Never mind that he married one of his young pupils or that another pupil killed a former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in cold blood, Tapping Reeve is certifiably awesome. He founded the second-oldest law school in the country, whose alumni include two U.S. Vice Presidents, 101 congressmen, 28 senators, six cabinet secretaries, three justices of the United States Supreme Court, 14 state governors, and 13 state supreme court chief justices. Along with Columbia, Harvard, the University of Michigan, and Yale, Litchfield Law is the only institution to count three or more U.S. Supreme Court justices among its graduates. Its Michigan alumni are Gov. George Porter and Michigan Supreme Court justice William Woodbridge. Given Litchfield Law School's prominent place in U.S. history, the causes of its precipitous demise and disappearance from public memory are worth pondering in this new age of legal education turmoil.
Reeve died on this day in 1823.
HT: Above The Law