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In considering questions relating to international law, or arising un. der treaty provisions, the want of some ready means of reference to the conclusions which have formerly been reached on the same or kindred questions has constantly been experienced.
Without an exhaustive examination, it has been found impossible to ascertain whether, or in what manner, different Attorneys-General have considered similar questions and a ready means of reference to the decisions of the courts on like subjects is not always at hand.
An effort has here been made to give a reference to all of the published opinions of the Attorneys. General upon international law, public treaties, or upon such questions as from time to time come before the Department of State, and also to the leading decisions of the Federal courts on the same subjects.
Under certain titles, such as “Treaties,» « Extradition,” an effort has been made to refer to all decisions bearing on the subject.
It is not intended in any case to state what the law is, or to assume to give the effect of any opinion or decision upon any Department of the Government, but simply to refer to what has from time to time been held to be the law by recognized legal authority.
In some instances, different opinions, if not different decisions, herein cited, will be found to be in direct opposition. In some cases this arises from a change in public law and a consequent change of opinion ; in others, from positive differences of opinion on delicate questions. For this reason, both opinions and decisions are cited in the order of their date; and from the comparatively small number of citations under any particular title, it is believed this will cause no emoarrassment.
The Revised Statutes published in 1875 under the authority of Congress are cited as R. S., § , and the volume of the Treaties to which reference is made is that published at the same time, known as the 6 Revised Statutes relating to the District of Columbia and Post-Roads -Public Treaties."
The obligations of the undersigned are due to Mr. Charles P. James for valuable assistance; to Mr. John H. Haswell and Mr. Almont Barnes, of the Department of State; and to Mr. Clapp, the Government Printer; and Mr. Brian, the foreman of the Government Printing Office.
JOHN L. CADWALADER. DEPARTMENT OF STATE,