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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1881, by
GUY A. BROWN,
Sec. 4. The said statutes when published shall be accompanied by a certificate of the compiler that the same are true and accurate copies of the said original rolls, and thereupon the said statutes shall be competent evidence of the several acts and resolutions therein contained, in all courts of this state, without further proof or authentication.
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, July 1, 1881. I, Guy A. Brown, appointed by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska, to compile the general laws of said State, do hereby certify that the several acts and resolutions contained in this volume are, with the exception of words contained in [ ], true and accurate copies of the original rolls on file in the office of the Secretary of State of said State.
GUY A. BROWN, COMPILER.
HIS EXCELLENCY ALBINUS NANCE, Governor,
Osceola, Polk County.
Seward, Seward County.
Alexandria, Thayer County.
Grand Island, Hall County.
Lincoln, Lancaster County.
St. Paul, Howard County.
Lincoln, Lancaster County.
Williamsburgh, Phelps County.
Under territorial government twelve sessions of the legislature of Nebraska sat and enacted laws which were published and bound in as many different volumes. The eleventh session of the territorial legislature passed as one act what has ever since been known as “THE REVISED STATUTES OF 1866.” This is the only work entitled to be called a revision in the proper sense of the word. It was the result of the labors of E. ESTABROOK, assisted in the legislature by B. E. B. KENNEDY, SAMUEL MAXWELL, LORENZO CROUNSE, CHARLES H. BROWN, THOMAS L. GRIFFEY, GEORGE B. LAKE, JAMES THORN, JOHN CADMAN, E. H. CLARK, and others who had held prominent positions in the government of the territory and of whom many have held and still hold offices in the government of the state. It is one of the highest tributes to the labors of these gentlemen to say that though changed in many particulars, changed as the state has grown and enlarged, yet the body of their work, comprising the important chapters of Corporations, Decedents, and the Civil Code, has remained nearly intact from the legislation of sixteen sessions of the state legislature.
Two attempts at revision have since been made, one in 1872–1873 by the appointment of the compiler of the present edition, and the other in 1877 by the appointment of S. H. CALHOUN, of Otoe, John H. AMEs, of Lancaster, and A. H. CONNER, of Buffalo. The first appointment resulted in the publication of what has since been known as “THE GENERAL STATUTES OF 1873.” That volume was a compilation merely of the acts then in force, including the general laws passed that same year, which were not published separately. Although some mistakes occurred in its printing, yet without any act authorizing its admission as evidence, it has been generally received by the people as a correct statement of the law; used by the bar, and construed by the bench in its decisions.
The second appointment made in 1877, resulted only in the passage by the legislature of 1879 of a few acts, the work of the gentlemen referred to, notably those in reference to Cities of the Second Class and Villages, Revenue and Roads, which, with amendments made in 1881 form chapters of this present work. No further attempt was made at revision during the year 1881, but the passage of the various enactments of 1875, 1877, 1879 and 1881, changing, altering and repealing the statutes of 1866 and 1873, gave rise to this present edition published under the provisions of the act of 1881, chap. 79, p. 388, and found on pages 529 and 530 of this volume.
In preparing this edition for the press, it has been the aim of the compiler to faithfully follow the enrolled laws, mistakes and errors of enrollment included; but while giving such mistakes, he has also discovered errors in the publication of “ The General Statutes of 1873,” as well as the various session laws since 1873, and corrected them in this edition. Yet with all possible care, typographical and other errors will occur in the publication of any work, unknown till the book is from the press. It will be noticed that words inclosed in [ ] are not in the en rolled laws, but inserted as the meaning which the compiler has believed the legislature designed, and as in many instances appear in the engrossed bills, but not in the enrolled bills signed by the governor.
The arrangement and classification of the laws here given will appear from an examination of the work. The titles of the various acts are inserted in proper notes, and the original numbering of the sections preserved as far as possible, especially in the codes, as all the decisions of the supreme court refer to the original numbered sections, and more especially in view of the peculiar provisions of section 11, Art. (III) of the Constitution. Proper foot notes show also the time of the taking effect of the various acts as well as decisions of the Supreme Court contained in the ten volumes of reports now published.
The compiler has had no little difficulty in preparing an index, satisfactory even to himself. He has endeavored however to give the subject matter and point out the page or pages where the law thereon may be found. No attempt has been made to give the details of the law in the index. The searcher having ascertained from the index the whereabouts of the subject must look to the page for the details. The black letter catch word preceding each section is designed as a help thereto.
From my fellow laborer and personal friend of many years standing, H. H. WHEELER, I have received valuable aid and assistance without which I could not have accomplished this work.
To HENRY GIBSON, senior member of the firm whose name appears on the title page, I am also greatly indebted. With industry untiring, patient when I have been impatient, he has taken a personal interest and supervision in the progress of this work through the press. As I would have this book appear, so he and the force under him have labored night and day, in season and out of season, to have it appear. Few publishers in the country could have had this book printed and bound in the short space of time given him to do the work, none who would have treated the idiosyncracies of the author any better.
GUY A. BROWN.