A Collection in
The Arthur J. Morris Law Library, Special Collections
Collection Number Mss 85-1
University of Virginia, Arthur J. Morris Law LibrarySpecial Collections
Arthur J. Morris Law Library
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
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Inventory of the Papers of Justice James Clark Reynolds, Mss 85-1, University of Virginia Law Library, Charlottesville, VA 22903
The papers were originally given to the University of Virginia Library on October 16, 1950 by the justice's nephew, James O. McReynolds of Los Angeles, California.
The donor gave additional materials in 1950, 1951, 1967, and 1969 and continues to add to the collection when documents become available.
In 1985 the collection was transferred with the donor's permission to the University of Virginia Law Library.
James Clark McReynolds was born on February 3, 1862, in Elkton, Todd County, Kentucky. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University in 1882, where he was elected valedictorian and served as editor-in-chief of The Vanderbilt Observer.Upon graduation, he commenced the study of law at the University of Virginia where he obtained a law degree in 1884. His formal education completed, McReynolds embarked upon a lucrative private law practice in Nashville while teaching law at Vanderbilt University. In 1903, however, he moved to Washington, D.C. and became Assistant Attorney General, a position he held until 1912. During this period his vigorous prosecution of the "tobacco trust" bolstered his reputation among progressive reform groups. Active in Woodrow Wilson's successful presidential campaign in 1912, he was appointed Attorney General after briefly practicing law in New York City.
In 1914, Wilson appointed McReynolds to the United States Supreme Court where he served until his retirement in 1941. Justice McReynolds died in 1946.
This collection consists of about 3.1 shelf feet (ca. 2800 items) and includes Justice McReynolds' professional, financial, personal, and genealogical papers spanning the years 1819-1967. The professional papers contain correspondence, opinions, memoranda and notes principally from McReynolds Papers McReynolds' years in the Justice Department. For the Supreme Court years there is a relatively small body of correspondence as well as the printed material and miscellaneous notes regarding the "Gold Clause Cases." In addition to the private correspondence, there are records of financial transactions, newspaper clippings, genealogical records, notebooks, election broadsides, photographs, and printed material about Justice McReynolds.
The papers have been arranged in the following order: professional correspondence and papers, including opinions and memoranda; personal correspondence and papers including speeches, business papers, newspaper clippings, photographs, guest lists, recipes, and miscellaneous papers and printed material; family correspondence and genealogical material concerning the McReynolds and Edwards families; and printed material about Justice McReynolds.
Correspondents include Theodore Roosevelt, Charles J. Bonaparte, George W. Wickersham, Frances Lynch Stetson, William R. Harr, Horace H. Lurton, J. P. Tumulty, Franklin K. Lane, and Woodrow Wilson.
Primarily anti-trust cases; also includes printed copies of JCM's first four Supreme Court opinions
Opinions concern the Gold Clause Cases
Papers concern the Gold Clause Cases
Concerns illness and death of JCM
Concerns the McReynolds Family Genealogy.
Concerns the Edwards Family
Items concern the Pearson Memorial Tablet.
Items concern the acquisition of the McReynolds Papers.
Material from James Bond, Stirling Price Gilbert, Ronald F. Howell, and Calvin P. Jones
Material from John B. McCraw and Donald Whisenhunt
Memoirs of JCM, Pierce Butler, John Marshall Harlan, Joseph Rucker Lamar, and Edward Terry Lamar
MSS 85-1c, Form filled out by JCM, with editor's corrections; JCM signature
Unpublished dissertation by Stephen Early