include estate and guardianship matters, the Dedham Bank, and the Worcester Bank.

Reel 23BFile 4Frame 921-1377
1840-1846

Minutes on capital trials, including the trial of Peter York, and case notes on Peters v. Daniel Webster.

Reel 24File 5Frame 1-1074
1820s

Papers from Lemuel Shaw's private practice. Subjects include the Charles River Bridge case, the investigation of Lieutenant John Percival, the hearings on the South Boston Bridge, and other matters. Also included are memoranda recording Shaw's private opinions on various legal matters in which he was involved.

Reel 25File 6Frame 1-576
1828-1846

Correspondence of Lemuel Shaw with Daniel Webster, William Aylwin, William Minot, Isaac Winslow, W. D. Sohier, Sidney Bartlett, Rufus Choate, Charles P. Curtis, Leverett Saltonstall, Peter O. Thacher, Charles G. Loring, Charles A. Dewey, Samuel Hubbard, Samuel Putnam, and others. Included is a letter from Abner Kneeland to Lemuel Shaw after Kneeland's conviction for blasphemy.

Reel 25File 7Frame 577-811
1819-1867

Deeds to property owned by Lemuel Shaw and papers related to the Melvill family, including an agreement of Herman Melville.

Reel 26File 8Frame 1-392
1820-1860

Papers related to the estate of Lemuel Shaw's uncle, Dr. Lemuel Hayward; the Boston Railroad Committee; and Shaw family property.

Reel 26File 9Frame 1-243
1819-1860

Papers related to the activities of the Boston School Committee, the Overseers of the Poor, the new jail on Leverett Street, the Blossom Street extension, the protests of auctioneers, and other matters.

Reel 27File 10Frame 1-645
1820s

Moot court questions compiled by the Law Debating Society, lists of books purchased by Lemuel Shaw, and personal papers of Lemuel Shaw.

Reel 27File 11Frame 646-898
1809-1825

Miscellaneous legal notes by Lemuel Shaw.

Reel 27File 12Frame 899-984
1820s

Miscellaneous printed matter, including newspapers, legislative reports, circular letters, and announcements.

Reel 28AFile 13Frame 1-763
1812-1839

Papers related to the legal affairs of the New England Bank, for which Lemuel Shaw was counsel.

Reel 28A-CFile 14Frame 764-1776
1824-1849

Drafts of opinions by Lemuel Shaw as chief justice, papers of Chief Justice Isaac Parker, material on the impeachment of Judge James Prescott, and Boston School Committee papers.

Reel 29A-BFile 15Frame 1-709
1820s

Papers on political subjects, including the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1820, the activities of the General Court in the 1820s, the tariff question, and the canals of the Connecticut River.

Reel 29BFile 16Frame 710-1705
1820s

Legal papers on the brig Ospra, the Crowninshield murder case, Long Wharf, Nantucket land partitions, Bryant v. Commonwealth Insurance Company, Simpson v. Commonwealth, Bryan v. Sullivan, and other subjects.

Reel 30AFile 17Frame 1-823
1814-1830

Drafts by Lemuel Shaw of wills, assignments, and deeds. Included are legal papers marked "settled."

Reel 30BFile 18Frame 824-1872
1783-1835

Papers related primarily to the Savage family, including papers on the estate of Dr. Samuel Savage, Hope Savage Shaw's father; pre-1800 writs issued by Samuel Phillips Savage; and family letters.

Reel 31AFile 19Frame 1-773
1825-1829

Papers on cases settled in 1825, 1828, and 1829.

Reel 31A-BFile 20Frame 774-1686
1820s

Legal papers related to Ayer v. Bartlett, Ewer v. Breed, Crombie v. Valentine, Sewall, Jr. v. Jones and Dehom, the brig Caroline, Hurd v. Cushing, Conant & Barber v. Johnson & Marsh, Chandler v. Roger, and other cases.

Reel 32A-BFile 21Frame 1-795
1807-1827

Papers from Lemuel Shaw's private practice. The principal clients are Henry K. Rogers, Nathaniel Cushing, Isaac Cushing, and Nathaniel C. Eastabrook. Included are papers related to the South Boston Bridge and the Cornish Bridge.

Reel 32BFile 22Frame 796-1576
1808-1836

Papers from Lemuel Shaw's private practice and papers related to the Supreme Judicial Court. The principal cases are Commonwealth v. Parkman, Ex parte Carr, Uriah Oakes's petition for mandamus, Robert Lucas's petition for habeas corpus, and Commonwealth v. Kenney.

Reel 33AFile 23Frame 1-107
1811-1829

Miscellaneous family papers and papers related to Harvard. Included are letters to Lemuel Shaw from his fiancée Nancy Melvill, Hope Savage Shaw, Artemas Ward, and Rev. E. Pratt of Barnstable.

Reel 33AFile 24Frame 108-430
1825-1826

Correspondence of Lemuel Shaw with Charles P. Curtis, Charles G. Loring, Samuel Hubbard, William Sullivan, William Prescott, Dr. James Thacher, and others. Also included are papers related to the Boston Athenaeum and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Reel 33AFile 25Frame 431-594
1824-1834

Papers related to the case of Miller v. Lord, Lemuel Shaw for the plaintiff.

Reel 33BVol. 1Frame 595-612
1830

Remarks by Lemuel Shaw on Chief Justice Isaac Parker, delivered in 1830.

Reel 33BVol. 2Frame 613-635
1855

Draft of Lemuel Shaw's answers to questions from the governor and council to the Supreme Judicial Court.

Reel 33BVol. 3Frame 636-752
Undated

Charges and instructions to grand juries and a compilation of capital sentences.

Reel 33BFile 26Frame 753-1177
Undated

Minutes of trials in capital cases, written by Lemuel Shaw.

B. Minutes of the Supreme Judicial Court, 1830-1860

Arranged chronologically.

This subseries consists of minutes of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, written by Lemuel Shaw during his tenure as chief justice. The volumes contain Shaw's notes on cases argued before the court, including brief summaries of the important facts in each case and notations of useful precedents and the arguments of counsel. Each volume includes an index. Three of the volumes consist of lists of cases heard by Shaw: Volume 25, 1830-1840; Volume 41, 1840-1847; and Volume 52, 1848-1860.

Reel 34Vol. 1Frame 1-264
Minutes, 1830
Reel 34Vol. 2Frame 265-537
Minutes, 1830-1831
Reel 34Vol. 3Frame 538-782
Minutes, 1831
Reel 34Vol. 4Frame 783-1042
Minutes, 1831
Reel 35Vol. 5Frame 1-257
Minutes, 1832
Reel 35Vol. 6Frame 258-531
Minutes, 1832
Reel 35Vol. 7Frame 532-881
Minutes, 1832-1833
Reel 35Vol. 8Frame 882-1134
Minutes, 1833
Reel 36Vol. 9Frame 1-294
Minutes, 1834
Reel 36Vol. 10Frame 295-588
Minutes, 1834
Reel 36Vol. 11Frame 589-898
Minutes, 1834-1835
Reel 36Vol. 12Frame 899-1191
Minutes, 1835
Reel 37Vol. 13Frame 1-276
Minutes, 1835-1836
Reel 37Vol. 14Frame 277-585
Minutes, 1836
Reel 37Vol. 15Frame 586-891
Minutes, 1836
Reel 37Vol. 16Frame 892-1221
Minutes, 1836-1837
Reel 38Vol. 17Frame 1-260
Minutes, 1837
Reel 38Vol. 18Frame 261-554
Minutes, 1837
Reel 38Vol. 19Frame 555-834
Minutes, 1838
Reel 38Vol. 20Frame 835-1146
Minutes, 1838
Reel 39Vol. 21Frame 1-332
Minutes, 1838-1839
Reel 39Vol. 22Frame 333-620
Minutes, 1839
Reel 39Vol. 23Frame 621-920
Minutes, 1839-1840
Reel 39Vol. 24Frame 921-1251
Minutes, 1840
Reel 40Vol. 25Frame 1-286
List of cases heard by Lemuel Shaw, 1830-1840
Reel 40Vol. 26Frame 287-586
Minutes, 1840-1841
Reel 40Vol. 27Frame 587-920
Minutes, 1841
Reel 40Vol. 28Frame 921-1234
Minutes, 1841
Reel 41AVol. 29Frame 1-283
Minutes, 1842
Reel 41AVol. 30Frame 284-619
Minutes, 1842-1843
Reel 41BVol. 31Frame 620-893
Minutes, 1843
Reel 41BVol. 32Frame 894-1205
Minutes, 1843-1844
Reel 42Vol. 33Frame 1-326
Minutes, 1844
Reel 42Vol. 34Frame 327-625
Minutes, 1844-1845
Reel 42Vol. 35Frame 626-953
Minutes, 1845
Reel 42Vol. 36Frame 954-1118
Minutes, 1845-1846
Reel 43Vol. 37Frame 1-325
Minutes, 1846
Reel 43Vol. 38Frame 326-633
Minutes, 1847
Reel 43Vol. 39Frame 634-968
Minutes, 1847
Reel 43Vol. 40Frame 969-1244
Minutes, 1848
Reel 44Vol. 41Frame 1-301
List of cases heard by Lemuel Shaw, 1840-1847
Reel 44Vol. 42Frame 302-613
Minutes, 1848-1849
Reel 44Vol. 43Frame 614-907
Minutes, 1849
Reel 44Vol. 44Frame 908-1218
Minutes, 1849-1850
Reel 45Vol. 45Frame 1-281
Minutes, 1850
Reel 45Vol. 46Frame 282-600
Minutes, 1850-1851
Reel 45Vol. 47Frame 601-912
Minutes, 1851-1852
Reel 45Vol. 48Frame 913-1177
Minutes, 1853-1854
Reel 46AVol. 49Frame 1-349
Minutes, 1854-1855
Reel 46AVol. 50Frame 350-745
Minutes, 1856-1858
Reel 46BVol. 51Frame 746-1106
Minutes, 1858-1860
Reel 46BVol. 52Frame 1107-1775
List of cases heard by Shaw, 1848-1860

Preferred Citation

Microfilm edition of the Lemuel Shaw papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Curtis, Charles Pelham, 1792-1864.
Henshaw, Daniel, 1782-1863.
Loring, Charles G. (Charles Greely), 1794-1867.
Melvill, Thomas, 1751-1832.
Melville, Elizabeth Shaw, 1822-1906.
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891.
Savage, Charles, 1785-1840.
Shaw family.
Shaw, Caroline Cobb.
Shaw, Elizabeth Knapp, 1784-1822.
Shaw, Hope Savage, 1793-1879.
Shaw, John Oakes, 1820-1902.
Shaw, Lemuel, 1828-1884.
Shaw, Oakes, 1736-1807.
Shaw, Samuel Savage, 1833-1915.
Shaw, Susanna Hayward, 1744-1839.
Sullivan, William, 1774-1839.
Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852.

Organizations:

Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court.

Subjects:

Family history--1600-1649.
Family history--1650-1699.
Family history--1700-1749.
Family history--1750-1799.
Family history--1800-1849.
Family history--1850-1899.
Family history--1900-1949.
Judges.
Lawyers.

Materials Removed from the Collection

Photographs from the Lemuel Shaw papers (Series I) have been removed to the Lemuel Shaw photographs. Photo. Coll. 500.66.