Everything you say can and will be used against you.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Kind Words from a Friend in the States

RE: Seth Barrett Tillman, Ex parte Merryman: Myth, History, and Scholarship, 224 Mil. L. Rev. 481 (2016) (peer reviewed), http://tinyurl.com/z934v3n, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2646888

Words do not express properly my thanks to you for this essay, Seth. I wish you were here, or I was there so that we might talk long into the day/night about many of the subjects that you offer for the consideration of the reader. Last year I spent a bit of time in 1861 and so had reread the Lincoln 4 July communication to the Congress. I acquired the Bates memorandum that the President had suggested might be forthcoming, a response to a congressional request of 12 July, a memorandum you mention in a footnote early in your essay, one which I hoped that you might use to aid your narrative.

So, to begin, I failed to follow your advice to read just the text, and that is your fault. Your notes are better than popcorn. More and more as I went along in this narrative I wondered if this might be a most fine example of legal history at its best—important subject the treatment of which focuses upon both the general narrative and the specific narrative of procedure where procedure very soon merges into substance. I found that that the footnotes, not all of which I read, added to the excitement of the narrative. And make no mistake, the narrative is a gut buster of excitement given the context of both 1861 and the history of historical commentary that followed combined.

Maybe better minds than mine, an easy thing, will find me wrong. But until I see such I will begin to share this essay with a bunch of friends in the world of the law and in the world of history with a gladness that I have shared a special gift of fine scholarship, a gift that I thank you for. Best.

Citation: Seth Barrett Tillman, Kind Words from a Friend in the States, New Reform Club (May 19, 2017, 7:15 AM), http://tinyurl.com/l2qqczm 


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