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"The definition of "America" was not incorporated in Article 12, referring to it, in Chapter I, page 3, on account of its manifest inaccuracies; but as its omis-
sion might excite some curiosity about it, it is here transcribed, with a supposed clerical omission after the word north, [and south] inserted in brackets. But,
definition may have meant to do so.
that "America" cannot be restricted to its Atlantic relations, neither geographically nor politically, however the act referred to in the

sury Department

ury America. This word, as used in the act of 224 February, 1805, supplementary to former Collection laws, is general, and has been considered by the Trea-

as embracing all places lying north [and south] of the equator, and situated on the eastern shores of the northern and southern continents and

their adjacent bays and gulfs, as well as the islands generally denominated the West Indies."" C's cir. January 23, 1818; V. 1, p. 358.

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As some order is better than no method, even in the preface of a book, I have thought proper to arrange the matters which have been deemed suitable to compose this Introduction in numerical sequence, as follows: 1. Of the authority under which this classified Synopsis was prepared, and the processes by which it was produced. 2. Of the enumeration and virtual identity of the Laws, with the Decisions given in execution of the Laws. 3. Of the relative proportions of Legislation devoted to the Fiscal Department and other branches of the Government. 4. Of the applicability of this Analysis of the Laws to the Instructions and Decisions for their execution. 5. Of the availability of Laws and Decisions which have been repealed or become obsolete, as beacons to future legislation and Executive action. 6. A summary Analysis of the work, with a few remarks on the different fiscal systems or projets, and specifications of the manner in which the laws have been executed.

1. The preparation of a descriptive Index or Synopsis of Treasury Instructions and Decisions, in execution of the Revenue Laws, as expressed in Circular Letters addressed to Collectors of the Customs and other officers of the Treasury, having been put in my charge without definition or limitation as to the plan or mode of executing the work, I not only felt fully authorized, but deemed it proper and expedient, in the absence of all restrictions, to avail myself of the confiding liberality of the Department, by adopting such a plan as would suggest itself in the course of its prosecution-which was commenced by examining and collating the materials, restoring copies from the records and all other available sources, and arranging them in chronological order for binding. Such, necessarily, was the first step taken in this intricate enterprise, in order to redeem these invaluable archives from the dilapidated condition into which most of them had fallen, perhaps unavoidably, through a long course of years-the same having been but very imperfectly reclaimed by the praiseworthy efforts of the Department, in making special calls on officers of the Customs and others to replace them, since the conflagration of the Treasury building in 1832. This compilation being thus perfected, as far as was practicable from all available sources, consists of two series, of six quarto volumes-three of Secretaries' and three of Comptrollers' Circulars, interspersed with others, from other officers, on subjects of kindred bearing. The instructions in execution of the Revenue laws being thus embodied, it was now determined to make a separate abridgment of each series, taking the volumes of the Comptroller's Circulars first in order, being more in detail, and those of the Secretaries of the Treasury next-making specific references, at the end of each item of instruction, to the original circulars corresponding with the items so abridged: and this was the second process, which was executed with the greatest possible exactness and care, making the abridgments, in cases, more literal and full than in others, according to the greater importance of the particular subject. Finding that the Instructions of the Secretaries and the Comptrollers, from beginning to end, with very few exceptions, related to the same subjects, often making repetitions, confirmations, or references to each other, and in some instances those of the former rescinding those of the latter, and of their respective predecessors, it was, in the next place, necessary to incorporate the two sets of abstracts or abridgments, according to the date and subject-matter of each item, that they might throw reciprocal light on each other, as well as to form a continuous and unbroken whole of Treasury Instructions, according to chronological order: and this was the third process. Having thus completed the incorporation of the two masses, though their commingled subjects began now to assume more form and consistency, yet, being only in the sequence of dates, serious breaks, or separations of important instructions on the same subject, would occur at short intervals throughout, which would be but imperfectly remedied by an alphabetical index of references to them, as they would still be contemplated in more or less isolated condition when consulting those references. Under these circumstances, a CLASSIFICATION RAISONNE next appeared to be indispensable, in order to impart perspicuity and the greatest practical utility to the whole system. To accomplish such a classification, the whole consolidated abridgment



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