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FROM THE HON. JOSEPH L. RICHARDSON, FIRST JUDGE OF
CAYUGA COUNTY. “I am of opinion that the Land Owner's Manual will be found to be a work of prime necessity. I have through a long life of judicial experience felt the want of such a digest; and I think you will lay the community at large under great obligations by its publication."
FROM S. A. GOODWIN, ESQ., COUNSELLOR, &c.
“Your work evinces industry, research and ability, and will be convenient in the hands of professional gentlemen and others, as it furnishes a ready solution to many questions continually arising with those interested in land titles. It has moreover ma points of interest to the antiquarian tastes of the general reader."
FROM THE HON. ABRAHAM GRIDLEY, N. Y. SENATE.
“I am satisfied that the Land Owner's Manual cannot fail to be of vast utility not only to emigrants but to every person interested in western lands. The documentary history of each State will be interesting to the public generally. I hope the manuscript may be put to press, and doubt not that its sale will be rapid and general. I recall many instances of perplexity and embarrassment whilst acting us County Clerk some twenty years ago, concerning the execution, attestation, and recording of foreign conveyances which such a book would have obviated. I would advise that it be condensed in size as far as practicable, so that it may not be so voluminous or expensive as to be beyond the command of every one who needs it."
FROM THE HON. JOHN PORTER.
“From a cursory examination of the sheets of your work I find evidence of your assiduity in collecting the necessary materials for such a publication; and of your judgment and skill in arranging them in a form convenient and useful for reference. Those seeking historical information upon subjects of which you treat, and others interested in the municipal regulations of New-York and the Western States, so far as relate to land titles, must feel under obligations to you for the ready means your book will afford of ascertaining those rules by which they must be governed in various transactions of business, as well as for the appropriate remarks with which you accompany elucidate and apply them.”
FROM NELSON BEARDSLEY, ESQ., COUNSELLOR, &c.
Having heretofore experienced inconvenience from the want of information now so readily obtained from your “ Land Owner's Manual," I can more fully arpreciate the value of your labors. The work is evidently the fruit of much re. search, and cannot fail to commend itself to all who have business relations with the people of the States, of whose laws and statuto regulations you treat in so lucid and practical a manner."
FROM THE HON. GEORGE RATHBUN.
* Your work I have no doubt will be found a convenient, useful and valuable book, not only to non-resident land owners, but to our citizens generally, comprising as it does much useful information upon a great variety of subjects."
FROM MICHAEL S. MYERS, ESQ., COUNSELLOR, &c. "I concur in the opinions expressed in favor of your Land Owner's Manual. The scope and matter of the work must render it useful to the profession, and instructive to the general reader.
FROM GEO. W. FITCH, M. D, (IOWA.) “ If you can present the subject of land taxes in five or six States in a condensed work, so that it can be readily procured by the people at large, I think you will confer a favor upon the immense number of persons who are yearly purchasing lands at the west."
FROM JAMES H. BOSTWICK, ESQ., MAGISTRATE AND SURVEYOR.
“A guide to conveyancing for record in the western States is much wanted by magistrates in New-York. A reliable work of that kind, and which shall contain the regulations concerning taxes and the redemption of forfeited lands would supply a hiatus in the book market, and be of much service to the public. If you have the materials from which you can prepare a work of that kind, you will oblige me, as no doubt you will all Justices of the Peace, Commissioners, and Clerks of counties, by so doing.
FROM EBENEZER B. COBB, ESQ., CLERK OF CAYUGA COUNTY.
“I know of no book so much wanted by Clerks of Counties, as one which shall contain exact information concerning the signing, sealing, attestation, proof and acknowledgment and certificate of authentication of deeds and mortgages, executed in New-York, but designed for record in other States. The number of such conveyances annually executed and brought to Commissioners and Clerks of Counties to be certified, is immense, and the importance of a work containing the statute regulations of the State where they are to be read in evidence, or recorded, is commensurate with the number. I was, therefore, much gratified to learn that you were engaged in preparing a book containing the information so generally wanted. As such a work can hardly fail to be appreciated and purchased by a large proportion of the owners of western lands, residing in the middle and eastern States, I hope you will hasten its publication."
FROM THE HON. ERASTUS D. CULVER, M. C.
“ The work you propose to publish will have great value to non-resident landowners and tax-payers, as well as to the profession. If executed with fidelity, as no doubt it will be, it cannot fail of a favorable consideration by the public generally."
FROM THE HON. THOMAS CORWIN, U. S. SENATOR, AND THE
HON. R. C. WINTHROP, M. C.
“The importance of a Statute Manual, that shall embrace precisely that kind of information which the immense number of non-resident land-owners and taxpayers in the north-western States desire, respecting their titles and taxes, cannot be questioned. We therefore concur in the views expressed by Mr. Culver, in his communication above."
The want of a convenient summary of such of the statute regulations in the States northwest of the Ohio as relate to the execution, attestation, acknowledgment and recording of conveyances, the execution, attestation, probate and recording of wills of real estate, descents, land taxes, redemptions, limitations, exemptions, and the interest of money, together with the suggestions of friends owning land at the west, induced the preparation of the following work. In consideration of the growing importance of this fertile country, and its eligibility for agricul. ture and commerce, immense numbers of the inhabitants of the old States have, within the last ten years, become land owners and tax payers in the new, and being non-residents of the States in which their possessions were situated, have experienced much difficulty and embarrassment in the payment of their taxes, and in re-obtain. ing their title, in case the same had been forfeited by accident or neglect. As the Statutes at large of the new States have not been conveniently accessible to the majority of non-resident land owners, and as the legal profession in the eastern and middle States, who are often suspected of being au fait in such matters, have not generally supplied their libraries with books enabling them to advise in this behalf, a majority of such non-resident land owners have been left to acquire their information by an expensive journey to the west, or to rely upon the letter of a friend, little better informed, perhaps, than themselves. In view of these and other constantly recurring difficulties, the author had for some time anxiously looked for the appearance of a book from some quarter, containing the information so generally wanted ; but discerning nothing indicative of such a result, he was induced to undertake the execution of one himself, in the hope that if it did not fully answer the public want, it would nevertheless be of some service, as well to the profession and conveyancers, as to such of his fellow citizens as have lands in, or commerce with the inhabitants of the States from whose statutes the material for the following pages was collected.
The mention of a foreign State or Territory naturally suggests an inquiry concerning so much of its history as relates to the title which may be acquired to its lands; and although it has not been the purpose of the author to spread upon these pages much historical incident, he has taken occasion to open each chapter with some interesting documentary matter, with incidental remarks, for the purpose of indicating generally the source whence the existing land titles in the several States were derived, in the hope of rendering the book more acceptable to the general reader. As they precede the political organization of the States, it was believed that they would be in place as an introduction to the organic and statute regulations concerning lands, and the tenures by which the same are now held.
As the early history of the country was long since written, it is unnecessary to observe that most of the facts embraced in the remarks which accompany the documents, are given on the authority of the eminent gentlemen referred to in the notes appended. Indeed, very little of originality is claimed for any portion of the work, as it professes to be for the most part only an epitome and arrangement of pre-existing matter, prepared with the hope and desire of placing it within the reach of those to whom it was not before conv
nveniently accessible. That embraced within the first chapter of this work was not within the compass of the original design, but was subsequently prepared at the suggestion of a gentleman of high judicial standing, to the end that persons residing at the west, and having commerce or dealing with the inhabitants of New York, or owning lands therein, might, from this volume, derive the same information concerning the statutes of the latter State, as the remaining chapters profess to give of those in the States northwest of the Ohio. Many of the recent emigrants thereto from New-York yet retain their original possessions here, and are thereby concerned for their preservation, equally with those who are non-resident owners of lands at the west. It was therefore believed that the suggestion was entitled to consideration, and in view of the general usefulness of the Manual, that the matter relating to the documentary history and statute regulations of New York should be inserted.
It will be seen that in preparing the chapter relating to Wisconsin, she was regarded as a State in anticipation of an approval by the people of the Constitution adopted in the Convention of Delegates, held at Madison, on the fourteenth day of December, eighteen hundred and forty-six. All the usual incipient measures had been taken for the ap