COMMENTARIES

ON

AMERICAN LAW.

________________________

BY JAMES KENT.

________________________

IN FOUR VOLUMES.

__________

NEW-YORK:

PUBLISHED BY O. HALSTED,
Law Buildings, Nassau-street.
1826.

Fifteenth Edition
Edited by
Jon Roland
1997-2002

Based on
Fourteenth Edition
Edited by
John M. Gould, Ph.D
Auhor of the "Law of Waters," joint author of Gould and Tucker's
"Notes on the U. S. Revised Statutes," etc.
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.
1896.

Which was based on
Twelfth Edition
Edited by
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


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Original URL: http://www.constitution.org/jk/jk_000.htm
Maintained: Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 1998 Nov 25 — Updated: 2002 May 15

This HTML version is Copyright © 1998-2002 Constitution Society. Permission is hereby granted to copy for non-profit purposes with attribution and with a link to this page.

Editor: Only Volume I and Lecture 50 have so far been completed. In the text original page numbers are in braces {}. Footnotes have been converted to chapter endnotes and renumbered but the original numbers are shown in parentheses. Some lectures may temporarily need further formatting.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


VOLUME I.

Prefaces    
Introduction by Jon Roland    


PART I.

OF THE LAW OF NATIONS

            PAGE
LECTURE I. Of the Foundation and History of the Law of Nations   1
LECTURE II. Of the Rights and Duties of Nations in a State of Peace   21
      1 Right of Interference with other States   21
      2 Jurisdiction over Adjoining Seas   26
      3 Rights of Commerce   32
      4 Right of Passage over Land   34
      5 Right of Navigable Rivers   35
      6 Surrender of Fugitives   36
      7 Ambassadors   38
      8 Consuls   41
LECTURE III. Of the Declaration, and other Early Measures of War   47
      1 Assistance to Allies in War   49
      2 Declaration of War   51
      3 Protection to Enemy's Property   56
      4 Confiscation of Property   59
      5 Confiscation of Debts   62
      6 Interdiction of Commerce   66
LECTURE IV. Of the Various Kinds of Property liable to Capture   73
      1 Domicile in the Enemy's Country   74
      2 Residence in it   76
      3 Colonial Trade   81
      4 Property in Transitu   86
LECTURE V. Of the Rights of Belligerents   89
      1 Moderation a Duty   90
      2 Law of Retaliation   93
      3 Privateering   96
      4 Prizes   100
      5 Ransom Bills   104
      6 Right of Postliminium   108
LECTURE VI. Of the Rights and Duties of Neutrals   115
      1 Neutrals must be impartial   115
      2 Neutral Territory inviolable   117
      3 Enemy's Property in Neutral Vessels   124
      4 Neutral Property in an Enemy's Vessel   128
LECTURE VII. Of Restrictions upon Neutral Trade   135
      1 Contraband of War   135
      2 Blockades   143
      3 Right of Search   153
LECTURE VIII. Of Truces, Passports, and Treaties of Peace   159
      1 Of Truces   159
      2 Passports   162
      3 Treaties of Peace   165
      4 Of Territories Ceded or Acquired   177
LECTURE IX. Of Offences against the Law of Nations   181
      1 Violation of Passports   182
      2 Violation of Ambassadors   182
      3 Piracy   183
      4 Slave-trade   191


PART II.

OF THE GOVERNMENT AND CONSTITUTIONAL JURISPRUDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES.

LECTURE X. Of the History of the American Union   201
LECTURE XI. Of Congress   221
      1 Of the Division into Two Houses   222
      2 Of the Senate   224
      3 Of the House of Representatives   228
      4 Privileges of the Two Houses   235
      5 Manner of Passing Laws   238
      6 President's Negative   239
LECTURE XII. Of Judicial Constructions of the Powers of Congress   243
      1 Of Priority of Payment claimed by the United States   243
      2 Power to incorporate a Bank   248
      3 Taxation   254
      4 Preemption of Indian Lands   257
      5 Effect of State Judgments   260
      6 Power of Congress over the Militia   262
      7 Power of Congress as to Internal Improvements   267
LECTURE XIII. Of the President   271
      1     271
      2     273
      3     273
      4     280
      5     280
      6     282
      7     288
LECTURE XIV. Of the Judiciary Department   290
      1 Of the Appointment, Tenure, and Support of the Judges   291
      2 Its General Powers   295
      3 Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court   298
      4 Jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts   301
      5 Jurisdiction of the District Courts   303
      6 Jurisdiction of Auxiliary State Courts   306
      7 Of Attorneys and Counsel   306
      8 Of Clerks   308
      9 Of Marshals   309
LECTURE XV. Of the Original and Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court   313
      1 Its Original Jurisdiction   314
      2 Its Appellate Jurisdiction in Cases pending in State Courts   316
      3 Its Powers in Cases of Mandamus   321
      4 Its Original Jurisdiction where a State is a Party   323
      5 Its Appellate Jurisdiction regulated by Congress   324
      6 Its Appellate Jurisdiction confined to Cases under the Constitution, Treaties, and Laws   325
      7 Its Appellate Jurisdiction to Matter appearing on the Record   326
      8 Its Appellate Jurisdiction exists, though a State be a Party   327
LECTURE XVI. Of the Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts in Respect to the Common Law, and in Respect to Parties   331
      1 Common Law Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases   331
      2 Common Law Jurisdiction in Civil Cases   341
      3 Jurisdiction when an Alien is a Party   343
      4 Jurisdiction between Citizens of Different States   344
      5 Jurisdiction when a State is interested   350
LECTURE XVII. Of the District and Territorial Courts of the United States   353
      1 Of the District Court as a Prize Court   356
      2 Its Admiralty Criminal Jurisdiction   360
      3 Limits of its Admiralty Jurisdiction   365
      4 Jurisdiction as an Instance Court of Admiralty   378
      5 Civil Jurisdiction of the District Courts   381
      6 Territorial Courts of the United States   383
LECTURE XVIII. Of the Concurrent Jurisdiction of the State Governments   387
      1 Of Concurrent Powers of Legislation   387
      2 Of Concurrent Judicial Power   395
LECTURE XIX. Of Constitutional Restrictions on the Powers of the Several States   407
      1 Of Bills of Credit   407
      2 Ex post facto Laws   408
      3 The States cannot control the Exercise of Federal Power   409
      4 Nor impair the Obligation of Contracts   413
      5 Nor pass Naturalization Laws   423
      6 Nor tax National Banks or Stocks   425
      7 Nor exercise Power over Ceded Places   429
      8 Power to regulate Commerce   431
      9 Progress of National Jurisprudence   439


PART III.

OF THE VARIOUS SOURCES OF THE MUNICIPAL LAW OF THE SEVERAL STATES.

LECTURE XX. Of Statute Law   447
      1 Laws Repugnant to the Constitution Void   448
      2 Power of the Judiciary to declare them Void   449
      3 When a Statute takes Effect   454
      4 Acts, Public and Private   459
      5 Rules for the Interpretation of Statutes   460
      6 Effect of Temporary Statutes   465
      7 Statute Penalties   467
LECTURE XXI. Of Reports of Judicial Decisions   471
      1 Source of the Common Law   471
      2 Force of Adjudged Cases   473
      3 Notice of the Principal Reports at Law   480
      4 Notice of the Principal Reports in Equity   489
      5 Interesting Character of Reports   496
LECTURE XXII. Of the Principal Publications of the Common Law   499
LECTURE XXIII. Of the Civil Law   515
      1 Early Roman Law   516
      2 The Twelve Tables   521
      3 The Prætorian Law   528
      4 Responsa Prudeutum   530
      5 Imperial Rescripts   534
      6 Justinian   538
           His Code   538
           Institutes   538
           Pandects   539
           Novels   542
      7 Loss of the Civil Law   542
      8 Its Revival   544


VOLUME II.


PART IV.

OF THE LAW CONCERNING THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS.

LECTURE XXIV. Of the Absolute Rights of Persons    
1. The History and character of bills of rights    
2. The right of personal security    
3. The law concerning slander and libels    
4. The right of personal liberty, and the writ of habeas corpus    
LECTURE XXV. Of Aliens and Natives    
1. Of natives    
2. The doctrine of allegiance and expatriation    
3. Of aliens    
LECTURE XXVI. Of the Law concerning Marriage    
1. Marriages, when void for lunacy or fraud    
2. The age of consent    
3. Bigamy    
4. Marriage between near relations    
5. The consent of parents    
6. The form of marriage    
7. Foreign marriages    
LECTURE XXVII. Of the Law concerning Divorce    
1. Divorce a vinculo    
2. Foreign divorces    
3. Effect of foreign judgements    
4. Divorce a mensa et thoro    
LECTURE XXVIII. Of Husband and Wife    
1. The husband's right by marriage in the property of the wife    
2. The duties of the husband    
3. The wife's power at law to act as a feme sole    
4. Her capacity in equity    
5. Other rights and disabilities incident to the marriage union    
LECTURE XXIX. Of Parent and Child    
1. The duties of parents    
2. The rights of parents    
3. Of illegitimate children    
LECTURE XXX. Of Guardian and Ward    
1. Guardian by nature    
2. Guardian by nuture    
3. Guardian in socage    
4. Testamentary guardians    
5. Guardians judicially appointed    
6. The duty and responsibility of guardians    
LECTURE XXXI. Of Infants — And herein of their acts, when void, when voidable, and when valid    
LECTURE XXXII. Of Master and Servant    
1. Slaves, domestic slavery, and its extinction in this state    
2. Hired servants    
3. Apprentices    
LECTURE XXXIII. Of Corporations    
1. The history of corporations    
2. The various kinds of corporations    
3. Their powers and capacities    
4. The visitation of them    
5. Their dissolution    


PART V.

OF THE LAW CONCERNING PERSONAL PROPERTY.

LECTURE XXXIV. Of the History, Progress, and Absolute Rights of Property    
LECTURE XXXV. Of the Nature, and various Kinds of Personal Property    
LECTURE XXXVI. Of Title to Personal Property by original acquisition    
LECTURE XXXVII. Of Title to Personal Property by transfer by act of law    
LECTURE XXXVIII. Of Title to Personal Property by Gift    
LECTURE XXXIX. Of the Contract of Sale    
LECTURE XL. Of Bailment    
LECTURE XLI. Of Principal and Agent    
LECTURE XLII. Of the History of Maritime Law    


VOLUME III.

LECTURE XLIII. Of the Law of Partnership    
LECTURE XLIV. Of Negotiable Paper  
LECTURE XLV. Of the Title to Merchant's Vessels  
LECTURE XLVI. Of the Persons employed in the navigation of Merchant's Ships  
LECTURE XLVII. Of the Contract of Affreightment  
LECTURE XLVIII. Of the Law of Insurance  
LECTURE XLIX. Of Maritime Law  


PART VI.

OF THE LAW CONCERNING REAL PROPERTY.

LECTURE L. Of the Foundation of Title to Land ACTIVE
LECTURE LI. Of Incorporeal Hereditaments  
LECTURE LII. Of the History of the Law of Tenure  


VOLUME IV.

LECTURE LIII. Of Estates in Fee  
LECTURE LIV. Of Estates for Life  
LECTURE LV. Of Estates for Years, at Will, or at Sufferance  
LECTURE LVI. Of Estates upon Condition  
LECTURE LVII. Of the Law of Mortgage  
LECTURE LVIII. Of Estates in Remainder  
LECTURE LIX. Of Executory Devises  
LECTURE LX. Of Uses and Trusts  
LECTURE LXI. Of Powers  
LECTURE LXII. Of Estates in Reversion  
LECTURE LXIII. Of a joint interest in Land  
LECTURE LXIV. Of Title by Descent  
LECTURE LXV. Of Title by Escheat, by Forfeiture, and by Execution  
LECTURE LXVI. Of Title by Deed  
LECTURE LXVII. Of Title by Will or Devise  
INDEX OF
SUBJECTS
Index by Subject