Monday, August 12, 2013

Day book of a 19th century Pennsylvania lawyer

Our collection focuses on the activities of working lawyers in England and America--the books they likely would have owned and any records of their day-to-day lives as legal professionals.  Thus, this little day book from a Pennsylvania attorney makes a perfect addition to our collection.  Entries cover the period from 1870-1919, when attorney Eugene Snyder was practicing in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

As Michael von der Linn from Lawbook Exchange writes in his description of the item, Snyder "attended Dickinson College, read law with a local attorney and attended Harvard Law School, was admitted to the Dauphin County Bar in 1860 and practiced in Harrisburg. He appears to have led a rather uneventful life. According to a 1907 biography, 'Mr. Snyder is an extremely unassuming man, of mild temperament. He does not like notoriety, has never been a candidate for or held office, and prefers the quiet office practice to the more spectacular work of the court. He has a fair share of office and commercial legal business' (Maspero). His day book, which lists services rendered and fees charged over a 49-year period, concurs with this description. As such, it offers a fine perspective on the professional activity of a well-respected attorney with a solid, but routine, practice." Maspero, The Twentieth-Century Bench and Bar of Pennsylvania II:25 (online edition).

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