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MSS 85-1

Papers of Justice James Clark McReynolds


Personal, genealogical and professional papers (1917- 1967). The small collection of professional documents include correspondence, opinions, memoranda, and notes from his years in the Justice Department, and the Supreme Court. There is printed material and miscellaneous notes regarding theThe "Gold Clause Cases."

1819-1967 [Inclusive]
3.5 Cubic Feet (8 archival boxes)

Scope & Contents

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' years in the Justice Department. From 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.

Collection Description

    Physical Description

    This collection consists of about 3.1 shelf feet (ca. 2800 items) in 8 boxes.<extent>1 arbitrary_unit</extent>

    Conditions Governing Access

    There are no restrictions.

    Conditions Governing Use

    There are no restrictions.

    Preferred Citation

    Inventory of the Papers of Justice James Clark Reynolds, Mss 85-1, University of Virginia Law Library, Charlottesville, VA 22903

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    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.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The donor gave additional materials in 1950, 1951, 1967, and 1969. and continues to add to the collection when documents become available.

    Processing Information

    In 1985 the collection was transferred with the donor's permission to the University of Virginia Law Library.

    Biographical / Historical

    James Clark McReynolds was born on 3 February 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 <em>The Vanderbilt Observer</em>. 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.


    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.

fileProfessional Correspondence, 1905-1945, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 1
McReynolds, James C. and family
McReynolds, Justice James Clark
fileJCM to Mr. S.S. Gregory, 1905 April 5MSS 85-1, Box 1
fileOpinions, Memoranda and Notes 1911-1914. Primarily anti-trust cases; also includes printed copies of JCM's first four Supreme Court opinions., 1911-1914MSS 85-1, Box 1
fileOpinions. Norman C. Norman v. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company (McReynolds dissenting), 1935-02-18MSS 85-1, Box 1
fileGold Clause Materials, 1930's-1940'sMSS 85-1, Box 1
fileRobert P. McReynolds Correspondence, 1898, 1918-1945, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 1
itemOfficial Records of the Supreme Court Volume 294 U.S. - Number 2 Ernest Knaebel Reporter The Gold Clauses , 1935-05-09MSS 85-1, Box 2
itemUnited States Supreme Court Law ed. Advance Opinions The Gold Cases The Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company Rochester, New York , 1934-1935MSS 85-1, Box 2
itemThe Gold Standard by W. Redelmeier , 1941-06MSS 85-1, Box 2
filePersonal Correspondence, 1885-1946, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 2
fileLetters from JCM, 25 Oct., 22 Nov.MSS 85-1, Box 2
fileCorrespondence, 1946. Concerns illness and death of JCM, 1946MSS 85-1, Box 2
fileBusiness Papers, 1885-1927MSS 85-1, Box 2
fileBusiness Papers, 1928-1945, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileAddress Book and Appointment Books, 1946, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileSpeeches, 1882-1889MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileCollege Papers, 1884MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileGuest Lists, 1916-1941MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileRecipes, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileElection Broadsides, 1896MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileNewspaper Clippings, 1900-1945MSS 85-1, Box 3
itemMemorials to JCM, 1946MSS 85-1, Box 3
itemVirginia Law Review dedicated to JCM , 1946 Aug.MSS 85-1, Box 3
fileMiscellaneous Printed Materials and Papers, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 4
fileMcReynolds Family Correspondence, 1830-1967MSS 85-1, Box 4
fileTranscripts and Photstats of McReynolds Family Correspondence, 1819-1937MSS 85-1, Box 4
fileCorrespondence Concerns the McReynolds Family Genealogy, 1897-1933, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 4
fileCorrespondence and Documents Concerns the Edwards Family, 1938-1940, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 5
fileMcReynolds Genealogical Papers, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 5
itemJCM's Genealogical Notebooks, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 5
fileCorrespondence and Documents, 1942-1947, n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 5
fileBlueprints of the Pearson Memorial Tablet, 1942MSS 85-1, Box 5
fileCorrespondence and Documents 1938-1940, n.d. Concerns the Edwards Family, 1950-1951MSS 85-1, Box 6
itemThe Filson Club History Quarterly: A Journal of Kentucky History Vol. 57 No. 1 , 1983-01MSS 85-1, Box 6
itemBiography of James Clark McReynolds Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America by Stirling Price Gilbert , 1946MSS 85-1, Box 6
itemI Dissent: The Legacy of Chief Justice James Clark McReynolds by James E. Bond , 1992MSS 85-1, Box 6
itemRE: Astes Liberales Roosevelt, McReynolds, and the Court Fight by Donald Whisenhunt , 1977MSS 85-1, Box 6
fileBiography by James Bond , n.d.MSS 85-1, Box 6
fileConservative Influence on Constitutional Development by Ronald F. Howell , 1952MSS 85-1, Box 6
itemPublished and unpublished material. Material from John B. McCraw and Donald WhisenhuntMSS 85-1, Box 7
itemJudicial MemoirsMSS 85-1, Box 7
itemThe Story of Todd Country, Kentucky, 1820-1970, by Marion WilliamsMSS 85-1, Box 7
fileJames Clark McReynolds and the Judicial Process, 1954. Unpublished dissertation by Stephen Early, 1954MSS 85-1, Box 8
fileWho's Who in America Form filled out by JCM, with editor's corrections; JCM signature., 1911 September, 13 JuneMSS 85-1, Box 8
fileClippings: The Evening Star , 1935-02-18MSS 85-1, Box 8