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PREFACE.

TO THE PUBLIC:

Having been appointed in March, 1878, under Chapter 3028, Act of March 2d, 1877, by His Excellency GEO. F. DREW," to form and arrange a Digest of the laws of this State, embracing substantially all the acts and resolutions of the Territorial Legislature and all acts and resolutions of the Legislature of the State of Florida," which are public and general in their character and now in force in this State, and also "an Appendix containing the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Florida;" as soon thereafter as possible I entered upon the duties imposed by the appointment. By the terms of said act I was empowered, "in forming and arranging said Digest, to omit all useless verbiage or superfluous matter, and all that had a tendency to mystify or obscure the true meaning of any act or section thereof, and to note the same, and to arrange the laws under appropriate heads; the whole to be accompanied with marginal notes and a suitable index." The time intervening between my appointment and the convening of the Legislature of 1879 was not sufficient for me to perform the labor imposed; and the Legislature of 1879 continued my appointment, imposing upon me the duty of incorporating into the Digest the laws of that session of the Legislature and the decisions of the Supreme Court as to construction of statutes. At this session of the Legislature no appropriation was made for the publication of the work. The Legislature of 1881 required me "to embody in said Digest all laws of that session of a general or public nature, and to eliminate therefrom all laws and parts of laws repealed by the laws to be so incorporated." The Legislature of 1881 made an appropriation and authorized the publication of the work.

I now have the pleasure of presenting the Digest, arranged alphabetically into chapters, with marginal notes of contents and decisions of the Supreme Court; with foot-notes of the chapter, section and date of the approval of the act, embodied in the text or body of the work.

There is prefixed to the head of each title or chapter a table

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of the contents; also an analytical or general index at the end of the Digest, with the section and page given, which, it is hoped, will facilitate the reader in finding everything contained

in the book.

This Digest is believed to contain every statute, resolution and ordinance, of a public and general nature, that is now in force in the State of Florida-covering a period of enactment from 1822 to 1881, inclusive.

That this work has been accomplished without imperfections is not to be expected; but I trust as few errors will be found in this as in similar works.

The laws of the Territory and State have been digested by Duval, Thompson and Bush; yet many of them digested in these works had been repealed. The State had passed through secession, the formation of a State Government in 1865 and reconstruction in 1868. The adoption of a "Code," as to Pleading and Practice, its repeal in 1873, and revival of the laws on Practice and Pleadings existing before the adoption of the "Code," rendered the compilation of this Digest one of much difficulty and of great labor. In arranging Chapter 162, page 807 of this Digest, upon the subject of Pleading and Practice, I found great difficulty in making Pleading and Practice conform to Section 2, Chapter 1938, act of February 24, 1873, which is as follows: "Section 2. That all laws,

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practice, pleadings, rules, and proceedings, existing in this "State at the time of the passage of the act mentioned in the

foregoing section, which were repealed or supplied by the 66 same, be, and the same are hereby, revived, except where "they conflict with the provisions of this act." I hope I have complied with the intention as well as with the spirit of the Section, and that the Chapter will be satisfactory to a liberal profession. I was aided much in this labor by the rules of the Supreme Court.

This work was revised by C. C. YONGE, Esq., of the Pensacola bar, from whom I received much assistance. L. B. WOMBWELL, Esq., gave me valuable aid, as clerk, with his ready knowledge of the statute laws of the State.

I trust the work will be found satisfactory to the bench, the bar, and all who have occasion to consult it.

Respectfully,

JAMES F. MCCLELLAN.

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