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Writing the Legal RecordLaw Reporters in Nineteenth-Century Kentucky$
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Kurt X. Metzmeier

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168609

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168609.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The Poet

The Poet

William Littell (1768–1824)

(p.83) 6 The Poet
Writing the Legal Record

Kurt X. Metzmeier

University Press of Kentucky

William Littell was known for his great scholarship, literary competence, and publishing experience. Nearly a dozen imprints bearing Littell’s name have been published, including a set of Kentucky statutes that were the state’s de facto code for decades, Kentucky’s first historical monograph, law reports, and a book of satire. Littell was a curious figure. He almost single-handedly created the infrastructure of legal research in the state. Outside of the law, he wrote history, poetry, and political satire and was learned in theology and medicine. But Littell was a solitary, eccentric figure; disliked by many; and politically and socially neutralized by his uncompromising pen, which skewered slave owners, abusive husbands, bankers, and politicians.

Keywords:   Kentucky, history, courts, politics, statutes, satire, American law reporting, slavery, divorce law, status of women

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