New Digital Collection: Morgan Papers on the drafting of the Uniform Code of Military Justice

In 1948 the Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, formed a committee to review the military justice system of the US – a system that, in many ways, had not changed for nearly 200 years. Called the Committee on a Uniform Code of Military Justice (CUCMJ), its foremost objective was the creation of a single uniform code to replace the separate codes that existed for the Army and Navy. The new code would also apply to the recently created Air Force, as well as the Coast Guard and Marine Corps. Harvard Law School Professor Edmund Morgan was named to chair the committee.

Digital image sequence number 4062.

Professor Morgan began teaching at the Law School in 1925. A respected scholar of the law of Evidence, he served as Royall Professor of Law until 1950 when he “retired” in accordance with the University’s retirement plan. He was 72 at the time. Before leaving the Law School he donated some of his papers to the library. Included in this donation were seven bound volumes of documents that Professor Morgan collected while serving as chairman of the CUCMJ. The volumes are a rich source of material reflecting the work of the committee and include correspondence, notes, drafts, reports, agendas, hearings and research material – much of which is unpublished. This material should be of great interest to researchers studying military law.

This project was done in collaboration with The Judge Advocate General’s School Library and the Library of Congress. All material in the volumes – both published and unpublished – was digitized in order to provide a complete record of the CUCMJ collection. The collection is also available at the Military Legal Resources site hosted by the Library of Congress. Researchers will find additional online resources related to military law at this site.

Digital image sequence number 6001.

Entry to the Law School’s digital images can be found here.

Posted by
Ed Moloy
Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives

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