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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and

fifty-nine, by

H. H. BANCROFT & COMPANY,

1n the Clerk's Oflice of the District Court of the Northern District of the State of

California.

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INTRODUCTION.

In view of the necessity of a book of forms for uso in California, adapted to the peculiar features of our laws, and at the request of the publishers, the following work has been prepared, intended to serve for all the purposes usual in law and in works of this character.

The plan adopted embraces a wide range of subjects, each division containing not only a series of forms but also appropriate selections from the statutes, and the adjudications of the Supreme Court—in some instances separately arranged, in others connected and woven together—it being their design not only to furnish the necessary matters of law requisite in the preparation of forms, but also to present an outline of our legal system, so far as useful to citizens generally in their various business pursuits.

While, however, the object has been more particularly to prepare a compilation in popular form for the aid of laymen, it has also been arranged with reference to its use by conveyancers and the legal profession. The difficulty of combining satisfactorily these two objects, furnishes all the apology I might feel called upon to offer for the apparent want of uniformity in the selection and arrangement of some portions of the matter introduced.

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To extend the usefulness of the work, and adapt it generally to the Pacific coast, the laws of Oregon and Washington Territories are noted under the respective heads, so far as practicable, showing their resemblances and differences, as compared with our system.

The subject of mining rights, in view of its peculiar importance in this state, has been presented in a full and complete treatise; for which I am indebted to J. F. Bowman, Esq.

The excellent index to the constitution of this state was taken by permission of Dr. Wood from his compilation of the statutes, and the statutory references noted at the foot of each page as they occur, are made to the articled enumeration in Wood's Digest, as the most simple and uniform method.

D. P. BELKNAP.

San Francisco, 27th October, 1859.

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