Lands of the Slave and the Free eBook

Henry Murray
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 679 pages of information about Lands of the Slave and the Free.

“The advantages of registration are,—­greater security of title, and brevity and economy in conveyances.  The example of the United States shows that there is nothing in the Anglo-Saxon laws of real property to render such a system impracticable.  Several of the most eminent lawyers in Boston declared, that their registration was found to work easily and safely; the only change desired was by a few, who expressed a wish that more registers should be established, as, one for every district, instead of for every county.  They all expressed their astonishment that a similar plan had not long ago been adopted in England.  They admitted that dealings with property were more simple in America, where strict settlements are either not allowed, or not generally in use, but maintained that the real obstacles to a registration in this country lie not so much in the difficulty of carrying it out, as in the prejudices of landowners, the self-interest of lawyers, and the superstitious dread entertained by John Bull generally of anything to which he is unaccustomed."[CH]

I am no lawyer, as I observed before, and therefore I do not pretend to pass an opinion on the details of the foregoing remarks; but of the results produced by their system, I certainly can speak, for I have seen property transferred without the slightest trouble, and for a few shillings, which, owing to the amount involved, and the complications connected with it, would, if transferred in this country, have kept the firm of Screw, Skinflint, and Stickem hard at work for mouths, and when finished, would have required a week to make up the bill of costs, &c.


[Footnote CG:  I suppose originated from the Deity is intended.—­H.A.M.]

[Footnote CH:  Communicated to me by Mr. J.G.  Dodson, son of the Right Honourable Sir J. Dodson, Dean of the Arches, &c.]


Inventions and Inveighings.—­Palquam qui meruit ferat.

Writing about law makes one litigious; so I seize this opportunity for making a few observations on American claims.  I am not going to open the question of the Bay of Fundy, &c., fisheries; because British liberality has resigned a right, the retention of which was a source of continual irritation to our republican neighbours.  I must, however, quote a few lines from the work of their able Chancellor, Kent, to show how fully justified we were in claiming the sovereignty of the Bay of Fundy.  If the Chancellor’s work on the Law of Nations is consulted, it will be found that he points out to his countrymen their right to the sovereignty of lines stretching “from Cape Anne to Cape Cod, Nantucket to Montauck Point, thence to the Capes of the Delaware, and from the South Cape of Florida to the Mississippi." With such wholesale claims asserted on their part, it would require something more than modest assurance to dispute

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Lands of the Slave and the Free from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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