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"5. Resolved, That the said M. BRAYMAN be required to submit to said committee, such portion of said work as is already completed; and to prepare and submit the remainder thereof, as speedily as the same shall be needed by said joint committee for examination; and that the whole shall be completed, and the last chapter thereof ready for the action of said committee, by the tenth day of February next. And the said committee shall report said work in chapters, as soon as the same are examined and approved, and in sufficient time to be acted upon by the General Assembly at its present session-the manner of reporting said work to the two Houses to be as follows: The first chapter to the Senate, the second to the House, and and so on alternately, that loss of time may be avoided."

In accordance with the foregoing resolutions, the work was submitted to the joint committee designated, consisting of the following gentlemen:-Mesers. CAVARLY, DOUGHERTY, DAVIS, FORMAN, WERB, ALLEN, and CONSTABLE, of the Senate, and Messrs. MANNING, BENEDICT, LOGAN, JANNEY, STRONG, YATES, BOYAKIN, LOTT, and DENNING, cf the House of Representatives. When it is considered, that the joint committee was not charged with this weighty addition to its duties, until a late period of an exciting session-that it was composed of leading and active members of the two Houses, who had their full share of the burden of ordinary legislation to sustain, and scarcely any leisure to devote to the subject, it cannot but be highly creditable to their energy and zeal for the attainment of a public good, that they made an examination of the entire work, and submitted it to the General Assembly, in time for its adoption, in the form in which it is now presented to the public.

The chapters were presented to the Houses, and by them passed, separately, at different times; but received the approval of the Council of Revision, at one time, as one entire act; and were intended to be contemporaneous in their operation. The only exception, is in the case of chapter 54, title "INTEREST," which took effect on the first of May, and such sections of chapter 90 as related to the publication of the work. In connexion with these, it may be well to mention, that chapters 89 and 98, entitled "REVENUE" and "SCHOOLS," were passed as acts of the session, and are, by a special provision, incorporated as chapters in their proper order, (see pages 473-4.) Section 80, in chapter 98, was repealed after the passage of the act, and is omitted from the present compilation.

Owing to the fact, that most of the acts of a general nature were not finally acted upon until near the close of the session, and after the chapters had mostly gone beyond the reach of revision, but few of them are incorporated in those chapters, according to the original design. Such as were so incorporated, are repealed in chapter 90, and not published in the appendix, while such as were not incorporated, remain in force, and are published in the appendix. Such other laws of a general nature, passed at previous sessions, as were not incorporated, and are essential to a proper understanding of the matters comprised in the chapters and acts, are also published in the appendix. Sundry laws of the United States, on subjects of general interest and daily reference, and a tabular statement of the

times and places of holding courts in the several judicial circuits, are given. They will be found convenient to all, especially to members of the bar, and others concerned in the administration of justice. The analytical notes at the heads of the chapters, have been prepared with some care, and will be found a useful aid in the examination of their contents. The index involved a greater amount of labor and research, than one (as in the present case) destitute of experience, could anticipate. It will be found sufficiently voluminous, though less perfect than desired, owing to want of time to correct its arrangement, and to classify its various references, in a more natural order under their appropriate heads. It is believed that no errors have occured in the execution of the work, which change or obscure the meaning of the text. Those of a merely typographical character, which, in the most carefully corrected publications, escape detection, will, when discovered, suggest their own correction to the mind of the observing reader.

That none may be disappointed, from having expected too much from this work, it is proper to say here, that it is by no means, such a full and radical revision, or even compilation, of our laws, as was desired, or at first intended. At its commencement, a wider range was taken-alterations, additions, and innovations, when deemed expedient, were freely made, having in view the construction of a full code of statute law, corresponding with those adopted by neighboring States. But when the subject was acted upon by the Legislature, and presented to the joint committee, full two-thirds of the session had already passed away-the ordinary business of legislation remained to be perfected, and it became impossible to compress a work requiring months for its accomplishment, into the space of a few days. The original design was therefore contracted, and the only object possible of attainment was sought—that of collating and arranging the laws of the State, in accordance with their true spirit and intention, making them plain and intelligible, and relieving them from that smothering load of useless verbiage, contradictions and doubts, which had been accumulating arough so many years of changing legislation. The object became, not so inden to make new laws, or to depart materially from the spirit and meaning of those already existing, as to prune away excrescences, reconcile contradictions, and condense and arrange in convenient order, all that remained in force at the ume. Every thing that had been repealed or superseded, was omitted-confflicting provisions were reconciled, and sections which were obscure, involved, or doubtful in their meaning, were re-written, so as to express the evident intention of the Legislature, and conform to constructions fixed by the Supreme Court. These desired ends, it is apprehended, have not been fully attained, more particularly in some of the later chapters, which were thrown together with such haste as to preclude elaborate examination, and to prevent that attention to grammatical accuracy and correctness of style, which are so necessary to the usefulness, to say nothing of As far as possible and consistent the literary merit, of a work of this character. with duty, errors thus occurring have been carefully corrected, during the progress of the several chapters through the press.

It will be apparent that some of the chapters contain provisions of law enacted in early times, but which have no application to our present circumstances, and which, if presented as separate propositions, would not have been approved. With regard to such, it is sufficient to say, that their incorporation was acquiesced in, because they were a part of the existing law, and because time was not at the command of the Legislature, to discuss and settle every objection which might well have been raised.

If, after much labor and research on the part of those engaged in bringing this compilation to its present shape, performed in haste, and amidst circumstances so unfavorable to calm and deliberate investigation, it shall be found to promote the public good, satisfy the wants of the people for the time, and aid in establishing the jurisprudence of the State upon a more firm and well-defined basis, surely none will regret that the effort has been made.

SPRINGFIELD, September 25, 1845.





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