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HONORABLE SMITH THOMPSON,
ONE OF THE ASSOCIATE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
SI-I desire to dedicate this work to you. Its design is to shed light upon the jurisprudence of the United States, and to guide the inexperienced practitioner in the national courts.
I know not, indeed, to whom it could with more propriety be inscribed, than to a citizen of my own native state, who, after contributing largely, as a judge of her highest courts, to the great work of developing, illustrating and perfecting, the principles of her jurisprudence, has devoted the energies of a powerful, disciplined and upright mind, for eighteen years, to the faithful and successful performance of similar labors in the highest judicial tribunals of the nation.
But in addition to that high respect for your public character and services which, in common with the rest of your fellow-citizens, I have long entertained, I am actuated no less by other sentiments of more recent birth.
It has been my good fortune during the last few years, to be intimately associated with you as a judge of the Circuit Court of the United States. I have thus for the first time enjoyed a favorable opportunity fully to learn and justly to appreciate your claims to unalloyed esteem and affectionate regard.
I employ, therefore, but the simple language of truth when I add, that
I am most cordially and devotedly,
MELROSE, near Auburn,
January 1, 1842.
as well as most respectfully yours,
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
Since the last edition of this work, several acts of Congress have been passed, and many decisions have been made by the Supreme Court of the United States, essentially affecting the subjects of which it treats, and requiring modifications and numerous additions.
The author, finding himself in possession of abundant leisure, has studiously availed himself of it, moreover, to enhance the value of the work in other respects.
To this end a considerable proportion of Part I. has been remodeled in the hope of rendering it more perspicuous, and a new chapter relative to the concurrent jurisdiction of the national and state courts has been added. Parts IV. and V. relating to criminal proceedings and writs of error, have been carefully rewritten and considerably enlarged.
Since the last edition the General Rules, regulating the practice of the Supreme Court, which had been framed or declared, from time to time, and by numerous modifications had become perplexing, have been supplanted by a new set of Rules, which will be found in the Appendix. To the practical forms contained in former editions, a few others have been superadded.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.