Examination of the contents of the founding fathers’ libraries – as much as is known – reveals that if one was to have an English law dictionary in the eighteenth century, it was likely to be that by Giles Jacob. The two other most commonly held legal dictionaries were that of Timothy Cunningham, and Malachy Postlethwayt’s translation of the commercial dictionary by Jacques Savary des Brûlons. The 1743 edition of Jacob's law dictionary was included in John Adams’ library.
For information on these and other non-US law dictionaries in the Tarlton Law Library's collection please visit our Law Dictionary Collection online exhibit.
Reconstructions of US Founding Father's Libraries online:
John Jay (not available)