AHA President, 1897


Boston University School of Law

From the American Historical Review 25:4 (July 1920)

James Schouler (March 20, 1839–April 16, 1920), author of a notable History of the United States under the Constitution, 1789–1877 (1880–1891, 1899, 1913) and president of the American Historical Association in 1897, died on April 16, at the age of eighty-one. He has given an interesting account of his life, as well as of his methods, in his Historical Briefs (1896). Another work of some note was his Americans of 1776 (1905). A lawyer and legal writer by profession, and for twenty years a professor in a law school, he wrote his American political history largely from a legal point of view, with less attention to economic movements than would now be customary, and he wrote it with some preconceptions natural to the son of a Whig editor and Civil War adjutant-general of Massachusetts. But it rested on careful study, extensive information, and independent thinking, it was fair in all intention, it was marked by much political acumen, it presented the general reader within a dozen years with the whole story from 1789 to 1861, for which that reader had long been waiting, and the style, though it was too picturesque and lacked simplicity and at times dignity, was piquant and readable. Therefore the book deserved and obtained high success. Personally Dr. Schouler was a genial and even lovable man, simple, cordial, and friendly.



A treatise on the law of the domestic relations; embracing husband and wife, parent and child, guardian and ward, infancy, and master and servant. By James Schouler. 3d ed. Boston, Little, Brown, and company, 1882.

A treatise on the law of personal property. By James Schouler. 2d ed. Boston : Little, Brown, 1884.

Historical briefs. By James Schouler. With a biography. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1896; Reprint, Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1972.

Americans of 1776. By James Schouler. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1906.

A treatise on the law of marriage, divorce, separation, and domestic relations. By James Schouler. 6th ed. Albany, N.Y.: M. Bender, 1921.

A treatise on the law of wills. By James Schouler. 3d ed. Boston, Boston book company, 1900; Reprint, Holmes Beach, Fla.: Gaunt, 1998.

Constitutional studies, State and Federal. New York: Da Capo Press, 1971.

Thomas Jefferson. by James Schouler. New York, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1893

Thomas Jefferson: historical overview and bibliography. Edited by Mathew S. Deakin. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2002.