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THE

GENERAL STATUTES

OF THE

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS:

REVISED BY COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED UNDER A RESOLVE OF FEBRUARY 16, 1855,

AMENDED BY THE LEGISLATURE, AND PASSED DECEMBER 28, 1859.

TO WHICH THE .

CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

ARE PREFIXED;

AND A LIST OF ACTS PREVIOUSLY REPEALED,

A GLOSSARY, AND INDEX, ARE ADDED.

EDITED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CHAPTERS 138, 140,

AND 144 OF THE RESOLVES OF 1859.

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PUBLISHED BY WRIGHT AND POTTER,
STATE PRINTERS, 4 SPRING LANE,

BOSTON.

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PRE FACE.

On the 16th day of February, 1855, pursuant to the recommendation of commissioners appointed by the governor under a resolve of the preceding year to report a plan for consolidating and arranging the general statutes of the commonwealth, the legislature passed a resolve requiring the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, to appoint three commissioners “for consolidating and arranging the general statutes of the commonwealth on the basis, plan, and general form and method of the Revised Statutes," with authority to “omit redundant enactments and those which may have ceased to have any effect or influence on existing rights; to reject superfluous words, and condense into as concise and comprehensive a form, as is consistent with a full and clear espression of the will of the legislature, all circuitous, tautological, and ambiguous phraseology; to suggest any mistakes, omissions, inconsistencies, and imperfections which may appear in the laws to be consolidated and arranged, and the manner in which they may be corrected, supplied, and amended.” By virtue of this resolve,

JOEL PARKER, of CAMBRIDGE,
· WILLIAM A. RICHARDSON, of Lowell, and

ANDREW A. RICHMOND, of ADAMS,

were appointed and commissioned March 9, 1855. The commissioners immediately entered upon the discharge of their duties ; and, having completed the same in the autumn of 1858, their report submitted in print to the legislature at the commencement of annual session in January, 1859, by Messrs. Parker and Richards Mr. Richmond having been prevented by illness from participat in the work during the last year of its progress.

On the 23d day of February, 1859, resolves were passed proy ing for a special session of the legislature, to be commenced on first Wednesday of the next September, for the purpose of co pleting the revision, and also providing for the appointment of joint special committee, consisting of the president and eleven otl members of the Senate and the speaker and twenty-eight otl members of the House of Representatives, to examine and consid during the recess of the legislature, the report of the commissione to incorporate therein all general laws passed by the legislatu at the annual session of that year, and with power to propa such amendments and alterations in existing laws as the committ might deem expedient.

The committee appointed under these resolves organized ear in April, immediately after the adjournment of the legislature, al was in session about eighty days, exclusive of intervals of adjour ment, holidays, and Sundays.

The committee reported in print, at the special session in Se tember, numerous amendments to the commissioners' report, incq porating the legislation of the previous session and proposing man changes in the existing laws.

The legislature commenced its special session on the first Wedne day of September, and at that session, on the 28th day of Decen ber, 1859, passed the following act, which is therein designated the GENERAL STATUTES.

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