Skip to main content

MSS 04-3

The Papers of David Nelson Sutton


Small collection of University of Virginia memorabilia: students notes, notebooks, examinations, programs related to Law School (1905-1919). Also some ABA and VBA files (1948-1953).

1905-1955 [Inclusive]
.7 Cubic Feet (2 archival boxes)

Scope & Contents

The David Nelson Sutton Papers are comprised of 2 archival boxes (.7 linear feet). They consist of handwritten notes taken while attending the University of Virginia Department of Law, and some printed materials that relate to his classes. There are two folders that document his nomination to the presidency of the Virginia State Bar Association in 1948, and his nomination as a member of the House of Delegates at the 75th meeting of the American Bar Association in 1953.

Collection Description

    Biographical / Historical

    David Nelson Sutton was born on 14 July 1895 in Stevensville, King and Queen County, Virginia. He received his A. B. degree from Richmond College (now University of Richmond). He was a student at the Department of Law between 1919-1920. [Some alumni records state that he graduated in 1920, adn others 1921. Spec. Coll. thinks that the 1920 date is more accurate.]

    He participated in WWI, first enlisting as a private and was later commissioned in the regular army. He resigned his commission as 1st. Lt. Cavalry, Regular Army to enter the University of Virginia in 1919. He was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1920.

    Mr. Sutton practiced law in West Point, Virginia. He was director and general counsel of the Citizens & Farmers Bank, and attorney for the Commonwealth for King William County, Virginia (1928-1946).

    He was “governor” of the Kiwanis International (1940), president of the Virginia State Convention of the Disciples of Christ (1942), and vice-president of the International Convention of the Disciples of Christ. He was on the Board of Trustees of Lynchburg College, University of Richmond, and Lexington Theological Seminary. He was also a member of the Institute of Judicial Administration, and a member of the American Bar Association.

    In 1936, 1940, and 1944, he participated as delegate to the Democratic Conventions. From 1946-1948 he was associate counsel for the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Tokyo, Japan, in the trial of General Tojo and other important Japanese political leaders.

    Mr. Sutton was president of the Virginia State Bar Association from 1948-1949. He was member of the Virginia State Bar from 1945 -1954, where he was chairman of the commission on continuing legal education (1949-1952). He was also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Society of International Law, the Academy of Political Science, the American Judicatore Society, and the Raven Society of the University of Virginia.

    He was president of the Alumni Association of the University of Richmond, and of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Sigma Rho, Sigma Upsilon.

    Mr. Sutton died at his home in West Point, Virginia, on November 21, 1974.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was donated to the Law School by Frances Sutton Oliver, the daughter of David Nelson Sutton, in September of 2004.

fileBailments and Carriers Notes, 1919, March - MayMSS 04-3, Box 1
fileCommon Law Pleading. Examinations, 1909-1916MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileCommon Law Pleading. Tuesday Answers. Handwritten notes, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileConstitutional Law. Examinations. Signed: Clarence B. Pearce [Class of 1920], 1905-1916MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileContracts Notes. First term, 1919, Jan. - MarMSS 04-3, Box 1
itemCorporations Notebook, 1919-1920MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileCriminal Law Notes, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 1
itemEquity Notebook, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileEquity Jurisprudence. Examinations, 1911-1919MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileExaminations: Real Property I, Criminal Law, Legal Bibliography and Briefmaking, Domestic Relations, Agency, Bailments and Carriers, Constitutional Law, Virginia Pleading, 1919-1920MSS 04-3, Box 1
itemFounder’s day Exercises Program, 1919, Apr. 12MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileGovernment Ownership of R. R. [Railroads]. Notes Annotated Printed Materials, Newspapers Clippings, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileGovernment Ownership of R. R. University of Virginia Record Extension Series. The Virginia High School Literary and Athletic League. (See pages 40-43), 1919MSS 04-3, Box 1
fileLegal Bibliography and Briefmaking. Examinations, 1909-1919MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileMinor Chapter of the Phi Delta Phi Fraternity of the University of Virginia School of Law. Annual Appeal in One Writ of Error . Program, [ca. 1919]MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileMiscellaneous University of Virginia Printed Materials: Mischa Elman Tickets, The Gavel, College Topics “The Continental Congress. A Practice Pageant”, Brochure, 1919, 1920, 1925MSS 04-3, Box 2
itemSales. Notebook, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileSummer School Pageant Drama: “Shores of Happiness. A Pageant Whereof Odysseus is Hero”. Script of the play and flier, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileTorts. Chase’s Cases on Torts, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileVirginia Inheritance Tax Bill and Notes on Comparative Inheritance Tax Laws, n.d.MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileVirginia Pleading. Tuesday Answers, 1920MSS 04-3, Box 2
itemY.M.C.A. Directory of Students and Professors at the University of Virginia, 1917MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileABA [American Bar Association]. Sutton as Virginia Member of the House of Delegates of the ABA. Correspondence and newspaper clippings, 1953-1955MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileABA and Virginia State Bar Nomination - Newspaper Clippings, 1948, 1953MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileDrake vs. Bell. Brief of Daniel N. Sutton, for the Defendant, 1919MSS 04-3, Box 2
fileVirginia State Bar Association Nomination for David Nelson Sutton as President. Letters of Congratulations. Newspaper Clippings, 1948MSS 04-3, Box 2