The Name - The Legend - The Man
Texts and images from John Law memorabilia entrusted to the NY Correction History Society by his daughter, Dr. Suzanne Law Hawes.

Page 3 of 7 pages (so far).

by Suzanne Law Hawes
(Part II)

Evidently John had other talents as a young man as cited in the Hamilton Echo:

There are certain types known to psychologists as people of multiple personality successive or simultaneous. John Law is a person of multiple personality but not in the sense that psychiatrists usually employ the term. They refer to persons of abnormal tendencies; we refer to people with an unusual combination of desirable traits.

NY Times obit for Hamilton prep founder:
John Law is mentioned in subhead and in fifth paragraph of obituary for Dr. N. A. Shaw, founder of Hamilton Institute for Boys that John attended.

I have seen John Law on the football field whipping a sagging line into shape; I have seen him putting a ball across to third base straight as a bullet; I have seen him manifesting a worthy school spirit at more than one critical moment; I have seen him go into an ecstasy of delight on hearing a beautiful violin solo; and I have been surprised, too, at noticing his quick reaction to a poem like Dryden's "Alexander's Feat."

And finally, as a fitting climax to a series of most remarkable disclosures of diversities of interests, I saw him acting in a church play.

John is a boy whose personality does not strike one in the face. It is revealed to one slowly, showing always new and intriguing phases, as a crystal shows new faces under the lens of the scientists microscope.

John Law the athlete does not reveal John Law the student - not a brilliant scholar, but what is often better, just a good ordinary student in the fullest sense of the word. John Law the student does not reveal John Law the musician. Athlete, musician, student, leader, all these attributes are molded into one personality forming a composite greater than any of its parts, and rare and refreshing to find - a truly Christian gentleman.

The secret of the church play came out gradually, and none of us, to be sure, was going to miss it. John not only was going to act but also was going to wear a tuxedo and smoke his first cigarette!

Law with ball for which pre-ND grid team?
At right is an image of John Law extracted from a football team photo that includes him from his pre-Notre Dame days. But with which team is he shown holding the ball: Hamilton Institute, the Yonkers K. of C. or the SS Leviathan?

Click the image to access the full team photo to see if you can detect any clue to the team identity, and if so, pass it along to this site's webmaster to help resolve the question.

The latter - in view of his little practice - he did rather well; the tuxedo he bore nobly; and the acting was magnificently and consummately done, although we doubt not he would have given an even better performance in a role permitting the development of his peculiar characteristics.

John says it is the last time he will wear a tuxedo. We hope not. He looks too handsome in one not to take advantage of that fact. Roses, so says Gray, must not be born to waste their sweetness on the desert airs.

John is not the only talented member of the family. On the program were also a sister and two brothers, all doing excellent work, with spirited singing, picturesque dancing and violin solos. Part of the performance we did not see, as the proscemium at one point was obfuscated by a madam of elephantine proportions who deposited her solidity before us.

We will hear of John Law in college. Brilliant scholarship is not all that distinguishes a man. Far and above that are the qualities of sterling character, uprightness of purpose, frankness of method, modesty of manner that make John a man of strong body, strong of mind, and strong of heart.

Seaman Law served under 2 ship line flags
Dr. Suzanne Law Hawes, in an e-mail to NYCHS, noted John Law received "his able body seaman's paper and customs release when he was 19. He worked as a piston wiper on the Dollar Steamship lines while his brothers played string quartet on the upper deck!" Her essay on this page also reports his serving aboard the Leviathan and playing on its baseball team.

Above right are the ship line flags he sailed under: Dollar and the U.S. Lines. Click either for more on the Leviathan, a U.S. Lines ship, and on Robert Dollar, ship line founder. Jospeh McMillan, world wide web expert on flags, is the source of both the Dollar flag image and U.S. Lines flag image shown above.

And, another Hamilton Echo clip:

John Law - Yonkers High School, Notre Dame, Finance. Football '23. '24 (Capt. '24) Basketball (Capt '25), Baseball '24, '25 (Capt. '25), member of student council, president of junior and senior classes, member of Echo Board. A fine athlete, a good sport and a real fellow.

John is the most popular member of our class. We are proud to have him for he would be the most prominent in any class. John was voted the most popular and the shiekiest in our who's who contest. You fellows don't know half of it. Shieky doesn't cover it. He is a heart breaker. First the widow Green and then and then. (Fill in for yourself.) Well, it's not John's fault if the women all fall for him. We sympathize, John, it's rather hard to have to humor them all, isn't it? Putting all the ladies aside, however, John is very unassuming and takes little credit for what is due him. His record would turn many a fellow's head.

Seaman John Law, 19.

Above is an image of John Brenden Law's photo attached to his 1924 seaman certification paper. It was attached at the bottom along with the official seal and his left thumbprint as shown in the image on the left. Click on either image to access a readable copy of his 1924 seaman certification paper.

Prior to graduation from Hamilton, John had already sailed to England on the Leviathan. This was his second tour ship board during that summer and he ultimately became an able bodied seaman. While working, he also caught for the Leviathan's baseball team in a game at Stamford Bridge against the American Legion team there. Several thousand persons witnessed the contest in which Mr. Law's team was victorious.

Of course, he was expected to visit his parent's relatives in Ireland on this visit and there is an itinerary that he was given:

  • 5:20 from Southampton
  • 8:45 from London
  • 3:15 from Holy?
  • 7:00 from Dublin
  • 10:00 from Belfast.

  • Train from Belfast, get off at Killagan.
  • Send telegram from Belfast to Ms. S. McAlonan, Breen, Armoy, County Antrim
  • Telegram: Meet grandson at John Law's , Dunloy immediately
  • First stop, James Law lives at Killagan.
Following there is a list of whom he should see or whom he did see while there.

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John B. Law was a member of the State Commission of Correction at the time of his death in 1962. To learn more about the SCOC, click its logo left to access its web site.

The image selections and captions on this web page are by the NYCHS webmaster.