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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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4545. LAWYERS, Education of.—[further continued].
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3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
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4545. LAWYERS, Education of.—[further continued].

Begin with Coke's four
Institutes. These give a complete body of the
law as it stood in the reign of the First James,
an epoch the more interesting to us, as we
separated at that point from English legislation,
and acknowledged no subsequent statu
tory alternations. Then passing over (for occasional
reading as hereafter proposed) all the
reports and treatises to the time of Matthew
Bacon, read his abridgment, compiled about
one hundred years after Coke',s in which they
are all embodied. This gives numerous applications
of the old principles to new cases,
and gives the general state of the English law
at that period. Here, too, the student should
take up the Chancery branch of the law, by
reading the first and second abridgments of
the cases in Equity. The second is by the
same Matthew Bacon, the first having been
published some time before. The alphabetical
order adopted by Bacon, is certainly not as
satisfactory as the systematic. But the arrangement
is under very general and leading
heads, and these, indeed, with very little difficulty,
might be systematically instead of alphabetically
arranged and read. Passing now
in like manner over all intervening reports and
tracts, the student may take up Blackstone's
Commentaries, published about twenty-five
years later than Bacon's abridgment, and giving
the substance of these new reports and
tracts. This review is not so full as that of
Bacon, by any means, but better digested.
Here, too, Wooddeson should be read as supplementary
to Blackstone, under heads too
shortly treated by him. Fonblanque's edition
of Francis's Maxims of Equity, and Bridgman's
Digested Index, into which the latter
cases are incorporated, are also supplementary
in the Chancery branch, in which Blackstone
is very short. This course comprehends about
twenty-six 8vo. volumes, and reading four or
five hours a day would employ about two
years. After these, the best of the reporters
since Blackstone should be read for the new
cases which have occurred since his time.
* * * By way of change and relief for another
hour or two in the day, should be read
the law-tracts of merit which are many, and
among them all those of Baron Gilbert are of
the first order. In these hours, too, may be
read Bracton and Justinian's Institutes. The
method of these two last works is very much
the same, and their language often quite so.
Justinian is very illustrative of the doctrines
of Equity, and is often appealed to, and
Cooper's edition is the best on account of the
analogies and contrasts he has given of the
Roman and English law. After Bracton,
Reeves's History of the English Law may be
read to advantage. During this same hour or
two of lighter law reading, select and leading
cases of the reporters may be successively
read, which the several digests will have
pointed out and referred to. I have here
sketched the reading in Common Law and
Chancery which I suppose necessary for a
reputable practitioner in those courts. But
there are other branches of law in which, although
it is not expected he should be an
adept, yet when it occurs to speak of them, it
should be understandingly to a decent degree.
These are the Admiralty law, Ecclesiastical
law, and the Law of Nations. I would name
as elementary books in these branches, Molloy
de Jure Maritimo; Brown's Compend of


Page 488
the Civil and Admiralty Law; the Jura Ecclesiastica,
and Les Institutions du Droit de
la Nature et des Gens de Reyneval.
these six hours of law reading, light and
heavy, and those necessary for the reports of
the day, for exercise and sleep, which suppose
to be ten or twelve, there will be six or eight
hours for reading history, politics, ethics,
physics, oratory, poetry, criticism, &c., as
necessary as law to form an accomplished
To Dabney Terrell. Washington ed. vii, 207.
(M. 1821)