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In the side notes in this volume, are added frequent references to the New York Reports. They will be often found necessary, and at all times useful, in explaining the Text.

That part of the Oregon Statutes relating to the manner of commencing and prosecuting actions at law, are taken, word for word, from the New York Code. As the Code abolished the distinctions that formerly existed in civil actions, and modified the forms of practice in many essential respects, those who practiced under the old system will often find difficulty in understanding the provisions herein enacted; and to no other Reports can they refer, in cases of doubt, unless to those of New York. We have also incorporated that part of the New York Statutes which refers to Executors and Administrators, and to Fraudulent Conveyances and Contracts.

To say anything in favor of the New York Reports, would be superfluous: they are acknowledged to be superior in legal erudition, and are, for this reason, referred to more frequently, by the legal writers of this country, than those of any other State. Until we have a settled system of Jurisprudence of our own, we must rely on the experience of our neighbor. The Editor, therefore, confidently hopes. the refer, ences furnished to the following enactments will have the approval of the profession.




Barb.—Barbour's Reports, 17 vols.
Barb. Ch.-Barbour's Ch. Reports, 3 vols.
Cai.—Caine's Reports, 3 vols.
Cai. Ca.-Caine's Cases, 2 vols.
Coms.-Comstock's Reports, 4 vols.
Cow.-Cowen's Reports, 9 vols.
Denio-Denio's Reports, 5 vols.
Edw.—Edwards' Chancery Reports, 4 vols.
Hill-Hill's Reports, 7 vols.
Hoff.-Hoffman's Chancery Reports, 1 vol.

Hop.--Hopkins' Chancery Reports, 1 vol. How.-Howard's Practice Reports, 9 vols. John.-Johnson's Reports, 20 vols. John. Ch.—Johnson's Chancery Rep'ts, 7 vols. John. Ca.-Johnson's Cases, 3 vols. Paige-Paige's Chancery Reports, 11 vols. Sanf.-Sanford's Reports, 5 vols. Sanf. Ch.-Sanford's Chancery Reports, 4 vls. Wen.-Wendell's Reports, 26 vols.


JULY 4, 1776.



WHEN, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for Preamble. one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth,

, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are cre- Reasons ated equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain thereof. unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former system of government. The history of the present king of Great Britain is a his


tory of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:

He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the Legislature-a right inestimable to them, and formidable to týrants only.

Ile has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise -the state remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states—for that purpose obstructing the laws of naturalization of foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has crected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws-giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation.

For quartering large bodies of troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states :

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a ner boring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, en larging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and


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