History In Ink®  Historical Autographs







Owen J. Roberts


From the personal collection of Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark


Former Justice Roberts, now a law school dean, writes to Justice Clark

in an effort to place graduates as law clerks with Supreme Court Justices

Owen Josephus Roberts (18751955), Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 19301945, and Tom Campbell Clark (18991977), Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 19491967.  Typed Letter Signed, Owen J. Roberts, with Autographed Note by Clark, one page, 8½" x 11", on stationery of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania], November 6, 1950. 

Roberts, a former Supreme Court justice himself now Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, his alma mater, writes Clark to recommend "most highly" for law clerk positions "two or three" Pennsylvania graduates "of a quality I have not seen before."  In a handwritten note in the margin, Clark, who kept this letter for his autograph collection, evidently drafted a reply for his secretary to type. 

Roberts writes, in full:  “My dear Justice Clark:  /  Next June there will be amongst our graduates a group of high stand men of a quality I have not seen before.  A number of them would like to be come law clerks to a Justice of the Supreme Court.  There are two or three of them that I can recommend most highly.  /  If you were inclined to give them consideration, I should be glad to send them to you, at your convenience, for an interview and an investigation of their standing.  /  With my regards and good wishes, I am  /  Yours sincerely . . . ." 

In response, Clark writes, in full: “I certainly would give all Pa graduates consideration.  Do you have any who are presently working with any of the Courts of Appeal?  I had been thinking such experience would be helpful.  But in any event I shall be glad to see anyone you recommend." 

The letter has two vertical and one horizontal fold, paperclip impressions and light stains at the left margin, and staple holes at the upper left.  The letter is in fine condition. 

Provenance:  This letter comes from the personal collection of Justice Clark, who collected the autographs of Supreme Court Justices dating back into the 19th Century.  This one comes with the backing page, which bears the federal eagle watermark and Justice Roberts's typed name, that Justice Clark inserted behind the item in the page protector used to house this piece his collection.  This piece is not laid down to the backing sheet. 




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