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Proceedings of the Maryland Court of Appeals, 1695-1729
Volume 77, Preface 4   View pdf image (33K)
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seventeenth century. It is believed, however, that the time is now ripe for a
more comprehensive and systematic program.

In view of this situation, a conference of historians and representative
students of law was held at New York in January, 1930, under the auspices of
the American Historical Association and as a result of the conference a com-
mittee was organized to formulate a program. This committee, representing
the legal, as well as the historical, profession, agreed after extended discus-
sion to inaugurate a series of volumes embodying hitherto unpublished
sources for American legal history, each volume to include suitable editorial
matter intended to clarify the text and to suggest its bearing upon the devel-
opment of political, economic, and social, as well as strictly legal, institutions.
For the initial volumes, it was decided to select judicial records of the eight-
eenth century — a period even more seriously neglected than the earlier
colonial era — beginning with the proceedings of the Maryland Court of
Appeals from 1695 to 1729. As will be explained in detail by the editor,
who is also the present Chief Judge of the Court, we have here an unusually
full and interesting record, containing much illustrative material supple-
menting the formal court entries. In short, this volume records the work,
two hundred years ago, of a fully developed judicial tribunal applying the law
of England, but also adapting that law to the needs of a new environment.

Responsibility for the inauguration of this series of American Legal
Records has been assumed by the Executive Council of the American His-
torical Association, acting through its Committee on the Littleton-Griswold
Fund. The income of that Fund, established by Mrs. Frank T. Griswold of
Radnor, Pennsylvania, has been applied to meet the expenses of preparing
manuscript, and of publication. By a happy coincidence, which came to light
as the present volume was passing through the press, its editor has had the
added satisfaction of renewing in this way an association of friendship, going
back to college days, with one of those in whose memory the Littleton-
Griswold Fund has been established. Thanks are also due to the officers
of the Maryland Historical Society for their helpful cooperation.

For advice and sympathetic interest, the Committee is indebted to many
members of the legal profession. It is a special pleasure to acknowledge here
the encouragement, given at an early stage in the development of this project,
by Mr. Justice Brandeis, of the Supreme Court of the United States.

For the Committee:


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Proceedings of the Maryland Court of Appeals, 1695-1729
Volume 77, Preface 4   View pdf image (33K)
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