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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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At the session which began in November, 1784, the following resolve was assented
                                to by both branches of the legislature:

    RESOLVED, That Mr. Frederick Green, printer to this state, be directed to
collect and print, in one or more volumes, one hundred copies of all the acts of assembly
(now in force) passed since the twenty-sixth of November, seventeen hundred
and sixty-three, to the end of this session of assembly, under the direction of Alexander
C. Hanson and Samuel Chase, Esquires, with the bill of rights, and constitution and
form of government, the confederation, and the resolutions of the conventions, and
the proceedings of the convention that framed the constitution, at the public expence,
and subject to the disposal of the general assembly; and that the intendant of the
revenue be directed to advance Mr. Green such a sum of money as he may think
proper, to assist him in the execution of the work.

    ALTHOUGH the superintendance of the following publication was
committed to two persons, the gentleman, whose superior talents might
have enabled him to render complete satisfaction, did not think proper
to share in the undertaking.  It required more time and application, than could
be spared from more interesting and important engagements.
    THE person, therefore, who may be styled the editor, was left to form his
own construction of the resolve, and to obey it in the best manner his abilities
would admit.  He directed to be printed at large all subsisting public acts of
assembly, the operation of which was not already past; the proceedings of the
last convention, so far as in any manner they respect the declaration of rights,
and the constitution and form of government; the subsisting resolves of convention,
and the articles of confederation.  The order in which these are
disposed, is such as to him and the printer appeared most convenient.  He has
given only abstracts of the public acts which, notwithstanding they may be
termed perpetual laws, have spent their operation; and abstracts also of all acts
relating to parishes, schools, and small societies or bodies of men.  He has
likewise given the substance of every temporary law which contained provisions
remarkable enough to merit a particular notice.  Of the rest he has inserted only
the titled, with here and there a short historical note.
    IN framing the index, he did not imitate the plan of his respectable predecessor;
because no index ought to be relied on for the substance of the act it refers
to.  He thought it sufficient to point out the act itself; and for that purpose he
has adopted such heads as will probably occur to those conversant in laws; and
he has even sometimes placed the same thing under several different heads.
    AS he was fully apprized of the difficulty of adapting an index to every man's
taste and turn of mind, he was particularly attentive to that part of his undertaking.

He might indeed have been deplorably defective, and the most diligent inquirer
might be baffled in his researches after some of the laws comprehended in this
collection.  With respect to the propriety of making the title correspond with
each enacting clause, it may suffice to mention the following circumstance.  The
editor had been told, that a chancery jurisdiction was conferred on the general
court in all cases where the chancellor is to be made a party to a bill in equity.
He made several fruitless searches for the law, and at length, in the progress of
this revision, he found it most unaccountably inserted in the middle of an act

relating to the estates of deceased persons.
    IT is the office of an index to remedy the inconvenience of defective titles,
and, at one view, to point out every provision belonging to each particular head.
It is hoped the index at the end of this volume will answer these purposes.  But
unless our legislators will condescend to adopt the hint, or avail themselves of
their own better wisdom, the same inconvenience will speedily recur.


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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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