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Statutes at Large;


** The Laws of a country are necessarily connected with every thing be.

longing to the people of it; so that a thorough knowledge of them, and
of their progress would inform us of every thing that was most use.
ful to be known about them; and one of the greatest imperfections
of historians in general, is owing to their ignorance of law."

PRIESTLEY's Lect, on Hist. Vol. I. pa. 149

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. . . WE JOHN M. MARTIN and ROBERT G. SCOTT, members of the Privy Council of the Commonwealth of Virginia, do hereby certify that the Laws contained in the Fifth volume of Hening's Statutes at Large, have been by us examined and compared with the originals from which they were taken, and have been found truly and accurately printed, except as to the list of Errata to the num. ber of forty four at the end of the volume. Given under hands and seals this 31st day of December, 1819.


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THE publication of this work, which had been suspended du ring 1-to war betw.en the united kingdom of Great Britain and cland, and the United Stat s of, is now resumed, under the patronage of the Legislature. The lapse of every year evinced more clearly its importance. Almost every day were the unpublished sessions acts consulted, by some individual, whose rights depended on a statute no where else to be found. An enlightened legislature, at the last session, having gone through a revision of the laws, now in force, at once perceived that the work was not complete, until the sessions acts, from which these laws were originally taken, were also published. This was essential, not only to a correct exposition of the public laws, by being enabled to trace the reasons, on which they were founded, but for the quieting of private rights, and the preservation of authentic documents in our early history.

By an arrangement with the editor, and sole proprietor of the Sessions acts of which the STATUTES AT LARGE are composed, the copy-right is exclusively vested in the state. The impression is limited to one thousand copies; eight hundred of which are taken by the Commonwealth, and two hundred reserved by the editor, for the purpose of supplying his original subscriberg. After distributing to public officers, a certain proportion of those subscribed for by the state, the remaining copies will be disposed of on public account, under the direction of the Executive.

Under the act of the fifth of February, 1808, the number of copies subscribed for by the state was so small, and consequently the impression so limited, as not to afford the editor any prospect of a just remuneration for the immense labour bestowed, and expenses incurred, in collecting the original materials. He

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