David Hoffman and the Science of Jurisprudence

David Hoffman Timeline

1784 December 24 — David Hoffman born in Baltimore, MD.

1789 — George Washington chosen as first President of the United States.

179? — Hoffman attends Saint John's College in Annapolis, Maryland.

179? — 1802 Legal training.

1811 — Hoffman joins Robert Walsh and others to spend the Summer at Sulphur Springs, PA. May have met members of the McKean family, including future wife Mary, here.

1812 — The University of Maryland Chartered

1812 — President James Madison declares war against Great Britain.

1812 — Hoffman and others involved in street battles over Madison's declaration of war. Hoffman and his fellows were arrested. Later, in a subsequent raid on the city jail by pro-Madison supporters, Hoffman barely escaped being killed.

1813 An Act to Authorize the Raising a Sum of Money by a Lottery or Lotteries to Build an Arsenal for the City of Baltimore, and for other purposes. The Laws of Maryland, From the End of the Year of 1799. This legislation allowed for the purchase of a library for the use of the law faculty.

1814 — Receives appointment as Professor of Law at the University of Maryland.

1816 January — Marries Mary McKean of Philadelphia, PA.

1816 November — Son Frederick is born.

1817 A Course of Legal Study is published to wide acclaim by the legal community.

1818 November — Daughter Anne McKean is born.

1818 May — Argues (as co-counsel representing the defendants) United States v. Hare in the Circuit Court of Maryland.

1819 February Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Hoffman would rely upon this decision years later in his battles with the University of Maryland Trustees.

1819 March — Daughter Anne dies.

1822 — Argues The Arrogante Bacelones before the US Supreme Court.

1822 — Judge Dorsey, Hoffman's chief competitor for organized legal education in Baltimore, dies. This creates the opportunity for Hoffman to begin his program at the University of Maryland.

1822 — Argues The Santa Maria before the US Supreme Court.

1822 — Hoffman announces in the American Commercial & Daily Advertiser the start of his program, which he calls a "Law Institute," at the University of Maryland.

1823 — Hoffman begins publishing his University lectures in pamphlet form.

1824 Publishes An Address to Students of Law.

1826 — Argues Chace against Vasquez before the US Supreme Court.

1827 — The State of Maryland begins efforts to take over the University of Maryland from the Faculty who also serve as the University's Regents.

1828 — Publishes, along with Peter A. Gustier, Memorial and argument in the case of the ship Blaireau, praying a return of tonnage and duties, erroneously paid in 1803: addressed to the Senate of the United States.

1828 — Presents Benjamin Buck & Thomas Hendrick v. The Chesapeake Insurance Company before the US Supreme Court.

1828 — Andrew Jackson elected as seventh President of the United States.

1829 — Argues Chirac v. Reinecker before the United States Supreme Court.

1829 Petition on behalf of Peter Guistier rejected.

1830 — Argues Kalkman vs. Causten in the Maryland Court of Appeals.

1830 The Construction of a Power of Attorney, and of a Deed by Hoffman published in the American Jurist & Law Magazine.

1830 — Argues James Sheppard v. Lemuel Taylor before the US Supreme Court. ("Warren I")

1832 — Hoffman announces his intention to close the "Law Institute" at The University of Maryland.

1832 — Argues Robert Oliver v. James Alexander and Seventy-seven others, Seamen of the Warren before the U.S. Supreme Court. ("Warren II")

1832 An Additional Supplement to the Act, Entitled An Act for the Benefit of the University of Maryland. Laws Made and Passed by the General Assembly of Maryland. This law allowed a group of faculty, including Nathaniel Potter, to bring action against the Trustees for reimbursement of personal funds expended on behalf of the University.

1832 An Act Regulating the Admission of Attorneys to Practice Law in the Several Courts of this State. Laws Made and Passed by the General Assembly of Maryland. This act decreased the amount of education required for attorneys in Maryland.

1833 — Hoffman's son Frederick dies.

1833? — Hoffman travels to England.

1834? — University Trustees institute law suit for return of library books and other items allegedly removed by Hoffman. Suit eventually dropped by the Trustees.

1836 — Revises A Course of Legal Study. Now expanded to two volumes it is published in both Baltimore and London.

1837 — Writing as "Anthony Grumbler" Hoffman publishes Miscellaneous Thoughts on Men, Manners and Things. A commentary on life in America.

1837 — Joins the "Monday Club." A Baltimore literary club modeled after the infamous "Tuesday Club" of Annapolis.

1839 VIATOR; Or, A Peep Inside My Notebook published.

1839 — Charged by University faculty to prepare a statement to the Trustees on the possible take over of the University by the State of Maryland. Enlists the support of Daniel Webster in the Faculty's efforts.

1839 — Campaigns on behalf of William Henry Harrison and the Whig Party.

1840 — Serves as Presidential Elector for Harrison.

1841 — Hoffman rejects offer from Secretary of State Daniel Webster to serve on Mexico Commission.

1841 — Publishes second edition of Miscellaneous Thoughts. Includes new introduction under his own name.

1841 — President William Henry Harrison dies in office. Vice-president John Tyler becomes President.

1843 — Admitted to the bar in Philadelphia, PA.

1843 — University Trustees accept Hoffman's resignation from the University of Maryland.

1843 — Hoffman seeks foreign mission post from Secretary of State Daniel Webster, expresses an interested in either Austria or Spain.

1844 -1847 — Conducts a private law school in Philadelphia, PA.

1845 — Publishes The Second Protest of Richard S. Hackley's heirs, respecting their lands in east Florida: addressed to his Excellency James K. Polk, President of the United States: June 27, 1845.

1846 Hints on Professional Deportment of Lawyers, With Some Counsel to Law Students published.

1847 — Moves to England, travels on the Continent.

1847? — Awarded honorary degree from the University of Gottingen, Germany.

1847 — Writes series of articles on life in America for The London Times.

1847? — Awarded honorary degree from Oxford.

1848 Views on the Formation of a British and American Land and Emigration Company published.

1849 Letter by an American Citizen, Permanently Resident in England Addressed to British Capitalists published.

1849 — California Gold Rush.

1850 - 1851 — Employed by John C. Fremont to help sell land in California owned by Fremont.

1851 — Hoffman is dismissed by Fremont after Hoffman becomes involved in a series of newspaper articles denouncing his competitors.

1853 — Publishes volume one of Chronicles Selected from the Originals of Cartaphilus, the Wandering Jew Embracing a Period of XIX Centuries.

1854 November 11— Dies in New York City.

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