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THE LAWS OF CALIFORNIA:
ALL LAWS OF A GENERAL CHARACTER
WHICH WILL BE IN FORCE ON THE FIRST DAY OF JANUARY, 1858 ;
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
RELATIVE TO PUBLIC LANDS AND PRE-EMPTIONS;
JUDICIAL DECISIONS, BOTH OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED
BOUNTY LANDS, ETC., ETC.
PREPARED UNDER AN ACT OP THE LEGISLATURE OF CALIFORNIA OF THE SESSION OF 1857,
WILLIAM H. R. WOOD,
Nos. 127 and 129 Sansome Street.
ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty-seven,
BY WILLIAM 1. R. WOOD, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of the State of California.
The following work has been prepared in the intervals from official duty, in the office of secretary of state of the state of California, during the last four years.
An act was passed by the legislature of 1857, authorizing its publication and making it evidence of the law in all the courts of justice of the state.
A brief exposition of the plan and design of the work is not considered inappropriate in this place.
In the introductory portion will be found : the Declaration of Independence ; the Articles of Confederation; the Constitution of the United States; the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ; the Proclamation calling a Constitutional Convention for California ; the Proclamation resigning the powers of the Military Governor and declaring the new State Government installed; the act of Congress admitting California into the Union; the act of the Legislature of California, authorizing the publication of this compilation, and legalizing the same; and, finally, Abbreviations.
The Articles of Confederation were regarded as a very useful and important precursor to the Constitution of the United States, inasmuch as they may be considered as but an earlier portion of the same great system of confederated government, which was afterwards advanced to a more perfect organization by the constitution itself, and are often resorted to for the purpose of throwing light on doubtful clauses of that instrument.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo by which the territory which now composes the state of California, was acquired, and which constitutes a material part of the law by which the land titles of the state are tried and determined, would very naturally be looked for in a work of this kind."
The Proclamation calling a Constitutional Convention for California, and that yielding all political powers of the general government into the hands of the state authorities, would seem to be a necessary and interesting fragment of the constitutional history of the state ;—the first, as showing, not only the regularity and due form with which this important step was taken, but also as exhibiting the character of the government previous to the adoption of the present state organization ;—the second, as denoting the precise time at which our constitution went into effect, and our territorial condition terminated.
There will also be found copious indexes to the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, and to the Constitution of the State of California.
In the compilation of the laws of the state, an effort has been made to present in a single volume, of convenient size and arrangement, all the general acts which will be in force on the first day of January, A. D., 1858, with such references to judicial decisions construing those acts, as were deemed most interesting and
important. In some cases it will perhaps be found that laws which have been impliedly repealed, have been inserted. This course has been pursued from the consideration, that in cases of doubtful construction, it was best to allow both laws to stand, and leave to the courts of justice the determination of their precedence.
The sections of the original laws have been preserved in all cases. This was rendered necessary from the fact that references are frequently made to these sections, in other acts, and sometimes in the same act. It was also thought best to present this evidence of the entirety of the law. The articles preceding each section are not portions of the original laws, but have been inserted by the compiler for the convenience of reference and to give compactness and uniformity to the entire code.
In each case where sections have been repealed or amended, the latest amendment has been inserted, with reference at the close of the section to the clause repealed, thus showing the present condition of the law, with all the stages through which it has passed, from its first enactment to the present time.
In a number of the statutes it was found that clauses and sections of a mere temporary character existed, which so soon as they have accomplished the object intended, become obsolete and are no longer of use. Such provisions are marked “ executed," and have been omitted.
The head notes at the commencement of each title will be found to present, in a condensed form, the substance of each section. This feature of the work, together with its thorough alphabetical arrangement, in a great measure supersedes the necessity of a very extended index.
References to decisions of the supreme court of the state, have been appended at the close of each title. In addition to these general references, wherever a particular section has been construed by judicial decision, it has been noted at the foot of the page. The references to judicial decisions have been brought down to the April Term, 1857.
In the appendix will be found : the laws of congress relative to Naturalization; the laws of congress for the Authentication of Records between the States; the laws of congress relative to Pre-emptions and Donations of the Public Lands; the Instructions of the General Land Office relative to State Selections of the five hundred thousand acres of Land donated for Internal Improvements, and of the Swamp and Overflowed Lands; the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 ; Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States construing the Constitution of the United States ; some interesting forms for asserting Pre-emption Rights and acquiring Military Bounty Lands, and certain Forms prescribed by statute.
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, together with the Articles of Confederation and the Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, constitute an interesting commentary on the constitution of the United States.
Taken as a whole, it is believed that the work will present a more perspicuous and intelligible arrangement and a greater variety of interesting matter than is usually to be found in compilations of the kind. It is the first of so difficult and complicated a nature published in the state of California, and is now submitted, with all its virtues and imperfections, to the candor and criticism of a discerning
WM. H. R. WOOD. SAN FRANCISCO, October 15, 1857.
Circular of General Land Office, of March 8, 1854,
Act of Congress of August 4, 1854. to graduate
and reduce the Price of the Public Lands to
Actual Settlers, etc........
to the adoption of the Constitution... 25 the Survey of the Public Lands in California,
Proclamation of General Riley, resigning
Act of Congress of March 3, 1851, to ascertain and
settle Private Land Claims in the State of Cali-
vide for the Publication of all the Laws
Act of Congress of January 18, 1854, to continue
in force the Act to ascertain aud settle Pri-
Session of the Legislature.......... 44 Act of Congress of March 3, 1855, relative
Laws of California ...... ......... 45 Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of
grant Preemption Rights....... ................. 744
Forms for obtaining Extra Pay of Seamen,