Early Law Involving Women, Churches, Prisons, Insurrections

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Filled with commentary on early American law, the “Abridgment of Law with Practical Forms in Two Parts,” by Cyrus Alden, Counselor at Law, Boston, Printed by Hews and Goss, 1819. Part I, an abridgment of Blackstone’s commentaries—Massachusetts Statute Law, and Massachusetts Term Reports. Part II, The Justices’ Guide—the Conveyancer’s guide, the Sheriff’s guide, the Coroner’s Guide, The Executor’s, Administrator’s, and Guardian’s Guide, the Town Officer’s Guide, the Petitioner and Complainant’s Guide, The referee’s Guide and The Juror’s Guide.

Here is a very brief sampling of what this book contains:

“Prior marriage renders marriage void on the ground that polygamy is forbidden both by the law of God, and good policy.

“The want of age, the next legal disability, is urged sufficient to render void a contract of this importance…Fourteen years in a boy and twelve in a girl is allowed to be the age of consent for this contract…”

Other laws involve fences and fields, removing nuisances, tumults and insurrections. “…When any insurrection shall have taken place or is apprehended, ‘it shall be the duty of the civil officers in such county as well as the sheriff as the justices of the several courts’ immediately to give information to the governor; who is thereupon to exercise the powers vested in him by the constitution, and give immediate directions to the major general of the division…to detach such part of the militia for support of the civil authority…”

Approximately 8 ¾” x 5 ½”, original leather boards with staining on top and chipping to the binding. Still all 763 pages intact with three pages repaired with cello tape. Expected foxing throughout but in very good condition for being nearly 200 years old.

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