Davis, Horatio. Address delivered in 1898 to the graduates at East Florida Seminary. Also correspondence to Charles Lan...

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Material Information

Title:
Davis, Horatio. Address delivered in 1898 to the graduates at East Florida Seminary. Also correspondence to Charles Langley Crow regarding Judge Davis' address.
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Language:
English
Creator:
Davis, Horatio, 1840?-1900
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Louise Rebecca Pinnell
Women as lawyers
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States -- Florida

Record Information

Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
AA00024288:00001

Full Text


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Presented y Mr. To Frederick Davis of Jacksonville, a son of the comme cement orator to the undersigned.

The month and the year of the delivery of the address can be determined from internal evidence: "Within the last month for the first time in the history of Florida, young ladies have been examined and licensed to practice law."(p. 6). Miss LouiseR. Pinnell of the Law Department of the Florida East Coast Railway, Graham Building, Jacksonville, Writes in a note to Mr. Crow: "I was the first woman to take the Bar examination in Florida and received my license to practice in May, 1898. It was probably June, 1898 when Judge Davis made his address." Mr. James C. Gwynn, Research Secretary of the Supreme Court of Florida, confims this "..I find that Louise R. Pinnell was admitted (to the bar) in 1898. *..As far as I have been able to ascertain, Louise R. Pinnell was the first woman admitted to practice in this t ." ...

Judge Davis was unfamiliar with nautical terms: "The time will come and that often, when he must ship his oars and work
manfully to force his frail bark over the many obstructions that will certainly meet him as he moves along the river of life." (pip. 1-2)
He is extremely conservative, perhaps reactionary in
what he has to say about "The circle of woman's sphere"pp, 6-7)
0a.



June 1, 1938






FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY
W. R. KENAN. JR.. AMD S. M. LOITIN. Rtciv..
LAW DEPARTMENT

ROBERT H. ANDERSON, GENERAL COUNSEL RUSSELL L. FRINK, GENERAL ATTORNEY JOHN H. SUMMERLIN. CLAIMS ATTORNEY JOHN B. L'ENGLE, ATTORNEY L. R. PINNELL, ATTORNEY
0. K. WHITFIELD, ATTORNEY JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
HAROLD B. WAHL, ATTORNEY May 28, 1938.








Mr. 0. Lo Crow, #1312 W. University Ave.,. Gainesvile, florida.

Dear Mr. Crow:


Your letter of the 25th inst. received. I
was the first woman to take the Bar examination in Florida and received my license to practice in May, 1898. It was
probably June, 1898 when Judee Davis mde his address. The Judge was one of my father'Is best friends and I am interested in. knowing that you are turning over to the library of the University of Florida a holographic aopy of an address made by him.

Yer~r truly yours,






Louise L.Pinmell .........






FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY
W. R. KNAN. JR.. AND, S. M. LOPTIN. RjeClIVrnW.
LAW DEPARTMENT

ROBERT H. ANDERSON, GENERAL COUNSEL
RUSSELL L. FRINK, GENERAL ATTORNEY JOHN H. SUMMERLIN. CLAIMS ATTORNEY
JOHN B. L'ENGLE, ATTORNEY
L. R. PINNELL, ATTORNEY
0. K. WHITFIELD, ATTORNEY JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
HAROLD B. WAHL, ATTORNEY

June 3, 1938












Dr,. C,. L. Crow,
University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida.

Dear Dr. Crow:

Your letter of May 31st received. It is of interest to me to know that you were the first instructor
at the University of Florida to admit women to your classes.

Thanking you for' your congratulations to. me upon being the first woman to be admitted to the Bar of Florida, I
am

Sincerely,
-i :

Louis R. P..ell .........w









SUPREME GOURT OF FLORIDA
DIVISION A DIVISION B
WILLIAM H ELLIS, CHIEF JUSTICE JAMES B.WHITFIEL, PRESIDING JUsticE
GLENN TERRELL TATLAHASSEE ARMSTEAD BROWN
RIVERS BUFORD .. H. CHAPMAN
GT.WHITFIELD, CLERK Iay 28, 1938 R.S.WILLIAMS, MARSHAL

Dr. C.L. Grow
1312 W. University Ae.
Gainesville, Pla.

Dear Doctoro
Judge Whitfield has revered yoar letter to me and asked me to dispose of the legal question envolved therein. Your letter raises a question
that should be easy to answer but after a careful search through the
statutory law of Plorida, I can find no authority for admitting women
into the practise of law prior to 1925.

Florida is a common law state and follows the old common law of England,
Women were not allowed to practise law ander the common law and it is
my understanding that they can not yet practise law in England. So there
must be statutory authority giving them the right to practise in this
State or we should follow the common law and deny them the right.
We have a statute as early as 1828 which regulates the admission of Attorneys and the practise of law. Another act was enacted in 1899.
Under the provisions of these two acts, women were not refered to nor
mentioned bat on the contrary "he" or "his" is used throughout. The
Ciroit Judge or two attorneys appointed by him examined the appliont,

On April 23, 1901, a law was passed allowing persons graduating from
the Stetson Law School to practise without standing the bar examination
and by a later statute the graduates of other approved law schools in
the state were admitted.
In 1907 a law was passed under which the Supreme Court gave the 6minations and admitted applicants to the practise. Several statutes
were enacted after this date but they were of little importance. One
of these attempted to set up a Bar Uxamining Board bat it was declared
uncontitutional as the memebers of the board were state offiabwansod
the statute provided that they should be appointed by the Supreme Court
instead of by the Governor or elected by the people as is provided in
the Constitution.
In 19451the present law was etaed establishing a Board of Bar Examiners
appointed by the governor. This law provided that no one should be refused
the right to practise because of sex, race ore color. In my humble opinion
until this law was passed, there was no general law tinder which women
could be admitted to the practise of law in this state.

Nevertheless, women were permitted to practise law in this State long before that time. I find that Louise R. Pinell was admitted in 1898,
She was still practising law in Jacksonville in 1935. I do not know
whether she has given up the practise yet or not. I an unable to find
what authority the circuit Judge had to admit women to practise at that






2


SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA
DIVISION A DIVISION B
WILLIAM H.ELLIS, CHIEF JUSTICE JAMES B.WHITFIELD, PRESIDING JUSTICE
GLENN TERRELL .L I AS E ARMSTEAD BROWN
RIVERS BUFORD R.H. CHAPMAN
G.T.WHITFIELD, CLERK R.S.WILLIAMS, MARSHAL



early date. Certainly there is no statutory authority specifically
giving them the right. Perhaps they were permitted to stand the
examination by special statute or by some rule of the GCourt. We do
not have access to the rules of the Cironit Courts, prior to 1900 so
I am enable to run down this lead.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, Luise R. Pinnell was the first
woman admitted to practise in this State, So perhaps Jadge Davis was
speaking of her admission.

I hope to see some of the old lawyers within the next fewdays and if a y
of them can shed any more light on the subject, I shall be glad to inform
yore.

Judge Whitfield regretedthat he is enable to answer this letter personally
but he has been overbrdened with his work on the bench, and as he hs
not t1oroagly regained his strength ia e illness last summer, h
must refer many of his mibrlduties to his assistants.
With kindest personal regards from Judge 'hitfield and myself, I remai

Sincerely,


seh Seeo