Law and Legal Culture in Early America

REGISTER HERE

Please note that the all-day symposium is over-subscribed and we are not accepting any more registrations for that session. There is still room in the plenary lecture—”A Conversation about Books and the Making of Early Virginia Law”—at 4:30 in room 120 and we welcome registrations for that talk.

The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture announces a symposium exploring Anglo-American jurisprudence and professional legal training in early America from the mid-sixteenth to the late eighteenth centuries.

The symposium, to be held October 18, 2019, at the William & Mary Law School will correspond with the opening of an exhibit of 16th-18th century law books, British Antecedents: American Liberties?  An Exhibit of Early Law Books from the Collection of Sid Lapidus. Texts on display will include compendia such as Sir Thomas Smith’s De Republica Anglorum: The Manner of Government or Policies of the Realme of England (1583), supplemented topical tracts such as William Prynne’s An Humble Remonstrance to His Majesty, Against the Tax of Ship-Money (1641), and books of professional advice such as William Fulbeck’s A Direction of Preparative to the Study of the Law: Wherein is Shewed, What Things Ought to be Observed and Used of Them That are Addicted to the Study of Law, and What on the Contrary Part Ought to be Eschewed and Avoyded (1620).


A plenary session, wine and cheese reception, and tours of the book exhibit, will follow the full-day symposium. All are welcome. Please REGISTER HERE to attend the plenary session, reception, and book exhibit.

4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
“A Conversation about Books and the Making of Early Virginia Law”
Room 120

  • Warren M. Billings, University of New Orleans
  • Davison Douglas, Dean of the W&M School of Law
  • Mitchell Fraas, University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Moderated by Karin Wulf, Executive Director of the Omohundro Institute


“Law and Legal Culture in Early Virginia”
Full-day symposium program

Please note that the all-day symposium is now closed. Space is still available though for the plenary lecture at 4:30 p.m. in room 120.

Friday, October 18, 2019
Faculty Room, William & Mary Law School

9:00 a.m.
Welcoming remarks (Davison Douglas, Karin Wulf, Sid Lapidus)

9:15 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.
Alexander B. Haskell (University of California, Riverside)
“Renaissance State-Formation and Virginia’s First Legal Code: the Lawes Divine, Morall and Martiall in Political Context”

10:15 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.
Gerarda Culipher, J.D. and Heather Bollinger, M.A., M.L.I.S. (Fairfax Circuit Court, Fairfax, Virginia)
“An Appraisement of the Legal Mind: The Legal Texts & Treatises in the 1767 Probate Inventory of George Johnston, Sr.”

11:15 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
Turk McCleskey (Virginia Military Institute)
“The Law of Debt and Intercolonial Rivalry at Fort Pitt, 1773-1775”

12:05 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
Rebecca M. Rosen (Hollins University)
“The Inquisition for the Innocent: Infanticide and Embodied Speech in Virginia, 1680-1840”

2:30 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.
Nicola Phillips (Royal Holloway, University of London)
“The Politics of Libel in Law Books: Thomas Erskine, Freedom of the Press and Transatlantic Legal Culture”

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closing remarks and final discussion

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Break

4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
“A Conversation about Books and the Making of Early Virginia Law”
Room 120

  • Warren M. Billings, University of New Orleans
  • Davison Douglas, Dean of the W&M School of Law
  • Mitchell Fraas, University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Moderated by Karin Wulf, Executive Director of the Omohundro Institute
A wine and cheese reception and tours of the rare books exhibit in the Wolf Library will follow the plenary. 

Program Committee:

Jim Ambuske, Ph.D., Digital Historian, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

Warren M. Billings, Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus, University of New  Orleans and Visiting Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School

Randi Flaherty, Ph.D., Special Collections Librarian, University of Virginia School of Law Special Collections

Linda K. Tesar, Head of Technical Services & Special Collections, Wolf Law Library, William & Mary Law School