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tion of a new and independent act; and in the latter cases he is informed of the year, chapter and section of the law as printed.

A few sections omitted from their proper places are printed at the end of this preface, and to these, as well as to the table of errata following them, careful attention is solicited.

The only merits that can be claimed for such a compilation are completeness and accuracy. So far as this work fulfils either of these requirements, the credit is largely due to the care and industry of Geo. C. Squires, Esq., of the Ramsey County Bar, whose aid has been invaluable to the editor. The copious index has been prepared by Mr. Squires with competent assistants.


PREFACE TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION. THE Act establishing a territorial government for Minnesota, approved March 3, 1849, provided that “the laws in force in the territory of Wisconsin at the date of the admission of the State of Wisconsin, shall continue to be valid and operative, so far as the same be not incompatibie with the provisions of this act, subject, nevertheless, to be altered, mod. ified, or repealed by the governor and legislative assembly of said territory of Minnesota."

On the twenty-first day of January, A. D., 1851, the legislative assembly of the territory of Minnesota passed a joint resolution, authorizing the joint judiciary committee of the two houses to call to their assistance such persons as they might think proper, not exceeding three in number, for the purpose of compiling and revising the laws of the territory. Pursuant to this resolution, M. L. Wilkinson, L. A. Babcock and William Holcombe were aprointed to prepare and arrange a code of laws and make report to the legislative assembly then in session. The revisors made their report, in accordance with the terms of the resolution, and the same was adopted at the session of 1851, under the style of "The Revised Statutes of the Territory of Minnesota."

By an act passed March 13, 1858, it was provided that “Moses Sherburne, Aaron Goodrich, and William Hollinshead, be appointed commissioners to compile, arrange and put into chapters, under appropriate heads, the public acts now in force, including the revised statutes and the public acts and laws passed since the revision of the statutes, and which may do

passed by this legislature; and said commissioners shall not enter upon their duties until instructed in reference to the code of practice to be adopted by this state; and that said commissioners report the result of their labors as this legislature may direct." Two distinct and diverse reports were made relating to the code of practice, neither of which were adopted by the legislature, and afterwards, two of the commissioners, Messrs. Sherburne and Hollinshead, caused to be prepared a compilation of the laws then in force, which was published in the year 1859, as a private enterprise, under the title of “The Public Statutes of the State of Minnesota."

By an act of the legislature, approved February 17, 1863, S. J. R. MoMillan, E. C. Palmer, Thomas Wilson, and Andrew G. Chatfield were appointed commissioners “to revise the statutes of this State," and were directed to have a report of their doings printed and laid before the legislature at the session of 1864. The commissioners, with the exception of Andrew G. Chatfield, who declined to serve, entered at once upon their labors, but owing to the magnitude of the undertaking, and the fact that a large portion of their time was necessarily occupied in the discharge of judicial duties, the work was not accomplished at the time designated. The legislature continued the commission, requiring a printed report to be made at the session of 1865, but the commissioners found themselves unable to complete the work satisfactorily, within the time limited, and no report was presented.

Gordon E. Cole was added to the board by act approved February 21, 1865, and, as Judges Wilson and McMillan had been placed on the bench of the Supreme Court, the labor of completing the revision devolved upon the other two commissioners.

At the session of 1866, a printed report was made, embracing the statates as revised, and containing a chapter providing for the express repeal of all existing acts of a general nature not included in the report. The report was referred to a select joint committee, was considered and examined chapter by chapter, and with such amendments as the committee deemed advisable to suggest, was presented to the legislature, which took up, considered and enacted each chapter separately.

Provision was made for letting the printing of the statutes to the lowest bidder, with a condition that the volumes should be ready for delivery on the first day of July, A. D., 1866, and by an act entitled "An act relating to editing and superintending the printing and publication of the general

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statutes," approved March 1, 1866, the undersigned was appointed commissioner “to edit and superintend the printing and publication of the general statutes of the State, together with the Constitution thereof, the Constitution of the United States, and such other additions as he may deem expedient, and to prepare head notes to the chapters, and marginal notes to the sections, with references to such of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the State, and the laws passed at the present session, as relate to or affect said sections, and an exact and copious Index to the whole."

The text of the Constitution of Minnesota and of the statutes has been carefully compared with the rolls, by the editor personally, assisted by the Secretary of State. Such errors as were discovered have been noted by enclosing the omitted or erroneous words in brackets, thus [ ], but this does not apply to cases where brackets have been used in forms.

Under the authority given the editor to make such additions as he deemed expedient, a list of general acts and sections of acts passed subse-, quently to the passage of the Revised Statutes, and expressly repealed before the passage of the General Statutes, with references to the repealing acts, has been added, together with a Glossary of such technical words and phrases as are, for the most part, found in the Statutes. In the preparation of the Glossary, the editor has consulted the best authorities within his reach, and endeavored to select those definitions and explanations which seemed adapted to popular as well as professional use.

All the care and labor, which the shortness of the time allowed for printing the statutes permitted, have been bestowed upon the Index, and it is hoped that it will be found sufficiently copious, exact and intelligible to meet the wants of the legal profession and the people generally.

In the necessary haste in which the statutes have been printed, devolving an amount of labor upon the editor, of which no one who has not occupied a similar position can form any adequate conception, it is hardly to be expected that some errors have not occurred, which longer time and a more careful scrutiny would have obviated.

The editor trusts, however, that no serious errors have been committed, and that such as are discovered will find a sufficient excuse in that legislative requirement which gave so short a period for the accomplishment of 80 extensive and important a work.

E. C. PALMER. JULY, 1866.



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