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Sharswood's Blackstone is the Text-Book in all the Law Schools of the United States.





2 vols. royal octavo, best law binding. Price, $10.00.

The above work is issued in a superior style, printed on fine white paper, sized and calendered, and with clear type, illustrated by a fine line-engraving of Sir William BLACKSTONE, and accompanied by a carefully-prepared biographical sketch by the American editor.

The delivery of the lectures which constitute the Commentaries of Sir William Blackstone began at Oxford in 1758, and the publication of the Commentaries commenced in 1765. Since that period radical changes have taken place in the statute law of England, the practice of its courts has been greatly modified, new subjects of litigation have arisen, and many of the doctrines of the common law have received very extensive modifications and additions, in order to adapt them to the results of a century of change and progress.

The Commentaries do not, therefore, in their original form, wholly represent the existing state of legislation or of legal doctrine, even in the country where they were written. When we consider, also, that in the United States the legal systems of the several States and of the Federal Government have since grown up, we cannot avoid the conclusion that the Lectures of Blackstone, in respect of what they contain as well as of what they do not contain, become still more inadequate as a book for elementary study or general reading, unless accompanied by judicious and carefully-prepared annotations.

The deservedly strong hold which the Commentaries have upon the public and professional regard can never be wholly loosened, and they will always continue to be read by the scholar and student and consulted by the practitioner and judge. Hence the importance of a thorough, modern, and reliable American edition. The numerous English editions of Blackstone which have become necessary in order to bring up the work to the state of the law at different periods amount to about twenty-five in number, prepared by Christian, Archbold, Coleridge, Chitty, Stephen, Sweet, Warren, Stewart, Kerr, and others, all of which have been closely examined for the purpose of obtaining material for the present.

The object of the edition which we now submit to the public and the profession is twofold,—first, to collect from all the different editions those annotations which seemed mest important and valuable; second, to add such copious notes and references to American law as would fully adapt the work to the use of students, practitioners, and laymen in this country.

It is confidently believed that these results have been successfully accomplished by Judge Sharswood, whose long experience on the bench, and as a teacher of the law in the University of Pennsylvania, amply qualifies him for the editorship of Blackstone.

No pains have been spared, either by the editor or by the publishers, to present a thorough, comprehensive, and valuable edition of the Commentaries, which shall exhibit, in an attractive typographical form, the present state of the law both in England and the United States.

It may be added that it is erroneous to suppose that Blackstone is intended to be read only by lawyers. In fact, the lectures were not originally delivered exclusively to students or practitioners of the law; and they contain nothing which may not be easily understood by any intelligent reader, no matter what are his pursuitg. In the style and getting-up of the present edition, some regard has been had to this class of readers; for the clear and legible type of the notes as well as of the text, and the full octavo page, constitute a work worthy, from its general tasteful appearance, of a place in every library.

For the convenience of students, Barron Field's Analysis of the Commentaries has been added at the end of the second volume.

The publishers confidently ask the attention of judges, lawyers, students, scholars, and general readers to this, as the very best edition of Blackstone's Commentaries which has ever appeared either in England or the United States.

Jhoto See testimonials on next page.

The eminent law writer, and Professor of Law in Harvard University.

CAMBRIDGE, October 13, 1859 Messrs. Childs & PETERSON,-GENTLEMEN :-I have learned in this Law School hu# much Students of Law need an Ainerican edition of Blackstone, which should contain the best parts of the large annotations that have accumulated in the English editions, together with new American notes, bringing the law of Blackstone down to our own age and our own country. This is precisely what is done, and excellently well done, by Judge Shars. wood. And you have used a page and type which, without any sacrifice of beauty or of convenience to the reader, enable you to include the whole work in two volumes and offer it at a very low price. I have already introduced it as a Text-Book in this Law Schoon, and recommend it, emphatically, to gentlemen who consult me as to the edition they should buy. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Kent Professor of Law in Yale College.

New Haven, October 25, 1859. Messrs. Childs & PETERSON,-GENTLEMEN .--I am highly pleased with Judge Sharswood's edition of Blackstone's Cominentaries. He has judiciously avoided the common error of supposing that the value of such a work depends upon the multiplication of references to new cases, without much regard to their pertineney or authority. In this edition the notes are chiefly contined to corrections and illustrations of the text, and are calculated to cause the work to continue to be, what it has always heretofore been, an unrivalled systein of the whole common law and of English statute law

Such an edition was much needed; and I shall urgently recommend it to the students of Yale Law Schoul, not only as an indispensable elementary work, but as a valuable standard authority. With the highest respect,



Editor of Kent's Commentaries.

NEW YORK, October 25, 1859. Messrs. Childs & PETERSON,—GENTLEMEN :- I have delayed acknowledging the receipt of Judge Sharswood's edition of Blackstone's Commentaries until I could look over the work with some care and attention.

I have not yet had time to examine the notes minutely, agreeable and useful as I find the perusal of them. I have read enough, however, to appreciate the plan of the editor, and, iu soine degree, his execution of it. His judicious selections from the annotations of preceding editors, and his own very learned and valuable notes, have made this edition the best, I think, that has appeared, -admirable for the law-student and useful to the practical lawyer. I have the honor to be, gentlemen, your obedient servant, WILLIAM KENT.


Professor of Law in Columbia College, N.Y.

COLUMBIA COLLEGE Law School, New York, October 16, 1859. Messrs. Childs & Peterson,-GENTLEMEN :- I have examined with some care your recent edition of Blackstone's Commentaries. It is very pleasant to me to see this favorite work reproduced in so beautiful a form and with such fulness of annotation.

It is quite common to speak disparagingly of Blackstone's labors. But, notwithstanding all that has been urged, what Dante says of another remains true of him,—“il gran comento l'eo.” For, whatever may be said of its value to the practising lawyer, it cannot be dispensed with, as instructors in jurisprudence well know, as an introduction to legal study.

Judge Sharswood has, in my judgment, rendered an invaluable service to students of the law, in bringing within their reach the contributions made to the original text by English editors, as well as by his own learned and excellent notes.

I shall use Sharswood's Blackstone as a Text-Book in our Law School, and shall strongly recommend it to such persons as may ask my opinion of its value. · THEO. W. DWIGHT.

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Professor of Law in the University of Albany.

ALBANY, October 22, 1859. Messrs. Childs & PETERSON,—GENTLEMEN :—The examination I have given your new edition of Blackstone's Commentaries by Judge Sharswood has convinced me of its very grent superiority over all former editions. Both the omissions and additions made by him are important.

Blackstone's Commentaries have so long maintained their character as a legal classio among all students at law, that this American edition, adapting them to the present state end con lition of the law in this country, must be highly acceptable to all those entering upon its atuly. I shall take great pleasure in recommending it, as having many advantages over ary edition hitherto published. Very respectfully, yours,


Institutes of American Par.

BY JOHN BOUVIER, AUTHOR OF THE LAW DICTIONARY, EDITOR OF BACON'S ABRIDGMENT, &c. 4 vols. octavo, 2700 pages, best law binding. Price, $15.

NEW EDITION. The Institutes of American Law, by the late Judge Bouvier, have now been before the profession for several years, and the increasing demand for the work attests the general appreciation of its merit. It has been used by courts, judges, lawyers, and lay men, and the result confirms the opinion of its “very great value," which Chief-Justice Taney expressed upen an examination of some of the proof-sheets of the first edition, and which, after the subsequent publication, was, as he says, “ strengthened by looking further into it.” The arrangement adopted in the Institutes is in some respects novel. The method of teaching law in the form of lectures is in many particulars objectionable, and most of our modern law-books, which are made up of transcripts from a lecturer's memoranda, have been required to be almost wholly re-written in the notes, often exceeding the text in bulk and importance, or at least the generalities of the oral or written discourse have had to be supplemented by those more detailed references, distinctions, and discussions which were incompatible with the loose structure of the text, although requisite to be known by the prac titioner.

An institutional treatise upon the law as a science should be constructed upon a system of rigid analysis and classification, which will be more apt to beget a severely logic-al habit of mind in the student than the discursive style of lectures. Judge Bouvier was deeply read in the French and the Roman law, and he has evidently imbibed from those sources a taste for that orderly and accurate development of the subject which characterizes his Institutes.

Another feature of his work is, that it is a representation of American law,-..of that general body of jurisprudence on the basis of which justice is at present administered throughout our counıry at large. His references are selected from the reports of our own tribunals in different States of the Union, so that the student immediately becomes familiar with our own authorities and is prepared for immediate action in his profession. He is not set to study the learning of obsolete titles, but becomes a thoroughly American lawyer, ratlier than an Americanized English lawyer.

The favor with which the work has been accepted by the profession, and its incrensing sale, justify the encomiums which its matter and method have received from some of our most distinguished jurists. It may be added, as a circumstance of no small importance to the practitioner, that, notwithstanding the amount of legal learning here embodied, it is rendered immediately accessible by an accurate and exhaustive index, not only to each volume, but to the whole work, so that in the most hurried moments of inquiry, even during the trial of a cause, one may alight upon any particular passage contained in any one of the

In order that the publishers may not be charged with indulgin in undue exaggeration they refer with confidence to the subjoined communications from Chief Justice Taney, ana bis associate justices, Catron, McLean, Wayne, Grier, and Nelson ; Chief Justice Green, of New Jersey; Prof. Greenleaf, author of “Greenleaf on Evidence ;" Hon. George M. Dallas,

four volumes.

and others.


BALTIMORB, May 31, 1851. DEAR SIR : Accept my thanks for the proof-sheets of the Institutes of American Law, which you have been good enough to send me, and also for the letter which accompanied them. So far as I can judge of the work from the portions before me, it is one of very GREAT VALUE, and will undoubtedly attract public attention. The general plan, and the order and arrangements of the subject of which it treats, could not, I think, be improved. And I may say the same thing of the manner in which the plan is carried into execution ; for every principle and rule is stated with brevity and perspicuity, and supported by the proper reference. After thus expressing my opinion of the work, I need not add that I shall feel much honored by having my name associated with it. And thanking you for the kinů teros in which you are pleased to speak of me in your proposed dedication, I am, dear sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. B. TANEY. Hon. J. Bouvier, Philadelphia.

BALTIMORE, July 17, 1851. Dear Sie :-Accept my thanks for the volumes of the Institutes of American Law. My impressions in its favor, which I expressed in my former letter to you, have been strengthened by looking further into it; and I hope the work will meet with the attention and encouragement which it so well deserves. With great respect, I am your obedient servant, Hon. J. BOUVIER, Philadelphia.


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