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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT:
District Clerk's Office. BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twentyfifth day of July, A. D. 1829, in the fiftyfourth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Nathan Dane, of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words following, lo wit:
'A General Abridgment and Digost of American Law, with occasional Notes and Comments. By Nathan Dane, LL. D. Counsellor at Law. Volume Njoth."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies; during the times therein mentioned ; and also to an act, entitled "An act supplementary to an act, entitled, “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentiono:);” and extending the bortefite thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.'
JNO. W. DAVIS, Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.
Fredi N. Gale
PREFACE TO THE NINTH VOLUME.
The cases added will be a few select American decisions made, and laws enacted, before 1820, and, generally, those decided and enacted since, American and foreign; in both cases the marginal references to cases of any age, as they may apply, will be added. In the work, as first published, there is as much foreign law, and for the most part, as much American law, found in existence in 1820, as is consistent with the plan of this work. The law published since 1820, is the most authentic and useful, being the latest; and of it, of the highest authority, there is not a small quantity, and that too decided and enacted by the courts and legislatures having final jurisdiction on the subjects on which they act.
As the work in its origin was the first of the kind in America, it was, in the outset, often necessary to introduce into it legal history and explanations, discussion, and reasoning. This course is now become less necessary, and need not frequently be adopted.
As American law, especially in print, is vastly increased since this work was originally and mainly formed, now and in future there ought to be included in it a much greater proportion of late American, and much less of English law; more especially as eminent judges and lawyers in the United States very justly hold English decisions, made since the United States became independent, not to be binding authorities in them, and not being such, they are but the opinions of eminent judges and chancellors, as may be thousands in other nations; however, the English decisions are very often on the principles, and often on the very words of our own laws, these and those of England being in many cases the same; also it is thus the superiority of the English over the American decisions is rapidly passing away.
Since this work went to the press, I have reviewed the new Commercial Code of France, and the English and our laws, on the same subject. In many cases in this code I find precision and certainty, where, in the English and our laws, I find the opposite character. I have, therefore, added a small selection from this code in cases in which it highly merits