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HENRY WHEATON, LL.D.
RESIDENT MINiaTER FROM THE UNITED STATES IN AMERICA. TO THE
of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia; of the Royal Asiatic Society
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by Carky, Lea & Blaschabd, in the Clerk's Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
GRIGGS & CO., PRINTERS.
The object of the Author in the following attempt to collect the rules and principles which govern, or are supposed to govern, the conduct of States in their mutual intercourse in peace and in war, and which have therefore received the name of International Law, has been to compile an elementary work for the use of persons engaged in diplomatic and other forms of public life, rather than for mere technical lawyers, although he ventures to hope that it may not be found wholly useless even to the latter. The great body of the rules and principles which compose this Law is commonly deduced from examples of what has occurred, or been decided in the practice and intercourse of nations. These examples have been greatly multiplied in number and interest during the long period which has elapsed since the publication of Vattel's highly appreciated work: a portion of human history abounding in fearful transgressions of that Law of Nations which is supposed to be founded on the higher sanction of the Natural Law, (more properly called the Law of God,) and at the same time rich in instructive discussions in cabinets, courts of justice, and legislative assemblies, respecting the nature and extent of the obligations between the independent societies of men called States. The principal aim of the Author has been to glean from these sources the general principles which may fairly be considered to have received the assent of most civilized and Christian nations, if not as invariable rules of conduct, at least as rules which they cannot disregard without general obloquy and the hazard of provoking the hostility of other communities who may be injured by their violation. Experience shows that these motives, even in the worst times, do really afford a considerable security for the ob