Tapping Reeve 1763 deserved a much more thoughtful “Princeton Portrait” than the one included in the March 4 issue of PAW. The Litchfield Law School, which was founded by Reeve in 1784, operated for nearly 50 years and educated upward of 1,200 students. It is the subject of my recent book, The Litchfield Law School: Guiding the New Nation.
Its alumni included not only Aaron Burr Jr. 1772 but at least 50 other Princeton graduates. Among these was Henry W. Green 1820, who served as chancellor of New Jersey. Princeton’s first library was named for him.
Instead of dwelling on the love letters that Reeve sent to his fiancée (and later wife) Sally Burr, sister of Aaron Jr., the article should have noted the importance of Reeve and the law school in the development of American legal education. A recent history of the Harvard Law School acknowledged, “In retrospect, both Harvard and Yale have envied Litchfield’s success and wished to claim it as their ancestor.”