Tapping Reeve House (1773) and Litchfield Law School (1782)

June 16th, 2007 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Litchfield, Schools

Tapping Reeve, a lawyer, and his wife, Sally Burr Reeve, settled in Litchfield in 1773. The next year, Reeve began teaching law to his wife’s brother, Aaron Burr, who was living with the couple. Starting with this single student, Reeve developed a curriculum which would be taught to almost 1,000 students over the following decades, as he expanded from his home to a one-room school house he had built next-door, in 1784. Because this was a time before the creation of formal law schools at the major Universities, this Litchfield Law School is regarded as being the oldest law school in the country. The school’s students included such notables as John C. Calhoun and Oliver Wolcott, Jr. In 1798, Reeve was joined by James Gould and the two operated the school together until 1820. Gould would continue to run it until 1833. The law school building was later moved from the site, but was eventually returned and restored in 1976. Today both the house and school are open as a museum run by the Litchfield Historical Society.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Tapping Reeve House (1773) and Litchfield Law School (1782)”

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  2. Jun 24, 2008: Historic Buildings of Connecticut » Blog Archive » The Ozias Lewis House (1806)

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