A Treatise on Obligations
A Treatise on Obligations: Considered in a Moral and Legal View
by Robert Joseph Pothier
|A Treatise on Obligations|
Title page from A Treatise on Obligations, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.
|Author||Robert Joseph Pothier|
|Translator||François Xavier Martin|
|Published||Newburn, N.C.: Martin & Ogden|
|Volumes||2 volumes in 1 volume set|
|Desc.||8vo (21 cm.)|
Robert Pothier (1699-1772) was a Professor of French Law at the University of Orleans and a judge of the petty court. Pothier wrote and re-edited Pandectae Justinianeae in Nuvum Ordinem Digestae which was an arrangement of the texts of the Roman Law. After he published the first volume of Pandectae, he was offered a professorship at the University of Orleans. Pothier is especially well known for a series of treatises he wrote on duties, sales, leases, and a variety of other topics. Pothier’s treatises were published between 1761 and 1772. Several other essays, which were left in manuscript form at the time of Pothier’s death, were later published between 1776 and 1778. These essays focused on civil and criminal procedures, successions, fiefs, and other topics.
The jurists who edited the new French Civil Code took into account both the Roman and the common law during their construction of the new code. Pothier’s writings were extremely useful for the purpose of codifying the new laws in France.
Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library
There is no doubt that George Wythe owned the 1802 edition of Pothier's A Treatise on Obligations. A copy at the Library of Congress includes manuscript notes in Wythe's hand. Three of the Wythe Collection sources (Dean's Memo, Brown's Bibliography and George Wythe's Library on LibraryThing) list the Library of Congress copy as evidence for including A Treatise on Obligations in Wythe's Library. Brown also suggests that this is the title in the Jefferson Inventory noted as "[Law of] Obligations 8vo." and given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. LibraryThing identified that entry as Thomas Ashe's The Law of Obligations and Conditions and writes of Pothier's work "Presumably bequeathed by Wythe to Thomas Jefferson in 1806, but not included on the Wythe List." The Wolf Law Library moved a copy the 1802 edition of Pothier's A Treatise on Obligations from another rare book collection to the George Wythe Collection. The library continues to search for a copy of Ashe's The Law of Obligations and Conditions.
Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy
Rebound in period-style full calf with red and black spine labels.
View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.
- Charles George Herbermann, "Robert Joseph Pothier" in The Catholic Encyclopedia: an International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, and History of the Catholic Church, Special ed. (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913), 267.
- E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 2:312 (no.1990).
- Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 6 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
- Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433
- LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe", accessed on March 20, 2014.