Greenleaf, Simon,1783–1853, American legal writer, b. Newburyport, Mass. A member of the Maine bar, he won a high reputation for legal scholarship early in his career. With the admission (1820) of Maine as a state, he was elected to a term in the legislature and was appointed reporter of the Maine supreme court. In 1833 he resigned this position and accepted the invitation of Joseph Story to become a professor of law at Harvard. Much of the excellence of Harvard Law School is attributed to these two men. Greenleaf's Treatise on the Law of Evidence (3 vol., 1842–53) for many years was the standard American work on the subject. Another text used for many years was his revision (5 vol., 1849–50) of William Cruise's Digest of the Law of Real Property.
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Greenleaf, Simon(1783–1853) lawyer, professor; born in Newburyport, Mass. He read and practiced law in Maine beginning in 1806. When Maine became a state, he was the reporter to its supreme judicial court (1820–32). He then became a professor of law at Harvard (1833–48). Always deliberate and thorough, as seen in his widely hailed three-volume Treatise on the Law of Evidence (1842–53), he is regarded, along with Joseph Story, as one who contributed the most to shaping Harvard Law School.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.