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"Entered according to Act of Congress" in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine,

Br John Bouvier,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

"Entered according to Act of Congress" in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-three,

Br John Bouvier,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

TO THE HONOURABLE

JOSEPH STORY, L.L.D.,

ONE OF THE JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT
OF THE UNITED STATES,

THIS WORK
is,

WITH HIS PERMISSION,

MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,

AS ^. TOKEN

OF THE GREAT REGARD ENTERTAINED FOR HIS TALENTS, LEARNING AND CHARACTER,

iT

THE AUTHOR.

ADVERTISEMENT

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

To merit, in some degree, the approbation which has been bestowed upon this work, the author has devoted much time and taken much pains to render it as perfect as possible. One thousand new subjects have been added, and many, perhaps one half, of the original articles have been revised and improved.

Among the new, will be found the article Bankrupt, which has been put in, although the act of the 19th of August, 1841, has been repealed. This part of the work was printed before the repeal, and it was then properly introduced, but, as it is still in force in relation to pending cases, and those which have been decided, the article will be found useful.

The examples under the article Abbreviation have been nearly doubled, and several hundreds have been added to the article Construction.

The longest articles have been numbered, and at the end of each, an index has been added, to enable the student to find, at a glance, the object of his search.

To insure correctness with regard to local matters, the author opened a correspondence with one gentleman of the bar in each state, and received from them all, with but one exception, that assistance and information which he desired; bestowed with that courteous liberality, so prominent with the American bar, and with gentlemen of education. He here takes the opportunity to offer them his sincere thanks. The information thus obtained has been incorporated in his work, and it will, he hopes, greatly aid to procure to it the title of an American Law Dictionary.

As a new edition of Bacon's Abridgment is in the course of publication, different in paging from other editions, the references to that work have been changed from the volume and page, as they were in the first edition of this work, to the title. The latter mode of reference will suit all editions

Philadelphia, June, 1843.

PREFACE.

To the difficulties which the author experienced on his admission to the bar, the present publication is to be attributed. His endeavours to get forward in his profession were constantly obstructed, and his efforts for a long time frustrated, for want of that knowledge which his elder brethren of the bar seemed to possess. To find among the reports and the various treatises on the law the object of his inquiry, was a difficult task; he was in a labyrinth without a guide; and much of the time which was spent in finding his way out, might, with the friendly assistance of one who was acquainted with the construction of the edifice, have been saved, and more profitably employed. He applied to law dictionaries and digests within his reach, in the hope of being directed to the source whence they derived their learning, but he was too often disappointed; they seldom pointed out the authorities where the object of his inquiry might be found. It is true such works contain a great mass of information, but from the manner in which they have been compiled, they sometimes embarrassed him more than if he had not consulted them. They were written for another country possessing laws different from our own, and it became a question how far they were or were not applicable here. Besides, most of the matter in the English law dictionaries will be found to have been written while the feudal law was in its full vigour, and not fitted to the present times, or calculated for present use, even in England. And there is a great portion which, though useful to an English lawyer, is almost useless to the American student. What, for example, have we to do with those laws of Great Britain which relate to the person of their king, their nobility, their clergy, their navy, their army; with their game laws; their local statutes, such as regulate their banks, their canals, their exchequer, their marriages, their births, their burials, their beer and ale houses, and a variety of similar subjects?

The most modern law dictionaries are compilations from the more ancient, with some modifications and alterations; and, in many instances, they are servile copies, without the slightest alteration. In the mean time the law has undergone a great change. Formerly the principal object of the law seemed to be to regulate real property, in all its various artificial modifications, while little or no attention was bestowed upon the rules which govern personal property and rights. The mercantile law has since arisen, like a bright pyramid, amid the gloom of the feudal law, and is now far more important in practice, than that which refers to real estate. The law of real property, too, has changed, particularly in this country.

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