Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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HOFFMAN, David, lawyer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, 25 December, 1784; died in New York city, 11 November, 1854. He devoted himself to the study of the law, became a member of the Maryland bar, and was professor of law in the University of Maryland from 1817 till 1836, when the professorship was abolished. He then visited Europe for relaxation, and remained abroad two years. On his return he took part in the presidential canvass as an earnest supporter of General William H. Harrison, and was an elector from Maryland. After the election he settled in Philadelphia, and practised law there till 1847, when, he went to Europe to devote himself to the preparation of a work on the history of the world. While in London he contributed to the "Times" a series of articles on the political and social arrangements and economical condition of the United States. He returned from England in December, 1853, in order to regulate his private affairs, and while travelling on business died from an attack of apoplexy. He had received degrees from the universities of Gottingen and Oxford. When entering upon his professorship he published " A Course of Legal Study" (1817; 2d ed., 1836), which was commended by the most eminent jurists for its plan and execution. He also published "Legal Outlines," an epitome of the practice and study of the law (1836); two volumes entitled "Miscellaneous Thoughts on Men, Manners, and Things," by "Anthony Grumbler, of Grumbleton Hall, Esq." (1837); "Viator, or a Peep into my Note-Book" (1841), in which he discussed in a popular style questions of law, religion, art, and literature, and opposed the radical tendencies of American thought; and " Legal Hints," a condensation of the ideas relating to professional deportment contained in "A Course of Legal Study," with the addition of some counsel to law-students (1846). The work on which he was engaged in England is entitled "Chronicles selected from the Originals of Cartaphilus, the Wandering Jew." He employed the legend to embellish an epitomized history of government and religion since the time of Christ. Two volumes, bringing the history down to the year 573, were issued in a striking form (London, 1853). The third volume was partly in type when the author returned to the United States. Three other volumes had been in great part written. Mr. Hoffman also left " Moot Court Decisions," and an "Abridgment of Lord Coke's Reports, with Notes."
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