Bigelow, Melville Madison

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Melville Madison Bigelow achieved prominence as an author, legal historian, and a founder of Boston University Law School.

Bigelow was born August 2, 1846, in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. He was educated at the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1866, a bachelor of laws degree in 1868, and a master of arts degree in 1871. He also received a master of arts degree and a doctor of philosophy degree from Harvard in 1879. Two doctor of laws degrees were bestowed upon him, from Northwestern University in 1896, and the University of Michigan in 1912.

Bigelow taught law at the University of Michigan and the Northwestern University Law School and also held a professorship at Boston University Law School.

Bigelow's Elements of the Law of Torts (1878) was used as a basic legal textbook. His numerous other publications included Law of Fraud on its Civil Side (1888–1890); The Law of Estoppel and its Application in Practice (1872); and History of Procedure in England from the Norman Conquests: The Norman Period 1066–1204 (1880).

"Government from the top is right only when it proceeds from below, with support all the way up."
—Melville Bigelow

He died May 4, 1921, in Boston.