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ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THESE VOLUMES.
In the Reports "Mor." stands for "Morris' Report; "G. Gr." stands for G. Greene's Reports; Clarke's, Withrow's and Stiles' Reports are always cited as Iowa Reports, the regular series of Iowa Reports commencing with Clarke.
In the Statutes, "R. S.," when used, denotes the Revised Statutes prior to the Code of 1851, commonly known as the "Blue Book;" "Code," when used, denotes Code of 1851; "Rev." and "Revision" stand for the Revision of 1860. The Code of 1873, when cited, is referred to by that title.
As is known to most of the profession in the State, this work was commenced several years since by Mr. Withrow. His original plan was to embrace within it, not only the decisions, but the general statutes of the State. Owing to the large amount of labor called for by the work, and the multitude of duties incident to a large practice, he was compelled to delay its completion. In the meantime Lacey's Digest appeared, which was a continuation of Dillon's and Hammond's, and extended to and included the 27th Iowa. This rendered a further delay advisable until the appearance of additional volumes of reports, in order that the work might be as comprehensive as practicable. While it was in this condition the appointment of General Solicitor of that extensive corporation, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. Co., with headquarters at Chicago, was tendered to and accepted by Mr. Withrow. This rendered it impracticable for him to command sufficient time to complete the work within a reasonable period, and Mr. Stiles was solicited and induced to join him therein, and take upon himself the further prosecution of the work, and its final completion.
The result of all this is the volumes here offered to the profession. The work of digesting opinions anew, recasting head-notes, and compiling this matter has with the exception of the later volumes of reports issued by Mr. Stiles, for the most part been done by Mr. Withrow, while the remainder of it, and the work of arrangement, classification, making of catch-notes, and general moulding of the work to final completion, has been done by Mr. Stiles. The original intention of including the general statutes, it was, after the appearance of the Code of 1873, deemed best to abandon, giving instead the pretty full references hereinafter further referred to, and thus enabling the work to be embraced in these two volumes.
While the excellent digests of Judge Dillon, Professor Hammond, and Mr. Lacey have, in their turn, been of incalculable use to the profession, it is hoped that the one now presented by reason of its greater comprehensiveness, and new features, will, in its turn, be received with like favor by, and prove equally useful to, the bench and bar. In this preface the authors do not desire
to commend or specifically point out what may be regarded by them as desirable characteristics of the work. This must be left to the better test of the professional judgment of their brethren. We will, however, venture to call their attention to the great care we have endeavored to exercise in the work of classification and subdivision of subjects, and in the system of comprehensive catchnotes adopted, which will, it is believed, prove of great service in facilitating investigation. Also to again refer to the copious notes containing references to statutes cited in the text. This obviates the necessity and trouble of going to the statute and shows at a glance the legislative rule influencing the decision, or upon which it rests. This, it is believed, will add greatly to the general use of the work, and especially to members of the profession outside of the State, and who have not equal access with ourselves to its statute laws. In many, if not most, of the instances in which reference has been made to the Revision of 1860, the corresponding section in the Code of 1873 has been given when found incorporated therein. This, also, must be regarded as a convenient feature. It will also be noticed that we have not always contented ourselves by the mere statement of the rules or principles involved in a case, and which, from their abstract character, oftentimes, without more, prove of but little use in a digest, but have, when deemed necessary and practicable, illustrated and applied the rule stated to the facts of that and other cases.
Substantially the same statement involved in a case, generally in a varied form, will frequently be found under different titles or heads, instead of being simply referred to in cross-references. The character of type used, the size of the page, and the amount we were enabled thereby to have embraced in these volumes, gave us space to pursue this course, which we deemed most desirable. For however useful, full and correct cross-references may be, it must be admitted, by at least the great majority of practicing lawyers, that in the course of an examination through digests, generally hasty, cross-references at the end of a title or heading do not always receive the attention designed for them, if they are not indeed, sometimes, overlooked altogether.
No one who has never been engaged in a work of this kind can fully appreciate the great amount, and perplexing character of some of the labor involved. And though many portions of the work are agreeable, there is in it no adequate compensation, considered in a purely pecuniary point of view, for the author. After months of severe and faithful toil these volumes are now submitted to the profession, fully conscious on our part of the many imperfections they will be found to contain. But if they shall be received by our generous bretheren as a work of even humble merit, that will tend to lighten the duties of an arduous profession, we shall feel ourselves fully repaid.
It may be remarked that it is the present purpose of the authors to continue the series of digests commenced in these two volumes by the publication of a third one whenever a sufficient number of future volumes of reports shall appear.
Following this preface will be found an outline of the governmental and judicial history of this State, which may prove of interest; also the constitutions of 1846 and 1857, which, in view of the many references thereto made, not only