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Reeve family papers

Call Number: MS 686

Scope and Contents

The papers consist almost entirely of correspondence, filed alphabetically under the name of the correspondent. The correspondence between Sarah and Tapping Reeve is filed under the recipient.


  • 1766-1813


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Formerly a part of the Annie Burr Jennings Memorial Collection.


Arranged in two series: I. Sarah Burr Reeve. II. Tapping Reeve.

Related Materials

For additional related material, please see the Burr Family Collection (MS 303), of which these papers were once a part.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence of Tapping Reeve, jurist, author, and teacher of law, and of his wife, Sarah Burr Reeve, sister of Aaron Burr (1756-1836). Correspondents include Joel Barlow, Aaron Burr, Peter Colt, Jonathan Edwards, Pierpont Edwards, Timothy Edwards, and John Cotton Smith. The letters relate to both family and business affairs.

Biographical / Historical

The Reeve Family Papers consist of the papers of Sarah (Burr) Reeve and Tapping Reeve.

Sarah (Burr) Reeve, or "Sally," was born in 1754 at Newark, New Jersey. She was the daughter of Aaron Burr (1716-1757), scholar, theologian, and second president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) and of Esther (Edwards) Burr, daughter of Jonathan Edwards, the New England divine. Her brother was Aaron Burr (1756-1836), soldier, politician, and third vice-president of the United States. After the death of their parents, both she and her brother were tutored for a time by Tapping Reeve. She subsequently married Mr. Reeve and had one son by him, Aaron Burr Reeve (1780-1809). Sarah (Burr) Reeve died in 1787.

Tapping Reeve, jurist, teacher of law, and author of legal books, was born in 1744 at Brookhaven, Long Island, N.Y., the son of Abner Reeve, a Presbyterian clergyman. After graduating from the College of New Jersey in 1763 he spent some time teaching and as a tutor. In 1771 he moved to Connecticut to study law with Judge Root in Hartford. In 1784 he founded the Litchfield Law School, the earliest and for many years the most important in the country. In 1798 Reeve was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut and in 1814 he was made chief justice of the Supreme Court of Errors. Tapping Reeve died in 1823.

Guide to the Reeve Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
September 1973
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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