In 1887, 26 year old Charles B. Elliott, a lawyer by profession, was awarded a doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota. His thesis on the history of treaties between the United States and England over the fisheries in the North Atlantic was published by the University of Minnesota that year. It is posted here.
It was reviewed in the first issue of the first volume of The National Law Review (January 1888):
"This excellent little monograph is a volume of one hundred and fifty pages, published by and at the expense of the Department of History of the University of Minnesota, and is a fair and impartial exposition of the vexed fishery question of the Northeastern shores of our country. The discussion is in two parts. Part I. is a lucid historical account of the fisheries as a subject of international diplomacy. Part II. is an analysis of American rights under the treaty of 1818. This monograph has great value as a detailed historical review of a subject which has threatened the friendly relations of two great nations. The matter is exceedingly well written, and the author deserves the gratitude of the busy reading public for his exhaustive research upon the subject, and especially that research by which he gleaned much valuable and exceedingly interesting information from letters and manuscripts stored in the archives of the departments at Washington.
"This whole subject being one largely of diplomacy, and therefore disjointed, it is a satisfaction to have the whole matter well treated, and in a nut-shell at command. The introductory chapter bristles with a thorough understanding of the subject in hand, and the author has a quaint way in expressing much when he says that "The absolute right of a Gloucester fisherman to take fish off the Canadian coast, subject to the treaty restrictions made by his government, rests on the same title as American right to the soil of Bunker Hill." The matter of this book is well arranged, and certainly constitutes a rare storehouse of facts relative to the subject. The abundance of valuable foot notes cannot be lightly noticed; they teem with pertinent matter, doubtless out of place in the body of the text, yet adding much to the interest of the subject.
"This volume constitutes the only attempt--to our knowledge--of an exhaustive review of this subject, and will make a valuable acquisition to any library. M. W. H."
Dr. Elliott very quickly became known as Judge Elliott. He served on the Minneapolis Municipal Court, 1890-1893, on the Fourth Judicial District Court, 1893-1905, and as Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, 1905 ? 1909, when he resigned to accept President Taft's appointment to be Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the Philippines, where he served 1909-1912. He died on September 18, 1935, at age 74.
From the outset of his legal career, he published articles and books at an extraordinary rate. In 1890, his recent writings were listed in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the year 1889. First on the list was his history of the northeastern fisheries, followed by 18 articles in various law journals. They covered a wide range of subjects---"The Law of Escrow" and "Suicide and Life Insurance" in the Central Law Journal, "Contracts by Correspondence" in the Western Jurist, "Auctions and Auctioneers" in the Southern Law Review, and "Bonds" in the American and English Encyclopedia of Law, to name a few.
A bibliography of Elliott's writings is yet to be published.
Posted MLHP: August 17, 2016.