The Sacco-Vanzetti Case Papers

American Legal Manuscripts from the Harvard Law School Library

VANZETTI, Bartolomeo (1888-1927)SACCO, Nicola (1891-1927)BibliographyLaw. Trials.- Trial of Sacco and VanzettiEHRMANN, Herbert B.FRANKFURTER, FelixRANNEY, Dudley P.THAYER, Webster (judge)THOMPSON, William G.

University Publications of America. 35 33. microfilm (23 reels) with printed guide. ISBN 0-89093-800-8.

Publisher’s Note

Few trials in American legal history have occasioned more argument and passion than the case of Saco and Vanzetti. Italian immigrant laborers and philosophical anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused of the 1920 murder of a paymaster and his guard in South Braintree, Massachusetts. Their trial and subsequent appeals attracted worldwide attention and protest. A Dedham, Massachusetts court returned a verdict of guilty on July 14, 1921, and pre-crout returned a verdict of guilty on July 14, 1921, and precipitated six years of judicial proceedings, postponements, appeals, and sympathy demonstrations. Not until August 22, 1927, was the sentence of death finally carried out by electrocution. By this time, the case of Sacco and Vanzetti had become an international cause célèbre. It remains today, as one of the defense attorneys described it, "a case that will not die".

… Spanning the years 1920 to 1928, these papers include corresondence, memoranda, reports, legal documents, research notes, newspaper clippings, photographs and memorabilia. The material falls into two groups: the first and more extensive group consists of selections from the defense papers; the second group contains selections from the prosecution’s papers. The documents include transcripts and stenographic records of examination of witnesses, hearings, arguments, trial records, motions for new trials, briefs, excetions, and other official records. Another signifiant body of materials – internal memoranda and personal correspondence – provides an "inside" view of legal strategy and opinions, offering the researcher a unique perspective on the development of the case. Important correspondents include Herbert B. Ehrmann, Felix Frankfurter, Dudley P. Ranney, Judge Webster Thayer, William G. Thomson, and, among others, Sacco and Vanzetti themselves.

… Our fist collection, the Sacco-Vanzetti Case Papers, opens new aeas of scholaship in American history and plitics, legal studies, immigrant and labor issues, and the course of twentieth-century American radicalism. The detail of these documentary records provides a remarkably in-depth look at the progress of this momentous case; the scope of their coverage affords the resarcher an invaluable perspective on the trial’s legal, political, and social impact.