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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT:
District Clerk's Office. BE it remembered, that on the eighteenth day of November, A.D. 1817, and in the forty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, John Gallison, of the said District, has deposited in this Office the 'Title of a Book, the Right whervof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, to wit-Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Court of the United States, for the First Circuit. Vol. II. Containing the Cases determined in the Districts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in the years 1814 and 1815. By John Gallison, Counsellor at Law.
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 mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints."
JNO. W. DAVIS,
LIBRARY OF THE
Le wird IMENT.
Most of the questions, which are agitated in the Courts of the United States, are remote from any of the ordinary subjects of discussion in other tribunals. They form a new and distinct branch of law, connected with some of our most important rights and interests.
The construction of the federal and state constitutions, of treaties, and of the laws regulating our foreign commerce ; the fixing of the boundary, which marks the division of power between the whole confederacy, and its several members ; the limits of the jurisdiction of the national courts, as courts of common law, chancery, admiralty and prize ; in what cases this jurisdiction is exclusive, and in what concurrent with the courts of the several states'; all these are topics, which must long continue to supply cases of great legal doubt, the decisions upon which will form a body of public law of the United States.
The revenue laws afford another class of questions of great interest, not only to the citizen, who may often be compelled to resort to the treasury for relief from penalties incurred through mistake or ignorance ; but to the numerous officers, who are appointed to watch over the execution of these laws, and to whom an accurate knowledge of the extent of their powers and duties is in the highest degree important.
If to these are added the many admiralty and maritime causes, which affect the interests of navigation and commerce ; the large class of contracts and civil injuries, as well as crimes and offences, which belong to this branch of the jurisdiction of the federal courts; it will be sufficiently apparent, that their decrees ought not to be confined within the walls, where they are pronounced. Nor is it enough to publish the decisions of the Supreme Court only. Those of the Circuit Courts are final in by far the greater part of the cases, that are brought before them. In revising, on writs of error, the judgments of the District Courts, they must in all cases decide in the last resort, with the single exception provided by the sixth section of the Act of 1802, ch. 31. Numberless questions will necessarily arise and receive their determina. tion in these courts, especially in commercial districts and in cases relating to the revenue laws, which will never reach the Supreme Court. Of this fact abundant proof will be found in the ensuing volume.
These considerations will, it is hoped, be sufficient to excuse the addition of another to those numerous volumes of Reports, to which, at their present rate of increase, the “ mille plaustrorum onus” of Heineccius* may soon, without a very extravagant hyperbole, be applied. If any thing may be anticipated from the favourable reception of the former volume, that now offered, containing cases not less important in principle or useful in practice, will not be unacceptable to the profession.
In stating the arguments of counsel, the reporter has aspired to no other merit, than that of being brief, accurate and perspicuous. He alone must, in general, be responsible for the language employed. Where the case appeared to possess a more than ordinary degree of importance, the arguments have been reported in a more extended form. All the authorities cited have, it is believed, been retained, and the references, both in the arguments and opinions, have been carefully compared with the books referred to. Particular care has been taken to notice and preserve such points of practice, as arose incidentally, and were not of sufficient importance to call for a written opinion.
* Preface to Vinnius.
But, whatever care and diligence may have been used, the reporter is conscious of many defects, for which he must claim the indulgence of the profession.—At the period, which closes the present volume, he found his other engagements incompatible with a farther attention to the duties of reporting. The work will be continued by a gentleman, whose qualifications ensure the successful performance of his undertaking.
Boston, Nov. 1817.