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James Henry Brewster
The Michigan Alumnus 171



James Henry Brewster was born at 
New Haven, Connecticut on the sixth
 day of April 1856, the son of Rev.
 Joseph and Sarah Bunce Brewster. He 
died at Denver, Colorado, on the seventh 
day of October, 1920, the burial being in
 Forest Hill Cemetery at Ann Arbor, 

His ancestry traces back to Elder Wil
liam Brewster, one of the founders of 
Plymouth Colony, and he was a true son 
of that intellectually and morally vigor
ous stock.

He secured his preparation for college
 in the Hopkins Grammar School in New
 Haven, entered the Sheffield Scientific 
School of Yale University in 1873, and
 was graduated with the degree of Bache
lor of Philosophy in 1877. In 1879 he
 took the degree of Bachelor of Laws 
from the Yale Law School, and began the 
practice of law in New York City. His 
connection with the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company caused his removal, 
 in 1881, to Albany, New York. This con
nection continued until he entered the
 general practice of the law at Detroit, 
 Michigan in 1883. 

During the period of his practice in 
Detroit, which ended with the call to a 
professorship in the School of Law of 
this University, in 1897, he served two 
terms as a member of the Board of Edu
cation of that city. His connection with 
the faculty of the School of Law continued until his resignation in 1910 oc
casioned by failing health which warned
 him of the imperative need that he seek 
a drier climate if he were to continue an 
active life. This necessity took him with 
his family to Boulder, Colorado; in which
 place he gave up a year or more to an
 effort to regain his health. Later, he accepted temporarily, a position on the 
faculty of the School of Law of the
 University of Colorado. Believing him-
self strong enough to take up again the
 practice of law, six or seven years ago he 
removed to Denver, Colorado, and the re
continued in the general practice of the
 law until his death.

From 1903 to the time of his resigna
tion from our Faculty of Law, he was
 Editor in Chief of the Michigan Law 
Review, a position he filled with great 
credit both to himself and to the Uni
versity. In 1904 he published his book 
entitled "The Conveyance of Estates in 
Fee by Deed" which has been well re
ceived both by the legal profession and 
law teachers. 

Mr. Brewster was married to Frances
 Stanton, June twenty-eighth, 1888. Of
 this marriage there are four living chil
dren, Susie, Chauncey Bunce, Edith 
Navarre and Oswald Cammann, a fifth 
having died in infancy.

Mr. Brewster was energetically active
 in public affairs, fearless in his advocacy
 of what he conceived to be right, and
 not less courageous and vehement in his
 condemnation of what he believed to be
 wrong. He had a passion for truth. It
 is not enough to say of him that he disapproved untruth, sham and pretense; 
 you must say of him that he hated all
 such and that he was vitriolic in their

He was intellectually strong, a clear 
thinker and his judgment was well guid
ed. His interest in his work was intelli
gent and deep, his tastes scholarly, his
 educational ideals high and his interest 
in students real. To these characteristics
 we must add a most delightful personal
ity on its social side. With his keen wit, 
 his genial humor and his delicate consid
eration for others, he endeared himself to 
all his associates. His students are his 
great debtors, but we, his associates, owe 
him much. 

Your committee offers the following

RESOLVED, That this memorial be 
spread upon the minutes of the Senate 
and that a copy be sent to Mrs. Brewster
 to whom, and to whose children, we tender our deep sympathy. And this in 
testimony of our high regard for him, 
 and our tender interest in them.