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and duties of the Government, and of its numerous judicial and administrative officers, they may be esteemed inferior in consequence only to the Constitution which they defend, and the laws which they expound.

For the original matter contained in, the indices to, and the arrangement of this edition, we are indebted to the same gentleman who prepared that which was recently published in another and a less convenient form by the House of Representatives. It has been prepared with special reference to the purpose for which it is supposed to be most needed, and in the style most approved by the legal profession. Every page bears not only the name of the author of the opinion thereon, and that of the officer to whom the same is addressed, but an indication of the subject of such opinion. Every volume contains a full index to the opinions contained therein, and the subject thereof, as the same is indicated in the titles, respectively, and also a digest indicating the substance of each decision. And it will be found that the digest contains many notes and references which do not appear in the notes to the opinions on the pages where they occur.

In order that a reference to the body of the work might be convenient, the author has grouped all the decisions relating to the same principal matter, and arranged the references thereto in the indices under general and familiar heads. The multiplicity and variety of the opinions seemed to render such an arrangement necessary. Hence, all references to opinions relating to the settlement of public accounts, may be found in the indices under the head of “Accounts and Accounting Officers ”—all references to opinions relating to salaries and payments for services rendered to the Government, under the head of “Compensation ”—all references to opinions relating to other pecuniary demands upon the


Government, except for pensions, under the head of “ Claims ”-all references to opinions relating to the pensions of officers and soldiers of the



navy officers, seamen, and marines, disabled or otherwise, and of widows and children, under the head of “Pensions”-and all opinions relating to land offices, land districts, land surveys, land sales, land warrants, certificates, and patents, locations, reservations, and pre-emptions, under the head of “Public Lands,” &c. Where an opinion relates to several principal matters, it will be found referred to in the index under several heads, in order that it may be the more readily found. It is believed that this arrangement will be easily understood and favorably regarded, affording as it does ample facilities for a ready reference to every published opinion.

With this explanation of the subject, purpose, and arrangement of the work, it is respectfully submitted to the public.


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