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A Nineteenth Century Law Library:
The Colcock-Hutson Collection

Admission to the Bar

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In the 18th and 19th centuries in South Carolina, those aspiring to the Bar apprenticed themselves to practicing lawyers and embarked upon a course of reading. Then as now, the courts were in charge of granting admission to practice. When ready, the apprentice petitioned the appropriate court for admission, declaring that he had completed his preparation.

The Petition of William F. Hutson
The Petition of William F. Hutson, July 5, 1833
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A supporting affidavit from the lawyer with whom he had studied attested to his readiness and his good character.

Supporting Affidavit to the Fuller Petition
Supporting Affidavit to the Fuller Petition, January 5, 1859
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Because there were separate courts for handling equitable claims and common law claims, often a petition for admission was made to each court separately.

The Chancery Petition of John Colcock
The Chancery Petition of John Colcock, July 23, 1773
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Images courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.


William Maine Hutson

Another Hutson lawyer in the third generation, William Maine Hutson, read law in the office of his cousin William Ferguson Colcock, who was one of his sponsors for admission to the bar. He later practiced with William Ferguson Hutson in Orangeburg, S.C., under the firm name of Hutson & Hutson.


Substance of William Maine Hutson's Application to Practice Law, May 2, 1836
The Law Petition of William Maine Hutson, May 2, 1836
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William Maine Hutson, 1813-1879
William Maine Hutson, 1813-1879


Substance of William Maine Hutson's Equity Application, February 11, 1839
The Equity Petition of William Maine Hutson, February 11, 1839
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