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Friends of the E.B.Williams Law Library

Spring 2015 Newsletter

Alexander Porter Morse:
Georgetown Alumnus, Author, and Confederate Soldier

Alexander Porter Morse: Georgetown Alumnus, Author, and Confederate Soldier
We are delighted to announce that we have acquired the papers of one of the law school’s earliest graduates: Alexander Porter Morse (Class of 1872).  During the 1860s, Mr. Morse was a Georgetown undergraduate, an undergraduate at Princeton University, a Confederate soldier in the Civil War, and a Georgetown law student.  He graduated in the Law Center’s first graduating class in 1872 and went on to practice international law.  He is considered one of the prominent lawyers of his time, authoring several articles and a legal treatise. Most notably, he represented Louisiana Judge John Ferguson in the famous Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).

The new Morse collection in the library contains close to 250 items including letters, documents, books, pamphlets, and a scrapbook. The materials cover his work for the French-American Claims Commission of 1881 - 1883, as well as correspondence with then Secretary of State Edward G. Blaine and Chief Justice Edward D. White.  Several of the books included are heavily annotated in his own hand, making them unique and interesting legal history pieces.

For more information on Special Collections posts or for more interesting pieces of Georgetown Law history, stop by Special Collections in Williams 210 or contact us at

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