United States Reports, volume 1

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This is a list of all the cases from volume 1 of the United States Reports. None of the decisions appearing in the first volume and only a few in the second volume of United States Reports are actually decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. Instead, they are decisions from various Pennsylvania courts dating from the colonial period and the first decade after independence. Alexander J. Dallas, a Philadelphia lawyer and journalist, had been in the business of reporting these cases for newspapers and periodicals. He subsequently began compiling his case reports in a bound volume, which he called Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania, before and since the Revolution.[1] This and the three additional volumes he later produced would come to be known as the Dallas Reports.

When the Supreme Court along with the rest of the new federal government moved in 1791 to the nation's temporary capital in Philadelphia, Dallas was appointed the Supreme Court's first unofficial and unpaid Supreme Court Reporter. (Court reporters in that age received no salary, but were expected to profit from the publication and sale of their compiled decisions.) Dallas continued to collect and publish Pennsylvania decisions in a second volume of his Reports, and when the Supreme Court began hearing cases, he added those cases to his reports, starting towards the end of the second volume, 2 Dallas Reports. Dallas would go on to publish a total of four volumes of decisions during his tenure as Reporter.

In 1874, the U.S. government created the United States Reports, and numbered the volumes previously published privately as part of that series, starting from the first volume of Dallas Reports. The four volumes Dallas published were retitled volumes 1-4 of United States Reports.[2] As a result, decisions appearing in these early reports have dual citation forms; one for the volume number of the United States Reports, and one for the set of reports named for the reporter (called nominative reports). For example, the complete citation to Lessee of Hyam v. Edwards is 1 U.S. 1 (1 Dall. 1) (1760).

Pennsylvania Colonial Courts[edit]

Pennsylvania state courts at Philadelphia[edit]

Note: These cases are listed in the reports chronologically rather than by court, and include cases from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the High Court of Errors and Appeals of Pennsylvania, the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, and the Oyer and Terminer sessions at Philadelphia.


  1. ^ Cohen, Morris and O'Connor, Sharon H. A Guide to the Early Reports of the Supreme Court of the United States, (Fred B. Rothman & Co, Littleton Colorado, 1995
  2. ^ Hall, Kermit, ed. Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (Oxford 1992), p 215, 727

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