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Lucas & Deaver, print.



Be it remembered, That on this twcinh day of February, in the finy-finh year of the Independence of the United States of America, John V. L. McMahon, of the said district, hath deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:

“An Historical View of the Government of Maryland, from its Colonization to the Present Day.-By John V. L. McMahon. Vol. I."

In conformity to an Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned," and also to the Act, entitled, "An Act supplementary to the Act, entitled, An Act for the encourage. ment of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, a proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching historical and other Prints,"

Clerk of the District of Maryland.

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PREFACES were formerly called “apologies to the reader:” and although they have changed their name, they have not lost their original nature. They assume, for the reader, that he is ignorant of the subjects upon which the writer professes to instruct him; and for the writer, that he has enjoyed means of information denied to the reader. The writer of this work has no apologies to make, on its behalf, for any such assumptions. If it presupposes, that the people of Maryland require information upon its topics, it proceeds only upon what has been universally admitted with regret. If it implies that its writer has any peculiar knowledge to impart, he can at least say, that he has drawn it, principally, from records, and other memorials, of which the moth and rust, those decayers of all earthly things, have been the sole proprietors for more than half a century. If it claims for him competency to the task he has undertaken, it only arrogates ile liberty of attempting, what all have declined, and many have pronounced impracticable.

Like most other undertakings, the design of this work, as now accomplished, extends far beyond the original purposes of its author. At a very early period of his professional life, he began the task of collecting and arranging the materials for an Elementary Treatise upon the Laws and Institutions of the State. When this design had nearly progressed to accomplishment, our Legislature was pleased to direct a general revision of the laws, which, under the

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