James Gould

December 5, 1770
May 11, 1838
Home Town:
Branford, CT
Sally Tracy Gould (October 21, 1798)
Biographical Notes:
James Gould was the son of Dr. William and Mary (Guy) Gould. His early education at the common schools was hampered by his poor eyesight. Nevertheless, Gould entered Yale in 1787 and eventually graduated with High Honors in 1795. While at Yale, he worked as a tutor and studied law with Judge Chauncey in New Haven. After college, he worked briefly as schoolteacher in New Haven, CT and then in Wethersfield, CT and Baltimore, MD before coming to study at Litchfield Law School in 1795.

Gould studied with Tapping Reeve for several years. His wife, Sally McCurdy Tracy was the eldest child of Uriah Tracy, a Litchfield Law School graduate and U.S. Senator. Three of their sons would the Litchfield Law School, and eight of his nine children would survive him.

Gould settled in Litchfield ...
Additional Notes:
From 1803-1813, James Gould was a member of the Committee of Examination for the Litchfield County Court admissions to the bar.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Graduated from Yale College in 1795.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Educator; Political Office; Business
Admitted To Bar:
Political Party:
State Posts:
Justice of the Superior Court (CT) 1816-1818

Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
[We are currently working to update and confirm citations of attendance.]
Secondary Sources:
Dexter, Franklin Bowditch. Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of College History, Vol. 4. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1907.

Baldwin, Lewis, William Draper. Great American Lawyers, Vol. 2. The John C. Winston Company, 1907.

Boardman, David Sherman. Sketches of the early Lights of the Litchfield Bar. J. Humphrey, Jr., 1860.

Lewis, William Draper. The Great American Lawyer vol. II. 1907.

Reed, Alfred. Training for the Public Profession of the Law. Arno Press. 1921.

Warren, Charles. History of the Harvard Law School and Early Legal Conditions in America. Lewis Publishing Company: New York, 1908.

Dargo, George. Law in the New Republic. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1983.

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