of the inhabitants of Maryland have been adopted by the constitution
of Maryland, and incorporated
with the laws, but such as have been found by experience applicable to
our local and other circumstances;
and it does not appear to the court, there can be any other safe criterion
by which the
applicability of such statutes to our local and other circumstances can
be ascertained and established,
but that of having been used and practised under in this state."
In the application of this criterion to the several
statutes as passed in review, it must however be
observed, that many statutes relating to rights and rules of property have
been tacitly and without
contest acquiesced in, and that many have been used and practised under
without the sanction of
any express decision of the courts. Several of the criminal statutes
which would otherwise have
remained in force, are stated as improper to be incorporated on account
of the act of the last session,
commonly called the penitentiary law. I am aware that by the 49th
section, that act is suspended
until after thirty days from the date of the proclamation which the governor,
in certain events is directed
to issue, but I have preferred the course of declaring those statutes affected
by the said act,
which is presumed will soon go into operation, to that of stating the
law in a manner which is
likely to be so speedily and materially changed.
In the successive examinations of the report, several
errors have been discovered and rectified.
These corrections have occasioned erasures as to those parts* which are
suffered to remain, as not
being of any prejudice to the work; and a fair copy could not have been
made within the time allowed
for its completion.
WILLIAM KILTY, Chancellor.
November 12, 1810.
* It has been deemed proper to insert
the introduction without any change; but it will of course be understood
that the erasures spoken of,
referred to the manuscript report, and do not affect the present publication.