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Robert Walter Rutherford

April 1786
Home Town:
Wilkes County, GA
Later Residences:
Sanderville, GA
Milledgeville, GA
Elizabeth Howard Rutherford (1808)
Biographical Notes:
Robert Walter Rutherford was the son of Colonel John Rutherford. His father worked as a land surveyor in Georgia after the Revolutionary War. His nephew attended the Litchfield Law School in 1829. After attending the Litchfield Law School, he returned home to Georgia. Rutherford worked as a very successful lawyer in Milledgeville, GA. Despite his local popularity, Rutherford never sought public office. During the War of 1812, he served as the second lieutenant of the 33rd Regiment of the Georgia Militia. In 1822, while he was attending the circuit courts in Pulaskie and Twiggs counties (Georgia) he contracted malaria. Rutherford died of malaria within a few days of his return home at the age of only thirty-seven.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Entered the school of Mr. John Hamilton Posey in 1799, which was the first school in the area to offer studies in Latin and Greek. Rutherford remained there for three years where he was an inattentive prankster in school but nevertheless a good student. He then studied briefly at Franklin College and by his junior year became a serious student; eventually graduating from the University of Georgia in 1804.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Military
Admitted To Bar:
Georgia in 1807
Training with Other Lawyers:
He read in the office of Judge Skrine and Sandersville for one or two years before attending lectures at the Litchfield Law School.

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.
Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany, and Company, 1849), 6.

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