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Otis Harrison Fisk papers

Call Number: MS 964

Scope and Contents

The Otis Harrison Fisk Papers are made up primarily of the typescript draft with manuscript addenda and corrigenda of Fisk's Information about America and of the German Version, Kunde über Amerika, published in 1944. The book describes the structure and organization of the government and legal system of the United States. Accompanying the manuscripts are notes on the United States Constitution and copies of the constitutions of the states of New York and Oklahoma. The remainder of Fisk's papers consist of diplomas and certificates from the universities he studied at in Germany and the University of Cincinnati, and his certificate of admission to the Ohio bar.


  • 1893-1944


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for 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

Gift of Mrs. Otis H. Fisk, 1954.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Chiefly typescripts of both the English and German versions of Otis H. Fisk's (1870-1944) book on the government and legal system of the United States, published in German as Kunde über Amerika (1944). Also in the papers are notes on the constitutions of the states of New York and Oklahoma and various diplomas and certificates.

Biographical / Historical

Otis Harrison Fisk was born in Covington, Kentucky, on March 5, 1870. His father was Charles Henry Fisk, LL.D. (B.A. Miami Univ. 1863, M.A. 1868; LL.B. Cincinnati Law School 1864), a lawyer in Lexington and Covington, Ky.; son of Lieut. John Flavel Fisk and Elizabeth Sarah (Johnson) Fisk of Covington. His mother was Margaret Anne (Emmal) Fisk; daughter of William B. and Catherine (Miller) Emmal of Lexington. Yale relatives include a cousin, John F. Fisk, 3d, '13 S.

He prepared at private schools and Mt. Auburn Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio. Oration appointment Junior and Senior years; member Yale Union and Beta Theta Pi. He was educated at Yale University, where he received the degree of B.A. in 1892. For the following four years, he studied at the universities of Leipzig, Berlin, and Heidelberg, the latter of which awarded him a Ph.D. in 1895 and a J.D. in 1896. He continued his education at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he received an LL.B. in 1899. That same year, he was admitted to the Ohio bar and began practicing law, which he would continue to do until his retirement in 1929. Between 1914 and 1929, he was also a lecturer in medical jurisprudence at the University of Cincinnati. He was a assistant professor of civil law Harvard University 1929-30; lecturer on wills and probate practice Xavier University, Cincinnati, 1929-30; attended Y.M.C.A. Training School, Blue Ridge, N.C.; educational and building secretary Camp Sheridan 1918-19; trustee Miami University.

He was the author of numerous books on law:Stimmrecht und Einzelstaat in den Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika (1895, 1896), The Constitution of the German Empire (1916), Presumption in the Law (1921), Fundamentals of the Law of Proof in Judicial Proceedings (1928), and Kunde über America (1944); translated into German The Facts about the Candidate by Byron Andrews (1904) and from German Institutes of Roman Law of Civil Procedure by Leopold Wenger (1940).

He was a member of Cincinnati Bar Association and Masonic order and vestryman, treasurer, and Sunday-school superintendent Church of the Epiphany (Episcopal), Cincinnati, and vestryman St. Andrew's Church, Framingham.

He was married to Helen Whitelaw Pogue on June 5, 1901 and to Mabel Anna Hebb on February 9, 1929. With his first wife, Fisk had four daughters. Otis Fisk died of a cerebral hemorrhage on January 10, 1944, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Guide to the Otis Harrison Fisk Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
July 1983
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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