Collection Summary

Creator: Moore, John Bassett
Title: The Papers of John Bassett Moore
Accession: MSS 78-9
Description: 40 items in the form of correspondence, clippings, maps and miscellany spanning the years 1894 to 1966.
Location: Special Collections
Photograph Collection: View 0 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 41 objects

Collection Description & Arrangement

The John B. Moore papers consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, handwritten drafts and a 1966 John Bassett Moore Conmemorative Posted Stamp and envelop.  The donors of these items are unknown, although probably some papers were found by the librarian in the books Moore donated to the Law School in the 1920’s.  The approximately 40 items span the years 1894 to 1966 and, for the most part, are unrelated.  Of possible historical interest are letters, some in Spanish and French, and a few clippings about the Spanish-American War and international law.  Of biographical interest are letters Moore wrote from 1936 to 1941 to Margaret W. Grimm who lived in the house in Smyrna, Delaware where Moore was born.  Finally, there is a 1966 Special Series stamp commemorating John B. Moore as a prominent American educator, diplomat, and authority on international law.

Biographical & Historical Information

John Bassett Moore was born in Smyrna, Delaware, December 3rd 1860.  He studied at the University of Virginia and graduated in 1880.  He then returned to Wilmington where he read the law and was admitted to the bar in 1883.  In 1885 he became a law clerk at the State Department and in 1886, he was made Assistant Secretary of State.  In 1891 he became professor of International Law and Diplomacy at Columbia University. 

John Bassett Moore studied international law and was active in international affairs all his life.  In 1885 he started his first “Digest of International Law”; he was counselor to the Spanish-American Peace Commission of 1898; he represented the United States in the Dominican Arbitration of 1904; and in 1910 was the American representative to the Buenos Aires International Conference. In 1912 he became Justice of the Permanent Court of International Arbitration at The Hague; in 1915 he was the chairman of the International High Commission organized by the Pan-American Financial Congress; in 1923 he was United States Ambassador Extraordinary and president of the International Conference at The Hague.  From 1921 to 1928 he was one of the first Judges of the Permanent Court of International Justice.

John Bassett Moore received many honorary degrees of Doctor of Law. In 1927 he received the Roosevelt Distinguished Service Medal.  Spain honored him with the Grand Cross of Royal Order of Isabel the Catholic (1921); from China he received the White Grand Cordon with red Borders of the Order of the Jade (1938).

In February of 1951 the Society of International Law of the University of Virginia was named in honor of John Bassett Moore.  “The society is well named, for it has been said that during his life, John Bassett Moore won a deserved place beside Hugo Grotius, the great Dutch jurist of the 17th Century, sometimes described as the ‘Father of International Law’.” (See: Virginia Journal of International Law, vol. 1, no. 2, p.5)

Acquisition Information

Date Received 1978
Donor Information The donors of these items are unknown, although probably some papers were found by the librarian in the books Moore donated to the Law School in the 1920's.

Content List

Folder 1: 1884- 1928.  John Bassett Moore Miscellaneous Correspondence.

  • 1884, Jun.; From Mr. [illegible].  [Letter re adoption of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments]. Handwritten, 2 pages.
  • 1894, Nov. 16; From Pedro Mont of Santiago de Chile.  [Note regarding the presentation of a book that the Minister of Foreign Relations of Chile presented to the Chilean Congress in 1892].
  • 1902, Jan. 6; From F[ederico]. A[lonso]. Pezet from the Peruvian Legation in Washington, D.C. [Handwritten Letter acknowledging the publication of his book "The question of the Pacific". ] [Law: F3097.3 .M45 1901].
  • 1904, Jul. 6; From M[aurice]. S.[oufflot] Magny, General Consul of France in New York.  [Letter requesting help to get some reports written in the United States regarding the "intervention of Germany, Great Britain and France to Venezuela, followed by the arbitration in the matter before the Hague Tribunal."
  • 1904, Jul. 7; To Maurice Soufllot de Magny, General Consul of France in New York.  [Letter replying to Mr. Magny inquiry and suggesting some other readings].
  • 1905, Aug. 10; To Pendleton King, Esq., Chief, or the Acting Chief, Bureau of Archives and Indexes.  [Handwritten letter of enquire re [response of Mr. White, at Berlin, on the "…views of the German government on the question whether the articles of the treaty with Prussia of July 11, 1799, relating to maritime law, were still in force, and whether the Treaty o May 1, 1828, and especially Art. 13, applied to all vessels now carrying the flag of the German Empire."]
  • 1905, Aug. 11; From Pendleton King, [Chief of the Bureau of Archives and Indexes]. [Note addressing that he "cannot find that any reply was ever recd. by the Dept."]
  • 1910, Oct. 11; From T. [Thomas] J. [Joseph] Lawrence.  [Handwritten letter regarding the publication of his book: Principles of International Law [LAW: KZ2542 .A3 P75 1909].
  • 1913, Mar. 14; To Chivers Book Binding Co. [Letter re binding of a book].
  • 1921, Mar. 5; Copy for Prof. Moore of Note from Elihu Root to Dean Harlan F. Stone, Columbia University re project of research in law. 
  • 1921, Mar. 7; Copy for Prof. Moore of note from [Dean Harlan Stone] to Senator Elihu Root responding to his note.
  • 1922, Oct. 12; Letter in French from H.[Henri] Ch.[Charles] C.[Claude]. J [Jan] van der Mandere [Information Section / Correspondants / Liaison with Latin American, International Court of Justice] to John Bassett Moore related to the publication of La Cour Permanente de Justice Internationale de la Societé des Nations .
  • 1928, Oct. 15; From Harold T. Johnson for Jas. O. Oliphant & Co. [Letter re publication of Otto Nowland Studies in Securities.

 Folder 2: 1912; John Bassett Moore Correspondence with Otis T. Cartwright; maps.

  • 1912, Dec. 27; From Otis T. Cartwright [Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of International Law. [Letter re reproduction of maps and some other documents relating to the Japanese Tax Case and the Candelaria Case.]
  • n. d.; MAP No. 5; Plan of the Former Foreign Settlement at Nagasaki.
  • (1870); MAP No. 6. B.; Map of the South Eastern Part of the City o Nagasaki showing the reclamation works in connection with the former settlement (1870).
  • [1868]; MAP No. 7; Map of the Principal Part of the City of Kobe. 
  • n. d.; MAP No. 9; Map of the Principal Part of the City of Osaka.

Folder 3: 1936 -1941; John Bassett Moore Correspondence to Margaret Wilds Grimm of Smyrna, Delaware.

  • 1936, Jun. 19; Thank you note re JMB and wife visit to Smyrna.
  • 1938, Feb. 22; Note to introduce Mrs. Storey (JBM daughter) and her friend Mrs. Lane who wanted to see the house where he was born.
  • 1938, Aug. 5; Letter offering Mrs. Grimm a copy of an "artistic reproduction" ("Jefferson's tribute to Washington") to hang in the house where he was born. 
  • 1938, Aug. 31; Letter informing Mrs. Grimm of given instructions to copy and send to her house "Jefferson's tribute to Washington" and explanation why they cannot visit Smyrna.
  • 1938, Oct. 14; Letter to Mrs. Grimm re the framed "Tribute of Jefferson to Washington" and his account of the hurricane that swept the East Coast.
  • 1940, Jan. 26; Letter with some references of people from Smyrna.
  • 1940, Oct. 4; Letter re Mrs. Grimm sale of the house.
  • 1941, Dec. 19; Letter re people of Smyrna.
  • 1942, Apr. 17, 23; Letter re sending books to the Smyrna School.

Folder 4: Handwritten notes  [appeared to be for publications] and clippings.

  • n.d.;  Case of Italala. (5 half size pages) [re Chilean Government negotiations with the insurgents]. (Found in Int 90 .S257 1891 c. 2.)
  • n.d.; "March 16, 1827, Mr. Clay addressed supplementary instructions to Mr. Sergeant and Mr. J. R. Poinsett…"
  • 1899, June 26; "Law of the Blockade.  Long expected order issued by Navy Department.  Contraband of war is defined.  Divided into two classes, absolutely and conditionally contraband, the latter including provisions and coal  -What constitutes an effectual blockade -Exercise of right of search -Neutral vessels subject to seizure under certain conditions."
  • 1936, June 18.  The Smyrna Times, Thursday Morning, June 18, 1936.  "Smyrna School becomes John Bassett Moore High School".
  • n.d.; Handwritten notes with names.  Pages are thorn.  Not in JBM handwriting].
  • n.d. Newspaper clipping.  "The Public Library [of Chicago].  A Glimpse at the Literary Treasures Donated by England.  The New Reading-Room to be Opened in December-what it contains.  Something about the Public Libraries in Other Cities."
  • n.d.; "The President Right.  Senator's Hale Paper in Support of Olney's Contention.  Precedents to Show the Recognition of Foreign Governments is Entirely and Executive Function."
  • n.d.; "Must isolate Gen. Blanco.  Cutting cable lines regarded as an essential movement.  Three routes from Santiago de Cuba by which messages may be sent to Madrid, and six routes from Jamaica or Haiti."
  • n.d.; "Lord Russell for Peace".  Incomplete newspaper clipping.
  • 1938-1941; Miscellaneous clipplings from the University of Virginia Alumni News.
  • 1823, Dec. 2;  Extracts from the Seventh Annual Message of James Monroe, President of the United States dated December 2, 1823.  [State Papers, First Session, Eighteenth Congress. [With some annotations.]

Folder 5: Envelop and posted stamp.

  • 1966, Dec. 3;  Fist Day of Issue Envelope and Posted Stamp commemorating John Bassett Moore.  U. S. Educator, Diplomat, Authority of International Law 1880-1947/  $5.00 Prominent Americans Series.  
  • n.d.; John B. Moore Biographical Notes.

Associated People

Use Policy

Access There are no restrictions.
Use Restrictions There are no restrictions.
Preferred Citation

Collection of Papers of John Bassett Moore, MSS 78-9, University of Virginia School of Law Library Special Collections.

Unless otherwise stated, digital materials in our collections are available for use under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 License (CC-BY-4.0). For Use and Citation guidelines, see Special Collections Use Policy.