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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1971,

BY JOHN WILLIAM WALLACE,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857,

BY JOHN WILLIAM WALLACE,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852,

BY H. B. WALLACE,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year*1851,

BY T. AND J. W. JOHNSON,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,

BY T. AND J. W. JOHNSON,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

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PREFACE

TO THE FIFTH EDITION OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

The approbation which the plan of Mr. Smith's Selection of Leading Cases generally received, has induced the Editors of the American Edition of that work, to employ the same method in treating of other points supposed to possess interest and importance in the jurisprudence of this country. The popularity of Mr. Smith's book was undoubtedly due, in a very great degree, to the clearness, neatness, and simplicity with which the most difficult subjects were explained in the notes of that intelligent and accomplished writer. In these qualities the present Editors make no pretension to be his rivals. The design of his Work, however, is quite as well adapted to the laws and the reports of this country, as to those of England. The essential merits of the plan seem to consist, partly, in the arrangement which it suggests, by which the subjects are distributed according to a connection, natural and positive, rather than speculative and theoretical; and partly, introducing the discussion of a topic of law, with a practical exemplification of the principal doctrine, in which it is seen at large and in its applied form. The plan of Mr. Smith's work has therefore been followed; and the title of LEADING CASES has been adopted, although it cannot with quite the same propriety be applied to any considerable selection of American decisions. The common law of the different States of the Union is, to a great extent, the same; but the instances are not very numerous in which cases in any of the courts can be referred to, as having, for the first time, established particular principles, and, by force of authority, led other tribunals to adopt them. The title used by Mr. Smith has been retained, however, from convenience: and great attention has been given to the choosing of such decisions as, in point of fact, have been, and are, in their several departments, the most guiding and authoritative in American law. . The Selections in the present work, are proposed as illustrations of the law; embodying and exemplifying important principles; sometimes, fairly entitled to the name of Leading Cases; chosen, in all instances, as decisions whose character is approved, or whose importance is unquestionable.

In some of the points selected for discussion in the present volume, a reference has been had to the subjects of the American notes to Mr. Smith's' work, so as to complete certain titles, by treating of matters not touched in those notes, yet allied to the topics there concerned. In the American note to Twyne's Case, in the former publication, the subject of fraud, under the statutes of Elizabeth, as connected with the retaining of possession on sales of chattels, was discussed: in the present volume, the subjects of fraud in voluntary conveyances, and in assignments to trustees for the benefit of creditors, the latter of which is quite peculiar to this country, are treated at large. In the note to Bickerdicke v. Bollman, the necessity of demand and notice, in respect to the liability of the endorsers of negotiable instruments, was illustrated; in several notes in this volume, the negotiability and negotiation of notes and bills, and the nature of the demand and notice required, are investigated. In the earlier publication, the formation of partnerships, and the powers of one partner after a dissolution of the association, were treated; in this, the power of one partner to bind the firm, during its continuance, and the rights of joint and separate creditors, and the incidents of real estate held by a partnership, are examined.

Besides these subjects, the title of Agency is exhibited in full, in this volume, in a series of cases. Owing, perhaps, to a peculiar state of society among us, it has happened that the subject of the Contracts of Infants is capable of being illustrated from the American Reports, with a copiousness of examples, and a certainty in principle, which the English books do not exhibit; there is a note, accordingly, upon that subject. The topics of Interest, Domicile, and Application of Payments, are also discussed ; and the whole subject of Slander, Libel, and Malicious Prosecution, is treated in a series of notes.

PHILADELPHIA, December, 1871.

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