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THE

GENERAL STATUTES

OF THE

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS:

REVISED BY COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED UNDER A RESOLVE OF FEBRUARY 16, 1855,

AMENDED BY THE LEGISLATURE, AND PASSED DECEMBER 28, 1859.

TO WHICH THE

CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

ARE PREFIXED;

AND A LIST OF ACTS PREVIOUSLY REPEALED,

A GLOSSARY, AND INDEX, ARE ADDED.

EDITED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CHAPTERS 138, 140,

AND 144 OF THE RESOLVES OF 1859.

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PUBLISHED BY WRIGHT AND POTTER,

STATE PRINTERS, 4 SPRING LANE,

BOSTON.

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P R E FACE.

On the 16th day of February, 1855, pursuant to the recommendation of commissioners appointed by the governor under a resolve of the preceding year to report a plan for consolidating and arranging the general statutes of the commonwealth, the legislature passed a resolve requiring the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, to appoint three commissioners for consolidating and arranging the general statutes of the commonwealth on the basis, plan, and general form and method of the Revised Statutes,” with authority to “omit redundant enactments and those which may have ceased to have any effect or influence on existing rights; to reject superfluous words, and condense into as concise and comprehensive a form, as is consistent with a full and clear espression of the will of the legislature, all circuitous, tautological, and ambiguous phraseology; to suggest any mistakes, omissions, inconsistencies, and imperfections which may appear in the laws to be consolidated and arranged, and the manner in which they may be corrected, supplied, and amended." By virtue of this resolve,

JOEL PARKER, of CAMBRIDGE,
WILLIAM A. RICHARDSON, of LOWELL, and
ANDREW A. RICHMOND, of ADAMS,

were appointed and commissioned March 9, 1855. The commissioners immediately entered upon the discharge of their duties; and, having completed the same in the autumn of 1858, their report wa submitted in print to the legislature at the commencement of th annual session in January, 1859, by Messrs. Parker and Richardson Mr. Richmond having been prevented by illness from participating in the work during the last year of its progress.

On the 23d day of February, 1859, resolves were passed provid ing for a special session of the legislature, to be commenced on the first Wednesday of the next September, for the purpose of completing the revision, and also providing for the appointment of a joint special committee, consisting of the president and eleven other members of the Senate and the speaker and twenty-eight other members of the House of Representatives, to examine and consider, during the recess of the legislature, the report of the commissioners, to incorporate therein all general laws passed by the legislature at the annual session of that year, and with power to propose such amendments and alterations in existing laws as the committee might deem expedient.

The committee appointed under these resolves organized early in April, immediately after the adjournment of the legislature, and was in session about eighty days, exclusive of intervals of adjournment, holidays, and Sundays.

The committee reported in print, at the special session in September, numerous amendments to the commissioners' report, incorporating the legislation of the previous session and proposing many changes in the existing laws.

The legislature commenced its special session on the first Wednesday of September, and at that session, on the 28th day of December, 1859, passed the following act, which is therein designated as the GENERAL STATUTES.

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