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Doctor Samuel Peterson: Looking back 100 years

Notes for Peterson's Speech at the 1906 Law Department Smoker

This is a splendid subject for a toast— someone else got it up. Personal, not physiological. Hard to see anything humorous about ones' self. I take myself very seriously. Someone else (one of students) cd. Do better with it.  Wish I had Tarlton, or Simpkins, instead of myself. Must be humorous: want serious things from others: get so much seriousness from us (esp. Tarlton) that they want a change for once. My being compelled to be serious: in position of little boy’s dog. Subject sounded funny first, but it has become serious since, because of worry trying to think of something humorous: has bad effect on my digestion.

(Towards the end: moose story)  I want to say to those here that are not out in the real work of the legal profession, who know the diff. bet. knowing a legal principle + applying it, bet. knowing law + thinking law, bet. a [big] head full of legal rules + a legal mind, that out in Law dept. we are striving not merely to teach law, not merely to impart a knowledge of rules, but more than that, to make lawyers — make them not merely for their own benefit but rather for benefit of the Texas Bar + bench — for the benefit + the glory of Texas herself.  And incidentally, let me add, we have some mighty good material to work on.[end of page one]

Only one word in subject has any application here: digest: all the rest is obiter.  I signalized my advent into the sacred precincts (if you want to know why they are sacred, just ask some Academ. Or Engineer) by requiring every member of class to make a digest of every case assigned (case system.)
Boston man who ate big dinners + had them pumped out. A bull + man who played violin, not b. note, or ear, but by strength. Member of class, on being asked to give the facts, instead of a single sentence of a dozen or twenty words set out to give a newspaper reporters description.  Had not digested — had only read it.

(To Judges): Why not state point at issue, then the principles applicable, then the application of the principle