ON receiving the appointment of Chancellor, I determined to
make every effort to acquire a competent knowledge of the
peculiar principles and practice of the Court of Chancery of
Maryland, to which my attention had been so rarely drawn.
and for which I had had, for main years in the judicial sta-
tions I previously held, so little use. Upon inquiry I soon
found, that any thing like an accurate knowledge of those
peculiarities was only to be gathered from the records them-
selves; To which I therefore resorted, and after a careful peru-
sal noted the course of proceeding, and occasionally made short
digests of such cases as appeared most likely to be useful there-
after. In this way I collected a considerable mass of informa-
tion, which has greatly facilitated my official labours.
It is of no less importance to the people than to the profes-
sion, that the peculiar principles and practice of the Court, as
well as the general rules of law, should be clearly made known
To all: which it is obvious can in no way be so well done as
by the usual mode of publishing reports of cases as they have
actually occurred and been disposed of. For a time I had lea-
son to hope, that some member of the bar would report the cases
as thy were decided subsequent to my appointment; but when
that hope failed I determined to undertake the work myself.
The task, I was aware, would be attended with many difficul-
ties and much labour; and the move so to me, because of the
manifold interruptions occasioned by the heavy current of busi-
ness continually pressing through the Court.
On reflecting upon the nature of the undertaking I deemed it
proper to begin with the earliest of my own decisions, taking
them up in chronological order according to the date of the last
material adjudication in each case. and to make such a selec-
tion from them as would give to the profession the greatest
amount and variety of information within the smallest compass.
1 have rarely or never preserved my notes of the arguments of