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James Brown Scott Papers

Identifier: GTM-660503

Scope and Contents

The papers of James Brown Scott (1866-1945), authority in international law, consisting of correspondence, memoranda, documents, minutes, printed material, manuscripts of articles and addresses, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Included is material from Scott's activities as Solicitor (1906-1910) and Special Advisor (1914-1917) for the State Department, as delegate to the Second Hague Conference (1907) and Paris Peace Conference (1919), his membership and offices in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Society of International Law, and the Institut de Droit International, as well as Scott's Involvement in numerous courts of international arbitration. Also included is material relating to Pan-American relations, women's rights, and the history and teaching of international law. Correspondence includes letters from Charles Evans Hughes, Robert Bacon, William Jennings Bryan, James Bryce, Nicholas Murray Butler, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Francis Adams, Frank B. Kellogg, Robert Lansing, Franklin Roosevelt, Elihu Root, and Woodrow Wilson, among others.


  • 1891 - 1967

Conditions Governing Access note

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

James Scott Brown (1866-1943) was born at Kincardine, Ontario, Canada. He was educated at Harvard University (A.B., 1890; A.M., 1891). As Parker fellow of Harvard he traveled in Europe and studied in Berlin, Heidelberg (J.U.D.), and Paris.

Following his return to the United States, Scott practiced law at Los Angeles, California from 1894 to 1899. He founded the law school at the University of Southern California, and was its dean, though his participation in the Spanish-American War interrupted that role. He was dean of the college of law at the University of Illinois (1899–1903), professor of law at Columbia, and professor of law at George Washington University (1905–06). In 1907 he was expert on international law to the United States delegation at the Second Hague Peace Conference.[citation needed] He also served on a State Department commission which made recommendations to Congress on the reform of United States nationality law, which would result in the Expatriation Act of 1907.[1]

In 1909 Professor Scott lectured at Johns Hopkins. He served as secretary of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and wrote several works on the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907 (1908, 1909, 1915). Besides serving as editor in chief of the American Journal of International Law and as editor of the American Case Book, and writing numerous articles on international law and the peace movement.

He also was the champion of the Spanish school of international law of the 16th century, claiming that writers like Francisco de Vitoria and Suarez had already said about that department of the law what about a century later was stated by Hugo de Groot in his De iure belli ac pacis (About the law of war and peace).


43.75 Linear Feet (86 boxes)

Language of Materials


James Brown Scott Papers
Margaret McAleer, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057