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Acts of the General Assembly hitherto unpublished 1694-1698, 1711-1729
Volume 38, Preface 10   View pdf image (33K)
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xii Preface.

experiments in law making of value to him, and the genealogist and convey-
ancer may secure valuable information as to pedigree and the title to land, in
the acts of naturalization and in those curing defects in deeds and wills.

There is a certain interest in the fact that we now have complete the legisla-
tion of that important session of 1715, when Andrew Hamilton was one of the
leading members of the Lower House, coming from Kent County, where he
was then a neighbor of John Peter Zenger, whose defence in New York was
destined at a later date to make both men famous. (Dawson's Historical
Magazine, August, 1868, 16 Pa. Magazine of History i, and 20 Pa. Magazine
of History 405, contain facts as to Hamilton and his connection with Maryland,
while Wisconsin Historical Society Magazine, Vol. i, prints the most recent
account of Zenger.) Zenger's private naturalization act is also to be found in
this volume.

In the Appendix to this volume are printed some papers which deal with the
period just before 1733, but which were not available for printing in the earlier
volumes of the Archives.

In these times, the words of Fuller in the " Holy and Profane State " ring
very true:

" We read of King Ahasuerns that having his head troubled with much
business and finding himself so indisposed that he could not sleep, he caused
the records to be brought in to him hoping thereby to deceive the tediousness
of the time, and that the pleasant passages in the Chronicles would either invite
slumber or enable him to bear waking with less molestation. We live in a
troublesome age and he needs to have a soft bed who can sleep nowadays
amidst so much loud noise and many impetuous rumors. Wherefore it seemeth
to me both a safe and cheap receipt to procure quiet and repose to the mind that
complains of want of rest to prescribe the reading of History. Great is the
pleasure and profit thereof. Zaccheus, we know, was low and little in statue;
but when he had borrowed some height from the fig-tree, into which he climbed.
(Luke xix. 4.) the dwarf was made a giant on K sudden; last minute beneath
the arms, but now grown above the heads, of other men. Thus, our experi-
mental knowledge is, in itself, both short and narrow, as which cannot exceed
' the span of our own Life.' But when we are mounted on the advantage of
history, we cannot only reach the year of Christ's incarnation, but even touch
the top of the world's beginning, and, at one view, over-see all remarkable
accidents of former ages."

Like King Ahasuerus, the genial essayist, S. M. Crothers felt that " To live
all the time among our contemporaries is not good for us...... By getting
away from our contemporaries we can be carefree spectators of the play of
human forces." (" Pleasures of an Absentee Landlord," pp. 7 and 9.)


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Acts of the General Assembly hitherto unpublished 1694-1698, 1711-1729
Volume 38, Preface 10   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

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