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REPORTS OF CASES DETERMINED IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF
VERMONT, IN THE YEARS 1789, 1790, AND 1791.
DISSERTATIONS ON THE STATUTE ADOPTING THE COMMON LAW OF ENGLAND, THE
NEGOTIABILITY OF NOTES.
CONTAINING FORMS OF SPECIAL PLEADINGS IN SEVERAL CASES; FORMS OF
RECOGNIZANCES; OF JUSTICES RECORDS, AND OF
WARRANTS OF COMMITMENT.
By NATHANIEL CHIPMAN,
Late Chief Justice.
DISTRICT OF VERMONT, TO WIT. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-first day of January, in the Seventeenth year of the Independence of the United States of America, the Hon. Nathaniel Chipman, of Rutland, in the said District, Esq., hath deposited in this office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words, letters and figures following, to wit:
REPORTS AND DESSERTATIONS,
IN TWO PARTS.
Reports of Cases determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Vermont, in the years 1789, 1790 and 1791.
PART II, Dissertations on the Statute adopting the Common Law of Engload the Statute of Conveyances, the Statute of Offsets,
and on the Negotiability of Notes.
WITH AN APPDNDIX, Containing Forms of Special Pleadings in several cases ; Forms of Recognizances ; of Justice Records, and of War
rants of Commitment. BY NATHANIEL CHIPMAN,
Late Chief Justice. In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books to the authors and proprietors of said copies during the time therein mentioned.”
PREFACE TO THE REPORTS.
I do not apprehend any apology, for publishing the following reports, to by necessary. In our mo le of practice, a doubt lest the principles of some determinations may have been erroneous, ought not to be a reason for withholding their publication. It is well known that the maxiins anl prece lents of the English law do not, with us, apply in all cases. From a difference of Government and a difference of customs, the reason of cases frequently differs. The English common law writers fail us in many instances. It becomes necessary, therefore, to investigate principles, and establish precedents for ourselves. While former decisions rest only in the memory of the julge, overburthened in terin, and perp'exed with a multiplicity of cases; or in the memory of the counsel, frequently under a powerful bias, in the recollection and statement, little assistance, in establishing uniform principles, can be expected from prece lents. Such is the order of Courts and the mode of practice in this State, that the Judges can have little opportunity for deliberation. They are necessitated to form their opinions, as I may say, in transitu, and on the urgency of occasion. It is, therefore, of inportance to them, and to the public, that they should have an opportuntity of reviewing as well what is wrong as what is right in their decisions. This may enable them to correct their for mer errors, and, at leisure, to discover those principles of justice, and the exceptions and limitations of each, which might have escaped their utmost sagacity in the hurry of the Circuit. It
may assist them, no less, in tracing, establishing and rendering familiar, on every emergency, those permanent principles, of which they had, perhaps caught only a glance on the occasion.
In the following cases there is but one instance of a difference of opinion with the Judges. It was not practiced for the Judges to give their opinions seriatim on those points in which they were agreed. I conceived it necessary to mention this, lest I should be thought to have omitted the arguments of my brethren on the bench.
RUTLAND, September 3, 1792.