Theron Metcalf

October 16, 1784
November 13, 1875
Home Town:
Franklin, MA
Later Residences:
Dedham, MA
Boston, MA
Julia Tracy Metcalf (November 5, 1809)
Biographical Notes:
Theron Metcalf was the son of Hanan and Mary (Allen) Metcalf. While Metcalf was a student at the Litchfield Law School, he met his future wife Julia Tracy, the daughter of Uriah Tracy, who was a Litchfield, CT resident and attended the Litchfield Law School in 1778. They had three children.

Metcalf began to practice law in 1807, first at Franklin, MA and then at Dedham, MA. From 1813 to 1819, Metcalf acted as the editor of the Dedham Gazette. Metcalf was also the editor of The General Laws of Massachusetts to 1822. He also had several of his writings published during this time, and from 1816 to 1823 wrote Digest of Cases in the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Metcalf also wrote the Courts of Common Law and Admiralty in the United States.

In addition ...

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Graduated from Brown University in 1805 as the Valedictorian of his class.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Editor; Educator; Political Office
Admitted To Bar:
Litchfield County, CT in 1807
Training with Other Lawyers:
He studied with James Richardson of Dedham, MA or Seth Hastings of Mendon, MA.
State Posts:
State Representative (MA) 1831-1834
State Senator (MA) 1835
Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court (MA) 1839
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (MA) 1848-1865
State Committees:
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1833.
Local Posts:
Attorney for the County (Norfolk County, MA) 1817-1829

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.
Litchfield County Bar Association Records, 1806, Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library.

Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany, and Company, 1849), 6.
Secondary Sources:
Theron Metcalf Obituary, Boston Evening Journal,November 15, 1875.

Smith, Frank. A History of Dedham, Massachusetts. Dedham, MA: The Transcript Press, Inc., 1936.

Wilson, James Grant and John Fiske, eds. Appleton’s Cyclpaedia of American Biography, vol. 4. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1888.

Historical Catalogue of Brown University 1764 - 1904. Providence, RI: Published by the University, 1905.

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