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Curtis

mass, law and treatise

CURTIS, John Ticknor, American lawyer, author and publisher: b..Watertown, Mass., 28 Nov. 1812; d. New York, 28 March 1894. He was graduated from Harvard in 1832, admitted to the bar (Boston, Mass.) in 1836 and prac tised in Worcester, Mass., and Boston. From 1840 he sat three years in the lower house of the Massachusetts legislature, after which he devoted himself entirely to law and literature. One of his earliest literary productions was a pamphlet advocating State compensation for the destruction by a mob of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Mass. His ability as a patent lawyer gained him the patronage of many dis tinguished inventors. In 1850 he visited Eng land, where he met the prominent men of the time. On his return he strongly supported the compromise measures of 1850, and in 1857 par ticipated in the famous Dred Scott case in the Supreme Court of the United States, claiming the power'of Congress to prohibit slavery. He migrated to New York in 1862 and was engaged in active practice up to his 80th year. He never held any official position beyond his legislative experience of three years in Massachusetts, though he was more than once offered the nomination to a seat on the bench in New York city, and by Daniel Webster the post of Min ister to England. Besides many contributions

to the press he published a number of authori tative works on law and constitutional history, the more celebrated ones being a 'Digest of Admiralty Decisions in England and America' ; a 'Treatise on the Rights and Duties of Mer chant Steamers"'Origin, Foundation and Adoption of the Constitution' (1854-58) ; 'Commentaries on the Jurisdiction, Practice and Peculiar Jurisprudence of the Courts of the United States' (1854) ; 'A Discourse on the Nature of the American Union, as the principal controversy involved in the late Civil War' (1875) ; 'Life of Daniel Webster' (1869) ; 'Life of James Buchanan' (1883) ; 'Treatise on the Law of Patents' (1849) ' 'Treatise on the Law of Copyright' (1847) ; (John Chambers: a Tale of the Civil War in AMerica' ;