Monday, December 12, 2005
On this date, December 12, 1847, seventy-four year-old James Kent, known to history as "Chancellor Kent," dies in New York City. A graduate of Yale, Kent had apprenticed in a law office and then practiced commercial law in Poughkeepsie, New York. He served briefly in the state assembly before moving to New York City in 1793, where he was appointed the first professor of law at Colubmia. He had been highly recommended for the post by Governor (and former U.S. Chief Justice) John Jay.
He would subsequently become Chief Justice of New York and, later, Chancellor of its Court of Chancery. His Commentaries on American Law (1826), which included a chapter on the contract for sale, marked the first American attempt to integrate contract law into a larger system of American jurisprudence. (Image: New York Court of Appeals)