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By chapter 140 of the resolves of 1859, the undersigned were appointed commissioners“ to edit and superintend the printing and publication of the General Statutes of the commonwealth, together with the Constitution thereof, the Constitution of the United States, and such other additions as they deem expedient," and to prepare marginal notes to the sections of the Statutes, and an exact and copious Index to the whole.
The text of the Constitution of Massachusetts and of the Statutes has been carefully compared with the rolls by the editors personally. In the necessary haste in which the Statutes were engrossed upon parchment during the last part of the special session, some errors appear to have been made therein. These have been noted by brackets, thus [ ], enclosing in Roman letters, like the body of the text, any omitted word or words which should have been engrossed upon the roll, and in Italics any erroneous or superfluous word or words found there; but this does not apply to cases where brackets are used in forms.
The marginal references to the statutes and decisions are taken chiefly from the cominissioners' report; the references to the acts of the legislature of 1859, and to the later volumes of Gray's Reports, and a few other references having been added. The editors have attempted to connect together, by cross references in the margin, many of the provisions of law relating to the same subject.
A list of general acts passed subsequently to the passage of the Revised Statutes and expressly repealed before the passage of the General Statutes, with references to the repealing acts or sections, has been added, as a useful appendage to chapter 182, in order that the fact and time of the repeal of many laws not enumerated in that chapter may be more easily ascertained.
In compliance with chapter 138 of the resolves of 1859, a Glossary has been added, which is made rather for popular than for professional use, according to the supposed object of the resolve.
Much care and labor have been devoted to the Index, and it is believed that it will be found more full than that to any former edition of the laws of this commonwealth..
The editors trust that the short time allowed for printing the volume and for preparing the Glossary and Index will be deemed a sufficient excuse for any errors or imperfections which may be discovered in their editorial labors.
WILLIAM A. RICHARDSON,