Saturday, November 13, 2010

Now On-Line: A Rare Jamaican Case Report

Et Seq., the blog of the Harvard Law School Library, announces the availability of a digitized version of its exceedingly rare copy of Notes of cases adjudged in Jamaica, May 1774 to Dec. 1787 (Edinburgh: Printed by Adam Neill and company, 1794). According to the blog post:
As the volume’s prefatory ‘Advertisment’ on pages iii-iv explains, these reports of high court cases are based on “the very full notes of every case that came before” John Grant, a native of Inverness-shire (Scotland), and chief justice of Jamaica’s Supreme Court from 1783-1790. Colleagues had encouraged Grant to publish his notes for their use at court, and after retiring to Edinburgh, Grant began to revise his notebook with that goal in mind. Grant died on March 29, 1793, leaving three quarters of his notes unprinted. The task was picked up and continued by friends and colleagues who saw the work through the press; the volume was published in 1794.

Update: via H-Law we have the following from Linda Sturtz, Professor of History, Beloit College:
There are at least two other copies of John Grant's Notes on Cases: I consulted one at the National Library of Jamaica (Kingston) though they now issue readers with the photocopy version and another at the Inns of Court. In addition, there is a useful article by Mindie Lazarus-Black on this volume of cases. "John Grant's Jamaica: Notes Towards a Reassessment of Courts in the Slave Era," Journal of Caribbean History 27(2) (1993): 144-159.