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In the present Edition the Acts of Congress are arranged in chapters, beginning a new series of numbers with the commencement of every new Congress. Of course, the numbers go on progressively through all the sessions of the same Congress, and the order of the Acts is strictly chronological. This meth od was adopted in numbering the Acts at the commencement of the Government, and it was for the most part followed until after the year 1815. Since that period it has been usual to begin a new series of numbers with each successive session of Congress. The irregularity either way being very considerable, it has been thought most adviseable in this Edition to adhere to the method originally adopted by the Government itself, which made each new Congress a new starting point or epoch. The mode of citation in the Marginal Notes is to give the year, in which the Act passed, and the number of the chapter. As the constitutional commencement of each Congress (unless a different day should be appointed by law) is on the first Monday of December, some Acts bear date in the same year, which have been enacted by different Congresses. But as these Acts are few, the number of the chapter will prevent any mistake in the reference, and lead the Reader at once to the Acts passed at the commencement, or close of the year.

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