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09/26/2021 01:15 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

John Reed



Session Position District Party
1815-1816 16 Democratic-Republican
1817-1818 16 Democratic-Republican
1819-1820 16 Democratic-Republican
 Counties   Indiana, Jefferson, Westmoreland


1786 - 1850

The Honorable John Reed, founder of Dickinson Law School, was born in1786, at Marsh Creek, Adams County; the son of state Senator and Revolutionary War General, Emil William Reed.  He attended Dickinson College in 1806, studied law, was admitted to the Westmoreland County Bar; elected to the Senate of Pennsylvania, 1815-1819; was state Deputy Attorney General under Governor Findlay, and assigned President Judge of the Ninth Judicial District.  He and wife Sarah settled in Carlisle, where the judge wrote Pennsylvania Blackstone as a legal studies teaching aid, constructing his home on the Dickinson campus, the same home presently occupied by the college president.  He taught at the school, becoming a Trustee from 1821 to 1828, emerged as the founder of the college’s renowned law school and a proponent of the Moot Court instructional method.  The school opened as the nation’s fifth oldest law academy in 1834, Reed’s home serving as the classroom.  He retired to private practice in 1839.  The Honorable John Reed passed away in January, 1850, interred in Carlisle’s “Old Grave Yard.”