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The necessity of revising and printing the city ordinances has long been felt by the city council; and commissioners, appointed in previous years for this purpose, have devoted more or less time to the subject. For reasons, however, which it is not necessary to state here, but little progress seems to have been made, up to the present year. Meanwhile, the old collection of ordinances being out of print, and great inconvenience being occasioned by that fact, the city council, in February last, appointed a committee, with instructions to cause the revision and printing of all the city ordinances, with such other matter as they might deem expedient, and they were authorized to employ such assistance as might be necessary. The committee subsequently employed the city solicitor to re-arrange, revise and prepare for publication, the city ordinances, in such manner as he might deem for the interest of the city, with power to engage such assistance as he might need during the progress of the work.
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condition and circumstances, which were not expressly revised or repealed, and the Revised Statutes provided that this city should continue to have and exercise all the powers and privileges, and be subject to all the duties and liabilities, mentioned in the act establishing the city of Boston, and in the several acts specially relating to said city. At the same time, the Revised Statutes contain many general provisions upon the same subjects that are included in the special laws relating to the city of Boston, which obviously supersede and were intended to supersede the special provisions. The same fact is more obvious in many subsequent statutes, where the legislature have made general provisions, in effect extending special acts to all the towns in the commonwealth. Whether a general act is to be deemed an implied repeal of a special prior act, is of course a question depending upon a careful comparison of the two acts. In the present volume, the principles laid down in the case of Brown v. City of Lowell, (8 Metcalf's Rep. 172,) have been adopted as the rule of action. No special act has been regarded as repealed by implication by a general act, unless the latter contained strong terms upon which to found such a conclusion, and even then, such notes and references have been made as will enable the reader easily to examine the point for himself.
It will be noticed that the statutes have not been inserted at length, but are presented rather in the form of a digested summary, although the language of the acts has been generally used. It would have been
In accordance with these votes the present volume has been prepared. It contains (1) a summary or digest of all the acts of the legislature relating to the city of Boston, and of such general laws as it seemed to be desirable to insert; (2) the ordinances of the city; and (3) such notes, references to judicial decisions, and such historical statements, as were deemed necessary and proper.
In regard to the legislative provisions, it has often been a difficult question to determine what acts of the legislature should be incorporated in the present volume. Of course, all the special laws now in force relating to the city should be inserted. As to the general laws, it was thought that no fixed rule could safely be adopted, but that each case should depend on a careful judgment, based upon all the facts and considerations affecting the
Some statutes, although general in their form, are more particularly applicable to Boston than to any other part of the commonwealth. In others, there are specific duties to be performed in this city in a different manner from what they are required to be performed in other places; while there are other statutes so general and universal in their application, that it was thought best to insert them for that reason.
In this department of the work there has been much difficulty and embarrassment from the fact, that when the general laws of the commonwealth were revised in 1835, there were a large number of special acts relating to the city of Boston, growing out of its peculiar wants,