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Special Collections Recent Acquisition

October 3, 2012
David Hoffman A Lecture

David Hoffman.  A Lecture, Introductory to a Course of Lectures, Now Delivering in the University of Maryland (Baltimore: Printed by John D. Toy, 1823).

William Cranch’s copy.  A seventy-seven page pamphlet in tan wrappers, signed at the head of the top wrapper in black ink “The Hon:e [Honorable] Judge Cranch, Alexandria [Virginia].”  The pamphlet contains David Hoffman’s first lecture to law students at the University of Maryland. Professor Hoffman (1784-1854), a prominent Baltimore lawyer and legal educator, was one of the founders of the Law Institute at the fledgling University of Maryland.

Reporter of the U.S. Supreme Court William Cranch (1769-1855), judge of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, was one of the first two law professors at GW Law’s first

William Cranch

incarnation, the Columbian College (1826-1828).  Judge Cranch began his teaching duties in June, 1826, not quite three years after publication of Hoffman’s Lecture.  Hoffman and Cranch were among the pioneers in university-affiliated American legal education, with Hoffman slightly ahead; in preparing his law school lectures, Judge Cranch may have turned to Hoffman’s work for guidance as he embarked upon his own experiment in Washington, DC.

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