Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Reeve, Tapping

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REEVE, Tapping, jurist, b. in Brookhaven, L. I., in October, 1744; d. in Litchfield, Conn., 13 Dec., 1823. He was graduated at Princeton in 1763, and in 1767-'70 was a tutor there. In 1772 he removed to Litchfield, Conn., and began the practice of law, and in 1784 he established there a law-school that attained to great reputation throughout the country. Many men that afterward became celebrated obtained their legal education there. He was its sole instructor till 1798, when he associated with him James Gould (q. v.), but he continued to give lectures till 1820. The modest one-story building where Messrs. Reeve and Gould delivered their lectures is still standing in a dilapidated condition. It has been removed to the outskirts of the town, and is used as a dwelling. Mr. Reeve was a judge of the Connecticut superior court from 1798 till 1814, when he became chief justice of the state, but he retired in the latter year, on reaching the age of seventy. He was a Federalist in politics, and, though averse to public life, served once in the legislature and once in the council. During the Revolution he was an ardent patriot, and after the reverses to the American arms in 1776 he was active in raising recruits, going as an officer to the vicinity of New York, where the news of the victories at Trenton and Princeton made his services unnecessary. Judge Reeve was the first eminent lawyer in this country that labored to effect a change in the laws regarding the property of married women. He received the degree of LL. D. from Middlebury in 1808, and from Princeton in 1813. He married Sarah, sister of Aaron Burr. Judge Reeve published “The Law of Baron and Femme; of Parent and Child; of Guardian and Ward; of Master and Servant, etc.” (New Haven, 1816; 2d ed., by Lucius E. Chittenden, Burlington, Vt., 1846; with appendix by J. W. Allen, 1857; 3d ed., by Amasa J. Parker and C. E. Baldwin, Albany, 1862); and “Treatise on the Law of Descents in the Several United States of America” (New York, 1825).