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During the session of the legislature which commenced on the first Monday of January, in the year 1844, the attention of that body was directed to the condition of the general laws of the state, and an inquiry was instituted into the propriety of their re-vi-ion and con-olidation The former revision had been amended and moditied by successive legislatures, until scarcely a single chapter remained as originally pased, and the numerous general statutes enacud in addition to, or amend. atory of the revi-ed statutes, had undergone so many mutations as to produce inat state of confu. sion and uncertainty in the laws, which is always a most fruitful source of vexation and ruinous lingution. These considerations, with other cogent reasons, which were set forth in the report of the committee to whom the subject was referred, induced the legislature to provide for a revision and consolidation of the general laws of the state.
In pursuance of the act to provide for consolidating and revising the general laws of the state of Michigan, approved March 2. '1844, and the act amendatury thereof, approved March 12, 1844, the undersigned was, on the 13th of that month, appointed on nor, a commissioner, to prepare the revision there in provided for. The work was completed a report-d to the legi-lature, print. ed in bill form, with marginal notes and references, at it- anuual session in 1846, during which it was acted upon and passed as one entire act, with such alterations as the legislature thought proper to make, and was approved by the governor on the 18th day of May
In pursuance of the act to provide for the publication of the revised statutes (publiehed on page 759 of this volume) the undersigned was, on the 19th of May luft, appointed by the governor, a commissioner, to superintend the publication of the revised -tatutes, together with the other matter specitied in said act, and to prepare marginal notes to the sections, and an exact and copious index to the whole. This volume is now published in pursuance of that commission, and is the result of the enactments and labors above mentioned.
The rapidity with which this work has progressed from its first inception to its final publication, occupying in all only about two years and nine months, when considered in connexion with the indispen-able labor of examining and fully and deliberately investigating the reasons of every provision, whether new or old, proposed to be incorporated into it, with reference not only to its probable, but also to its possible etfect, will atford an apology for any defects or imperfections wbich may be found to exist in it.
The several parts of the report of the revisor were referred to committees as they were re. ported; but a considerable portion of it was taken up and acted upon, before those committees were prepared to report it back During the progress of the revision through the forms of legislation, from its first reading to its final passage, the legislature was also occcupied with the other bu. siness of the session, including several matters of great importance, and absorbing interest. This state of things, so unfavorable to the perfection of the details of a code of laws intended to be per. manent, has resulted in producing several incongruities and discrepances, which it will require fu. ture legi-lation to harmonize and correct.
The following pote indicates the principal alterations which were made by the legislature to the reviser's report, and is inserted as a matter of justice between the reviser and the legislature, that the labors of the one may not be credited or charged to the other; and also, as being calculated to afford some aid in determining the objects and intentions of the legislature, in cases where embar. rassing doubts might otherwise arise as to the true meaning and intent of the makers of the law.
Where words have ben found in the enrolled copy which were evidently supertiuous, they have been printed in italics. Where one word has evidently been mistaken for another, the mistaken word'has been ret ined, and the word supposed to have been intended has been inserted imine. diately after it, in italice, and in parenthesis; and when a word has been found ve essary to sustain the sense of the context, it has been supplied, and enclosed within brackets. References have been made in the margin to the session laws, upon the same subjects treated of in the revised statutes. under the proper head; but the former revised statutes, having been made the principal basis of the new revision, are not so referred to. Numerous adjudicated cases have been referred to, arising under similar provisions of statutes in other states, and some few cases d-cided in the supreme court of this state, although at the time this volume was printed, no reports of decisions in that court had yet been published.
SANFORD M. GREEN, DECEMBER, 1846.