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ON

AMERICAN L A W.

BY JAMES KENT.

VOL. I.

TWELFTH EDITION,

EDITED BY

0. W. HOLMES, JR.

THIRTEENTH EDITION,

EDITED BY

CHARLES M. BARNES.

BOSTON:
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

1884.

[L. S.]

Southern District of New York, 89.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-fifth day of November, A. D. 1826, in the fifty-first

year of the Independence of the United States of America, JAMES KENT, of the said dis3.] trict, has deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:

" Commentaries on American Law, By JAMES KENT. Vol. 1." In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned." And also to an Act, entitled An Act, supplementary to an Act entitled An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.

JAMES DILL,
Clerk of the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirt two, by JAMES KENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty, by JAMES KENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, by WILLIAX KENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and Afty-one, by WILLIAM KENT, in the Clerk's Omce of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ifty-four, by WILLIAM KENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight, by WILLIAM KENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty, by WILLIAM KENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, by MRS. WILLIAM KENT, in the Clerk's Omre of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by JAMES KENT, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884, by JAMES Kent, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

UNIVERSITY PRESS :
JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE.

TO

WILLIAM JOHNSON, Esq.

DEAR SIR,

IN compiling these volumes, (originally intended, and now published for the benefit of American students,) I have frequently been led to revisit the same ground, and to follow out the same paths, over which I have so often passed with you as a companion to cheer and delight me.

You have reported every opinion which I gave in term time, and thought worth reporting, during the five-andtwenty years that I was a Judge at Law and in Equity, with the exception of the short interval occupied by Mr. Caines's Reports. During that long period, I had the happiness to maintain a free, cordial, and instructive intercourse with you; and I feel unwilling now to close my labors as an author, and withdraw myself finally from the public eye, without leaving some memorial of my grateful sense of the value of your friendship, and my reverence for your character.

In inscribing this work to you, I beg leave, sir, at the same time, to add my ardent wishes for your future welfare, and assure you of my constant esteem and regard.

se

V reverence

JAMES KENT.

PREFACE TO THE THIRTEENTH EDITION.

The thoroughness with which the work of Judge Holines in editing the twelfth edition of these Commentaries was done, has left for the present editor no more than an attempt to make such additions as seem called for by the development of the law during the last eleven years. The rapid multiplication of judicial decisions during that time has made even this, however, a work of no small magnitude, and nearly two years have been devoted to the task. A full collection of authorities could not, of course, be attempted in a work of this nature, but a very large number of cases have been examined with a view to selecting for insertion the important and leading cases. To a large extent these have been simply inserted in brackets in the notes of Chancellor Kent or of Judge Holmes. Those inserted in the notes of Chancellor Kent can generally be distinguished from those previously inserted by the date of the report. In brackets will also be found several notes by Judge Comstock, and one by Justice Kent, the Chancellor's son, which were retained in the twelfth edition, and are marked with the initials of the authors. The notes of Chancellor Kent are readily distinguishable as

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